This show was something of a cousin to trailblazing programs like 'Zoom' and 'The Electric Company.' Picture that material for a slightly older audience, with more music, free-roaming locations, a sub-set plot with recurring characters, and other innovations, and you've got something like the model for '3-2-1.'
Episodes taught lessons about science, geography, the forces of nature, social studies and other topics. They often compared different principles, such as 'hot-cold' and 'big-small.' There was plenty of humor and problem-solving. 'Contact' really brought home the idea that learning was something important and relevant to kids' everyday lives.
This is also the birthplace of The Bloodhound Gang, not the music group but the show-within-a-show that closed every episode. They were school-age detectives who solved mysteries in their neighborhood, using deductive reasoning and persistance. The kids learned not only how to solve a crime, but to never give up in the face of their problems-- a valuable lesson to take with you whether you want to be a detective or not.
'3-2-1 Contact' was funny and instructive, fast-moving without skimping on intelligence. We could use more shows with this spirit today.