‘He’s a legend.’
I squint at the screen, to the figure Lu is referring to. ‘The grey-looking, skinny man in a suit, pointing at the chemical equation next to him? He’s the legend?’
I get a smile back. ‘Of course. You just have to look at the comments under his videos. People want this man to be knighted – at the very least for saving their exams. Freesciencelessons guy is a pure leg.’
Freesciencelessons guy’s real name is Dr. Shaun Donnelly. He has a PhD in Biochemistry. Later, he discovered his real passion was to teach science. In 2013, Dr. Donnelly set up a YouTube channel called Free Science Lessons. He gives relatively short, 3-4 minute videos covering science topics. Mostly at GCSE level, though apparently he is also expanding into A levels now. He also sells workbooks, but you don’t have to buy them. His free videos are his main resource.
Still, Dr Shaun Donnelly does not look like the average fifteen year old’s idea of cool. And yet over a thousand of them have already signed a petition to get him knighted. I signed it too. It’s on Change.org.
How though? He literally stands to one side (always in a suit) of a green screen and occasionally points to it while he talks to the camera about a given subject. That’s it. No experiments, explosions or tricks. He just stands very still, very upright. Occasionally points to his side. He doesn’t even move his body when he points. It’s slightly spooky.
I’ve watched loads of his videos over Lulu’s shoulder during the past year as she’s come to grips with different topics. He does all three of the sciences. And again, on the face of it, Freesciencelessons guy literally has zero cool about him. Let me be clear. I don’t mean he isn’t cool. For all I know, at home he could be the coolest.
I mean cool as the sort of thing you’d think teenagers would respect. The latest fashion, technological tricks, hair that wasn’t grey. That sort of thing.
Instead you get comments under his videos like, ‘After my teacher has finished teaching a lesson, I put on Freesciencelessons guy so I can understand the topic.’
And, ‘My mans did in 4 minutes what my teacher did in 3 whole lesssons.’
And, ‘You’re a legend I hope you live to 150.’
And, ‘Sir, you make science easy.’ The comments continue down the page.
I guess it goes back to the old adage; it ain’t what you do, but the way that you do it.
Freesciencelessons guy has dedicated himself to one thing. Getting students to understand science – with consistent dedication. And it seems children see this and they really respect him for it. They see his willingness to help – and for them that’s enough. He’s a legend.
PS. As a parent, I’m also thankful. Go, Sir Donnelly.