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Features & Interviews

stop.watch Productions' New Science Series for Children Premieres on RTÉjr
08 Oct 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Ciara, Zoom & Mark - Let's Find Out
Munster-based stop.watch productions has announced that its first ever studio-based children’s series will premiere on RTÉjr this month.

‘Let’s Find Out’ is co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland and features new on-screen talent in the shape of scientists Mark Langtry and Ciara Murphy, with Grainne Bleasdale, the puppeteer behind a loveable and curious alien character, Zoom!

Targeted at a 4 to 7 year old audience, the 20 x 15 minute format is set on a spaceship called the ‘Curiosity’ – a travelling laboratory captained by Zoom and ably assisted by Mark and Ciara.

Every show features two small children with a big question who are “teleported” aboard the Curiosity. It’s Mark and Ciara’s job to answer their question using science experiments and demonstrations. As a newcomer to planet earth, Zoom is also very curious and has lots of questions of her own!

40 curious children participated across the series, filming in the studio and on location. The callout for children to take part attracted huge interest with over 800 applications from around the country.

Speaking about the project, Mary Murphy of stop.watch said:

“This series would not have been possible without the talent and commitment of our amazing team led by series producer Marie Toft. Nor would it have got off the ground in the first place without funding from Science Foundation Ireland and RTÉjr. We are immensely grateful to our executive producer, RTÉ’s Pauline MacNamara, who saw the potential for this series early on and provided great support during production and post production. stop.watch is passionate about bringing STEM-based content of this nature to Irish children, who deserve locally-produced factual stories and to know that curiosity is to be valued and rewarded.”

Margie McCarthy, Interim Director of Innovation and Education at Science Foundation Ireland, added:

“We are delighted to support Let’s Find Out on RTÉjr. Curiosity is central to science, technology, engineering and maths, and needs to be nurtured in children as early as possible. I would encourage those with young children to tune in to this fun and educational programme.”

Pauline MacNamara, Executive Producer, RTÉ, said:

Let's Find Out brings great fun to big science questions for little ones watching RTÉjr. It's chockablock with demos, games and experiments that will thrill the audience with a little learning along the way. We're delighted to collaborate with Science Foundation Ireland once again to mix science and fun for children.”

The series was created by stop.watch’s Tom Johnson and Mary Murphy with the production led by series producer Marie Toft. The studio director was James Kenneally with OB facilities provided by TVM. Studio scenes were recorded using RTÉ Cork facilities and staff, with set design by Claire Morrissey and lighting by Rupert McCarthy Morrogh and RTÉ’s Peter McDonnell.

The science consultant was Dr Naomi Lavelle, who also devised many of the demos and experiments and the props team were Anthony Courtney, Niamh Wynne and Robyn Thompson.

Jenny Regan was researcher and Anna Pytlowany was production coordinator and studio BCO. Paul Woods was location director on the VT inserts. The titles sequence was designed by Dave Phelan of Modevision with song lyrics & music arrangements by Clara Murray. All post production was carried out at stop.watch’s Kerry-based facility by Tony Murphy.

Auditions were held in Cork with Jenny Regan running the casting process. The successful child candidates were looked after by assistant producer Ray Cuddihy during studio recording.

Let’s Find Out is on the RTÉjr channel each weekday at 1.30pm and 5.20pm and also available on the RTÉjr app and the RTÉ Player.

‘Let's Find Out’ is available on RTÉjr from Monday October 8th.

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