62913Haim Weizman is a chemist by trade and an internet movie maker on the side.

In his first video, a telegenic narrator in a lab coat swirls a flask as electronic music plays in the background. Created by four science and film students at the University of California, San Diego, the video shows a typical recrystallization experiment straight out of Chemistry 101.

The six-minute epic, complete with bloopers, got 1,205 views on Google Inc.’s YouTube, but the number increased fourfold when the video was posted to SciVee, one of a number of online video-sharing startups designed to let scientists broadcast themselves toiling in the laboratory or delivering lectures.

Fans of the niche sites say they help the lay public—and students—understand the scientific process, allow researchers to duplicate one another’s results, and might help discourage fraud.

And in the wake of disappointing results on an international science exam, they might even help kindle an interest in science among U.S. students.

(Next page: More info about SciVee—and other video lecture sites like it)