Here’s a little known fact about me. I LOVED math in school. So much so that I let my counselor talk me into taking Calculus, which was hard but I excelled at it oddly.
Let me take you back. Cyberchase, which came after “Between the Lions” if Im not mistaken, was a PBS show about Matt, Jackie and Inez being sucked into a computer and are tasked with saving Motherboard from Hacker and his henchmen.
I still remember the theme song, I still remember Bianca and Harry and I would still watch it now. For those parents who are stuck at home during this pandemic and need something to both entertain and teach your kids, this is your show. Like I stated before, I love math and solving puzzles. It wasn’t like “Dora the Explorer” where she asks you to help you solve something followed by awkward silence. You were solving the problems with the team.
Even as a child, I recognized two distinct voices (I spent a lot of time with my grandma), Gilbert Gottfried, who voiced the bird Digit, and Christopher Lloyd, who voiced Hacker, which if you think about it is a feat for a show on PBS. I admire the show because I was able to keep my mind sharp even when I wasn’t in school. I am, admittedly, a nerd so appeals to me in a show like this. Another great aspect of the show was the diversity of the three main characters. Matt is Irish-American teen who enjoys sports and his skateboard. Inez is a Latin-American girl who has an impressive vocabulary and is extremely smart. Matt often calls her “Nezzie”, which she hates but I thought was a great nickname. Jackie is a black girl who likes organization and her favorite line is, “Make room. I gotta pace.” I can’t really think of another animated show that had such a diverse cast. “Cyberchase For Real” reinforced the lesson of the show, which for many of us kids who are wondering how we’re going to use what we learned in math class in real life helped us A LOT.
As I said before, we’re all stuck at home, the kids are out of school for longer than we thought and math is usually the hardest course for kids. Give them something that will stimulate their mind while they leave you alone.
Cyberchase is on the PBS Kids site, for free, and Amazon Prime and YouTube TV, both with a subscription.