TOS Crew Review: Curiosity Quest

My kids don’t watch hours of television every day, but when it’s time for them to relax, I’m happy when they choose PBS shows.  So, naturally, I was excicted to review PBS’ Curiosity Quest recently.  We were given 2 DVDs to review:

Curiosity Quest Review
DVD Combo Pack – Produce (includes three shows:  Mushrooms, Orange Packing, and Cranberries)

Curiosity Quest Review
DVD Combo Pack – Swimmers of the Sea (includes three shows:  Turtle Rescue, Penguins, and Salmon Hatchery)

Each DVD pack is $24.95.

What Is Curiosity Quest?

Curiosity Quest is a family-friendly program.  Host Joel Greene goes around the country seeking answers to viewers’ questions.  The show airs on 100 PBS stations nationwide, but I’ve never seen it in my area.  If we had it, we’d be sure to watch on a regular basis.

The show is targeted to children ages 7 to 14, but all three of my kids (3, 5, and 9) enjoyed the shows.

The Basic Format of Curiosity Quest

Viewer Question

The show starts with a viewer who sends in a question about a topic.  From there, Greene goes in search of the answer.

For instance, he visited a sea turtle hospital in Florida to learn more about sea turtles.  Throughout the 30 minute show, he interviews experts who can explain the topic he’s exploring on that particular episode.

Interviewing Kids and Adults Off the Street

Throughout the show, Curiosity Quest answers questions relevant to the topic they are exploring such as “What do sea turtles eat?” for the sea turtle episode.  Usually before they give the answer, though, they interview kids and adults on the street to see what they say.  Their answers can be close to the actual answer or humorously way off!

Here’s Your Fun Fact

Another part of the show is random Fun Facts thrown in.  For instance, on the Sea Turtle episode, one fun fact was that sea turtles can grow up to 600 pounds!

Excellent Springboard for Learning

Curiosity Quest Review
Watching the DVDs on their own is interesting and educational.  For instance, we never knew why cranberries grow in water.  After watching the cranberry episode, we learned that they don’t actually grow in water.  Instead, water is added before the harvest to make the harvesting easier.

However, Curiosity Quest episodes could serve as an interesting springboard for more learning or as a supplement to a current science unit your children are studying.  I’m planning on showing the kids some of these DVDs again when we begin our Kindergarten science lesson and next year when Bookworm studies animals.

Our Favorite Episodes

Curiosity Quest Review
My favorite episode was the mushroom episode namely because I had no idea how they grew commercially.  I was surprised to learn that they grow in straw part of the time.  Watching how fast the workers could process the mushrooms was also interesting.  (Watching Joel try to go as fast as them and fail miserably was entertaining, too.)

The kids liked the salmon episode best, in part because salmon is one of our favorite foods to eat.  They enjoyed learning that salmon return to where they were born to lay their eggs.  Sadly, the show taught us that salmon die shortly after they lay their eggs.  Their lifespan is 5 to 7 years.

Other Materials Available for Homeschoolers

Curiosity Quest has a unique program designed just for homeschoolers.  They offer a monthly homeschooling package that, for $24.99 per month, gives you two episodes of Curiosity Quest as well as homeschool appropriate curriculum that will “provide follow up questions, projects, and activities.”

Or, you could sign up for a one year membership for $264.00 (saving $2.99 per month off the monthly subscription).

Curiosity Quest picks the two episodes for you.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the kids and I loved our six episodes of Curiosity Quest.  While they were all educational, my kids also just watched because they were fun and interesting!

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