Fidgits to the Rescue


Today the Design Squad team launched our latest game: Fidgits to the Rescue! Players step into the role of first responders as they design ways to deliver emergency supplies to our Fidgit characters after a natural disaster.

(Also coming soon to the PBS KIDS Games App!)

A BIG thanks to the incredibly creative & dedicated team who made this happen: on development, Kal; Stefan and Tara on design; Louise and Lizzy for production support; and project leader, Marisa. And this awesome team is led by Melissa. 


Plum Fun for Earth Day

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.18.04 AM

Nature Changer – Plum’s biggest game yet! Play as 30 different animals (from grasshopper to shark!) and customize game mechanics like speed, number of predators, and goals for an almost infinite amount of combinations

Plum’s Creature Connector, a series of globetrotting ecosystem puzzles inspired by “escape room” adventure games 

Thank you to Melissa as producer, devs Kit and Kal; Tara and Stefan on design; Bill, Louise, and Allison for production support; and our project leader, Marisa. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.17.48 AM


Flood! And More!

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.37.30 AM

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:

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 11.48.58 AM.png

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!

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.38.44 AM

“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.

Arthur Love!

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 1.13.14 PM

ARTHUR gets a new facelift as he ages out of his teenage years (we’re into seasons 19-20 and counting). This bright and responsive design highlights new HTML games and features including our awesome interactive tool for gathering family histories, a new video player, and a clean new look.

Terrific work from Gentry, Jeff, Jolin and Tara ably supported by Carol, Deb and Vanessa.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 1.13.24 PM

New Batch of Plum Goodness!

With Earth Day looming, our purple alien Plum has let us launch a bunch of her new games.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 1.53.24 PM

Break It Down takes us down to the forest floor to explore decomposition in a multi-stage HTML5 game of detritus, dead animals and rotting vegetation.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 1.55.27 PM

Seed Racer brings a dizzying array of seeds, acorns and burrs into a dynamic game that shows how different seeds propagate. Look out for those crows – they may poop out raspberry seeds!

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 1.57.29 PM

Invaders! is our bustling invasive species game. More HTML5 fun, this time with a race to eliminate introduced or invasive species before they crowd out the native populations.

And that’s not all.

Our award-winning Photo Hunt app just added a whole bunch on new photobombs and a fabulous in-app Field Journal. Already voted Best Learning App by iKids, this free app just got a whole lot awesomer.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.04.05 PM

Major funding for PLUM LANDING is provided by the National Science Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and The Kendeda Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Northern Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This PLUM LANDING material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1114515. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.