You may not remember their names but if you’re a student, they were most likely one of your teachers at one point. John and Hank Green have been active online since 2007, when they became famous for their shared channel, vlogbrothers, which now has over three million subscribers. What started as a way for two brothers to keep in touch turned into an internet phenomenon when their videos began to blow up, leading to multiple other opportunities to expand their online community of fans (known as Nerdfighters). If you recognize either of their names, it is probably John Green who launched himself into young adult literary fame in 2005 with his debut novel “Looking for Alaska,” followed shortly by the success of his later novels, including “Paper Towns” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” Also, Hank published his first book, “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing,” in 2018 to great success. With the achievements of both the YouTube channel and their novels, the Green brothers were set, but they wanted to do more. They have too many projects to count (including VidCon, Project for Awesome and a Harry Potter themed band) so I will be focusing on just two—SciShow and Crash Course.
“SciShow” is a series of science-related YouTube videos, founded in 2012 and primarily hosted by Hank Green. It features small, creative lectures on very specific questions based on all types of sciences including biology, chemistry, physics and many, many more. Green obviously loves science as he has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a master’s degree in environmental studies, but most importantly; he loves getting people to learn. I remember being assigned essays on these videos in high school for my science classes and they were always much more engaging then reading a chapter of a textbook. I am not a science brained person, so when someone can teach me the information in a creative and inviting way, I am much more likely to remember the information, and that is exactly what “SciShow” does.
Since its creation, “SciShow” has expanded to include multiple spin offs such as “SciShow Space,” “SciShow Psych,” and “SciShow Kids” as well as a podcast called “SciShow Tangents.” The YouTube channel now has more than six million subscribers and over one billion views. It is a wonderful series, not only for students but for everyone! One of the things that I love most about the Green brothers is that their content never feels too young for me. It is accessible and created for those who love to learn, not just students who have to.
Check out “SciShow” here.
- Crash Course
Besides their novels, “Crash Course” is my favorite Green brother’s project. “Crash Course” is another educational YouTube channel hosted by the brothers, but this one focuses on just about everything, not just science. Since its creation in 2012, the “Crash Course” YouTube channel has accumulated over 10 million subscribers and more than one billion views. In 2012, they began this project with general, creative lectures given by John in World History and Hank in Biology. As of 2014, PBS Digital Studios became a partner in this channel, allowing for more hosts and many, many more subjects. As of now, there are about 40 main series of “Crash Course” with nine hosted by John and seven hosted by Hank.
“Crash Course” History was definitely the one that seemed to pop up the most as a part of our curriculum in high school, but my personal favorite is definitely “Crash Course” Literature, hosted by John. I love learning, especially about books, so I have watched this series so many times. In the beginning of each season, John releases a reading list of the books they will be covering in the following weeks. They cover everything from Shakespeare, to J.D. Salinger, to Toni Morrison. I am always learning something new from them and I cannot recommend this channel enough.
Check out “Crash Course” here.
The best thing about the Green brothers is that they don’t just make these videos for high schoolers. They make them for people who love to learn just like they do. For the most part, these videos are watched for fun by people of all ages and I think that’s amazing. They made being smart cool and made learning fun. They have changed the way a lot of people think about education and for that I will always be a loyal subscriber. So, while we are stuck at home, instead of turning on Netflix, turn on an episode of “Crash Course” and learn something new. I promise you won’t regret it.
“Don’t forget to be awesome!”