Close to 1,000 copies of the ClubZOOM Engineering Activity Guide have been distributed to after-school and youth programs (including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 4-H, Girl Scouts, Girls Inc.), librarians, PBS stations, museums/zoos, and engineers. Here is some feedback from the various audiences:
"The children learned a lot through these hands-on activities. They had fun and had a hard time leaving when ZOOM was over. They are enjoying math/science much more now!"
"It is a great way to introduce kids to a way of problem solving and science thinking."
"Girls who get enthusiastic about science through ZOOM activities sign up for ZOOM or other science programs again. It builds a larger 'core group' of possible future scientists!"
"Presenting a series of ZOOM projects during a special program week -- parents and community officials who attended said they were overwhelmed by what they witnessed."
-- ClubZOOM leaders
"I showed a part of the ClubZOOM video at the beginning of the day, and the girls (and their leaders) were very excited about it."
-- Engineer working with a Girl Scout troop
"It's a great program, and our clubs use your materials immensely. Better yet, we've been able to create outcome measurement tools around it and submit reports to funding agencies based on the success we're having with your program."
-- Boys & Girls Clubs of America
"I'm working with an engineering professor at Southern Illinois University to plan workshops this spring using the ZOOM curriculum. It should be great!"
-- PBS outreach coordinator
ZOOM Into Action and ZOOMlocal/national
The ZOOM Into Action campaign has been a big boost for ZOOMlocal/national stations, allowing them to build strong local partnerships, heighten their visibility in their communities, encourage volunteerism, feature local viewers, and generate positive press. During Season 5, 28 of the ZOOMlocal/national pilot stations returned, accompanied by 11 new station partners. They achieved the following:
- Kids volunteered 1,387,000 hours for ZOOM Into Action projects.
- The ZOOM Into Action Web site feature logged 1,133,541 visits.
- Viewers submitted 118,551 volunteer stories to ZOOM.
- ZOOMlocal stations produced 2,400 segments for ZOOM Into Action.
A sampling of comments from ZOOMlocal stations:
"We have had a tremendous community response to the ZOOM Into Action stories we've taped and aired -- and the calls and letters keep pouring in. ZOOMlocal/national is what PBS is all about. . . . PBS makes a difference in our local communities -- and these local ZOOM segments exemplify this."
-- WSRE/Pensacola, Fla.
"The strength of a community lies in its youth. The ZOOM into Action campaign will equip youth to become fully functioning members of society who positively and proactively impact the communities in which they live."
-- WTVI/Charlotte, N.C.
"The project has been . . . showcasing young people in our viewing area who are building their foundation for civic involvement and may become our future community leaders. It has also been an excellent vehicle for the station to expand its base of partnerships with community organizations."
-- KEET/Eureka, Calif.
More than 42,000 ZOOMerangs have been sent to kids who write to ZOOM by e-mail or snail mail.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America -- ZOOM launched ClubZOOM Engineering at its third annual National Education Summit. The Club asked us to host not only two ClubZOOM workshops, but also invited a ZOOM producer to speak at the plenary session called "Learning Made Fun." After the conference, a staff member from the Boys & Girls Club in Concord, N.H., called asking for more ZOOM resources, saying:
"I met you at the Boys & Girls Clubs' National Education Summit. Our Club has been running ZOOM programs ever since. Our members and our facilitator LOVE the activities! Your Web site is a great resource also."
National Engineers Week
The twin goals for our partnership with National Engineers Week (established in 2000) were to create resources engineers could use with children and to make local connections between our national partners. The activities that took place in Austin, Tex., are a great example:
Partnering with their local mall, museum, and public television station, engineers -- or, as they now refer to themselves, ZOOM engineers -- went to Highland Mall to build hoop gliders, paper helicopters, and paper airplanes as part of the KLRU-TV Kids Club celebration. Activities at the Austin Children's Museum on February 14 included making spaghetti-marshmallow bridges and hovercrafts.
National Center for Outreach (NCO)
ZOOM kicked off Season 5 at the National Center for Outreach's annual conference in New Orleans, where, along with local partner the Louisiana Children's Museum, we hosted two big events -- an evening reception for the public television outreach coordinators who were attending the conference and, for the general public, the grand opening of the Children's Museum's ZOOMzone.
Shortly after the event, Margaret T. Schlaudecker of the Louisiana Public Broadcasting station in Baton Rouge wrote:
"I promised a mother who was at Saturday's event (at the Louisiana Children's Museum ZOOM day) that I would pass along a comment about ZOOM. She has a high-functioning autistic son. She says ZOOM was really a turning point for him. He responded so much to the show and got very involved in the experiments and everything that he saw [and] that it has brought him out so much. She says he woke up early Saturday morning saying, 'It's Saturday, April 12 -- the day the ZOOM kids will be at the Children's Museum.' She wanted you to know how much the show has done for her son and how much she appreciated it."