Peep & Tynker

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Tynker, the leading creative coding platform that has enabled more than 35 million kids around the world to code, today announced partnerships with public media leader WGBH Boston, Mattel, and Parrot Education to expand activities and opportunities for teachers and students to participate in the Hour of Code, taking place from December 5-11, 2016.

Hour of Code is the largest global education event in history with more than 200 million participants since 2012. Through previous Hour of Code events, more than 30 million students used Tynker across more than a dozen countries.

“We want to turn your students’ passion for playing video games, crafting with Minecraft, and playing with toys into valuable life skills,” says Krishna Vedati, CEO of Tynker. “We have designed this year’s activities to spark a deeper interest in STEM subjects, computer programming, and engineering.”

Tynker’s new Hour of Code partnership with WGBH Boston will provide early elementary students the opportunity to build storytelling and animation projects such as Dance with Friends and Nature Walk with characters from the popular website and TV series PEEP and the Big Wide World.

“WGBH and Tynker share the same mission of giving children the foundation they need to develop their STEM knowledge,” says Marisa Wolsky, Executive Producer of PEEP and the Big Wide World. “In bringing characters from PEEP and the Big Wide World to the Hour of Code, together we will be able to capitalize on the power of story and appealing characters to teach foundational computational thinking concepts to young learners.”

Students in upper elementary and middle school will be able to program their Hot Wheels cars to win races and help the ghouls of Monster High complete a scavenger hunt.

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“At Mattel, we’re passionate about harnessing the power of play to drive learning and development for kids around the world,” said Geoff Walker, Mattel’s Chief Strategic Technology Officer. “We’re thrilled to partner with Tynker to help kids to learn to code in a fun and engaging way.”

Students who are already comfortable with coding fundamentals can try Counter Hack and Toxic Jungle, Tynker’s new JavaScript and Python tutorials, where they get a taste of real-world programming with mainstream languages.

Young learners who enjoy Minecraft can also use Tynker to modify their experience as they program mods, customize skins, and resource packs, and design add-ons. Those with access to connected toys like Sphero, Lego WeDo, or Parrot drones can program their devices with code using the Tynker tablet app.

Through its partnership with Parrot, Tynker is offering a chance for teachers to win a drone. To enter, teachers need to tweet a picture of their students doing an Hour of Code with Tynker using the tag #iwantafreedrone to @GoTynker and @ParrotEducation. Winners will be chosen from all entries on December 14.

Jerome Bouvard, Director of Parrot Education, has seen countless applications of Parrot drone technology used across all industries. “There is a drone revolution occurring across the globe,” says Bouvard. “Drones provide an aerial perspective, giving rise to new applications that have not even been imagined yet. Programming drones with Tynker will inspire kids with new and exciting ways to learn as they program aerial stunts, take pictures, or send the drone on a flight plan.”

Tynker’s Hour of Code activities are the best option for teachers to engage their students in coding. Teacher-friendly features include easy setup, progress tracking, completion certificates, and STEM curriculum options beyond the Hour of Code. With Tynker’s classroom management features, teachers can easily add and organize students, assign age-appropriate activities, and track progress. Teachers can register and get started by visiting https://www.tynker.com/hour-of-code/teacher

In addition to the new and existing partnerships, Tynker will offer limited opportunities and special prizes for Hour of Code participation from December 5-11, including:

  • Free download of the Tynker for Schools App on iPads and Android tablets, usually $5.99
  • The chance for teachers to win free drones
  • New cross-curricular activities for teachers to connect coding to other subjects such as Social Studies, Math, and Science

“Hour of Code is a fantastic way to engage kids in the global learning community around STEM and computer coding,” says Vedati. “Our exciting new partners and products will ensure that anyone, at any level, can find a fun and entertaining way to join Hour of Code and learn about coding.”

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New PEEP Resources in English & Spanish

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Our newly updated PEEP Event Kit is online. In the Peep and the Big Wide World Event Kit, you will find resources to organize, promote, and run three different science events for preschoolers: Exploring Shadows, Exploring Structures, and Exploring Ramps. For each event there is an Event Leader’s guide detailing how to set up the hands-on activities, a flyer to promote the event, and related take-home materials for families in English and Spanish.

Thanks to Borgna, Gay, Kit, Jay and the rest of the PEEPers for the update.

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 Kids Digital: Triple Threat

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The kids team picked up three Kidscreen Awards at the 2016 annual event in Miami.

Congratulations go to the digital team responsible for these fine works:

and to Exec Producer Marisa Wolsky who oversees these important science projects.

Congrats also go to our pals at PBS KIDS for yet another channel-of-the-year win and to Chris Bishop and his team at PBS KIDS for best design.

 

Peep’s Feet

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Jump! Spin! Jump! Spin! Jump! Spin! Uh oh, don’t get too dizzy! Come dance with Peep and his friends in this silly pattern game.

Children will love helping Peep jump and jive by figuring out what dance moves come next in each repeating pattern. As kids successfully complete each level, the patterns will become more complex and prompt children to select the right move from an even larger selection of icons. Throughout the game, children will also have the opportunity to make different dances by creating their own patterns!

By identifying and understanding basic patterns, children will begin to learn important skills needed for later math proficiencies, such as algebra. Encourage your child to not only watch Peep and his friends dance through the pattern, but to get up and dance along! You can also try finding patterns together at home or in your backyard.

The game is presented in HTML5 in English and Spanish was produced by Laura and the PEEP team.

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Peep!

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After nearly two years of production, under a grant from NSF, Peep and the Big Wide World has launched a completely redesigned site — and it’s bilingual, too: the content for both grown-ups and children is available in both English and Spanish with a single-button toggle between the two. No other set of educator and family resources on the Web offers the same depth and breadth of content in both English and Spanish.

Congratulations to a massive team from across the foundation (22 from the Digital department alone) for all the hard work and innovation that has gone into this project!

The new site includes a full six-unit preschool science curriculum for family childcare educators; a set of over 100 standalone activities that can be incorporated into the existing curricula of more experienced educators; as well as a collection of 72 professional development videos for both family childcare and center-based educators.

Targeting families, we’ve added a set of parenting videos for children ages birth to five to complement the more than 100 Anywhere Science and Math activities that relate directly to every episode from the show. Parents can now find simple kid-ready science and math activities; recommendations for other related activities; plus relevant books and games — all reinforced by video interstitials from the show related to each activity’s topic.

While all this content for grownups is unprecedented, Peep is primarily a site for children. Children coming to the new Peep site can now play 16 games (with six more to launch in the new year) and watch over 50 videos while exploring six themes of content all designed to allow children to dig into a variety of subjects on their own. The scope of this project firmly puts WGBH at the forefront in the field of bilingual early childhood education, and is something of which every individual involved should be proud.

You can explore Peep’s Big Wide World right here: http://peepandthebigwideworld.com