Icon for: Marisa Wolsky

MARISA WOLSKY

Presenters’
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Small default profile

    Cat Mikkelsen

    Guest
    May 11, 2015 | 12:49 p.m.

    This is awesome. We have just showcased it on our BrainParenting Facebook page. Great job, especially since we’re looking at an entire new generation that apparently self-teaches via YouTube!

  • Icon for: Marisa Wolsky

    Marisa Wolsky

    Presenter
    May 11, 2015 | 04:35 p.m.

    So glad you like it. We will be sure to like your BrainParenting Facebook page and will have our social media folks connect with you.

  • Icon for: Rosi Andrade

    Rosi Andrade

    Associate Research Professor
    May 11, 2015 | 07:38 p.m.

    Phenomenal! Kid scientists and real world applications!!

  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director
    May 11, 2015 | 10:29 p.m.

    Totally adorable! And the bigger message is that letting kids be inventive and mess around is empowering. Was this child part of some program? Tell me more.

  • Icon for: Marisa Wolsky

    Marisa Wolsky

    Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 10:08 a.m.

    He has participated in a variety of informal science/engineering programs over the years. What’s really fun is that he is going to be part of our production team (intern/consultant) when we produce more videos!

  • Small default profile

    Cynthia Berger

    Guest
    May 12, 2015 | 10:27 a.m.

    Helping educators feel more comfortable about “doing engineering” with kids so so important! So great that you area providing resources with this goal in mind. Loved this video, but would also have enjoyed learning more about that side of your project.

  • Icon for: Marisa Wolsky

    Marisa Wolsky

    Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 10:54 a.m.

    This video is actually targeted to kids, not educators. We have a lot of resources for educators on our website (http://pbskids.org/designsquad/parentseducators/),

    including educator guides (with leader notes, discussion questions, and hands-on activities) http://pbskids.org/designsquad/parentseducators...

    and trainings designed to build educators’ skills and confidence in guiding kids through engineering activities
    http://pbskids.org/designsquad/parentseducators...

  • Icon for: Iliya Gutin

    Iliya Gutin

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 11:43 a.m.

    Definitely very refreshing to see kids featured in these videos! I noticed in your video description that you use the term “informal educators” as a target audience for your program. Would you be able to elaborate a bit on who might fall into that category?

    Thanks!

  • Icon for: Marisa Wolsky

    Marisa Wolsky

    Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 01:56 p.m.

    The informal educators we target are after school educators, museum staff, leaders at youth organizations, outreach staff at public television stations, and librarians. We also target formal educators (most often middle school science teachers).

  • Icon for: Tony Streit

    Tony Streit

    Facilitator
    May 12, 2015 | 10:37 p.m.

    Very fun piece! I would love to hear more about what you’re learning about your online audience. Are you collecting any demographic information on users? What if anything are you learning about using the web to engage underrepresented young people? Are you noting any access issues that limit how you can engage these young people? Thanks!

  • Icon for: Marisa Wolsky

    Marisa Wolsky

    Presenter
    May 13, 2015 | 09:01 a.m.

    The last time we collected demographic information was in 2011. In a survey conducted then, 64% of website visitors were girls and 43% were non-white ethnic minorities. The site is on PBS KIDS, which also attracts a large audience of underrepresented young people.

    In summer 2011, the NSF engineering directorate encouraged us to consider shifting DESIGN SQUAD’s focus to a broadband-only platform. Understanding that kids were increasingly spending more time watching videos online, we decided to take on the challenge of how to get kids to engage with a brand when there is no TV show driving traffic to a website. We had two major goals for our redesign of the site. One was to connect engineering to kids’ own interests (in sports or music, for instance). The other was to devise ways to sustain engagement: more support to draw kids through our existing content, more motivation to keep building and sharing, and more content to keep them coming back over time.

    To appeal to students’ interests, we organized each asset in DESIGN SQUAD’s library by theme (for instance, art or vehicles). To keep kids coming back, we created an overarching game where kids earn points for contributing their ideas and participating in challenges.

    These design decisions have had a measurable impact. Since the updated site launched in August 2012, the total number of ideas and sketches submitted by kids has more than doubled and there has been a 24% increase in the average amount of time a visitor spends on the site and a 48% increase for time spent watching videos (with video views topping 2.2 million).

  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director
    May 13, 2015 | 09:12 a.m.

    Wow… so interesting to hear how iterative changes impact audience and participation. Thanks for this post.

  • Icon for: Richard Hudson

    Richard Hudson

    Director of Science Production
    May 13, 2015 | 05:53 p.m.

    So pleased you submitted a sample of Design Squad! There are so many videos here of adults talking about what they’re doing with and to kids, and almost none that present the voices of the children themselves. (Shameless plug for SciGirls and Traffic Jam elsewhere on this showcase!) The video is also a great example of what’s required to capture the authentic energy of kids — some serious shooting and editing. But the result is worth it. I particularly like the “spotlight” effect!

  • Icon for: Tony Streit

    Tony Streit

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2015 | 01:34 a.m.

    Thanks for the background, Marisa. Very wise of NSF to push broadband only. My 6 year old son is the perfect example – he has never uttered the 4 words that were the first thing I said coming home from school in the 70’s: “Can I watch TV?” Nevertheless, he is completely familiar with Sid, Curious George, the Kratt Brothers, etc. Can’t wait until he’s into the kind of STEM and design stuff you and Richard others are offering. Thanks for sharing!

  • Icon for: Marisa Wolsky

    Marisa Wolsky

    Presenter
    May 14, 2015 | 09:34 a.m.

    Thanks for the kind words, Richard and Tony.

  • Icon for: Sarah Rand

    Sarah Rand

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2015 | 08:40 p.m.

    Love this! The video shows (not tells) such a great example of the program’s impact.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.