My daughter loves Sid the Science Kid. At her age she mainly loves the songs that Sid and his friends sing, but at my age what I like about Sid and his friends is their love of learning. He provides some useful insights into the philosophical and scientific search for evidence.
In every show Sid reminds the viewer to "keep asking lots of questions." This is an important message to send, not only to the kids watching the show, but also to the parents (who are hopefully watching it with their kids as opposed to simply using the TV as a babysitter).
Unfortunately, many adults reach a point where they stop asking questions or worse they have been taught that there are certain areas of life where they are never supposed to ask questions at all. I fear that they are also teaching this to their children to the detriment of their learning and curiosity not to mention to the detriment of society. We need questioning kids to grow into continuously questioning adults!
In the "super fab lab" Sid and his friends "observe, investigate, compare, and contrast." More useful skills not only in philosophy and science but in everyday life. I am always struck by the ease with which students in my philosophy courses are able to draw conclusion before carrying out these four important steps. Maybe I need to assign some Sid videos for them to watch!
Another positive aspect of Sid's schooling experience is that once a new idea is discussed in the classroom, the teacher encourages the students to "go play with all your new ideas." This is an important part of the educational process and one that is sorely missing in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. We need to be encouraging students to bring a sense of play to their learning and encourage them to see new ideas and concepts as new tools to be used and integrated into their own life.
So, what can be learn from Sid the Science kid that is useful?
1. Keep asking questions.
2. Observe in order to confirm or disconfirm theories.
3. Play with new ideas.