|Format||Children's television series|
|Created by||TPT Productions|
|Starring||Lara Jill Miller
|Voices of||Lara Jill Miller
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Marc du Pontavice|
|Running time||28 minutes|
|Production company(s)||TPT Productions
|Original channel||PBS Kids|
|Original run||February 6, 2010– December 22, 2012|
|SciGirls Outreach Website for Educators|
SciGirls is an American children's animated and live-action television series that premiered on February 6, 2010 on PBS Kids Go!. It was produced by TPT Productions, Soup2Nuts, and Saban Brands. On May 1, 2010 the series went on hiatus until October 4, 2012. The series had 22 episodes and ended on December 22, 2012. The episodes were broadcast on most PBS stations and had reruns on the weekends. The series was rated TV-G.
It's an educational outreach program for elementary and middle-school children based on proven best practices for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for girls. It was launched in February 2011 and produced by Twin Cities Public Television, the episodes are broadcast on most PBS stations, and the project’s website is at http://pbskidsgo.org/scigirls. SciGirls is designed to encourage girls to pursue STEM careers, in response to the low numbers of women in many scientific careers.
The show was awarded a Daytime Emmy Award in 2011 for Outstanding New Approaches in a Children's TV Show and Best Emmy for Summer 2011 and Metal Trophy for Winter 2011. The third season is currently being filmed.
- Izzie (voiced by Lara Jill Miller) is an average young girl with a constantly expanding assortment of interests. She also acts as the webmaster for the SciGirls website, which hosts a database of science videos following real-life SciGirls. This resource often comes in handy, because whenever Izzie encounters a tricky situation and she is able to zap herself into her computer and follow along with the girls' investigations. Afterward, she is easily able to design a solution to her own dilemma.
- Jake (voiced by Greg Cipes) has known Izzie since they were in preschool and has remained her closest friend. He usually meets up with Izzie at school, online, or around the town. More often than not, Jake finds himself drawn into Izzie's scientific situations.
Alongside Izzie and Jake, episodes feature several different groups of real SciGirls.
Each SciGirls half-hour episode depicts the STEM-themed activities of a group of middle-school girls including engineering a mini-wind farm, creating a turtle habitat, designing an electronic dress, and more. Additionally, female scientists and engineers mentor the girls, demonstrating that interest in STEM subjects can lead to a rewarding lifelong pursuit. The series is unified by two animated characters, Izzie and Jake, who emphasize how science and technology can help solve problems in everyday life. These characters also appear on the series website, which is integrated into the TV episodes.
|Season||Episodes||Season Premiere||Season Finale|
|1||12||February 6, 2010||April 24, 2010|
|2||10||October 11, 2012||December 22, 2012|
The entire approach of SciGirls is based on published research into best practices for engaging girls in STEM. A quarter of a century of studies have converged on a set of common strategies which are built into the project’s educational framework, and called the SciGirls Seven:
1. Girls benefit from collaboration, especially when they can participate and communicate fairly (Fancsali, 2002; Parker & Rennie, 2002). Girls are energized by the social part of science – working and learning together. When discussions remain respectful and inclusive, every girl feels their contribution is valued.
2. Girls are motivated by projects they find personally relevant and meaningful (Eisenhart & Finkel, 1998; Liston, Peterson, & Ragan, 2008; Thompson & Windschitl, 2005). Girls become engaged when they feel their project or task is important and can make a difference in their community. If they see how STEM is relevant to their own lives and interests, their attitude toward these subjects improves.
3. Girls enjoy hands-on, open-ended projects and investigations (Burkam, Lee, & Smerdon, 1997; Chatman, Nielsen, Strauss, & Tanner, 2008; Fancsali, 2002). SciGirls promotes exploration, imagination, and invention – encouraging girls to ask questions and explore all of the possibilities science and engineering have to offer.
4. Girls are motivated when they can approach projects in their own way, applying their creativity, unique talents, and preferred learning styles (Calabrese Barton, Tan, & Rivet, 2008; Eisenhart & Finkel, 1998). SciGirls encourages girls to develop their own ways of exploring and sharing knowledge, and to come up with creative, exciting and surprising approaches to designing investigations, collecting data, and sharing their results.
5. Girls’ confidence and performance improves in response to specific, positive feedback on things they can control – such as effort, strategies, and behaviors (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Sorich Dweck, 2007; Halpern et al., 2007; Mueller & Dweck, 1998; Zeldin & Pajares, 2000). Self-confidence can make or break a girls’ interest in STEM. SciGirls stresses that confronting problems and having experiments fail is a normal part of the scientific process.!
6. Girls gain confidence and trust in their own reasoning when encouraged to think critically (Chatman et al., 2008; Eisenhart & Finkel, 1998). In SciGirls programming, asking questions and creative thinking are a must, even when these questions might challenge accepted ideas. When girls are free to voice their opinions and re-examine ideas from different perspectives, they become more engaged in STEM.
7. Girls benefit from relationships with role models and mentors (Evans, Whigham, & Wang, 1995; Liston et al., 2008). Seeing women who have succeeded in STEM helps inspire and motivate girls, especially when they can relate to these role models as people with lives outside of the lab. Role models and mentors not only broaden girls’ views of who does science, but expand girls’ vision of what’s possible in their own lives.
Original funding is provided by the National Science Foundation with additional support from ExxonMobil. Current funding is provided by FGIS For Girls in Science and by the Northrop Grumman Foundation.