FremantleMedia Kids & Family announce pioneering new preschool series that makes engineering fun.
Kay Benbow, Controller of CBeebies, has commissioned Bitz & Bob a ground-breaking new, comedy adventure with a twist, due to air in 2017. The series is being produced by CBeebies Productions and FremantleMedia Kids & Family as part of their five-year co-production partnership.
Combining funny and whimsical stories with key principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) Bitz & Bob follows the animated antics of inventor and creator eight-year-old Bitz and her younger brother Bob and is designed to fascinate, entertain and encourage pre-school viewers to get creative and involved in crafting, engineering, experiments and exploration.
Engineering adventurer Bitz loves to play and make amazing creations at home in her “Maker-space” treehouse. She and her brother Bob weave these inventions into magical stories where her creations come to life and lead them on epic journeys. Inevitably things go just a little haywire and Bitz has to use her special “Engineer-o-vision” to visualize and enact inventive solutions that empower her and her friends to help “invent a way to save the day!”
With a global writing team and the input of two experts from the sector in the UK and the US respectively, Helen Heggie, Director of STEMFirst and Dr Lisa Regalla, Deputy Director of Maker Ed, the series explores the broad principles and science of engineering through creative play, crafting and invention. With a huge need for more engineers and global efforts to attract girls to STEM related industries, the show is aimed at inspiring viewers, particularly girls, to start exploring early engineering, helping them understand how things are made, how things work and the nature of the world around them.
To complement the series, a short form live-action companion show, Bitz & Bob Let’s Make It, provides children with step-by-step ways to create interesting, fun, amazing, serious and silly things shown in the main series. It also provides further bite-sized pieces of information on the specific engineering principles at work in each episode. Kids today are digital natives and the additional content provides myriad ways for kids to lean in, interact and extend the show’s experiences both on and off the screen and across platforms.
Benbow, Controller, CBeebies, commented, “We always aim to inspire on CBeebies and I hope that Bitz & Bob will encourage a new generation of engineers. Bitz is a wonderful female role model, she is full of creative ideas and energy that will take our viewers on adventures that we know will fire their imaginations.”
“The compelling stories we are creating in Bitz & Bob seamlessly integrate key aspects of STEAM into the series narrative to create artful solutions to engineering challenges,” added Rick Glankler, President/GM FremantleMedia Kids & Family. “Whether they know it or not, kids are applying engineering principles on a daily basis, from creating paper planes to learning to ride a bike. This new show truly redefines what engineering means and our funny and ‘girlstrous’ lead character Bitz provides multiple fun and persuasive reasons to break down barriers and encourage young girls to get more involved.”
The series is animated in CGI by Jellyfish Pictures Ltd. Bob Higgins is executive producing for FMK and Vanessa Amberleigh for CBeebies. FMK holds the full global rights for the series.
Source: FremantleMedia Kids & Family