Young Parents Apply Their Ph.Ds to make Science Seriously Fun

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Young parents apply their Ph.Ds to make science seriously fun!

Children are naturally curious and therefore naturally scientific. However, as children progress through the school system and life, this great aptitude for science is often extinguished. More often than not, scientific subject matter is presented in boring ways and no useful real-world applications of science are shown. This is sad for mankind because, in the coming years, we will need people with training in science and technology more than ever before. Even children who don’t want to be scientists, engineers, or doctors will need science to cope with their rapidly changing environment.

So what is a parent, especially a parent who themselves may have fallen victim to the 'science is boring' mantra, to do? A new company, founded in Princeton, New Jersey, just may have the solution – the Science With Me!® video series.

The Science With Me!® video series was developed to teach important scientific concepts to youngsters without boring them to tears and turning them off science for life. Science With Me!® cartoon characters, Mr. Heisen-Bear™ (based on the famous physicist, Werner Heisenberg) and his good friend, Al-Bear Einstein™ (based on Albert Einstein, of course) along with many other well-known scientists, explore scientific concepts set in a fun, entertaining, and storytelling format. The storytelling format is the hook for capturing the 4-7 year old scientists' interest. Science is not a set of facts, but rather a string of problems and solutions, questions and answers. Encountering a number of difficult problems in their adventures, the two bears always use science and the scientific method to find solutions. If science were taught this way in the classroom, the negative and fearful associations that many people have about science would surely disappear.

The first video in the series, Mr. Heisen-Bear and Fizzy Soda Science™, also contains footage of young children performing experiments to help the two bears answer their questions. The footage helps reinforce the idea that science is accessible and doable by even the youngest inquiring minds. Indeed, one of the stated goals of the video series is to get kids to start doing scientific explorations on there own, or with the help of a laboratory assistant (i.e., a parent or guardian). In fact, the 'With Me' in Science With Me!® is meant to be a parent or helper. Founders Dr. Elva O'Sullivan and Dr. Scott Rickard originally developed the Science With Me!® curriculum for a series of after school classes and their four year old son, Loghlen, was intrigued by the nightly experiments at the kitchen table. Eventually, requests for mommy and daddy to come 'play with me' were replaced with requests to come do 'science with me' – the ultimate success! After all, science is fun!

One nice aspect of the video is that the science is not "dumbed down". There is no baby talk or over-simplification of concepts. Einstein himself said, 'Most of the fundamental ideas in science are essentially simple and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.' The video is successful in presenting real scientific concepts using the proper scientific terminology in a kid-friendly way. "Once kids are comfortable with scientific concepts and terms, they may not have the knee-jerk fear which sometimes occurs when they think of going to science class in a few years," explains Elva.

Should we believe Elva and Scott? Perhaps so. Between them, they have Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Computer Science; Master’s degrees in Electronic Engineering and Applied Mathematics; and PhDs in Applied Mathematics and Chemistry from University College Dublin, M.I.T., Clarkson University, and Princeton University. But, more importantly, they have two young children and a love of science that they wish to pass on.

For more information about Elva and Scott, you can email them at or call them at 609-249-3937. Please feel free to visit their website at to learn more about their exciting new video series!

Contact: Elva O’Sullivan


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