Cyberchase: Mobile Adventures in STEM
2017 to 2019

EDC and WNET are leading an Innovations in Development effort to develop, research, and evaluate a new model to engage underserved families in STEM learning.

Cyberchase: Mobile Adventures in STEM builds on the proven impact of the public media mathematics series Cyberchase and the growing potential of mobile technology and texting to reach underserved parents. WNET is producing new Cyberchase episodes for 6-9-year-olds, focused on using math to learn about the environment. Drawing on these videos and an existing Cyberchase game, the team is producing a bilingual family engagement campaign that combines an in-person workshop followed by a 6-8-week "text to parent" campaign, in which parents receive weekly text messages suggesting family STEM activities related to the media content.

The engagement model is being piloted in three cities with large low-income/Latino populations, along with one texting campaign offered without the workshop. This project is building knowledge about how to deploy well-designed public media assets and text messaging to promote fun, effective STEM learning interactions in low-income families. While past research on educational STEM media has tended to focus on children, especially preschool age, this project will focus primarily on text messaging for parents, and on learners age 6-9, and the wider scope of parent/child STEM interactions possible at that age.