Battle of the wits in history, science and visual art

When the offer to co-host a new kids show on the ABC came up, Year 10 student Marianne Hanna jumped at the chance, writes Jim Griffiths.

Marianne Hanna with comedian Lauren Bonner
Image: Marianne Hanna with comedian Lauren Bonner

The Newtown High School of the Performing Arts drama student is one of three young hosts on the new ABC TV series, Know It Alls, which sees one smart kid and one adult comedian on a fact-finding mission through a unique museum topic.

After visiting one of the country’s leading museums and galleries, and searching for the right clues, the comedian and child compete in a quiz to see who can be declared The Know It All.

“As host, I talk the kid and the comedian through two facts and then host a quiz at the end,” Marianne explained, adding that bouncing off the comedian’s jokes from the quiz master’s podium was lots of fun.

Marianne, who lists TV show host as a possible future career (looks like she has a head start on that one), was immediately excited by the opportunity, and had the full support of her teachers and school.

“My friends were a bit annoyed I was away from school, but they were really excited for me,” said Marianne, who also has made her parents incredibly proud.

Along with the experience of seeing first-hand how a TV show is made, Marianne also loved going to the museums and learning new things in a fun, interactive way – an aspect of the show which she believes viewers will enjoy.

“Kids who watch the show will definitely learn new things because of how engaging and fun it is. They’ll get a laugh out of an entertaining show where they get to learn new facts,” she said.

Each episode centres on a new topic that’s set inside one of the institutions and is related to the Australian curriculum, such as energy experiments inside Questacon.

Curriculum experts from the NSW Department of Education vetted each script before filming to ensure all the facts were correct and that they were appropriate for the young audience.

Know It Alls is a collaboration with cultural institutions, including the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Living Museums, Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of NSW, as well as the support of the NSW Department of Education.

Episodes cover topics in history, science and visual arts, and can be watched on ABC iview.

Fun fact from Marianne: “This highest mountain on Mars is Olympus Mons, at 21.9km high, but getting there is just a bit too scary.”

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