Introducing 'Curious Crew' a new original series from WKAR

Oct 30, 2014

Rob Stephenson and members of the Curious Crew

New science show featuring local kids comes to mid-Michigan TV.

Airs 5:30 p.m. Mondays and 11 a.m. Saturdays on WKAR-HD (23.1), Nov. 3 through Dec. 27, 2014

Take a hands-on approach to scientific exploration with host Rob Stephenson and a cast of inquisitive kids as Curious Crew comes to mid-Michigan television in November. The new original series from WKAR debuts Monday, Nov. 3, at 5:30 p.m. on WKAR-HD (23.1).

Curious Crew features a cast of young explorers from across mid-Michigan, guided by award-winning educator Rob Stephenson. The setting is Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, Mich. It all adds up to new, local television aimed at helping young learners make connections to basic concepts of science, technology, engineering and math -- what educators call the STEM subjects.

Each episode leads off with a fun demonstration that ends with an unexpected twist. It gets us wondering, how does that work? Then Rob and the Curious Crew set about exploring, experimenting and finding some answers.

Each show also features a STEM Challenge. It's a hands-on project that the Curious Crew tackles on the show, and that young science explorers can try at home or in the classroom. In the end, each episode concludes with the signature sign-off from the crew to "Stay Curious!"

About the Host

Rob Stephenson has a natural ease working with the students on the crew and guiding us all through concepts from simple to challenging. That should come as no surprise. He is a 2010 National Teacher of the Year finalist, 2009-2010 Michigan Teacher of the Year, and 2006 winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. He served as principal at Donley Elementary School in East Lansing, Mich., from 2012 to 2014 and is currently STEM consultant for Ingham Intermediate School District.

“After twenty years in education, kids continue to amaze me with their innovation and problem solving," says Stephenson. "I am eager for this opportunity to share my passion for STEM education with a larger number of students, families, and teachers. It is so much fun to learn through hands-on discovery, so I am hopeful that everyone will remember to 'Keep experimenting!'"

About the Crew

Curious Crew members range in age from eight to 14, and come to the show from across mid-Michigan. In July 2014, more than 250 young scientists came to the WKAR studios to try out for a role with the new television show.

More than 30 of those who auditioned were selected to appear across the eight episodes of this first season and be a part of the street team that makes appearances in our community. Cast and street team members hail from Lansing, East Lansing, St. Johns, Milford, Fowlerville, Charlotte, Grand Ledge, Rockford and more -- truly a cross-section of mid-Michigan.

For a look at the Curious Crew casting call, check out the video from WKAR's Kelley Waterfall: CASTING CALL: Curious Crew.

In Your Community

Production for the series took place on location at Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, Mich., during the months of July and August 2014.

Mid-Michigan business and education communities have shown that they see value in this new local series with a focus on STEM education. This first season of Curious Crew has drawn financial support from Michigan STEM Partnership, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, TechSmith, Fifth Third Bank, The John E. Fetzer Institute Fund of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Capital Area District Libraries, LAFCU, Granger, My Blend - Michigan Virtual University and more.

Watch It Anytime

Full episodes are available after the debut broadcast for on-demand viewing in the PBS app/channel on Roku, XBox 360, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, iPad/iPhone and in the PBS Video player at video.wkar.org.

Keep experimenting and stay curious!