Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized examinations. Here are home-viewing tips:
* Today--"Cybercrimes" (KCBS 10-11 p.m.) Cautions viewers about unlawful activities taking place on the Internet, including financial pyramid schemes, "pen pal" schemes and adoption fraud. Also, "Geisha" (KCET 10-11 p.m.) Presents the history and modern status of the Japanese geisha.
* Friday--"The Great American History Quiz: 50 States" (HIST 8-9 p.m.) Tests knowledge about U.S. states. Barry Bostwick hosts. To play along at home, log onto http://www.historychannel.com/quiz. Also, "Tesla: Master of Lightning" (KCET 9-10:30 p.m.) About early 20th century Serbian American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, developer of fluorescent and neon lighting and 700 other processes, including those underlying today's U.S. Strategic Missile Defense Initiative missile program.
* Saturday--"John Stossel Goes to Washington" (KABC 10-11 p.m.) Examines the premise that big government keeps growing whether Democrats or Republicans are in office. Also, "People Count: Passing the Torch" (CNN 10-11 p.m.) About Harlem youths Akhi Spencer-El and Kamara James, who were trained by Olympic fencer Peter Westbrook, himself raised in a New Jersey ghetto. Jane Fonda hosts.
* Sunday--"The Essex: The True Story of 'Moby Dick' " (HIST 11 a.m.-noon) About historical events that inspired Herman Melville to write his novel of that name. The whaler Essex sailed from Nantucket, Mass., in 1819 and sank in the Pacific Ocean because a sperm whale attacked, leaving survivors to nearly starve in a lifeboat until they reached South America in 1820. Also, "BookTV: American Heritage Illustrated History of the Presidents" (C-SPAN2 5-6 p.m.) USC professor Michael Beschloss, a presidential scholar, presents the recent book he edited on the lives of presidents.
* Monday--"They Fought From Within" (HIST 4-4:30 p.m.) Looks at how resistance groups in various countries functioned against Axis occupation authorities.
* Tuesday--"Europe After the Rain: Dada and Surrealism" (OVTN 6-8 p.m.) Examines the works of Duchamp, Dali and Ernst, radical in their time and now routinely included in art history courses. Also, "Attila" (USA 9-11 p.m.) Based on the life of the 5th century Danubian nomad chief who challenged Roman rule of Europe. Gerald Butler, Powers Booth and Tim Curry star. Series concludes Wednesday, 9-11 p.m. Recommended reading: "Eyewitness to History" by John Carey (Avon Books, 1987) and Web site http://www.usanetwork.com/homepage.html. Also, "Juvenile Justice" (KCET 9-10:30 p.m.) Explores whether children who commit serious crimes should be tried as adults.
* Wednesday--"Giant" (AMC 7-10:30 p.m.) Based on Edna Ferber's novel about Texas. James Dean stars. Also, "Geraldo Voyager: The Journey Home" (TRAV 9-10 p.m.) Covers the finale of a three-year circumnavigation of the globe by a sailboat captained by TV reporter Geraldo Rivera.
Compiled by Richard Kahlenberg in consultation with Crystal J. Gips, dean of the School of Education, College of St. Rose, Albany N.Y. Columns available at http://www.calendarlive.com/go/tvsmarts.