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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Xploration Outer Space exposes kids to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts as they relate to space discovery. Kids get to see how experts generate solutions to challenges posed by scientific exploration, and the process encourages viewers' curiosity about related subjects. In addition to teaching young viewers a lot about the universe and how astronauts explore it, the show promotes STEM learning, and its female host challenges gender stereotypes typically associated with the subject of astronautics. Even better, the topics are entertaining enough that parents will want to tune in as well, making this a smart choice for curious families.
What's the story?
XPLORATION OUTER SPACE is an educational series that introduces kids to the concepts of space exploration and discovery. Hosted by astronautics expert Emily Calandrelli, the show travels to sites such as the Mars Desert Research station and the Johnson Space Center to observe how the many branches of space technology work together to support a space program that reveals new secrets about the universe every day. It also tackles a range of questions -- from the fun ("How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space suits?") to the philosophical ("Could there be life on other planets?") -- with experts in each field providing insight.
Is it any good?
This show opens kids' eyes to the far-reaching implications of space discovery and shows them the value of STEM learning as it relates to the many arms of a specialized field. In both cases, Xploration Outer Space hits the nail on the head, taking them on virtual field trips that are both entertaining and educational. From a ride inside the zero-gravity Vomit Comet for some experiments (and the requisite floating somersault, of course) to a glimpse at the rigorous training program for astronaut hopefuls, this show will inspire kids' curiosity with content that's fascinating and fun.
But perhaps its best feature is its exuberant host. An expert with multiple degrees in the sciences and a passion for promoting STEM education among girls, Calandrelli is perfectly suited to walk viewers through the learning process because she's always eager to learn new things herself. With her at the helm, kids will walk away from this series feeling that science and math are cool gateways to limitless discovery.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about outer space. How far have we been able to explore? What important discoveries have we made? What secrets are we close to unlocking? Does Xploration Outer Space make you want to learn more?
Do your kids like the subjects of science and math? How do the skills they learn in these classes help them in everyday life? Have they ever thought about working in these fields? Does this show make these subjects seem more exciting than they otherwise do?
Is gender equality a reality today? Do any stereotypes persist among the characters you see on TV? Are all stereotypes inherently harmful, or do some serve a purpose?
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