Nova Launches National Youth Science Communication Initiative: Nova Science Studio

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.…Read More

Educational materials for middle and high school from PBS

On the heels of Earth Day, WGBH Education launched a collection of digital resources featuring content from the new film H2O: The Molecule That Made Us, the landmark three-part series that tells the human story through our relationship to water.

With kids now learning from home, these resources are aimed at providing both parents and teachers alike with the resources they need to continue schooling remotely. The resources are available on PBS LearningMedia and include educational materials for middle and high school teachers and students.

The first four video-based resources that launched today focus on the following water-related phenomena:…Read More

Emperor Science Award Program

To encourage high school students to explore careers in science, and specifically cancer research, PBS Learning Media and Stand Up To Cancer announced the second annual Emperor Science Award Program. The program will award 100 students a unique mentoring opportunity to work with an esteemed university-level research scientist on a multi-week cancer research project.

In the marketplace: Online makerspaces and innovative college prep

Tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of the myriad changes and trends in education to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant change.

Check below for the latest marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

Stand Up To Cancer and PBS LearningMedia announced the opening of applications for the second year of The Emperor Science Award program, an initiative designed to encourage high school students to explore careers in science, specifically cancer research and care, through a unique mentoring opportunity. The program aims to empower high school students to become the next generation of cancer researchers and will award 100 students this year, the second year of a three-year commitment, with an opportunity to work with an esteemed university-level research scientist on a rewarding multi-week cancer research project. Read more.…Read More

Research: Digital media could aid early math skills

Study of early learners reveals media content from the show PEG + CAT could help improve children’s critical math skills

math-skillsChildren who used media content from PBS KIDS’ series PEG + CAT showed improvement in critical math areas involving ordinal numbers, spatial relationships, and 3-D shapes, according to researchers at EDC and SRI International.

Parents and caregivers also showed greater comfort and confidence in supporting their children with math concepts and problem-solving strategies.

The randomized Ready To Learn study was based on a sample of 197 children ages 4 to 5 years old, primarily from low-income families, in New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.…Read More

Public libraries make digital magazines accessible to all

Magazine publishers are experimenting with all sorts of different ways to get you to pay for their digital products, including single issues, subscriptions, “buffets” (like Next Issue) and package deals (like Zinio’s Z-Pass), PBS reports. But if you have a library card, you may be able to get quite a few digital magazines without paying anything at all. Public libraries in cities large and small already offer their patrons digital magazines free of charge. The most common source is actually digital newsstand Zinio, which offers libraries subscriptions through the library services company Recorded Books. Digital magazines are broadening libraries’ collections and deepening patrons’ interaction with library resources, helping them read media in the format they prefer, whenever and wherever…

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New partnership yields current-events resources

newsresizedShare My Lesson, an online community with free lesson plans and other teaching resources, has announced a new partnership with PBS NewsHour Extra. The deal will make current-events content from PBS NewsHour Extra available on the Share My Lesson platform for middle and high school teachers to use free of charge.

“We are thrilled to partner with PBS NewsHour Extra to increase the available resources we provide to our members,” said Share My Lesson General Manager Scott Noon. “Together, we will offer the best timely and teacher-friendly resources associated with current events that are also aligned to the Common Core.”

Most recently, PBS NewsHour Extra linked a Share My Lesson resource to a story on Syria. The lesson plan provided an engaging simulation activity for students, as well as accompanying text and video resources designed to help students understand the conflict in depth.  Because of its success, Share My Lesson is building a segment called “Today’s News, Tomorrow’s Lesson,” which connects resources and lesson plans that help teach students about current-events taking place around the world.…Read More

Debate thrusts ‘Sesame Street’ into presidential campaign

“We do not comment on campaigns, but we’re happy we can all agree that everyone likes Big Bird,” said a Sesame Workshop spokeswoman.

During his Oct. 3 debate with President Barack Obama, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called for cutting federal funding to PBS, despite saying, “I love Big Bird.” His comment renewed a long-running debate over subsidies to public broadcasting.

“I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” the former Massachusetts governor said during a deficit-cutting discussion. “I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too, Jim (Lehrer, PBS newsman and debate moderator). But I’m not going to … keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

PBS chief Paula Kerger said she “just about fell off the sofa” when the issue suddenly came up during the debate. She said that if the subsidy goes, so will some PBS stations.…Read More

Pennsylvania establishes first statewide Digital Learning Library

Penn State University is helping to create the content to be included in the DLL.
Penn State University is helping to create the content to be included in the DLL.

In a groundbreaking effort to give educators and students free access to standards-aligned digital media content, Pennsylvania has announced the launch of its Digital Learning Library (DLL), which aims to bring learning into the 21st century though interactive and customizable digital content.

Recently, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) formed an education technology initiative to create digital learning resource centers aligned with state standards and connected with student data systems. The goal was to help teachers find free, high-quality educational materials to help them address their students’ learning needs. (See “Free digital resource centers coming soon.”)

Now, thanks to a partnership with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Penn State Public Broadcasting (WPSU, an affiliate of PBS), Pennsylvania has created and launched the first of these state DLLs, providing thousands of digital assets to classrooms statewide.…Read More