It first blasted off in January 2015 as a kids TV show on WTTW designed to inspire Chicago-area kids to discover science.
Now the Chicago-made show, “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club,” has inspired governor Bruce Rauner to declare Illinois’s first “Science Detectives Week” from May 4 to 10, the kick off to a STEM-education movement taking place across Chicagoland through June. The kids show’s new presenting partner, Subway, will be “fueling the ‘science detective’ rocket” that will bring science events to schools across the region, science grants to local teachers, and free science activities to parents and classrooms.
“In just a few months, ‘Moochie Kalala Detectives Club’ has become so much more than just a fun kids TV show that creatively encourages science exploration,” says Estlin Feigley, director of Dreaming Tree Films, the company behind the kids science show. “It’s become a Chicagoland movement that has brought together local schools, officials, businesses, museums, and STEM-education advocates who all realize the importance of getting kids interested in science at a young age to encourage them to pursue STEM fields as adults.”
By declaring May 4–10, 2015, as “Science Detectives Week,” Rauner has proclaimed his support for inspiring local kids to discover science and pursue careers in STEM fields, recognizing the role “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club” plays in presenting science as fun, exciting, and entertaining to his youngest constituents.
And other officials have joined the Moochie movement by hosting events following the governor’s kick-off week. After “Science Detectives Week” blasts off, Congressman Bill Foster will host and attend an event in Aurora in May at Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy (one of the starring six Chicagoland schools on “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club”). As a scientist himself and the only physicist in Congress, Foster has been a long-time advocate of STEM education.
Fueling the governor’s proclamation, “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club’s” new presenting sponsor, Subway Restaurants of Greater Chicagoland and northwest Indiana, will be delivering science grants and catered lunches to teachers in Chicagoland and northwest Indiana, as well as helping to deliver complimentary DVDs to schools and libraries across the region.
“At Subway, we’re proud to offer parents the best of both worlds: great-tasting meals their kids love that are also healthy, fresh, and nutritious,” says JoAnn Bachewicz, local owner of Subway restaurants. “‘Moochie Kalala Detectives Club’ offers that same balance because it’s fun for kids, like ice cream, but parents know it’s good for them, like broccoli.”
Another local owner, Phil Mesi, says his restaurants are among 800 local Subways that will host in-restaurant fun to help kids in their neighborhoods discover science. “We’re all passionate about supporting education in the communities we serve, and we can’t wait to bring science-exploration fun to our local kids through our new ‘Moochie Kalala Detectives Club’ partnership.”
“Moochie Kalala Detectives Club” presented by Subway is hitting the road through spring, and visiting nearly 10 public schools for school-wide assembly screenings featuring hands-on science from our partners including Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science & Industry, and Nancy B’s Science Club—the award-winning line of science toys from Educational Insights.
Additional science demos and activities for students will be provided by NorthShore University HealthSystem, Sylvan Learning, Peoples Gas, and North Shore Gas. Schools who would like to have an event at their schools can email [email protected].