Screen time: fantastic film clips from the EIROs Inspire article

A motion picture is worth a thousand words.

This article contains a collection of videos from the EIROs, ranging from dedicated teaching material to snippets of research news, that could make a great addition to a related science lesson. They include some interesting footage and beautiful graphic models, which are always helpful for sparking interest and aiding understanding; it’s more engaging to be shown something than to just read about it. Included with each video is a short description and some suggestions of classroom topics that it could complement.


This miniseries from CERN introduces the discovery of the Higgs boson, and includes some nice footage from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In addition to introducing some of the basics of particle physics research, the first video explains a number of fundamental physics concepts in a simple and engaging manner, and could be incorporated into lessons on basic mechanics (motion, forces, energy).



The other two videos are more advanced and could be used as particle physics supplementary material for interested students. The third video additionally contains a nice discussion on probability.



This animation from EMBL’s European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS) introduces the influenza virus and outlines how structural biology can be used to understand it better and hopefully develop treatments. Much of this information is equally applicable to recent research on SARS-CoV-2, which is also an RNA virus although it belongs to a different phylum. It could tie into lessons on viruses, protein structure, and drug discovery.


In this “Meet the Experts” video from ESA, an astrobiologist presents fascinating insight into organisms that can survive under extreme conditions on earth, and what this could mean for the potential transfer of life between planetary bodies or systems. This could tie into lessons on microorganisms, ecology, the basic requirements for life, the origin of life on earth, and the search for extraterrestrial life.


This ESOcast shows some stunning illustrations of one of the most dramatic events in the universe: supernovae. Some interesting facts about this fascinating phenomenon are also presented, and this could be a nice clip to share with the class in a lesson on stars and their life cycles.


These very short videos highlight some of the research carried out at ESRF and could be used as teasers when starting lessons.

This very interesting video explains why tattooing can lead to nickel and chromium entering the body. It could link to lessons on transition metals or circulation and the lymphatic system.


This video presents some research into the use of silver nanowires to make flexible touchscreens, and could tie into lessons on materials and engineering.


This video highlights the self-assembly of ferritin, which is an excellent example of protein quaternary structure, and also touches on nanomedicine.


This video about an X-ray tomography study of some fossilized dinosaur eggs could link to lessons on dinosaurs, evolution, or embryonic development.


This short animation from the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), a member of the EUROfusion consortium, provides a brief history of our knowledge of fusion and research into harnessing it for green energy production.


As a complement to the above animation, which briefly introduces the theory of fusion research, this video tour of the Joint European Torus (JET) experiment gives a nice impression of what doing this kind of research looks like in practice.

European XFEL

This video makes a nice companion piece to the article in this issue on some of the coronavirus research currently being carried out at European XFEL. It offers a short explanation of the process and challenges of obtaining X-ray crystal structures of proteins, as well as giving students an idea of what the experimental set-ups used actually look like. It would nicely tie into lessons on protein structures.


This animated video from ILL gives an excellent introduction to dark matter, clearly explaining a number of basic principles relating to particle physics along the way. It would fit very nicely into a lesson on basic particle physics, and gives students a sense of how this is a living field where we still have a lot to learn.



Tamaryin Godinho is the Executive Editor at Science in School.