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"Design Squad" Makes Its West Texas Television Premier

Texas Tech engineering student Scott Smith (foreground) helps Lubbock-area students design a four-corner machine at the Lubbock Design Squad Premier Party

February 21, 2007

With more than 600 fourth-eighth grade students in attendance, "Design Squad" - a new PBS show all about engineering - made it's local, West Texas premier at the Lubbock Science Spectrum on Feb. 21.

The free event, open to fourth-eighth grade students, was the South Plains first look at the reality-based TV show that challenges teams of students to solve real-world engineering problems. Area students got a sneak-peek at the first episode of "Design Squad" and designed their own solutions to engineering challenges adapted from the show.

"Design Squad" follows eight high school students as they compete to design and build fantastic, zany, fully operational engineering projects. Projects include everything from a machine that automatically makes pancakes to a motorized red wagon that can reach speeds up to 20 mph. In the final episode, the two top-scorers battle for the grand prize - a $10,000 college scholarship provided by the Intel Foundation.

Created by the Educational Outreach department at WGBH, a Boston PBS affiliate, "Design Squad" was developed as part of a five year project that received major funding from the National Science Foundation and the Intel Foundation. The television series is combined with a grassroots, national outreach effort that includes local "Design Squad" events, educational guides for teachers, a Web site and presentations to engineering organizations.

"We want to show kids what engineering is really about - how creative and exciting it is "before they decide that math and science are 'boring'," says Design Squad senior executive producer Kate Taylor. "The truth is, engineering is the total opposite of boring - it's about being curious, creative, and changing people's lives for the better - and it's fun! We're hoping Design Squad will convey that to kids, and to their parents, too!"

The local Design Squad Premier Party was sponsored by the Texas Tech University T-STEM Center, Science Spectrum and KTXT-TV. The event was part of Engineers Week, a national celebration of awareness and appreciation for the contributions of engineers.

Additional Information

About Design Squad

Designed to spark kids' interest in engineering, 'Design Squad' is a new PBS reality TV show that's all about engineering.

Find out more about the show and how you can try 'Design Squad' engineering challenges at home or school.

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