WGBH News and Media Relations


December 4, 2017

WGBH Launches Tablet-Based Preschool Science Curriculum

Nico & Nor TM apps and activities support science learning in the preschool classroom.

BOSTON, Mass. (December 4, 2017) Public media producer WGBH has launched Early Science with Nico & Nor TM, a series of apps, hands-on activities, and teacher supports that comprise a new preschool science curriculum supplement. Nico & Nor was developed by WGBH’s First 8 Studios in partnership with SRI Education and the Education Development Center, and is based on the Next Generation Preschool Science research and development project funded by the National Science Foundation.

The Nico & Nor apps were specifically created to serve as classroom science tools and to integrate digital technology with hands-on experiences to promote young children’s engagement in science practices and understanding of core science concepts in three science topics: plants, ramps and shadows. Simulation apps allow children to observe what affects plant growth, to design experiments with ramps and marbles, and to play with light sources and objects to explore shadows. Science journals allow children to document a plant’s growth over time, record slow-motion video of objects rolling down ramps, and photograph shadows in their own world. All apps and resources are provided for free to the public at first8studios.org and in the Apple App Store.

“WGBH is at the forefront of researching how media can be designed to support learning in a developmentally-appropriate way,” said Terry Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Children’s Media and Education at WGBH.  “Through collaboration with learning scientists and researchers from SRI and EDC, advisors, teachers and children, Early Science with Nico & Nor is making a difference in the preschool classroom environment.”

First 8 Studios’ approach is unique because it utilizes design-based research, and is a highly iterative co-development process. The team also is developing a collection of digital resources for parents of young children in partnership with child development experts from the Boston Medical Center that will be released in the coming months.

WGBH, the leading producer of television and digital content for PBS and PBS.org, has produced has produced many of the iconic children’s educational programs on public television, including Zoom, Curious George and Arthur among others.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio through its affiliation with Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH is a partner with PBS and supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors. More info at www.wgbh.org.



WGBH Media Relations

Emily Balk

Catherine Burke