So we were watching our usual Saturday morning PBS cartoons, but the fall line-up had switched the expected schedule all around. I looked up and realized my almost 4-year-old daughter was completely enthralled with a non-cartoon television show: SciGirls. This is rather unusual. Especially because in the past, the non-cartoon show that usually aired was a cooking show that none of us could stand to watch. But watching SciGirls' great blend of hands-on creative science projects and enthusiastic girls has been enjoyable for all of us - and we're not even the target audience: tween girls.
The premise behind SciGirls probably won't surprise you. It's biggest goal is to foster a love of S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) topics with girls, who are under-represented in those industries. But the show is doing a great job at showing and encouraging excitement for the topics they're sharing. Each episode features middle-school aged girls getting out and solving some really creative problems - including everything from solar power to turtle habitats to creating amazing larger-than-life puppets for a May Day Parade.
The girls on each show are just who you want your girls to be: well-rounded, intelligent, passionate kids who really get into the topic at hand. SciGirls includes a big interactive/web push - starting out with an online animated character named Izzie who follows the projects from start to finish. And the SciGirls website is filled with interactive activities, games, a safe chat room, video clips, projects, and more. This is one show that has me - a bona-fida non-science type - much more interested in science and tech. And if I can inspire my 4-year-old to get involved now, it's got to be a good thing.