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Thursday, March 15 2018 10:13

Doing Good: OK Go & The Playful Learning Lab are Bringing the OK Go Sandbox to Classrooms...

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At the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Atlanta, GA, a surprise announcement was made about a new initiative that will bring something that truly rocks into schools. OK Go has partnered with The Playful Learning Lab to launch the OK Go Sandbox, a program that will provide classrooms around the world with an incredible assortment of content to use alongside the band's music videos for an artistic, STEAM-based experience.

"We want to give teachers whatever tools they need to connect the joy, wonder, and fun in our videos to the underlying concepts that their students are learning," shared OK Go singer and video director, Damian Kulash.

From the Official Announcement: Created with support from Google and Morton Salt, OK Go Sandbox is an an online portal providing educators and students a way to engage with concepts in playful and unexpected ways. From design challenges created around science and art to informational videos about the band's creative process, the site is full of content created specifically for classroom audiences. Using OK Go's creative and widely viewed music videos as a starting point, OK Go Sandbox will be a place where learners are encouraged to try new things and to follow their own curiosity.

Led by Kulash and The University of St. Thomas's The Playful Learning Lab director, Dr. AnnMarie Thomas, OK Go Sandbox is the direct result of feedback from hundreds of educators. After hearing from teachers who use their videos to inspire students and explain concepts in their science, math, art, and music classes, the band and Thomas set out to create additional educational resources.

"OK Go's music videos provide such a rich jumping off point for a variety of projects and discussions," added Thomas. "It's exciting to work with educators to bring the magic and joy of these videos into their own classrooms, in a way that also lets them address concepts that they are trying to teach their students."

Behind-the-scenes videos, lesson plans, activities and challenges, and additional educational resources can be found at the OK Go Sandbox website.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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