New CBeebies characters Bitz and Bob

Imagine that your chances of pursuing a subject are dictated before you’ve even began to study it?

There is clear evidence that children as young as 4 years are already beginning to develop basic stereotypical attitudes towards STEM subjects – all based on gender. The statistics speak for themselves: in the UK alone, the shortage of female STEM professionals is alarming, with just 8.2% of said professionals being women.

It is essential to ensure that the media play their part in creating the new ‘social norms’ by not perpetuating the current status quo.

Introducing Bitz & Bob – a ground-breaking, new preschool comedy adventure! Bitz & Bob – a coproduction between CBeebies and Boat Rocker– is a pioneering animation series that aims to engage young minds through the combination of compelling storytelling with the core principles of a STEM curriculum.

The programme has a self-confessed ambition to inspire the next generation of engineers and increase the numbers who choose to pursue a career in STEM. Our aim is that Bitz & Bob can directly help children to extend, inspire and supplement their learning from a classroom setting to their homes – we want to make STEM easily accessible for everyone.

Bitz is the show’s female lead, an eight-year-old inventor and engineer, who makes amazing creations with anything she can find and brings epic adventures to life through the power of her extraordinary imagination. With the help of her ingenious ‘Engineer-o-vision’ goggles, Bitz can assess a tricky situation and then come up with an awesome solution to save the day.

She is joined by her enthusiastic younger brother Bob and their friends Bevel, Purl, Zip and Pop. The characters have been designed to model key traits, activities and behaviours that are important to help children grow, e.g. thinking skills, problem solving, the value of teamwork, early maths, expressive art, and design.

The series is underpinned by sound research and developed to foster authentic ‘hands on’ tasks and challenges around real life applications in STEM, with the aim of reinforcing positive messages around gender, engineering and the importance of STEM in a global environment, in practical, playful and enriching ways.

Episodes are powered by a single STEM concept or theme, with learning points gently embedded within the narrative of the adventure. The episode theme will be expanded in the live action companion show, You Can Do It Too, and supporting interactive digital content. There has been an amazing response so far from parents who are sharing updates on their kids’ inventing at home.

Tune into CBeebies at 4:45pm and invent a way to save the day!

This is a guest post by Vanessa Amberleigh, Executive Producer of CBeebies
You can find out more about Bitz and Bob on the CBeebies website

Dr Heather Williams
Heather helped establish ScienceGrrl in June 2012 and is ScienceGrrl's Director. Heather is a Senior Medical Physicist for Nuclear Medicine at Central Manchester University Hospitals and honorary Lecturer in the Centre for Imaging Sciences at Manchester University. She makes sure pictures of patients are top quality so the doctors can trust what they see, and tries out new and better ways of imaging the body’s functions. When she’s not working, Heather enjoys running, cycling and spending time with her sons.
Dr Heather Williams
Dr Heather Williams
Dr Heather Williams

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