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Twin Cities Public Television
Media Advisory

For Immediate Release
September 30th, 2013

Twin Cities Public Television Receives NSF Grant For High School Digital Education Project

Pilot Project Includes Carleton College and the University of Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minn. September 30, 2013—Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) has been selected to receive a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for an innovative pilot project: Educational Media to Advance Computer Science (EMACS). The project will create innovative videos and classroom activities to help teach computer science to high school students.  By exploring how computer systems affect community infrastructure, the project aims to increase students’ awareness and understanding of real-world applications of computer science, and emphasizes the importance of computational thinking in everyday life.

The EMACS Pilot Project was developed by tpt in partnership with co-principal investigators Dr. David Musicant, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carleton College and Dr. Siddika “Selcen” Guzey, Research Associate at STEM Education Center at the University of Minnesota. Working with traffic engineers at the City of Minneapolis’ Traffic Management Center and their newly-installed, state-of-the-art computerized system, the team will involve local youth in hands-on activities that model and simulate how traffic is managed in communities. This approach builds on tpt’s Emmy-Award-winning transmedia educational projects, SciGirls®  and DragonflyTV®, focused on real kids doing real science, and working in the field alongside professionals.

 “The United States is currently facing a critical shortage of computer science graduates, in a world increasingly dependent on computers.” said Dr. Richard Hudson, the grant’s principal investigator, tpt’s Director of Science Content and executive producer of SciGirls. “Our EMACS project will apply the power of media to better teach the 21st century digital skills students need today.” Kathleen O’Donnell, co-principal investigator and tpt’s Director of Family & Education Services, added “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with both Carleton College and the University of Minnesota to provide innovative high-quality resources for educators that enhance student engagement and expand access for all learners.”

About tpt

Based in St. Paul, MN, tpt is one of the highest rated PBS affiliates in the nation, reaching more than 1.3 million people each month through multiple broadcast and online channels. The mission of tpt is to “enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media.” Over its 50 plus year history, tpt has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous honors, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmys.

 

TPT’s Science Unit has created PBS science media for 30 years, beginning with the long-running family science series Newton’s Apple, and continuing with the children’s series DragonflyTV and SciGirls, all national Daytime Emmy Award winners. Prime-time documentaries have included the PBS NOVA specials Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold and Hunting the Edge of Space. TPT is a recognized innovator in multimedia, having created interactive learning products based on Newton’s Apple, early adoption of digital distribution on DragonflyTV and the award-winning transmedia series SciGirls. For more information about tpt, visit www.TPT.org or follow tpt on Facebook and Twitter.

 

CONTACT: Kristin Pederson, 651-229-1288 or kpederson@tpt.org


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