Design Squad: Nate's Roadtrip
WGBH is producing a PBS television series, with accompanying web and outreach activities for 9- to 12-year-olds, to inspire a generation of budding engineers. Design Squad: Nate's Roadtrip (working title) will be a 10-part television series that is building on WGBH's prior award-winning work. The series goal is to engender enthusiasm and promote understanding of, and interest in, engineering and technology. Behind the fun that this lively show envisions is a serious educational purpose--to get kids to think like engineers and understand how to use science and technology to solve real-life problems. The television programs will be complemented with an extensive companion web site, as well as materials and training for engineers to mount Design Squad events in public venues and run workshops in schools, afterschool programs and libraries. The web site will create a platform for an online community where young participants will share their own projects, see what others have made, and send in questions to the host. Outreach activities will be supported by WGBH's ongoing relationships in the educational and engineering community, including the Girl Scouts, International Technology Education Association, NASA, and the Intel Computer Clubhouses. Viridian inSight will conduct summative evaluation of the project to measure project impacts including knowledge of science and engineering concepts and the design process; attitudes towards engineering; awareness of and interest in engineering career opportunities; and the extent to which kids perceive engineering as creative, rewarding, and socially relevant. Design Squad: Nate's Roadtrip Video Blog is slated to premiere February 2010 and the television show is slated to premiere in October 2010.