There are two beliefs at the core of the Tumble Podcast:
1) If kids understand how science works, the future will be a better place.
2) Let's make more podcasts for kids.
The first belief is what inspired the Tumble Podcast. Here's how most science education goes: We learn science from books, we're tested on our knowledge of the facts, and when we have the chance to do hands-on experiments, we test known hypotheses. And we end up going through 12+ years of mandatory science classes without understanding the most basic, and most important scientific concept: How science works.
Science is not a body of facts. Science is a process. There are mistakes, and false starts, and experiments that don't work, again and again and again. That's how science works.
But we don't get that part in school. We struggle with understanding science in society. The driving motivation for Tumble is the fact that there people in positions of power who do not understand science as a process. Scientific illiteracy has crippled the world's ability to act on some of our most pressing problems.
It is really hard to teach adults new things, especially when they think it involves "belief." That's why our target audience is children. While we hope to inspire curiosity and discovery through accessible storytelling, our show isn't about preparing kids to be scientists or engineers. We hope to prepare kids to be smart participants in society, who understand that science is one of the most powerful tools we have to shape our future.
The second belief is the fun part. We're so excited about the way that podcasts have taken off the past year. But as we've watched an explosion in content aimed at adult listeners, there's not much being made for specifically for kids. But kids are listening anyway.
We've been talking to families who love listening to podcasts. There are wonderful storytelling programs for young kids, but older kids are eating up shows like RadioLab and Freakonomics. The thing is, the content on those programs isn't always appropriate for kids. Sometimes these shows offer warnings about adult content, but mostly they're just not thinking about younger audiences. That's fine, but it leaves families in an awkward place. Wouldn't it be better if there was just good, age-appropriate podcast content for kids?
There's no reason why this shouldn't exist, other than people haven't done it yet. That's what strengthens our resolve to make Tumble, because we believe we're at the front of something big. Podcasts are an incredible medium, with so much potential for thoughtful education and entertainment for kids. We strive to lead by example: By creating a well-produced, values-driven podcast that's enjoyable for both kids and adults.