Take advantage of this month’s Learning at Home broadcast schedule – great for students engaged in hybrid or distance instruction, and families looking to spend some extra, quality time together!
After watching these fascinating programs, explore the PBS LearningMedia and web resources to learn more.
Thursday, April 1
12 PM: Let’s Learn – Thin and Thick Both Start with “th”!
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. One-hour programs feature instruction by educators and virtual field trips. Learn about facades and community service, read “How Many Stars in the Sky?”, decode words with th & wh.
Explore how a new understanding of nature is helping us find surprising ways to fix it. From the Pacific Northwest to Yellowstone to Scotland, scientists, citizens and activists are restoring the environment, benefiting humans and animals alike.
Discover why restoring nature might be our best tool to slow global warming. From Borneo to Antarctica, the resilience of the planet is helping us find solutions to cope and even mitigate climate change, providing hope for a more positive future.
Janet Echelman’s giant sculptures are the net result of technology, engineering, and civic engagement. Arturo Rios discovered his true passion while working in a hat maker’s mail room. Since time immemorial, we’ve been using art to cope with our inevitable fate. Justin Bettman uses found materials to create public “sets” for his portraits.
In this series opener, host Elisa New brings together acclaimed memoirist Maxine Hong Kingston, tech investor Randy Komisar, and four Bay Area residents on a rooftop in Chinatown to discuss the love of a great city. This episode explores San Francisco’s history from the Gold Rush and early Chinese immigration to the rise of Silicon Valley, through Marilyn Chin’s “Urban Love Poem”.
2 PM: Festival Films: Spotlight on New York Shorts
A trio of short films, highlighting the beauty of upstate New York with drama, whimsy and humor, are presented. The three films were official selections at the Adirondack Film Festival, 2020. This special results from a collaboration between the Adirondack Film Festival and the Mountain Lake PBS series of arts segments Spotlight, produced by Paul Larson.
2:30 PM: Spotlight Special: Creating an Adirondack Folk Opera
Explore the creation of Promised Land: an Adirondack Folk Opera and learn about the creative process, and people, behind the making of the production. The opera relates the story of the 1840’s Adirondack settlement, named Timbuctoo, with themes including civil rights, voters’ rights, and racial issues in the era before the Civil War in America – topics that remain poignant in modern times.
Sir David Attenborough has encountered some of the world’s most extraordinary animals and plants. But many of these wonders now seem set to disappear from our planet forever. The huge variety of life on earth, known as biodiversity, is being lost at a rate never seen before in human history. This means 1 million species are at risk of extinction. This is a crisis not just for the natural world but for every one of us. It threatens food and water security, undermines our ability to control our climate and even puts us at greater risk of pandemic diseases.
2 PM: Animal Babies: The First Years on Earth⎪New Frontiers
Join the baby animals as they near the end of their first year of life — it’s time for these young ones to branch off from the comfort of their mothers and learn to explore the great unknown on their own.
“Climate Change – The Facts” brings together leading climate scientists who explain what might happen if global warming increases 1.5 degrees. Experts examine the consequences of rising temperatures on ice sheets, fragile ecosystems, developing communities and extreme weather events. Personal accounts of California wildfires, extreme coastal flooding in Louisiana and increasing temperatures in Australia paint vivid pictures of these devastating effects.
Tiny, transparent, and threatened, krill are crucial to the Antarctic ecosystem. But the population of krill is crashing for reasons that continue to baffle the experts. A leading theory says that krill’s life cycle is driven by an internal body clock that responds to the waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice pack, but climate change alters the timing of the ice pack, disrupting their life cycle.
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Learn about musical opposites, write equations to show addition, read “Miss Dorothy and Her Book Mobile,” blend sounds & practice initial blends with s.
1 PM: The Resilient Ones: A Generation Takes on Climate Change
Go on a journey with a group of high school students seeking solutions to climate change. The Resilient Ones: A Generation Takes on Climate Change invites you along to meet with the local leaders and expert innovators as these students work to make a difference in the Adirondack mountains of Northern NY.
“The West is Burning” raises awareness about the conditions of forests in the western U.S. Told through a full-feature documentary, we examine the history of forest management and litigation that led to the current conditions which are causing catastrophic fire nearly year-round. The film explores the urgent need to act now, and the potential to generate positive change in our forests, watersheds, and communities, both rural and urban.
1 PM: American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl
In 1931 the rains stopped and the “black blizzards” began. Powerful dust storms carrying millions of tons of stinging, blinding black dirt swept across the Southern Plains — the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, western Kansas, and the eastern portions of Colorado and New Mexico. Topsoil that had taken a thousand years per inch to build suddenly blew away in only minutes. One journalist traveling through the devastated region dubbed it the “Dust Bowl.” Surviving the Dust Bowl is the remarkable story of the determined people who clung to their homes and way of life, enduring drought, dust, disease — even death — for nearly a decade.
Follow the Water is an adventure story with an environmental message. Traveling by bike, on foot and in a canoe, photographer Mike Forsberg and filmmaker Peter Stegen follow a mythical drop of water 1,300 miles through three states. Using iPhones, Go-Pros and underwater cameras they share how it feels to get close to the flow of the water — to taste it, touch it, and struggle to understand it.
1 PM: Articulate | Ian Brennan, Nina Berman, Leroy Johnson
Producer Ian Brennan truly believes in the democratic power of music. Nina Berman blurs the line between fine art and editorial photography. Leroy Johnson has lived on the edges of the art world for all his 80+ years.
“The art of losing isn’t hard to master,” Elizabeth Bishop wrote in the poem, “One Art”, universally considered one of her greatest. Journalist Katie Couric, media executives Sheryl Sandberg and Yang Lan, singer/songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, poet Gregory Orr, and others discuss Bishop’s masterpiece on losses, great and small.
2 PM: Artbound | That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles
During his time spent in Southern California in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Frank Lloyd Wright accelerated the search for L.A.’s authentic architecture that was suitable to the city’s culture and landscape. Writer/Director Chris Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, explores the houses the legendary architect built in Los Angeles.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – What Sounds Do You Hear in Plants?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Make a collage character, sing about a houseplant, identify circles and triangles, read “Come On, Rain,” blend sounds and practice initial blends with l.
1 PM: American Experience: Chasing the Moon: A Place Beyond the Sky
A Place Beyond the Sky begins in 1957 and tracks the early years of the space race as the United States struggles to catch up with the Soviet Union. The episode reveals breathtaking failures and successes of the nascent American space program and demonstrates the stakes and costs of reaching the moon.
1 PM: American Experience: Chasing the Moon: Earthrise
Earthrise covers 1964-1968, four heady, dangerous years in the history of the space race, focusing on the events surrounding the Apollo 1 and Apollo 8 missions. As Americans moved through the 60’s and reflect on the challenges ahead, many begin to wonder: What exactly is it going to take to beat the Soviets to the moon?
1 PM: American Experience: Chasing the Moon: Magnificent Desolation
Magnificent Desolation, which covers 1969-1970, takes Americans to the moon and back. Dreams of space dramatically intersect with dreams of democracy on American soil, raising questions of national priorities and national identity. The final episode also considers what happens to scientific and engineering programs — and to a country — after ambitious national goals have been achieved.
Follow an investigation into the centuries-long construction of Notre Dame de Paris, uncovering the vast architectural, technical and human challenges experienced throughout the turbulent history of one of the world’s most celebrated buildings.
When Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire in 2019, Paris came perilously close to losing more than 800 years of history. As engineers rebuild, researchers use cutting-edge technology to piece together what happened and restore the cathedral.
1 PM: Articulate | Gene Yang, Luke Spiller, RIP Romance
Teacher-turned-cartoonist Gene Yang believes in the educational power of comics. If you feel like you missed out on 1970s glam rock, The Struts are here to help. Believe it or not, romance is alive and well…and living in your phone.
This environmental science-themed episode explores Moore’s great poem of marine life, titled “The Fish”. Vice President Al Gore, poet Jorie Graham, and scientists from Conservation International dive into Moore’s portrayal of the ocean’s always-changing history, and its future in a warming world.
The vast, strange, sometimes contradictory world of the urban desert and its people are explored in 11 public art exhibits and their respective locations. Desert X is a site-specific biennial exhibition that first took place in the spring of 2017 where artists from different parts of the world were invited to create work in response to the unique conditions of the Coachella Valley.
Unlock the mysteries of wild pandas whose counterparts in captivity are known for their gentle image. Journey through the steep Qinling Mountains with filmmakers, scientists and rangers to witness pandas’ startling courtship and aggressive behaviors.
Women make up less than a quarter of STEM professionals in the United States, and numbers are even lower for women of color. But a growing group of researchers is exposing longstanding discrimination and making science more inclusive.
1 PM: NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Awakening
What can Australia reveal about how Earth was born and how life took hold? Join NOVA and host Dr. Richard Smith as they journey back to the very beginning of the Australian story in Awakening. The first stop is Western Australia, around four and a half billion years ago, where we encounter an Earth shortly after its fiery birth.
2 PM: NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Life Explodes
How did life storm the beaches and dominate planet Earth? Ancient Australian fossils offer clues in Life Explodes. Half a billion years ago, Australia was still part of the super-continent Gondwana. The oceans were teeming with weird and wonderful animals, but the world above the waves remained an almost lifeless wasteland. All that was about to change, though.
1 PM: NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Monsters
Monsters begins Down Under at the dawn of the Age of Dinosaurs. Host Richard Smith comes face-to-face with the previously unknown reptilian rulers of prehistoric Australia. NOVA resurrects the giants that stalked the Great Southern Land, and scientists unearth an ancient inland ocean full of sea monsters. But reptiles didn’t have the world all to themselves. Mammals like the enigmatic platypus lived alongside them, ready for their moment in the sun.
2 PM: NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Strange Creatures
In the wake of the catastrophic asteroid impact believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs, Australia was set adrift on a lonely voyage across southern seas. Prehistoric jungles retreated, replaced by eucalypt forests, grasslands, and deserts. When humans first arrived, giant marsupials dominated the land and the Great Barrier Reef was yet to form. This is a tale of calamity and conquest; how a conspiracy of climate, biology, and geology shaped the Earth we now call home.
1 PM: Articulate | Reuben Margolin, Jennifer Higdon, Chemi Rosado, Sara Rahbar
Reuben Margolin attempts to evoke the natural world with his kinetic sculptures. Composer Jennifer Higdon makes classical music, but still loves Beyonce. The art of skater/painter Chemi Rosado-Seijo is founded in community activism. Rahbar has found the antidote to her existential angst in her work.
Series creator Elisa New talks with poet Mark Doty, psychologist Steven Pinker, choreographer Bill T. Jones, design maven Simon Doonan and designer Jonathan Adler about “This Your Home Now,” where a visit to the barber shop sparks a meditation on love, the AIDS crisis, and the satisfactions of getting older.
2 PM: Artbound | Electric Earth: The Art of Doug Aitken
This episode profiles prominent artist Doug Aitken who for more than 20 years has shifted the perception and location of images and narratives. His multichannel video installations, sculptures, photographs, publications, happenings and architectural works demonstrate the nature and structure of our ever-mobile, ever-changing, image-based contemporary condition.
Under the waves and tropical sun, each of Hawaii’s volcanic islands host a unique ocean landscape teeming with biodiversity. But one predator reigns supreme – the shark. With 40 species of shark calling these warm waters home, scientists are seeing new animal behavior around every corner. Whitetip reef sharks “sleep” in tight volcanic tunnels. In the deep water, everything is on the menu for the hunting Tiger shark, from birds to Humpback whales. Hopping from island to island, uncover surprising moments of cooperation, rarely seen hunting tactics and striking insights into these predators of the world’s paradise.
The octopus is the closest we may get to meeting an alien. They evolved from a common cousin more than 500 million years ago, but are also intelligent creatures with proven problem-solving abilities. So what happens when you invite an eight-legged alien into your living room? This documentary follows marine biologist David Scheel as he tracks his evolving relationship with his own octopus.
Coral reefs are not just beautiful, they are also home to over a quarter of all marine life and are crucial to human societies around the globe. But as the climate changes and oceanic heat waves become commonplace, corals are bleaching and reefs are dying off. Now, marine biologists from across the world are teaming up to counteract this catastrophe with a technique called assisted evolution. Follow scientists as they attempt to crossbreed heat-resistant corals, and even transplant corals’ algae, in a race to save the coral reefs from extinction.
A deadly recipe is brewing that threatens the survival of countless creatures throughout Earth’s oceans. For years, we’ve known that the oceans absorb about a quarter of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. But with high carbon emissions worldwide, this silent killer is entering our seas at a staggering rate, raising the ocean’s acidity.
1 PM: American Masters | N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear
American Masters examines the enigmatic life and mind of National Medal of Arts-winner Navarro Scott Momaday, the Kiowa novelist, short-story writer, essayist and poet. His Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “House Made of Dawn” led to the breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream.
Travel with the world’s best-known climate activist as she takes her fight to a global stage. With unique access, the series follows Greta over an extraordinary year as she embarks on a mission to ensure world leaders work to limit global warming.
As global temperatures continue to rise, scientists are wondering if we need solutions beyond reducing emissions. Enter geoengineering. From sucking carbon straight out of the air to physically blocking out sunlight, the options may seem far-fetched. But as time runs out on conventional solutions to climate change, scientists are asking the hard questions: Can geoengineering really work?
1 PM: Articulate | Mark Mothersbaugh, Liz Casella, Greg Dunn
Mothersbaugh’s sustained a life in art far removed from his band, Devo. Much of haute couture feeds off Liz Casella’s creativity. In illustrating the human brain’s complexity, Greg Dunn creates great beauty.
Stephen Sondheim is widely hailed as the greatest modern American musical theater composer. Series creator Elisa New speaks with Broadway stage actors and writer Adam Gopnik to explore Sondheim’s singular ability to blend lyrics and music, using “Finishing the Hat,” from Sondheim’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Sunday in the Park with George”, as their case study.
In East Los Angeles during the late 1960s and 1970s, a group of young activists used creative tools like writing and photography as a means for community organizing, providing a platform for the Chicano Movement in the form of the bilingual newspaper/magazine La Raza. In the process, the young activists became artists themselves and articulated a visual language that shed light on the daily life, concerns and struggles of the Mexican-American experience in Southern California and provided a voice to the Chicano Rights Movement.