Wonders of the Modern World

January 10th, 1997 - April 30th, 2001 | PROJECT

WGBH will develop, produce, and distribute Wonders of the Modern World, a project that examines the science and technology behind the building of five international landmarks -- the Golden Gate Bridge, the Aswan Dam, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the Toronto Skydome, and the English Channel Tunnel connecting Great Britain and France. Wonders of the Modern World is an integrated, synergistic project that combines a nationally-broadcast, prime time television series with print, interactive components, and on-line products for home and school. The goals of the project are to educate the public about concepts in physical science, technology, and engineering and to engage youth and adults in a diverse range of science and technology activities using various media ranging from on-line telecommunications to print. The specific components of the project include: o A prime time PBS television series consisting of five one-hour programs that will be hosted by David Macaulay, author of numerous popular books on technology such as How Things Work, Cathedral, Castle, and Pyramid, o A World Wide Web site where users can conduct interactive science and technology activities, o Print guides to help with on-line activities, o Family-oriented video vignettes with experiments in structural design, o Activity kits that include the materials needed for conducting family-based science experiments, o Curriculum-based school videos, o Student/teacher guides that will help interpret the series for classroom use, and o A CD-ROM. WGBH has formed alliances with four national organizations that will undertake a major effort to engage members of underserved and low-income communities in the series and the ancillary activities. These organizations are The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The Community Technology Centers Network, The Public Library Association, and The American Architectural Foundation. The PI and Project Director will be Paula Apsell, Executive Producer for NOV A and Head of the WGBH Science Unit. Larry Klein, Head of Production Group, Inc., will be the Series Executive Producer and Co-PI. Beth Kirsch of WGBH will serve as Director of Educational Print and Outreach, and Mark Olshaker will be series editor and scriptwriter. Ted Sicker, Executive Producer for Interactive Projects/New Media at WGBH Educational Foundation will direct the development and deployment of the on-line components of the project. Barbara Flagg will conduct formative evaluation and Irene Goodman will conduct summative evaluation.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Paula Apsell, Principal Investigator, WGBH
Larry Klein, Co-Principal Investigator, WGBH
Barbara Flagg, Evaluator, Multimedia Research


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9627044
Funding Amount: 3106100


Access and Inclusion: Low Socioeconomic Status
Audience: Adults | Educators | Teachers | Families | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Engineering | Physics | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Community Outreach Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media