The Impact of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

Nov 25, 2019

It is not just fun and games, sometimes we even learn a little.

A recent study conducted by Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI International found that providing access to media focused on critical science and engineering concepts and practices can help children who live in low-income households to learn. Read the full study here.

An eight-week, randomized controlled trial (subjects are divided by chance into separate groups to compare treatments) of 454 children ages four and five from low-income households found that those who were provided with access to PBS KIDS’ The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! videos, interactive games, and hands-on activities had positive meaningful gains in their knowledge of targeted physical science concepts and their ability to engage with science and engineering practices.

Bridge-a-rama and other Cat in the Hat games, videos and other resources can be found at pbskids.org

The study found suggestive evidence that the media resources improved children’s broader understanding of physical science concepts, science and engineering practices, and material properties, as well as the use of science-related vocabulary.

EDC Vice-Presidents Shelly Pasnick led the study and shared this about the findings:

 First, we found that access to The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! digital media resources had a clear, positive impact on children’s understanding of core physical science ideas of matter and forces. These concepts include the role of structural stability in bridges, and how material properties, like texture, and forces, such as friction, impact movement on a slide. Second, we found that access to the resources had a clear, positive impact on children’s interest and engagement in science. And third, the study found suggestive evidence that the Cat in the Hat media resources improved children’s broader understanding of physical science, engineering, and the use of science-related vocabulary.