‘Elinor Wonders Why’ takes preschoolers on adventures in science

September 1, 2020

Elinor Wonders Why

A bunny rabbit, a bat and an elephant are showing preschoolers how curiosity drives scientific inquiry with “Elinor Wonders Why,” a PBS KIDS animated series premiering on Monday, September 7. Funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education and with additional funding from PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the series follows a bunny named Elinor and her pals through Animal Town as they learn about their environment and work together to solve problems. Observant, curious and persistent, Elinor demonstrates how science inquiry and engineering design work in each episode.



Produced in partnership with Pipeline Studios, the multi-platform series was created by cartoonist and robotics engineer Jorge Cham, and physicist and educator Daniel Whiteson and inspired by Cham’s own daughter, Elinor, and her sense of curiosity and wonder.

“Our hope is that the show will help foster the natural curiosity of young children and make them want to explore and learn, just like Elinor and her friends do in these stories,” Cham said.

“ 'Elinor Wonders Why' helps give parents the confidence to say, ‘I don’t know the answer. Let’s explore it together,’” Whiteson said. “Asking questions and investigating the answer are at the core of scientific discovery, and we designed the series to model and encourage children, parents and educators to do just that together.” 

Monday’s one-hour special of “Elinor Wonders Why” kicks off its first week of half-hour episodes onPBS stations, the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms.

Digital content for kids, parents and teachers will be available on pbskids.org/elinor and on the free PBS KIDS Games App, along with clips and full episodes streaming across PBS KIDS’ video platforms, including the free PBS KIDS Video App. Parent resources, including tips and hands-on activities to extend the learning at home, will be available on the PBS KIDS for Parents site, and PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials for teachers, including video excerpts, games, teaching tips and printable activities.

The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach and research on educational effectiveness.
The contents of this series were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. U295A150003, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.