Remember your childhood cartoons? Where a cartoon mouse would set a cat on fire or hit the cat with a frying pan and the ramifications of such actions lasted for about two seconds before the cat fully recovered and continued to leave himself open to more torture. We as kids weren’t challenged to question how plausible such actions were or the realism of such shows; we just took the brief entertainment and went on with our lives. But PBS KIDS wants to change that with their show Ready Jet Go!

Ready Jet Go! Is a kids TV show that focuses on three kids traveling through space. During a conversation on STEM at Google’s Venice office last month, astrophysicist Amy Mainzer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California (who stars in “Ready Jet Go!” interstitial pieces) says the quality of content and knowledge the kids will be viewing is of high standard.

“We’re teaching kids some pretty bleeding-edge planetary science. When I was growing up, it wasn’t so easy to find out new information. So we’re hoping to get that into kids’ hands as quickly as we can.”

Amy Mainzer

Linda Simensky, vice president of children’s programing at PBS, addresses that the show is up to date with knowledgeable information from NASA activity such as the latest Pluto information from the new horizon spacecraft. Amy Mainzer says the shows dedicated to getting the science right that everyone working on the show doesn’t ask much questions as they are all being proactive and researching to ensure the shows content is of high quality for the children.

“It’s really impressive to me how solid the science is with the show and how much opportunity we have for feedback on the science. And we really try to get it right. And if it’s not, it’s on me. Because I’ve had plenty of chances, and that’s really wonderful and special.”

Amy Mainzer

Linda Simensky says this show is made to create more visibility for more children from a STEM standpoint. Children that don’t have access or resources to be open to an interest in science can watch and create an interest in a manner that is of quality in its entertainment value and its content.

We at IntoScience seek to do the same things for children. Using our scientific educators and programing resources, we create an online world were the student can explore scientific theory in a manner that engages and entertains. Kids can visit virtual worlds, perform experiments, play games that quiz the mind and interact with teachers and other fellow students.

The idea behind this forward direction is breaking the perceptions of science being only for individuals in white lab coats of certain intellectual levels. It’s about accessibility, understanding and enjoyment. Your child in the time they wake up to the first activities in school can now watch morning cartoons and go to school and play games against friends on their tablets and already, they are surrounded by educational knowledge by NASA scientists and educational experts without even feeling like they are learning. Shows like Ready Jet Go! and educational platforms like IntoScience are taking steps towards making the entertaining and content behind science take centre stage.

Reference:

Hemaratanatorn, O 2016, ‘Ready Jet Go!’ New PBS KIDS Show Brings Space Science Down to Earth. February 15 2016. Olivia Hemaratanatorn: Blog. Available from:  <http://www.space.com/31934-ready-jet-go-pbs-tv-show.html>