How Cosmos is Getting My Kids Hooked on Science

When I was a kid, I was a PBS junkie. We didn’t have cable TV, and from a very young age, I was obsessed with science fiction and outer space (my first memory is watching Star Wars on TV, and I can still describe everything that happened that day because it was that big of a deal). Anyway, it was through my obsession with PBS that I discovered Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage as a kid.

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A few years ago, my husband and I found Cosmos on cable. My husband had happy memories of sitting on his dad’s lap and watching it together. He wanted to create the same kind of memories with our kids. Our kids were a little young to absorb anything, so when we found out about the new series, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, starting up with Neil deGrasse Tyson, we were both excited.

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Our kids are seven and ten and generally like science-y kinds of shows . . . as in they love watching Mythbusters and keep trying to think of ideas to send into the show. I was hoping they would enjoy watching Cosmos, especially when I made mention that we were using it for part of our science class (we homeschool). However, I wasn’t prepared for the obsession that followed, especially from my seven-year-old daughter.

At nine o’clock on Sunday nights, my house goes quiet for an hour. My kids are glued to the television in a way that not even their favorite movies can emulate. My daughter counts down the days until the next time she can watch it. They are mesmerized, and I am all giddy like a school girl that my kids are addicted to science.

If you haven’t had a chance to tune in yet, I highly recommend it. Tyson is a fantastic storyteller and makes learning about the universe entertaining. It’s something you can watch with your kids, too. Who knows, they might learn something new, but you might want to keep that part a secret. You can find the new Cosmos on Sunday nights at 9 o’clock EDT on FOX or Monday nights at the same time on National Geographic.

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