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



Spring 2016 Website
Ages: 5 - 12 yrs.
Publisher: Twin Cities PBS

SciGirls is a website companion to the TV show of the same name. The site features complete episodes, outtakes, and excerpts as well as a host of activities and games based on the show. There are online games, such as "Creature Features," in which players take photos of animals in a park and in the city by day and by night; and "Aqua Bot," in which players design and balance an underwater robot, then use it to hunt for treasure in a dark tank. Other games are offline -- "Dream Team" is a collaborative card game that teaches kids about the types of people they need to get science done, and "Rule the Roost" features regularly changing research questions that encourage kids to try activities at home (such as observing whether certain stars are visible in their area, or charting temperatures over the course of a week) and then report the results back on the site; the tallied results show the general trend all over the country.

In addition to these major activities, the site provides links to real citizen science projects that are ongoing around the United States and to science clubs children can join. Players on the site can customize a personal profile and view other kids' anonymous profiles; there are also profile pages for the many girls featured in the TV show.

Though the site is particularly targeted at girls, most of the activities on the site would be of interest to boys and girls alike. The offline science projects in particular are fun for whole families to share. Unlike other sites in which the online games are the main focus, on this site, it is what kids do away from the computer that really matters -- and what will keep them coming back for more.

Emily Crawford   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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