Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
SAF Archives  search ask the scientists in the classroom cool science
past teaching guides
interactive activities
cool careers in science
in the classroom

"It's A Kid's World" Guide & Resources

In this episode of Scientific American Frontiers, we observe babies and children and find out what scientists are learning from them. Apparently, we know more than we think we know -- even at a very young age.

Here are the topics and running times of stories on this show and a brief description of related activities you'll find in this online teaching guide:

  • Body Sense (running time: 10:15) -- What can we learn from a baby in a baby bouncer? Scientists investigate how babies learn to coordinate their muscles. Activities: Physics of a Slinky; Measuring the benefits of practice.

  • The Magic Years? (running time: 12:41) -- Enjoy a magic show and find out what kids of different ages think about the tricks; even babies know when they're being fooled. Activities: Present a magic show for younger kids; Two card tricks and a disappearing ring.

  • Born to Talk (running time: 6:31) -- Psycholinguist Steven Pinker of M.I.T. explores a theory about the origins of language. Activity: Find out more about language and how you use it.

  • A Change of Mind (running time: 11:14) --Psychologists conduct deception studies to find out why young children can't lie. Activities: Further thinking about deception studies; Modeling neuron pathways.

  • Speaking For Herself (running time: 11:08) -- Engineers invent a device to help twelve-year-old Kara Johansen, who suffers from cerebral palsy, communicate. Activities: Build a language board; Speech synthesis software. Contest Idea: Design a desk for the differently-abled.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.