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Friday, January 6, 2017

“Sciyonce” Teaches Students Biology Through Popular Tunes

With her cordless mic on, classroom lights dimmed and disco lights spinning, biology teacher Arlevia Davis is all set to do her lesson review.

To the tune of a popular hip-hop song, she starts singing one of her latest creations, which teaches about DNA.

“With the expenses of materials, you can’t always get the hands-on labs,” said Davis, who is in her third year of teaching at Legacy High School. “So I decided that I should start writing songs for the large amount of vocabulary that exists in the content area just to keep it fun and exciting and interesting.”

When she performs in front of her class, she said she turns into her alter ego, Sciyonce, to shake away her nerves and become as engaging as possible.

Davis tells her class to recall her song lyrics as they answer science questions.
Davis has biology renditions of songs from various artists and genres. She said she likes to keep it different to appeal to a majority of her class.

“Students love it,” she explained. “They know class is about to get a little more upbeat when I have my Britney Spears mic on. Some of them have even told me that they appreciate the time I take to write the songs, so that was very encouraging to hear.”

Most importantly, the 15-year educator has found that the songs help her students retain the information. To her, the more annoying the song is, the better.

“I tell them, ‘I want this to be irritatingly stuck in your brain whether you like the songs or not,’” Davis continued. “I feel accomplished when they say, ‘Oh no. That song is going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.’”

Davis is currently working on a song about genetics. She said she hopes her performances will teach her students to be fearless in life.