Madison Teacher Selected For 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Program

David Olson is recognized for his game-changing integration of digital media in the classroom; Olson will partner with Wisconsin Public Television to build learning outcomes in Wisconsin.

Today, Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) announced David Olson, a teacher from James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, as one of 52 educators from across the country selected for the fifth annual PBS Digital Innovators Program. The program recognizes classroom change makers: educators who skillfully approach education with a bold and fresh perspective, and who integrate digital media and resources into their classrooms.

“WPT is excited to collaborate with David Olson, who was chosen from a pool of innovative educators across the country,” said Alyssa Tsagong, WPT Director of Education.  (Explore more about WPT Education online!) “Working directly with Wisconsin’s most passionate educators inspires our entire station, and leads to our best work. We are proud that he will represent WPT and our state as he participates in this unique opportunity to work in-depth with the excellent resources and professional development from PBS LearningMedia.”

As a social studies teacher, Olson said he finds his students are most engaged when they get to learn from history and apply their knowledge to real situations. Simulations, authentic textual analysis and games he brings into in his classroom give students the opportunity to see how the things they learn apply to the real world.

Olson, who has employed WPT resources in his classroom, including those from WPT’s WisconsinVote.org project and the Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams documentary, said that digital content helps many of his lessons make the strongest impact. “When I have my students experience life inside a solitary confinement cell using a Virtual Reality headset or [invite them to] create their own political advertisements, it sparks their curiosity and leads them to think of new problems to solve,” he said.

In partnership with WPT, Olson will work to deepen the connection between the educator community and the educational resources offered through public television. PBS Digital Innovators also participate in ongoing professional development, share their ideas on PBS platforms, have access to exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia, receive a free PBS Teacherline professional development course, and are invited to special events, including the 2017 PBS Digital Summit in San Antonio, Texas.

For all educators, PBS LearningMedia offers more than 100,000 digital resources – including lesson plans, worksheets, video content and more, are available through PBS LearningMedia – for pre-K-12 classrooms and other learning environments. Teachers can access this content at pbslearningmedia.org.

Gaylord Catering Fuels Auction 2017

This year, Wisconsin Public Television celebrates our 42nd year of fantastic fun at Auction – May 31 through June 4, 2017! Help support WPT as you bid on an array of goods and services donated by businesses and individuals from around Wisconsin and beyond. Preview and pre-bid on items and watch our live stream from anywhere at auction.wpt.org. To bid by phone, dial 800-236-3636.

WPT Auction catering partners fuel hardworking volunteers and WPT employees throughout Auction with delicious, local meals. This year, longtime Auction catering partner Gaylord Catering Service, of Madison, has once again signed up to volunteer time — and, of course, food. We sat down with Dave Chamberlain, Gaylord Catering Service’s owner, president, and general manager (and even one of the chefs!) to learn more about the business and its commitment to Auction.

How has your role with Gaylord Catering Service evolved over the years?
I started in 1968 as a high school student washing dishes. I kept that job part-time, washing dishes throughout college until I graduated from Madison Business College in 1974 with an accounting degree. After graduation, Gaylord Catering offered a full-time job, which I accepted. Shortly thereafter, I was offered a position of ownership in the company — you know, one of those enticements to make sure that you stay and don’t run away [laughs]! In 1983, I purchased the company from Gaylord Matti, the original owner. I purchased with a partner; in 1997 my partner left to pursue other interests. Since then, it’s just been my wife [Pat] and I.

What about Auction motivated Gaylord Catering to donate meals and valuable time?
My kids and my wife and I — and now my grandkids —watch public television a lot. In the early years, WPT carried Badger hockey and basketball, which we loved to watch. [Donating to Auction] just seemed like a way for me to give back. You can always donate money, but this was an opportunity for me and my business to give something back.

What’s your favorite part about being an Auction catering partner?From a business standpoint, you get exposure to a lot of people. If I provide them with good food that they like, maybe they’ll remember that I donated. They’ll take the time to call me and give me an opportunity to provide that food for them. It doesn’t “seal the deal,” but they’re more likely to give me a chance. It’s a way for the community to realize that we’re giving back. And I’m sure the volunteers enjoy it!

Since you’re one of the chefs, we have to ask: What’s the most popular dish?
We do a number of weddings every year, and in the wedding business, chicken is a popular item. We do a Wisconsin Cranberry Chicken, which is chicken breast filled with a dried cranberry, walnut and herb dressing and garnished with a white wine cream sauce. That’s probably one of the most popular items we serve.

Experience the Sounds of Solitary

What does solitary confinement sound like? In the short film below from our colleagues at FRONTLINE, experience a solitary existence that is anything but silent. Then, join us Tuesday night at 8 on Wisconsin Public Television for the powerful new FRONTLINE documentary, “Last Days of Solitary.” In the film, producers take us inside a Maine prison to learn what happens when prisoners from solitary confinement try to re-enter society, and why leaders in that state are trying to decrease its use of this isolating correction tactic.

Click here to listen to an exclusive Wisconsin Public Radio interview with FRONTLINE Executive Producer and UW-Madison alumna Raney Aronson-Rath from her recent visit to Wisconsin.

Behind the Scenes: Students Attend State Superintendent Debate in WPT Studios

“We’re rolling in 3…2…1…”

Students rarely get to see politics in action. Often, they don’t even get a chance to meet the candidates, let alone watch a debate live and participate. But last month, a group of students from Bay View Middle School in the Howard-Suamico School District located near Green Bay did just that.

My name is Amy Arbogash and I am the Technology Integration Specialist at Bay View. Last month, I had the privilege of attending the first-ever Wisconsin Public Television Education Innovation Summit held in Madison. Over the course of two days, educators from around the state gathered to learn, collaborate and create. While there, I learned from the WPT staff that they were planning to do something a little different for the upcoming Wisconsin State Superintendent Debate: They wanted to put the candidates in front of a live audience of their most important constituents — students!

Through the efforts of our administration and teachers, we were able to bring 10 students from Bay View to the debate on March 31. Because we have more than 900 students in our 7th- and 8th-grade middle school, we asked students to apply for the privilege to attend and submit questions to WPT for inclusion in the debate. The students were so excited, many spent hours researching ideas for questions. One of our assistant superintendents even worked directly with students to talk about state and district funding.

Amy Arbogash takes some behind-the-scenes photos of students on set.

On the day of the debate, the 10 students, two social studies teachers and I headed down to Madison. As we entered the studio at WPT, the awe on our students’ faces took my breath away. Seeing the stage, lights, candidates, cameras and WPT production staff amazed them. Getting a tour of the studio and seeing all of the behind-the-scenes action was an unbelievable opportunity. The students got to watch the entire debate unfold in front of them, and several had their questions answered live on television. We ended our night with lots of pictures, discussions with the candidates, and memories to last a lifetime!

Students seated and ready for the live debate.

Wisconsin Public Television has always been a supportive resource for Wisconsin teachers and students, but in the last month, I’ve discovered that their support goes deeper than educational television. WPT Education provides invaluable opportunities in and beyond the classroom for those who seek reliable, accurate, easily accessible and free tools for learning.

For resources on Wisconsin elections and debates, visit  wimedialab.pbslearningmedia.org and www.wisconsinvote.org.

For more of Amy’s thoughts on education, follow her on twitter @amyarbogash or check out her blog at amyarbogash.weebly.com

Happy Birthday, Daniel Tiger! Watch his 1954 TV debut

Happy birthday, Daniel Tiger! Watch our favorite little tiger puppet make his April 5, 1954 TV debut on WQED’s  “The Children’s Corner” in the video below.

According to The Fred Rogers’ Company, “Originally, a bird was supposed to come out of the clock that was drawn on the set wall. The night before, WQED Pittsburgh Station Manager Dorothy Daniel presented Fred Rogers with a tiger puppet as a gift at the program’s launch party. He decided to use the tiger puppet instead of the bird and named the puppet Daniel, after the person who gave him the gift.”

Since then, Daniel’s been helping educate, entertain and comfort generations of children on Wisconsin Public Television and PBS through Mister Rogers Neighborhood and now Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Ugga Mugga, Daniel. We love you!

Of course, Daniel Tiger and Mister Rogers are just part of the strong educational legacy of Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio. Join us all this year as we celebrate landmarks like this from our first 100 years. Explore our history and share your story of how public broadcasting has impacted your life online now at wpt.org/100.

Happy Birthday, Daniel Tiger!

Happy Birthday, Daniel Tiger!
On April 5th, 1954, Daniel Tiger appeared for the first time on the first episode of “The Children’s Corner.” Originally, a bird was supposed to come out of the clock that was drawn on the set wall. The night before, WQED Pittsburgh Station Manager Dorothy Daniel presented Fred Rogers with a tiger puppet as a gift at the program’s launch party. He decided to use the tiger puppet instead of the bird and named the puppet Daniel, after the person who gave him the gift.

Posted by The Fred Rogers Company on Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Speak Up! Auctioneer Auditions Held April 4-5

This year’s Auction to benefit Wisconsin Public Television could feature you at the microphone!

WPT is holding auditions for volunteer auctioneers for our annual Auction, which will broadcast live on television May 31 through June 4. We’re looking for both adult and youth auctioneers!

Auditions will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the WPT studios on Tuesday, April 4 and Wednesday, April 5. To register for an auctioneer training and audition session, please complete the online form. 

At Auction, the auctioneer’s job is to introduce items and encourage high bids by reading copy on-air and announcing winning bids. During the auditions, we will provide you with examples of auctioneers in action and give you the opportunity to practice reading scripts with help from our friendly, expert coaches. No advance preparation is required — just bring your enthusiasm for public broadcasting and your best speaking voice!
 

Wisconsin Public Television studios are located at 821 University Avenue in Vilas Hall, on the corner of Park Street, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

If auctioneering isn’t your forte, we can still use your help to make this year’s Auction a success. Visit our volunteer page for more information.  And thank you!

Preview the “Call the Midwife” Season 6 Premiere!

We’re just three days away from the season premiere of the critically-acclaimed season 6 of Call the Midwife,  airing 7 p.m. this Sunday, April 2 on Wisconsin Public Television. But you don’t have to wait till the premiere to be reunited with your favorite characters; you can enjoy an exclusive sneak peek of the series now!

Watch the first 10 minutes of Episode 1 now:

In season 6, Nonnatus house faces the changes of 1962. As they strive to help mothers and families cope with the demands of childbearing, disability, disease and social prejudice, the Poplar medics must make choices – and fight battles – of their own.

What are you most looking forward to in the new season? Share your predictions below!

“The Final Forte” 2017 Premieres Tonight!

Above, from left to right: Violinist Julian Rhee, harpist Naomi Sutherland, pianist Michael Wu and violinist Yaoyao Chen.

Join us tonight at 7 p.m. on-air and online as four Wisconsin musical prodigies perform with Maestro John DeMain and the Madison Symphony Orchestra in the 2017 Bolz Young Artist Competition.

This year, The Final Forte features violinist Julian Rhee of Brookfield, harpist Naomi Sutherland of Viroqua, pianist Michael Wu of Sun Prairie and violinist Yaoyao Chen of Menasha, who will vie for top honors in the 2017 competition. WPR’s Lori Skelton and Jim Fleming will co-host the event.

Continue reading “The Final Forte” 2017 Premieres Tonight!

Preview: Wisconsin Film Festival 2017

The Wisconsin Film Festival is the state’s premier cinema event, featuring local filmmakers anmovies shot in the state, as well as a diverse range of national and international films. Celebrating its 18th year in 2017, it takes place in Madison from March 30 to April 6.

In this year’s Director’s Cut special episode Wisconsin Film Festival 2017, host Pete Schwaba sits down with the Jim Healy, the festival’s director of programming, to preview this year’s selection of films from a variety of categories. From American visionaries to films by new female directors and even pre-teen filmmakers, Healy’s selections on the program particularly showcase movies made right here in Wisconsin.

“We program thinking about the audience,” Healy says. “We’ve picked the best films from festivals around the world, and films that have been submitted to us in our Wisconsin zone section, to make a festival of festivals.”

With a look at five films screening at the festival, Schwaba and Healy are joined by:

Director Andrew SwantSilently Steal Away: The film explores the story behind the Jack Raymond Show, which has aired on an eccentric Chippewa Falls radio station. But who is Jack Raymond?

Director Mark Davis and subject Jan JensenThe Bear and the Owl: This short documentary film explores the story of an ailing young girl and the kindness of a stranger.

Director, producer and screenwriter Katherine AcostaDivided We Fall: This documentary looks back at the massive 2011 protests inside the Wisconsin State Capitol against Act 10. The investigation revisits many issues that remain relevant in a post-2016 election America.

Co-directors Wesley Morgan & Kate FeldtFake Jewels: This nostalgic and comedic movie explores a long-lost friendship as two women attempt to find a time capsule buried a decade ago.

Editor Luke Bassuener and fifth graders Jaeana Sabally and Jalen Baumback (directors, cast, writers)Daedalus and Icarus: Students in the 4th grade classes of Madison’s Crestwood Elementary School animate the classic Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus, using block-print and paper-cuts. This film has been awarded one of only three 2017 Golden Badger Awards as a top Wisconsin’s Own honoreee.

Director’s Cut airs Monday, March 27 at 8 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television.

Wisconsin Public Television is a proud sponsor of Wisconsin’s Own, hosting a brunch each year for the festival’s film industry guests. This year, more than 150 people submitted films to be considered for Wisconsin’s Own.

The Journey to Overture Stage

For the finalists of the prestigious Bolz Young Artist competition, the journey to Overture stage is a long one that often takes years of determination, hard work and hundreds of hours of practice to achieve.

In the first stage of the competition a pool of 30-40 contestants perform in a preliminary round of auditions for a panel of three judges. Students are separated into three areas for the audition, Strings, Piano and Brass/Woodwinds/Percussion/Harp. Approximately eight students are selected at the end of the day to move on to the semi-final round two weeks later. The stakes are higher than ever in this round of auditions as it is open to the public and recorded by Wisconsin Public Television. A new panel of judges, including Madison Symphony Orchestra Maestro John DeMain preside over the semi-final round. The four lucky finalists are announced immediately after the second round of auditions to the anxiously awaiting contestants and their families.

Then it is a long two-month wait until the final round. Finalists continue to diligently practice their piece over and over again in anticipation for the big day.

Each finalist meets with Maestro DeMain in the weeks leading up to the final competition to review his or her performance piece together. Then the week of the final competition arrives. Monday brings a rehearsal with the full orchestra and Maestro DeMain for each finalist. This rehearsal gives each student a chance to hear their performance with the full orchestra playing when previously they may only have had a chance to perform with a pianist. The Maestro and each finalist rehearse the pieces, stopping to adjust tempos, dynamics of the orchestra and coordinating the end of cadenzas. Then Tuesday night is a full dress rehearsal, followed by Wednesday, the culmination of months, sometimes years of hard work for these young performers.

No matter the result the journey is a rewarding one. Robert Rockman, the winner of last year’s Final Forte, had this to say of the experience:

“This has been the best experience of my musical career, and for me, this was never about winning the competition but enjoying every second of this amazing process and opportunity. Not winning, but learning, giving, performing, and enjoying music. Not winning, but touching people and making them feel something. So let us all go support, play, and enjoy music.”

This year’s finalists are harpist Naomi Sutherland, a senior at Interlochen Arts Academy.

Pianist, Michael Wu, a 9th grader at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School.

Violinist Yao Yao Chen, a senior at Xavier High School.

And finally, violinist Julian Rhee, a junior at Brookfield East High School. If he looks familiar that’s because he was the winner of the 2015 Final Forte competition!

The Final Forte will be broadcast live by Wisconsin Public Television at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29th. Tune in on television or watch the live stream at wpt.org.