Design Squad: Getting Kids Excited About Engineering

Author: Alice Pawley
Event Date: February 28, 2008
Speaker: Thea Sahr
Speaker Affiliation: Associate Director, Educational Outreach, WGBH
Sponsor: INSPIRE
Time: 3:30-4:30
Location: ARMS B071
Contact Name: Alice Pawley
Contact Phone: 6-1209
Contact Email:
Open To: Faculty, students, staff, public

This workshop presents two programs, Design Squad and Engineer Your Life, that you can use to unleash your kids’ ingenuity and get them  thinking like engineers. First, you’ll watch clips from Design Squad, PBS's reality competition show that plugs eight high schoolers into the big wild world of engineering. Then we'll discuss how to use Design Squad's seventeen hands-on challenges to emphasize teamwork and creative problem solving with kids in afterschool, classrooms and at events. Next we will review what the latest research is telling us about how to talk to kids about engineering and the resources available from the Engineer Your Life project, a messaging campaign aimed at breaking the negative stereotypes about engineering.

Focusing on engineering and science projects such as Design Squad, ZOOM, Building Big, and Engineer Your Life, Ms. Sahr has extensive experience producing national outreach campaigns and working with project teams to develop multimedia educational materials (e.g., activity guides, curricula for after-school providers, online training resources for professionals, web sites, etc.) Building relationships with national partners representing teachers, museums, engineers, scientists, and after-school providers, has resulted in tens of thousands of children exploring science and engineering with WGBH resources. In addition, Ms. Sahr has facilitated training workshops around the country where educators learn how to incorporate WGBH's educational resources into their programming and engineers and scientists learn how to engage youth. Ms. Sahr has her M.Ed. from Boston University.