"I really just don't see the point in finishing high school," says high school senior Clare Morgan, who aims to be an actress. "I feel like every second I spend sitting in class, being bored and just not caring is just a wasted moment...I want to start my real life."
Can you identify? Does she worry you? Do you have your own experience to share? Starting today, you can connect with Clare and five other fictional Twin Cities teens who are "Zed Omega"—i.e., "totally done"—with their schooling, via a semester-long Localore project launching at Twin Cities Public Television (TPT).
Ed Zed Omega (EZO) is a collaborative thought experiment about contemporary education that asks "What is school supposed to accomplish?" Led by the character of Mary Johnson—a guidance counselor who's fed up with the drop-out rate—the six teens undertake a final semester of self-directed study. Their assignment? To crowdsource answers about what education is, and what it should be. Ranging across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other transmedia platforms, the project's narrative will unfold organically in response to participants' submissions.
RSVP for the launch day right now, and start playing! Share your advice, wisdom and solutions.
Meet the Team
Award-winning alternate reality game designer Ken Eklund (aka "Writerguy") heads up the project. He created this immersive story in collaboration with Andi McDaniel, an interactive producer at TPT. This summer, the two of them held tryouts to find the actors who are playing the counselor and the Zed Omegas. Here's a first look at the characters:
An aspiring writer, Jeremy Barns describes himself as "analytical, atypical, metaphysical, criticial, cynical, farcical and sometimes ungrammatical"—friend him on Facebook to discover more.
Guitarist and singer Nicole Dovant is catching some flak from her fellow students—get to know her on Facebook.
Edwina Curry is blogging about her life choices—she's already dropped out once, and is trying to figure out what might spark her passion enough to replace classroom learning.
Xavier Washington is grappling with the death of his brother, and the disruption of attending multiple high schools. He hopes that participating in EZO will help him "change the world"—join him on Facebook.
You'll find counselor Mary Johnson on Facebook, where she talks about her aspirations for the students in a video message to her sister.
Got something to tell them? Dive in!
Ed Zed Omega is one of AIR's ten CPB-funded Localore projects, transforming public media across the country through producer-led multimedia teams. Follow their evolution by subscribing to our Facebook interest list.