WNET: Cyberchase and Young Children – FULL REPORT

November 1st, 2002 | EVALUATION

As the Cyberchase series gained traction, it became evident that Cyberchase's appeal was not limited to the intended age group. Based in part around its visually appealing animation, its humor, and its characters as well as its after-school and Saturday morning broadcast schedule the program also attracted, and developed a loyal following among, younger viewers. As the mathematical concepts integrated into the plot lines were created with the explicit intent of engaging older children, Cyberchase's inadvertent resonance with this younger audience raised questions in the minds of the program's producers. In the main, their concern revolved around the impact that these concepts which are deeply embedded in the fabric of Cyberchase have on the viewing experience of these younger fans. Moreover, with recent research suggesting that mathematical learning and knowledge begins far before formal instruction, the producers also questioned how the directed and targeted presentation of these mathematical concepts would resonate or impact on the mathematical learning of a viewership younger than the intended audience. In the interest of exploring these issues, WNET engaged Applied Research and Consulting (ARC) to conduct research with pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and 1st grade students. Cyberchase is the Emmy Award-winning mathematics series and website on PBS KIDS GO! using broadcast, web, new media and educational outreach to impact millions nationwide. Designed for children ages 8 to 11 and packed with mystery, humor, and action, Cyberchase's mission is to improve kids' problem-solving and math skills, and inspire them with confidence and enthusiasm toward math. The TV series airs daily on PBS KIDS GO! across the country, and the website (pbskidsgo.org/cyberchase) offers over 100 math games and activities for kids, video streaming of full episodes and clips, and a Parents & Teachers site with lesson plans, activities and tips for adults. Cyberchase reaches across platforms with apps for the SMART Board and iPhone. The traveling bilingual museum exhibit, Cyberchase: The Chase Is On!, continues to tour the country and is permanently installed at the Children's Museum of Houston.



Team Members

Michael Cohen, Evaluator, MCG Research & Consulting
Thirteen/WNET, Contributor


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 0206195
Funding Amount: 2630000

Related URLs



Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals | Pre-K Children (0-5)
Discipline: Education and learning science | Mathematics
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Summative
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology