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Design Squad: Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers

Design Squad logo

What's functional, fashionable and WAY fun? Engineering, brought to you by the reality competition show Design Squad! Emmy-winning Design Squad is produced by WGBH Boston, and premiered on PBS stations in February 2007. It won a prestigious Peabody Award for its first season, in which the show received major funding from the National Science Foundation and Intel.

Targeted to nine- to 12-year-olds, Design Squad each season plugs eight high schoolers into the big wild world of engineering. Over 13 weeks, and under intense pressure, Design Squad-ers learn to think smart, build fast, and contend with a wild array of engineering challenges.

Working in groups of four, each team has just two days to get it done. What they do ranges from converting kiddie toys into inventing functional fashion for a runway creating 'moving' art for a designing a low-cost peanut butter machine for a women's collective in Haiti. Heeding a few 'words of wisdom' from Design Squad's twenty-something engineer hosts, contestants brainstorm, design, build, test and redesign, before putting their products to the test.

Keeping their eyes on the grand prize--a $10,000 college scholarship from the Intel® Foundation--and their cool when things get hot, Design Squad-ers soon discover that engineering can make anything possible!

On November 17, 2011, Design Squad--"Water Rescue," was honored at the Inaugural S.E.T. Awards, which recognize excellence in science, engineering and technology portrayals in the media. The awards are presented to movies, TV series, radio and television news programs, as well as print and online journalism for accurate and impactful entertainment portraying and promoting the fields of science, engineering, technology and math.

Viewers can also watch free episodes on the Design Squad Web site:



Credit: WGBH Boston