Miami University grad creates, stars in international math TV show

OXFORD – It’s all adding up nicely for a Miami University education graduate and her creation of a soon-to-be international TV show to help children learn about mathematics.

Later this week, “Doodles & Digits” — the brainchild of Miami 2014 alumna Caroline Farkas — will premiere on national PBS stations and on streaming platforms available globally, including YouTube.

The show is designed to better engage elementary students into the wonders of math through showing them real-world applications. Its early versions are already proving so popular that it took former fourth grade math teacher Farkas by surprise.

“I never imagined that when I was in the classroom in front of like 20 students, that I’d be creating something that 54 countries a month are viewing,” Farkas said. “It’s really surreal to think that my dream of having better videos for kids has come this far just in a few years.”

In touting the show, Miami University officials describe it as featuring short videos that cover a variety of key math concepts using vibrant visuals, fun animations, and relatable real-world examples.

Topics range from hands-on math activities, practice math problems, explanations of basic math skills, and examples of mathematical models that align with Common Core Standards.

The upcoming public television show, soon to be distributed by the National Education Telecommunication Association (NETA), will expand on this format by going behind the scenes in different communities to see how different people and professionals use math in their daily lives.

“We’ve interviewed a dentist, a physical therapist, and a structural engineer,” Farkas said. “We went behind the scenes of a chocolate factory. We’re trying to show elementary students the real life applications of what they’re learning in math. Because I always told my students that what they learned they will actually use.”

Farkas originally had the idea during the 2020 and 2021 pandemic school lockdowns. After remote and hybrid virtual learning became common, she searched for videos that could be used in her fourth-grade math class but struggled to find anything useful and relevant that was also fun and engaging.

“There was stuff for science,” she said, “and there was stuff for language and arts. But for math, it was like a dead zone. There was nothing.”

At first, Farkas worked alone, teaching herself character animation and basic video editing. But what began with just an iPhone, a tripod, and a single lapel mic now requires the talents and efforts of entire production teams and art directors. Miami University officials said the first season of Doodles & Digits will air on Saturday, April 27 on and public television stations across the country. This summer, it will also be featured on along with free learning resources for teachers, parents and students.

“The public television show is really big and exciting,” she said. “That’s going to be the future for us. My goal in the next 10 years is for Doodles & Digits to become a household name. Because clearly there’s a need for this in the classroom and at home, and I’m so excited to see how we can grow and make a larger impact on the world.”

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