“Design Squad,” a PBS live-action series, will debut this year. Produced as an educational initiative, its goal is to excite kids about engineering while making it engaging and fun at the same time.
“Design Squad” is a new reality competition show consisting of two teams of high-school students (ages 16-19) who use their everyday problem-solving skills to design, construct, and test whimsical machines and innovative products for actual clients. In each episode, teens undertake real-world engineering challenges—from designing a “summer sled” for L.L. Bean to making an automatic soccer ball machine for the MLS pro soccer New England Revolution team—and score points for their abilities at creative thinking and meeting project demands. These challenges ultimately lead to the top two scorers battling for the grand prize, a $10,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation.
In addition to the television series, “Design Squad” is collaborating with engineering organizations and informal educators to increase students’ knowledge and foster a positive image of engineering, often called the stealth profession because most people do not fully understand it. Through after-school programs, museums, and outreach events nationwide, “Design Squad” will present engineering concepts and hands-on activities in an accessible and fun way.
The series premiere on PBS, and related events, will kick off during National Engineers Week, Feb. 18-24, 2007.
For more information, visit the preview Web site at: pbskids.org/designsquad.