The project was submitted as a proposal to the Digital Media and Learning Competition in late January 2010 (originally under the title "Animal Expo") and revised under the title "Invention" in February. The project will only be chosen for funding based on the volume of positive feedback left, so They Might Be Giants has encouraged fans, educators and people from the "science or technology world" to throw in a good word if they like the proposal.
It was a finalist in the "Learning Lab" category, but was not a winner.
From dmlcompetition.net, revised February 18, 2010.
They Might Be Giants' INVENTION is an imaginative musical online world created by WNET (NY's PBS station) and They Might Be Giants (2009 Grammy winner for Best Children's Album). Music videos embedded in a multi-part game will immerse 6-9-year-olds in the strange and startling stories (and science) behind inventors, invention, and innovation, while encouraging kids to create and share their own contraptions.
INVENTION continues They Might Be Giants' signature approach to kids' content while drawing on kids' natural interest in how things work. Infectious songs will combine with vivid, clever animation to ignite imaginations while illustrating the ideas behind inventions simple and complex, mechanical and electronic, ancient and brand new. INVENTION merges TMBG's music videos with an immersive "metagame" in a fantastical virtual museum. Kids will play with diverse, unusual inventions while collecting the parts needed to build their own creations. Badges and social features will provide built-in incentives for engagement and visitor loyalty. Viral appeal and innovative gameplay will have kids and parents playing, learning, and singing about science, technology, and history in a brand new way.
They Might Be Giants' INVENTION will include:
INVENTION's integrated video/interactive experience invites kids into an exciting virtual world where they can engage with STEM content. Through a variety of distribution channels, the project will reach a broad audience and support learning in fun, innovative ways.
- Animated TMBG music videos viewable on the WNET/PBS broadband player and embedded in games
- An immersive online metagame, or series of interactive games tied to the videos
- Social features including the ability to build and share your own inventions
- Evaluation and usability testing
- Distribution via public media, outreach with partners including the New York Hall of Science, webinars, and online marketing via TMBG's fanbase, viral video, search engine optimization, social media sites, and blogs.