Cyberchase is making a difference by helping kids become confident problem solvers

Aug 1, 2011 5:30 PM ET

Cyberchase is making a difference by helping kids become confident problem sol…

At Ernst & Young, we’ve teamed with the Emmy® award-winning PBS KIDSGO!SM series Cyberchase to help kids build their math skills. This popular animated mystery series takes four million kids a week on a wild ride through Cyberspace where they are challenged to use the power of numbers. “Introduction to Cyberchase,” a ten-minute video, lets you see how the show integrates math into action-packed adventures and has extended it’s reach to the web, the classroom and the broader community.

Building math skills through hands-on learning led by our volunteers
In 2007, we created the Ernst & Young/Cyberchase Volunteer Program in the US as a way to promote access to education and engage our people in local communities. Since then, more than 650 Ernst & Young volunteers have been able to reach 1,700+ disadvantaged kids in 17 cities. Ernst & Young professionals help students strengthen important life skills: problem-solving, setting priorities and time management to expand and enhance their sense of what’s possible, increasing the likelihood that they will pursue a college degree.

Ernst & Young/Cyberchase Travel Edition: a resource for parents, educators and community volunteers
Ernst & Young/Cyberchase Travel Edition makes it easy to engage kids in age-appropriate games and activities so they can build confidence in their math skills and flex their problem-solving muscles. The Travel Edition activities are fun, so they work well in places where kids expect to have fun — like museums and libraries, after-school programs, club meetings or even birthday parties.

All four activity sets can be found below:

Travel Edition Activity Set 1: Math and Building

Integrating math with hands-on construction, this is a highly interactive set of fun activities kids will love. In Math and Building, kids take a trial-and-error approach to building bridges, towers and teepees using common household materials like toothpicks and marshmallows. Through these fun activities, children explore how changes in shapes and design impact the strength of structures.

1. Make a Teepee  (pdf, 1.03mb)
2. Step by Step: Making a Bridge  (pdf, 226.83kb)
3. Toothpick Towers  (pdf, 155.37kb)
4. Back Pocket Activities  (pdf, 294.85kb)

Travel Edition Activity Set 2: Math and Inventing

Help kids get in touch with their inner Thomas Edison by working together to test, model and modify inventions like rockets and gliders to enhance their performance. Students learn the value of planning, testing and improving an invention until it works as designed. They also observe how changing the structure or dimensions of a device can alter the way it performs.

1. Slider’s Glider and Rocket-Powered Ski Lift  (pdf, 928.49kb)
2. Music to Our Ears  (pdf, 698.27kb)
3. Build a Better Bunny Copter  (pdf, 449.43kb)

Travel Edition Activity Set 3: Math All Around Us

Math is a part of life, and there are math lessons all around us, if we just look. This set of activities helps kids understand proportions by studying the dimensions of their arms, legs and other parts of their bodies. Math All Around Us also uses ball games to introduce the concept of probability, demonstrate how diagrams can be helpful in game play and prove how numbers can be used to evaluate and rank performance.

1. Body Math  (pdf, 2.31kb)
2. Play Slugball & Jimaya Toss  (pdf, 423.71kb)
3. Top Flight  (pdf, 249.17kb)
4. Back Pocket Activities  (pdf, 541.03kb)

Travel Edition Activity Set 4: Financial Literacy

Learning how to manage money at a young age can be a real advantage later in life. This set of activities focuses on money, starting with the basics: how to count it. The activities also explain the importance of saving — for daily expenses, unexpected emergencies and long-term goals. Finally, the kids participate in a fun shopping activity, where they learn about rounding, estimating, budgets and money management.

1. It All Adds Up  (pdf, 349.67kb)
2. Make a Buzz Bank  (pdf, 582.90kb)
3. Let’s Go Shopping  (pdf, 1.01mb)
4. Back Pocket Activities  (pdf, 258.02kb)

Resources for educators, parents and volunteers

These two web-based training modules, created by, provide additional background information on how one “Big Idea” or mathematical concept is developed through each Cyberchase episode and provide helpful tips on classroom management.

To find the channel and broadcast times in your area, visit

Cyberchase is produced by PBS THIRTEEN in association with Title Entertainment, Inc. and WNET.ORG. All rights reserved. CYBERCHASE is a trademark of the Educational Broadcasting Corporation. The PBS KIDS GO! logo is a registered mark of PBS and is used with permission.