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Events: July 2011

TechBrick Member, Hunter, Chosen for Twin Cities Public Television Sci-Girls Program


From left to right:  Oksana, Maria,  Hunter, Emily, Allie, and Alex auditioned for the TPT program, SciGirls, in July.

On July 26, 2011, six of our TechBrick girls joins a dozen other FIRST LEGO League teams from around the region for auditions for the TPT SciGirls Series (see press release to the right).

SciGirls features girls doing cool science. You can see the wide range of research projects SciGirls provides at their very cool website:  http://pbskids.org/scigirls

The original audition for a single team. The TPT staff had a very difficult time making their final cast selection because each team had enthusiastic and engaged children.

The producers said that the Techbrick girls stood out because each student had obviously outstanding individual character, their teamwork and was phenomenal, and they had a natural kinship and general spirit of kindness toward one another.

After completing the auditions they chose to select four girls from all the teams to form one new team based on their individual interests. Hunter was chosen to be one of the four girls because of her interest in marine biology.

The episode Hunter was chosen for is called "SciGirls at Sea: A Navy Sea Perch Adventure." It was originally intended to serve as a non-broadcast DVD for the Navy to use in their education programs, but with the recent $2.78 million grant from the National Science Foundation for Season 2, TPT is hoping to roll this program into the second broadcast season.

In the program, Hunter and 3 other girls from the area will be using an underwater robot called the sea perch to investigate the health of the Chesapeake Bay. They will be working with female mentors, including an engineer, an oceanographer, and a naval architect. It should be fun!

[Click here to see our SeaPerch event in the summer of 2011]

Hunter recently had a Skype session with the producers of the show today to get final details before filming. She is obviously every excited.

Recent grants received by TPT will most likely allow them to broadcast this episode nationally in 2012.


As Always We Want to Share Our Work

Below are our prep notes. You can adapt these notes for any media exposure for your team. Please note: We did not hyper-prepare them. We simple reinforced lessons they've all learned through FLL during one short meeting. The girls enthusiastically took on the challenge.

Look at the site. Know everything about the program.

  • http://pbskids.org/scigirls/
    Make sure every child has seen the site, knows the name of it, and can describe what's there, AND can talk about at least 5 projects on the site that intrigued them (without prompting).

Read these two pages:

Then go here and search for MD

General Preparation

  • Be prepared with a short intro about yourself.
  • Be able to answer the question, "What I hope to learn through this show is..."
  • Dress the part: Comfortable, attractive project clothes. Bright solid color are great. Broad patterns OK. Avoid tight patterns.
  • Make sure your hair is perfect: Trimmed, neat.
  • Keep makeup at a minimum: As natural as possible.
  • Practice telling your story in front of a mirror or video cam at least 5 times.
  • Speak clearly, deliberately, and with energy.
  • Look people in the eyes.
  • Speak with precision and content (Not: "I feel a lot more like I do now than I did when I first got here" which means nothing at all.) That is, say something substantive.
  • Don’t interrupt and don’t dominate the conversation (both important).
  • No negative (whoops), Use only positive statements to each other.
  • NO UMS, AHHS, LIKES, etc.
  • You are 'on stage' from the minute you arrive. People may be watching you from the parking lot to the audition and after (just like FLL). Be polite, friendly, only positive comments. No 'looks.'
  • This is a real audition. People can spend weeks/months preparing for auditions. We've spent years. You have a lot to offer. Show them.
  Press Release

TPT National Productions Wins Daytime Emmy For PBS Series "SciGirls"

June 20, 2011

Twin Cities Public Television’s production of SciGirls for PBS audiences nationwide was recognized June 17th with a National Emmy at the 38th Annual Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Awards. SciGirls won the category “New Approaches” for its unique merging of television and the web.

SciGirls is produced in St. Paul by tpt National Productions with support from the National Science Foundation and ExxonMobil. Airing on PBS stations nationwide as well as on its website, www.pbskids.org, SciGirls has the bold goal of changing how millions of girls think about science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM, the hottest topic in U.S. education today. Each half-hour episode follows a different group of enthusiastic, real SciGirls, who collaborate, communicate, engineer and discover. They’re accompanied by two animated characters – a plucky SciGirl named Izzie and her best friend Jake, who tie the series together both online and on TV with their STEM-infused adventures.

Izzie is both the show host and the webmaster, so when she has a problem, she jumps onto the site to look for real girls who can help her. Visitors to the site can register, safely share their STEM interests with other girls, play the new “Diorama-o-Rama” game, and submit their own science projects to share with other girls. Since its launch in 2010, the site has had almost 800,000 unique visitors: more than 50,000 have registered as “SciGirls” and uploaded over 400 of their own science and engineering projects. (www.pbskidsgo.org/scigirls.)

“Over 25 years ago tpt made a commitment to being a national leader in science programming and education with the premiere of Newton’s Apple,” said James R. Pagliarini, president of tpt. “Our team has consistently delivered on the promise to use the power of media to make science accessible, entertaining and inspiring.”

“We’re thrilled about the New Approach award,” said SciGirls’ executive producer Richard Hudson. “This category recognizes the unique way we merged the website and the TV show, giving girls a great TV show plus a safe social network where it’s cool to be smart!”

The Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards recognize outstanding achievement in all fields of daytime television production. The Daytime Creative Arts Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles on June 17.

Producer of the long-running PBS children’s science series Newton's Apple and DragonflyTV. Hudson leads science programming production at tpt National Productions, the Twin Cities PBS affiliate. tpt National Productions’ quality, creativity and innovation have earned both popular and critical acclaim, garnering more than 300 awards for artistic and technical achievement, including 25 National and Regional Emmy Awards, the duPont-Columbia Commendation, three Peabody Awards, an Academy Award nomination and awards at major international film festivals. tpt National Productions' websites also have been honored with Parents’ Choice and PBS Web awards, and its outreach resources have been lauded and utilized by educators, community leaders and parents nationwide.

The SciGirls Series Producer is Kathy Shugrue, co-creator of Fetch! and producer of Zoom at WGBH. The web producer is Joan Freese. (Other credits are available online at scigirls.org/.) The website was developed by Big Bad Tomato Interactive, Los Angeles and the Izzie animations were created by Soup2Nuts, producers of WordGirl. The SciGirls theme song was created by Eggplant Toronto. Outreach and education activities are coordinated in partnership with the National Girls Collaborative Project, the EdLab Group, Seattle.

* * *

About tpt: The mission of tpt is to “enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media.” As one of the nation’s leading public media organizations, tpt uses television, interactive media, and community engagement to advance education, culture and citizenship. Over its 50+ year history, tpt has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmys.

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, tpt is one of the highest rated PBS affiliates in the nation, reaching over 1.3 million people each month through multiple broadcast and online channels. The organization's particular areas of focus include: the educational readiness of children; serving the needs and unleashing the potential of America's aging population; engaging a new generation in the power of public media; and being the preferred media partner for organizations that align with our mission to enrich lives and strengthen community.

Contact: Cathy Clark, [email protected], 651-229-1346
Richard Hudson, [email protected], 651-229-1317

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