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PBS Initiative Will Help Kids Across The Globe Team Up to Solve Engineering Problems

Design Squad Global follows on the success of reality TV series Design Squad

1 min read
PBS Initiative Will Help Kids Across The Globe Team Up to Solve Engineering Problems
Girls in the Design Squad Global Club at SOS Children’s Village school in Mbabane, Swaziland build a waste bin to reduce litter around their school.
Photo: WGBH Educational Foundation

In 2007, PBS launched Design Squad, a show that has no-doubt launched many an engineering career. The reality TV series, geared to spark an interest in engineering among middle and high school students, pitted two teams of high school students against each other. The teams competed to design and build an engineering project for actual clients.

An accompanying Design Squad website provides a safe place for kids ages 8–13 to share engineering ideas and activities and inspire them to explore engineering.

On February 24, PBS Kids is taking the initiative global. The Design Squad Global website connects kids in the U.S. with peers around the world, “challenging them to solve global engineering problems and expanding their cross-cultural understanding.”

The website offers some fun videos designed to dispel stereotypes and show kids how fun engineering can be. It gives kids a place to share ideas and designs, instructions for building DIY projects, and games like a flood prevention simulation. Kids can also sign up to take on such global challenges as inventing a way to conserve water.

This fall, Design Squad Global Clubs will launch with the goal of connecting 8–13-year-olds across out-of-school programs around the world. The Clubs will be led by an engineer or educator, who will guide kids working together on engineering projects targeted at meeting needs in their local communities.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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