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WTTW to provide Daytime Educational Content for Students to Assist with At-Home Learning

A new afternoon educational programming block for junior high and high school students

premieres on WTTW Prime on Monday, March 30

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - March 26, 2020

Illinois and Chicago-area schools are closed during the coronavirus crisis, but education continues to be vitally important as children and their parents are self-quarantining at home. WTTW is providing educational resources for the very youngest members of our community throughout the day on WTTW’s primary channel, 24/7 on our PBS Kids channel, and at

Beginning Monday, March 30, WTTW will present a new weekday afternoon lineup of educational content tailored to junior high and high school students and young adults. Airing on WTTW Prime (over-the-air channel 11.2, channel 367 for Comcast subscribers, and channel 37 for RCN subscribers), the schedule will be as follows:

1:00-2:00 pm – Science Programming

  • Breakthrough: Ideas that Changed the World – This series examines six iconic objects that modern people take for granted, showing how science, invention, and technology built on one another to change everything.

  • How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson – This series, hosted by science author Steven Johnson, explores the power and the legacy of great ideas, including why and how ideas happen, and their sometimes unintended results.

  • Genius by Stephen Hawking – The late Professor Stephen Hawking challenges a selection of volunteers to think like the greatest geniuses of the past, and answer some of humanity's toughest and most enduring questions.

  • The Brain with David Eagleman – Neuroscientist David Eagleman explores the human brain, revealing why we feel and think the things we do. The project blends science with innovative visual effects and compelling stories, and addresses big questions.

  • The Amazing Human Body – This series explores the internal mechanics of the human body and its finely tuned systems through pioneering graphics and captivating scientific case studies.

2:00-3:00 pm – Social Studies and Nature Programming

  • First Civilizations – This series explores the seedbed civilizations of Mesoamerica, the Middle East, and the Indus Valley to learn how and why early humans established the blueprint for the modern world.

  • Rivers of Life – This three-part program reveals the extraordinary animals, epic landscapes, and remarkable people who live alongside three iconic rivers: the Nile, the Mississippi, and the Amazon.

  • First Peoples – Through archaeology, genetics, and anthropology, this series outlines how the mixing of prehistoric human genes led the way for our species to survive and thrive around the globe.

  • Earth’s Natural Wonders – This series sweeps across six continents to show us how some natural wonders evolved and tells rarely told stories about the challenges their inhabitants face.

  • The Greeks – This is an exploration of Greek history by archaeologists and historians, actors and athletes, scientists and artists as they follow the Greeks' journey across time. 

3:00-4:00 pm – Literature and History Programming 

  • The Great American Read – This series examines the power, passion, and joy of reading through the lens of America's 100 best-loved books. Also, author interviews, book-related features, and a place for students to share their personal favorite book are available at

  • History Detectives – This engaging series delves into the stories behind historic sites, artifacts, and tall tales told in cities across the country, with the help of an inquisitive team of fact-finders.

  • 10 that Changed America – Geoffrey Baer journeys across the country to explore the Streets, Towns, Monuments, Modern Marvels, Parks, Buildings, and Homes that changed America. A deeper dive into each site is available at

  • Finding Your Roots – Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the surprising ancestral stories of cultural trailblazers with fascinating histories.

  • American Experience: The Great War and Chasing the Moon: These two series tell the compelling stories of the First World War and America’s exciting race to land a man on the moon, respectively.

  • The Roosevelts: An Intimate History – Ken Burns tells the story of three iconic Roosevelts – Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor – and reveals how they influenced 20th century American history more than perhaps any other family.

In a series of PSAs, WTTW encourages students to write about what this content has taught them, discuss it with their younger siblings and parents, and consider how to apply it to the world around them. And parents, caregivers, and teachers can visit the PBS LearningMedia website to find thousands of free online teaching resources to inspire young learners with videos, lesson plans, and games aligned to Illinois and national standards.

“As a public media organization, it’s our role to respond to the needs of our community with trusted, essential and educational content,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, President and CEO of WTTW. “Our purpose at WTTW is to enrich lives, engage communities, and inspire exploration, and we – along with public television stations across the country – can fill educational gaps during this time with high quality, immersive, and educational programming for at-home students to learn and explore history, the world, our society, and our culture.” 

About WTTW 
WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7,, and the PBS/WTTW video app. Recognized for award-winning journalism and local productions such as Chicago Tonight, Chicago by ‘L’, Check, Please!, digital-first series FIRSTHAND, Urban Nature, and Foodphiles, and national productions 10 That Changed America and Nature Cat, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content. Connect with WTTW on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

Additional Contacts
Anne Gleason