Build It Better

ds-bib-indexDESIGN SQUAD NATION has launched a new online challenge encouraging kids to explore how engineering touches their everyday lives. Throughout November kids can submit their design improvements to three themed challenges (fashion, school, and bedroom) and vote for their favorite designs. Our engineer hosts will be giving guidance along the way, and at the end of the challenge, selected designers will earn special virtual stickers they can use on the DESIGN SQUAD website.

The team building it better includes: Melissa, Bharat, Tara, Sylvia, Sue, Caz, Mike, Amy, Bill, and Marisa.

Created with additional funding support from the Lincoln & Therese Filene Foundation, Inc.


Visitors and Demos

digital_demo-10-25-13-07Bill and Jillian chat with Jarmo Viteli, one of the visitors from TERC, Northern Illinois University and several major universities in Finland who all stopped by our office last week. The visit was part of ongoing project work with a team of US (NSF-funded) and Finnish investigators who are working together to leverage their currently funded work in measurement of game-based learning to take on radically different approaches to the measurement of STEM learning. The Finnish-US Network (FUN) applies their combined novel and interdisciplinary perspectives on learning to study the relationship between engagement and STEM learning outcomes in transmedia games.

Our visitors got to see presentations and demos from producers Bill, Marisa, Jillian, Melissa, and Gentry and designers Dan and Tara on ongoing projects including Peep and the Big Wide World, Next Generation Preschool Math and Design Squad Nation, and new projects including Plum Landing and Tales from the Poisoner’s Handbook.

The President, Spiderman and Design Squad Nation

They come together right here at the White House blog.


WGBH’s DESIGN SQUAD NATION co-host Nate Ball (and other impressive engineers who are turning science fiction into science fact) participated last Friday in the White House’s We the Geeks: The Stuff Superheroes Are Made Of Google+ hangout. The event streamed live and Nate spoke about his Batman-like reverse propeller invention used by military rescue groups in the US and abroad.

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NASA Launches

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We’ve just launched a brand new resource of space-based, hands-on engineering challenges. They are designed for kids in school and afterschool programs, grades 4 to 8.

The site includes original video, activities, and PDFs all presented as 508-compliant resources. Video includes DVS, descriptive video for the deaf or hard of hearing.

WGBH’s Design Squad Mission Solar team includes: Chris, Melissa, Ali, Kal, Christian, Irena, Bill, Caz, Lauren, Dorothy, Ken, Jeffrey, Colin, Alison, and Marisa with additional video from FunnyBoat Productions and Geoff Adams.

Created with generous funding support from NASA.

Fidgit Factory

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DESIGN SQUAD has launched Fidgit Factory, a new game where players wire a circuit that powers a set of wacky machines. Then as the orders roll in, players dress up those adorable Fidgits with hats, glasses, antennae and more! See if you can win the high-score stickers through all 5 levels and 15 rounds of play!

Team: Kal, Tara, Melissa, Li, Jillian, Caz, Sylvia, Pearl, and Dave. With music by Christian.