Perspectives

Science TV is Exploding on North Carolina Public Television Due to Frank Graff


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North Carolina Science Now is a statewide public television series that also is multimedia. It explains scientific discoveries, research, and principles using ordinary language that is understandable. Not only are the stories long-form news features on UNC-TV but they truly are multimedia.
Frank Graff, a veteran of more than two decades of local television news in at least seven different cities, in 2012 turned his sole focus to explaining science in a factual but interesting and entertaining way. He acts as reporter and producer.
In addition to the television piece, http://science.unctv.org/content/ provides a blog about the stories, additional reference materials, and sometimes animations. Graff also has teamed with an experienced educational professional and, together, they also produce model curricula that can be used by teachers to teach a 15 minute unit on the subject contained in each story.
North Carolina is a very diverse state scientifically with mountains in the west and the Atlantic Ocean on its east coast. Nestled between the coast and the mountains are the University of North Carolina, Duke and many other major research universities. There also is the famous Research Triangle with cutting-edge scientific discoveries.
Graff combs the research of scholars, individuals, government and the private sector to find fascinating stories that will resonate with the average viewer of public television.
“We try to provide a variety of stories from different geographical regions across this large state,” Graff says.
In addition to North Carolina Science Now, Graff and his associates have developed a second 30 minute show called Sci Tech Now North Carolina. It combines shorter stories together with science reporting from other public broadcasting outlets from around the country.
There is an increasing appetite of people to learn about and understand scientific discoveries that are in our midst, according to Graff. People want to know what is being discovered and how things work.
Graff spends full-time researching and finding topics that he thinks will be interesting to the average viewer and then travels on location to do key interviews and to film anything visual about the discovery.
The public feedback about the shows and the topics has been overwhelmingly positive, Graff notes.
He plans to continue the shows and perhaps even expand the current offerings.