RENOWNED PODCASTERS GUY RAZ AND MINDY THOMAS, AWARD-WINNING CREATORS OF “WOW IN THE WORLD,” AND FORMER PBS KIDS SPROUT AND SESAME WORKSHOP LEADER MEREDITH HALPERN-RANZER LAUNCH FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND FREE PODCAST PROGRAM INTO CLASSROOMS WITH TINKERCLASS
Audio-first podject-based learning program invites students in grades K-5 to build 21st century skills as they listen, wonder, tinker and make
MONTCLAIR, NJ (October 2, 2023)– Built around engaging audio storytelling on the latest (and coolest!) science news, today TinkerClass launches into classrooms to make learning a bit more ‘wow-worthy.’ The first free interactive, K-5 educational podcast program comes from Tinkercast, the award-winning creator of “Wow in the World” – the #1 STEAM-themed podcast for young learners with its famed co-hosts/ co-creators Guy Raz (“How I Built This” and “The Great Creators”) and Mindy Thomas (“AbsolutelyMindy” on SXM’s Kids Place Live).
Committed to providing educators with free resources that help them ignite their students’ creativity and curiosity, TinkerClass harnesses storytelling, pedagogical leadership and the creative acumen of its co-founders that also includes 25-year children’s media veteran and Tinkercast CEO Meredith Halpern-Ranzer. User-friendly and safe for public and private educators, TinkerClass works to connect teachers to students, parents to kids, laughter to learning, and curiosity to innovation.
“From the moment we founded Tinkercast, we imagined a web-based platform where kids could learn about science and technology in a fun and meaningful way,” said Raz. “Our team has spent five years building TinkerClass and now we can fulfill our mission and make this incredible resource totally free to educators around the world. Tinkerclass, like our podcasts, is designed to turn kids into passionate science fanatics!”
With the explosive growth of audio storytelling, research has shown that students can understand two to three grades above their reading level when listening – with an even greater impact on advancing literacy when audio is combined with text. Driven by this foundational research, along with the positive impact of humor on students’ attention, TinkerClass features 15-minute, ad-free versions of ‘Wow in the World’ episodes along with guided ‘podjects’ (or podcasts + projects).
TinkerClass integrates into pre-existing technology and curriculum, allowing teachers to easily implement the learning program into Google Classroom and Seesaw. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned, TinkerClass was created specifically for K-5 science disciplines, including Life, Physical, and Earth Sciences as well as STEAM and engineering topics. Students will be immersed in topics on real-world scientific phenomena like how spider silk can be used as a plastic alternative or how antacids can help cool down our planet.
“TinkerClass allows everyone in my class to not only learn science, but to do science by following their curious questions, experimenting, iterating, presenting outcomes and exploring what is possible,” said Pittsburgh educator Carole Paterson, who was among 34 teachers who tested early versions of the program with more than 500 students. “Most surprising is how using audio as the entry point levels the playing field in my class. My striving readers are as engaged and perform on the same level as my thriving readers.”
Developed in collaboration with leading educators and cognitive psychologists with the support of a $1M SBIR grant from National Science Foundation, TinkerClass works to flexibly support educators who teach to a range of learning abilities within the classroom while building students’ foundational 21st century and career-readiness skills.
For more information, visit www.TinkerClass.com.
Founded in 2017, Tinkercast is an audio-first children’s media company that inspires millions of curious kids and their grown ups to see and be the WOW in their world. Tinkercast’s flagship podcast ‘Wow in the World’ makes real science relatable and wonder-inspiring for listeners; ‘Who, When, Wow!’ podcast explores history’s mysteries; and the ‘Flip & Mozi’s Guide to How to Be an Earthling’ podcast features earth’s amazing animals. Developed in partnership with teachers, TinkerClass is a free interactive podcast tool that brings the power of podcasts into K-5 classrooms. Tinkercast content has been downloaded more than 210 million times and Wow in the World has expanded into a #1 New York Times-best selling book series, a multi-city live tour, and a YouTube channel with millions of monthly views. To find more wow go to www.tinkercast.com and follow @wowintheworld.
Liz Stein, Liz@LizSteinConsulting.com
Dara Klatt, Dara@8thstpr.com
Johanna Weber, Johanna@tinkercast.com