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American Public Television is banking on bugs.
The syndicator behind Rick Steves’ Europe and Doc Martin has inked a deal with Alegra Entertainment and Putnam Stern Enterprises for an animated science series, aptly titled Bug Bites. The show, hosted by real-life entomologist Adam Lazarus and animated character Gilbert the Roach, will bow in early 2016 with 26 half-hour episodes.
“The National Science Foundation ranks U.S. students at twenty-third in the world in science and thirty-first in math,” Lazarus said Thursday in a statement announcing the news, adding: “We created Bug Bites to make a difference in the way kids see these dynamic subjects — the subjects that lead to careers that can really change the world.”
Bug Bites hails from Lazarus and Topher Putnam, who have been working with education experts from the outset. The series, which mixes live actors with animation, is explicitly designed to speak to what the producers call a science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) crisis in American education. In addition to science, the show will explore themes of teamwork, nutrition and conservation.
“The confusion over how to catch our kids up on STEM is at a crisis level right now,” added Jeff Stern, CEO of Alegra Entertainment and Putnam Stern Enterprises. “Bug Bites speaks to that issue and hopes to offer a solution in closing the gap in our children’s learning.”
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