Everyone knows the popular series “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” which has introduced many a young person to the wonders of science. But as great as Nye is, there are a world of other worthy science-themed television shows that parents and teachers can use to spark their children’s interest and imagination.
Here are nine science TV programs kids will love, organized by the age of the kids they’re aimed at.
Best TV Shows for Preschool Kids
1. “Sid the Science Kid” (PBS)
Spiky-haired Sid and his buddies adore science, and each episode features the crew investigating the answer to some type of science-related question, such as why do bananas get brown. Kids and adults will also love the catchy “Sid” theme song.
2. “Earth to Luna” (Sprout)
Six-year-old Luna loves learning new things about the world she lives in. She helps to explain things that may seem like common sense to adults, such as how colors can mix to form new hues and where our planet is located in the solar system.
3. “Blaze and the Monster Machines” (Nickelodeon)
Eight-year-old A.J. and his monster truck, Blaze, go around the world while solving math and science problems, all the while battling Blaze’s archrival, the tractor-trailer Crusher. Any kid who likes “Thomas the Tank Engine” will love Blaze.
Best Shows for School-Age Kids
4. “Xploration Outer Space” (Fox)
Emily Calandrelli, a former NASA employee, makes space exploration fun and more accessible through her fact-finding trips throughout the universe. Kids also see how the scientific process works, as Calandrelli poses questions and finds the answers.
5.“Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab” (Netflix)
This animated series imagines that the famous inventor Thomas Edison also created a virtual version of himself, and he was uncovered by a super-smart, modern 12-year-old named Angie. The two of them team up with Angie’s friends to go on science-themed adventures.
6. “Jacques Cousteau’s Ocean Tales” (Online)
An animated version of ocean pioneer Jacques Cousteau leads his crew, which includes kids, on explorations under the sea. Since it plays out as more of a story and less of a documentary, the show will hold kids’ attention despite the scientific subject matter. It also teaches lessons about other cultures and ocean legends, which are fun for adults as well.
Best Shows for Older Kids
7. “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” (Fox)
This miniseries aired in primetime a few years ago, but you can catch up online or on periodic rebroadcasts on National Geographic Channel. Hosted by famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose excitement and joy about his chosen field is contagious, “Cosmos” travels across the universe to explore topics such as what’s the best design for a spaceship and why light is central to our existence.
8. “SciGirls” (PBS)
This show targets tween girls, aiming to keep them interested in STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math. The middle school girls investigate topics such as nutrition — think why is protein good for growing bodies? — and follows them as they find the answers, with a little assistance from adult scientists.
9. “Nova” (PBS)
The “Nova” documentary series is best suited to older kids who are looking for answers to specific questions. Each episode drills down in-depth into a central topic, such as what sky tombs are or how nuclear energy can help or hurt us.
Have a show your kids or students enjoy? We’d love to hear about it! Also, if you’re interested in learning about more ways to get your children excited about science feel free to check out our after school science programs and summer science camps.