This is not a joke: the “MASSIVE” database is 10 years old

When I tell people that I have a free online database of science, technology, engineering, and math songs, they often think I’m kidding.

Last month, I completed my first decade of these incredulity-inducing conversations.

Yes, the database initially known as “MASSIVE” (for Math And Science Song Information, Viewable Everywhere) was launched in March of 2004. Below are screenshots of the search page and a search results page from around that time.

MASSIVE search page, circa 2004

MASSIVE search results page, circa 2004

Not exactly a thing of beauty, was it? Yet I was immensely pleased with myself. I had taught myself (just barely) enough MySQL and php to make the thing work, and now teachers around the country and perhaps the world could easily search for educational music to support their lessons.

While the database itself has changed a lot since 2004, my irrational pride in it has not. And so, in celebration of the 10-year milestone, I offer the following notes:

• Educators and others who have not done so already are encouraged to check out my article in Biochemical and Molecular Biology Education (freely available to all as of January 2014), my blog post on incorporating the database into classroom activities, and/or my brief video tutorial.

• Thank you to those who have encouraged my development of the database over the years — especially Do Peterson, Wendy Silk, Brian Glanz, and Katie Davis.

• Thank you to Steve Nakazawa Hewitt, Kate Clark, and Andrea Mina for improving the appearance of the database’s user interface.

• Thank you to the many writers and bloggers who have taken an interest in the database and spread the word about it.

• Last but not least, thank you to everyone who, at one time or another, sent suggestions of songs to add to the database: Adam D. Philippidis, Alicia Volkheimer, Angela Brett, Antoinette Powell, Benedict Leigh, Bob Vitray, Chandra Senan, Daniel W. Yates, David M. Bott, David White, Deirdre E. Welton, Derek Habermas, Do Peterson, Elaine Fingerett, Gail Marcus, Helen J. Ougham, James D. Brooks III, Jennifer van Sickle, Jenny L. McFarland, Jeremy Fox, Joseph R. Conrad, Judy Molnar, Kathy Barker, Kevin Bourrillion, Kirk L. Van Scoyoc, Lasse Folkersen, Leonard Braun, Lynda Jeanne Jones, Martin Zitter, Mary Rodgers, Michael Lindner, Michael P. Williams, Michael Peacy, Myron F. Uman, Tonya Hennen, Tyler J. Mott, Wendy K. Silk, Will Johnson … and others whose names I no longer have.

As a 10th-anniversary tribute to these “star volunteers,” their song suggestions are now marked with orange stars in search results pages. Mousing over a star reveals who brought that song to my attention.


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3 Responses to This is not a joke: the “MASSIVE” database is 10 years old

  1. Kathy Barker says:

    Congratulations, Greg!
    This is a wonderful resource!

  2. Angela Brett says:

    Wow, I remember when it was like that. I was looking for some Tom Lehrer music one day (having been recently introduced to it) and stumbled upon a website that I would have made myself if I’d got around to it. I went through the entire site and downloaded all the free songs, and have since found out about so many other artists via those ones (and paid for their songs.) Sheesh, I’ve even met several of them. Now that I think about it, I’ve gone on four Caribbean cruises and made hundreds of friends indirectly because of this database. Plus I’ve learnt things about science, and made my other friends think I’m weird by singing about the things they bring up.

    And then you feel the need to thank me. Thank you, Greg!

  3. crowther says:

    So, Angela, you’ve been on the JoCo cruises, then?!? Awesome!

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