FabLab is the first and only science television series aimed at bringing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) to the under-reached ’tween and teen girl demographic.
The series airs nationally (check local listings) and is seen in over 80 million homes weekend mornings as part of Xploration Station’s Educational and Informational STEM block of programming. Five hosts bring STEM alive and help show the teen and ‘tween viewers that STEM solves problems, changes lives, and in short, makes the world better. The hosts are Kerri Doherty, popular on YouTube for her comedic approach to all things geeky; Cara Santa Maria, a hipster science broadcaster; newcomer Aysia Bell; Madi Vorva, a Teen Choice Pro-Social award winner; and the sole male host, Nick Uhas, a former Big Brother contestant and a YouTube science guru. Celebrity co-hosts and guests will populate the series, each week taped in a new locale to augment that week’s topic.
Several announcements were made from a press conference at The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles last week. There are exciting interactive elements on the TV show and surrounding FabLab digital channels including:
• Mayim Bialik's “Ask Mayim” weekly Q&A segment allows kids across the country to send in any questions about science or technology and get answers from the biggest name in science entertainment, seamlessly combining humor and information.
• The debut of FabLab News on the FabLab YouTube Channel where it is shown how Science, Tech and Innovation are helping to solve the biggest issues of the day.
• FabLab is encouraging kids across the country to vote online for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, seeking the coolest science project to help to make their communities better places. “Young students today are really thinking about how they can make the world a better place, and the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest can help guide them,” said Andrew Bowins, vice president of Corporate Reputation at Samsung Electronics America. “The contest challenges students to use their STEM skills to solve a problem in their community. We believe it encourages them to grow as students as well as neighbors, and we are excited to partner with FabLab. The program shows kids that there are even more opportunities to use STEM in the real world.”
• Lenovo FabFinder national science talent search launches today to find guest reporters and hosts to appear on FabLab; students should go to www.fablabtv.com to learn how to submit videos to enter. “This talent search gives young women a chance to showcase their interest in STEM and to connect with the next generation of STEM leaders. Lenovo is proud to support a search to identify and tap into more diverse STEM talent,” said Yolanda Conyers, Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer for Lenovo.
Mayim (The Big Bang Theory) said, “As a neuroscientist who was encouraged to enter the field in high school, getting girls involved in science (or STEM ) is a personal passion of mine. Through my interactive ‘Ask Mayim’ segment, I hope to get more young women excited about getting into the field that I love so much.”
Some influential believers who have offered to lend their support through their enormous social media networks include Leonardo DiCaprio, Amandla Steinberg, and Karlie Kloss. The teen stars who showed their enthusiasm at the press conference are Katherine McNamara (The Shadow Hunters), Brec Bassinger (Bella and the Bulldogs), Kelli Berglund (Lab Rats), Paris Berelc (Lab Rats), Chloe Lukasiak (Teen Choice Awards winner), Chantel Jeffries (Club Noir), and Roshon Fegan (Disney Channel). Little-known fact about some of your favorite stars – they have a background in or passion for science. That impressive list includes Seth MacFarlane, Danica McKellar, Natalie Portman, Alan Alda, Lisa Kudrow, Ashton Kutcher, will.i.am, Zooey Deschanel, Daryl Hannah and Eva Longoria, to name a few.
FabLab has one mission: to get girls enthused about STEM by drawing the connections between STEM innovations and making the world a better place. Why? Studies have shown that illustrating how STEM inventions and breakthroughs have the power to change the world for the better, really motivating young women to engage with the sciences. FabLab is produced in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The show also partners with 15 additional organizations inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
“We are thrilled to partner with FabLab for the launch of the show,” said Elizabeth English, Head of School at The Archer School for Girls. “We know that STEM is the fastest-growing professional sector with the highest-paying jobs. We also know that these fields hold the key to solving some of our world’s most pressing problems, and as such demand a plurality of perspectives. Archer is proud to stand at the forefront of advancing girls in STEM and to be working toward a future where women are not only contributors to STEM solutions but leaders in the field.”
It is a myth that girls don’t gravitate to STEM. Statistics support the fact that 74% of girls show at least as much interest as boys in the sciences. High school girls, in particular, surpass the percentage of boys interested in Algebra II and Calculus, for example. But along the way, young women tend to be drawn to fields that have social impact and make a difference. FabLab is highlighting amazing STEM discoveries that are mind-blowing and world-changing to help reframe STEM and allow young women to see those fields as a creative outlet for improving their world. FabLab isn’t just reaching the audience on the television show; it will have an active and innovative online and digital presence with exclusive programming for its own YouTube channel and interactivity through social media, all driving home the same message of STEM making the world better for people, pets and the planet.
Corporate partners who share the vision and have jumped on board to assist in attracting girls to science, technology and innovation include Samsung Electronics America, Lenovo, Motorola Mobility Foundation, Ally Bank, Brocade and L’Oréal USA.
“Inspiring the next generation of girls in STEM is a key component of the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science program,” said Lauren Paige, L’Oréal USA’s Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives. “We are proud to partner with FabLab and look forward to featuring the exciting work of our For Women in Science fellows to help encourage girls to explore scientific careers.”