press releases

Season 42 of award-winning preschool series Sesame Street premieres September 26 on PBS Kids® with a S-T-E-M curriculum encouraging kids to say, “Let’s find out!”

Brand New “Murray’s Science Experiments” Segment; and a Special Latin-themed Episode Airing During Hispanic Heritage Month

A-List Celebrities Visit the Famous Street Including Mark Ruffalo, Drew Brees, Nicole Kidman, Liev Schreiber & Naomi Watts, Conan O’Brien, Bruno Mars and Carmelo Anthony

New York, August 8th, 2011—Sesame Street, beloved by four decades of preschoolers and their caregivers, launches season 42 on PBS KIDS September 26 (check your local listings). In an effort to encourage school readiness, especially in the disciplines of science and math, areas where U.S. students are falling behind1,2, the new season focuses on a STEM curriculum, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. Other season highlights include original songs and street stories; a brand new segment “Murray’s Science Experiments;” new “Super Grover 2.0” stories and new “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” animations. Also in season 42 are many humorous celebrity moments featuring Elmo, Oscar, Abby and their friends making keen observations and showing their interest in hands-on investigation…all of which reinforce and encourage preschoolers to say: “Let’s find out!”

The new season continues to bring laughter and learning to children by concentrating on STEM education; encouraging children to think critically about science, technology, engineering and math. Sesame Street’s furry residents are more curious than ever about the world around them, using a hands-on, ears-on, eyes-on approach to tackle complex problems and understand puzzling phenomena. From observing the properties of bubbles to experimenting to see “what worms like to squirm on best” to engineering a boat for Zoe’s pet rock, Elmo and the gang use the processes of scientific inquiry to make sense of their environment.

“Sesame Street’s curriculum fosters children’s natural inclinations to ask questions and encourages investigation and experimentation in order to make new discoveries,” adds Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Vice President of Education and Research, Sesame Workshop.  “By approaching STEM education as an integrated discipline through the process of scientific inquiry, rather than individual domains, the curriculum helps children develop a better understanding of how things work, and builds stronger cognitive reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving skills.”

Season 42 of Sesame Street also introduces a new interstitial featuring the excitable, inquisitive and furry orange monster, Murray. In 11 new segments airing at the beginning of each STEM-related show, Murray poses a scientific question and sets up an experiment to find the best answer to his question. With help from some friends, Murray observes, investigates and discovers the answers to his questions! “Murray’s Science Experiments” furthers the season’s STEM curriculum focus and helps preschoolers say, “Let’s find out!”

Science and math topics are addressed in the street scenes, animations and live-action films. In the season premiere, Hubert the Human Cannonball visits Sesame Street to be launched out of a cannon, across the yard and into a bucket of blue gelatin. After Elmo and Telly have several unsuccessful attempts to land Hubert in the gelatin, Baby Bear engineers a launcher for Hubert using a giant rubber band and, it works! In another episode, Telly, Elmo and Rosita are playing Shape-O-Bots, robots that transform into shapes to help people. Andy, a guy in need of shapes, played by Andy Samberg, rushes in several times and asks the group to transform into octagons, triangles, pentagons and rhombuses!

“Using our signature humor to tackle this tough STEM curriculum is what separates us from any other children’s show,” says Carol-Lynn Parente, Executive Producer, Sesame Street. “We’re very excited about the new season and hope to pique the curiosity of all children to investigate the world around them.”

An impressive line-up of celebrities and headline makers are featured in the new season including  Academy Award-winning and nominated actors Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Naomi Watts and Mark Ruffalo; Golden Globe nominated actors Liev Schreiber, Mila Kunis, Sofia Vergara and Emma Stone; Emmy Award-winning and nominated actors Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg and Jesse Tyler Ferguson; X-Men’s James Marsden; Gone Baby Gone’s Michelle Monaghan; Bored to Death’s Jason Schwartzman; actor Jerry O’Connell; Grammy Award-winning and nominated musicians Juanes, Elvis Costello and Bruno Mars; LA Philharmonic’s Gustavo Dudamel; rapper Jay Sean; late night hosts Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, George Lopez and Conan O’Brien; New Orleans Saints Quarterback and MVP of Super Bowl XLIV Drew Brees; The Harlem Globetrotters; NBA All-Stars and New York Knicks players Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony; The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee and Jason Jones; The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki; The Office’s John Krasinski; Community’s Joel McHale and Ken Jeong; CSI Miami’s Adam Rodriguez; Modern Family’s Rico Rodriguez; Broadway star Sutton Foster; Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos and Supreme Court JusticeSonia Sotomayor.

Timed perfectly to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month, Sesame Street will premiere a special episode “The Latinization of Marco” where Gina teaches her adopted Guatemalan-born son about his roots. Special guests include South American superstar, Juanes, Sofia Vergara teaching the Spanish word “baile,” and Ballet Hispanico.

As always Sesame Street is filled with hysterical moments for both children and their caregivers, this season’s spoofs include: “Cast Iron Cooks,” in which Chris and Elmo help Alan compete in cooking challenges hosted by Jason Schwartzman; “G,” a spoof of Glee where “G Club” members prepare for “G-gionals;” “SpiderMonster, The Musical” follows Grover as he stars in the musical but can’t figure out how to fly; “Ate My Red Two” sung by Elvis Costello and Elmo, based on Elvis’ song, “Red Shoes;” and “The Heaviest Catch,” a spoof of The Deadliest Catchwhere Captain Heartburn and his crew weigh each thing they catch.

Produced by the nonprofit educational organization, Sesame Workshop, season 42 of Sesame Street is funded in part by a grant through the Public Broadcasting Service and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.  Sesame Street is underwritten in part by Beaches ResortsPNCUnitedHealthcareEarth’s Best Organic, and The Good Egg Project.

Visit Sesame Street at:

www.sesamestreet.org
Sesame Street on Facebook 
Sesame Street on Twitter
The Sesame Street YouTube Channel
Sesame Street Pressroom

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About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows, including The Electric Company, to help bridge the literacy gap. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more atwww.sesameworkshop.org.

About PBS Kids

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  Each quarter, more than 27 million viewers watch PBS KIDS on TV, and PBSKIDS.org, the number one kids’ entertainment site for free video streaming, attracts more than 10 million unique visitors per month (Nielsen, NTI Q42010; comScore Video Metrix; Google Analytics). For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About PBS Kids

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  Each quarter, more than 27 million viewers watch PBS KIDS on TV, and PBSKIDS.org, the number one kids’ entertainment site for free video streaming, attracts more than 10 million unique visitors per month (Nielsen, NTI Q42010; comScore Video Metrix; Google Analytics). For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

Press Contacts

Sesame Workshop
Alicia Durand/Ellen Lewis
212-875-6223/212-875-6396
Alicia.durand@sesame.org 
Ellen.lewis@sesame.org

DKC
Philip Crimaldi
212-981-5131
Philip_crimaldi@dkcnews.com

1 Change The Equation (2011), “National STEM Vital Signs Overview.” www.changetheequation.org
2 Provasnik, S., Gonzales, P., and Miller, D. (2009). U.S. Performance Across International Assessments of Student Achievement: Special Supplement to The Condition of Education 2009 (NCES 2009-083). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.
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