WGBH Educational Foundation
Design Squad is a true delight—educational television in the best sense of the term. This series, directed at viewers ages 12 to 17, works because it recognizes and appreciates the intelligence of its intended audience. It also engages that audience, drawing on their knowledge, and love, of reality television contests. A generation of viewers as familiar with Survivor and Project Runway as they are with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street will surely appreciate the pace, the enthusiasm, the personality clashes and compromises. But here they can also appreciate the intellectual and physical challenges involved as their peers struggle to figure out how to build a drag racer from a tricycle or a big red wagon, how to build bridges without power tools or create a “summer sled.” They learn teamwork as they watch groups brainstorm, design and test, fail, redesign, build and compete. Add to this clear commentary and outstanding graphic illustrations of what the kids are learning as they work. For “designing” an outstanding program to interest young people in careers related to engineering, a Peabody Award goes to Design Squad.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Senior executive producer: Kate Taylor. Executive producer: Marisa Wolsky. Producer/Director: Dorothy Dickie. Editors: Jean Dunoyer, Cherry Enoki. Web Designers: David Peth, Bill Shribman. Videographers: Austin De Besche, Allie Humenuk. Hosts: Nate Ball, Deanne Bell.