Our Trip to WQED

Wednesday’s field trip has been declared a success!  We bundled into the two WT vans at 8:45, buckled our seat belts, and set off on our first beyond-school adventure.  The van ride was enjoyable as we told stories and sang songs.  Most of the songs and stories were invented on the spot.

When we arrived at WQED in Oakland, we were greeted by Ms. Maria who planned to take us on a tour.  Ms. Maria had obviously done many tours before and was quick on her feet, especially when our wiggly ones were ready to move on to the next area. Our first stop was the radio station where Anna Singer was playing The Greatest Video Game Music. The children were hopping with excitement when they heard the theme from Angry Birds playing.

wqed from Bess Forst on Vimeo.

Our next stop was in one of the control rooms where the programming is supervised.  Even though the buttons were extremely tempting, we made it through without one accidental “push”.

Next, we visited an editing room.  Here we met two nice people who patiently explained the answer to our initial question.  They told us that people get into the television by being recorded with a camera.  The recording goes onto a tape (they had many to show us), and then the tape goes into a machine to play back the recording.  The children asked questions such as, “What does it mean to record?” and “What’s a tape?”.  (Funny how something that was common for us as children, is already lost from their cultural language!)

I’m looking forward to recording the next conversation about “How people get inside the TV”.   I’m curious to see how much of the information was assimilated with their previous knowledge.  We’ll have to make sure that we write down that conversation to share with you, as well.

Our final stop on the tour was a visit to the original tree-house and castle from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  For those who are new to the Pittsburgh area, this famous show was filmed right here in our town.  Pittsburgh holds a very strong connection with Mr. Rogers and the Fred Rogers Company.  For this reason, even though the show has been off air for a number of years, many of our children still know who he was and were excited to see pieces from such a famous set.

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