SciGirls: Real-Life STEM Role Models in Action

© PBS Kids
© PBS Kids

“Mom, this is interesting! Come and watch with me!”

The second my kindergartener started watching SciGirls, she was hooked. As she’s a big fan of FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman, I knew she enjoyed watching real kids take on challenges and learn real-life science, but SciGirls captured her attention in a different way. SciGirls features diverse groups of girls tackling problems and learning about the world around them.

The PBS Kids show, now available on Netflix and on a four-disc DVD set, gives kids real role models to inspire them and shows how fun STEM challenges can be.

© PBS Kids
© PBS Kids

SciGirls is a PBS Kids show that might have flown under your radar. It’s not aimed at the usual preschool crowd that tunes in every morning to see Daniel Tiger and Elmo; the target audience is tween girls. Thanks to the intriguing mix of real girls, fascinating STEM topics, and a little bit of reality show drama (will they finish the challenge in time?), the show can appeal to a wider age range. My six-year-old might not grasp all of the science and engineering concepts on the show, but she gets a basic understanding in every episode.

In fact, she’s most interested in the girls themselves, often asking me to repeat their names to make sure she gets them right. PBS Kids always does an admirable job of diversity in their shows (don’t get me started on how much I love what they’ve done on Odd Squad), and seeing girls just like her in SciGirls has had a noticeable impact.

One morning after finishing her breakfast, my daughter held up her empty yogurt cup. “Mom! We need to recycle this cup and turn it into a flower pot!” SciGirls had given her the idea, she proudly told me. The team in “Going Green,” who were concerned about how much trash wasn’t being recycled at school, worked hard to turn yogurt cups into seed starters—and inspired my daughter to do the same.

Recycling inspired by the SciGirls. Inset © PBS Kids
Our recycling project inspired by the SciGirls. Inset © PBS Kids

If you’re looking for a way to get your daughter (or son) excited about STEM, SciGirls is a perfect way to share the enthusiasm of curious kids who aren’t afraid to take on a challenge. The series is ramping up for its third season this spring.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for, Geek & Sundry, Forever Young Adult, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.