Hey kids! Start your televisions! And boot up your laptops! Watch two girls dive into a crystal-blue Catalina reef to uncover sunken secrets about biodiversity. Or watch four friends engineer a giant 12-foot pig puppet for a May Day parade. Or a group of pre-teens remake a wetland, so endangered turtles have a place to call home.
Targeting kids ages 8 to 12, the goal of "SciGirls" is to change how millions of girls think about science, technology, engineering and math--or STEM. Each half-hour episode follows a different group of real middle-school girls as they collaborate, communicate, engineer and discover. Shot reality-style, the girls, with the help of scientist mentors, design their own inquiry-based investigations on a wide variety of topics that can range from the environment to technology to engineering or nutrition. The series includes two animated characters--Izzie, a plucky SciGirl, and her best friend Jake--who embark on their own adventures and call on the SciGirls for help.
"SciGirls," which is funded by the National Science Foundation with additional support from ExxonMobil, integrates the web into the TV series. Each episode begins on the show's home page, where Izzie goes when she finds herself in jams that only science can fix. She surfs to the site, jumps into a video of real-life SciGirls, and follows their story, learning and exploring every step of the way. In addition, viewers are invited to create their own profile pages and upload their own science projects on the "SciGirls" web site.
SciGirls Season 1 received 2011 Emmy nominations for:
- Outstanding Children's Series
- New Approaches--Daytime Children's
- Outstanding Achievement in Single Camera Editing
For more information, go to http://pbskidsgo.org/scigirls. Scientists who are working with girls in their outreach efforts are invited to share their work on the "SciGirls" project pages at http://pbskids.org/scigirls/projects.
Credit: Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.