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How Well do Educational TV Shows Teach Children About STEM?

By Ishika Desai


STEM has become an increasingly common phrase worldwide. With its emphasis on the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we can see an emergence of these topics in many forms of the media, including children's television shows to encourage more participation in these subjects. Due to this growth, the question arises on how well these shows can teach children about STEM.


The exponential growth of STEM in regards to children’s media is undoubtedly due to the benefits that the STEM umbrella can provide for intellectual stimulation and for STEM demand in the real world. Partaking in clubs or activities relating to this subject matter is known to help expand critical thinking skills and create real world connections. Activities pertaining to STEM tend to be hands-on, engaging the child in tasks, which is an interactive experience. These tasks also tend to pull from multiple core subjects, including English and art, which helps create a proficient and well rounded student.


Beyond the school environment, we can also see real world benefits as engagement in activities that stimulate innovation can correlate to entrepreneurship and problem-solving from an early age. The children who partake in these activities are more inclined to use their critical thinking skills to make a real world impact. But the problem that can arise from this is that children can feel unmotivated and unengaged in a classroom.

Because of this issue, STEM has been propelled beyond the world of school and has seeped into children’s media. Many TV shows have begun incorporating a variety of STEM to provide a much more interesting and engaging way to learn. This can be seen in a myriad of shows. For example, Sid the Science Kid revolves around the natural curiosity of young children, their target audience. It focuses on WHY things happen, helping children understand basic STEM subjects through things they are actually engaged in. In terms of interaction, shows like Odd Squad utilize a storyline and plot to keep kids engaged while using math to solve missions, which is the general idea of the show. Last but not least, another form of engagement of learning via television shows is seen through Wild Kratts. This show revolves around the field of Ecology, using humor and plot to keep kids engaged.


From all of these forms of interaction and engagement, we can concur that STEM-based TV shows teach STEM efficiently as it keeps children engaged via humor, interaction, and plot. These experiences are able to keep children more hooked as it is a visual representation of the why and how, which is what STEM derives from the most. This provides an alternate yet efficient way of teaching, showing that these shows do have the ability to teach children about STEM.


Works Cited

“About Wild Kratts | PBS KIDS Shows.” PBS, https://www.pbs.org/parents/shows/wild-

kratts/about.

Heinecke, Liz. “11 STEAM and STEM TV Shows for Kids.” Scholastic, 13 July 2018,

https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/learning-toolkit-blog/kids--

steam-programming.html.

“Top 10 shows/cartoons to teach children about STEM - Coding for Kids.” Coding Lab, 22

June 2020, https://www.codinglab.com.sg/top-stem-shows-for-children/.

“Why STEM Is so Important for Children.” Science Explorers, 21 June 2021,

https://www.scienceexplorers.com/why-stem-is-so-important-for-children.


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