Oral presentations are a fairly common thing at school. But presentations taking place this week at Brooklyn Junior High in Brooklyn Park will be for a national audience on the PBS Kids show, SciGirls.
"The whole point of the show is really to inspire 'tween girls, so girls between the ages of 11 and 14 to pursue careers in STEM, so science, technology, engineering and math," said Angie Prindle, one of the SciGirls producers.
The show is produced locally by Twin Cities Public Television, but broadcast nationally. SciGirls aims to dispel the old stereotypes that discourage girls from getting involved in science.
Eighth-grader Josie Wulff of Brooklyn Junior High is one of the stars of the episode being filmed this week.
"This episode is all about multitasking and how it works and how we can relate it to children our age or people in elementary school," she said.
Josie and nine of her classmates performed well enough in a casting call to be featured in the show.
"The girls that are cast from Brooklyn Junior High, we really see as role models for girls out there who are interested in doing science," Prindle said.
She calls them role models, but not because they perform well on camera.
"We're not looking for girls who like to act or be on stage or pretend," Prindle said.
Instead, the show's producers are looking for girls who are curious and science–minded.
Josie fit that criteria.
"I'd definitely like to do something in the future that would be finding answers to important questions and interacting with people to get that information," Josie said.
Meantime, faculty members are proud because the program helps accomplish their goal of getting more girls around the nation involved in science.
"Before [girls] were kind of held down," said Dana Trouth, the curriculum integration specialist at Brooklyn Junior High. "But now it's wide open and they have so many great ideas that they can add to that field, both in science and technology."
That's a fact not lost on Josie.
"Definitely exciting to think that children all over are gonna be watching me and looking up to me," she said. "And I'm definitely excited to get the show on the air and see the final product."
The show being filmed this week at Brooklyn Junior High is one of ten episodes of the second season of SciGirls. It will air on PBS Kids either this fall, or in the winter of 2013.
For more information on SciGirls or to watch old episodes of the show, check out their website: http://pbskids.org/scigirls/
Delane Cleveland reporting
February 10, 2012