This morning as Little Miss Techie was reciting the names of the planets thanks to There’s No Place Like Space, I was reminded of the upcoming PBS Teachers Live! webinar, Engaging Students with Experiential STEM, and the new SciGirls show. Both the webinar and SciGirls seek to get girls more engaged in STEM subjects- an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math- and interested traditionally male dominated careers.
This Tuesday, March 16 at 8 p.m. EST the Engaging Students with Experiential STEM webinar will feature Dr. Mae Jemison – astronaut, chemical engineer, scientist, physician and teacher – who will offer guidance to educators on how to best inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In honor of Women’s History Month, Lisa Regalla, Science Editor at Twin Cities Public Television, will join the discussion to talk about the SciGirls. Lisa will highlight new on-air and online resources designed to transform the way tween girls look at STEM. To get your invitation to Tuesday’s webinar, sign up to become a PBS Teacher. The PBS Teachers community is open to teachers and homeschooling parents, and anyone interested in education. Sign up is super easy and can be done in 1 minute!
If you haven’t seen SciGirls, it is a show designed to change how millions of girls think about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The show’s half hour episodes showcase bright, curious real middle school-aged girls putting STEM subjects to work as they answer real-life questions, make unexpected discoveries in the world around them, and use their knowledge to make the world a better place.
Each episode follows a different group of middle school girls, whose passion to find answers to their questions and eagerness to understand their world provides an energetic model of inquiry-based science. And while we meet new girls in each episode, the series is unified by a pair of recurring animated characters – Izzie and her best friend Jake. Together, they embark on their own adventures and call on the SciGirls for help.
On SciGirls, investigations are only limited by imagination. Shot in reality TV, verité style, girls and their mentors dive deep to investigate dolphin behavior, engineer a giant mechanical puppet, unearth the archaeological secrets of extinct Native American cultures, create an eco-friendly turtle habitat, design fierce fashions with a high-tech twist and much more!
I love that SciGirls integrates TV and the web in a way that will interest today’s digital natives who are accustomed to using technology. Each TV episode begins on the site’s homepage, where Izzie goes when she finds herself in jams that only science can fix. She navigates to the site, jumps into a video of real-life SciGirls, and follows their story, learning and exploring every step of the way.
Izzie also invites viewers to hang out on the website, a safe social network where girls can create personal pages, design their own avatars, upload cool projects, and make friends. The site hosts science-based projects and encourages girls to upload info about their own at-home projects and experiments. There’s a weather widget that lets girls see the current weather and forecast according to their specific zip code and a “Moonscapes” feature that tells them which phase the moon is in based on a feed from NASA (one of several major science-related government orgs that help inform the website on a regular basis!). The safe social networking component allows girls to “friend” other girls with similar interests, as well as a feature in which girls can create their own avatar and choose its skin/eye/hair color, etc.
The goal of SciGirls is to change the way today’s modern generation of girls think about science, technology, engineering and math. By setting a good example using information shared during Tuesday’s PBS Teachers Live webinar, exposing our daughters to curious female scientists through SciGirls, and encouraging scientific discovery and exploration through the website, we’re already making positive strides towards making our girls more aware of STEM topics!
I was given permission to share this information about PBS Teachers LIVE! Webinars through my role as a consultant to PBS. I was not compensated to review or mention SciGirls. All images and screenshots are courtesy of PBS.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama