Pilot Phase


Spring 2014 - The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) signs a contract with Explorer At Large (XAL) for a Pilot Phase to produce 10 SSEC episodes hosted by Josh Bernstein highlighting "the exhibits, artifacts, research centers and staff of the Smithsonian Institution." By Summer 2014, XAL is filming with experts at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), the Smithsonian Castle, and the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park (NZP).

Winter 2014 - Based on the success of the first batch of videos for Smithsonian, SSEC requests an additional 10 episodes. Filming expands to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and the Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouse.

​Spring 2015 - Filming for the Smithsonian wraps. Most episodes are delivered to SSEC by Summer, with the remainder delivered in 2016.

Spring 2016 – Pilot Phase completed. Planning for XAL Implementation Phase begins.

​CONCLUSION: In executing the Pilot Phase, Explorer At Large learns how to best approach the challenge of creating educational videos that 1) pose a curriculum-driven question, 2) introduce an appropriate expert, and 3) deliver an answer to that question––all while staying both engaging and entertaining.

NEXT STEP: After producing roughly 35 episodes with 25 experts from 13 institutions, Explorer At Large believes its ready to bring this knowledge and content into the classroom through an Implementation Phase that piques curiosity through a problem-based learning pedagogy.

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