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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: August 15, 2011

What do singer Bruno Mars, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, actress Nicole Kidman and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayo have in common? They have a date with the Sesame Street gang, as the PBS KIDS launches its 42nd season with a focus on science and math.

With the worry that U.S. students are falling behind in the sciences, a push is on to introduce preschoolers to the joys of scientific exploration. Sesame Street's new season, which kicks off Sept. 26, focuses on a STEM curriculum, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math., and kids will be studying everything from the properties of bubbles to "what worms like to squirm on best." Expect original songs and street stories; a brand new segment "Murray's Science Experiments;" new "Super Grover 2.0" stories and new "Abby's Flying Fairy School" animations.

As Elmo, Oscar, Abby and their friends show their interest in hands-on investigation, preschoolers will enjoy humorous moments featuring celebrities from all walks of life. Stars include Actors Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Naomi Watts and Mark Ruffalo; musicians Juanes, Elvis Costello; LA Philharmonic's Gustavo Dudamel; rapper Jay Sean; late night hosts Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, George Lopez and Conan O'Brien; The Harlem Globetrotters; The Office's John Krasinski; Modern Family's Rico Rodriguez; Broadway star Sutton Foster; Access Hollywood's Maria Menounos, just to mention a few.

Also, coinciding with Hispanic Heritage Month, Sesame Street will premiere a special episode "The Latinization of Marco" where Gina teaches her adopted Guatemalan-born son about his roots. Special guests include South American superstars, Juanes and Sofia Vergara teaching the Spanish word "baile," and Ballet Hispanico.

If you enjoy watching Sesame Street's spoofs, this season offers some hilarious plays on happenings in the real world. Get ready for "Cast Iron Cooks," when Chris and Elmo help Alan compete in cooking challenges hosted by Jason Schwartzman; "G," a spoof of Glee where "G Club" members prepare for "G-gionals;" "SpiderMonster, The Musical" follows Grover as he stars in the musical but can't figure out how to fly; "Ate My Red Two" sung by Elvis Costello and Elmo, based on Elvis' song, "Red Shoes;" and "The Heaviest Catch," a spoof of The Deadliest Catch where Captain Heartburn and his crew weigh each thing they catch.

– Written by Odile Fredericks, Carolina Parent Web Edtior with information provided by PBS Kids

Find more school  news and free back-to-school family fun events in our Back-to-School Guide.




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