Socratica is now an Amazon Influencer

Socratica doesn’t have any beauty recommendations for you. 


It’s fun, we just don’t have anything to contribute here.


And we don’t do Follow Me pictures.  We’re mostly sitting at our desks, working. 

follow me field

Kudos to Murad Osmann for popularizing this new style of photo.


But we can recommend great books ALL DAY LONG.


cornell library

THIS we can do!


I thought “Influencer” was a term only used for YouTube vloggers and the beautiful people on Instagram.  I’m happy to learn I was wrong!

Amazon has opened the doors of its Influencer Program to a wide variety of YouTube channels. This is an opportunity for these channels to share their favourite products, and for all of us to buy from their storefronts as a way to support these channels. The creators receive a small percentage of every purchase made through the links on their storefronts.

And now… Socratica is an Amazon Influencer. Did not think this was going to happen. But here it is, our new storefront:


Some clear pros and cons:


  • Easy to Use – I got this up and running in under 5 minutes.
  • Easy to Update
  • Includes pictures of items


  • Not customizable – we’d love to break this into sections (Math, Chemistry, Film Equipment)
  • No place to write blurbs. Let us say WHY we’re recommending a product.


I’m all for exploring alternate revenue streams, since YouTube ad revenue is not nearly enough to support a business.  So we set up our shop, and we’ll start sharing the link, and we’ll see what happens.  Let us know what you think (or if you have any other ideas to fund our scicomm work at Socratica).

Please share this link with your friends!


Subscribe to our Socratica YouTube channel here

FREE Socratica Apps on the Google Play Store


Our secret ingredient: Dog clickers

At Socratica Studios, we record our voice-overs with the aid of a secret weapon.


I recently had the chance to try this product from pet’s mum:

dog whistle bundle

They sent it to me free in return for my honest review (FTC disclosure).

Well, I tried it and it sort of worked.  The clicker worked, no problem.  But the dog whistle I could actually hear with my own ears.  I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to work that way. We’re tossing the dog whistle.  I think it’s probably mis-aligned, because I twisted it lots of different ways and it still made a whistling sound that I could hear.  The dog was nonplussed.

The clicker, on the other hand, is a keeper for sure.  Oh, it works fine for dog training.  But it REALLY works for recording voice-overs.

When we do VO work, of course we sometimes stumble.  We edit out all those mistakes before we put together the visuals to make the final video.  That can be tedious, listening carefully for mistakes and watching the waveforms to see exactly where the mistakes are.

So we use a dog clicker!

Dog Clicker visual

See the nice clean mark?  That’s me messing up. 

It makes a nice clean mark on the audio recording.  Hey presto – quick audio edit.

And this clicker comes on a cute little wristlet! No more losing them all over the house.


Here’s our latest example of a screencast with voiceover:  Significant Figures. 

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!

Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.

Learn the Alphabet FREE app:

Try our 50 States Android App – it’s FREE on the Google Play Store:

Periodic Table App on Google Play

Socratica Patreon





Socratica Backstage: Behind the Scenes look at Mirrored Overhead Shots

We’re launching a new series on Socratica called “Study Tips: How to Be a Great Student.” An essential part of the videos in this series will be overhead B Roll and Insert Shots, to demonstrate things like how to take notes, how to use flashcards, etc.

overhead camera rig

Where do you put this thing when you’re not using it?

Many people use a large frame and suspend a camera overhead in order to do overhead shots. It’s one thing if you’re using a GoPro, but this isn’t something you really want to do with a larger camera with a nice lens. Other drawbacks include the amount of space an overhead frame takes up, and the fact that the camera is not easily accessible. You can’t zoom in during a shot unless you have a sophisticated remote control setup. You can’t easily move the camera from its fixed position, which limits the kind of filmmaking you can do (no pans, tilts, or slider shots).

Today on Socratica Backstage, you can watch how we mounted a large mirror in order to do better overhead shots. We immediately put it to use, filming B Roll and Insert shots for our first video in the Study Tips series, “How to Take Great Notes.”


We release our Backstage Videos early to our Patreon Supporters.  Thank you for being our super-fans!  Your support means so much to us.

If you are not yet a supporter of Socratica, please visit our Patreon Page and consider joining our team. You’ll be supporting our efforts to make more high-quality educational videos. Thank you!

Don’t forget to Subscribe to Socratica!




Our Fab Music Videos with Kat McDowell

You hear a lot of advice as a small YouTube channel.  Make more videos!  Tweet every day!  Shareability!  Longer videos!  Likes! Annotations!  Ask them to Subscribe!

But the big piece of advice we never took was: COLLABORATE. 

rising tide lifts all ships

A rising tide lifts all ships, the saying goes, and the idea is that if your channel can help out another, you should do it.  And don’t worry about contacting a channel with more subscribers than you – you could be bringing in a brand-new audience to the bigger channel.  Everyone wins.

It’s easier said than done, of course.  We’ve tried to pull of collaborations before, but something always got in the way:  schedule conflicts, too big of a difference in style, lack of funds.

But this year, with the help of the YouTube NextUp program, we finally did it.  We made two videos with our friend Kat McDowell – one for her channel, and one for ours!

This time, everything went right, the stars aligned, and the fates smiled on us.  We met Kat at an event at YouTube Space LA, and we recognized her from one of our favourite music videos – her cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” She’s a singer-songwriter from Japan and New Zealand, who makes “positive surf-pop” that will bring a smile to your face.

We knew we wanted to collaborate with Kat, but it was just a matter of finding a time and place to make it happen. Amazingly, we were both selected to take part in the YouTube NextUp program!  This meant we were in the same place at the same time for an entire week, with beautiful filming studios and tons of equipment at our disposal.


We hope you enjoy the videos as much as we enjoyed making them.

Here’s the video about Musical Harmony we made for our channel:


And here’s the music video “Human” we made for Kat’s channel:



Remember to tell your friends about Socratica Studios, and encourage them to try our videos and subscribe!


Subscribe to Socratica Studios

Subscribe to Socratica Kids

Support Socratica on Patreon

Don’t forget to check out Kat McDowell’s channel  for more beautiful music! 



Related Post:

Game Changer: YouTube NextUp

Our YouTube NextUp Classmates


Our YouTube NextUp Classmates

Socratica was incredibly lucky (#blessed) to participate in the 2016 Class of NextUp at YouTube Space LA.  We were one of 16 channels who gathered together in Playa Vista at the YouTube Space for a week of intensive filmmaking classes and guidance from industry experts about how to grow our channels.

We’d like to introduce you to our classmates! In alphabetical order, here are the 16 talented creators we got to know and love:

  1. Ali Spagnola  – Ali is a force of nature. You can’t believe how much this woman gets done in one day. She is really well known for her snapchats, but her one-woman-band music videos are AMAZING.


2. Angel Wong’s Kitchen – Angel demystifies Taiwanese cooking and shares all of her most delicious discoveries with you. We hope to lure her down to the San Gabriel Valley to go on a dumpling crawl with us.


3. Cordero Roman Pay no attention to the man in the bushes.  Cordero is best known for his hidden-camera videos and awkward interviews. But he recently announced he is branching into new material, so stay tuned!


4. Dahlia & Dia Dahlia and Dia Tequali are twins who make surreal mini-movies. We sincerely hope David Lynch is watching. This video includes some guest appearances from other NextUppers.


5. EddieG!  Eddie Garcia makes hysterical comedy videos, occasionally featuring his alter-ego, Tiburcio. This video featured a lot of us from the YouTube Creator Camp!


6. House of Haute Toni Duclottni makes fashion and beauty videos, with all kinds of advice and her own personal touch. I didn’t even know latex dresses were a thing.


7. imSarahSnitch Sarah Sterling is an expert in all things Disney. This is her personal channel, but she’s also part of the Thingamavlogs channel, starring 4 Disney enthusiasts! If you love Disneyland, DisneyWorld, Disney movies, etc., you need to know about these channels.


8. Kat McDowell Kat is a singer-songwriter who was born in Japan and raised in New Zealand. She makes positive surf-pop style music you’re going to sing to yourself all day. Here’s another video that featured the NextUppers!


9. Mr. Fix It Aaron Massey makes clear and good-humored DIY, How-To, Installation, and Home-Improvement videos. Anyone who thinks they could never take care of their own home repairs needs to give his channel a try.


10. Nic and Pancho Nic Bello and his friend Pancho (who also attended NextUp) make the most charming comedic videos. You would swear Pancho understands every word Nic says. By the end of the NextUp camp, we all wanted to adopt Pancho, and Nic as well.


11. Painting with Jane Jane Font owns and operates Pandemonium Art Gallery. In addition to running this home for experimental art, she also makes free instructional art videos. They are hypnotic and relaxing, and make us all want to take up a brush.


12. Rayann410 Rayann Young hails from Atlanta (the 410), and has a lot of wisdom to share about taking care of your beautiful hair without it driving you crazy.


13. SammieSpeaks Samantha Zolt shares her shopping/beauty/lifestyle interests.


14. Socratica (that’s us!) Kimberly Hatch Harrison and Michael Harrison make educational videos. We focus on STEM, but there are some humanities in there too, so really we should say we make STEAM videos. Enjoy!


15. Studio Knit Kristen McDonnell makes the most adorable and creative knitted creations. Her channel features all kinds of knitting projects and fun crafty ideas.


16. Vagabrothers Marko and Alex Ayling are a couple of vagabond brothers (Vagabrothers) who travel the world and make it look easy and fun – there’s something for everyone on their channel.


When you make videos for YouTube, most of the time you are working on your own. It was such a gift to get to meet with other creators and see how they worked.  It was incredibly freeing to see how they could make a mistake, shake it off, and try something else. We’ve learned so much from these guys. 

Please check these great channels out!  They’re the next big thing.  We’re going to be able to say we knew them when!

Remember to tell your friends about Socratica Studios, and encourage them to try our videos and subscribe!


Subscribe to Socratica Studios

Subscribe to Socratica Kids


Related Post:

Game Changer: YouTube NextUp








Socratica reaches 25K!

Socratica has just hit 25,000 subscribers!  GOSH that makes us happy.  Thank you, everyone, for your support and encouragement. We will continue making educational videos to the best of our abilities – we think you deserve it!

We can't stop smiling!

We can’t stop smiling!

If you have friends who enjoy watching educational videos, please send them to our channels. The more people who watch, the more videos we can make. Every person helps!


Subscribe to Socratica Studios

Subscribe to Socratica Kids

In Search Of: Our Missing Female STEM Viewers

Socratica is an educational YouTube channel, focusing mainly on STEM. We do have some Arts and Humanities in the mix, but STEM is what we think of first.

There’s a lot of talk in the news and on school campuses about the lack of women in STEM. Is it due to subtle gender bias, overt gender bias, harassment, work policies incompatible with having a family, lack of interest, “leaky pipeline” – is it none of the above or all of the above?

As a STEM person with two X chromosomes, I’ve never doubted that STEM was for me (it’s still my passion, even though I’m not doing research anymore). I read scientific journals, I watch STEM videos, and I make STEM videos. So how come my videos aren’t getting more views from women?

Just look at our channel statistics:

Overall – 69% male, 31% female:


But wait, it gets worse.  For a video on Neutron Stars, 91% male, 9% female:


We always knew we had predominantly male viewers (our comments are almost all from men), but the stats for our neutron stars video frankly shocked me. Our videos are clear, concise, friendly, and more often than not, presented by a woman. Most of our videos are written by women.  And yet, where are our female viewers?

If you are someone who is concerned about the lack of women in STEM, please share our videos with the women in your life. Get the word out. Science is for everyone. Socratica is for everyone. We need more viewers of all stripes, but there is just no reason why women shouldn’t be loving our videos just as much as men.  Come on.


Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!

Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.

Socratica Backstage is coming.

We’re starting a new YouTube channel: Socratica Backstage.


It’s a little peek behind the scenes at Socratica Studios.  This is where you can find “making of” videos, gear tests and reviews, and some out-takes.


If you’re interested in what it takes to make one of our videos, or if you’d like to learn how we go about carefully picking our gear, or if you’d just like to see our goofs, do visit our new channel.  Socratica Backstage.


Don’t forget to subscribe to our main YouTube channel,  and share with your friends!

And please do check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.