PBS’s “SciGirls” series gears up for season two with inspirational, innovative and flat-out fun STEM videos and games across all of the digital platforms girls love.
Got a tween? Then you’ve probably got a screen. Or two, or maybe three. SciGirls gets screens. As the PBS series that’s all about engaging girls 9-13 in science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM), SciGirls understands how today’s “digital native” kids largely live online.
So as the series premieres its second season in October 2012 on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings or watch online at scigirls.org), SciGirls is shaking up screen time as we know it, unleashing inspirational, innovative and flat-out fun STEM videos and games across all of the digital platforms girls love.
First, there are ten new half-hour episodes of the popular television series that Parenting magazine calls “cool stuff” and the New York Times says makes science “downright enjoyable.” Shot in reality TV’s verité-style, SciGirls’ bright, curious, real girls get the new season off to a splashy start with an exciting underwater robotic adventure, produced in association with the Office of Naval Research. The season sails along as other teams of SciGirls and their mentors engineer a ‘chill’ ice-cream-making bike, design a groundbreaking earthquake app, get the buzz on urban beekeeping, use real forensic methods to solve a mysterious “crime,” and more! And of course, animated characters Izzie and Jake are back, still getting into jams that can only be solved by the real-life SciGirls – and STEM.
In Season Two, SciGirls really soars beyond broadcast, into the interactive space where the series snagged a “New Approaches” Daytime Emmy Award for linking its shows and website in inventive, fresh ways. The episodes will seamlessly introduce and “tease” cool new online games, activities, and other content, including:
- Pick ’m Stick ’m: SciGirls is throwing a search party, with a unique online game that starts during the show! Each episode features onscreen clues that lead girls to a corresponding “mash-up” game on the website. So while kids are enjoying the new episodes, they’re already playing the game! With the clues, girls go to the SciGirls website to solve an “iSpy”-style puzzle (Pick’m !), unlocking pictures they can use to create a their own collage about the show (Stick’m!). Pick’m, Stick’m and Share’m, SciGirls!
- Aquabot: In this game, girls can engineer an underwater ROV – remote operated vehicle – that doesn’t sink to the bottom or float to the top. Once the ROV is ready to roll (or, um, swim?), deep sea-divas can navigate a multi-level game, helping Izzie and Jake find lost treasure.
- Busy as a Bee: Got honey? That’s the golden currency of this simulation game, which extends the adventures of beekeeping SciGirls on the TV show across the website’s social network. Part Farmville, part Tamagotchi, kids nationwide will grow their gardens and help their hives by depending on each other. Sweet!
“Texting, social networking, smart phones, gaming—digital technologies are more than just diversions to kids. They are educational tools as common to our viewers as pencils and notebooks were to their parents,” said SciGirls executive producer Richard Hudson. “SciGirls’ second season marries the onscreen adventures of our remarkable SciGirls to the power of the web, to ignite girls’ curiosity and change the way they think about STEM.”
The SciGirls creative team is headed by Twin Cities Public Television’s Director of Science Content Richard Hudson, Executive Producer of the long-running PBS children’s science series Newton's Apple and creator of DragonflyTV and the SciGirls initiative. Co-Executive Producer is Kathleen Shugrue co-creator of Fetch! and producer of ZOOM at WGBH. Animation is created by Soup2Nuts, producers of PBS’ WordGirl. The website is developed by Big Bad Tomato Interactive, and SciGirls is generously funded by The National Science Foundation. Additional funding is provided by L’Oreal USA.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.