What Makes a Champion?

Jim Bob Bizzell sprints to a silver medal in the men's T44 200m.

Is it a person’s skill? Perhaps his or her hard work? Maybe, technology makes champions? Is the support he or she receives from family and friends? Or is it something more?

Medal Quest is a new web-only series and online project that follows top American athletes on their quest to bring home the gold from the 2012 Paralympics in London, England. This inspiring series shows how these individuals have overcome their physical disabilities to become incredible athletes. The athletes come from all different backgrounds including veterans wounded in recent wars, and young adults competing with disabilities they have had since birth. Each episode leaves you with a sense that anything truly is possible.

This series, produced by WGBH Boston, will be following U.S. Paralympic Team athletes now through the Paralympics in August, and continue into October. Medal Quest will consist of weekly videos and monthly spotlights featuring biographies, pictures and blog entries written by the athletes themselves.

Start watching now! Click here to view all episodes.

To learn more visit

Watch “My goal – gold for my country!” on PBS. See more from Medal Quest.

Get Interested in the Elements – Plus Local Opportunities for Young Scientists

NOVA Hunting the Elements

Salting popcorn the hard way: Theo Gray mixes pure chlorine gas with explosive heated sodium. The result: table salt. Courtesy WGBH

In NOVA: Hunting the Elements, David Pogue spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry on a quest to unlock the secrets of the elements. This special NOVA scienceNOW program will air Wednesday, April 4th at 9 pm ET on WFSU.

What are things made of? It’s a simple question with an astonishing answer. Fewer than 100 naturally occurring elements form the ingredients of everything in our world — from solid rocks to ethereal gases, from scorching acids to the living cells in our body. David Pogue, lively host of NOVA’s popular “Making Stuff” series and personal technology correspondent for The New York Times, spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry on a quest to unlock the secrets of the elements.

Why are some elements, like platinum and gold, relatively inert, while others, like phosphorus and potassium, are violently explosive? Why are some vital to every breath we take, while others are potentially lethal? Punctuated by surprising and often alarming experiments, David Pogue takes NOVA on a roller coaster ride through nature’s hidden lab and the compelling stories of discovery that revealed its secrets.

If you are looking for science-related activities locally for your kids, try the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science. They are accepting applications for their summer camp beginning April 1: thebrogan.org/brogan-camp.html.

If you know a middle or high school-aged girl interested in science, WFSU and the FSU Mag Lab host SciGirls each summer. Application deadline for this exciting and educational program is April 1, 2012. Visit wfsu.org/scigirls for details.