Animated PBS KIDS series takes kids on awesome adventures to solve real environmental challenges using math
Featuring voice of Christopher Lloyd
NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Adventure, mystery, environmental science and math join forces this Monday, November 4, when all-new episodes of Cyberchase, the Emmy Award® winning series produced by THIRTEEN, begin airing on PBS stations across the country. In the spirit of Cyberchase's math-is-everywhere mission, the new episodes will also be available online and on the go with the free PBS KIDS Video App.
Tapping into children's love of nature and concern for protecting the Earth, the new episodes send the CyberSquad and their bird pal Digit (voiced by Gilbert Gottfried) on epic eco-adventures to tackle timely issues. Along the way, they must stop the dastardly villain Hacker (voiced by Christopher Lloyd) and his henchbots from taking over the cyberworld. The season's content will address STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics including keystone species, solar power, habitats, waste reduction, bar graphs, area and more.
Executive Producer Sandra Sheppard says the series is more relevant than ever. "Through nine seasons of Cyberchase we've developed broadcast and digital content demonstrating the power of math to solve life's everyday problems. This season, we focus on kids' love of nature and adventure and use math as a tool to solve problems in our environment."
Real-world games based on the environmental themes from the episodes deliver a transmedia experience. The games are featured on air in Cyberchase For Real, the live-action segment following each animated episode, and kids and families at home will find rules for gameplay on the Cyberchase website. For example, "Trash Dash," the game for a show about waste reduction, involves teams competing in an obstacle course-style relay race to sort a pile of strategically selected items into bins for recycling, reusing, composting and landfill.
The real-world games will also be the basis of a national game-making challenge and a community outreach initiative, and new interactive content based on the games is planned for spring.
"The games initiative is a first for us," says Executive Producer Ellen Doherty. "The real-world games are designed to be played indoors or outdoors, in urban or suburban settings, in classrooms, museums, or at home." She continues, "Cyberchase has always provided content in a format kids can relate to and get excited about. I know from growing up with a mom who was a math teacher the benefits of exposing kids to math not just at school, but at home in their everyday lives."
Cyberchase's first one-hour special will also debut next spring for Earth Month. The program continues the math and environmental focus and will feature guest star Rico Rodriguez ("Manny" from Modern Family) as the newest friend of the CyberSquad.
New digital content from Cyberchase is on the way too. For teachers, Cyberchase will make lesson plans and video clips available for free download through PBS LearningMedia, PBS' digital media service for K-12 classrooms.
Fall Cyberchase premieres include:
"An Urchin Matter" – Monday, November 4
There's a mega mystery in Megabays – the once-healthy kelp in Big Bay is washing ashore. Is it nature at work, or is something – or someone – causing the underwater kelp forest's collapse?
Topics: Keystone Species; Bar Graphs
"Going Solar" –Tuesday, November 5
When the power mysteriously goes out at the new Radopolis skate park, the CyberSquad and Digit must find a way to turn it back on before a nighttime skateboarding extravaganza.
Topics: Solar Power; Area
"Trash Creep" – Wednesday November 6
Perfectamundo isn't so perfect anymore – the trash is out of control! A giant garbage heap threatens to break through the cybersite's dome, and the CyberSquad must become garbologists to reduce the rubbish.
Topics: Trash; Fractions
Cyberchase airs daily, Monday-Friday, at 4:30PM, on THIRTEEN in New York. Parents can check listings for their local PBS station for broadcast times in their area and can also stream episodes for free anytime using the PBS KIDS Video Player or on the Cyberchase website.
Cyberchase is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET and Title Entertainment. Executive producers are Sandra Sheppard, THIRTEEN's Director of Children's & Educational Media, and Ellen Doherty. Funding for Cyberchase is provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, The JPB Foundation and Ernst & Young LLP. Additional funding is provided by the Volckhausen Family.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York's flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mike Schneider, and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online, mobile and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including the PBS KIDS video player, now offering free streaming video accessible on computer- and mobile-device-based browsers. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.