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Engineers Week 2007 Partners With New PBS Show

October 04, 2006

Marketers say “tweens” – children between nine and 12 – are a particularly difficult audience to reach, but an upcoming live-action TV series where engineering is the star appears to be right on target. For 2007, Engineers Week partners with WGBH Boston on Design Squad, the new PBS program that uses reality television to introduce kids and families to the engineering design process.

It’s educational, uses real life applications of math and science, and meets the toughest teaching standards. Design Squad features two teams of real high school kids who use their problem-solving skills to design, construct, and test engineering projects such as a machine that automatically makes pancakes, or a motorized red wagon that can reach speeds up to 20 mph. The brainchild of ZOOM producers WGBH Boston, Design Squad premiers the first of its 13 episodes on PBS stations nationwide during Engineers Week 2007.

To kick off the effort, the Engineers Week Foundation and WGBH will host a Design Squad Training Summit for its partner organizations and industry leaders on Thursday, November 9 at the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C. At the summit, WGBH outreach staff will review the Design Squad TV series and web site resources including clips from the show, short video profiles of real engineers, and Event and Educators Guides. Summit attendees will, in turn, work with volunteer engineers across the country to support their national and regional outreach efforts and ongoing Engineers Week activities in classrooms, libraries, museums and science centers. More information about Design Squad and its outreach campaign can be found at www.pbskids.org/designsquad.

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