SciGirls TV Series, Website and Outreach is a transmedia project to encourage and empower girls to pursue careers in STEM. It is the first television series on PBS designed specifically for middle school girls, ages 8 - 12. The approach is based on gender research and best practices for STEM education for girls. Each episode features different real girls in active science investigations and engineering projects, while the series is unified by two appealing animated characters. The innovative format of the show forges a unique link to the Website, which is an integral part of the TV show itself. This request will support: * The production of ten new television episodes; * Enhancement of the SciGirls website on pbs.org; * Use of new technologies to create a SciGirls Smartphone app and interactive games; * Expansion of the SciGirls Museum Affiliates collaborative; a new SciGirls Mentorship Program with the AAUW and other professional organizations of scientists and engineers; and development of a new partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA.
The project's strategic partners are the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) in Seattle and The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The NGCP links SciGirls with its network of 500 community-based science programs for girls, and The Franklin Institute helps coordinate the Museum Affiliates, a network of science museums that implements SciGirls outreach activities. The project will also work with the Girl Scouts of America's new "Girl Scout Leadership Experience" program which emphasizes STEM learning. The most significant web component is a social networking feature that allows girls who are interested in science to connect with peers across the nation. To date, there have been over 800,000 unique visitors and 50,000 registered "SciGirls."
SciGirls TV is produced by Twin Cities Public Television and distributed by PBS Plus. Launched in February 2010, SciGirls Season One broadcasts reached over 86% of U.S. households. In addition, all programs are streamed on pbskids.org and available on iTunes free of charge. The Spanish version will be distributed on V-me. Two separate project evaluations will be conducted. Dr. Barbara Flagg will evaluate how SciGirls improves girls' knowledge and understanding of science and engineering and gives them greater confidence in their abilities in STEM. Valerie Knight-Williams will investigate the use of SciGirls outreach materials with a national network of after-school educators.