TWIN CITIES PUBLIC TELEVISION (PBS) REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL Creative Development and Production of BOOK DROP video shorts series

DUE DATE: May 26th, 2023


Inspiring young children in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is an essential way to attract more students to STEM course work and STEM careers. However, educational research on read-alouds is based largely on reading in person. Less is known about how digital media readalouds support children’s STEM and literacy learning.

This project aims to explore the extent to which digital media read-alouds impact children’s STEM content learning, STEM-aligned literacy skills, and children’s awareness of STEM careers by conducting a research study using newly created episodes in library-based outreach programs with youth and their families. Five short-form episodes will be produced that highlight read-alouds presented by STEM prfessionals including astronauts, scientists and engineers, age-appropriate STEM activities, and take-home kits to support family STEM exploration. In alignment with TPT’s strategic plan and organizational mission, and in response to NSF requirements, all projects’ components will be centered around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles. This will be accomplished by employing diverse on-camera readers, including those who identify as BIPOC and/or hail from underrepresented communities, and by selecting stories written by diverse authors and featuring diverse characters. Each 9–12-minute episode will connect STEM and literacy concepts and STEM careers to children’s everyday lives. Episodes will feature STEM professionals reading picture books, animated characters who connect viewers to the overarching episode story or theme, and live action segments of near peers doing STEM activities aligned with the book. Episodes should also highlight the STEM professional’s career in a way that is accessible to 4–8-year-olds. Link to Pilot:


We are requesting proposals to include anticipation of the following deliverables:

1. Based on the existing pilot episode, provide a revised creative vision and episode format;

2. Based on this new vision, plan for revising the pilot episode, and production of 4 new episodes (5 episodes total)

3. Provide a project budget and schedule for the complete project.

Page 3 of 4 Guidelines & Questions for New Creative

• Aim for episode treatments to be in the range of 9-12 minutes.

• Feel free to explore structuring and formatting the episodes in a new and different way.

• Producers can utilize existing animated characters and work with the same animation company or work with new creative and animators.

• Include suggestions for animated scripted elements to better connect the different elements in each episode and provide the strongest and most entertaining episode story arc and theme.

• Look for innovative and creative ways to shoot the read-alouds and bring the stories to life. (Note: TPT staff will take point on selection of books and on-camera professional STEM readers.)

• Determine whether the Q&A segments with STEM readers be revised and/or suggest other ways to learn about these STEM professionals and what they do. Explore how to energize the live-action activity segments to be more entertaining and feel more integrated into each episode. Project Dates We expect to contract this work starting in June 2023 and start product.

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