Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Safety Smart Science With Bill Nye the Science Guy: Electricity

Safety Smart Science With Bill Nye the Science Guy: Electricity

Spring 2009 DVD
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
DVD Price: $39.95
Scientists who make science fun and accessible don't come along very often, which is why Bill Nye continues to be a go-to guy for educational DVDs. Maybe it's the bowtie. More likely, it has something to do with the fact that he's not condescending and speaks to, not at, younger viewers. Nye's latest DVD explores electricity, how it works, why it works, the ins and outs of conductors and insulators, circuits, etc. All of this, he explains, plays into our seemingly all-day/every-day basic acts of flicking on a light, turning off a computer and on and on. Just as importantly, Nye - who spends most of the DVD's running time at Underwriters Laboratories, where they test electrical equipment - stresses safety in everything from experiments to practical usage, and warns of the potential dangers of underestimating energy.

If we have any issue with this DVD it's the price tag vs. running time. A suggested retail price of $39.95 strikes one as a bit steep a 25-minute main program, modest bonus material (a quiz, an excerpt from another show called "Electrical Current") and a downloadable educator's guide with web links. On the other hand, it's a classroom edition and the price covers the public performance rights.

Ian Spelling   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Ian Spelling has spent two-plus decades working as a freelance journalist, the past 12 of them as a full-time freelance writer covering movies, television, music and comedy. He's written for The New York Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, OnDirecTV, SCIFI.COM, TV Guide, The Bergen Record and many other outlets over the years. Spelling, who hails from Merrick, New York -- the home of Amy Fisher, Deborah Gibson and Lindsay Lohan -- currently lives in northern New Jersey with his wife, Linda, and their two children, as well as the world's best dog, Oreo.

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Disney Educational Productions
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