Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Cyberchase

Cyberchase

Spring 2009 Television
Ages: 6 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Thirteen/ WNET
Network: Thirteen/WNET
Review:
Cyberchase is another effort to treat our math-phobic nation with an "edutainment" approach to making math make sense. This animated series for kids aged six to eleven is meant to feel like an awesome, intergalactic adventure, where a band of Cyber kids fights the bad guys using STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills. The animation is fun, the cartoony characters (two voiced by Christopher Lloyd and Gilbert Gottfried) will draw a laugh, and the brainy band of Cyber kids are likable and not at all intimidating as they demonstrate math concepts ranging from geometry to measuring data using table charts.

The educational content is all woven into the campy storylines so young viewers won't feel like they're being force-fed a homework assignment, and live-action shorts even show hands-on projects using applied math that kids can do at home. All in all, Cyberchase is a fun ride and it is likely to help kids connect the classroom math to real-world applications - but I do offer one caution, and I don't think I'm nit-picking here: In an attempt to sound high-tech and current and cool, the word "cyber" prefaces a lot of the lingo in the script- e.g. cyber-ruler, cyber-pencil, cyber-chart, etc. However, when my own ten-year-old son watched an episode, he asked how a "cyber-inch" is different from a " regular inch," so parents, you may want to point out the difference between cyber-creative writing and actual cyber-math concepts they'll encounter in school.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Look for this product at:
Thirteen/ WNET
http://www.thirteen.org

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