Southwest jump-ropers make national TV

Girls from Anthony Middle School 5757 Irving Ave. S. will appear on "DragonflyTV," a nationally televised PBS science show for middle-school kids, when the show begins its fourth season next January.

The program, produced by Twin Cities Public Television, investigated Double Dutch jump roping. In Double Dutch, two ropes turn simultaneously in different directions.

"It is not classroom or test tube science -- it is outdoor, fun science; and it is science that kids do themselves," said Jessica Kohen, the show's producer and a Windom resident.

Filming began on a cloudy Thursday afternoon under the 3rd Avenue Bridge at St. Anthony Main and featured 8th-graders Ruby Kujolic, Precious Keller, Marnicka Roller and Francheska Salcedo.

The science show will examine the science involved in Double Dutch and whether the jumpers rely more on their ears or their eyes. The ropes were industrial-strength clotheslines with metal centers to make a better sound hitting the ground for jumpers to keep the beat.

Experiments tried to confuse jumpers' senses. In one segment, jumpers had strobe lights shone in their eyes, and in another, jumpers wore headphones. Afterwards, students tabulated each girl's average jumps on the sidewalk in chalk.

Kohen chose the Anthony girls (all of whom are going to Washburn High School, 201 W. 49th St., in September) after their team, Dramatic Panthers Double Dutch, came in third in a regional competition.

"DragonflyTV" airs locally on Saturdays, 8 a.m. on Channel 2.

Currently, there is no set date when the segment will air. The program's Web site is www.dragonflytv.org