IQ Smart Parent (6 – 30 minute programs)

IQ: SMARTPARENT equips parents and caregivers with the knowledge and tools they need to successfully guide their children in the use of digital media and technology. The three-part series addresses children’s media consumption – from helping them discern between fiction and reality to safeguarding their online identities. Host Angela Santomero created and executive produced the acclaimed children’s television series Blue’s Clue on Nick Jr., and Super Why! and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS KIDS. Santomero also hosts PBS’ The Parent Show at and writes a personal blog about parenting at

airs Mondays at 2 a.m. beginning 9/2

#402 – On this episode of iQ: smartparent, discover family past times that do double-duty: they’re fun and educational. Experts from Adventure Outdoors and the after-school program Brashear Kids demonstrate how to turn an ordinary scavenger hunt into a high-tech adventure with the hot new hobby called geocaching and they show how geocaching and GPS technology can be used in the classroom to support STEM learning. Two young people from Brashear Kids provide a demonstration of geocaching in the studio. Then, an educator from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit reveals ways families can get creative with science experiments with arts and crafts supplies they already have lying around the house. Finally, the Education Coordinator of the youth makerspace Digital Harbor Foundation of Baltimore provides tips for families to make the most out of a visit to a makerspace, including suggestions for inter-generational maker collaborations.

#403 – In this episode of iQ: smartparent, the topicis social and emotional learning. The goal is to help children build the confidence they need to succeed in the classroom and in life. An expert from the nationally renowned Fred Rogers Center explains ways to use digital media for social and emotional learning, based on the teachings of iconic children’s television host Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Another guest from the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children explains how teachers are being trained to incorporate digital media in social and emotional learning initiatives in the classroom. We also welcome an expert from Common Sense Media, an independent nonprofit organization offering reviews and resources to help children and families navigate the world of media and technology. This guest gives guidelines for families to evaluate and choose the best apps to boost social awareness skills. Finally, we meet two inspiring teachers who created a culturally relevant STEM/STEAM curriculum to engage underserved middle-school aged girls in math and science. Called “Sisters eS.T.E.A.M.,” this program demonstrates the link between self-esteem and academic achievement and after hearing from the teachers, the young women of Sisters eS.T.E.A.M. appear in the studio to perform a motivational exercise that’s part of their science curriculum.

#404 – In this episode of iQ: smartparent, math matters in the digital age. Today’s classrooms are undergoing a high-tech revolution and experts explain ways parents can help their children make math make sense. Matt Larson, President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and co-author of the book Balancing the Equation: A Guide to School Mathematics for Educators and Parents, discusses math literacy, Common Core math standards, tips for parents to talk to teachers about mathematics education methods in the classroom, and appropriate ways to assist children with their math homework. Megan Cicconi, a math teacher representing the computer science/coding advocacy group, discusses the need for coding skills in the 21st century, and ways to structure computer science education to complement mathematics education. And, guest Betsy Stein of the Boys &Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania presents a fun family activity to practice mathematics skills using sports statistics. In addition, this episode includes two field packages showing innovative ways to build mathematics skills using hands-on science projects.

#405 – In this episode of iQ: smartparent, experts explain the range of resources available at libraries, in person and online, demonstrating the many ways that libraries are transforming lives and serving as the new “community living room.” Guest Felton Thomas, Jr., President of the Public Library Association, a branch of the American Library Association, explains services offered in libraries, including ones to build skills in education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment, and engagement. Another guest, Marie Belle Vargas, is a Library Media Specialist at PS1x Cortlandt School in the South Bronx of New York, and the winner of the 2016 Common Sense Media Award for Educator of the Year. She explains the innovative ways she’s turned her school library into a true community resource, offering parents as well as students in a socioeconomically challenged neighborhood a range of activities to build technology, literacy, language, and hands-on science skills. And, Mary Francis Cooper of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh provides tips for using online library resources for everything from homework help to personal research and adult education. In addition, this episode includes two field packages. One explains digital badging and the other illustrates ways that libraries are using gaming to draw teens into their local libraries.

#406 – In this episode of iQ: smartparent, all parents hope to be role models for their kids – but when it comes to media habits, kids are paying attention to how mom and dad use media and the habits they’re picking up from you aren’t always good. Clinical psychologist and nationally renowned author Catherine Steiner-Adair, discusses her book The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. She reveals ways to alter tech so it serves as a complement to daily life and learning, rather than a barrier to authentic family moments. Then, Dr. James Huguley, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work and Center on Race and Social Problems, discusses ways for families of color to help their children interpret negative and stereotypical portrayals of minorities in the media. And, Shelley Pasnik, Director of The Center For Children and Technology and author of the PBS Parent’s Guide to Children and Media, explains healthy ways for parents to join their children in media consumption and media-making to promote thoughtful use of digital technology. In addition, this episode includes a field package featuring a pediatrician from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and a researcher from the University of Pittsburgh who explain the significant ways in which digital devices contribute to sleep disruption, and the impact it’s having on young people’s physical and emotional health.




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