Get a Sneak Peek at PBS Kids’ Wacky New Show Odd Squad

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Credit: Courtesy of ODD SQUAD © 2014 The Fred Rogers Company
Courtesy of Odd Squad © 2014 The Fred Rogers Company

PBS Kids has a new show this fall for kids 5-8 who love the weird, wacky world of math! Well, they might not love math yet, but that’s because they haven’t seen Odd Squad. Odd Squad premieres on PBS Kids on November 26, but if you have the PBS Kids app or visit the official web site now, your kids can get a first glimpse into the extraordinary world of these math whiz kids.

Odd Squad is like Warehouse 13 for the smaller crowd. Agents Otto and Olive—who very much remind me of Warehouse 13‘s Pete and Myka—investigate the weird goings-on reported to the Squad by flummoxed grownups and kids.

Olive, who never seems to be flustered no matter what the team encounters, works with her donut-loving partner Otto to solve the problem with math skills and a good gadget or two. Their boss, Ms. O, is simultaneously hilarious, adorable, and terrifying, which isn’t easy for an actor of any age to pull off. But all of these kids make these first few mini-episodes a lot of fun and engaging for their young target audience.

The diverse and talented cast, the unique concept, and obvious educational value (my daughter explained symmetry to me after watching just one 15-minute episode) make Odd Squad another fantastic addition to the PBS Kids lineup. Check out the first few mini-episodes now and play Odd Squad games at the PBS Kids web site.

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5 thoughts on “Get a Sneak Peek at PBS Kids’ Wacky New Show Odd Squad

  1. Earlier in the year PBS sent a clip out for survey purposes which my daughter got to watch with me. She’s been talking it up to her brother ever since.

  2. While it’s exciting that PBS wants to launch a math show, their execution is sadly perpetuating all the usual stereotypes: that smart kids are odd-looking misfits who don’t fit in. Kids may enjoy watching these characters, but they won’t aspire to *be* like them. Once they turn off the screen, they can return to the relief of being normal kids who don’t look like that. I’m waiting for someone to create a show that has cute, relatable kids doing brilliant math and science. Not these kids, not the gawky coach from the show “Math Club,” but normal, appealing-looking people that kids want to imitate in their everyday lives. If we keep messaging that smart kids are odd and unappealing and don’t fit in, we’re never going to turn around our country and get big waves of kids joining math league or robotics or chess teams. And then we wonder why we have more undergrads majoring in “leisure studies” than all physical sciences combined. PBS, this is the flip side of Forever 21’s girly “Allergic to Algebra” t-shirt, and really is just as harmful in what it signals. Please use your role as an enlightened entity to change our culture for the better, and rethink this show.

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