Moral Education!

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Our very own Gentry and Cyrisse, along with Lacey Hilliard from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, showed off our latest collaborative work for ARTHUR at the 42nd Association for Moral Education Annual Conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

This presentation showed the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a supplemental elementary school curriculum designed to promote character and civic engagement through interactive media and cross-age buddy pairs.

The project has five interactive games and comics based on characters and storylines from the television series Arthur and focused on promoting empathy, honesty, forgiveness, generosity, and learning from others, validated with an evaluation in a nine-school comparative and longitudinal research study.

The content will be published very soon at PBS LearningMedia and is led at GBH by Mary Haggerty, Director of Media Engagement.

Hackathon!

The First 8 Years: A Public Media Hackathon

On November 18-19, First 8 Labs at WGBH hosted its first hackathon! Parents, preschool teachers, and health professionals spent the first part of the event brainstorming everyday challenges that they face in supporting children’s development. From getting kids to eat healthier to strengthening the relationship between parents and pediatricians, attendees had many ideas to contribute. Then, designers and developers spent the evening and next day creating digital prototypes to solve these problems. At the end of the event, early childhood experts judged the prototype and selected a winner.

For more about the process please check out the First 8 blog.

This project is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Photos by Anna Fort 

Quack in the Community

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On September 24, 2016, WGBH co-hosted an event called “Ready to Learn: Family Tech Day” with Tech Goes Home, Boston Public Schools Adult Learning Center, and English for New Bostonians.  

At the event, families could complete hands-on or digital activities about literacy and science, get information about technology and local resources, and take photos with WGBH characters Peep, Quack, and Curious George.

This event was made possible by the generous support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Photo: Anna Fort

Celebrating Earth Day with Plum & Peep!

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WGBH’s Education and Digital departments teamed up for a fun-filled afternoon leading family STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities at last weekend’s Cambridge Science Festival. Education Project Director Jenny Cutraro, Digital Production Coordinator Louise Flannery, Digital Designer Stefan Mallette, and Digital intern Urooj Jaffer produced and led PLUM LANDING’s Pin the Moose on the Mountain activity (pictured), for which children drew and pinned diverse animals to a large mountain ecosystem. PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD’s Senior Project Manager for Education, Gay Mohrbacher, debuted what proved to be an irresistible “water wall”—where pathways of recycled plastic containers allowed children to explore the gravitational flow of water. “It was great to reach out to so many of our neighbors—parents and children who love the work of WGBH Kids!” says Louise. About 150 younger children visited our booth for the hands-on fun. “The Festival showcases both fun and leading-edge science for the public,” notes Gay. “It makes STEM accessible and interactive, and highlights the impact of science in everyone’s life.”

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WGBH @ The White House

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The White House, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and Invest in US, will host an event today (4/21/16) to highlight the importance of promoting active science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning for our youngest children and to celebrate a broad range of public- and private-sector leaders committed to promoting STEM learning across the country.

The White House received over 200 submissions of innovative STEM work from leaders across the country, representing state and local entities, foundations, non-profits, media organizations, technology companies, research institutions, and museums. Collectively, the commitments of these leaders have the potential to bring new active STEM content for our youngest children to millions of households across the nation.

WGBH is well-represented in these current initiatives as part of Ready to Learn and also independently, including (quoting from the White House press release):

  • New Research on the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready to Learn Program: This month, grantees from ED’s Ready to Learn program will be featured in reports that share findings and lessons learned about utilizing television and digital media to support math learning for young children. The reports include six papers by grantees and evaluators that will appear in a special section of an issue of The Journal of Children and Media, and a new report entitled “The Ready to Learn Program: 2010–2015 Policy Brief” released by the Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University.
  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and local PBS stations will increase the availability of STEM learning tools for young children through content and community engagement. By 2020, a series of new, engaging, and evidence-based media experiences across multiple platforms will be available for free to aid families and educators in helping children develop early STEM skills. These will include resources ranging from new episodes of STEM television programs, to parent apps and classroom-ready, curriculum-aligned STEM resources that supplement instruction in preschool through third grade classrooms. CPB and PBS will also support a network of 30 STEM-focused community collaboratives that will elevate early STEM learning across the country, enhance community-wide efforts to engage underserved children, and help formal and informal caregivers become more confident and competent in supporting their children’s STEM learning.
  • WGBH Boston will produce additional apps and hands-on activities for parents and their preschool children, targeted to early math, science and computational learning, as well as work with parents and Head Start teachers through a series of hackathons to determine how to effectively build the home-school connection around STEM learning.