Mr. Wizard, aka Don Herbert, made science fun for millions of kids over the years. With his approach of hands on learning and a youthful assistant, Mr. Wizard brought science out of the textbooks and into the real world. But through those years of helping his assistants perform the experiments, there was always a message of learning. And sometimes it takes a little tough love to get the message across. Despite the opening title, I think the video shows Mr. Wizard to be at the top of his game. But the compilation is fun to watch.
Don Herbert died in 2007, but he leaves behind a wealth of science education for a generation. It is probably impossible to measure the impact he had in shaping the modern scientific community. But I do believe we could use a little scientific “tough love” today to prepare us for the future.
Donald Jeffry Herbert (“Mr. Wizard”) (July 10, 1917 – June 12, 2007) was the creator and host of Watch Mr. Wizard (1951–65, 1971–72) and of Mr. Wizard’s World (1983–90), which were educational television programs for children devoted to science and technology. He also produced many short video programs about science and authored several popular books about science for children. In his obituary, Bill Nye wrote, “Herbert’s techniques and performances helped create the United States’ first generation of homegrown rocket scientists just in time to respond to Sputnik. He sent us to the moon. He changed the world.”