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Early Math

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cyberchase kids

CYBERCHASE, the math mystery cartoon series on PBS KIDS GO! (check local listings), features Jackie, Matt, Inez, and their pal Digit, who team up to use brain power to thwart Hacker, the dastardly villain who is on a mad quest to take over Cyberspace. CYBERCHASE For Real, the live-action segment at the end of each episode, explores math in the real world. DVDs are available for selected episodes of CYBERCHASE.

While targeting kids 8 to 11, millions of younger children have become CYBERCHASE fans. In a research study by Thirteen/WNET, nearly three-quarters of the children ages 4 to 6 could recall that the episodes were about problem solving, and more than half were able to recall the specific math concepts explored.

The episodes listed here may be particularly appealing to children ages 4 and up. As you watch, consider talking about the show with your child to help make connections to the math in everyday life.

"Snow Day to Be Exact"

(Episode 104)

Hacker steals the powerful sunisphere from Solaria, causing the cyberworld's sunny vacation paradise to be covered in snow! In a fun-filled chase across the snowy terrain, the kids must discover the power and speed of estimation in order to recover the glowing orb from Buzz and Delete before the temperature reaches zero and the site freezes over forever.

Math Topic: Estimation
Sometimes using a close answer is good enough for the problem you are solving.

"The Poddleville Case"

(Episode 107)

The diabolical Hacker wreaks havoc when he steals the power pods of Poddleville, a cybercity filled with patterns. Our heroes must use math and logic to crack the double pattern that unlocks the Poddles' cyberpower vault before Hacker and his henchmen do!

Math Topic: Patterns
Patterns are sequences that repeat or change in an orderly way. You can use patterns to predict the next step in solving a problem.

"And They Counted Happily Ever After"

(Episode 108)

Hacker kidnaps the King of this fractured fairy tale world, and demands a ransom of golden eggs. The Wicked Witch then casts a spell, taking away everyone's ability to count and making it impossible for the fairy tale folk to gather the required large number of eggs. With the safety of the King at stake, the kids must help the fairy tale folk understand the role of place value in our number system before time runs out!

Math Topic:Number Sense
Let numbers stand for things in a regular pattern, and you have the power to keep track of anything and everything on Earth.

"The Secrets of Symmetria"

(Episode 110)

In his passion for symmetry, Dr. Marbles has created Symmetria, a harmonious cyberplace where everything is made symmetrical by a symmetrizer. Hacker steals the machine and reprograms it so that he can undo symmetry. The kids must master the properties of symmetry before Hacker destroys beauty, balance and harmony throughout all of Cyberspace!

Math Topic: Symmetry
That symmetry is the different patterns you can find within things that creates balance, order, and the pleasing regularity in the world.

"Of All the Luck"

(Episode 112)

Convinced that his failure to defeat Motherboard is simply a result of bad luck, Hacker collects the Ten Lucky Charms of Cyberspace. The caper works. Hacker's luck changes, and good things begin happening to him. When Motherboard realizes what Hacker has done, she sends the kids and Digit to Hacker's hideout in the Northern Frontier to help the Lucky Charms escape. The kids use logic, Venn Diagrams and an understanding of the words ìand," ìor," and ìnot" to free the Charms.

Math Topic: Logic
When you have to choose from a confusing mix of possibilities, you can use logic - a set of tools for thinking clearly - to picture and refine your choices so you can get exactly what you want.

"Eureeka"

(Episode 113)

Pursued by Hacker, Digit lands on cybersite Eureeka, where his mission is to find Professor Archimedes - the maker of the encryptor chip, a unique computer chip that can fix Motherboard. But Archimedes is nowhere to be found - only a pile of 2-dimensional rods where his chip factory should be. The kids arrive to help, and discover that by linking the 2-dimensional rods together into certain geometrical patterns they create a surprising 3-dimensional shape that leads directly to unraveling the mystery of Archimedes' strange disappearance.

Math Topic: 2D & 3D Geometry
When you follow simple rules to make flat geometrical shapes, and join them together, you can discover new shapes that, instead of staying flat, rise up to make three-dimensional objects!

"Codename: Icky"

(Episode 116)

In the watery depths of cybersite Aquari-yum, the kids and Hacker go in search of a giant cyber-slug, who feeds on pure energy. The kids and Digit travel underwater in two separate vessels, but Hacker has a listening device that taps into their communications system, allowing him to overhear their plans and track every move they make. The kids outsmart Hacker by devising a series of codes so they can send messages back and forth in secret — even though Hacker can hear what they're saying. But unless the kids can reach the slug first, Hacker will use the slug to attack Motherboard's circuitry and disable her once and for all!

Math Topic: Codes
You can use a code (a communication system that substitutes one thing for another) to send top secret messages as long as your code has an adjustable rule that can be reversed to read the message.

"Model Behavior"

(Episode 122)

To protect themselves from Hacker's constant attempts to capture cybersite Happily-Ever-After, the King and his fairy-tale subjects construct a glass Skywall to keep Hacker out of the kingdom. But Hacker unfolds a brilliant scheme to crack open the Skywall — using the Wicked Witch's Voice! Can the kids use models to outwit Hacker before Wicked sings?!!

Math Topic: Modeling
Make a model — a simplified version of something complicated - and you can easily and safely understand how it works.

"Fortress of Attitude"

(Episode 123)

Hacker decides that he can force cybersites to surrender by annoying them big time. He broadcasts his loud and obnoxious voice across the vastness of Cyberspace from a massive statue shaped like the arrogant Hacker himself. The kids and Digit are sent by Motherboard to the Northern Frontier, where they carry out a Mission Impossible-style scheme to silence the statue and disable Hacker's intimidation. Using their skills at measuring length, the kids make their way up through the inside of the booby-trapped statue to Hacker's pointy chin and big mouth. But can they shut him up before Hacker shuts them down?

Math Topic: Linear Measurement
To measure length and communicate your results easily and precisely, identify a system of units based on a single standard length that everyone using it agrees on.

"Out of Sync"

(Episode 126)

The balance and harmony of the Mount Olympus cybersite is controlled and protected by the Music of the Spheres. When Hacker disrupts this balance and throws the site into utter chaos, the CyberSquad has until sunset to make the sound of the music right! For the beat to go on, the kids must recreate the music and find the missing element in the musical pattern.

Math Topic: Music in patterns
You can use mathematical patterns to create and understand memorable musical rhythms.

"The Guilty Party"

(Episode 212)

Hacker returns to Poddleville with a peace offering: a magnificent statue of the Mayor of Poddleville. But at the unveiling party, Hacker accuses someone of stealing the key to his recharger chair. The accused claims he's innocent. Like Sherlock Holmes and Watson, the kids and Digit investigate the crime by interviewing eyewitnesses and recreating the crime scene. But the more they investigate, the more the accused is placed at the scene of the crime. Everyone saw him. It appears that Hacker has found the culprit. But has he? And what's that strange noise coming from inside the statue?

Math Topic: Point of View
Because what you see depends on your point of view, different people looking at the same objects can see them differently and disagree about what they are seeing.

"EcoHaven CSE"

(Episode 301)

Someone has stolen the legendary cyberbeast Choocroca from cybersite EcoHaven, and the only clue is the culprit's footprint. Using the principles of "body math," the CyberSquad has to sleuth out who took Choocroca and rescue the massive beast. The suspects are members of a safari team — one of them is secretly working for Hacker, who wants to capture the creature and use it to take over Cyberspace. The CyberSquad must use forensic science to build their case and find both the culprit and the critter before Hacker gets his way.

Math Topic: Body Math
Some parts of a body are proportional to others — the length of one part is always the same multiple of another — so by measuring one part, you can predict the lengths of others, or even the size of the whole creature!

"Borg of the Ring"

(Episode 302)

The long lost Totally Rad Ring of Radopolis has been found - and is soon swiped by Hacker. This powerful crown will grant the wearer his heart's desire, and Hacker is a cyborg who wants it all. From a new head of gorgeous hair to total cyberdomination, Hacker enjoys wreaking havoc with his new Ring. While racing to reclaim the Ring, the CyberSquad meets a mysterious teenborg named Slider. He seems nice, but whose side is he really on? The kids must all work together to get the Ring back from Hacker and put it inside the Circle of Supreme Safety before Hacker destroys Motherboard once and for all. But the Ring must be placed in the exact center of the circle - only then will it be safe from those who wish to use its power to harm others.

Math Topic: Circles
You can use a circle to find all the points that are the exact same distance from a particular spot.

"A Perfect Fit"

(Episode 307)

The monster Gigabyte returns! At least that's what Hacker has planned. The bad guys bring the wrecked robot deep into a tropical jungle for the one day of the year when the position of the cybersun atop a Mayan-style pyramid can bring Gigabyte back to full power. Jackie, Matt, Inez and Digit must work their way past giant snakes, spiders and other creepy critters in order to block the cybersun before it can energize the metal monster. There's only one way to get it done — they must master the secrets of tessellation.

Math Topic: Tessellations
If you pick the right shape, you can use it again and again to tessellate - cover an area of any size you need without gaps or overlaps.

"Snelfu Snafu - part 1 of 2"

(Episode 309)

The long lost encryptor chip, the only computer component that can restore Motherboard to full power, unexpectedly appears on the popular cyberauction U-WANT, U-BID! To make matters worse, Hacker is the top bidder - and if he gets it, Motherboard is doomed! The CyberSquad and their friend Slider get jobs in Cyberspace, and figure out how much they need to save per day to outbid Hacker. They succeed in winning the auction, but are totally unprepared for what happens when they install the chip in MotherboardHacker takes over Cyberspace!!!

Math Topic: Saving Money
When you save small amounts of money at a steady rate, your savings will grow larger and you can predict when you will have the amount you need to buy what you want.

"Snelfu Snafu - part 2 of 2"

(Episode 310)

It's the CyberSquad's biggest challenge ever - Hacker is in complete control of Cyberspace! Jackie, Matt, Inez and Digit must find a way to bring Motherboard back to power and oust Hacker. Slider's "Syncolator" invention is the answer... but some of the pieces are missing. With limited funds, the kids must go to various cybersites and purchase the necessary parts, wheeling and dealing with the nefarious owners, learning to spend their money wisely in the process. If they run out of money before the Syncolator can be fixed, Hacker will toss Motherboard's last hope for recovery into a black hole where it will be lost forever.

Math Topic: Spending Money
To spend money wisely, compare the amount of money you have with the cost of the things you need to be sure you can afford your purchases.

"Measure for Measure"

(Episode 405)

Note: Features special guest star Tony Hawk as Coop

Hacker's mysterious machine is finally revealed — "The Transformatron" can change anyone into anything! He learns the kids have the Network Interface Card — the final piece he needs. But the kids have also found a map that leads them to Coop, Slider's long lost father. They are shocked to discover Coop has been a victim of magnetite. Before they can measure out the antidote, Hacker grabs the "NIC" — and Slider! Will the CyberSquad be able to rescue Slider? Can they cure Coop? And how will they stop Hacker from taking over Cyberspace with his dastardly device?

Math Topic: Choosing Units of Measure
When you need to measure a certain volume, choose the tool that comes closest to measuring that amount.

"A Tikiville Turkey Day"

(Episode 410)

Hacker steals the legendary Egg of Benedicta — and the lush landscape of Tikiville wilts and turns brown. The spirit of the Tikians is crushed and Creech is in big trouble unless the CyberSquad can help! When their attempt to recover the Egg from Hacker fails, they hatch a new plan to replace the Egg. By studying patterns in nature, can they recreate the nest and restore peace and harmony to Tikiville?

Math Topic: Patterns in Nature
Find the rule for a pattern you observe in the natural world and you can use what you have learned to make similar patterns of your own.

"The Flying Parallinis"

(Episode 506)

When Hacker strands Jackie atop Mount Wayupthere, the rest of the CyberSquad has to act fast to save her. In their search for the elusive Diamond Joe - the mysterious figure who holds the secret to Jackie's release - the CyberSquad meets spunky TW, a young Parallini who agrees to help them. Can they discover the power of parallelograms in time to launch a daring rescue mission?

Math Topic: Parallelograms
You can stretch or collapse the shape of a parallelogram without changing the length of its sides.

"Crystal Clear"

(Episode 507)

When Digit's systems go wonky, Motherboard sends him to the caves that house the Synchronizer, the beautiful crystal that keeps all borgs correctly timed. But before he can be put back in sync, he gets a glitch and tosses his crystal synchrometer into a tunnel and then flies off the wrong way down into a deep, dark chasm. Called in to help, Jackie, Matt and Inez meet Jules, the cave's timid guard, who teams up with them to find the synchrometer (using the unique geometry of crystals) and to find Digit, who's hopelessly lost. To thwart their plans, Hacker steals the Synchronizer. Can the kids figure out how to replace it and save their friend?

Math Topic: Math in Nature: Crystals
When materials form crystals, you can use their regular and unique geometric shapes to tell them apart and even identify them.

CYBERCHASE airs daily on PBS KIDS GO! (check local listings). You can purchase CYBERCHASE episodes on DVD online at Shop PBS or call 1-800-531-4727.

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