Today, the award-winning science series NOVA, produced for PBS by GBH Boston, announced the launch of NOVA Science Studio, a new national program to teach and engage young people through an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on science communication, digital media literacy, and video production. With a goal to empower youth with the skills to tell engaging stories about science through short-form videos and create a platform to amplify the voices of young people who have been traditionally underrepresented in science communication, NOVA Science Studio will give students exposure to a wide range of careers in journalism, media production, and STEM. The program will run now through June 2021. A video trailer for the new initiative can be found here.
The program will include 30 middle- and high-school students representing five regions around the country: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West Coast. The program, NOVA’s first focused effort to create educational resources to teach science communication to teens, grew out of a pilot program during the 2018-2019 academic year in the Boston area that worked with nearly 30 students. Each new region will be led by a NOVA Science Studio Site Coordinator who brings an expertise in science communication and video production; the group includes science communicators, producers, and teachers who have a strong track record of covering science through multi-platform storytelling. Names and bios for the site coordinators can be found here.
NOVA Science Studio will also draw on NOVA’s own talent, with participation by members of the editorial, broadcast, and digital teams.
NOVA Science Studio, which will engage students remotely during the 2021 school year, includes workshops on storytelling, interviewing, filming, and editing, among other areas, and focuses on using devices like smartphones as the primary tool for shooting and editing. The program, which is free for students, also will provide stipends to NSS Site Coordinators.
In addition to the student programming, NOVA is producing a science misinformation series called Misinformation Nation, produced and hosted by Digital Producer Alex Clark. The series aims to educate young people about the dangers of misinformation, reporting not only how to identify it but also how to debunk misinformation it’s encountered online. The videos will be included in the curriculum for the NOVA Science Studio and will be published on NOVA’s YouTube page. The first episode focuses on misinformation about mask usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ralph Bouquet, Director of Education and Outreach for NOVA, said “We are so excited to continue our mission of providing educators and students with the resources to foster curiosity in the sciences as well as make connections between science and the issues that impact their lives and society more broadly.”
“It is really a great privilege for us to work alongside these young people as they share their ideas about the future of inclusive science communication,” said Tenijah Hamilton, Program Manager for the NOVA Science Studio. “This cohort is made up of audacious students who are asking really hard questions about the world around them and are equally as dedicated to doing the work to find the answers. They already have their voices and the NOVA Science Studio is going to provide the tools to amplify them.”
“As a former teacher myself, I know first-hand how empowering students can spark a lifetime love of learning and sharing knowledge,” said NOVA Co-Executive Producer Chris Schmidt. “We are thrilled to be engaging with students and excited to support them in expressing diverse perspectives and ideas—through this program and in their future careers.”
“Science impacts all of us, so when it comes to science media, it’s crucial that everyone’s voice be heard,” said Co-Executive Producer Julia Cort. “We’re so proud that NOVA Science Studio is providing a platform for a new generation of science communicators.”
Come summer, the program will culminate in a virtual celebration ceremony and the students’ final projects will be shared across NOVA social platforms and available on the NOVA Science Studio YouTube channel.
NOVA is the most popular primetime science series on American television, demystifying the scientific and technological concepts that shape and define our lives, our planet, and our universe. The PBS series is also one of the most widely distributed science programs around the world, and is a multimedia, multiplatform brand reaching more than 55 million Americans every year on TV and online. NOVA’s important and inspiring stories of human ingenuity, exploration, and the quest for knowledge are regularly recognized with the industry’s most prestigious awards. As part of its mission to make the scientific enterprise accessible to all, NOVA is committed to diversity and inclusiveness in all its work, from the production process to the range of stories we tell and the voices we amplify. In addition, science educators across the country rely on NOVA for resources used in the classroom as well as in museums, libraries, and after-school programs. NOVA is a production of GBH Boston; more information can be found at pbs.org/nova, or by following NOVA on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio, and oversees Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors. More info at www.wgbh.org.