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Sid the Science Kid: A Review

PBS has a new kid's science show and website for kids 3-6, called "Sid the Science Kid". I went through the website but since I'm quite a bit older than six, it didn't make sense for me to review it. So FairerScience friends Seth Campbell-Mortman, who is six and Kathryn Campbell-Kibler, who is his mother, agreed to help. The following is their review, with Kathryn's contributions in brackets.

"Sid the Science Kid Website" is about science. It's trying to get kids to play with the stuff it has on it's website. So it's like a commercial, basically, based on science. I liked it.

[Was it trying to help kids learn or just for having fun?] I think it was for littler kids to learn and 6 year olds like me to have fun. I was having a great time.

The Playground part: There's four characters in it. You can play hide and seek there. Hide and seek is so easy because there's 4 squares and they're in one of those squares. I've actually found three of them the first try. I liked that game.

The Music part: You put on music, you can make music. You click blocks and stuff. I like it.

The Magnet part: I did not like that. I didn't like why you could not put the stuff together. The shiny nickel, I know it can connect to the magnet but you can't bring the magnet over to it and you also cannot bring the nickel over to the magnet. That's so stupid.

The Kitchen: The point of it is to open up this thingy and there's something on the plate underneath it and then all the other plates have things that are not the same thing and you try to guess which one the person heated up to make the thing.

[Did you like that one?] Yes.

[Did you learn anything from that one?] No, not at all. [Daddy adds: We learned some pretty bad jokes! I like the tomato paste one.] The one I really hate was the pumpkin patch one [joke]. But I certainly really like the tomato paste one.

Growing: I like that one. It was a little video. Of course, since the whole thing was about science, that was about science. So... I forget the rest of the bits.

The Moldy Sandwich: That was funny!

[Did you learn anything from the website that you didn't know already?] Only bad jokes.

[So you didn't learn anything new about science?] No.

[Was that because they didn't tell you anything about science or because they only told you things you already knew?] They put fruit inside of an ice block.

[What was that telling you about science?] If you pour warm water on it, everybody knows this except for little kids, if you pour warm water on it, it melts. Of course. That is so obvious.

[Parental observations: Seth was totally absorbed for more than an hour by the website. I didn't watch for the whole time, but I agree that I didn't hear or see the site telling him anything new. Not clear to me whether that was a goal or not. They did successfully get him to click on the TV schedule, where he seemed excited to learn there was an associated show. He hasn't pushed us to find it yet, though, so whether it will attract him as a new viewer remains to be seen.]

Seth Campbell-Mortman and Kathryn Campbell-Kibler


As a parent, I have some reservations about the show. First, don't you think that it makes more sense for the characters on the show to know how to read and write before learning about science? I would have preferred that they did. Second, some of the information is incorrect. Just the other day I was watching with my daughters, and they were showing monkeys and cheetahs with bones in the tail. These animals only have a short bone at the base of the tail, not all the way down to the tip. Anyone that owns a cat or dog knows this.

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