FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 16, 2011
CONTACT: George Hazimanolis
ANNUAL ENGINEERING ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM CULMINATES WITH STUDENT CHALLENGE EVENT AT WQED
PITTSBURGH—On Friday, April 20, 2012 the third annual Design Lives Here challenge will take place at WQED Studios in Oakland.
From January through April 2012, 10 regional schools as well as two afterschool programs targeting over 100+ minorities and girls participated in the Design Lives Here program presented by WQED Pittsburgh and the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) with additional support from MSA, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and American Bridge.
The participating schools and programs include:
• SciTech Academy in Oakland
• Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School in Natrona Heights
• North Hills Junior High
• St. Philip School in Crafton
• Franklin Regional Middle School in Murrysville
• West Mifflin Area Middle School
• Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside
• The Neighborhood Academy in East Liberty
• Haine Middle School in Cranberry Township
• Marshall Middle School in North Allegheny
• YWCA Tech GYRLS Afterschool Program in Homewood
• Investing Now Afterschool Program in Oakland
Utilizing activities and content from Design Squad Nation episodes and interactive resources, participating schools were guided by real engineers to complete challenges. Students participate in many diverse activities for up to four months - such as meeting and networking with the ESWP and WQED staff and working in teams to engineer games, instruments, launchers and cranes. As the students convene on April 20th, they will be randomly placed into teams across schools and given spontaneous challenges such as building a pop-up shelter and seeing if it can withstand “hurricane-like” winds.
Design Lives Here is a student outreach competition based on the PBS show Design Squad Nation, a reality-style program created to “inspire the next generation of engineers.” The show features teens engaged in challenges all over the United States and globe, vying for scholarships by designing devices to understand the complex – and compelling – world of engineering.
“As engineers we are always interested in engaging young people in S.T.E.M. careers. The Design Lives Here event will give us the opportunity to provide them with exciting and interactive real-world applications of engineering,” said Tom Donatelli, 2012 President of the ESWP.
“Thousands of jobs are open in our region in S.T.E.M. fields in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It is critical that we use every tool at our disposal – including television – to engage our next generation of creative problem solvers. Engaging kids in afterschool and classroom settings allows us to integrate a TV show, engineering mentors, hands-on problem solving, games, and animations into the learning process. Design Lives Here constantly reemphasizes to young people that they too, can participate in engineering as a career," said Jennifer Stancil, Executive Director of Educational Partnerships at WQED. “We are thrilled to engage major local partners in this investment in engineering education for teens. It will positively impact teens, teachers
and businesses in our region.”
On the Border restaurant in Cranberry Township is providing lunch for students and participants on April 20th.
NOTE TO WORKING PRESS:
Photo opportunities are available on Friday, April 20, 2012 from 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. at WQED Studios in Oakland as the students take on their final Design Lives Here challenge.
For more information or to schedule an interview with any of the partners please contact George Hazimanolis at 412-622-1366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 128 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high- definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and The WQED Education Department.
Design Squad Nation is a 10-part series of TV shows and video blogs that build on the success of the award-winning PBS reality competition series Design Squad to get kids excited about engineering. Design Squad Nation is high-energy, high-drama reality TV led by Judy and Adam, two professional engineers who work with kids around the world to make their wishes come tru through engineering. From creating a park for skaters at the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona to building a playground in a rural village in Nicaragua's northern mountains, the goal of Design Squad Nation is to inspire viewers to take on their own hands-on engineering activities.