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



Spring 2016 Television
Ages: 6 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Thirteen/WNET
Rating: TV Y

Cyberchase is the show you present to kids when they inevitably ask at some point in their school career, "When will I ever need geometry?" More than anything, Cyberchase does an excellent job of keeping math a gender neutral skill by creating a diverse galaxy of characters while presenting real world (or in this case, other world-as it takes place all over the galaxy) applications for math, especially in the updated new season. Jackie, Matt and Inez, three pre-teen Earthlings, are in the digital world of Cyberspace, where they must use their smarts to thwart the evil Hacker from causing all kinds of trouble. With the help of Mother Board (the overseer of Cyberspace) and new friend Scanner, they go on missions to solve all kinds of problems with math as their weapon of choice. The show does a great job of creating obstacles that must be overcome through problem solving skills and teamwork such as successful farm-to-table planning, reducing waste and staying physically active. To reinforce problem solving skills and the concepts presented in episodes, a live action portion called "Cyberchase for Real" follows the animated segment with likable characters in Bianca and Harry. Their exploits make for a nice compliment to each episode. While the animation isn't groundbreaking or particularly artful, the real world metaphors work and keep kids entertained while learning.

Laura Fries   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and 20 year member of the Television Critics Association Laura has been writing about television and film entertainment for more years than she cares to admit. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alexandria, Virginia.

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