DragonflyTV

Common Sense Media says

Science made cool for school-aged kids.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

This show is all about science and walks kids through applied lessons in a way that's appealing to them.

Positive messages

Kids work together to solve problems, brainstorm, and seek out answers to questions -- all while having fun.

Positive role models

Kids are smart, curious, and enthusiastic as they learn about science.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Typical pre-adolescent slang, including "groovy," "da man," and "like."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series geared for school-aged kids focuses on real-life science topics and problems to be solved. Set against a backdrop of MTV-style music, camera angles, and graphics, the show features a diverse group of pre-adolescents as hosts and experimenters. The goal is to get kids excited to ask science-related questions about everyday things -- and to feel confident about searching for the answers.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Created specifically for school-aged kids, DRAGONFLYTV has girls and boys from different ethnic backgrounds perform experiments together, often brainstorming, discussing, taking notes, and then rolling up their sleeves to do the actual hands-on. A sampling of show topics: studying the apes at the Bronx Zoo to discover how plants and animals coexist in the rainforest; going to the Bakken Museum and Library in Minneapolis to learn how the body's electrical signals help a prosthetic arm function; designing and racing real sailboats to find out what makes one sail faster than the other; and finding out what sort of tire studs work best to speed across a frozen lake. The show is filmed in locations around the United States that serve as attractive backdrops and naturally invite discussion on different topics. And -- trying to appeal to the video-game generation -- producers film the show in a style that includes sharp camera angles, pop music, and colorful graphic titles.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The show's producers have definitely taken the time to think about how to help science seem interesting to kids in this age group. Younger children may find that the music and graphics distract from the show's content, but kids over 7 will go for it, have fun, and -- most of all -- learn. Because of the fast-paced filming style, some topics may need to be studied in more detail for kids to understand them completely and satisfactorily. Parents may need to check in with their kids about what was covered, and they should be prepared to help their kids find answers to the inevitable questions.

But the point of this show is not for parents to provide the answers. Science is exciting, and thanks to DragonflyTV's modern, colorful presentation, kids who might normally shy away from science will be inspired to seek out answers to questions about their world.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about specific science topics covered in each episode -- and take the learning one step further through discussion, library visits, and online research.

  • Parents can point out that sometimes the hosts initially make mistakes in their predictions and use that information to continue their exploration

  • Also, families can discuss the benefits of working in pairs or with a team. Why is it important to have other perspectives when solving problems?

TV details

Cast:Eric Artell, Mariko Nakasone, Michael Battle
Network:PBS
Genre:Educational
Topics:Science and nature
TV rating:TV-G

This review of DragonflyTV was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 November 13, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Great show for younger kids.

It's been a LONG time since I last saw this show, but I don't remember anything inappropriate.
What other families should know
Educational value

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