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3-2-1 Contact facts for kids

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3-2-1 Contact
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Original opening title of 3-2-1 Contact
Created by Samuel Y. Gibbon Jr.
Starring Varied, see article
Theme music composer Tom Anthony
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 225 (and 10 specials)
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Children's Television Workshop
Distributor Children's Television Workshop
Release
Original network PBS
Audio format Mono (1980–1984)
Stereo (1985–1988)
Original release January 14, 1980 (1980-01-14) – November 18, 1988 (1988-11-18)

3-2-1 Contact is an American science educational television show produced by the Children's Television Workshop (CTW, now known as Sesame Workshop). It aired on PBS from 1980 to 1988, and later ran on Noggin (a joint venture between the CTW and Nickelodeon) from 1999 to 2002. The show teaches scientific principles and their applications. Dr. Edward G. Atkins, who was responsible for much of the scientific content of the show, felt that the TV program would not replace a classroom but would encourage viewers to ask questions about the scientific purpose of things.

Hosts

Episodes

Season 1 (1980)

  • Noisy/Quiet: Production & Processing of Sound (January 14, 1980)
  • Noisy/Quiet: The Ear (January 15, 1980)
  • Noisy/Quiet: How People & Animals Use Sound (January 16, 1980)
  • Noisy/Quiet: Music (January 17, 1980)
  • Noisy/Quiet: Range of Vibrations (January 18, 1980)
  • Hot/Cold: People's Temperatures (January 21, 1980)
  • Hot/Cold: Animal and Plant Adaptations (January 22, 1980)
  • Hot/Cold: How Hot or Cold Can (January 23, 1980)
  • Hot/Cold: Heat and Work (January 24, 1980)
  • Hot Cold: Temperatures on Earth/In Space (January 25, 1980)
  • Fast/Slow: Speed Up, Slow Down (January 28, 1980)
  • Fast/Slow: Rhythms of Nature (January 29, 1980)
  • Fast/Slow: Lifetimes (January 30, 1980)
  • Fast/Slow: Speed and Racing (January 31, 1980)
  • Fast/Slow: Time and Time Again (February 1, 1980)
  • Food/Fuel: Animal Food (February 4, 1980)
  • Food/Fuel: Human Food (February 5, 1980)
  • Food/Fuel: Growing and Processing Food (February 6, 1980)
  • Food/Fuel: Fueling Machines (February 7, 1980)
  • Food/Fuel: The Sun Makes Everything Go (February 8, 1980)
  • Crowded/Uncrowded: Human Crowding (February 11, 1980)
  • Crowded/Uncrowded: Optimum Populations in Nature (February 12, 1980)
  • Crowded/Uncrowded: Contrasts in Densities of Materials (February 13, 1980)
  • Crowded/Uncrowded: Liquids & Solids (February 14, 1980)
  • Crowded/Uncrowded: Human Survival/Controlling Densities (February 15, 1980)
  • Light/Dark: The Sun (February 18, 1980)
  • Light/Dark: Adaptation of Plants/Animals (February 19, 1980)
  • Light/Dark: Electromagnetic Spectrum (February 20, 1980)
  • Light/Dark: The Eye (February 21, 1980)
  • Light/Dark: Light Sources (February 22, 1980)
  • Big/Small: Animal Sizes/Scaling (February 25, 1980)
  • Big/Small: Animal Habitats (February 26, 1980)
  • Big/Small: Dinosaurs (February 27, 1980)
  • Big/Small: Volume & Efficiency (February 28, 1980)
  • Big/Small: How Big is Big? (February 29, 1980)
  • Near/Far: Seeing Isn't Always (March 3, 1980)
  • Near/Far: Mapping and Navigating Near Home (March 4, 1980)
  • Near/Far: Mapping and Navigating Over Earth (March 5, 1980)
  • Near/Far: Space Travel (March 6, 1980)
  • Near/Far: Knowing Where You Are (March 7, 1980)
  • Growth/Decay: Human Growth (March 11, 1980)
  • Growth/Decay: Decay (March 12, 1980)
  • Growth/Decay: Human Cultures/Land Forms (March 13, 1980)
  • Growth/Decay: Cycles Upon Cycles (March 14, 1980)
  • Communication: Human Communication (March 17, 1980)
  • Communication: Animal Communication (March 18, 1980)
  • Communication: Machinery of Communication (March 19, 1980)
  • Communication with Other Species (March 20, 1980)
  • Communication: Feedback (March 21, 1980)
  • Forces and Motion (March 24, 1980)
  • Forces and Fields (March 25, 1980)
  • Forces: Buoyancy and Gravity (March 26, 1980)
  • Forces and Machines (March 27, 1980)
  • Forces: A Spectacle of Forces (March 28, 1980)
  • Order/Disorder: Regular Patterns (March 31, 1980)
  • Order/Disorder: The Body – An Ordered System (April 1, 1980)
  • Order/Disorder: Social Order (April 2, 1980)
  • Order/Disorder: Disordered (April 3, 1980)
  • Order/Disorder: Sum of Its Parts (April 4, 1980)
  • Surfaces: Protection (April 7, 1980)
  • Surfaces: Shapes and Functions at the Surface (April 8, 1980)
  • Surfaces: Surface Tension and Bubbles (April 9, 1980)
  • Surfaces: Surface of the Earth (April 10, 1980)
  • Surfaces: The Atmosphere—Skin of the Earth (April 11, 1980)

Season 2 (1983)

  • Flight: Flying Animals (October 17, 1983)
  • Flight: Air Resistance (October 18, 1983)
  • Flight: Lift (October 19, 1983)
  • Flight: Thrust (October 20, 1983)
  • Flight: Acceleration (October 21, 1983)
  • Sports: Training Analysis (October 24, 1983)
  • Sports: Time, Rate, Measurement (October 25, 1983)
  • Sports: Energy Transfer (October 26, 1983)
  • Sports: Impact Analysis (October 27, 1983)
  • Sports: Coordination (October 28, 1983)
  • Survival: Breathing (October 31, 1983)
  • Survival: Temperature (November 1, 1983)
  • Survival: Protection (November 2, 1983)
  • Survival: Energy (November 3, 1983)
  • Survival: Teamwork (November 4, 1983)
  • Babies: The Code of Life (November 7, 1983)
  • Babies: Growth and Development (November 8, 1983)
  • Babies: Behavior (November 9, 1983)
  • Babies: Colonization (November 10, 1983)
  • Babies: Change (November 11, 1983)
  • Building: Materials (November 14, 1983)
  • Building: One of a Kind (November 15, 1983)
  • Building: Standard Parts (November 16, 1983)
  • Building: Modular (November 17, 1983)
  • Building: Communication (November 18, 1983)
  • Shapes in Nature (November 21, 1983)
  • Shapes and Gravity (November 22, 1983)
  • Shapes: Streamlining (November 23, 1983)
  • Shapes: Form and Function (November 24, 1983)
  • Shapes: Clues (November 25, 1983)
  • Water: 3 Phases – Gas, Liquid, Solid (November 28, 1983)
  • Water: Medium for Life (November 29, 1983)
  • Water and People (November 30, 1983)
  • Water: Distribution (December 1, 1983)
  • Water in the Body (December 2, 1983)
  • Senses: Taste and Smell (December 5, 1983)
  • Senses: Sight (December 6, 1983)
  • Senses: Hearing (December 7, 1983)
  • Senses: Touch (December 8, 1983)
  • Senses: Special Sensors (December 9, 1983)

Season 3 (1984)

  • Space: Weightless (October 22, 1984)
  • Space: Getting There (October 23, 1984)
  • Space: Living There (October 24, 1984)
  • Space: Working There (October 25, 1984)
  • Space: Anybody Out There? (October 26, 1984)
  • Measurement: How Long? How Far? (October 29, 1984)
  • Measurement: What's the Area? What's the Volume? (October 30, 1984)
  • Measurement: How Many? How Much? (October 31, 1984)
  • Measurement: How Heavy? How Dense? (November 1, 1984)
  • Measurement: How Fast? How Slow? (November 2, 1984)
  • Earth is Change (November 5, 1984)
  • Earth: Maps (November 6, 1984)
  • Earth: Climate (November 7, 1984)
  • Earth: Flora and Fauna (November 8, 1984)
  • Earth: Building Models (November 9, 1984)
  • Electricity: What is It? (November 12, 1984)
  • Electricity and Magnetism (November 13, 1984)
  • Electricity: Where Do We Get It? (November 14, 1984)
  • Electricity Runs in a Circuit (November 15, 1984)
  • Electricity: You Are Electric (November 16, 1984)

Season 4 (1985)

  • "Tropics: Rubber" (September 23, 1985)
  • "Tropics: Metals" (September 24, 1985)
  • "Tropics: Rice" (September 25, 1985)
  • "Tropics: Working Animals – Monkeys and Elephants" (September 26, 1985)
  • "Tropics: Endangered Animals" (September 27, 1985)
  • "Light: From the Sun; To Your Eyes" (September 30, 1985)
  • "Light: Color" (October 1, 1985)
  • "Light: Eyes" (October 2, 1985)
  • "Light: How Animals See" (October 3, 1985)
  • "Light: Bending and Bouncing" (October 4, 1985)
  • "Farms: Sheep and Pigs – Selective Breeding" (October 7, 1985)
  • "Farms: Plants and Pigs – Plant Production" (October 8, 1985)
  • "Farms: Hybrids" (October 9, 1985)
  • "Farms: Cows and Pigs – Animal Products" (October 10, 1985)
  • "Farms: Chickens and Pigs – Animal Production" (October 11, 1985)
  • "Stuff: Metals" (October 14, 1985)
  • "Stuff: Clay" (October 15, 1985)
  • "Stuff: Shaping It" (October 16, 1985)
  • "Stuff: Feathers and Rubber" (October 17, 1985)
  • "Stuff: Using It" (October 18, 1985)

Season 5 (1986)

  • "Signals: Lingo" (September 22, 1986)
  • "Signals: Talking Birds, Talking Rooms" (September 23, 1986)
  • "Signals: Looking for Visual Clues" (September 24, 1986)
  • "Signals: Getting Them Around" (September 25, 1986)
  • "Signals: Cracking Codes" (September 26, 1986)
  • "Oceans: On the Sea" (September 29, 1986)
  • "Oceans: In the Sea" (September 30, 1986)
  • "Oceans: From the Sea" (October 1, 1986)
  • "Oceans: By the Sea" (October 2, 1986)
  • "Oceans: Of the Sea" (October 3, 1986)
  • "Motion: What's Up?" (October 6, 1986)
  • "Motion: Bones" (October 7, 1986)
  • "Motion: Smashing" (October 8, 1986)
  • "Motion: Getting a Grip" (October 9, 1986)
  • "Motion: Heave Ho!" (October 10, 1986)
  • "Eating: Tooth Detectives" (October 13, 1986)
  • "Eating: Picky Eaters" (October 14, 1986)
  • "Eating: Zoo Food" (October 15, 1986)
  • "Eating: Down the Hatch" (October 16, 1986)
  • "Eating: Leftovers" (October 17, 1986)

Season 6 (1987)

  • Japan: Precious Oysters, Rare Salamanders (October 12, 1987)
  • Japan: Landslide! (October 13, 1987)
  • Japan: Paper and Kites (October 14, 1987)
  • Japan: Earthquake! (October 15, 1987)
  • Japan: Judo and Computers (October 16, 1987)
  • Detectives: Skin and Bone Detectives (October 19, 1987)
  • Detectives: Tool and Trash Detectives (October 20, 1987)
  • Detectives: Wildlife Detectives (October 21, 1987)
  • Detectives: Dinosaur Detectives (October 22, 1987)
  • Detectives: Pattern Detectives (October 23, 1987)
  • Architecture: Raising the Big Top (October 26, 1987)
  • Architecture: Home (October 27, 1987)
  • Architecture: Stack It Up (October 28, 1987)
  • Architecture: Made to Fit (October 29, 1987)
  • Architecture: Light But Strong (October 30, 1987)
  • Mammals: Rats and Bats (November 2, 1987)
  • Mammals: Keeping Warm (November 3, 1987)
  • Mammals: Live Birth, Warm Milk (November 4, 1987)
  • Mammals at Play (November 5, 1987)
  • Big Mammals: The High Cost of Living (November 6, 1987)
  • Modeling: Things on Wheels (November 9, 1987)
  • Modeling: Through Ice and Air (November 10, 1987)
  • Modeling: The Earth (November 11, 1987)
  • Modeling: Knees and Small Things (November 12, 1987)
  • Modeling: Spaces (November 13, 1987)
  • In the Air: Finding Your Way (November 16, 1987)
  • In the Air: Drifting with the Wind (November 17, 1987)
  • In the Air: Born to Fly (November 18, 1987)
  • In the Air: Fat Things That Fly (November 19, 1987)
  • In the Air: Unbelievable Flying Objects (November 20, 1987)

Season 7 (1988)

  • Antarctica: Getting There (October 10, 1988)
  • Antarctica: Getting Around (October 11, 1988)
  • Antarctica: Life On The Edge (October 12, 1988)
  • Antarctica: Life Under The Ice (October 13, 1988)
  • Antarctica: The Desert Continent (October 14, 1988)
  • Your Body: Twins (October 17, 1988)
  • Your Body: Having a Baby (October 18, 1988)
  • Your Body: Sleep (October 19, 1988)
  • Your Body: Spinning (October 20, 1988)
  • Your Body: Your Health (October 21, 1988)
  • Australia: Platypus & Echidna (October 24, 1988)
  • Australia: Moths & Beetles (October 25, 1988)
  • Australia: Emu & Kookaburra (October 26, 1988)
  • Australia: Koalas (October 27, 1988)
  • Australia: Kangaroos (October 28, 1988)
  • Structures: Bubble, Bubble (October 31, 1988)
  • Structures: Pipes and Reeds (November 1, 1988)
  • Structures: Chaos and Computers (November 2, 1988)
  • Structures: Running Robots (November 3, 1988)
  • Structures: Suspended in Air (November 4, 1988)
  • Greece: The Journey Begins (November 7, 1988)
  • Greece: Under The Ash (November 8, 1988)
  • Greece: Before History (November 9, 1988)
  • Greece: Sheep & Cheese (November 10, 1988)
  • Greece: The Parthenon (November 11, 1988)
  • Island: Parrot Fish (November 14, 1988)
  • Island: Lizards (November 15, 1988)
  • Island: Coral (November 16, 1988)
  • Island: Flamingos (November 17, 1988)
  • Island: Conch (November 18, 1988)

3-2-1 Contact Extra

  • I Have AIDS: A Teenager's Story (April 8, 1989)
  • The Rotten Truth (January 15, 1990)
  • You Can't Grow Home Again (September 2, 1990)
  • Down the Drain (January 14, 1991)
  • Bottom of the Barrel (February 18, 1991)
  • Secrets of the Code (August 3, 1991)
  • A Popular Little Planet (April 22, 1992)
  • Get Busy: How Kids Can Save the Planet (April 22, 1992)
  • Brainstorm: The Truth About Your Brain on Drugs (December 14, 1992)

Magazine

Three months before the show premiered, a print magazine of the same name that also focused on science was released. In 1985, the magazine absorbed some of the content of sibling publication Enter (which went out of print that same year), including reader submissions of computer programs written in the BASIC computer language as well as reviews of popular computer programs. The Enter section also contained a new feature called "The Slipped Disk Show", in which a fictional disc jockey answered computer-related questions submitted by readers.

In 1987, the magazine began featuring content from another CTW production, Square One Television. Such content frequently took the form of a two-page comic strip, often parodying a popular show or movie of the time, with a math-related question at the end.

The Bloodhound Gang mysteries also made the leap to the magazine, but they were subsequently replaced with a series entitled The Time Team in September 1990. These stories found teenage characters Sean Nolan and Jenny Lopez traveling to different time periods in the past and future. Their surroundings and personal encounters were described with great detail, educating readers as to the customs of various cultures throughout history, and – on trips to the future – often pushing present day hot-button issues. For example, a 1993 story saw the duo traveling to what appeared to be a prehistoric forest, but near the end, they found a Brazil flag, a newspaper clipping from 1995, and a bulldozer at work: this was in fact a Brazilian rainforest being levelled.

In 1996, The Time Team was replaced by a comic serial, Cosmic Crew, which focused on the adventures of a group of teenagers and their robot butler in space. Their first story arc (which ran for more than a year) had them trying to figure out a series of riddles relating to places in the solar system in order to claim a treasure (which turned out to be a scholarship fund). Another story arc had a delinquent (who had been a villain in the first arc) join them in order to chase down a gang of other delinquents. Despite being effectively replaced, a few Time Team stories were run whenever there were gaps between installments of Cosmic Crew.

Many of the magazine's cover stories involved current events, such as 1990s oil fires in the Middle East. In addition, the magazine offered a games section in which most of the games were related to the stories in the issue.

In 1996, CTW presumably concluded that faithful readers from the late 1980s and early 1990s had long since moved on, and the magazine began to reprint non-time-sensitive stories from years past. For example, a 1991 article on the geography of the Galápagos Islands – a subject relatively unchanging due to the islands' well-enforced ecologically protected status – could very well re-appear in an identical format a half a decade later.

Under Children's Television Workshop (now known as Sesame Workshop), the magazine later became Contact Kids, removing the original reference to the television show. Production of the magazine was suspended indefinitely in 2001.

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