Why Grover is the STEM monster
Sesame Street’s STEM monster is mistake-prone Grover, reinvented as Super Grover 2.0, writes Kate Stringer on The 74.
Whenever the furry blue monster flies into a scene to solve a problem (which usually involves a dramatic crash-landing) with his lightning bolt helmet and red cape, Super Grover throws his head back and loudly declares, “Now I will unleash the power of observation!”
Like children, Super Grover relies on trial and error — with lots of errors.
In one episode, Super Grover must figure out how to help a cow down a flight of stairs. (Cows can’t descend steps.) Super Grover notes that the stairs are bumpy, so the cow probably needs something smooth to walk on. After pulling out a board and straining to hold it above his head, Super Grover falls over, accidentally creating a ramp. “Oh! Oh! I think you just made a ramp, Super Grover!” the cow exclaims. “A what?” he asks. “A ramp,” the cow explains, both for Grover and for the children on the other side of the TV screen. “It’s a sloping surface that goes from high to low.”
As kids learn from Grover’s mistakes, they’re “more invested in the story and discovery and conclusion because they’ve been kind of correcting Grover as he goes along,” said Christine Ferraro, a Sesame Street writer.
Parents can find STEM activities to do with children on Sesame Workshop’s Little Discoverers site.