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Kari Byron of 'Mythbusters' fame aims to give middle schoolers 'Head Rush'

August 20, 2010 |  5:11 pm

21061_116_JOHNLEEPICTURES Kari Byron is on a mission — to get tweens interested in science.

On Monday, Byron — best-known as one of the "build team" members on Discovery's popular "Mythbusters" series — premieres her after-school show "Head Rush" on Science Channel. The commercial-free, hourlong shows are aimed particularly at middle-school girls, whose interest Byron says too often drifts away from scientific subjects starting around that age.

"It's a tough age," Byron said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. "When you think scientist at that age, you think nerdy white guy in a lab coat ... . We're trying to create new role models." 

About 40% of each episode will consist of Byron doing experiments and exploring scientific quandaries (on Monday's show: How much do clouds weigh?) or hosting special guests (including her "Mythbusters" compadres, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci). The programs' remainder will be comprised of edited portions of previous "Mythbusters" segments.

Byron hopes the program will become like "Mr. Wizard" or "Bill Nye the Science Guy" for a new generation. 

"The hope is kids come home from school and instead of playing a video game, they'll watch us," she said. 

Meanwhile, Byron, who had her first baby last year with husband Paul Urich, will keep up her busy production schedule on "Mythbusters," currently in its eighth season. That meant shooting "Head Rush" on Saturdays and the stray down time.

"I've given up vacations," she said.

— Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Kari Byron. Photo credit: Science Channel.

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