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PBS KIDS’ ‘Work It Out Wombats!’ Premieres February 6

New animated series from GBH Kids and Pipeline Studios, featuring 3 marsupial siblings living with their grandmother in a treehouse - who look to solve ‘Treeborhood’ problems - is designed to help kids build important skills using computational thinking.

This week at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS KIDS announced that GBH Kids and Pipeline Studios’ Work It Out Wombats! will debut February 6, 2023. The new animated series for children ages three to six stars a playful trio of marsupial siblings who live with their grandmother in their treehouse apartment complex. The series will introduce computational thinking concepts that will help young viewers solve meaningful problems, learn flexible thinking and how to express themselves - all while using the practices and processes at the core of computer science.

Work It Out Wombats! takes place in the Treeborhood, a massive treehouse complete with secret passageways, gondolas, and rope swings. The residents of the Treeborhood - wombats, snakes, moose, kangaroos, iguanas, fish, tarsiers and eagles - bring varied skills and abilities, assorted ways of thinking, and different family structures and traditions to this diverse and vibrant community of neighbors.  Full of endless energy, siblings Malik, Zadie and Zeke run, bounce, roll, and romp, always on the lookout for interesting Treeborhood problems to solve. Malik is thoughtful, considerate, and sometimes set in his ways.  His speedy, adventurous younger sister, Zadie, a brainstormer extraordinaire, has ideas that range from silly to brilliant. Zeke, the youngest sibling, loves to play and explore. The siblings’ grandmother Super is the Superintendent and unofficial “Mayor” of the Treeborhood.

Each episode includes two 11-minute stories, accompanied by a 90-second music video, featuring the Wombats as they demonstrate their computational thinking skills.  Their aspirations sometimes exceed their abilities, but with every problem they encounter, the trio stops, takes a breath, puts their heads together and comes up with a workable solution, using the design process, sequencing, or debugging. Whether they tackle a big mess by breaking down the job into smaller tasks, create a process for finding a lost beloved stuffy, or solve the mystery of a scary sound in the neighborhood, the Wombats always work it out.

Marcy Gunther and Marisa Wolsky executive produce for GBH Kids, with Luis Lopez and Juan Lopez executive producing for Pipeline Studios. Marina Bers, Ph.D., a leader in the field of computational thinking and professor at Tufts University, serves as content director. Creative producers Darlene Mortel Edouard, Ph.D. and Kareem Edouard, Ph.D, who have expertise in cultural and visual studies, intersectionality, and STEM engagement from communities underrepresented in STEM fields, help ensure the series views all aspects through the lens of culture and inclusion.

Work It Out Wombats! games will launch in tandem with the series on and the free PBS KIDS Games App. Parents and caregivers can access resources, including tips and hands-on activities on PBS KIDS for Parents. For educators, PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials, including videos, games, teaching tips and printable activities.

The series is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS Ready To Learn Initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The Ready To Learn Initiative is a federal program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families.

Ready To Learn Grant from the U.S. Department of Education; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and public television viewers all provided major funding for Work It Out Wombats. The National Science Foundation and the GBH Kids Catalyst Fund provided additional funding.

“The Wombats are all about exploring the world around them and, much like preschoolers, their curiosity and love of adventure know no bounds,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “Computational thinking is a way of approaching problems in strategic ways, helping young children respond and adapt to the world around them. We’re excited for viewers to explore these foundational skills and mindsets while having fun with their new marsupial friends.”

Debra Tica Sanchez, Senior Vice President, Educational Media and Learning Experiences, Corporation for Public Broadcasting stated, Work It Out Wombats! introduces problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration to young learners in a fun and age-appropriate way, helping children get excited about learning and laying important groundwork for success in school and life.”

Work It Out Wombats! strikes a perfect balance of telling stories for preschoolers that are educational, fun and engaging. Bringing an exciting world filled with diverse characters to life has been incredibly empowering for our artists and technical talent,” said Luis Lopez, executive producer, Pipeline Studios.

Source: PBS KIDS

Whitney Whitener's picture

Whitney is a freelance writer focusing on VFX-driven fantasy film & TV as well as preschool animation.