Local students will use locations around Ames to illustrate science, technology, engineering, art and math for children in a new limited TV series that will premiere Saturday morning at Ames Public Library.
Members of Story County 4-H high school robotics team “Team Neutrino” have been working for two years on creating “Full STEAM Ahead,” which will premiere at 10 a.m. Saturday at the library. The program will also broadcasts on local channel APATV 121-16 and then will be available to stream on YouTube the next day, according to a news release from the team.
Each of six more episodes in the seven-episode series will follow the same broadcast schedule. Quinn Margrett added that the less-than-30-minute episodes will also re-run at 10 am on Sundays and at 6 pm on weeknights.
Margrett — a freshman at Iowa State University, 2022 Ames High School graduate and student lead on making the show — said each episode has a theme: robotics, ecology, athletics, art, architecture, astronomy or virtual reality.
However, an “unspoken kind of theme is just to get kids to go outside their comfort zone and experience things they hadn’t in Story County,” Margrett said.
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Dozens of students taught themselves how to make a TV show.
Team Neutrino made a 27-episode, nine-week YouTube series, “Stay-At-Home STEAM,” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Margrett — a member of Team Neutrino for four years — said the pandemic forced the team to switch to digital content from the in-person outreach they had been doing and are once again doing.
Students have been working on “Full STEAM Ahead” since May 2021 — when all the content for the show was recorded — and students worked on editing and advertising the show this summer, Margrett said.
At least 40 students from five high school classes have worked on the show, including as animators, script writers and supervisors, equipment managers, camera crew members, video editors and social media producers.
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“We didn’t have mentors with TV experience or contacts to teach us; we ‘cold emailed’ people along the way to make connections and taught ourselves from online resources. We want to make clear that we’re so incredibly thankful for all the wonderful people in Story County who stepped up to help us teach STEM in a big way,” Margrett said.
Each episode is hosted by a different Team Neutrino member and follows the same format: the location for the episode is introduced and explored; There’s an interview with an expert on-location; there’s a craft segment that viewers can replicate at home; “Did you know?” segments; an animated segment with the team’s mascot, “Neutrino Guy”; a section from Ames Public Library that highlights a science, technology, engineering, art or math book; and a conclusion at the original location that also introduces the next episode.
Margrett said the team spokeswoman with 11 experts at the library, Iowa State’s Biorenewables Complex, the university space mining club’s workshop, Dog Eared Books, Reiman Gardens, McFarland Park, SportsIowa, Miracle Playground at Inis Grove Park, Octagon Center for the Arts, the Iowa State University Extension Video Studio, Iowa State’s Student Innovation Center, Adams Observatory, a rocketry workshop and Iowa State’s Virtual Reality Applications Center.
“It’s intended for an elementary audience,” but the show can be for anyone, Margrett said.
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Phillip Sitter covers education for the Ames Tribune, including Iowa State University and PreK-12 schools in Ames and elsewhere in Story County. Phillip can be reached via email at email@example.com. He is on Twitter @pslifeisabeauty.