DESIGN SQUAD, a series aimed at 9- to 12-year-olds, borrows from the reality competition format and intends to get its viewers excited about engineering. Two teams of high school students (ages 16-19) design, build and test whimsical machines and innovative products -- everything from a wireless light and dance show to an automatic pancake maker -- for real clients. Guided by two young engineer hosts, the teams are scored for their ability to think outside the box and meet (or surpass) the demands of the challenge at hand. In the final episode, the top two scorers battle for the grand prize: a $10,000 college scholarship.
Design Squad Previous Broadcasts
Aquatic Robots (Episode #208)
PBS Kids: Thu, May 30, 2013 -- 4:00 PM
Super Duck Excursions, the Boston-based terra-amphibious touring company, challenges the teams to create underwater radio-controlled robots to spice up their narrated tours. D-Squad Pro File: Mikell Taylor, a systems engineer at Bluefin Robotics, not only builds Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) for the U.S. Navy, but she's also taken the lead in creating a new consumer product: a personal training device for swimmers.
- PBS Kids: Fri, May 31, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
- PBS Kids: Thu, May 30, 2013 -- 10:30 PM
Big Bugs (Episode #207)
PBS Kids: Thu, May 23, 2013 -- 4:00 PM
DESIGN SQUAD gets back to nature as the teams sculpt large-scale insects from found forest materials. The winning arthropod will be on display at the New England Wild Flower Society's Big Bugs exhibit. D-Squad Pro File: Matt Sisul and William Cao are 20-something structural engineers who volunteer for Engineers Without Borders to promote urban development in Africa and South America.
- PBS Kids: Fri, May 24, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
- PBS Kids: Thu, May 23, 2013 -- 10:30 PM
Backyard Thrill Ride (Episode #206)
PBS Kids: Thu, May 16, 2013 -- 4:00 PM
The teams bring the adrenaline rush of an amusement park ride to the backyard of 13-year-old Andreas Hoffman. D-Squad Pro File: What is more fun then riding a roller coaster? Mechanical engineer Chris Gray would say building one! At Great Coasters International, Chris applies his creativity and engineering know-how to build exhilarating (and safe!) roller coasters.
- PBS Kids: Fri, May 17, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
- PBS Kids: Thu, May 16, 2013 -- 10:30 PM
Water Dancing (Episode #205)
PBS Kids: Thu, May 9, 2013 -- 4:00 PM
Dancer and performance artist Lisa Bufano, a bilateral leg and finger amputee, challenges the teams to build specialized prostheses for an underwater performance. D-Squad Pro File: Greg Jones applies his mechanical engineering skills in a broad range of artistic endeavors including "La Contessa," a replica of a 40-foot Spanish galleon built over a school bus.
- PBS Kids: Fri, May 10, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
- PBS Kids: Thu, May 9, 2013 -- 10:30 PM
Gravity Bikes (Episode #204)
PBS Kids: Thu, May 2, 2013 -- 4:00 PM
The DESIGN SQUAD teams go head-to-head as they compete to build high-speed gravity bikes for Gravity Sports International champion Tom Whalen. D-Squad Pro File: Gael Force Team 126 from Clinton, Massachusetts, is one of more than 1,300 teams that compete each year at the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition. Teams had just six weeks to design, build and test a robot that raced around a track to move a 40-inch inflatable ball.
- PBS Kids: Fri, May 3, 2013 -- 4:30 AM
- PBS Kids: Thu, May 2, 2013 -- 10:30 PM