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Digital Services Expand Science, Current Event Content

Discovery Education has inked agreements to add a variety of new content to its Science for Elementary and Discovery Education streaming digital content services, including a popular animated science series for young children.

Produced by The Jim Henson Co., of Muppets fame, Sid the Science Kid looks at basic scientific principles aimed at preschool students, such as the human body, weather, simple machines, and measurements. Each 30-minute episode presents a single principle through a series of rudimentary questions geared toward the age group, then uses humor and catchy music to help provide answers that young children will easily retain. In addition, the series Web site offers games and activities to augment the concepts imparted in each episode. All 40 episodes of the series will be made available on Science for Elementary.

Additionally, Discovery has added several segments of the nightly PBS NewsHour to its K-12 library, straightforward pieces covering topics discussed in many high school classes throughout the country, including global health, the environment, science and technology, economic issues, and general current events. The company has also added 16 new video resources to streaming's STEM Connect service, which offers content designed to help users link their classroom science and technology education to real world applications. The new resources focus on teaching students about the elements of various STEM-related careers, as well as the skills and knowledge required to pursue such careers.

A spokesperson said Discovery Education's curriculum development team reviews all content for grade-specific and overall educational appropriateness, segment the programs into useful, classroom-friendly excerpts, and create supplemental teaching materials. The team also works with external content experts to organize and classify the material for curriculum needs.

Science for Elementary provides a varied collection of online tools to aid teachers in imparting basic science concepts to students, with a focus on reinforcing literacy and math skills. streaming is Discovery Education's extensive digital content service, partnering with such content providers as McGraw-Hill and PBS to provide thousands of video programs and clips to aid in all K-12 subjects. STEM Connect is available free of charge to streaming users.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.