SciGirls

 
(i)

 

Smart series ignites girls' interest in science and math.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids see the scientific process in action, from identifying a problem to studying data and exploring possible solutions. They also learn the importance of teamwork and mutual respect when working with others, and they get to see how a variety of ideas converge for a result that each person in the team can take pride in.

Positive messages

The show empowers girls to take an interest in traditionally male-dominated fields like math, science, and engineering. Each episode follows a team of girls as they use their knowledge of these disciplines to investigate the world around them and solve a problem related to it.

Positive role models

The featured girls are curious about the world, inspired to learn about how it works, and proactive about pitching in to make it a better place. They work with adult mentors (many of whom are female professionals in scientific fields), who teach and guide them without taking over the process, so the final result is a true reflection of the girls’ work. The show features a diverse range of girls.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The show is tightly integrated with its partner website, which encourages girls to connect and share ideas with other science-minded tweens.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this exciting educational series strives to change how girls view traditionally male fields like engineering and technology by introducing viewers to real tween girls who are using their science prowess to explore -- and sometimes change -- the world. With topics that range from wind power to archaeology, there’s something here for every interest, and viewers will see scientific and math principles applied to real-life scenarios. The show has a strong web component, so be prepared for kids to ask to go online after watching. The series brims with strong messages about conflict resolution, teamwork, and respect for differences, making it an exceptional choice for this age group.

What's the story?

SCIGIRLS showcases tween girls who are curious about the world and inspired to get out there and study it. Each episode follows a new group of girls as they delve into a science-minded question, gathering data and exploring possible solutions for the problem they face. Whether it’s engineering a large-scale puppet with moving parts or giving favorite recipes a healthy boost, these girls prove that they’re up to any challenge.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In a media environment that bombards tween girls with iffy messages about body image and self-worth, SciGirls makes every effort to change how girls perceive their place in the world. The show's real-life stars are vibrant, curious explorers who believe in their abilities to change the problems they see around them, and their interactions with female professionals in scientific fields will open viewers’ eyes to the array of careers available to them. Plus, watching the girls interact with each other offers examples of respectful conflict resolution and the strength that diversity brings to team projects.

Because the show’s companion website has a strong presence within the series (the episodes are unified by an animated character who taps into the girls’ adventures via the website), viewers will be encouraged to explore the site to create their own pages and share ideas with like-minded peers. Parents may want to talk with tweens about Internet safety before turning them loose to explore all of the resources the site has to offer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss the integrative nature of modern media. How do various branches of the media (TV, Internet, iPod, etc.) converge to keep us informed? How does this interconnectedness change how we absorb information? Are there any drawbacks to our high-tech world?

  • Tweens: What aspects of science interest you? What problems do you see around you that you think could be solved by science? What steps would you take to make that happen? What would the outcome be? 

  • Tweens: What do you want to be when you grow up? How will you use your knowledge and skills to help people? Do you have any mentors whom you admire? How might they and others help you achieve your goals?

TV details

Network:PBS
Genre:Educational
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of SciGirls was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bycourtwork September 12, 2013
 

Love the content and girl characters, boys not portrayed well

I think this show rocks, but has one minor flaw. My daughter is 7 and loves it. She wishes the show were on more often. The characters are so refreshing; they are just normal, comfortable in their skin, fun-loving girls. It is a welcome contrast to female characters on television and in movies today, portrayed as some combination of: stereo-typically attractive, highly sexualized, one dimensional, bitchy, trying to get a man and/or compete with a woman. These girls have lives, and they are curious about the world. They are not catty to each other (like girls in most of the programs - even in shows like the newer Scooby Doos, Sophia the First and Avatar). They work together and dress and behave like real nice, normal, people, WOW! The topics of the shows are very interesting to my kids (and me). I love to watch this one with them. I have only one complaint about the show, which is in the cartoon part; the boy is portrayed as a complete idiot. Why do the producers have to make the boy an idiot? To me, that demeans the show. The girls in this show shine all on their own, there is no reason to elevate them by degrading the boy character. Lots of little boys like to watch SciGirls too (including my 10 year old boy). This feels like some throw back feminist cheap shot to me - totally unnecessary. We don't need to put the other gender down to elevate our own. Both genders are amazing in their own ways and deserve respect and admiration from the other, in my opinion. Haven't we learned that? Except for this feature, the show is great. I just plainly point out to my kids that they're trying to make the boy dumb, and that no boys I know are really like that, and they agree. I recommend this show and hope they will change the boy character.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byGeodeGem March 21, 2010
 

Siked for SciGirls!

I think this show should be on more often, its sweet, intertaning, funny, and educational. There needs to be more shows like this and they should actually be on more. This show is so cool! It actually got be excited about math and science, seriously!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 4 and 9 year old Written bykperk February 19, 2013
 

Inspiring, motivating to tween girls

My eight year-old loves this show and so do her dad and I. We have no problems allowing our 4 year-old to be in the room when it is on, but it doesn't hold her attention, and I doubt it would for kids younger than 7-8 years. The format and filming of the show is similar to a reality show. It follows a group of three or four early-teen girls (different girls in each episode) engaged in a project with a scientific background, from conception to completion. It isn't all labwork or science experiments; the projects center around topics that interest the girls, such as the fashion, the environment, cooking, etc. Each episode features a female adult expert who consults with and mentors the team of girls. There is no narrator. The girls' interactions and progress is filmed and they speak directly into the camera individually, providing their reactions, motivations, etc. I really appreciate the editing and whoever writes and conducts the interviews. The show brings out and only reveals the *best* in the girls and the group. So although the format is like a reality show, it is wonderfully not like reality TV. Each episode features short break-out videos with background on each of the girls. Each girl is able to showcase her room, a bit about herself, her family, etc. This show is inspiring and motivating to my almost nine-year old daughter. She loves all things science, but is just reaching the age when other, more steretypically "girl" interests are popular amongst girls at school and she is searching for what is right for her. She can look up to the older girls in this program and see that she is not alone in her scientific interest.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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