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Media Advisory 07-004

PBS's 'Design Squad' Debuts at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science

NSF-supported national TV series and outreach campaign aims to spark kids' interest in engineering

PBS's 'Design Squad' will premiere at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science.

PBS's 'Design Squad' will premiere at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science.

February 12, 2007

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Our nation faces a daunting challenge: college-bound students' interest in engineering majors and careers is on the decline and statistics point to an even greater decline in interest among minority and female students. How do we develop a larger, more diverse talent pool of engineers today to devise the technological innovations of tomorrow? Design Squad, a new reality television series that starts airing on PBS during National Engineers Week (EWeek), Feb.18-24, 2007, address this critical situation. Targeted to 9- to 12-year-old viewers, Design Squad's premise is: getting kids excited about engineering can be accomplished when you have the right ingredients--energy, enthusiasm, humor and teamwork.

On Feb.16, the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (MS)2 will welcome cast members and producers of Design Squad and its major funders, the National Science Foundation and Intel. Design Squad is right at home at (MS)2, whose mandate is to prepare middle school students to study and pursue careers in math, science and engineering through innovation and technology. Students will get a sneak preview of the show, participate in a hands-on engineering activity and interact with one of the show's hosts and a Design Squad contestant.

For information about Design Squad, visit:

What: PBS's Design Squad Sneak Preview at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science


Design Squad cast members Deanne and Krishana

Kate Taylor, Senior Executive Producer, Design Squad

Marisa Wolsky, Executive Producer, Design Squad

Kathie Olsen, Deputy Director, National Science Foundation

Brenda Musilli, Director of Education, Intel Corporation

James H. Johnson, Jr., Professor of Civil Engineering and Dean, College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences, Howard University

Paul Organ, Principal, Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science

When: 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Friday, February 16, 2007

Where: Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, Main Howard University Campus, 405 Howard Place, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Media are invited to attend. Photography, filming and interview opportunities are available. For press materials, visit


Media Contacts
Mary Beth LeFaivre, WGBH, (617) 300-5335, email:
Dana Topousis, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-7750, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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