Teaching us about teaching science: Thanks and farewell, Darren Massa

From October the 12th to 18th we had the wonderful Darren Massa (@darrenmassa) take over @RealScientists for a week of inside information on teaching science. You can read more about Darren’s background here in his introduction post but from following his tweets you probably guessed that he’s a science teacher with a flare for fun activities, for example greek and latin tests!

He also shared his students work with a cell analogy project integrating with google maps which teaches kids cell structure by linking it to their own neighbourhoods.

Thanks so much to Darren for his informatively enjoyable curation of Real Scientists. You can catch up on all of his tweets here. And you can read about what Darren through of his week in this interview questionnaire he kindly filled in.

How did you find your week as a curator?

I absolutely loved it. I felt that there was genuine interest in my thoughts, opinions, and experiences, and I enjoyed sharing and consuming so much collective knowledge.

Were there any lowlights?

Not for me…maybe for some of my audience? I did have a few friends who said they couldn’t keep up with my flow sometimes…I got a little aggressive here and there.

It can be a shock talking to 12,000. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

That was probably my biggest challenge at first. At the time, I only had 450 followers and would usually only get a couple of favorites/retweets. I found myself wanting to respond to every one but soon realized I couldn’t. I tried to respond to the people who advanced the conversation with their comments and that worked pretty well. It was great, though, to add so many cool people to my PLN!

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

No…I had a pretty tight plan going into the week and I feel like I covered all of it.

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

Have a good plan going in, but be prepared to deviate and go with the flow of the conversation. Monitor your favorites/retweets…if you aren’t getting any on certain topics, move on to something else. Keep the conversation flowing and engage your audience by asking questions. Tweet when you can and don’t be afraid to go dark for awhile.

If people enjoyed your tweeting who else should the go follow?


What TV show do you think everyone should go watch right now?

Nature or NOVA, of course, but also some quality news…or maybe even The Amazing Race…just for some global perspective. Also The Tonight Show and Colbert Report / Daily Show. 🙂

Matthew (@MCeeP)

Matthew is a research fellow at Cranfield University that while trained as a biochemist has accidentally ended up working with optical sensor systems. In addition to helping out @RealScientists he also runs a blog called Errant Science and writes a monthly column for Laboratory News .

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