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December 8, 2014

“SciGirls” TV series encourages girls to succeed in STEM

Real-world STEM adventures inspire millions of girls through the power of media

The magic of life unfolds, but for adolescents Mimi, Izzie and Quinn, watching a monarch butterfly emerge from its cocoon and spread its wings is more than a fascinating moment--cameras are rolling!

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Richard Hudson and his team at Twin Cities Public Television are putting middle school girls in front of a national audience on the PBS series “SciGirls.” This is the first television science series designed specifically for girls, ages 8 to 12, to inspire and empower them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Each episode features different girls doing their own science investigations and engineering projects, accompanied by two animated characters. In the new season, premiering in April 2015, the SciGirls work together as citizen scientists and share their findings with professional scientists.

The approach of the show is based on gender research and best practices for STEM education for girls. The innovative format of the show also forges a unique link to the website, which is an integral part of the TV show.

The show features mentor Kelly Nail working with the girls. She is part of another NSF-funded project, Driven to Discover, a University of Minnesota effort designed to engage 12-to-14-year-old youth and their adult mentors in authentic research.

The research in this episode was funded by NSF award #1114739, SciGirls TV Series, Website and Outreach - Season Two

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Marsha Walton, Science Nation Producer

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.