Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. is an initiative that is focused on utilizing the power of hip-hop music and culture to introduce youth to the wonder and beauty of science. The core message of the initiative is to meet urban youth who are traditionally disengaged in science classrooms on their cultural turf, and provide them with the opportunity to express the same passion they have for hip-hop culture for science. Concurrently, the project aims to display the interests of science enthusiasts who have a passion for hip-hop, and introduce both hip-hop and science to a wider audience.
The main activity of the project will involve a call for students in selected schools across New York City to create science themed raps based on topics decided upon by the project sponsors (scientists, educators, and Hip-Hop icon GZA). The raps that students will create will be part of a competition within schools that will eventually grow into competitions among participating schools. The raps would be performed over the students’ choice of 5 hip-hop instrumentals provided by project organizers, and will cover topics that align to the New York State Science Learning Standards, and Core Curriculum.
For students who will be part of the inaugural B.A.T.T.L.E.S. project, sponsors will provide teacher training on hip-hop culture, professional development for science teachers, and coaching for both teachers and students over the course of the project. For schools/students who will be a part of the project, the process below will follow.