HARD PROBLEMS follows the six exceptional high school students who represented the United States in 2006 at the world’s toughest math competition – the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). Each year, the grueling and exhilarating contest pits the top teams from 90 countries against one another. In their quest to solve some of the most challenging problems, these dedicated and talented young men and women – some immigrants, others U.S.-born – shatter many stereotypes and cliches about the mathematically gifted. HARD PROBLEMS provides an insightful and thoughtful look at the process that produces and nurtures successful Olympiad teams, and ultimately, the great mathematicians of the future. airs 11/25 at 3-4 a.m.
From economically challenged rural areas to crime-ridden urban neighborhoods, SCHOOLS THAT CHANGE COMMUNITIES profiles a diverse range of K-12 public schools in five states – Massachusetts, Maryland, South Dakota, Oregon and California – that are tackling educational reform at the local level. Principals, teachers, students, residents and others discuss place- and community-based education, an interdisciplinary approach which emphasizes hands-on, curiosity-based investigation using the surrounding community and neighborhoods as “living” classrooms. Proponents say this creates not only a different type of learning environment, but a different kind of student. In confronting and solving real-world issues in their own hometowns, the students develop a sense of civic responsibility and pride. The community feels the impact too, whether students are delivering baked goods to neighbors, planting vegetables in a community garden, testing drinking water and air quality, helping restore natural habitats, shining a light on important social
A Zulu community in rural South Africa had no school and enlisted Nomusa Zikhali to create one, with only four trees to shelter the children as they begin their studies. UNDER FOUR TREES is also the story of Thuli and Siyabonga who share their dreams and how Mrs. Zikhali and the Nkomo Primary School influenced their lives. Mrs. Zikhali has successfully built an educational complex for 960 children that created a powerful and sustainable change in her Zulu community. This story shows the transformative power of education. airs 11/11 at 3:30-4 a.m.
Shots Fired is a short documentary about courage, communications and resilience in the face of a school shooting. Just before school started on an April morning a student with a .357 Magnum walked into the Commons, an area teaming with North Thurston High School (NTHS) students, raised the gun and fired into the ceiling. Chaos erupted. The student fired a second shot. What happened next is the best-case scenario in the face of such terror. No one died. Rather than taking sides in the gun control/rights debate, Shots Fired offers a rare look at a school shooting. Even with no fatalities, the residual trauma is palpable. Students, teachers, school administrators and staff along with first responders reflect on what happened, what went well and what could have worked better. School shootings often end in unbearable tragedy. In Shots Fired, tragedy is upended by unforgettable courage and resilience. airs 11/11 3-3:30 a.m.
Do you ever happen to see something on FRONTLINE that would work perfectly with your students?
FRONTLINE films are investigative, journalistic documentaries that often air on PBS. These films cover current events, and uncover stories that are often untold. They’ve won 91 Emmy awards and 22 Peabody awards. They have also posted over 200 of their films online for you to watch FOR FREE whenever you want.
Find them at: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/
A few of their listed titles are:
- Fire in Paradise
- In the Age of AI
- Flint’s Deadly Water
- Documenting Hate: Charlottesville
- Documenting Hate: New American Nazis
- The Trouble with Chicken
… And So Much More!!!