PythagoraSwitch (ピタゴラスイッチ Pitagora Suitchi?) is a 15-minute Japanese educational television program that has been aired by NHK since 2002. It encourages augmenting children's "way of thinking" under the supervision of Masahiko Satō (佐藤雅彦?) and Masumi Uchino (内野真澄?). A five-minute format called PythagoraSwitch Mini is also available.
During the beginning and ending of each episode, and between each corner (segment), there are Pythagorean Devices (ピタゴラ装置 Pitagora Sōchi?). Pythagorean Devices are known in the U.S. as "Rube Goldberg machines" and in Britain as "Heath Robinson" contraptions. The main focus of the program is a puppet show, but the subject is mainly advanced by the small corners. World phenomena, principles, characteristics, and the like are introduced in an entertaining way. At the end of each segment "Pitagora Suitchi" is sung as a kind of punchline.
Outside Japan, NHK World Premium broadcasts PythagoraSwitch Mini. In Brazil, TV Cultura is broadcasting it with the title Viva Pitágoras. In addition, some PythagoraSwitch videos are also available on Google Video, YouTube and DailyMotion.
At the 30th Japan Prize International Educational Program Contest, in 2003, episode 25 "Let's Look at It Another Way" won top prize, the Prime Minister's award, of the Early Education category. At Prix Jeunesse 2004 in Munich it won top prize in the age 6 and below non-fiction category.
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