WQED MULTIMEDIA AND PITTSBURGH ZOO & PPG AQUARIUM LEAD NATION WITH EDUCATION PROGRAM LINKING PBS CONTENT WITH LOCAL ZOO EXHIBITS, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PBS KIDS GO!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 7, 2011
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Launch of iQ Zoo
Monday, July 11
Please come to the Education Complex
WQED MULTIMEDIA AND PITTSBURGH ZOO & PPG AQUARIUM LEAD NATION
WITH EDUCATION PROGRAM LINKING PBS CONTENT WITH LOCAL ZOO EXHIBITS,
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PBS KIDS GO!
PITTSBURGH—With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and in partnership with Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and PBS KIDS GO!, WQED Multimedia will launch iQ Zoo this summer. iQ Zoo is an innovative new program designed to educate children and families about animals, habitats, and careers using engaging multimedia content, both at the Zoo and online. Zoo visitors can access iQ Zoo by scanning Quick Response, or QR codes, using an internet-enabled mobile phone at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and at participating zoos across the nation starting in 2011, or by visiting the complementary website, iQzoo.org, for a learning experience at home, at school, or on the go.
Beginning Monday, July 11, 2011, visitors to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium will be able to access interactive PBS content related to 14 animals that live in three distinct habitats: the African Savanna (elephant, giraffe, lion, crocodile, Dama gazelle, and black rhinoceros), Polar Ice Caps (penguin, polar bear, and California sea lion), and Tropical Forests (lemur, gorilla, orangutan, colobus monkey, and mandrill). Multimedia content – such as videos, audio clips, pictures, and explanatory text – will be accessible to Zoo visitors who use their internet-enabled smartphones to scan Quick Response Codes (QR) at the featured exhibits or habitats.
iQ Zoo will also offer numerous PBS-developed games, including “The Food Chain” game, which is set in the African Savanna and features the caracal, aardvark, and cheetah.
To complement the Zoo-based mobile experience, WQED has also developed a full web-based experience for iQ Zoo, which contains additional resources for children and families and is free and openly accessible without a mobile phone. Children using both the mobile and web-based versions may create a “My Zoo” account on iQ Zoo, enabling them to save their favorite animals to a personalized page.
The iQ Zoo project, geared towards children ages 6-10 years and their families, marks the first time that a PBS station is utilizing QR-code technology to leverage the capacity and reach of PBS KIDS GO! interactive materials in partnership with a community-based educational facility.
“We are delighted to partner with the Pittsburgh Zoo and PBS KIDS GO! on this new project,” says Jennifer Stancil, executive director of educational partnerships at WQED. “We feel that this innovative technology approach amplifies the Zoo’s ability to enrich children’s experiences with trusted, high-quality multimedia content from PBS, while engaging kids in a learning experience that is second-nature to many of them – online or via a mobile device.”
“We all know that kids and technology go hand in hand today,” says Dr. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “They want information fast and they are adept at finding it. iQ Zoo adds great value to the educational and entertaining experience we offer to visitors.”
Funding for the iQ Zoo program was made possible by a competitive grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS KIDS Interactive. As part of this project, WQED will also make numerous iQ Zoo materials available to other PBS stations across the nation. These “station toolkits,” which will be available on PBS’s Station Remote Control in September, will enable other PBS member stations to promote this resource in their regions, seek sponsorships opportunities, and partner with local zoos to recreate the iQ Zoo mobile experience for their own visitors.
WQED Members who present their MemberCards when purchasing tickets for the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium receive $1 off the cost of admission.
About WQED Pittsburgh
WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and the WQED Education Department.
About iQ: smartmedia
iQ: smartmedia is WQED’s six-year strategy for education, and it reflects WQED’s commitment to help children reach their potential. Around it revolve all of WQED's educational goals and objectives: to provide new tools and models, thought leadership, research, and training on the intersection of media and learning to prepare our children for a competitive world. WQED provides content in the areas of science and technology; literacy; global cultures and connections; expression; social and community responsibility; numeracy; and behavioral wellness. For more information about iQ: smartmedia, follow WQED’s Education Department online at wqed.org/edu or follow us on Facebook.com/wqed.edu and Twitter.com/wqed_edu.
About the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium (pittsburghzoo.org) is host to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and is one of only six zoo/aquarium combinations in the U.S. Its exhibitions feature educational graphics describing the animals indigenous to habitats and conservation of those habitats, ranging from the Asian Forest and African Savannah to the Water’s Edge. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is a 77-acre complex exhibiting 4,000 animals representing 475 species, of which 20 are threatened or endangered. The conservation education department at the Zoo reaches more than 350,000 participants annually through workshops and presentations, many of which are on grounds, free of charge to visitors.
About PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS GO! offers early elementary children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. For more information on specific PBS KIDS GO! programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, join our community online on Twitter.com/pbskids and Facebook.com/pbskids, or visit pbskidsgo.org.
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