WILL Highlights

WILL - WILL Highlights - June 03, 2013

A Moment of Science on WILL-AM 580

1:58 pm weekdays and 6:57 am Saturdays: New short segments answer questions about science.

Getting to the wonder of science: Montage with scientists working.

We've all hit our "funny bone." Why does it feel like that? What do bicycles, footballs and space shuttles have in common? Can you really learn while you are asleep? Why do some birds hop and others walk?

These and literally thousands of other questions about the world we live in are answered in A Moment of Science, which joined the WILL-AM schedule June 3, replacing Earth/Sky at 1:58 pm weekdays and at 6:57 am Saturdays.

The program's two-minute vignettes remove some of the mystery from science, but not the wonder. Produced at Indiana University in cooperation with IU's scientific community and scientists around the world, A Moment of Science covers a variety of topics with the goal of making them interesting enough to share. The program is co-hosted by Don Glass and Yael Ksander.

Check out the program archives here.


WILL - WILL Highlights - May 23, 2013

Giving Chase to a Science Project

A WILL crew tracked and filmed the recovery of a weather balloon that was part of a class science project.

Teacher Emily Dawson and WILL's Molly Delaney with recovered balloon and data box.

WILL-TV educational outreach director Molly Delaney and TV producer George Hovorka chased and filmed the recovery of a weather balloon this week that was part of a junior high school project.

Science teacher Emily Dawson and her junior high students at Riverview Grade School in Peoria are pushing the boundaries of their classroom to the very edge of the earth’s atmosphere. In an exciting, hands-on learning experience, the students launched their own weather balloon 100,000 feet up to collect weather data, take photos and see their world from an entirely new perspective.

The launch took place Wednesday, May 22, at the Caterpillar Inc. Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center in front of an audience of 300 students from East Peoria, Metamora and Brimfield. Students gathered at 9 a.m. for set-up, assembly and related activities, and the launch took place around 10:50 a.m. Teachers, students and citizens everywhere will be able to witness the morning’s activities, from set-up to loss of visible flight trajectory, through a webcast on the WTVP-Public Media website. Watch a video of the launch.

Molly and George looked for the balloon for more than two hours after it landed. A transmitter that was to have helped them find the balloon didn't work. Finally, Dawson discovered the balloon in a field near Princeton, Ill. Molly and George hurried to the location, and shot video and took photos.

"When we learned the GPS wasn't working on the balloon, we weren't going to give up, and kept looking around the projected impact area," said Molly. "Emily saw it off the side of the road on Route 26, and gave us a call." They recovered the shredded balloon, parachute and data collection box.

The launch is the central focus of a multidiscipline unit on weather, using science, language arts, and literature classes cooperatively to plan, research, analyze and report on the real world application of the information taught within the classroom. It was inspired by an activity on the Illinois PBS LearningMedia site for teachers and students.

The school project was made possible through funding from PNC’s FirstGrant to Riverview Junior High teachers Emily Dawson, JoAnn Lowry-Emery and Luann Kuehn. The FirstGrant program is designed to help classroom teachers throughout central Illinois accomplish creative and innovative projects they would otherwise be unable to fund because of budget limitations, and it is supported by the Ruby K. Worner Trust and the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group.

The helium required to fill the balloon was provided by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and arranged by WILL-TV. The launch site and equipment are courtesy of Caterpillar Inc. Production and broadcast made possible by WTVP-Public Media with support from WILL.





WILL - WILL Highlights - May 02, 2013

Illinois Public Media GM Leaving for Post at NET

Illinois Public Media's general manager, Mark Leonard, will leave the organization by August 1 to assume leadership at Nebraska Educational Telecommunications.

Mark Leonard, Illinois Public Media’s general manager, will be leaving the organization by August 1, 2013, to become the general manager and CEO for Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET), a statewide network of Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations.

Leonard’s move to NET’s headquarters in Lincoln marks his first position at the helm of a statewide organization. NET has a satellite studio in Omaha.

“It is with mixed feelings that I leave Illinois Public Media, but the opportunity to lead NET offers exciting next steps for me,” Leonard said. “I take this position knowing that Illinois Public Media is well positioned to continue its success, including future opportunities to partner with the College of Media and with other units on campus as part of Chancellor Wise’s Visioning Excellence initiatives. In addition, I believe there are exciting possibilities for building deeper partnerships with WILL’s peer public radio and television stations throughout Illinois.”

Leonard arrived at Illinois Public Media in June 2007 from KCTS in Seattle. Prior to that, he held senior management positions in Seattle and Yakima, Wash., and at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., where he was vice president for television.

Earlier this year, he received the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) 2013 National Advocacy Award for his exceptional efforts in furthering public television’s legislative goals. Leonard currently serves as president of the Illinois Public Broadcast Council, the association of all public television and radio stations in Illinois, as well as serving on the executive committee of the national University Licensees’ Association as well as a board member of the Public Media Business Association.

“With his unique vision, Mark has recreated public broadcasting while at Illinois Public Media, keeping it innovative as well as relevant,” College of Media interim dean Jan Slater said. “He is well respected among his colleagues across the country, so I am not surprised that he was sought out for the position at NET. It has been a great pleasure for me as both a department head and as interim dean to work with him, and I appreciate that he has always acted in the best interests of the College and the University.”

Slater said that discussions are already underway to determine the next steps in finding a new leader for IPM.


WILL - WILL Highlights - May 01, 2013

Civil War Train Tour

Travel on private restored train cars from the 1950s, with sightseeing in Gettysburg, Antietam, Williamsburg and more.

Gettysburg cannon

 Sept. 26-Oct. 6, 2013: Civil War Train

Travel on our Civil War Train, featuring unique private restored train cars from the 1950s, to Washington D.C. and Williamsburg with sightseeing in Gettysburg and Virginia along with other historic sites, museums and battlefields. Also included Included are Antietam, Harper's Ferry, the USS Monitor, Baltimore's B&O Railroad useum and Washington, D.C.  Review the full itinerary for details. For more information, call Danda Beard at 217-333-7300. To make your reservation, call Judy McElfresh at TourGroupPlanners (217-422-5002 or toll-free 877-386-4777).


WILL - WILL Highlights - March 21, 2013

WILL’s Molly Delaney Honored as ‘Woman of Distinction’

The Girl Scouts of Central Illinois will honor Illinois Public Media's Molly Delaney, along with four other women who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service in their communities.

Molly Delaney talks to students at Stratton Leadership & MicroSociety Magnet School in Champaign

Illinois Public Media's educational outreach director, Molly Delaney, will be honored by the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI), along with four other women, as "Women of Distinction." Molly will be recognized in the STEM education category.

The awards will be presented at an annual celebration April 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign. The event recognizes community women for their outstanding commitment to their profession, to the community and to inspire and mentor young girls. 

“We teach girls every day that they have what it takes to become leaders in any field they choose,” GSCI CEO Pam Kovacevich said. “The women we are honoring with these awards are not only successful in their fields, they are role models to girls and provide inspiration and motivation that has a tremendous impact on young women in their communities. These awards are just a small way of thanking them for their efforts.” Nominees came from Champaign, Vermillion, Ford and Iroquois Counties.

Molly has concentrated much of her work at Illinois Public Media in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics) education. She created a hands-on STEM education program for preschoolers and was instrumental in launching new PBS digital media tools for PreK-12 educators. She worked with colleagues at Parkland College’s William M. Staerkel Planetarium on a project that was awarded a $90,000 Grow Up Great grant from PNC Foundation. The grant has helped to serve hundreds of children in Champaign County with a highly impactful STEM initiative.

The Girl Scouts noted that Molly has been leader in the field of education for more than 25 years. She began and completed her master’s degree while working full-time and raising three children.

Other 2013 Women of Distinction Honorees include:

Business or Professional: Laura Weis (Savoy), president and CEO of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce; Public Service: Dr. Annette Lansford (Champaign), a pediatrician and founder of the Carle Child Disability Clinic; Education: Cynthia Feeney (Champaign), a kindergarten teacher at St. Matthew School in Champaign; Creative Arts and Entertainment: Christina McClelland (Urbana), an interdisciplinary artist and public arts coordinator for the City of Urbana. Ranija Turner (Champaign), a junior at Central High School, will be honored as a Young Woman of Distinction

Tickets for the event will be $50 or $25 for children under 12. For more information, contact Samantha Greenburg at 309-336-0221. Proceeds from the event help fund leadership development programs for girls.



WILL - WILL Highlights - March 10, 2013

Great Britcom Vote Winner

A new British comedy, The Café, won the Great Britcom Vote Saturday night. Allo, Allo came in a close second. Thanks to everyone who called in a vote and/or a pledge to support British comedy on WILL-TV.

Cast of The Cafe, two women behind a counter

The Café features three generations of women involved with running a welcoming neighborhood eatery. Numerous colorful characters from all walks of life pop in to this hub, usually with comedic results. Content director David Thiel will try to purchase The Café for the WILL-TV schedule during the next fiscal year.


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