DESIGN SQUAD, the Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS website, launched DESIGN SQUAD GLOBAL during National Engineers Week, on Global Day, February 24th, with a rebranding of the website to promote the project’s new global focus and the launch of two new features. The new game, DON’T FLOOD THE FIDGITS!, challenges kids to build a safe, dry city for its fictional Fidgit characters. The game also is now featured in the PBS KIDS virtual world, Kart Kingdom with Design Squad-themed Karts:
Also joining the site is a new interactive map feature that lets kids see designs submitted from other kids around the world. 62 countries represented so far!
“Both features reinforce DESIGN SQUAD’s expanded focus on global engineering and cross-cultural understanding,” says Senior Digital Producer Melissa Carlson, “and the game is a fun and engaging way for kids to practice their design process skills while exploring an issue of global significance.”
To mark the launch locally, over 200 youth from the YMCA, Science Club for Girls, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters Mentoring Program participated in a DESIGN SQUAD GLOBAL engineering activity Seismic Shake-Up, that challenges kids to design structures that can survive an earthquake. “This was a great opportunity for us to partner with local organizations that are seeking STEM curriculum for their day-to-day out-of-school programming,” says Outreach Project Director, Saranya Sathananthan. “The staff and volunteers were thrilled to see participants so engaged and proud of the sturdy creations they built.”
Special thanks to the tech leads on these features, Kal Gieber and Jay Thompson, to Tara Taylor and Stefan Mallette for their designs, to Bill Shribman for digital support, and our project leader, Marisa Wolsky.