By Sahil Patel
Last November, PBS Digital Studios announced a deal with YouTube royalty Hank and John Green to distribute their popular educational YouTube series “Crash Course,” as well as develop new programming for both of their audiences.
The first of two new shows produced by PBS Digital Studios under the partnership is now live. “Astronomy,” which is hosted by the author of Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog Phil Plait, is now available on the “Crash Course” YouTube channel. (The first episode provides an overview of all of the topics that Plait plans to explore throughout the course.)
The other show, which will focus on the US government, will premiere next Friday, hosted by YouTube star Craig Benzine (aka WheezyWaiter). It will also live on the “Crash Course” channel.
Both shows will air new episodes every week for at least the next 40 weeks.
Created in 2011 by the Greens, “Crash Course” features eight courses on topics ranging from world history to chemistry and psychology. To date, the series has accumulated nearly 150 million views, with the channel itself growing to 2.6 million subscribers.
As part of the PBS deal, the full “Crash Course” library will also be available to teachers and other educators through PBS LearningMedia, an on-demand media service available for free to classrooms nationwide.