Bill Nye the Science Guy: Insects and Reptiles--Leapin' Lizards!
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nye succeeds in making science attention-getting. His humor and the quick scenes will captivate kids enough to get them thinking about being scientists when they grow up. But be warned: One guest wrestles with an alligator for play, and scientists and keepers hold poisonous snakes, alligators, scorpions, bees, and wasps. Young children may get the wrong idea regarding how much danger is involved.
What's the story?
In INSECTS AND REPTILES – LEAPIN LIZARDS, "Science Guy" Bill Nye covers the characteristics of the cold-blooded (animals, not people) and the differences between amphibians and reptiles. A group of environmentally-conscious kids watches over a batch of baby sea turtles as they hatch and scurry to the ocean for the first time. Next, a man wrestles with an alligator, making it look too easy. The stages of metamorphosis are presented with elaborate visuals. Insect exoskeletons are compared to the outside of a plane, a car, and a dome. And if that's not enough to whet your appetite, or ruin it, kids collect odd-looking bugs and viewers learn how to conduct a fruit fly experiment at home.
Is it any good?
Parents can't help but be engrossed -- or grossed out -- by the footage Bill uses, though kids will likely have no problem with it. Though many of the reptiles and insects seem unapproachable to the average person, young viewers will like the hands-on nature of this video. With the understanding that kids don't have long attention spans and need plenty of educational variety, Nye gives basic explanations of concepts like cold-bloodedness and metamorphosis, then brings in knowledgeable guests to demonstrate their prized reptiles and insects.
Bill Nye is definitely innovative, and despite his bad puns, has a certain charisma that attracts dedicated followers. He is, by far, one of the most popular and perhaps only scientist known to some kids. The guy deserves a lot of credit for empowering kids' minds.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous animals in their own environment. Are there black widows, snakes, etc? What is the best way to approach (or, more likely, completely avoid) those animals? How do you show respect for a venomous animal?