Before there was a pandemic, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas was developing an online educational series called ‘The Whynauts.’
“It’s ‘whynaut,’ we’re going to explore something new,” Perot Museum Chief Learning Officer Jessica Chavez explained. “But also, why not? Why can’t we do those things?”
‘The Whynauts’ online educational series focuses on STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and math. The pilot episode got 40,000 viewers. The goal is to reach 250,000 kindergarten through eighth-grade students.
“Science is fun. STEM is cool,” Chavez said. “We want to make sure we relay that with every episode we produce.”
The series has a Saturday morning children’s TV show feel to it. It features child actors speaking both English and Spanish as they explore topics with the help of professionals in STEM.
“Growing up in a bilingual household, if I were to Google a ‘scientist’…there was no one that looked like me,” Chavez said. “That really hit home, and so with the Perot, we’re trying to make sure that we’re having representation.”
The first episode is about paleontology. Actors and subtitles flip between English and Spanish language as they learn about dinosaurs and fossils. Other episodes follow the same formula.
“To make sure that our students know that the possibilities are endless,” Chavez said. “That anybody that looks like them can do great things.”
The series is free to watch. You can register with the Perot Museum online here.