I just wrapped up the Back to School campaign I do with Texas Instruments and I thought I would share some highlights.
The campaign this year is called “STEM Behind Hollywood” and what we did was we took concepts and ideas kids already see and know and love in Hollywood (zombies, superheroes, space, and forensics) to get them excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Stemhollywood.com is the website for our campaign and we have free (free!) downloadable activities for the TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator as well as iPad apps that explain the real science and math behind these Hollywood concepts.
Starting with zombies, I got to meet and work with Dr. Steve Schlozman, author of The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notes from the Apocalypse. Dr. Steve is actually a child psychiatrist but since he was a kid he has loved zombies. He wrote this fascinating fictional book about what it would be like for an actual doctor to study and analyze zombies and now they are turning his book into a movie.
Dr. Steve–Dr. Zombie we call him–helped design the Stemhollywood.com zombie curriculum, which includes learning the neuroanatomy behind what makes zombies act the way they do as well as modeling a zombie outbreak and teaching how disease progression is graphed, manipulated and understood by scientists. We can teach so many lessons about math and technology this way, and it’s working: students are loving this and we are too!
I did a lot of press about Stem Behind Hollywood and here are some highlights from my press tour:
Access Hollywood here in LA had me on and there was a guest host on…Alfonso Ribeiro! We worked next door to each other when he was on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and I was on “Blossom.” I’ve loved him since “Silver Spoons” though!
Sam Rubin is the local entertainment guy at KTLA News. Here’s a picture of me and Sam. He and I talked about our Rosh Hashanah plans before we started taping. He is very sweet and has been so supportive of my road-to-the-Emmys these past two years.
When I did press in NY, I did this little skit for the folks at Mashable. Yes, that’s me pretending to be a mad scientist wanting to bring George Washington back to life.
Another thing that happened the day I did my Texas Instruments press in Los Angeles was I had a few hour break amidst all the press and had to make chili for my 5-year-old’s birthday party. So in full hair and make-up, I went to the market to get the ingredients and then made this chili and popped it in the freezer before heading back out for more press. SuperMom? I try. And my publicist threatened to call paparazzi to get pictures of me all dressed up at the market since every other time paparazzi are around I tend to look horrendous. Thank you, Heather Weiss, for not doing that so I could shop in peace!
Here’s the chili.
Finally, my day of press brought out a lot of questions about my personal life. Namely, about my decision not to do interviews about my divorce, but rather, blogging about it for Kveller.com. This led to Kveller.com being mentioned on many national news shows which is very exciting! It also led to me being interviewed about my writing and my decision to write about the divorce for an intelligent and funky website rather than discuss it for, say, the tabloids. So that’s happening.
It has been a great back to school season for me and TI and we hope you will check out Stemhollywood.com for free activities and fun ways to get kids involved in STEM. In addition, we hope you will stay tuned for more Kveller.com in the news! We’ll keep you posted!