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HI-SEAS Mars Habitat in Hawaii

As space exploration efforts around the world focus more and more on mounting a manned mission to Mars, Xploration Station’s latest #StudentAstronaut contest offers America’s top STEM students the chance to join the action. The contest, now in its third year, allows college students to compete for an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii to train for a journey to Mars alongside Xploration Outer Space host Emily Calandrelli. Students should apply by posting their video submissions to the Xploration Station Facebook page by Sunday, May 28. Xploration Station is a three-hour block of STEM programming for teens and their families airing weekend mornings primarily on Fox TV Stations in more than 100 million homes nationwide.

“Mars is the next major frontier for crewed space exploration,” said Calandrelli, who received a Daytime Emmy nomination this year for her work on Xploration Outer Space. “By centering this year’s contest around such an ambitious mission, we hope to really inspire and encourage those young people who will actually make it happen!”

The contest winner will travel to Hawaii and stay overnight at HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation), which replicates the experience of daily life on Mars. The winner will also operate rovers alongside the experts at PISCES (Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems) and the NASA Robotic Mining Competition Team Vulcan at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, as well as visit the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, located on the summit of Maunakea.

Students 18-years and older can submit to the contest by creating a video no longer than three minutes that answers why it is important to explore Mars, how this experience would help launch their careers in the space industry, and why they should be selected as the next Student Astronaut. Students should post these videos to the Xploration Station Facebook page with the hashtag #StudentAstronaut.

“Our Student Astronaut contest is one of my favorite things about this business,” said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions, which produces Xploration Station. “These kids are so incredibly impressive, it can’t help but make us optimistic about the future.”

This year’s #StudentAstronaut was announced on April 24, just one day after submissons closed for the first ever #StudentExplorer contest. The competition gave high school and college students the chance to accompany Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau and host of Xploration Awesome Planet, on an underwater voyage to study whale sharks off the coast of Mexico.

Xploration Station comprises six series in total: Cousteau’s Xploration Awesome Planet, Calandrelli’s Xploration Outer Space, artist and futurist Chuck Pell’s Xploration Earth 2050Youtube star Steve Spangler’s DIY Sci, marine biologist Danni Washington’s Nature Knows Best, and Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with Nat Geo Kids.

Learn more about the #StudentAstronaut contest, including full contest terms and conditions, and catch up with Xploration Station by streaming all six series on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Yahoo View, and Roku.


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Xploration Station, Fox TV Stations’ three-hour block of STEM programming for teens and their families, has announced its first #StudentExplorer Contest, giving high school and college students across the U.S. the chance to explore the world with Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau and host of the Xploration Station series Xploration Awesome Planet. The contest winner will accompany Cousteau on an underwater voyage to locate and study whale sharks off the coast of Mexico. Students can apply by posting video entries to the Xploration Station Facebook page, which will accept submissions until Sunday, April 23.

“This is a unique opportunity to engage students in a real world experience that promotes both STEM and ocean conservation,” said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions, which produces all six series that compose the Xploration Station block. “We believe that contests like this can inspire those interested in pursuing careers in science.”

Students between 16 and 22 years old can apply by posting a video of up to three minutes long to the Xploration Station Facebook page. The video should explain why it is important to explore and understand how the planet works, how the underwater expedition would make them better explorers and citizens of Earth, and why they should be selected as the first ever #StudentExplorer. The winner will be announced on Facebook shortly after the April 23 deadline.

This is the third consecutive year Xploration Station has given young people enthusiastic about science and exploration the chance to pursue their interests through a hands-on learning experience. In previous years, the #StudentAstronaut Contest, which debuted during Xploration Station’s premiere season, allowed contest winners to train like an astronaut alongside Xploration Outer Space host Emily Calendrelli, a Harvard scholar and former NASA scientist.

Xploration Station comprises six series in total: Cousteau’s Xploration Awesome Planet, Calandrelli’s Xploration Outer Space, artist and futurist Chuck Pell’s Xploration Earth 2050Youtube star Steve Spangler’s DIY Sci, marine biologist Danni Washington’s Nature Knows Best, and Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with Nat Geo Kids.

Many of these series were recently nominated for this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards, and Fox TV Stations recently extended Xploration Station’s run through 2020. The entire block airs in more than 100 million homes nationwide on Saturday mornings and is available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Yahoo View, and Roku.

Learn more about the #StudentAstronaut contest, including full contest terms and conditions, and watch the video below:


Xploration Station, FOX

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has recognized four of the six series composing Xploration Station, the three-hour block of STEM programming for kids and teens airing weekend mornings on Fox TV Stations, with a total of seven nominations for the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. DIY Sci, Xploration Awesome Planet, Xploration Outer Space, and Weird But True were all nominated across a range of categories, including Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series for DIY Sci. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday, April 30, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California.

“The response we’ve seen from Xploration Station has been absolutely tremendous,” said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions, which produces all six Xploration Station series. “We are proud to be putting smart, feel-good television on air that kids and families can enjoy. On behalf of everyone here at SRP, I’d like to thank all the talented people who work on these series, and our stations and partners for making this possible.”

The full list of nominations is as follows:

  • Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series: DIY Sci
  • Outstanding Travel and Adventure Program: Xploration Awesome Planet
  • Outstanding Host in a Lifestyle/Travel/Children’s or Family Viewing Program: Emily Calandrelli, Xploration Outer Space
  • Outstanding Writing in a Children’s, Pre-School Children’s or Family Viewing Program: Weird But True
  • Outstanding Single Camera Editing: Weird But True
  • Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing: DIY Sci
  • Outstanding Sound Editing – Live Action: DIY Sci

Since its premiere in 2014, Xploration Station has consistently received nominations at the Daytime Emmys. The block garnered five nominations in its first two years on the air, including Xploration Awesome Planet host Phillippe Cousteau, grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, for Outstanding Lifestyle/Travel/Children's Series Host in 2015.

The six series making up the Xploration Station block include Cousteau’s Xploration Awesome Planet, Harvard scholar Emily Calandrelli’s Xploration Outer Space, artist and futurist Chuck Pell’s Xploration Earth 2050, Youtube star Steve Spangler’s DIY Sci, marine biologist Danni Washington’s Nature Knows Best, and Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with Nat Geo Kids.

Fox TV Stations recently extended Xploration Station’s run through 2020. The entire block airs in more than 100 million homes nationwide on Saturday mornings and is available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Yahoo View, and Roku.

Learn more about Xploration Station, including where it airs in your city. 


Creators and cast of Shots Fired, New York screening

In advance of the upcoming TV premiere of Shots Fired on March 22, FOX has organized a screening series followed by conversations between the producers, cast, and various community leaders, activists, and members of law enforcement across the country. Shots Fired is a new 10-part series that takes an explosive look at the American criminal justice system through the prism of two racially charged shootings in a small North Carolina town.

Created by Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood, the show begins with an African-American police deputy (played by Mack Wilds) shooting an unarmed white teenager. Before the police department and community has time to process through the aftermath, a Department of Justice-assigned prosecutor and investigator (played by Stephan James and Sanaa Lathan, respectively) unearth another tragic shooting in the town, of an unarmed black teen, followed by an onslaught of twists and turns that threaten to tear apart their case and the community.  The show also stars Academy Award-winners Helen Hunt as the North Carolina governor and Richard Dreyfuss as the wealthy owner of a private prison, as well as Stephen Moyer as Lieutenant Breeland and Jill Henessy and DeWanda Wise as the mothers of two slain teenagers. By skillfully navigating social unrest, media attention, and political debate, Shots Fired untangles and exposes the complexities of race relations in America today. 

Following a screening at New York City’s Paley Center for Media on Thursday, March 9, the cast and creators participated in a moderated discussion about racial tension in America and filming the show in the middle of ongoing violence and tragedy in the country. “Dealing with two different murders allowed us to really get into how victims of violence are treated differently based on race,” said Prince-Bythewood, who also talked about their aim to inspire empathy by creating a show where every character demonstrates layers of complex humanity, rather than being painted as a villain or hero. Dreyfuss added, “This is the most current thing you’ll ever see. This is as current as tomorrow’s news…hopefully this show will start the national conversation that’s so overdue, that we’re still not being honest about.”

The screening series is taking place in 10 cities across the U.S., and each of the screenings is followed by a moderated panel discussion with the cast, creators, and community leaders, including Tony Dixon, president of the DC chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and Kathy Chaney, managing editor of Ebony magazine in Chicago.  

“I want people to have fun watching it—it’s fun to watch, but it’s also horrible. I hope that people cry, I hope they get mad, and I hope they have discussions and debates and that ultimately, some empathy is created—that people step out of the comfort zone they’re used to thinking within,” concluded Lathan at the New York screening.

Watch the trailer for Shots Fired, which premieres on FOX on Wednesday, March 22 at 8pm ET.


A look at how our colleagues made a positive impact in communities across the U.S.

Last week, 21st Century Fox launched 21CF Impact Week, giving more than 1,000 of its colleagues opportunities to make a positive impact in the local communities where they live and work.

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Colleagues based in New York, Los Angeles and select cities across the U.S. stepped away from their desks and into their communities by volunteering at schools, parks and community centers. More than a dozen opportunities were available, including a Rocky Horror Picture Show-themed hike for charity, a movie night at a senior assisted living center, packing and donating meal kits, military and school supply care packages, a science scavenger hunt for kids at the American Museum of Natural History, and many more. Next year, 21CF plans to extend the pilot program to all colleagues nationally, and will begin to roll out internationally as well.

"We've got great, talented people, and the more they can apply themselves to making a difference in the community, the better of they'll be, the better off the business will be and the better off the community at large will be," said 21CF CEO James Murdoch.

"It was a really fulfilling experience," said a 21CF colleague. "I think it's important for all of us that are so fortunate in our lives to take the time to step back and appreciate that by helping others."

Catch up on 21CF Impact Week by checking out #21CFImpactWeek on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and by checking out the photos below:

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