Silver Spring, Md. (Nov. 23, 2009) – Underscoring its commitment to leading in science-related programming and education, and answering President Obama’s call to action to encourage science literacy, Discovery Communications today announced a new multimedia, multi-year nationwide initiative called "Be The Future." Over the next five years, Discovery will launch a programming block, education curriculum and tools to inspire student learning and careers in the sciences and support the White House’s efforts behind science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
"Lifting American students from the middle to the top of the pack in STEM achievement over the next decade will not be attained by government alone," said President Obama. "I applaud the substantial commitments made today by the leaders of companies, universities, foundations, non-profits, and organizations representing millions of scientists, engineers and teachers from across the country."
"The exploration of science, technology and the natural world is central to the mission and DNA of Discovery Communications, and we are incredibly proud to put the full muscle of our content and resources behind this critical White House initiative," said John S. Hendricks, founder and chairman, Discovery Communications. "Through ‘Be the Future,‘ we will spark the innate curiosity in school-aged viewers and people of all ages, help drive interest and leadership in science-related careers and inspire a lifelong interest in how science shapes our everyday lives."
A sweeping, multi-platform initiative, "Be the Future" will be built on two primary Discovery businesses: the Science Channel, the only nationally distributed television network devoted entirely to celebrating the wonders of science, and Discovery Education, the leader in digital media for the classroom. Offering services in more than half of all U.S. schools, Discovery Education’s standards-based digital media services are scientifically shown to improve academic achievement. "Be The Future" also will reach across other Discovery platforms including ScienceChannel.com, Discovery Channel and other television and online services.
The cornerstones of Discovery Communications’ commitment include:
– Commercial-Free Kids’ Science Block: Science Channel will create and launch a new, commercial-free science educational programming block, which will air Monday-Saturday on the network. Geared toward middle school students, the block is scheduled to launch in 2010.
– STEM Connect: Offered by Discovery Education, this new curriculum-based and career development science resource is a module designed to fuel teacher and classroom engagement by helping students link science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the real world. Through a collection of rich media educational content, career exploration tools, interactives, and hands-on activities, STEM Connect makes science concepts come alive. STEM Connect is available today.
– The Siemens STEM Academy: Partnering with the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education will create a national STEM education program for teachers. Designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in STEM, the program will include the first online, shared repository of STEM best teaching practices, a National Teacher Academy bringing together science educators from across the country, and an ongoing Webinar series featuring leading scientists and experts in their fields. The program will launch on January 1, 2010.
– "Be the Future" PSA: Discovery Communications will create a "Be the Future" public service announcement and campaign, featuring well-known personalities from Discovery’s networks discussing the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in everyday life and encouraging students to pursue careers in the sciences. Kicking off the campaign will be a PSA from the hosts of Discovery Channel’s hit series "MythBusters," available in 2010 across all of Discovery’s U.S. television networks and Web sites.
– Yearly "Be the Future" Programming Events: Major science series and specials will be developed for Science Channel, Discovery Channel and other Discovery networks, including innovative science-specific episodes of the landmark 60-part Curiosity series.
– Science Education Research Study: Discovery will spearhead a comprehensive research study to understand the critical role media can play in the quest to inspire students to pursue STEM opportunities.
– Discovery Education Annual Student Science Competitions: STEM initiatives also will be woven into Discovery’s annual nationwide middle school science competitions, the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge and the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Also, responding to the President’s call to action is DirecTV, which has demonstrated its commitment to science programming and education with expanded carriage for the Science Channel on its Total Choice service. The move, from its less widely distributed Choice Plus package, grants millions of DirecTV subscribers nationwide access to the network’s high-quality science programming, highlighted by the new commercial-free children’s block.
"With the launch of ‘Be the Future,’ viewers and distributors alike can join Science Channel in this nationwide challenge to support learning and achievement in science, engineering, technology, and math," said Bill Goodwyn, president, Domestic Distribution and Enterprises and president, Discovery Education, Discovery Communications. "DirecTV has stepped up to this calling in a significant way and their commitment to Science Channel gives millions more viewers a formidable tool to advance science literacy."
"Science Channel is thrilled to lead Discovery Communications’ consumer content efforts around STEM, including the launch of a new educational block designed to ignite student interest in the sciences," said Debbie Adler Myers, general manager, Science Channel. "Science Channel celebrates the power of imagination and how science changes the world and we look forward to sharing that message to curiosity-seekers of all ages."
About Science Channel
Science Channel is broadcast 24 hours a day and seven days a week to nearly 58 million U.S. homes and simulcast on Science Channel HD. We immerse viewers in the incredible possibilities of science, from string theory and futuristic cities to accidental discoveries and outrageous inventions. We take things apart, peer inside and put things together in new and unexpected ways. We celebrate the trials, errors and brinking moments that change our lives forever. To find out more go to sciencechannel.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
DirecTV, DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV), the nation’s No. 1 satellite television service, presents the finest television experience available to more than 18.4 million customers in the United States and is leading the HD revolution with more than 130 HD channels – more quality HD channels than any other television provider. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy access to over 265 channels of 100% digital picture and sound, exclusive programming, industry-leading customer satisfaction (which has surpassed all national cable companies for nine years running) and superior technologies that include advanced DVR and HD-DVR services and the most state-of-the-art interactive sports packages available anywhere. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit directv.com.
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