The Interactive Web Site extends the Series’ Fun and Learning by Encouraging Preschoolers to Explore and Ask Questions about the World around Them
HOLLYWOOD, CA – March 31, 2009 – Young explorers, their parents and caregivers can join Sid and his friends, from the popular PBS KIDS series SID THE SCIENCE KID, for a personal play date with three new games at pbskids.org/sid. The three new online games – “Gabriella’s Balancing Act”, “Roly Poly Round Up” and “Say What?” – join existing activities that encourage children to think about how to get answers to their own questions by exploring the world around them.
Games on pbskids.org/sid focus on each of the series’ curriculum themes: tools and measurement, transformation and change, senses, health, simple machines, and backyard science. Everything on the colorfully animated site is designed to further develop a child’s natural sense of curiosity and wonder as well as help caregivers build a strong foundation for a child’s early science exploration. The site also features a child-friendly video player in which kids can view show clips, including songs and real-world experiments as well as a printable Fun Book with coloring pages and other engaging offline activities designed to inspire children to practice and internalize scientific discovery.
Adults can enjoy their own robust section of the site, which is designed to provide resources for parents, teachers and caregivers as they support their children’s early science exploration. Materials, games and activities that reinforce the show’s themes are available to teachers and to adults looking to extend informal science education in their home learning environment. The Web site also facilitates the participation of caregivers through its unique “Tell Me More!” (TMM) feature associated with each game. A click of the mouse activates the TMM, which will then present discussion prompts, additional facts and other related information designed to support the educational objective of the game and provide the caregiver with helpful tips for engaging youngsters in conversations about the science found in everyday experiences.
New Game Synopses:
Gabriella’s Balancing Act (Simple Machines)
Understanding how a simple machine works can be complicated but Gabriella is there to help. By adding and removing weights from each side of a lever suspended from a tree, the child must constantly redistribute objects in order to rebalance. As the game progresses, object behaviors become more complex. A cocoon hatching and redistributing weight is just one of the many adventures children will face while being introduced to the concepts of weight, volume, and life cycle.
Roly-Poly Roundup (Backyard Science)
Even roly-polies need shelter, food, and water to live and May is looking for help to herd 20 of them into her log. To move roly-polies into the log, a child clicks on it and if the child hovers too long on a roly-poly, it curls up in a protective ball and rolls away. Once it enters the log, it stays there. After all the roly-polies have been herded into the log, May asks the player to count them with her. Children observe roly-poly locomotion and defensive behavior.
Say What? (Backyard Science)
In both English and Spanish, Sid and Gabriela quiz us on the different sounds animals make. The child listens to the sounds that Gabriela and Sid make and clicks the corresponding animal on the chart which replicates the sound. Children learn to identify and repeat animal sounds and to understand that sounds are one way animals communicate.
Major funding for SID THE SCIENCE KID is provided by First 5 California, The Boeing Company, The Rose Hills Foundation, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and PBS.
SID THE SCIENCE KID is a co-production of The Jim Henson Company and KCET/Los Angeles for PBS KIDS. Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford of The Jim Henson Company, along with Bradley Zweig, serve as executive producers. Joyce Campbell is executive producer for KCET. Mary Mazur is executive in charge of production for KCET. The Jim Henson Company is handling all ancillary use of the property including licensing, video and merchandising. The Web site at pbskids.org/sid is produced by KCET New Media, which has partnered with multimedia design studio FableVision. Executive producer of the Web site is Jackie Kain, KCET senior vice president of New Media.
KCET, the West Coast flagship station of PBS, is public television for Southern and Central California. KCET is watched by four million viewers a month in 11 counties, the largest broadcast reach of any public television station in the United States. National PBS series produced from the station’s Hollywood studios include four-time NAACP Award winner TAVIS SMILEY and the Peabody Award-winning A PLACE OF OUR OWN and its Spanish-language companion LOS NIÑOS EN SU CASA, series for caregivers of young children. SID THE SCIENCE KID, a new series co-produced for PBS KIDS by KCET and The Jim Henson Company, premiered in 2008. Other KCET productions for PBS have included SCHOOL: THE STORY OF AMERICAN PUBLIC EDUCATION, narrated by Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep; AMERICAN FAMILY, the first primetime drama to feature an all-Hispanic cast; THE FIRST YEAR, a documentary about five beginning teachers in the Los Angeles public school system; STORYTIME, a series aimed at getting young children interested in stories and books; and PUZZLE PLACE, a single comedy/drama storyline featuring a multiethnic cast of puppets who helped children learn about sharing, decision making, and other daily encounters in a child’s life.
About PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and outreach programs. With positive character role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, PBS’s online and community resources – including PBS KIDS online (pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (pbsparents.org), PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org), PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country – leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month and reaching 99% of American homes.
About First 5 California
First 5 California, also known as the California Children and Families Commission, was established after voters passed Proposition 10 in November 1998, adding a 50 cents-per-pack tax on all tobacco products to fund education, health, childcare and other programs for expectant parents and children ages 0 to 5. First 5 California provides 2.7 million health and education services throughout the state, including health and insurance services, preschool services and referrals to inpatient services for adults with children 0 to 5. The commission forms a critical safety net for California families in need. First 5 California is the largest and most stable funding source of health coverage for children up to age 5 in California. It is the only statewide provider of special needs screenings for all children and a key supporter of oral health services. Its vision is that all children 0 to 5 in California enter school ready to achieve their greatest potential. For more information,
please visit www.first5california.com.
Boeing is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. As a major service provider to NASA, Boeing operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. The company also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services. Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales.
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated “Sid the Science Kid,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Wilson & Ditch: Digging America” and “Pajanimals.” Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables” and television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.”
With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of “Stuffed and Unstrung,” a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 “Best Stage Shows of 2010” by Entertainment Weekly.
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