By Patricia B. Mirasol
Mind S-Cool TV is an alternative learning experience that complements basic education by merging art and science through “adventure quests” featuring show-and-tell activities, exhibitions, home experiments, and illustrations, among others.
Mind S-Cool TV is a project of the Bonifacio Arts Foundation Inc. (BAFI), the nonprofit behind the Mind Museum and BGC Art Center. “Education should continue in the crisis. We’d like to think we’re learning for a better normal,” said BAFI managing director and curator Maria Isabel Garcia, who added that the show was planned soon after the lockdown, when she and her colleagues realized that the crisis was likely to linger.
A media preview of the TV show revolved around the question: “What is a pandemic?” In a combination of English and Filipino, co-hosts Mikee Estorga and Pecier Desierdo took the audience on a student-friendly journey on the causes, management, and prevention of a pandemic.
Questions from children were answered by virologist Marilen Balolong. There were also insights from Ron Capinding, a writer, and Chris Carandang, a clinical psychologist. Interwoven in between was a conversation with an animated bat, informative videos, and a song number, reminiscent of educational shows like Sesame Street.
Teachers who previewed the quest found it an informative supplement to their lessons. “It’s well-intentioned and a very good concept,” said one.
Succeeding quests include “How Do You Make a Planet?” and “What Is Everything Made Of?” Topics are tied to the K-12 curriculum. The approach aims to make connections to the real world and teach children how to ask questions.
Mind S-Cool TV will be aired weekly on free TV on CNN Philippines and live-streamed on its Facebook page beginning Aug. 22, at 8:30 a.m. with a replay at 4:30 p.m. (replay schedules may change). As a nod to the pandemic, the pilot episode is titled “What in the World Is Going On?”
There’s also a subscription-based platform called Mind S-Cool Online which is a deep dive on topics with worksheets. It will be available at the same time as Mind S-Cool TV.
“Science will solve this crisis. The arts will make the way inspiring and transformative,” said Ms. Garcia.