Creators of a new IMAX film on how the brains of world-class bicyclists work hope the 40-minute documentary will spark students’ interest in science and math.
“Wired to Win” follows two cyclists in the Tour de France as they navigate the 2,112-mile course from the peaks of the Alps to the streets of Paris.
Viewers will see, through computer-generated imagery, exactly how the human brain interacts with the body’s nervous system, muscles, and other inner workings to combat pain and fatigue.
Dr. Martin A. Samuels, a professor of neurology at the Harvard Medical School and the chairman of the neurology department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, was one of a team of medical experts for the film.
“The problem with teaching science to people is that they’re intimidated by it,” he said in an interview.
“What this [film] does is not just get people young enough before they develop a phobia about it,” he said, “but [also shows that] science can be very exciting.”
The National Science Foundation provided a grant to help finance the film, which was produced by the nonprofit Partners HealthCare system, based in Boston, and sponsored by Ortho-McNeil Neurologics Inc., of Titusville, N.J.
A teacher toolkit on three aspects of the brain—the senses, metacognition, and emotions—is available online at www.wiredtowinthemovie.com.
Classroom- and family-activity guides, podcast commentaries on the film by its director, editor, and producer, and photo galleries and posters for the film are also on the Web site, as is a list of the jumbo-screen theaters worldwide where the film is being shown.
That list includes the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center.
A version of this article appeared in the June 07, 2006 edition of Education Week