How can we explore Chile’s deep ocean territory? How will Chile’s 21stcentury telescopes help us explore the universe? How can we dial back childhood obesity, an epidemic that affects 40% of Chilean youth? How can we get solar and geothermal energy to supply Chile’s population with clean, renewable electricity? These are some of the questions that scientists explore alongside teachers and audiovisual professionals in the Eureka Program, created 13 years ago by Fundación Ciencia & Vida.
The Eureka Program’s goal is to generate educational material for children, teachers, and the community at large. Because we believe that curiosity about the world and exposure to science must begin in early infancy, lately we have increased our focus on infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
With a multimedia approach, our creations include school workshops, video games, animations and TV series, many of which have received national and international recognition. In the last three years, we have formed strategic alliances with other scientific centers of excellence, which have resulted in the creation of diverse new products. Our materials are available free on TV channels and online educational platforms, as well as on our website:
In collaboration with the Millennium Institute of Oceanography (IMO) and other centers and institutions, we have organized several school workshops throughout Chile. The activity, known as Muestra Audiovisual Científca Itinerante, aims to immerse the school in science for a day, using an innovative three-stage methodology (motivation, experience and meaning), specific to each learning level. This initiative has reached nearly 100 schools in the Metropolitan Region, Biobío, Magallanes, Antofagasta and Valparaíso, benefiting thousands of students and hundreds of educators.
Video game production is other of our strategies to give children, students and educators a first-hand look at science in the classroom. We focus on hard-to-learn content like the immune system with Xentinelas Xelulares, and human anatomy and physiology with OUCH!. Following the success and breadth of our TV series La Receta Científca de Tony Toninaand Las Fantásticas Aventuras de Ruka, we turned these storylines into video games to facilitate learning and comprehension in natural sciences. Our video games are widely used in Chile and other Latin American countries, and are available free on our platforms (www.xentinelas.cl; www.ouchgame.cl) and on other sites such as www.tvn.cl and www.misenal.tv.
TV for Kids
We are currently working on new seasons for La Receta Científca de Tony Tonina (www.tonytonina.cl; co-produced by the IMO) and Las Fantásticas Aventuras de Ruka (co-produced by Chilean National Television and Mi Señal, Colombia’s public TV channel for children). We have also produced Lyn & Babaswith the Children’s Television Department of the National Television Council and Experimenta: Ciencia de Niñ@s, a new documentary series in which a group of children guides viewers in the lab, sparking questions and curiosity.
These and our older animated series such as Ursi and Magnogeek: Exploradores de Otro Mundo, Las Aventuras de Ruka y los Tesoros del Marand Las Aventuras de Ruka y los Tesoros Bajo Tierraare watched by millions of spectators in Chile, Colombia and Peru on channels dedicated exclusively to children, in which our programs are among their favorites.
TV for Large Audiences
We have produced internationally awarded and distributed series such as La Travesía de Darwin, which narrates Charles Darwin’s adventures in Chile and how they inﬂuenced his ideas and theories, and Mentes Brillantes, which introduces us to National Science Award winners and the paths that led them to this distinction.
Our most recent creation, Exploradores: del Átomo al Cosmos, invites audiences to learn about the scientific research that is carried out today in Chilean centers of excellence in a diversity of fields. The series has already produced three seasons and reached more than 15 million spectators, becoming the most watched science-themed production in Chile.
A selection of outstanding distinctions and awards received between 2013 and 2018:
- Experimenta: Ciencia de Niñ@s – Best documentary series for kids, Festival Divercine (Uruguay, 2018)
- Lyn & Babas – Offcial Selection International Prix Jeunesse (Germany, 2018). Finalist Award, Comkids Prix Jeunesse Iberoamericano (Brazil, 2017). First Place, Festival Fan Chile (Chile, 2017)
- Tribute Award to Pablo Rosenblatt, Mostra Internacional VerCiência and Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (Brazil, 2016)
- La Fuerza del Mar – Special Jury Prize, 9th International Science Film Festival (Greece, 2015)
- Las Aventuras de Ruka y los Tesoros del Mar – Finalist Award, International Prix Jeunesse (Germany, 2016)
- OUCH! – First place, Comkids Prix Jeunesse Iberoamericano (Brazil, 2015)
- Xentinelas Xelulares – First place, Comkids Prix Jeunesse Iberoamericano (Brazil, 2013)