Bill Nye Is Back, In A Mobile App

The bow tie. The over-the-top enthusiasm. The crazy, explosive experiments your parents would never let anywhere near their new wallpaper. What more could a ’90s child want for their offspring?

Bill Nye The Science Guy is now available for the next generation. That is to say, in a mobile app.

Disney Publishing launched the free app this week for iPhone and iPad. From it, kids can watch clips of the classic show, play games, read about how to conduct offline experiments and tap a virtual Bill Nye bobble-head for random science facts.

Though the app is free, it includes opportunities to upgrade, such as buying full episodes of Nye’s show. Adding micro-transactions to free apps is a monetization strategy that Disney (and most other app makers) also use in mobile games like Where’s My Water?. Disney’s head of games, John Pleasants, told Fast Company in a recent interview that it’s “where everything is going.”

But that doesn’t mean there’s not good stuff in the free version. One hidden gem in the Bill Nye The Science Guy app that might hit closer to parent’s nostalgia than children’s interests: A bow-tie tying tutorial narrated by Nye.

“I started wearing bow ties in high school,” Nye says. “They don’t slip in your soup or flop in your flask.”SK