A New Show Teaches Girls Smart Science

How do you keep two excited little girls in suspense for three days? You label a box Top Secret, take it on vacation with you, and forbid them to ever open it.

I didn't intentionally do that but we were taking our last vacation before school and I thought at some point we might be able to discover what was inside together while away. Things got busy and we never found the time so we ended up taking the box home in the car with us while their little imaginations ran wild trying to guess what was inside. After the six hour drive they forgot all about it and stopped asking.

When we finally got home and started unpacking everything from the car, the Top Secret box appeared again and it sparked their interest. Can we please, please, please open it now? they chimed in unison. When I agreed, they hightailed it inside. When I went inside I felt like I was in my own personal version of the movie Seven . What's in the box? What's in the box!

I wasn't completely cruel as I had set up why they were opening the box prior to vacation. It was all set up by having them watch Project Mc² on Netflix before we left. Project Mc² is a great show on Netflix about four tween girls who secretly work for a secret spy organization called NOV8 (pronounced "innovate") and use their specialized talents to save the world.

You see, I want more for my girls than just dolls and dress up. I want them to know that anything is possible and part of that is teaching them all about S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math).  Kids who learn these skills early in life are taught to be more exploratory and less fearful that their dreams are unreachable because they are women. Each character in the show has a specialized science related ability lead by secret agent McKeyla McAlister played by Mika Abdalla who starts school as the new kid under false pretenses.

She is discovered by Camryn Coyle (Ysa Penarejo) the tech expert, Bryden Bandweth (Genneya Walton) the internet/computer specialist, and Adrienne Atoms (Victoria Vida) the culinary chemist. The four girls combine their strengths and love for all thinks geeky to thwart evil. Lead by The Quail played by Danica McKellar as their boss and coach, the girls discover that things work better when they have faith in each other, their talents, and most of all their friendship.

I bet by now you are still wondering what was actually in the box. Netflix helped my own girls by sending a Top Secret NOV8 Training Challenge to help them complete their training and join ranks with McKeyla, Adrienne, Camryn, and Bryden. Just like the girls in the show, my daughters were excited to show me what they could do.

There are plenty of tween moments in the show but my girls laughed at the awkwardness of that age and laughed where they should have laughed because the show is full of interesting characters and many plot twists and turns.

If you are looking for a show that is uplifting to young girls then Project Mc² on Netflix is the show for you. Project Mc² is like having that A Ha! moment in science class or solving that equation on the smart board in front of the class. A show that uplifts the importance of girls mastering S.T.E.A.M? This show proves that smart is indeed the new cool!

Chris Bernholdt is a local stay-at-home dad of three and founder of the Philly Dads Group. This post is adapted from his blog DadNCharge.

Categories: MomSpeak