Science & Nature

Earth Day, Every Day – And All Through April on WPT

Wisconsin has a lot to celebrate as we think about Earth Day – now and all through the month of April. We’re the home of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson and pioneering wildlife ecologist Aldo Leopold, as well as the members of Native nations who continue to care for the land they still inhabit.

Check out these suggestions for programs airing on WPT in the coming weeks – some of which are also available for viewing anytime online or on your digital device.

Read on for our top picks!

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Remembering Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking smilesStephen Hawking, who passed away last night at the age of 76, had a long connection with public television – as you might expect for someone who promoted curiosity and big questions about the universe.

As Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted in tribute,  “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure.”

The PBS documentary Hawking, released in 2014, is only one of the many videos available online. Watch the trailer.

Read on for more about Hawking’s life and work.

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The Science Behind 100 Years of Wisconsin Broadcasting

Four days. 285+ events. Endless fun. The Wisconsin Science Festival takes place Nov. 2-5, and Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio are once again looking forward to being a part of the event!

The Wisconsin Science Festival is a statewide celebration for all ages, with engaging events such as hands-on science exhibitions, demonstrations, performances, tours, pub nights and workshops.

This year, we’re celebrating 100 Years of Wisconsin Broadcast at the Wisconsin Science Festival— and you’re invited to join us for a scientific trip down memory lane! Read on to get details on WPT and WPR’s Wisconsin Science Festival events in Madison, taking place on Friday, Nov. 3. Plus, explore this year’s festival lineup and go behind the scenes to learn how event leaders are prepping for the four-day festival.

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Nature returns to Wisconsin with “Charlie and the Curious Otters”

A baby river otter is fed from a bottle.Two weeks, two episodes of Nature with Wisconsin ties… we swear this isn’t just an excuse to post adorable images of baby animals, but it sure is a good opportunity to do so!

“Charlie and the Curious Otters” takes us to the Amazon, the UK, a crystal-clear river in Florida and the Wild Instincts wildlife rehabilitation center outside Rhinelander in Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

Read on to learn about this unique – and necessary – facility, and how renowned wildlife photographer Charlie Hamilton James discovered what baby otters need to get back into the wild.

Nature: Charlie and the Curious Otters aired 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 on WPT. Check out the full episode below.


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Who are the Canids in Your Neighborhood? “Nature” Knows.

Foxes can make their homes almost anywhere. Nature’s episode “Fox Tales,” premiering 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, takes viewers to the homes they’ve created along the rugged Newfoundland coast and into the Arctic tundra of Manitoba.

But some footage may seem more familiar to Wisconsin viewers: the streets and yards of Madison’s University Heights neighborhood, just up the hill from Camp Randall Stadium and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Read on to hear about Nature’s visit to Madison, the researchers – and homeowners! – who are encountering foxes and coyotes in residential neighborhoods, and what to do if you see a furry visitor in your area.

Continue reading Who are the Canids in Your Neighborhood? “Nature” Knows.

This Wisconsin Native Living in Alaska Wants WPT Viewers to Watch Wild Alaska Live!

Meet Lewis Pagel, an Edgerton, Wisconsin native, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh alum and a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan who moved to the Arctic town of Kotzebue, Alaska 10 years ago. We couldn’t think of anyone better to tell us why we should watch the three-part  Wild Alaska Live starting this Sunday night at 7 on Wisconsin Public Television to learn about the natural beauty and wonders of America’s last frontier! We’ll be watching, Lew!
Watch a trailer below for the three-part series, hosted by the Kratt brothers, that will continue Wednesday, July 26 and Sunday, July 30.

25 Favorite Wisconsin Programs of 2016

As the year comes to a close, we were curious to see which programs with local ties connected with Wisconsin Public Television viewers the most over the past 12 months.

wl_orange_crush001We peeked at website data and took note of all the comments you made by email and phone to compile a list of locally produced programming that warmed your heart, inspired you to action, educated you, and made you feel closer to your Wisconsin family.

As always, thanks for tuning in – today, and all year long.

Did we miss your favorite show in this list? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Dashing Through the Snow? Five Holiday Favorites to Watch on the Go!

For those of us with loved ones in various area codes, holiday travel is an inevitable part of the holiday experience. If you have some time to relax on your journey – or are simply looking for something to keep the children entertained on the road – WPT’s online video library has you covered!

Here are five online holiday favorites that run the gamut from music to craft to Wisconsin-made programs. All of the shows below are available to stream on video.wpt.org and on the PBS channel of your Roku or other digital device.

Trust us: this list is just the tip of PBS’ holiday programming iceberg! You can explore the full collection online, anytime.

Caregivers, take note: the PBS KIDS app and pbskids.org/video/ let you stream full episodes of PBS KIDS programs, including holiday favorites from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat and more! 

Read inside for some of our favorites – and let us know what gems you find!

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Chemistry prof keeps Christmas Cheery for the 47th time

It’s always fun to watch a show that discusses safety precautions and fire extinguishers before a lecture begins. So it is, once again, for University of Wisconsin-Madison chemistry professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, leading his 47th annual “Once Upon a Christmas Cheery In the Lab of Shakhashiri” in 2016.

As Wisconsin Public Television prepares to celebrate 100 years of public broadcasting in Wisconsin in 2017, the lecture, which airs multiple times over the next few days (as well as online), is a perfect example of local, educational programming that has enhanced the station’s reputation for outreach and engagement.

Chemistry professor Bassam Shakhashiri ignites a gas-filled balloon during a free demonstration about the science of fireworks held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union Terrace on June 28, 2009. The outreach event, led by Shakhashiri and others from the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy, explored the chemistry used to create the colors, shapes, light and explosive heat that combine to create fantastic firework displays such as the city's Rhythm and Booms that occurred later in the evening. ©UW-Madison University Communications 608/262-0067 Photo by: Jeff Miller Date: 06/09 File#: NIKON D3 digital frame 2008
©UW-Madison University Communications/Jeff Miller

WPT has been there from the early years, broadcasting since 1973. The program has grown so popular that it not only sells out but airs on television stations around the country. Here on WPT, upcoming airings take place at the following times:

  • Thursday, Dec. 22 – 8 a.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 23 – 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 24 – 8 a.m.

 

Not by a TV? Watch the full program online or on the PBS channel of your Roku or other digital TV device now!

Then, read more inside about the history and pageantry of this holiday mainstay.

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