Solar Eclipse Resources for Families & Educators

The solar eclipse on August 21st is fast approaching.  You can watch it live on KLRU Q starting at 1:30 pm.
Follow the links to explore ways to engage kids as they learn about the solar eclipse. And by all means, do NOT let them look directly at the eclipse when it occurs without special protection!

In addition to the above resources, NOVA will be airing a special episode called Eclipse Over America on Monday, August 21 at 8:00 pm on 18-1 KLRU. It will air 2 days later on Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 pm on 18-1 KLRU.

For younger students, you may want to show the kids the 13 minute Ready Jet Go! Total Eclipse of the Sunspot episode that teaches kids about the solar eclipse and how to create a pinhole box viewer to be able to see the eclipse without hurting their eyes. Airtimes

  • Tuesday, August 15th at 1:00 pm on 18-1 KLRU
  • Tuesday, August 15th at 5:30 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Friday, August 18th at 7:00 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Saturday, August 19th at 7:00 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Sunday, August 20th at 7:00 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Thursday, August 31st at 5:30 pm on 18-4 PBS KIDS
  • Monday, September 25th at 1:00 pm on 18-1 KLRU

Here is the Pinhole Eclipse Projector activity sheet from Ready Jet Go:

We hope you’ll be able to guide your students in their discoveries about the solar eclipse!

Happy National Summer Learning Day!

National Summer Learning Day highlights the importance of keeping kids learning during the summer so that they can return to school in the fall ready to succeed in the year!

This year, our partner Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area teamed up with KLRU to offer an exciting day of learning with PBS KIDS resources.

Kids were shown an episode of a PBS KIDS show called Design Squad in which two groups of teens compete against each other to build the best zip line thrill ride using the materials and tools provided.  The Walnut Creek club members were so excited to find out that they themselves had to complete a similar hands-on challenge. They were given rope, ping pong balls, marbles, rubber bands, construction paper, pipe cleaners, and masking tape.  They were instructed to work in small groups to plan the design of a carrier for the ping pong ball that would carry it safely from one end of a zip line to the other.
As soon as they were given the go ahead, you could hear the kids excitedly sharing their ideas and vision with each other, asking each other questions, problem solving together, and drawing out a plan.  Working together has its challenges and this was no exception, you could hear groups having to deal with conflicting ideas and compromising to reach a unified solution. Once they had solidified their plan, they began building collaboratively and testing out the design. You could hear groans when it didn’t work and the teams had to modify their designs and try again. You could hear another team cheering at the other side of the room when they had a breakthrough and it actually worked. You could feel the energy, see tons of smiles and hear the laughter coming from all sides of the room. It was pretty obvious that the kids were having fun while learning.

After completing the challenge, the kids gathered for a read-out-loud of the book, Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty.  The book encourages kids to persevere. On their way out, the kids were given a PBS summer activity booklet and a frisbee with the Klru.org/stem link printed on it. As they were exiting, I asked a little girl what she had learned. She said, “not to give up and if I keep trying, I’ll learn new things along the way and I will get better.”

Rather than keeping the fun limited to one day, BGCAA STEM director, Erica Egan, turned it up a notch by making it a week of fun. On Monday, 15 elementary-aged kids from the Bastrop Boys & Girls Clubs participated. On Wednesday, fifteen 1st and 2nd graders from Walnut Creek site joined in the fun. Tomorrow, Friday, the EAST site club members will get their turn to play while learning.  #KeepKidsLearning.

 

KLRU Board Education Commitee Meeting Announcement

The KLRU Board Education Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 27, 3:00 pm, at the law offices of Boulette Golden & Marin LLP, 5th floor, Vinson & Elkins Building, 2801 Via Fortuna # 100, Austin, TX 78746, USA. This meeting is open to the public. Advance notice of attendance is encouraged – please send your commitment to attend to bkramer@klru.org or call 512.475.9050.

Thank you for contacting us to express your concern about School Inc.

KLRU, like all PBS stations, has aired a great many programs about education, ranging from our annual American Graduate Day programming to a wide range of documentaries exploring all aspect of the education system and process.  In this area, as in all of our programming, we strive to present different viewpoints that lead to constructive civic dialogue.  The viewpoints expressed in many of the programs we air do not reflect the opinion of the station or PBS, but we nevertheless strive for diversity in content and opinion.

School Inc. is an independent production with funders clearly identified.  An additional consideration in the case of School Inc. was that it featured KIPP Austin School. We aired this program in May.

We will share your email with the PBS Ombudsman’s office and with the producers.  We appreciate you sharing your opinion, and respect whatever decisions you make regarding your future support.

Cedar park student headed to PBS Newshour Student Reporting Lab Academy

Twenty talented youth storytellers from 13 states will convene in the nation’s capital this summer with the common objective to advance the future of journalism and public media. KLRU’s PBS Newshour Student Reporting Lab participant Isaac Hernandez of Cedar Ridge High School was named one of the fellows for the Student Reporting Labs Academy.

The middle and high school fellows are participants in the third annual Student Reporting Labs Academy. They will work alongside public media mentors to produce original digital content and sharpen their journalism and production skills. The fellows will also help program leaders develop strategies to engage young people with the news and current affairs, and ensure that diverse youth voices are active in the conversations about critical issues facing the nation.

During the 2016-17 school year, these young journalists contributed to the NewsHour’s broadcast and digital platforms with Letters to the Next President, stories of New Americans, 13 Reasons Why and two upcoming series on overcoming disabilities and America’s National Parks.

To learn more about the other students, please visit the official 2017 SRL Academy Tumblr.

Student Reporting Labs is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate: Let’s make it happen initiative, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award.

On social media, visit PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs on Facebook or follow @reportinglabs on Twitter.

2017 Writers Contest winners announced

Today, KLRU announced the local winners of the 2017 PBS KIDS Writers Contest. Over 300 creative entries were received from local children and 13 winners were chosen for first place, second place, third place and honorable mention recognition:

1st Place: Kindergarten—Addison Rogers, homeschooled in Paige, TX; First Grade—Harry Flynn, Pond Springs Elementary (Round Rock ISD); Second Grade—Surya Arunkumar, Patsy Sommer Elementary (Round Rock ISD); Third Grade—Anna James, Riojas Elementary (Pflugerville ISD)

2nd Place: Kindergarten—Maxwell Hausken, Reilly Elementary (Austin ISD); First Grade—Avanish Ram Vetsa, Laurel Mountain Elementary (Round Rock ISD); Second Grade—Genevieve Hernandez, Santa Cruz Catholic School (Buda, TX); Third Grade—Kinsley Cronin-West, Laurel Mountain Elementary (Round Rock ISD)

3rd Place: Kindergarten—Sunny Paulsen, TH Johnson Elementary (Taylor ISD); First Grade—Atlie May, homeschooled in Kyle, TX and Colin D’Eimon, Neidig Elementary (Elgin ISD); Second Grade—Tanya Ram, St. Francis School (Austin, TX); Third Grade—Julia Tese, Chaparral Star Academy (Austin, TX).

Honorable Mention: Elijah Moore, Pflugerville, TX

“Every year KLRU is a proud participant in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest because it underscores our commitment to the success of Central Texas children,” said Ben Kramer, KLRU VP of Education. “The process of creative writing has been proven to not only support the building of key academic skills but to help improve a child’s self confidence, creativity and imagination. KLRU wishes the winners congratulations, and celebrates all of the talented Central Texas children who entered this year’s contest. While KLRU celebrates the success of the most winning entries at each grade level, we also wish to celebrate the creation of a community of writers, and extend the publication to all children who submit an entry by publishing them on our website at klru.org/writerscontest.”

The annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest is a local initiative designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest encourages children in grades K-3 to celebrate creativity by submitting their own original stories and illustrations. The 2018 KLRU Writers Contest will also include 4th and 5th grades!

To learn more about the contest, visit klru.org/writerscontest.

KLRU Educational Services receives grant funds from Summer STEM Investment Hub

Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub

For the fourth consecutive year, KLRU Educational Services will work alongside 12 other partners to provide quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer experiences for low-income youth in Central Texas. The Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub, a collaborative of 13 funding partners, has dedicated not only funding, but professional development and research expertise to tackle two important challenges: a summer “slide” in skills for low-income youth relative to their higher-income peers, and the desire to grow a local workforce for future Central Texas STEM-related jobs.

KLRU has three chief roles in this Summer STEM work:

  • to determine how KLRU’s digital assets, including equipment and digital media resources, can complement the work of each partner for on-site use
  • to provide resources to youth and their families to extend the learning achieved into the remainder of the summer through our vast collection of online and app-based resources
  • to hold discussions with youth and their families about summer screen use. We know that screen use goes way up during the summer months. We wish to help families strive for a healthy balance of “smart” and “silly” screen time, along with other activities for all members of the family.

The grantees are:

Design Connect Create
UT Austin TACC
UT Austin Dell Medical School
UT Austin UTeach Outreach
AISD Eastside Memorial Vertical Team
AISD STAARburst
AISD Akins High School
KLRU Educational Services
Campfire USA
Girlstart
Hill Country Science Mill
Harmony Science Academy
Welcome Table

The Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub partners are:  KDK-Harman Foundation, KLE Foundation, Webber Family Foundation, Topfer Family Foundation, Andy Roddick Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Intel Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and IBM.

KLRU Kids Writers – more stories every day!

We are receiving stories in the mail every day and are publishing them as fast as we can! Check every day for the next week to see our collections grow! Click here.

¡Estamos recibiendo nuevos cuentos en el correo cada día y los estamos publicando tan rápido como podamos! Chequea cada día esta semana para ver crecer la colección. Haz clic aquí.

 

KLRU’s Austin City Limits at Stony Point High School Rock History class

KLRU-TV and Austin City Limits paid a visit to the Junior Historians Chapter #900 at Stony Point High School, Round Rock, on March 9 to consult with the students on their competition project for the Texas State Historical Association’s Annual Meeting and History Fair covering the history of the Austin music scene.

ACL assistant producer and archivist Michael Toland discussed the rise of Austin as a music hub, starting in the sixties with the 13th Floor Elevators, before covering the various scenes and genres (progressive country, blues, New Sincerity, etc.) that made a mid-market college town into a hotbed for musicians and fans. Special attention went to Austin City Limits for its role in spotlighting Austin music on a national level and on how that helped Austin evolve into the musical powerhouse it is today. Guided by teacher and sponsor Mrs. Cheri Christian-Winne, the students were bright, inquisitive and insightful.

KLRU hosts National PBS KIDS Ready to Learn Advisors Meeting

On February 2 and 3, 2017, KLRU hosted the Ready to Learn National Advisors Meeting.  The annual meeting is typically held in Washington D.C.; this was their first-ever relocation to a community implementing Ready to Learn-funded activities.  Over 50 advisors from higher education, media production, and public-serving agencies gathered to provide direction to the project, in order to discuss the content and curriculum being produced, its dissemination to communities in need, and to give input on how to best evaluate the project’s efficacy.

Ready to Learn Advisors in a panel discussion on the original Austin City Limits stage. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Kids are leading the Ready to Learn: Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media project, funded by the Department of Education.  The five year grant ( 2015 – 2020) calls upon up to 40 PBS stations from all over the nation and their local community organizations to disseminate scientific inquiry and literacy content to low-income children ages 2 – 8 years old.

KLRU was one of the 11 pilot stations invited to test new resources in the field.  We partner with Thinkery, Communities In Schools of Central Texas, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin area.

From Left to Right: Ben Kramer, VP of Education at KLRU; Erica Gallardo-Taft, Vice President of Program Services at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area; Eric Metcalf, Chief of Program Strategy at Communities In Schools of Central Texas; Robin Gose, Director of Education at Thinkery

Among other initiatives, we have held Odd Squad Summer Math Camps and Family Creative Learning (FCL) workshops at partner sites. At the FCL workshops, we guided parents to actively engage in their child’s learning using the free PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. app, which allows them to animate their favorite PBS characters.

In summer 2017, KLRU will pilot Odd Squad Summer Science Camp in which kids will solve problems to become Odd Squad agents.  Another project coming down the pipeline is a new collection of Ruff Ruffman science materials.

Thank you to Thinkery for hosting one day of the workshop and to the city of Austin for wowing the Ready to Learn Advisory group. We hope that they will return in 2018.

Ready to Learn: Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media is funded by the US Department of Education and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.