Education Highlights

WILL - Education Highlights - July 16, 2014

DIY recycled bottle sprinkler

Plastic bottle + push pin = an easy DIY sprinkler kids can help make!

WILL - Education Highlights - July 10, 2014

Daniel Tiger’s ‘Meet the New Baby’ Special

10 am Monday, Aug. 18, on WILL-TV

Daniel Tiger and family, including a new baby sister

DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, a top-rated PBS KIDS animated television series from The Fred Rogers Company, has been winning the hearts of little “tigers” and their families nationwide since its premiere – and soon there will be even more to love! Season 2 of the popular series kicks off at 10 am Monday, Aug. 18,  with a special one-hour premiere celebrating the arrival of a new addition to the Tiger Family: Daniel Tiger’s little sister Margaret. After the upcoming “Meet the New Baby” special, PBS KIDS will premiere two more new episodes on Tuesday, Aug. 19, and Wednesday, Aug. 20, focusing on Daniel and his family as they adjust to life with the baby. New digital content, including two online games and an app, will also launch in August.

With the “Meet the New Baby” special and the episodes that follow, DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD shines a spotlight on a relevant topic for families and preschoolers everywhere. Inspired by the enduring wisdom of Fred Rogers, the shows tackle many of the important issues young children encounter with a new sibling – such as feeling left out, learning to share time and attention, and appreciating how fun a little sister (or brother) can be – with accompanying strategies that help preschoolers work through their feelings.

WILL - Education Highlights - May 30, 2014

Camp PBS Parents

Cool crafts and hands-on-learning activities to educate and entertain your kids this summer.

Boy and dad examining plants

WILL - Education Highlights - May 27, 2014

Double your fun with new kids’ schedule

Beginning June 2, WILL-TV airs double strips of Curious George, Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Dinosaur Train.

Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat

It's double the fun this summer with a new schedule including double strips of PBS Kids' most-watched series.

Here's the new weekday schedule:

6 am: Wild Kratts
6:30 am: Wild Kratts
7 am: Curious George
7:30 am: Curious George
8 am: Peg + Cat
8:30 am: Dinosaur Train
9 am: Sesame Street
10 am: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
10:30 am: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
11 am: Dinosaur Train
11:30 am: Dinosaur Train
Noon: Super WHY!
12:30 pm: Thomas and Friends
2 pm: Curious George
2:30 pm: Curious George
3 pm: Arthur
3:30 pm: Arthur
4 pm: Wild Kratts
4:30 pm: Wild Kratts


WILL - Education Highlights - April 22, 2014

Space Racers: Out-of-this-world science for kids

9:30 am Sundays on WILL-TV: Blast off on a cosmic learning adventure!

Space racers

Space Racers, a new half-hour animated series for preschoolers, joins the WILL-TV lineup at 9:30 am Sundays, beginning May 4. The show focuses on the adventures of five spaceships—Eagle, Robyn, Hawk, Starling and Raven—each with unique abilities and skills that help them explore the Solar System and accomplish scientific missions. These characters, along with their fellow cadets and teachers at the Stardust Space Academy, comprise a super elite space-bound task force known as the Space Racers. Their extraordinary adventures begin in the exciting world of Stardust Bay, a place populated by talking spaceships and vehicles.

From investigating asteroids to discovering the effects of the moon's gravitational pull, Space Racers introduces meaningful science and technology concepts from the early childhood STEM curriculum. Each episode also features live-action segments of kids interacting with exhibits at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Maryland Science Center. Other segments feature children creating space-related art in a classroom setting, interactive pop quizzes, and music videos featuring songs from the series.

Watch a preview:

WILL - Education Highlights - April 17, 2014

Decatur Teacher Selected for PBS Digital Innovators Program

Faith Carr, computer teacher at Johns Hill Magnet School, is one of 100 educators selected nationwide for the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program.

Faith Carr, a kingergarten through 8th grade computer teacher at Johns Hill Magnet School, is one of 100 educators selected nationwide for the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program. The program rewards tech-savvy K-12 educators who are serving as leaders in education technology and incorporating digital media in classrooms to promote student engagement and achievement. Carr will receive year-long hands-on and virtual professional development opportunities.

“Illinois Public Media is proud to recognize Faith for her dedication to truly changing the way students learn through technology and digital media,” said Molly Delaney, educational outreach director at Illinois Public Media. “We are honored to provide educators with one-of-a-kind resources, tools and trainings that will further enhance their skills and enable them to share these skills with other educators in Illinois.”

The 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will receive year-long professional development opportunities that include virtual trainings, access to premium and exclusive resources, and invitations to special eventsCarr has always innovated in the classroom, being among the first to introduce her students to technology.  She wrote her first grant to receive a bank of computers in her classroom back in the mid-1990s during her first period of tenure with Decatur Public Schools. Using technology gradually became a teaching specialty over the years.

In 2007, Carr left the classroom to become a consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education. In that position, she witnessed stellar programs throughout the state of Illinois where teachers were using innovative strategies and Web-based resources to enhance learning in their classrooms.  She brought that information back when she returned to the classroom in 2011.

PBS LearningMedia received hundreds of applications from leading teachers throughout the U.S. and its territories. Judges selected the 100 educators based on submissions of videos and written essays that addressed how they are leading innovation in digital teaching in their classrooms and schools. The top 16 applicants will serve as leads of the program and will participate in a two-day digital education summit in Washington, D.C., where participants will engage in hands-on learning, collaborate with peers and hear from digital technology thought leaders.

The full list of the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators is available at

WILL - Education Highlights - April 16, 2014

PBS KIDS ‘Plum Landing’ offers Web-centric programming

New site with animated webisodes, online games, free apps, hands-on science activities, live-action videos. Visit the site.

characters from Plum Landing

PLUM LANDING is a brand new Web-original PBS site with animated webisodes, online games, free apps, hands-on science activities, live-action videos—plus a curious alien named Plum.

It's designed to help connect 6- to 9-year-olds to nature, teach them about ecosystems, and get them excited about their role as caretakers of the planet. The adventure begins on Earth Day 2014, when a friendly alien named Plum lands at Plum, a video game designer from the desolate Planet Blorb, longs to experience nature. So she commandeers a space ship, zooms down to earth, befriends five eager kids—Clem, Oliver, Gabi, Brad, and Cooper—and launches them on missions as diverse as ‘find a lake in the desert!’ and ‘search for a cow that lives under water!’ Zeroing in on four ecosystems—the Australian desert, the mangroves of Belize, the Canadian Rockies, and the jungles of Borneo—Plum discovers many fascinating, puzzling and profound things about this gorgeous planet and uses what she learns to create fantastic explorer games for 6- to 9-year olds.

On the PLUM LANDING website, kids can play these games and explore each of these exotic ecosystems – everything from tracking a thorny devil across the Australian sands, to going face-to-face with a tree snake in Borneo. Plum also encourages kids to investigate their OWN worlds. Moving between digital platforms and the natural world, kids can:

•Watch five compelling animated characters bushwhack, float, trek, and “bubble” their way across four ecosystems while modeling scientific investigations.

•Explore the same ecosystems, wild creatures, discoveries, and science concepts in the webisodes through an array of rich and exciting online games.

•Investigate nature closer to home, aided by live-action videos and hands-on activities designed to get kids thinking like scientists.

•Document their investigations via a free mobile app, Plum’s Photo Hunt, that lets kids take photos, describe what they have found, and send their findings back to Plum.

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