Thursday, March 11, 2010
I suppose I'm lucky; growing up, it never occurred to me that I couldn't enter traditionally male-dominated fields like science and math. My dad is a doctor, with many female doctor friends. I went to an all-girls elementary and high school, and I loved math and science. I hold an engineering undergraduate and graduate degree. And if The Pea decides to choose a path in science, math, or engineering, I plan to encourage her every step of the way!
But despite all the progress that has been made, I know that many young girls, especially those belonging to families in lower economic brackets, don't always get the encouragement and mentorship they deserve. And I know that it's more important than ever to engage girls' interest in science and math at a young age. So I love programs that fire girls up about science and math, like Mills College's Expanding Your Horizons (which I volunteered at every year from the time I left grad school until I moved to Boston) . And now, my favorite kids' channel, PBS, has come up with a cool science show what middle-school girls engaged in science, technology, engineering and math activities: SciGirls.
SciGirls, a new PBS science show, is premiering this month. The show features live action videos of girls and their mentors exploring various scientific fields like marine biology, archaeology, ecology, engineering and more. The accompanying website, SciGirls, features videos of the show as well as projects that have been uploaded by SciGirls online members.
Here's how SciGirls describes their new show:
Does your tween girl realize that Madame Curie is as cool as Miley Cyrus? That she can be an athlete and a "mathlete"? That she and her friends can explore the world and the mall?
They'll learn all of this and more on SciGirls, the new weekly science show premiering on PBS stations and online nationwide in February / March 2010. The program's half-hour episodes and its destination website at pbskids.org/scigirls showcase bright, curious girls putting S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) to work to make the world a better place.
It looks like PBS has done it again and found another program that both kids and parents will like! The dolphin episode we watched is great! They've chosen topics that kids are interested in --dolphins, turtles, puppets, fashion -- and kids love to see other kids doing cool stuff, so I can't imagine that any kid would be bored watching this program. As a parent, it's even more gratifying to see these young girls taking the initiative to come up with questions and find ways to answer those questions. I get the sense that a girl (or a boy!) could come away from watching this show thinking, if these kids can do it, so can I.
SciGirls doesn't premiere on our local PBS station until the end of this month, so we're loving the videos on the website. However, I'd love to have some of these episodes in a downloadable podcast format! I'm also a bit disappointed with the website -- it takes way too long to load, it's difficult to navigate (the pages are designed to look like a girl's scrapbook, so you don't realize that some of those stickers are actually links or controls like "Previous", "Next", and "Help".
The Bottom Line
SciGirls is another entertaining, educational PBS show that parents can feel good about letting their kids watch. Seeing real girls and women embark on fun learning adventures can really help inspire girls to pursue careers in science, technology and math!
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a SciGirls goody bag which includes a SciGirls button, bracelet, magnet picture frame, pencil and plastic egg with a fun at-home experiment. To enter, leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite subject when you were in elementary school.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following, (you can only do each extra entry once; please leave a separate comment for each extra entry):
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Win a Sci Girls goody bag from @bonggafinds http://ow.ly/1lo2n
Maximum of 5 entries per person. This giveaway ends at midnight PST on March 25, 2010; I will draw a winner at random on March 26 and post the winner's name as soon as the winner confirms acceptance. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a sample SciGirls goody bag as a thank-you for writing about the show. Unless clearly stated, the views and opinions expressed here are my own.