Will New TV Shows Turn Kids on to Science?

For years, TV producers have toyed with different formulas for teaching science on TV. From having a goofy science-nerd as host (Bill Nye the Science Guy, Beakman’s World) to more grownup experiments (NOVA, MythBusters), there’s no lack of effort. PBS alone has also given us Sid the Science Kid, Cyberchase, SciGirls and DragonFlyTV.

Discovery's Science Channel is looking to blow things up with its new one-hour commercial-free programming block called Head Rush. Hosted by MythBusters' Kari Byron, Head Rush premiered last month, and combines trivia games, video shorts and walk-ons by Discovery Channel celebrities.

In September, PBS is giving science a Seussian spin with The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That (with Martin Short voicing The Cat). In January, brothers Chris and Martin Kratt (from Zoboomafoo) get even more animated -- literally -- in a new show called Wild Kratts for PBS.

But are kids blinded by science when it comes to TV? Even at their coolest, science shows are not among kid favorites, especially as the audience grows older. Like medicine, these shows probably need to go down with the TV equivalent of several spoonfuls of sugar. But can you imagine Robert Pattinson hosting a science special, the cast of Glee singing about protons and electrons, or a show called Experiments in Physics with Snooki and The Situation?

Perhaps the best we can hope for is science teachers showing scientific TV shows during school, where zippy graphics and animations compare favorably to textbooks and lectures, and the only true competition for a kid's attention is what she brought for lunch.

Do your kids watch science shows? Would they? Chime in below!

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