Last month PBS’s Emmy award-wining initiative has taken it to the next level – a global level. The website for kids, know as Design Squad is now Design Squad Global (DSG)!
This project, which was made possible by support form the National Science Foundation and The Lemelson Foundation, is designed to connect 8 to 13 year olds, around the world, to the world of engineering. At DSG kids can play fun games and try their hand at tackling relevant world challenges. A favorite is “Don’t Flood the Fidgits” which is a SIMS-like, flood prevention simulation that is quite addictive. Several educational videos are also continuously posted online, including these engaging pieces:
To complement the digital hub, there is a plan in place to launch Design Squad Global Clubs, which will be local out-of-school programs, led by a community Engineers or Educators, beginning in the fall of 2016. In collaboration with the global development organization, FHI 360, the model is currently being piloted at 16 sites around the world. To date, sites are present in the United States, Swaziland, Botswana and South Africa.
The aim is to build kids’ global competency as they work together on engineering projects that meets the needs of their communities – and this STEMedia fully supports. With us now living and being a part of a global economy, we must begin to embrace common goals that, with collaborative effort, we can work to elevate the game for all of us. PBS is definitely poised to hit a homerun with this one, and fortunately we’re all on the home team.