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

Bill Nye's Solving for X - Pre-Algebra 1, Volume 1

Bill Nye's Solving for X - Pre-Algebra 1, Volume 1

Spring 2010 DVD
Ages: 11 & Up
DVD Price: $29.99
Bill Nye The Science Guy becomes Bill Nye The Math Guy as he explains algebraic principles including fractions, exponents, and proportions in short and sweet snippets that put it all into real world terms.

In his first segment, he's in a kitchen making waffles and has a recipe that he's trying to cut in half. So how does he figure out what half of 1 and &frac13 cups of flour is? He explains it through fractions, written out on a recipe book. It's an excellent way to illustrate the point, with a food kids love.

His next segment, about exponents, shows him sitting at a sidewalk café. At first he uses his napkin to explain the concept of two times two, but finally he uses a chalkboard to write it all down and show what exponential numbers look like. Video editing to exponentially reproduce images of himself helps drive home the point.

Bill is wacky and full of energy, and if there's a fun way to teach a math concept, he'll be the first to come up with it. With Disney's eye for appealing to kids and Nye's ability to teach the math, the execution is just right. Our only quibble: Are the segments too short to really fully explain the concept? Use the DVD as a teaching tool to enhance or further illustrate a concept, but don't expect Bill to replace the teacher.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, assistant director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, began her career at The Washington Post and went on to spend more than two decades with USA Today, where she covered pop culture topics. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Disney Educational Productions
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers

Share This