The Story
"The United States is losing its competitive edge in math and science while the rest of the world soars ahead. Our knowledge capital, which fuels innovation and economic growth, is at risk."

Buckalope Elementary is a curriculum-based "edu-tainment" series which addresses a huge need for character building and career education programming for children ages 5-10.

"We wanted to create something that not only motivates kids to want to succeed in school, but gives them a tool set to do so."

The concept is that early elementary aged children's' career interests form out of self esteem, development of new talents, and exposure.  And this curriculum is one of the very first to combine the two.


Why Puppets?
Studies have shown that fast-paced television shows have a negative influence on younger children’s executive function (eg, self-regulation, working memory). We felt that to effectively deliver educational content in an overstimulated digital era, we would need to simplify the medium.

By building colorful puppet sets and characters, and integrating some creative but simple digital effects, we could engage the viewer enough to stimulate their imagination, without distracting them from the message.


Dr. Sandy Rakich - Creator
Sandy, who holds PhD in Education, has shaped this curriculm with her extensive research, and over 14 years of direct experience as a teacher, counselor and assistant principal.


Jimmy Mastandrea - Creator
Jimmy, a Creative Director for a music publishing company, put his 25 years of music/video production background and love of craftsmanship and puppetry to use to build, co-write, produce and edit the series.


James Emley - Puppeteer/Writer

Jay, a high school science teacher and musician, brought in his vast knowledge of STEM education to the project, as well as his songwriting and music production experience.


Shannon Brier - Puppeteer
Shannon, who currently teaches 3rd grade and has over 10 years experience as an Elementary School educator, helped develop the curriculum for the series and performed one of the main characters.