Fun Science

So, there's probably no one that remembers this show at all, but it was a childhood favorite of mine. Mr Wizard's World was a show that aired, as I remember it, at 6 or 6:30 am on Nickelodeon (Yes... I was an early riser even then...). Every day, Mr Wizard would show us new, cool science experiments that could be done with typical household items. He kept it simple. He explained the science behind the result. And made it look like so much fun! His interest in the subject made me interested, too, and kept me interested. I hadn't thought about it before, but Mr. Wizard was partly responsible for sparking my interest in science and planting a seed that grew into lifelong inquisitiveness and a love of learning. Or maybe I was just weird... what kid enthusiastically watches kitchen science experiments at 6am? Me.

Now, Mr Wizard was no Bill Nye. There was no flashiness, special effects, or extra characters. No fancy music or graphics or even a set, really. It was just a grandfatherly guy in his kitchen with another kid or two, exploring household objects and letting kids participate. There might've been an occasional "Let your mom or dad help you with this" but never a "Don't try this at home".

Mr Wizard passed away yesterday. He was 89.


ashley@twentysixcats said...

Hmm I've never heard of Mr. Wizard! Probably because it was on Nickelodeon. :-) I was a big fan of Beakman's World and Bill Nye the Science Guy. I used to wake up early, too, as a kid. I knew I hit teenagerhood when I started sleeping in. :-)

Brett said...

I remember catching Mr. Wizard a couple times while staying at a friend's house (we didn't have cable until much, much later). He will be missed. It takes a rare gift (and a gutsy person) to successfully teach without gimmicks or "flare." My wife and I have made a commitment to limit the amount of TV time our son will have. I'm thinking Mr. Wizard would get our approval.

I had (and still do) have similar respect for Mark Kistler's Imagination Station. It was a public television art program when I was growing up. It went a long way to cultivating my love for drawing and the visual arts. Wonder if he's still on.


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