Thursday, April 23, 2015


PITTSBURGH—Over the last five years, WQED has engaged several hundred middle school students through its Design Lives Here program.

Participating educators and students of the program utilize Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities and content from Design Squad Nation episodes (airs Sundays at 7:00 p.m. on WQED-TV) and

Made possible by ANSYS, MSA Safety Incorporated (MSA), Bombardier Transportation, and American Design Lives Here is presented by WQED in partnership with the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) and Inventionland.

On Friday, May 1, 2015 these students will come to Inventionland in RIDC Park for “Invention Convention”, a day-long competition event that includes three hands-on/minds-on engineering challenge activities and the opportunity to speak with engineering mentors and staff. Students will be grouped into teams across schools and given challenges such as “Zip Line” where they are challenged to design and build a carrier that can transport a Ping-Pong ball from the top of a zip line string to the bottom in four seconds or less using a limited supply of materials. The challenge activities are supported by local engineering mentors, giving students and teachers the opportunity to interact with professional engineers throughout the day. 

In addition to the on-site engineering challenges, students complete one final challenge – the Invention Challenge. Prior to attending “Invention Convention”, students will identify a problem in one of eight invention categories: kitchen/culinary; outdoors; pets; sports/hobbies; toys (non-electronic); vehicles (transportation); wearables/fashion; and miscellaneous. In teams, they will invent a solution to that problem, and illustrate or build a specialized model (prototype) of their invention. Students will then have the opportunity to “pitch” their ideas and products to the professional inventors at Inventionland and receive specific feedback and coaching regarding those creative designs.
interactive resources, with support from local engineers, to learn about the engineering design process and complete a number of engineering challenges throughout the school year. Aimed at encouraging area kids to learn more about and consider a profession in engineering, this year’s program includes seven returning schools with the addition of three new participating schools. Approximately 230 students in grades 5-8 will represent these different southwestern Pennsylvania educational stakeholders in preparation for the culminating competition.
To view the complete release click here.

NOTE TO WORKING PRESS: Photo opportunities are available on Friday, May 1, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Inventionland located at RIDC Park, 585 Alpha Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238. A copy of the day’s agenda is available by request to Please note that you will have to sign a waiver to enter the building. 

No comments: