For Dom Campbell, writer and director at Emperium Studios, it started with his own son, Dewayne. After finishing up one show already airing on TubiTv, he decided to create "A Kid Named Bug."
He said once schools went remote and he really began to see what his kids were learning, he realized that he wanted them to learn more in the areas of science, technology and math. As a kid, Campbell himself enjoyed learning about STEM.
“When I was young, I was a part of a STEM program through 'I Know I Can.' And they allowed us to assemble and disassemble computers. And I thought it was the coolest thing ever and at that time they wasn't teaching coding, but as I got older and I learned more about coding and how effective it is to the economy and the future, I was like, it starts with the kids.”
Brushing up on his own skills and learning some new things himself, he asked his son if he wanted to star in the show. The rest was history from there.
Campbell said the idea was to take his son and create something cool, yet educational.
Teaching him foundational pieces of coding and how it's used for games and so many other things his son enjoys became important.
As the star of the show, the third grade technology superhero, also known as Bug, has unusual super powers and works with adults to tackle cyber crime. While it was challenging at times to remember all of his lines, he said it did help him with reading at school.
Dom said he learned during parent-teacher conferences that doing the show was helping his son so much that, “he has exceeded above and beyond in his reading scores.”
Plus, it didn't just help him; it helped his castmates learn some new things about computer coding they didn't know before either. That's the kind of impact the Campbells hope to have on other young people who watch the episodes. That's in addition to them gaining interest in STEM careers.
For now, 8-year-old Dewayne Campbell hopes he becomes famous one day. Until then, he's content with the buzz that's been created at school already as his classmates have already taken to watching his show. Plans for new episodes are in the works, along with the possibility of a movie.