If you’re like most teachers and parents, you wonder what shows will help your kids to get excited about science. Well, I’ve got some answers for you. With the aid of America’s most popular video streaming service, children have a chance to learn about many different science disciplines in an entertaining and engaging way. Here are eight of the best science-themed educational shows on Netflix.
1 & 2: Bill Nye, The Science Guy (1993) & Bill Nye Saves the World (2017)
Bill Nye’s original show is a little dated and his new one is a little loud, but he’s still one of the best names out there in terms of bringing science down to earth, making it accessible, engaging, and fun. Those of us who grew up chanting, “Bill! Bill! Bill!” in science classrooms will greatly enjoy watching his new series, which talks to adults but uses a lot of his ‘90s energy and aesthetics.
3: Particle Fever (2013)
This documentary, currently only available on Netflix DVD, is about the scientists preparing to examine the Big Bang with the Large Hadron Collider. It brings particle physics into reach, opening the topic to anyone who wants a rudimentary understanding of what we know about our universe, and what we stand to learn.
4 & 5: Planet Earth (2006) & Planet Earth II (2017)
These two BBC documentaries are to television what National Geographic is to magazines. They bring ecology, evolution, geology, and climate right into your home with amazing footage narrated by David Attenborough. 17 episodes in all, they examine the wonders of the world biome by biome, from deserts to ice caps.
6: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014)
Carl Sagan’s 1980s show, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” may not be available on Netflix, but Neil deGrasse Tyson has you covered with his spin-off. With his enthusiasm and ability to clarify science without dumbing it down, Cosmos guides viewers through what we know of the history of time and space. If Cosmos appeals, search for Tyson’s name to find more of the best educational shows on Netflix.
7: Human Planet: Behind the Lens (2011)
What Planet Earth does for the animal world, Human Planet does for mankind. Narrated by John Hurt, the crew of this show brings to life the people shaped by the places they live, such as the Eagle Hunters of Mongolia, sulfur miners in Java, and diving fisherman of the Philippines. The documentary also features the way the camera crews adapt and are changed by each place they visit, and does an excellent job of showcasing that humankind is not separate at all from the world.
8: The Farthest: Voyager in Space (2017)
The Voyager probes launched in 1977, and they are still very much a part of our scientific expansion today. Both probes are outside even the orbit of Pluto now, farther away than their launchers believed they would reach. This documentary is about all that led up to their launch, and all we have learned from them since.
Do you know of any other science-themed educational shows on Netflix? Please share your favorites in the comments!