The brand new 42nd season of Sesame Street will be brought to you by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)! This year, the word on the Street is all about Math and Science. Which means Elmo singing about the number 10 with Elvis Costello, science experiments, and learning about engineering by launching a puppet out of a cannon!
USA Today has an interesting look at how Sesame Street has responded to the recent reports that U.S. students' Math and Science scores have been slipping over the last ten years.
In the latest rankings, U.S. 15-year-olds, on average, were just that: average. Among 65 industrialized nations, they placed 23rd in science and 30th in math in the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment. In another international assessment, U.S. fourth-graders did a bit better but just barely cracked the top 10 among 35 participating nations.
Sesame Street is taking these falling scores seriously and has dedicated their 42nd season to teaching preschoolers (the most common SS demographic) all about Science and Math. How so? The first change you'll notice (besides the star-studded rock numbers and cannon launches) is now Newton's Laws of Motion will be applied to each puppet that's thrown against the wall. "It's more scientifically accurate slapstick," says Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente told USA Today.
This is completely awesome.