AMAZE takes the awkward out of sex ed. Real info in fun, animated videos— published on YouTube— that give youth all the answers they actually want to know about sex, their body and relationships. AMAZE is a collaboration between experts in the field of sex education— Advocates for Youth, Answer and Youth Tech Health—to create an engaging, age-appropriate, online sex education resource for 10-to 14-year-olds.
AMAZE aims to produce animated videos to provide honest and engaging information to normalize sexual development and help very young adolescents (ages 10 to 14) develop the health promoting attitudes, knowledge and behaviors needed to navigate the critical transition between childhood and older adolescence.
Recognizing the critical role parents and educators play in educating young people about their changing bodies, sex and healthy relationships, AMAZE also provides resources for parents and educators to use in talking with the young people in their lives. The AMAZE videos are fun, approachable and facilitate communication between young people and parents, guardians and educators.
Given rapidly expanding global access among young adolescents to internet and social media, there is potential to reach a global audience of young people through media programs that reinforce positive messages. Various observational studies have demonstrated that videos can be powerful instruments for education. Engaging and high quality videos can be a powerful way to reach young adolescents with critical information about puberty, body image, healthy relationships and other sexual health topics.
The process began with focus groups to assess the needs of 10-to 14-year-olds. This process took about six months and confirmed this age group's need for age-appropriate, accurate sexual health information. The focus groups not only confirmed that young people wanted and needed accurate information, but they also confirmed that this age group's exposure to sophisticated technology and edgy media meant that the delivery of this information had to be very creative.
A project advisory board, made up of experts in adolescent health, sex education and digital media, was formed in the spring of 2015. The advisory board has been immensely helpful, giving project guidance, feedback and content review.
The focus group findings, input from the advisory board, and experts in youth marketing were instrumental in the AMAZE team's decision to the create videos that live on both AMAZE's YouTube channel and Amaze.org. The AMAZE team is using YouTube, Instagram and SnapChat to reach 10-to 14-year-olds and Facebook and Twitter to reach parents and guardians. Each short video, designed for a 10-to 14-year-old audience, focuses on a single topic, e.g. boys puberty, girls puberty, personal safety. The videos are resources that can supplement a curriculum or be viewed independently.
Since the launch of AMAZE in September 2016, 24 educational videos have been published to the AMAZE.org website and AMAZEORG YouTube channel. Currently, the Amaze YouTube channel has 6,640 subscribers with over 800,000 total views and 1.4 million minutes watched. The top three most viewed videos are Top Signs Boys are in Puberty (275,137 views), Masturbation: Totally Normal (109,291 views), and Top Signs Girls are in Puberty (65,631 views). Within one month of being released, on average a video is expected to receive 10,000 views.
Amaze has been sited in 20 articles and has received over 18 million media impressions and has been given an A+ rating by Common Sense Media.
In addition to the work being done within the United States, AMAZE is expanding internationally, with partners in Mexico, Colombia, and South Africa to translate and adapt videos. Other groups in Vietnam, Hungary, Uruguay, Nicaragua, and Israel have requested and received permission to adapt these videos for their countries as well.
Summary of Key Figures
*as of 2/13/2017