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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Brainchild is a science-inspired educational series that teaches kids about concepts like the senses, neurology, marine biology, and gravity through entertaining visual aids, expert insight, and fun facts. All of the topics are presented at a level that's relatable for kids (especially young tweens), using experiments and creative presentation strategies to reinforce the material. And the youthful host and helpers (a science expert and a sleight-of-hand magician) keep the show engaging throughout. Not only does this series aim to teach kids about science, it also undermines stereotypes about science enthusiasts themselves in the form of its young cast members, two of whom are female. Plus, it offers strong social and emotional messages about self-esteem, self-identity, and being your best you.
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What's the story?
BRAINCHILD is an educational series that teaches grade-schoolers about the scientific concepts they encounter every day, from the truth about germs (Does the five-second rule really work?) to the science behind emotions. Hosted by Sahana Srinivasan, the show introduces a different topic in each episode and explores how it might relate to viewers' experiences. Using a variety of visual aids and some in-depth expertise from "Science Friend" Alie Ward and entertaining demonstrations from magician Ben Seidman, the show teaches kids how and why things work -- and sometimes don't -- in the world around them.
Is it any good?
Learning science has never been as fun as it is in this smart show. This cleverly designed series is a treasure trove of wisdom for kids. Its target audience is early tweens, but there's nothing stopping kids as young as six or seven from enjoying Brainchild's truly welcome and thorough blend of entertainment and education. They may not understand all of it -- especially if they're not solid independent readers yet, as some supporting content like definitions of new vocabulary is written on the screen -- but what they do absorb may spark science-related interest to be cultivated.
With topics that alternate between tangible and intangible scientific concepts and content that entertains as much as it teaches, Brainchild is one of those rare shows that's truly family friendly. Tune in with your kids, and you'll likely learn a little bit about a lot of things along with them. This isn't a thorough educational resource, but it's a smart, engaging show that makes science seem like a lot of fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how character strengths like curiosity drive discovery and invention. How does science give us tools to solve problems and improve our lives? What topics are your kids most curious about with regard to STEM concepts?
How does Brainchild demonstrate measurement or analysis processes for intangible concepts like emotions and dreams? Is the study of these topics as valuable as that of more traditional ones like biology, chemistry, and digital science? Is it realistic to imagine we will find all of the answers we seek, or will there always be questions to pursue?
How do the shows you watch portray women and girls relative to STEM topics? Are women and girls shown as scientists or mathematicians, or is that unusual? What TV characters do you know of who challenge traditional gender stereotypes?
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