For the past month, I have been interning at WGBH in the Education Department where I am part of the editorial team. I am working on the content for PEEP Family Science, four apps that contains a science curriculum targeted for four and five-year olds. Each app covers a different science concept. The topics are ramps, colors, sounds, and shadows. Although PEEP Family Science is available for the public, this app is targeted to low income families who are part of home visiting programs. Home visiting programs are for parents who cannot afford to send their children to preschool and rely on home educators to give them materials to teach their children. WGBH has partnered with two national home visiting programs AVANCE and HIPPY USA. These organizations have agreed to participate in the initial testing of the app. At the same time, the Educational Development Center, EDC, has been working on generating positive outcomes and areas of potential change for the app.
My first week as an intern consisted of preparing for a major stakeholder meeting in which representatives from AVANCE, HIPPY USA, WGBH, EDC, and PEEP met for a two-day conference to discuss the next steps for PEEP Family Science. As an intern, I helped my advisor create her powerpoint presentation, format the agenda, and collect background information on all the members in attendance. Throughout the conference it was my responsibility to keep track of any suggestions made in regard to the content of the app. One of the major takeaways from the meeting was to move the concept of “why media is important” to a more prominent position in the educator guide and within the app. It was fascinating to see how many people were skeptical of the use of media as an educational tool.
Recently, I have been working on the content of the apps and applying the feedback from the stakeholder meeting. Every app features a month long curriculum. Each week parents and their children watch an episode of the animated PEEP and the Big Wide World. There are then questions which insight a conversation between parent and child. Next parents are given an interactive activity to do with their children. The materials used are easily accessible. Examples include phone flashlights, phone cameras and toilet paper rolls. Each App comes with a detailed home educator guide which should help eliminate any confusion home educators may have with PEEP Family Science. I am responsible for choosing photos for the app, editing strategies, and creating the curriculum for shadows. Every app is translated into Spanish. I move the translated text to a medium which enables it to be put into the app form. I have also reformatted and added content to the educator guide.
I grew up watching PBS children’s shows. Interning in the same space in which some of my favorite shows were created has been humbling. The PEEP Family Science app official launch date is August 3rd.