KQED’s QUEST Science Series Premieres Sixth Television Season with  Amateur Rocketeers and Edible Insects

 Wednesday, April 25, at 7:30pm on KQED 9 Public Television

QUEST Radio Airs New Special Report on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Mondays May 7, 14, and 21 at 6:30am and 8:30am on KQED 88.5 FM Public Radio

QUEST Education and Interactive Unveil Explainers, a New Educational Media Collection

 “Explaining Earthquakes” Launches April 18 on KQED.org/quest

KQED’s Emmy Award-winning Bay Area  science, nature and environment seriesQUEST, soars and squirms into its sixth television season with a new episode featuring amateur rocket builders and the Bay Area’s latest food fad, edible insects, at 7:30pm Wednesday, April 25, on KQED 9.  

QUEST also continues its pioneering, multimedia approach with a three-part radio series on the complex issues facing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta airing May 7, 14 and 21.QUEST also debuts its new educational media collection, “Explainers, — short videos and animations for teachers and news consumers that focus on specific science concepts in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. 

QUEST’s first “Explainers” will debut online in April and May and cover earthquakes and delta water issues. 

“We are thrilled to be in our sixth season,” said Sue Ellen McCann, executive producer of QUEST.  “We are not only excited for this new crop of science stories — from teenage rocket builders to cooking with insects to water issues in the delta — but we also are looking forward to creating new media collections to explain science to the public in more interactive ways.”

QUEST Television (30 minute episodes, Wednesdays at 7:30pm, KQED 9 Public Television)

  • April 25  In its television season premiere, QUEST meets a group of amateur rocketeers building rockets that explore the edge of space.  QUEST also bites into the newest Bay Area food craze, cooking with insects,– entrees that bug chefs say are more sustainable alternatives to traditional kinds of meat.
  • May 2  QUEST investigates America’s most serious health problem –  heart disease –  in a 30 minute special, “Pump It Up: Heart Health Special Report.”  Viewers visit the front lines of the childhood obesity epidemic; then explore the breakthroughs that are helping more heart attack victims survive; finally peering into the future to a time when a single injection might rebuild a damaged heart.
  • May 9  QUEST dives into the chilly waters off California’s coast and meets the marine biologists who are discovering the mysterious new worlds of deep-water corals and the unique life they support.  QUEST then learns about the Oakland Zoo’s efforts to protect chimpanzees from illegal poaching in Uganda. 
  • May 16  QUEST explores the science of bicycling. Surprisingly, scientists still don’t understand exactly how we can stay upright on a bike. “Your Videos onQUEST” showcases wildlife cinematographer Kip Evans’ short film, “Isla Holbox: Whale Shark Island,” about the largest fish in the ocean. 

QUEST Radio  (Five-minute reports, Mondays at 6:30am and 8:30am on KQED 88.5 FM)

QUEST’s delta water series, “California’s Deadlocked Delta: Can It Ever Be Fixed?,” will include a three-part radio report with special online extras including an interactive map showing historical maps and resources produced in collaboration with Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West.

  • May 7  “Part 1: What Is the Delta and Why Are We Still Fighting Over It?”  The delta’s network of channels and levees is a crucial hub in moving water from Northern California where most of it is found, to Southern California where most of the population is. But as we’ve reshaped the delta landscape, several of its species have crashed, including an endangered fish known as the Delta smelt. The state has tried and failed to balance the needs of water users and the ecosystem.  Do the state’s new plans stand a chance at cracking the stalemate?
  • May 14  “Part 2: Reconstructing the Delta Ecosystem: Can We Bring Back What We’ve Lost?”  Today, the delta is a far cry from what it once was. About 95 percent of its historic marshes and wetlands have been lost. Now, a Bay Area group is working to reconstruct it through historical detective work, using old maps, paintings and even journal entries.   
  • May 21  “Part 3: Is There a Future for Farming in the Delta?”  Farmers use two-thirds of the land in the delta, mostly farming on small islands that are below sea level and protected by levees that are at serious risk of failure. Now, scientists are working with farmers to farm carbon by growing tule, a plant found in delta wetlands that strengthens the levees.  Farmers could sell carbon credits in California’s upcoming carbon market. But taking such a big financial risk is a tough sell for farmers. 

QUEST Web and Education (standards-aligned education resources at kqed.org/quest/education)

QUEST’s web and education teams are developing a new media collection called “Explainers.” “Explainers” consist of short videos, animations and slideshows that drill down on science concepts to enhance science teaching and learning in both formal and informal education settings. QUEST is working closely with educators to identify gaps in available science education resources and will also be working closely with KQED’s newsroom to provide “Explainer” packages for science-related news stories.

  • April 18 ­ “Explaining Earthquakes” 
  • May 5­ – “Explaining the Delta”   

QUEST in the Community

QUEST works closely with 19 community partners in Northern California on story ideas, media trainings and events. Upcoming events include:

  • April 14  and April 21  Earth Day at the Oakland Zoo and Crissy Field’s Earth Stroll
  • April 18 – “Edible Insects” sneak preview and tasting at Nerd Nite SF at the Rickshaw Stop;
  • April 26 – “Edible Insects” screening and tasting at the California Academy of Sciences’ NightLife;
  • May 5 – QUEST and KQED also will participate in the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Girl Scouts at the Alameda Fairgrounds;
  • June 10 – KQED and QUEST are seeking short video projects created by middle and high school-aged youth about nature and the environment for the KQED Science Youth Media Festival. The application deadline is April 15 and the festival will be held at the California Academy of Sciences.  

KQED’s Largest Multimedia Project

Launched in February 2007, QUEST is KQED’s largest multimedia project to date. Since its inception, QUEST has reached more than 40 million viewers and listeners through its traditional television and radio broadcasts and growing Web audience.

QUEST’s ultimate aim is to raise science literacy throughout the Bay Area and beyond, inspiring audiences to discover and explore the latest science and environmental news, trends and issues. 

The project’s multimedia science reporting model includes a weekly television broadcast, weekly radio reports, free educator resources and teacher trainings, and a dynamic website that includes the Web-only video series Science on the SPOT, a daily science blog written by Northern California scientists, Flickr photosand local science hikes.  QUEST is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, iTunes, iTunes U and more.

In 2011, QUEST trained five PBS partner stations on its multimedia science reporting model and looks forward to collaborating further with the following partner stations: WCPN and WVIZ ClevelandNET NebraskaUNC-TV North CarolinaKCTS SeattleWPT and WPR Wisconsin.    

Support for QUEST is provided by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the David B. Gold Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the Amgen Foundation and the George G. and Jeanette A. Stuart Charitable Trust.  Additional support is provided by the members of KQED. 



Pat Wyman


Pat Wyman is the founder of HowToLearn.com and a best selling author. 


She teaches at California State University, East Bay and is known as America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert. She helps children and adults solve learning problems with her Amazing Grades Study Skills System and is an expert in learning styles. 


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