Netflix has released Ada Twist, Scientist with the goal of making science fun and accessible for everyone.
The animated show follows 8-year-old Ada, a small scientist with a big sense of curiosity. She explores science to discover the truth about everything from chain reactions to evaporation. The series encourages children to be curious about their surroundings and take an active interest in why things happen and how things work.
It is based on the best-selling picture book series of the same name by author Andrea Beaty and illustrator David Roberts. The television show is aimed at preschool-aged children.
Chris Nee, Executive Producer says: “I’m thrilled to be partnering with Higher Ground to bring Ada Twist to the screen. As a fan of the books, I was taken with the diverse characters, striking designs and vital message that science matters. Plus, Ada fulfils my personal need to populate children’s television with strong girls who aren’t afraid to be the smartest kids in the room. Once Kerri Grant came on board to [show run], I knew we had the dream team to bring this special series to life.”
Kerri Grant, Showrunner and Co-Executive Producers says: “It brings me immense joy to be a part of bringing Ada Twist to the screen. As a young, curious Black girl who grew up loving TV, I simply became accustomed to rarely seeing images that reflected me onscreen — and the ones that did, represented an anti-intellectual stereotype that led me to hide my own light under a bushel. To be a part of bringing a show to kids that features a young, Black girl being unapologetically the smartest kid in the room, in a world as diverse and visually stunning as the one created by the book series’ author and illustrator, fills my heart to capacity. Working with Chris Nee, my old boss and certified preschool TV hit-maker; and Higher Ground and their commitment to representation, dreaming big, and excellence, has been the alignment of so many stars, it’s truly a celestial event.”
Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Original Animation, Netflix says: “Chris, Kerri and their talented team are creating a series that goes well beyond entertaining kids; they are bringing to life stories that reflect the world we live in and inspire us to envision solutions to the challenges we face. Ada is brilliant and funny and we hope she will ignite curiosity for kids around the world.”
Each episode features real scientists, like aerospace engineer Keji Sojobi, who explain in easy-to-understand terms how basic elements of science work.
Keji says, “A vivid memory I have from when I was little is of regularly watching space shuttle launches on TV and being in awe of them,” she says. “I loved math and was curious about the world around me. I loved learning about outer space and [the] things that fly. And I had my parents and good teachers who helped me nurture my curiosity about these things.”
Tips to Encourage an Interest in Science
Here are Sojobi’s tips on how to make science fun and accessible, and what parents can do to better encourage their children to take an interest in it:
- Tie science into everyday situations and observations: “I love looking at the moon, and when we have a particularly spectacular moonrise, I tend to point it out to anyone in my vicinity,” explains Sojobi. “That, more often than not, leads to a quick conversation about why the moon appears so big, or so yellow, or so red during this moonrise.”
“Asking questions with people about why the world around us is a certain way generally tends to lead to fun science talk, in my experience,” she adds.
- Start as early as possible: “I often think back on how my parents would have me count and do simple arithmetic with sugar packets at restaurant dining tables when I was a toddler, and how I was unknowingly brought up to not be intimidated by math because of things like that,” says Sojobi. “Math and science are intrinsically linked, and I believe an interest in science can be similarly instilled at a young age.”
- Be active and involved: “Encourage your child’s questions about why things work the way they do,” Sojobi says. “Show them interesting everyday things like how eggs change consistency when you cook them a certain way. Point out how the outdoors smell different after it rains. Observe things with them, and don’t be afraid of their follow-up questions!”
Ada Twist, Scientist joins a growing catalogue of kids and family programs streaming on Netflix. Once you’ve finished the science-based series, be sure to check out Ridley Jones, A Storybots Space Adventure, and Gaby’s Dollhouse.
About Ada Twist, Scientist
Ada Twist, Scientist follows the adventures of eight-year-old Ada Twist, a pint-sized scientist with a giant-sized curiosity, who aspires to discover the truth about absolutely everything. With the help of her two best friends, Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck, Ada unravels and solves mysteries for her friends and family. But solving the mystery is only the beginning because science isn’t just about learning how and why and what… it’s about putting that knowledge into action to make the world a better place.
- Developed for TV By / Executive Producer: Chris Nee (Doc McStuffins, Vampirina)
- Showrunner / Co-Executive Producer / Story Editor: Peabody and Humanitas winner, Emmy nominee Kerri Grant (Doc McStuffins, Nella the Princess Knight)
- Executive Producers: Mark Burton (Water, Tallula, The Indian Detective), Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan (American Factory, Crip Camp, Becoming), author Andrea Beaty and illustrator David Roberts