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In 2015, Advocates for Youth, Answer and Youth Tech Health formed a partnership to understand and meet the needs of young adolescents for web-based materials that provide positive, comprehensive, accurate and engaging sexual health information. Focus groups confirmed the need for such resources and confirmed that, having been brought up in an age of sophisticated technology and edgy media, any successful product would have to be very creative.

 

After evaluating feedback from young people across the U.S., the partners developed two tracks for content development. For one track, the group worked with some of the best animation students or graduates from five of the top design schools in the country. These young animators are producing creative, edgy youth-driven content covering a variety of narrow or wide-ranging topics. Each animator receives background information and a mentor from one of our partner organizations who assures the material is accurate and age appropriate.

 

For the other content development track, we are working with The Moving Company, an Israel-based animation studio. They are producing a video series, called “Jane’s Blog,” featuring more traditional educational videos that cover a set of topics in more detail.

 

Do we have the right formula?…We hope so, but the product is under constant review by the most critical evaluators possible—the youth themselves, as well as parents and educators. Only the best animations are posted. We expect to eventually update all our videos simply because our audience changes over every four years. AMAZE is 21st century sex education for 21st century youth!

 

CURRENT INITIATIVES

  • The AMAZE team has recently launched “My AMAZE,” a resource for parents and educators to control and manage the content and curriculum that they deem appropriate for their children. This feature uses a “walled garden”—an area where users create customized playlists of videos— that proactively forwards content to their children.
  • The AMAZE team is now exploring developing video content to help parents and educators introduce younger children to age- and developmentally-appropriate information. This new content will be available to parents and educators through the My AMAZE portal.
  • AMAZE is in the process of going international with partners that include Marie Stopes, IPPF/WHR, and DKT. Our website and ten core videos are currently being translated into ten of the world’s most spoken languages. The initial videos will use subtitles, and Spanish versions will also have voice-overs. Our long-term goal is to provide localized versions of the website and the videos that are culturally appropriate for our international country partners.