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Emily’s Wonder Lab Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Arya Darbahani, Makenzie Lee-Foster, Mason Wells
Opening Shot: We see blobs and other things glowing under black light. “Ever wonder what makes things glow?” asks host Emily Calandrelli, and we cut to her behind the work area of Emily’s Wonder Lab.
The Gist: In each 11-14 minute episode of Emily’s Wonder Lab, Calandrelli leads a group of extremely funny kids in science experiments that are not only fun, but are completely real. How do we know? Well, one, would Netflix mess with kids like that? And, two, Calandrelli, an engineer who has multiple masters degrees from MIT, explains the science behind the experiments in terms that both the kids — and their parents — can understand.
The first of ten episodes deals with florescence — why things glow. The big experiment is that the kids will be making their very own florescent paint. But first, the black light is turned on. Emily explains how, in florescence, molecules or atoms absorb light, then release some of it as they bounce around, and the glow can be seen by the ultraviolet light emanating from the black light (which has a little violet light… that’s how we can see the bulb glow!). To demonstrate the atoms bouncing around, she releases hundreds of glowing ping-pong balls. Mackenzie keeps a pink one, and Zaela says, “Emily makes science fun.”
They make the paint using the florescent ink from highlighter pens, then go nuts and paint the walls and each other. Then Emily has an at-home experiment, where she makes a homemade lava lamp from water, vegetable oil, some salt and phosphorescent powder.
Our Take: When I watched Emily’s Wonder Lab, the first thought that came to mind was that my five-year-old was going to love it. Unfortunately, I didn’t watch it with her because I wasn’t sure she was old enough to get it. But after watching a few episodes, there’s definitely enough to keep her interested, from the colorful (and gooey!) experiments to the fun kid scientists to the very personable Calandrelli leading the way.
This isn’t Calandrelli’s first TV experience; she won an Emmy for hosting xPloration Outer Space for Fox, and the way she connects to the kids is apparent from the jump. She talks to them like they’re peers, not 7-9 year-old kids. And she has just as much fun with the experiments as they do.
And those experiments are a lot of fun. We especially liked the Rainbow Horse Toothpaste experiment, where the kids had to make a soapy mixture that shoots colorful foam all over the place. And, because it’s an exothermic reaction, it lets off a ton of heat. The anxious excitement the kids felt when they were about to pour the catalyst into their mixture was palpable, and they were so happy to see the results, even though most of them got messy (Alex was proud she stayed clean).
The show is a fun combination of a great host who knows her stuff, kids who are naturals in front of the camera, and fun experiments that are easy for kids to follow.
What Age Group Is This For?: It’s rated TV-G, and we think that any kid who has an interest in STEAM topics, especially science, will love this show.
Parting Shot: The at-home experiments are ones parents should pay real attention to. In the Rainbow Horse Toothpaste episode, Calandrelli pours vinegar on top of baking soda with food coloring on it to make rainbow bubbles. And in the episode where she tries to get the kids to walk on thousands of eggs without breaking them, she shows how heat and cold can pull a hard-boiled egg through the neck of a bottle. They’re all things TV scientists from Mr. Wizard onward have done, but they’re still fun to watch, and Calandrelli’s enthusiasm for them is infectious.
Sleeper Star: The entire kid cast is excellent, mainly because they’re not mugging for the cameras, deliver funny lines like pros, and look like they’re having a ton of fun while doing the experiments. Also, the cast is diverse, and has as many girls as boys, both of which are important for showing that STEAM professions should be open to anyone.
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