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Bill Nye brings STEAM to Dancing with the Stars

Bill Nye (The Science Guy) is becoming a fan favorite on Dancing with the Stars setting a refreshing example for kids who believe that you have to choose between being 'the smart kid' and being 'the popular kid.' 

By Correspondent / September 24, 2013

Bill Nye of Science Guy fame joins this season's cast of Dancing with the Stars.

AP Photo/ABC, Ida Mae Astute

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Bill Nye (The Science Guy) has made Dancing with the Stars STEAMy in a family-friendly way by combining Science Technology Engineering Art and Science on the dance floor to make geek gold.

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Correspondent

Lisa Suhay, who has four sons at home in Norfolk, Va., is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk (Va.) Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) , a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth via mentoring and teaching the game of chess for critical thinking and life strategies.

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Mr. Nye has always raised the level of teaching science to an art form. This week he took the dance floor dressed as Beethoven, dancing to Beethoven’s Fifth symphony with a powdered wig that he cleverly employed to make a poofy cloud of powder during a moment of frustration in the dance. The theme for his dances so far have been rooted in science. He’s learning the math of keeping time and engineering a new way to win this show by being a fan favorite, if not the best dancer.

“Following last week's 14 out of 30-point cha cha, Nye ... and partner Tyne Stecklein showed a little improvement on Monday night with a 17-point Paso Doble, but it wasn't enough to keep them from the bottom of the leader board, with judge Carrie Ann Inaba critiquing his footwork,” according to People Magazine.

Here’s the deal where parents like me are concerned, we don’t care how many points Nye made with the judges. What counts with us is how he scored with kids who believe that you have to choose between being “the smart kid” and being “the popular kid.”

I have spent the past six years working with inner city kids who think that their only path to acceptance and success in life is to perform on a stage or a ball field, not a classroom.

The girls think they have to twerk their way to the top, and the guys see themselves in a limo that they got thanks to either gangsta rap, NBA, or NFL.

I’m not saying that Nye’s Beethoven is really going to compete with Miley Cyrus nude on a wrecking ball, a blunt-smoking rapper, or a former NBA star who is hob-nobbing with Kim Jong Un, but it’s a start.

Nye is a fan favorite, and to prove it the front row of fans were MENSA members (minimum IQ for members is 132).

Although I would have preferred they not be mocked by host Tom Bergeron for their lab coats. “Which only proves that you can be brilliant and have no fashion sense,” Mr. Bergeron added after introducing a line of people with the combined intellectual horsepower to launch a space station of their own design.

The thing nobody is laughing at is the fact that Nye and Tyne Stecklein’s week 1 cha cha set to “Weird Science” had a record-breaking 3.2 million YouTube views, according to People.

At the beginning of the video Nye meets his partner for the first time and hands her flowers in a glass container. He asks her, “Is that a beaker or a flask?” She is flustered saying, “Oh, gosh! I don’t know.”

True to the science guy kids and parents adore, Nye said, “A flask. A flask has a neck.”

Judging from the comments posted on YouTube I don’t think those record-breaking views came from the demographic DWTS usually attracts, but those who grew up watching Nye perform weird scientific demonstrations that inspired them to learn more.

While Nye may not prove to be the winner of DWTS his performance already seems to be a successful experiment in mixing smart into the popularity formula.

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