An innovative NASA educational television series that
reaches millions of elementary students around the world was
recognized by the National Academy of the Television Arts and
Sciences with an Emmy for “Best Children’s Series.”

The regional Emmy bestowed by the academy’s Philadelphia
Regional Chapter was presented Nov. 2, 2001, to the NASA
“Why?” Files series, which is produced by the Office of
Education at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

This is the first Emmy award for the science-focused
educational television series that debuted in October 2000.
The Emmy was based on the four programs produced during the
show’s 2000-2001 season: “The Case of the Unknown Stink,”
“The Case of the Barking Dogs,” “The Case of the Electrical
Mystery” and “The Case of the Challenging Flight.”

The NASA “Why?” Files introduces students in grades 3 through
5 to NASA; integrates mathematics, science, and technology
through the use of problem-based learning, scientific inquiry
and the scientific method; and seeks to motivate students to
become critical thinkers and active problem solvers.

“With a great cast of kids, great content and great support
from the Langley researchers,” said Lauren Yee, the show’s
senior producer, “we knew we had the right combination to
make this a winning series.” Yee also defined both the close
connection with teachers in the Hampton City, Va., School
District and the partnership with Busch Gardens in
Williamsburg, Va. “Recognition also goes to the local
teachers who helped to develop the content and the story line
for each program.”

Each program includes hands-on classroom and home activities,
virtual field trips, research experts and Dr. “D,” the tree-
house detectives’ next-door neighbor and mentor. The tree-
house detectives are six ethnically diverse, inquisitive
schoolchildren who investigate and solve a variety of
everyday problems.

Other recent honors for the series include the Awards for
Publication Excellence, the International Film Festival Award
and the Golden Web awards for the NASA “Why?” Files web site.

The NASA “Why?” Files show has reached over 3.7 million
students worldwide and about 167,000 registered educators and
parents. The NASA “Why?” Files can be seen on PBS-member
stations across the United States and NASA TV, down-linked
via Ku- and C-band satellite, and accessed via the Internet