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Education Science

Science Documentaries for Youngsters? 383

An anonymous reader writes "My 7-year-old daughter is asking some interesting questions, such as, 'How did everything get created?' I've explained, in general terms, our family's non-religious views on the subject of creation and the Big Bang. I'd like to find some documentary videos geared to this age level that may explain better these concepts and theories. I've found a few PBS specials online - Stephen Hawking stuff - but they seem to be geared for young adults and older. Does anyone have recommended titles that might be better geared to children of this age bracket?"
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Science Documentaries for Youngsters?

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  • Symmetry (Score:5, Informative)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:14AM (#23291256)
    It's not a video, but if you have a science-oriented child in your household, Symmetry magazine is a very good choice. It's published by Fermilab and discusses all sorts of things related to scientific discovery, from particle physics to the daily routine of scientists at Fermilab. It's a regular publication and it costs nothing, so it's only a positive for your kid.

    http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/cms/ [symmetrymagazine.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kaos07 ( 1113443 )

      To be honest, I can't see a 7-year old being that excited about particle physics and the daily routine of scientists at Fermilab.

      In fact I can't really see anyone being interested in the daily routine of scientists at Fermilab...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        In fact I can't really see anyone being interested in the daily routine of scientists at Fermilab...

        Seventh-graders have demonstrated that you are completely and utterly wrong [fnal.gov] .
    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @12:57PM (#23292610)
      TV programs, even documentaries, have to attract eyeballs for advertising revenue. Therefore entertainment has priority over education. Magic School Bus and Discovery Channel get dumbed down and hyped up until they're just shows with an "education" handle so that parents let the kids watch them. Perhaps you can find some reasonable BBC stuff, but I would expect not.

      As parent says, get the kid interested in books and magazines. Take them to public lectures. These are all typically higher quality than TV/video. Read up yourself and do some of that quality time stuff.

      I'm a homeschooling parent and spend a lot of time having discussions on a wide variety of subjects with the kids. Sure, this is a bit more effort (I have to read up on stuff I don't know about), but that gives you a second chance at an interesting education too.

      ... And don't give me that "I don't have the time" BS. It does not take a lot of effort to read up on stuff, instead of watching crap on TV. If you don't have the time to interact with kids, get yourself sterilized.

  • Beginnings. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:17AM (#23291290)
    I'm not religious at all but still I see some mysticism in the Universe. To quote the Matrix: "Everything that has a beginning has an end.". Or to put it in human terms, we cannot comprehend something that did not have a beginning. And Turtles all the way down just doesn't cut it.
    • Re:Beginnings. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) * on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:34AM (#23291420)
      Mysticism is a response to the unknown. Unfortunately it isn't a very useful response. It is much better to respond with empiricism and inquiry than carving stone idols.

      • by Jurily ( 900488 )
        Do we really know whether those idols worked as intended at that time? What if their true purpose was e.g. to give courage to warriors going to battle or hunters against predators?

        Define "useful" please.
    • Re:Beginnings. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by witherstaff ( 713820 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @11:15AM (#23291752) Homepage

      Instead of quoting the matrix you may want to change to quoting Einstein:

      The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear-that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms-it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavour to comprehend a portion, be it never so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.
      -Albert Einstein, The World as I See It

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) * on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:18AM (#23291298)
    Frank Capra did a series of science documentaries in the 50's that are quite amazing. Adults might find them a bit over the top, but for a seven year old they can be really mind bending. I know they had a big impact on me as a child.

    Our Mr. Sun
    Hemo the Magnificent
    Unchained Goddess
    The Strange Case of Cosmic Rays

    are available on DVD. The whole series had nine films, but I haven't been able to find the others.

    Winged Migration is also quite good.

  • by 2TecTom ( 311314 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:19AM (#23291306) Homepage Journal
    oh, & wikipedia, NASA, etc. yup, that should keep a seven year old busy

    as for books, try the library
  • This opening video should keep your child interested and fuel a healthy discussion. http://youtube.com/watch?v=5X4L-Q9MHCg [youtube.com]
    • The Simpsons is actually a good suggestion since discussion is the point.

      The Magic School Bus Inside the Solar System mentions a couple things about formation of planets.

      Also, just watch the "adult" PBS specials... they're usually at a roughly 6th grade level anyway, and your child will ignore or ask questions about what she or he doesn't understand.

    • Another great Simpsons intro [youtube.com], this one parodying the classic "Powers of 10 [youtube.com]" video.
  • Torrents? (Score:2, Informative)

    If you are OK with torrents, mvgroup.org is a highly recommended place to look for educational documentaries.
  • by RAM_Doubler ( 1240072 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:21AM (#23291320)
    "The Universe" series on the history channel has some quality episodes about the origins of the solar system and the Universe. (http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Episodes&content_type_id=54042&display_order=7&mini_id=54036)
    • "The Universe" has a really bizarre online distribution model [history.com] where they always have an assortment of "short" interesting clips and one or two old "full length episodes" posted for streaming.

      For instance, the Full Episodes that are up now are "Nebulas" and "Cosmic Collisions"... and you can expect CC to be replaced by something else a week from now. For a 7-year old, I would venture to guess that watching this streaming over the internet isn't optimal though.

      Another alternative is to just order the fir [aetv.com]

  • Cosmos (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:24AM (#23291330)
    It's old, but its wonderful. It's truly Carl Sagan at his best. And when she's old enough, there's the companion book. And the whole thing is available on Netflix.
    • by 3waygeek ( 58990 )
      I'm watching an episode right now on the Science Channel.
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      Seconded --

          I wasn't much older when this came out, maybe 9 years old. But everything is explained so clearly and so simply, it truly is a masterpiece despite the now "dated" computer graphics.
    • Re:Cosmos (Score:4, Informative)

      by Geno Z Heinlein ( 659438 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @11:09AM (#23291708)
      Absolutely seconded, Cosmos is just brilliant. Even without the science, even just as some visual tone poem, it would be a fascinating show. I remember a "thought spaceship" -- it might not have been that exact name -- where Sagan introduced the idea that we might picture in our minds what could exist literally "billions" of light years away. Cosmos also was my introduction to the composer Shostakovich and his 11th symphony.

      But with the science? Cosmos is of profound educational and inspirational value. It's been something like 30 years since it came out -- I tend to think of Cosmos in one mental breath with the specials about relativity that came out in 1979 for the centennial of Einstein's birth -- but I remember feeling like this was something special. Sagan was a guy who really had a sense of just how damn cool the universe is.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I remember Cosmos as being very impressive but no so much on re-watching it recently. Sagan provided the initial impetus for my (long) life of curiosity but the shows seem dated now.

      BBC had a more recent one called Space with Sam Neill which is very similar to Cosmos. Check that out.
    • Yes, definitely Cosmos. If you could only have one, it should be this one. It was very inspiring when I watched it as a teenager decades ago. And I still find it deeply moving despite being distinctly dated.
  • It just happened! At one time there was nothing, an instant later there was everything in a very small space. In time that small space of everything expanded out to be the universe as we know it today.

      That should put everything in the perspective a 7 year old can understand and not be anything less than our scientists told us. It just happened!
  • Look at PBS again. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:33AM (#23291406) Homepage
    Search for "magic school bus" and they have an episode on the big bang.

    in fact that tv show is good for chemistry, molecular physics, biology, etc....

    • by OAB_X ( 818333 )
      There's also the old-standby from the mid 90's Bill Nye the Science Guy. 100 30-min long "documentaries" on various topics. You can probably find VHS tapes of it at your local library, or maybe purchase them through Buena Vista Distribution (I believe that was the distributor of the show). Your local public school district might use them in the classroom as well, it was quite popular for that. The show is as far as I know, no longer in re-runs.

      If you want a family gathering in front of the computer instead
    • Magic Scoobus!? I love that show.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:35AM (#23291432) Journal
    See, when we were growing up we didn't have science shows aimed at 7 year olds, so 7 year olds had to ask their parents or grandparents etc. And they chose the best answer they could find.

    The best thing that you can do IMHO is to take your daughter in hand and go find the answer. She will learn two things at a minimum: The answer to the question as best as it can be answered, the fact that you care to do that for her, and the methods you use to find answers. That last one is way more important than you might think.

    I used to hate hearing the words "go look it up" but it did lead to me looking for a lot of things... and finding them. When she learns from you HOW to look for answers, hopefully she will never stop looking for answers as long as she lives.
    • See, when we were growing up we didn't have science shows aimed at 7 year olds, so 7 year olds...

      Mr. Wizard premiered in 1951...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Richard Dawkins explains it to the kids...
    • Mod Parent Up (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bhiestand ( 157373 ) *
      I wish for once the religious arguments would stop. Dawkins doesn't even go out of his way to attack religion in The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children. His lectures in 1991 were brilliant and inspiring.

      If you want a solid, secular explanation of evolutionary biology, do yourself a favor and watch this series with your children. You can tell your children "God was behind it" or anything else that will make you feel better about it, but at least they'll have an accurate understanding of the
  • by anmida ( 1276756 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:36AM (#23291438)
    When I was growing up (which wasn't that long ago, really), my parents got me a Ranger Rick subscription as a very little kid. Then they got me Kids Discover which I read until I was 9 or so, I think. National Geographic is also really good, and Scientific American, for when she gets a little older. In addition, the public library should have some nice glossy picture books about the planets and other things. I would recommend that she read as opposed to watching TV; she'll become a better reader and you can really get lost in books, stare at the pictures and let your mind turn on all of it - take your time as opposed to being rushed along as films too often do. But films are good too :)
  • When I was really young, I watched a lot of shows that weren't geared towards my age group and still enjoyed them a lot. She may not get all the concepts but that's ok I think. Kids in general are a lot brighter than most people give them credit for. Most of the science specials these days go overboard to keep it simple anyway.
  • by SolitaryAnt ( 1284036 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:42AM (#23291486)
    "Growning up in the universe" is for children. It is available free online at the above adress and you can order dvds if you like.
  • by ...charc... ( 814679 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:48AM (#23291538)

    But a repository of good multimedia clips and lessons aimed at children of different ages: http://www.teachersdomain.org/ [teachersdomain.org]

    This site is run by the PBS station WGBH. You might be able to find footage of what you are looking for here and questions that could spark and interesting conversation between yourself and your child.

  • You've got a golden opportunity here. Give your kid a little more credit. They can understand a whole lot more than we adults think especially with your guidance. Maybe their attention span is shorter but then just stop the tape after 30 minutes and pick it up later. If their into the content they'll ask for more. Cosmos and Connections are great.
    • Indeed, Connections is great.

      Shows I enjoyed as a youth besides Connections:

      Square One (still shown in repackaged form on some channels today)
      Beyond 2000
      Newton's Apple
      Mr. Wizard's World (never really liked Beakman's world, Nye was only okay)
      Voyage of the Mimi
  • by RackinFrackin ( 152232 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @10:59AM (#23291636)
    It's too bad there's no modern equivalent of 3-2-1 Contact or Mr. Wizard's World. Both (and I'm sure some others) were good shows aimed at teaching kids science on a good level. Newton's Apple was excellent too, although it was not aimed solely at kids.

    Bill Nye and Beakman (especially Beakman) were not as good because they were too interested in being flashy and funny and catering to kids with no attention spans.

    I don't know if there's anything comparable on TV today.
    • Children's TV has gone downhill ever since Smurfs was canceled.

      Take one of the more popular kid shows on now, Dora. You have Dora, which teaches that a little kid and a pet monkey can wander around, take trips with strangers, do dangerous things like climb mountains, without even asking a parent if it's OK.

  • by PinkyDead ( 862370 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @11:00AM (#23291646) Journal
    The Life on Earth series from the BBC.

    I know it's fairly local (i.e. our planet) - but it is inspiring.
  • The Planet Earth (Score:2, Informative)

    by oratop ( 21415 )
    The Planet Earth series by Discovery channel or Planet Earth by the BBC might be a bit more interesting then a generic creationalism vs evolution debate. I thought the series was great because after each segment we talked as a family generically about how "things came to be" with the idea that the kids should get inspired to find their own answers.
  • Errol Morris' documentary on nature/humanity/everything is facinating and compelling, and is sure to get both adults and children thinking. As a bonus, his documentaries don't skimp on the visuals, so you get lots more than just talking heads
  • by BearInTheWoods ( 783970 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @11:09AM (#23291718)

    Check your local planetarium, if possible. They often have shows geared to younger children.

    I took my niece (then about 6 years old) to one a couple of times after she showed interest in star-gazing. I think these days, she (now 9 years old) might be better than me at picking out constellations!

  • Nobody knows.

    Try to explain the difference between religion, fact, and theory. Then move on to children's versions of the "good books". Allow her to make her own decisions but stress that she's also allowed to change her mind.

    Finally, go back to point one; nobody knows. She's no better than someone who adopts an alternate view.
  • Kids can handle it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrfantasy ( 63690 ) <mike@chairthrower.oTEArg minus caffeine> on Sunday May 04, 2008 @11:21AM (#23291822) Homepage Journal
    My kid's 4 and a half and really enjoys any science documentary we throw at him, and seems to have decent retention. This is a problem when we were traveling recently and all we could find on the TV was a documentary on the ancient Aztecs and their propensity for human sacrifice. When talking about hearts later, he remembered that the Aztecs took out people's hearts. So you have to be careful, but any kid who's naturally inquisitive will probably enjoy any fact-based programming geared for any age, with a thoughtful parent to help interpret they parts they might not understand.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CaseyB ( 1105 )
      When talking about hearts later, he remembered that the Aztecs took out people's hearts. So you have to be careful...

      They DID remove people's hearts. Why do you think it was inappropriate for your son to gain this factual knowledge? As long as you aren't showing him graphic depictions of the process that are going to give him nightmares, I seeing absolutely nothing wrong.
  • I find too often that people turn too early to documentaries for answers. While your daughter's curiosity has been sparked you should guide her into starting research on the subject. Some may consider it too early but surely there are books that she can read and try to obtain answers and opinions from. If she doesn't understand some specific items she can come to you for clarification.

    "Where did things come from" is a subject area that can't be simply answered and understood without more investigation.
  • Not about the big bang etc, but as for biology this is a great series: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0284735/ [imdb.com]

    As the user comment on imdb says: "This animation TV series is simply the best way for children to learn how the human body works. Yes, this is biology but they will never tell it is." That's exactly how I remember it from when I saw it (and at the same time, a lot of the information stuck and came back later on when I learned about those topics in school).

    There's a related one about space ( http://www [imdb.com]
  • The Horrible science [horrible-science.co.uk] books are fantastic for youngsters and have an added bonus of improving reading skills. Unfortunately they may not be available in the US.
  • Education comes from the latin word Educo, which means "draw out, lead out, march out, to foster." Instead of indoctrinating with the current status quo of whatever theory is popular this day of the week, it would be better to guide them to their own answers. You want to encourage her strength of intution -- she knows the destination, but doesn't how to get there, which is where you fit in as a father.
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Sunday May 04, 2008 @11:35AM (#23291926)
    I don't know your daughter and wether she is a potential savant or not. Asking such questions at the age of 7 could indicate that. However, it is more likely that she's just like any other child. Meaning that at about the age she is in, normal healthy children ask questions for the sake of asking questions. They practice the task of asking. You can observe this when they repeat a question or when they inmediately follow up with another question without really pondering your last answer that much. Because they really can't fathom what you're saying actually. It's the general process of Q&A their interested in. That doesn't mean you should lie - just stick to answers that are low on the abstract and rich on images. And - honestly now - screw any conserved media. A wildlife documentary around the age of 10 or so every once and a while is ok - but it's not before well into teenage that children can really gain knowledge from these. Other means of education are far more important before that.

    By far the biggest screwup of modern western education - with huge, seemingly unrelated consequences for society - is that it treats kids under teenage and even teenagers far to much like intellectually fully developed grown-ups. Appealing to pure reason and logic in a 7-year old does more damage than good, with consequences that show up far later in life (lack of will and motivation, concentration problems, undeveloped social skills, restlessness, etc. - we geek kids of the 80ties know all this). If here questions are of the usual nature (her *praticing* the process of questioning!) then see it as a game and follow along, even if it turns into seemingly strange circular Q&A sessions. Ask her repeating questions in return yourself - she's praticing the act of questioning, the subject hardly matters ("Where do you live?" and a few other related questions repeatadly asked and answered, is a classic for this sort of thing). You'll actually notice that this questioning goes away after a while and comes back during the teenages if it was dealt with appropriately at younger age.

    The first specs of true scientific interest come at the age of about 9. And then a trip to the library or the zoo or a science park and you sticking to personal and live explainations (that needant be all that scientifically detailed) of real phenomenon (weather, "Where do rivers come from?" "How can a car drive?", etc.) are all she needs. And don't worry - if you give her the right kind of education at the right time, she'll be a bright kid all by herself when her intellect and her strength for own reasoning fully awakes. Usually at the age of adolescence - as parents all around the world know very well. In fact, her reasoning will be far more healthy and her own if she doesn't get intellectually challenged to early in life. And it will be supported by a healthy own will, if she has the correct treatment as a child to look back on. There are other things children need to develop before they can develop a healthym intellectual reasoning. It's for that exact reason that the question "What would you like?" often is totally misplaced towards a toddler or small child.

    And FYI: Yes, that is an essential conclusion of waldorf education. An educational methodology sometimes considered heretic by other educational trends. I've found it to be spot on. Make you own experiences, but do your and your sibling a favour and don't burry your kid in all kinds of media to early before you know what's really going on.

    My 2 cents as a father of a 10 year old daughter.
    • by PDAllen ( 709106 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @12:47PM (#23292524)
      You're not too far off in terms of general development - but you really cannot assign ages like this.

      Some kids develop faster, others slower. If you look more closely, it's usually even more of a mixture: some kids learn some things faster and other things slower. I still remember my first primary school teacher insisting that at age 5 I could not possibly have learnt to read yet, and not allowing me to have books beyond 'A is for Apple' when I wanted to have something more like 'Thomas the Tank Engine' (not so much more advanced, maybe, but there are complete sentences in the latter even if they're short). Three weeks of boredom seems like a lot when you're five (that being about how long it took her to understand that I could read simple sentences without sounding out the words).

      (incidentally - sibling = (brother or sister), not child)
    • The first specs of true scientific interest come at the age of about 9.

      Then please explain to me, why at age 6, I was actively curious about my stepfather's Apple][+ computer, to the point that I got him to teach me BASIC? (admittedly, I only wrote stupid text adventure games consisting of "print", "input" and "goto" statements, but it's still logical flow, and shows scientific interest).

      Kids are FAR smarter than you give them credit for - the only reason many children don't understand answers given to them is because they're not explained clearly enough - you need to REAL

  • It's a bit advanced for a seven year old, but she won't stay seven forever. It's just what the title says: "A Cartoon History of the Universe". It's printed rather than video.

    This combines basic cosmology (a bit dated now), some palentology, and mainly history or the world. One does need a pretty good vocabulary to handle it, but it's good.

    Most of it originally came out as comic books (black & white only), but it's been rebound into some fairly thick books. (If you want, at the end of each section there's a bibliography of his sources, so you can check him for accuracy.)
  • our family's non-religious views on the subject
    You do realize teaching children real science doesn't have to conflict with religion. Religious teaching are interpreted by faiths as more of a metaphorical truth vs. science truth. But if 10000 year or so ago you wanted to write about all the teachings that have been passed down how do you start with the beginning of the world. If man was made on the 6th day then how would they know the rest took 5. It is made for good story telling. I guess the point was w
  • Explaining that you adhere to the Big Bang theory as some kind of consequence of your atheism is a non sequitur. What does religious belief have to do with acceptance of a physical theory? Do you also explain electromagnetism to your daughter by pointing out that you are non-religious?

    If anything this encourages the sort of illogical thinking which science tries to expose and eliminate. Religion and science are orthogonal to each other, as has been multiply observed for centuries by both scientists and re

  • Dragonfly TV is a show currently on PBS, I highly recommend it. This show isn't so much about specific content information, but it gets at various science content while also showing science as a process that anyone (especially kids) can do.

    I recently held a series of events in my department looking at educational TV shows, and we included this show on the science TV day - I'd never heard of it, but we were all super-impressed. It's a "news show" type format, where they report on three or four sets of kids

  • by sdo1 ( 213835 ) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @12:23PM (#23292314) Journal
    I know others have said this as well, but I have a 7 year old boy and he's been absolutely loves watching The Universe [history.com] on The History Channel [history.com] with me. After having watched almost all of the episodes over the past two seasons, he can converse far more intelligently about cosmology than most adults can.

    When in the car, we also listen to the Astronomy Cast [astronomycast.com] podcast. Dr. Pamela Gay [starstryder.com] does a great job of getting the science across in an informative and entertaining way without dumbing it down too much for us non professional physicists and astronomers.

    Yes, a lot of it is over his head (heck, a lot of it is over my head), but he asks very intelligent questions about time, space, where everything came from, and where it's all headed, so I highly recommend those two sources.

    We've tried watching reruns of Cosmos [wikipedia.org]. It was an absolutely groundbreaking and stunning show 28 years ago. But by today's standards, the graphics are weak and some of the science is dated. It's amazing how much we as a species have learned about the universe we live in in that short amount of time.

  • I used to watch this show as a kid and it was wonderful. Mr. Wizard has passed away but his family still sells DVDs that are a collection of his shows.

    They are all black and white and shot in one continuous show with no commercial breaks (it was live TV back then) but he explains all sorts of chemistry, physics, and everyday things in ways that kids can understand. The show is based on demonstrations that kids help out with as Mr. Wizard explains the concepts and reasons.

    On DVD, it's really easy to wa
    • It may be really difficult to get a modern kid interested in these shows. I watched an episode of Watch Mr Wizard with a group of adults (mostly in our late 20s early 30s), and we had to fast forward through parts because it was boring for US. I mean, what they were doing was cool, but the pace was not what even most adults today are accustomed to. We watched one episode each of that, Mr Wizard's World (which most of us grew up with), Bill Nye, and Dragonfly TV - it's really fascinating how the message of "
  • James Burke explains it all.

    Lots Online. [google.com]

    Also, Depending on their age. The western Tradition [learner.org]

  • by Uosdwis ( 553687 ) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:01AM (#23297866) Journal
    This Show is old but it is very interesting. How a silver rush in Czechoslovakia leads to telephone is amazing. History and science at its best. How one idea leads to another and how things are the way they are, you can't beat it. This guy is amazing and his shows explain some complex things in easy enough terms for a twelve year old. Maybe a bit more than your daughter but if she is asking questions then this is what you want. Truly an amazing historian. Otherwise tell her about Ada Lovelace, Ãmilie du ChÃtelet, Lise Meitner and Marie Curie. Amazing women of science.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn