DAYTON — Public Media Connect, ThinkTV and CET, has created a new series designed to help children explore 26 career options, one for each letter of the alphabet. I Can Be Anything I Want to Be, A to Z will launch online on Monday, October 9, with the episode featuring botanist Suzanne York of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
After the online launch, episodes will be released on the ThinkTV and CET Facebook pages every other Monday. The first 13 episodes will be immediately available on October 9 on the I Can Be Anything I Want to Be, A to Z companion website – www.thinktv.org/AtoZ – which includes additional information about each career, resources for educators and more. Some of the episodes in the series also will be included in WVIZ Ideastream’s statewide weekly broadcast of NewsDepth, a news program for students.
I Can Be Anything I Want to Be, A to Z takes place in the A to Z Career Lab, where Lab Squad members investigate careers that correspond to the letters of the alphabet. Together they do hands-on research and interview professionals out in the field. The careers featured in the first half of the series are botanist, computer programmer, electrician, hydrologist, industrial-organizational psychologist, jet engine mechanic, kinesiologist, research analyst, stonemason, urban planner, video producer, workforce development specialist and youth program director. The second half of the series is scheduled to be recorded in early 2018 and released next fall.
“The show is a lot of fun because it’s directed to younger kids in grades 3-6. Most career videos are for older kids, in middle and high school. But research shows that kids need to be thinking about careers at a younger age. So this is something a bit different,” Public Media Connect Chief Education Officer Gloria Skurski said.
The project was developed in partnership with the Montgomery County Educational Service Center, which identified the 26 careers and created classroom resources as well as teacher guides.
The project’s producers auditioned more than 70 young actors for the six-member Lab Squad Team, as well as featured actors and other roles.
The first season includes the following local actors as the Lab Squad:
Piper Blair of Belmont – Flash
Amanda Bass of Springfield – Charlie
Sam McLain of Centerville – Ty
Sydney Rae Wilson of Englewood– Max
James Covarrubias of Cincinnati – P.J.
Maggie Weckesser of Dayton– Quinn
Actors making guest appearances include Jacqueline Cornell of Beavercreek; Saba Halabi of Kettering; and Jack Garrison of Cincinnati.
“Working with our cast was one of our favorite parts. Their sense of curiosity ends up on screen, and hopefully will inspire other children to research and explore their own dream careers,” Public Media Connect Executive Producer Mark Lammers said.
I Can Be Anything I Want to Be, A to Z is funded by the Broadcast Educational Media Commission. Follow the series with the hashtag #CareersAZ.