Pharrell Williams is drawing attention to the importance of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) fields through a children’s show that will be streamed on Netflix.
Williams is the executive producer of Brainchild, a Netflix series and spinoff of National Geographic’s Brain Games, that educates youngsters on sci-tech and current events.
The show uses interactive games, experimentation, and various skits to teach children core concepts of STEAM. The “Happy” singer said he was particularly driven to create the show for children of color.
“It’s especially important to me to get STEAM-focused programming in front of minority communities,” Williams told Variety. “That’s because at the core of the plight of children of color in this country is a lack of access to actionable education. My son is now old enough to watch Brainchild, so we watch it together and he finds the show super entertaining.”
“I got involved with Brainchild because there is a desperate need to raise awareness about the importance of science with our youth,” Pharrell added in the Variety interview. “We must edu-tain.”
The series was also co-created by Atomic Entertainment, whose founders, Jerry Kolber and Adam Davis, said they met Pharrell at the WME offices in Los Angeles a few years ago and the idea for the show was born.
“Pharrell had gone to the TV department at WME and mentioned that he wanted to do a show that could leverage his new platform with kids,” Kolber told Variety. “By chance, he also mentioned that he loved watching Brain Games at home with his wife and kid, and that’s how it all started.”
It was also important for Williams to ensure the information included in the show was accessible to teachers even if they don’t have access to Netflix. Williams worked with educators to develop free, downloadable content that complements each of the topics introduced in the series. The curriculum is great as a way to supplement existing tools, Williams told Variety.