Science

SECRETS OF THE DEAD
Ben Franklin’s Bones

 

When skeletal remains of at least 10 people, including several infants, turned up in the basement of Benjamin Franklin’s British residence, people wondered if the Founding Father might have had a much darker side, as the bones had been meticulously cut and drilled. Franklin was aware of the bodies in his basement, but they weren’t the victims of violent acts. Rather, they were used for the purposes of an illegal anatomy school that helped shaped modern medicine.

 

 

NATURE
Penguin Post Office

 

In the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula there’s a post office surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery and 3,000 gentoo penguins. Every summer, as staff put stamps on postcards, the penguins return from their fishing grounds to their breeding grounds, trek nearly two miles across sea ice and snow, rush to find a partner, build a nest, lay eggs and protect them from predators, and finally get down to the task of raising their young. Watch their four-month drama unfold as cruise ships come and go, bringing tourists to buy postcards and photograph penguins – the backdrop to the penguins’ lives.

 

NOVA
Sinkhole: Buried Alive

 

In Tampa, Florida, in February 2013, a giant hole opened up under the bedroom floor of Jeffrey Bush, swallowing the 36-year-old as he slept. His body was never found. Bush was a victim of a sinkhole – a growing worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone and other water-soluble rocks underpin the soil. When carbon dioxide in the air dissolves in rainwater, it forms a weak acid that attacks the soft rocks, riddling them with holes like Swiss cheese. Sinkholes can occur gradually when the surface subsides into bowl-shaped depressions or suddenly, when the ground gives way – often catastrophically. Sinkholes have swallowed highways, apartment buildings, horses, camels, even golfers, with monster-size holes cracking the earth from Siberia to Louisiana. With compelling eyewitness video of dramatic collapses, NOVA follows scientists as they explore the underlying forces behind these natural disasters, traveling the globe to investigate what it’s like to have your world vanish beneath your feet.

 

 

The Cat in the Hat

 

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!TM is designed to spark a love of learning and an interest in science in preschool-aged children.

 

Based on Random House’s best-selling Beginner Book collection “The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library™,” the TV series and online resources are designed to cultivate positive views about science and scientists among the next generation—the children who will become tomorrow’s citizens and innovators—and help families and teachers build communities of science explorers

 

In each program, the Cat in the Hat and his friends Sally and Nick go on a science adventure such as shrinking to bee-size to explore a hive and discover how honey is made; flying with birds to discover how and why they migrate; diving inside flowers to find out more about the animals that depend on them to live; or taking a snowcat to the Arctic to explore freezing and melting. Guided by the Cat, the children figure things out by engaging in science inquiry. They ask questions, make observations, make predictions, plan investigations, collect data, make discoveries, and generate and discuss ideas about how the world works.

 

Each half-hour television episode consists of two 11-minute animated adventures, along with corresponding short animated clips. Each adventure revolves around a specific science concept such as bird migration or animal camouflage. The animated clips feature songs and rhymes, interesting science facts, humorous science explorations by Thing One and Thing Two, and interviews of animals by Sally and Nick.

 

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!™ is voiced by award-winning actor Martin Short and produced by Portfolio Entertainment Inc. and Collingwood O’Hare Productions, in association with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House Children’s Entertainment, Treehouse, and PBS KIDS.

 

Cyberchase

 

Produced by THIRTEEN in association with WNET New York, Cyberchase is the multi-media, Emmy Award® winning mathematics series for children available on air on PBS KIDS GO! and online through dynamic web games, videos and print activities. Developed for kids ages 8 to 11 and packed with mystery, humor, and action, Cyberchase delivers positive messages about math by teaching concepts in a fun way that kids can understand.

 

In the world of Cyberchase, the dastardly villain Hacker is on a mad mission to overthrow Motherboard and take over Cyberspace with the help of his blundering henchbots, Buzz and Delete. But Motherboard enlists the help of three curious kids, Inez, Jackie, and Matt, and their cyberpal, Digit, to stop him. Their weapon: brain power. In For Real, the live-action segment following each animated episode, Harry and Bianca show kids how math can help solve life’s wacky problems in the real world.

 

Every episode, game and activity is motivated by Cyberchase characters and settings, and on a math concept centered on national standards. From tackling fractions in ancient Greece to using decimals to repair train tracks in Railroad Repair, kids learn that math is everywhere and a useful tool for solving problems.

 

And to further help kids explore their world and have a blast with math, grown-ups can bring the fun and adventure of Cyberchase home with hands-on activities that explore a range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) topics.

 

 

Sid the Science Kid

 

Sid the Science Kid is an award-winning educational animated television series that uses comedy and music to promote exploration, discovery and science readiness among preschoolers. This landmark production of 66 half-hour episodes, produced by The Jim Henson Company for PBS KIDS®, debuted on September 1, 2008, and has since been honored with five EMMY nominations and multiple prestigious awards (most recently the CINE Golden Eagle Award). Sid the Science Kid features a practical in-school science curriculum and celebrates children’s natural curiosity about science in everyday life. The energetic and inquisitive Sid starts each episode with a new question (“Why are my shoes shrinking?” “Why do bananas get mushy?”) and embarks on a fun-filled day of finding answers with the help of family and friends. Each episode of “Sid the Science Kid” focuses on a single scientific concept that is presented using Preschool Pathways to Science (PrePS©), a practical science readiness curriculum used in preschool classrooms that was created by cognitive researchers and preschool educators, incorporating lessons learned from developmental research as well as classroom experience.

 

The main goals of Sid the Science Kid are:

 

  • To encourage children to think, talk and work the way scientists do by building on preschoolers’ natural curiosity about the world.
  • To show that science is all around us – we all interact with and are capable of learning about scientific concepts.
  • To contribute to school readiness by fostering children’s intellectual skills, motivation to learn, and confidence in themselves as learners.
  • To support children’s learning by partnering with parents and teachers to create a “climate of curiosity” for children.

 

Each day, Sid, his friends, and our viewers practice doing what scientists do:

 

  • Observing objects, events, and people
  • Asking questions
  • Finding words to describe observations and to communicate ideas
  • Exploring and investigating to try to answer questions
  • Using science tools to observe and measure
  • Recording observations using simple drawings and basic charts
  • Using what they have observed, measured, and recorded to predict what might happen next and to ask more questions

 

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Happiness

 

Pyanki is a nine-year-old monk living in Laya, a Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas. The nearest road is a three-day walk away, and Pyanki has never even left his village. In 2012, however, the world will come to him: Laya will at long last be connected to electricity, and the first television will flicker on before Pyanki’s eyes. He will have access to 46 television stations for 13 hours every day. How will these images shape a child so isolated from commerce, materialism and celebrity?

 

 

NOVA
Why Planes Vanish

 

The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in March of this year stunned the world. In an era of smart-phones and GPS, how could a 270-ton passenger jet vanish into thin air? It was a rude awakening for all of us, showing just how far we are from the world we imagined we lived in — in which every move is monitored all the time. NOVA tells the inside story of the search for Flight MH370 and meets the key players, from all corners of the globe, who have spent months searching for the lost plane. How easy is it to make a plane disappear? Or can new technology guarantee that in the future, nothing will ever be “lost” again?

 

 

PENGUINS: SPY IN THE HUDDLE
A Nature Special Presentation

 

For nearly a year, 50 animatronic cameras disguised as realistic life-size penguins, eggs and rocks infiltrated penguin colonies to record the tough challenges penguins face from the moment they emerge from the sea to raise their chicks until they finally return to the water. This series reveals the intimate, emotional and sometimes amusing behavior of nature’s most devoted parents bringing up their young against the most extraordinary odds.

 

Growing Up:
As their chicks become increasingly independent, emperor and rockhopper parents place them in a crèche and go fishing. Humboldt chicks are left in their burrows as the adults head for the beach. Emperor chicks go skating while rockhopper chicks practice jumping skills. Eventually all the chicks leave for the sea, tackling the same hazards as their parents before them, from sea lions to predatory birds, high cliffs to glaciers.

 

 

PENGUINS: SPY IN THE HUDDLE
A Nature Special Presentation

 

For nearly a year, 50 animatronic cameras disguised as realistic life-size penguins, eggs and rocks infiltrated penguin colonies to record the tough challenges penguins face from the moment they emerge from the sea to raise their chicks and finally return to the water. This series reveals the intimate, emotional, and sometimes amusing behavior of nature’s most devoted parents bringing up their young against the most extraordinary odds.

 

Watched by spycams, newborn emperor penguins in Antarctica are caught walking on their mothers’ feet and taking their own first unsteady steps. On the Falklands, rockhopper chicks meet their unruly and predatory neighbors, while “eggcams” provide unique views of the colony. In Peru, Humboldt chicks take on fur seals and take aim at gulls.

 

 

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