PBS’s Design Squad, a television series repurposed into an interactive website, now includes Design Squad Global (DSG), where kids from all around the world can share engineering and STEM ideas. DSG expands cross-cultural understanding among participants and raises awareness about global issues that are solvable using available resources. Geared toward parents, educators, and kids ages 8 to 13, the redesigned site was launched this February. It is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Lemelson Foundation.
Visiting Design Squad Global, I found myself having a lot of fun. The videos were funny, informative, and applicable. The site also provides a range of games, such as Don’t Flood the Fidgets, where kids design a city that will be protected in the case of flooding.
One of the most impressive features of the site is the expanding library of creative DIY projects. Those taking part in the projects use everyday items and tools to build functional end products or parts that demonstrate fundamental physics or engineering concepts. Featuring clear step-by-step instructions with pictures for easy, medium, and hard projects, the projects can also be extremely useful for STEM educators.
Furthermore, Design Squad Global has a newsletter so that parents and educators can stay up to date on new videos and projects.
The executive producer of this new online hub explains, "There is a growing awareness that technical skills alone aren't enough to compete in a global economy. The call for equipping young people with what's needed to live in today's world—defined by the digital revolution and unprecedented human migration—is dominating education today. Design Squad Global is meeting that call."