1:17pm

Fri August 17, 2012
Music Reviews

Fire Up Your Kid's Imagination At The 'Science Fair'

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

As a math-loving parent of a math-loving tween girl, I'm worried that women are significantly underrepresented in science and engineering fields. A new benefit album of kids music called Science Fair gathers musicians together to take on that disparity both by raising awareness and firing up the imagination.

There are a handful of songs here reminiscent of the complex, explanatory music of Schoolhouse Rock, like Lori Henriques' take on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. But most songs here touch on scientific phenomena lightly, and focus more on the process of asking questions and finding inspiration. So instead of singing about the million years it took to create a lump of coal, Laura Veirs marvels at how it keeps her warm on a winter's night on "Little Black Rock."

The album features a variety of genres, as well as voices old and young. On "Rocket Science," 10-year-old MC Fireworks shows imaginative sparks that are also part of the scientific process.

Good intentions are a poor substitute for good music, but Science Fair doesn't ignore the music in service of its cause. Sometimes what kids really need to get them wondering how rainbows are created is a big, sparkling song they can groove to.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And finally this hour, a fun way to tackle the under-representation of women in what are known as the STEM careers - that's science, technology, engineering and math. According to federal data, women hold only 25 percent of those jobs. So how can music help? A new children's album is trying to get girls excited about science. Stefan Shepherd has our review.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "H2O")

STEFAN SHEPHERD, BYLINE: As a math-loving parent of a math-loving 'tween girl, I'm worried that women are significantly underrepresented in science- and engineering-related fields. This new benefit album of kids' music called "Science Fair" gathers musicians together to tackle that disparity both by raising awareness and firing up the imagination.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "H2O")

SHEPHERD: That's Moona Luna with "H2O." There are a handful of songs here reminiscent of the complex, explanatory songs of "Schoolhouse Rock!" Like Lori Henriques' take on Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HEISENBERG'S AHA!")

SHEPHERD: Most songs here touch on scientific phenomena lightly, however, and focus more on the process of asking questions and finding inspiration. So instead of singing about the million years it took to create a lump of coal, Laura Veirs marvels at how it keeps her warm on a winter's night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LITTLE BLACK ROCK")

SHEPHERD: The album features a variety of genres, as well as voices old and young. On "Rocket Science," 10-year-old MC Fireworks shows that imaginative sparks are also part of the scientific process.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROCKET SCIENCE")

SHEPHERD: Good intentions are a poor substitute for good music, but "Science Fair" doesn't ignore the music in service of its cause. Sometimes, the best way to get kids wondering about how rainbows are created is a big, sparkling song they can groove to.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RAINBOW")

BLOCK: The album is called "Science Fair." Stefan Shepherd writes about kids' music at zooglobble.com. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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