Explore the Outdoors with PBS KIDS

Virtual Learning Session by WXXI Education

Session Focus:

  • PBS KIDS Science Learning Framework
  • PBS KIDS Series That Promote Outdoor Exploration: Wild Kratts, Nature Cat, Plum Landing
  • PBS KIDS Apps That Explore the Outdoors
  • Resources from Our Friends: NYSDEC, SciStarter, iNaturalist

PBS KIDS Science Learning Framework

  • Used to develop resources (apps, online tools, activities) and PBS KIDS series
  • PBS KIDS Science and Literacy Frameworks
  • Promote: problem solving, play, exploring the outdoors, literacy, STEM/STEAM, adult-child interactions
  • Focuses on Science & Engineering Practices within each category (Life Science, Earth & Space Science, Physical Science, and Engineering & Technology):

    1.Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

    2.Developing and using models

    3.Planning and carrying out investigations

    4.Analyzing and interpreting data

    5.Using mathematics and computational thinking

    6.Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)

    7.Engaging in argument from evidence

    8.Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

PBS KIDS Series That Promote Outdoor Exploration

Wild Kratts

Wild Kratts joins the adventures of Chris and Martin Kratt as they encounter incredible wild animals, combining science education with fun and adventure as the duo travels to animal habitats around the globe. Each adventure explores an age-appropriate science concept central to an animal's life and showcases a rarely seen wildlife moment, all wrapped up in engaging stories of adventure, mystery, rescue, and the Kratt brothers' brand of laugh-out-loud-comedy that kids love.

  • 6 to 8 year olds
  • Natural history and age-appropriate science
  • Develop and strengthen basic skills of observation and investigation
  • Build excitement in science
  • Explore uniqueness of animals, habitats, ecosystems
  • Share animal factoids and geography


Resources

Nature Cat

Fred the house cat dreams of exploring the great outdoors. Once his family leaves for the day, Fred transforms into Nature Cat, "backyard explorer extraordinaire!"

  • 6 to 8 year olds
  • Natural history and age-appropriate science
  • Develop and strengthen basic skills of observation and investigation
  • Build excitement in science
  • Explore uniqueness of animals, habitats, ecosystems
  • Share animal factoids and geography


Resources

Plum Landing

PLUM LANDING is an exciting multi-platform, indoor-outdoor, science exploration adventure for kids and grown-ups. Games, animations, videos, an app, a whole digital curriculum for after-school programs and summer camps, and science activities for parents and kids to do together.

  • 6 to 9 year olds
  • Designed to give kids an understanding of the science behind healthy ecosystems and sustainability
  • Adaptation, biodiversity, cycles, habitats and ecosystems, human impact on the environment, plants and animals, practices of science, water
  • Aligned to Next Generation Science Standards
  • National Science Foundation-funded

Resources:

Apps That Explore the Outdoors

PBS KIDS Outdoor Exploration Apps

Each of these apps provide suggestions for ways to explore nature, outdoor areas, or pretend to explore nature (from inside). (Our favorite family-focused app is Outdoor Family Fun with Plum because it provides missions for families to do no matter where they are!)

Resources from Our Friends

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)

Find TONS of FREE nature-exploring resources (both digital and printable) from NYSDEC.

  • Outdoor Observation & Journals
  • Outdoor BINGO & Observation Checklists
  • Seek & Find Hikes
  • All About Animals
  • Food Chains
  • Invasive Species
  • State & National Symbols
  • and more!

SciStarter

SciStarter is an online community dedicated to improving the citizen science experience for project managers and participants. Over 3,000 projects and events are searchable by location, scientific topic, and age level, and by joining SciStarter, members can track their contributions and provide valuable feedback.


Here are some of our favorites:

iNaturalist Apps

We trust these resources and have used them with our engagement through PBS projects - they're awesome! They support citizen science work, encourage safe nature exploration, support families quest to learn more about their nature ecosystems, and more!

Need help with any of these resources?

Contact WXXI Education's Cara Rager at CRager@wxxi.org