PBS's DESIGN SQUAD NATION Hosts Invention Convention
October 18, 2012
This fall, PBS's DESIGN SQUAD NATION challenged young people to design and build their own inventions, testing them on DESIGN SQUAD NATION Day October 13 at the Museum of Science, Boston. There, at a special Invention Convention, youths showed their projects to engineering experts and inventors who offered feedback. At 12 noon and 2:00 p.m. DESIGN SQUAD NATION hosts Nate Ball and Deysi Melgar demonstrated dance moves on an interactive supersized dance pad and highlighted some of the kids' creations.
Museum guests also participated in hands-on engineering challenges from the PBS show. They designed and built a tower with parts that move in the wind, a shock-absorbing system to protect two "astronauts" when they land, and a puppet that mimics the movement of a hand with string and straws.
The Museum of Science -- which has engaged 350,000 young visitors in its own Design Challenges since 2005 -- also unveiled a new Create-a-Claw Design Challenge asking guests to build a claw to retrieve toys from a tank. This challenge is similar to the one issued for the Invention Convention -- creating a device allowing people to grab and carry objects, using only specified materials such as cardboard, brass fasteners, rubber bands, scissors, and other items.
The Museum is also featuring the DESIGN SQUAD in another initiative, its middle school Engineering Now curriculum being developed in response to the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards. Students kick off each Engineering Now unit with an exciting episode or video from the show. The student teams are then given their hands-on design challenge to solve using science and engineering.
Produced by WGBH Boston, DESIGN SQUAD NATION inspires young people to experience the excitement of engineering as they use their ingenuity to solve problems. Major funding is provided by the National Science Foundation. Project funding is provided by Northrop Grumman Foundation and S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Additional funding is provided by United Engineering Foundation.