Nina and the Neurons is back with a brand new series: Earth Explorers, starting on Monday 23rd September at 4.30pm. Katrina Bryan, who plays Nina, dropped into CBeebies HQ to chat all about Earth, Space and (of course), bunches...
Nina and the Neurons
So, what's the new series all about?
Nina and the Neurons: Earth Explorers sees Nina and the Neurons out and about, discovering all about our beautiful planet Earth and our amazing Solar System. There are lots of exciting experiments and big locations, in this series. We look at caves, mountains, rivers, launch our very own space rocket, meet a real life astronaut and even visit the Grand Canyon in America!
Wow! That sounds like a lot of fun. So what’s the best thing about playing Nina?
I am so lucky to be part of this show! I get to go to some very cool places like the Eurospace Center and the Giant’s Causeway and I also got to see the Mars Space Rover in action – not on Mars of course! I also love the fact that the children who take part in the show and those who watch it are at that fantastic age where learning is like playing and they love to learn!
What’s it like filming with such small children?
We have fantastic fun! As we have such young children on the show we have to make it as fun an experience as possible because filming, as a process, can be very slow. So as well as the fab experiments we do, we also play lots of games during filming to keep the children entertained.
How do the producers decide which subjects/concepts to include in the series?
They start with a really, really long list of possible subjects, then look at how we could illustrate the science, so we can really bring it to life for the young audience. We need to have great experiments that are really visual and locations that really explain the science. This process whittles down the subjects to 25 and then we start making it!
What’s been your highlight of filming this series?
Meeting Rick Hieb, an astronaut, was fantastic! He had been into space 3 times and talking to him and hearing his amazing stories was definitely a highlight! The weather being so glorious this summer also made our outside filming a lot easier too! I’m used to wearing lots of thermals so it was a nice change to be putting on sun cream!
Any funny moments?
One day when we were filming outside we were having a break and a lady passing by started talking to us. She was giving me a funny look and then said she thought it was very brave of me to wear my hair like that. She said, “You don’t see that very often, not unless it’s on a 6 year old girl!” I happily explained to her that ‘the bunchies’ weren’t my everyday look, it was for a television programme. She was clearly delighted as she said, “It was a bizarre look for a grown woman”! Charming!
Do you have any ideas for parents who would like to help develop their child's interest in Planet Earth and the Solar System?
There are lots of things we do in the series that you could adapt to do at home: you could decorate their bedroom with planets, and stars, draw pictures of mountains or volcanoes with them, take them out exploring to see rivers or caves or even go fossil hunting...
There are also lots of exciting new games to go with the series - in the games you can mine for precious stones, launch rockets and find fantastic fossils. The games tie in with themes from the series so your child can become a real earth, or space, explorer! They can all be played on computer, mobile and tablet as well so you'll be able to take them with you whereever you are!
Visit the Nina and the Neurons website on CBeebies