We’ve all seen programs that encourage budding inventors to stretch their wings and their creativity to leverage everyday household items (duct tape, paint stirrers and paper goods) to create engineering marvels. Well, a new PBS program encourages kids to supersize these activities.
Design Squad Nation, a PBS KIDS GO!? Series, is sponsoring the Build Big Contest, which aims to take kids to the next level by working in teams to build a large-scale project. With this approach, duct tape and paper stirrers are traded up for two-by-fours and PVC piping to create bigger and more ambitious designs and to introduce kids to the hands-on approach to problem-solving that goes hand-in-hand with bigger and more complex design projects.
Kids are encouraged to approach the contest in teams with everyone from their teachers to friends-even their grandparents. The program challenges them to create a video of the creations and send it into their contest, which will be judged by Design Squad Nation hosts Judy Lee and Adam Vollmer. Teams may have their designs featured on the show, and the winning team will get a Flip video camera to help document future builds as well as get the chance to speak with co-hosts Lee and Vollmer via video chat.
To participate, parties need to form a team of at least two people (someone over the age of 18 needs to be the team leader), choose an activity from the Design Squad Nation web site, and create a short, five-minute video of the super-sized version of the activity. The video should be uploaded to YouTube, and a submission form filled out the Build Big Contest page. Entries are being accepted through August 1, 2011 at 12:00PM EST.
“Whether you take the Watercraft activity [and instead of straws and plastic wrap you use PVC pipe to build a BIG boat], or the zip line activity [and rather than carrying a Ping Pong ball, you transport a life-sized stuffed animal], use your creativity and show us what you can do,” says co-host Lee, in a press release. Might your budding engineer be ready to be super-sized?