'Xploration Outer Space,' Fox's STEM Series for Teens, Wins Big at Cynopsis Kids Awards
Xploration Outer Space, the space-themed educational series for kids and teens airing on Fox TV Stations nationwide, scored two major wins at the Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards on September 27. The half-hour series from Steve Rotfeld Productions was recognized by Cynopsis Media as the year's Best Educational Series/Special on STEM subjects, and its #StudentAstronaut contest earned the award for Best Social Media Campaign. Xploration Outer Space is part of Xploration Station, a three-hour block of STEM programming airing Saturday mornings on Fox TV Stations.
"Former NASA employee Emily Calandrelli takes kids on an out-of-this-world journey in this series seen in more than 100 million homes," Cynopsis Media wrote on their website. "Through stunts including a ride in the 'vomit comet' to experiments with space balloons and rockets, the show opens viewers' imaginations to the endless possibilities of outer space."
Cynopsis also recognized the series' #StudentAstronaut contest, a digital competition that ran this spring in which high school and college students vied for an all-expenses-paid trip to Sanford, Florida to train like an astronaut, experience zero gravity, and ultimately appear on an episode of the show. Applicants submitted short videos to the Xploration Station Facebook page explaining why they think space exploration is important. The winner was University of Maine student Samuel Borer, a double major in physics and mathematics.
"We believe that contests like this can inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science," said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions. "This is a unique opportunity to engage students in a real world experience that makes science fun and exciting."
Cynopsis also awarded Xploration Outer Space sister series Xploration Awesome Planet, hosted by Philippe Cousteau, and Xploration Earth 2050, the multiple Emmy-nominated series hosted by artist and futurist Chuck Pell, with honorable mentions in the Best Educational Series/Special - STEM and Best Educational Series/Special categories, respectively. Rotfeld himself received honorable mention in the Executives and Showrunners category.
These three series, along with three additional shows, are currently airing on Saturday mornings on Fox TV Stations across the country. Also comprising Xploration Station are Xploration DIY Sci, hosted by YouTube star Steve Spangler, Xploration Nature Knows Best, hosted by marine biologist Danni Washington, and Xploration Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with Nat Geo Kids.