Discovery Ties Itself To Obama's Youth Science Literacy Initiative
Discovery Communications wants to "Be The Future" alongside the Obama Administration's STEM call to action science campaign.
The programmer is launching a five-year initiative backing President Obama's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, aimed at improving the nation's science literacy among its youth.
"The exploration of science, technology and the natural world is central to the mission and DNA of Discovery Communications and we are incredibly proud to put the full muscle of our content and resources behind this critical White House initiative," said John Hendricks, founder and chairman, Discovery Communications, in a statement. "Through ‘Be the Future' we will spark the innate curiosity in school-aged viewers and people of all ages, help drive interest and leadership in science-related careers and inspire a lifelong interest in how science shapes our everyday lives."
Discovery Education and Science Channel, which is expanding its subscriber base through an upgrade on DirecTV to the DBS leader's Total Choise package from Choice Plus, will assume integral roles for Discovery.
The latter will bow a commercial-free science block, aimed at middle-school students, on Monday to Saturday afternoons, starting next year.
Moreover, there will be major science series and specials developed for Science Channel, Discovery Channel and other networks, including science-specific installments of the 60-part Curiosity series.
In addition, Discovery is developing a series of "Be The Future" PSAs, featuring network personalities. The first message, slated to drop in 2010, will feature Mythbusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, and will run across all of the programmer's networks and Web sites.
For its part, Discovery Education is developing a pair of educational programs, STEM Connect and the Siemens STEM Academy. The former's curriculum aspires to help students connect science and technology to the real world through multimedia content and hands-on activities.
The latter, through Webinars and best-practice tips, is geared toward helping teachers engender student interest and achievement in STEM.
"With the launch of ‘Be the Future,' viewers and distributors alike can join Science Channel in this nationwide challenge to support learning and achievement in science, engineering, technology and math," said Bill Goodwyn, president, Domestic Distribution and Enterprises and president, Discovery Education, Discovery Communications, in a statement. "DirecTV has stepped up to this calling in a significant way and their commitment to Science Channel gives millions more viewers a formidable tool to advance science literacy."
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By Kent Gibbons