When producers from KCET were contacted by Jim Henson Productions in 2007 to create "Sid the Science Kid" for PBS, they called Moisés Román '96.
"I was a consultant on two KCET shows already," recalls Román, who also serves as director of University Village Kindergarten, one of UCLA's three Early Care and Education (ECE) centers. "The producers asked me to be on an advisory group creating the science curriculum for the new program."
The team drew upon national science learning standards, cognitive learning theory, and the recently published Preschool Pathways to Science (PrePS), ECE’s staff-developed early education curriculum. The PrePS program, explains Román, "gives kids hands-on activities to try and test, to touch and explore, and to discover for themselves the joys of learning. We wanted to bring that same method to 'Sid the Science Kid.'"
The program is for educators as much as it is for children, Román says. "Teachers can see and experience a curriculum that draws upon their interests and skills – and their goals for their students. But each activity is tailored to the kids in the room and lets them take the lead in learning."
"At any time," he emphasizes, "the children should be at the center of attention."
The approach is working: Two years and two Emmy-nominations after its premier, "Sid the Science Kid" is now among PBS’s most popular broadcasts for children age three to six.
"The Emmy recognition is valuable," says Román. "It expands the show's reach and impact. And that's what I am all about – reaching kids and inspiring them to love learning."