Moral Education!


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.

In the Shop


Ruff paid a visit this week to check out WGBH’s studio workshops. He offered to help but, after a previous incident with a small chair that needed a minor repair, we don’t let him near power tools, marshmallows, glue, dynamite, or, for that matter, cattle.

Peep & Tynker


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.



“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

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.”




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 

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.