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WQED'S ANNUAL ENGINEERING ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM CULMINATES WITH STUDENT CHALLENGE EVENT AT INVENTIONLAND

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 4, 2013

CONTACT:
George Hazimanolis
412-622-1366
Ghaziman@wqed.org

WQED’S ANNUAL ENGINEERING ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM CULMINATES
WITH STUDENT CHALLENGE EVENT AT INVENTIONLAND

PITTSBURGH—On Friday, April 5, 2013 the fourth annual Design Lives Here challenge will take place at Inventionland in RIDC Park in O’Hara. From January through April 2013, eight regional schools and two afterschool programs serving more than 220 students (and targeting minorities and girls) participated in the Design Lives Here program presented by WQED Pittsburgh and the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) with additional support from MSA, American Bridge, and Inventionland.

The participating schools and programs include:
• Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School in Natrona Heights
• The Ellis School in Oakland
• Franklin Regional Middle School in Murrysville
• Haine Middle School in Cranberry Township
• Marshall Middle School in North Allegheny
• St. Philip School in Crafton
• West Mifflin Area Middle School
• YWCA Tech GYRLS Afterschool Program in Homewood
• Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside
• Investing Now Afterschool Program in Oakland

Participating educators and students utilize activities and content from Design Squad Nation episodes and interactive resources, with support from real engineers, to complete engineering challenges throughout the Spring semester. Students participate in many diverse activities for up to four months, such as meeting and networking with the ESWP and WQED staff and working in teams to engineer games, instruments, launchers and cranes. As the students convene on April 5th, they will be grouped into teams across schools and given spontaneous challenges such as building a pop-up shelter and seeing if it can withstand “hurricane-like” winds. New this year, each team is focused on a different invention category – kitchen, outdoor, pets, sports, toys, vehicles, and wearables. Prior to attending the April 5th event, students identify a problem in one of the seven invention categories, invent a solution to that problem, and build a prototype model of their invention. Students will have the opportunity to “pitch” their products to the professional inventors at Inventionland and receive feedback and coaching.


Design Lives Here
is a student outreach competition based on the PBS show Design Squad Nation, a reality-style program created to “inspire the next generation of engineers.” The show features teens engaged in challenges all over the United States and globe, vying for scholarships by designing devices to understand the complex – and compelling – world of engineering.


“As engineers we are always interested in engaging young people in S.T.E.M. careers. The Design Lives Here event will give us the opportunity to provide them with exciting and interactive real-world applications of engineering,” said Tom Donatelli, 2012 President of the ESWP.


“Thousands of jobs are open in our region in S.T.E.M. fields in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It is critical that we use every tool at our disposal – including television – to engage our next generation of creative problem solvers. Engaging kids in afterschool and classroom settings allows us to integrate a TV show, engineering mentors, hands-on problem solving, games, and animations into the learning process.

Design Lives Here constantly reemphasizes to young people that they too, can participate in engineering as a career," said Jennifer Stancil, Executive Director of Educational Partnerships at WQED. “We are thrilled to engage major local partners in this investment in engineering education for teens and holding this event at Inventionland. It will positively impact teens, teachers and businesses in our region.”

In addition to this student event, WQED is hosting a free public event called “Invention Convention” on Saturday, April 6 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Inventionland. Children in grades 5 through 8, along with their families, are invited to participate in engineering challenges and receive feedback from professional engineers on their own inventions. Additional information and online registration available at www.wqed.org/inventionconvention.

NOTE TO WORKING PRESS:
Photo opportunities are available on Saturday, April 6 from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm at Inventionland.

WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 134 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED 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. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at www.wqed.org/fm; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (www.wqed.org/edu).

The Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) has provided a forum for the professional development and social interaction of its members for more than a century. Headquartered in an historic landmark building and club facility, the ESWP is chartered to advance the professions of engineering, architecture and applied sciences through technical activities, public services participation and social organizations. It also supports the needs of industries, communities and government in Western Pennsylvania. The ESWP is a non-profit organization with more than 850 members representing more than 400 local, national and global firms. Learn more about ESWP and our other STEM initiatives at www.eswp.com.

Established in 1914, MSA is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people's health and safety. Many MSA products typically integrate any combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive line of products is used by workers around the world in the fire service, oil, gas and petrochemical industry, homeland security, construction, mining and other industries, as well as the military. Principal products include self-contained breathing apparatus, gas masks, gas detection instruments, head protection, fall protection devices and thermal imaging cameras. The company also provides a broad range of consumer and contractor safety products through retail channels. These products are marketed and sold under the Safety Works brand. (More information on Safety Works products is available at www.SafetyWorks.com.) MSA has annual sales of approximately $1 billion, manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, and 42 international locations.

American Bridge
is a vertically integrated construction, manufacturing and engineering, company that is the industry leader in technical capability, innovation and profitability. The company specializes in technically and logistically complex projects of all sizes. It develops unique and innovative engineering methods for the erection of cable supported, movable, arch, truss and other complex structures, and for the repair, retrofit and maintenance of bridges of all types. American Bridge is a high value added organization that self-performs the majority of the contracts it undertakes. Projects include bridges of all types and coastal marine construction. The company also manufactures a range of structural steel and precast concrete products, as well as specialized erection equipment. Contract types primarily include lump sum, design-build, general contracting and supply only. The company is also involved with the pursuit of PPP (public/private partnership) and O & M (operations and maintenance) contracts. American Bridge Company operates throughout the United States and on select projects worldwide. American Bridge serves the stable and steadily growing transportation, infrastructure, military and industrial markets.

Design Squad Nation is a 10-part series of TV shows and video blogs that build on the success of the award-winning PBS reality competition series Design Squad to get kids excited about engineering. Design Squad Nation is high-energy, high-drama reality TV led by Judy and Adam, two professional engineers who work with kids around the world to make their wishes come tru through engineering. From creating a park for skaters at the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona to building a playground in a rural village in Nicaragua's northern mountains, the goal of Design Squad Nation is to inspire viewers to take on their own hands-on engineering activities.



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WQED Pittsburgh
4802 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

 

Key Contacts

George Hazimanolis
Senior Director of
Corporate Communications
412.622.1366
ghazimanolis@wqed.org

 

Maria Pisano
Marketing Associate
412-622-1459
mpisano@wqed.org

 

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