Like a lot of geekdads I’ve been trying to impress a need for learning science and technology in my son. So far I’ve had quite a bit of success, he wants to be a scientist when he grows up, although he still hasn’t figured out what type yet. Here are a few shows that I’ve found that have helped to get his interest in science going and to help debunk the boring stereotype that science seems to get in our society.
This is the granddaddy of the current generation of science shows and is still the most popular and most of the shows on this list are connected to Mythbusters in some way shape or form. I’m not going to go into them here, because let’s be honest you’ve probably already seen them. And if not you need to watch them, you can find most of the older episodes on netflix streaming.
This show currently shows on the discovery channel right after the Mythbusters and so far my son likes it. The basic premise is that Penn and Teller tell a series of stories involving different science situations but one of which is a complete lie and then you get a chance to figure out which story it is. I really like this show since it instills a sense of skepticism which is very much-needed in our society today. It also does a good job of keeping you guessing, so far I’ve only gotten half of my guesses right on the show. To the best of my knowledge this one hasn’t hit streaming yet.
This is an old cancelled show from Comedy Central that shows robots battling in an arena of death. What more could you want?? To the best of my knowledge you can’t buy this show anymore or find it on tv anymore, but you can find the older episodes on torrents and in a few places on youtube. The Battlebots competitions are still around, you can even see some of the competitors from the original show. They just don’t show them on tv anymore.
This is another wonderful show put on by the people at the science channel. It only comes on once a year, usually around Thanksgiving and shows off the annual Pumpkin Chunkin contest from Delaware. It’s a contest to see how far you can launch a pumpkin with these various home-built pumpkin launching machines which consists of air cannons, catapults, trebuchets, etc. It’s a bit redkneck but very entertaining and teaches some good physics. To the best of my knowledge this one hasn’t hit streaming yet, it really needs to though.
This is another of the annuals shows from the science channel and usually comes out around Halloween. It shows off the annual LDRS rocket competition which has rocket drag racing and one competition where they try to outdo one another by launching the most outlandish rockets. They even launch tables and coffins. This one can be a little redneck as well, but is more than worth taking the time to watch. To the best of my knowledge this one hasn’t hit streaming yet.
There are also a number of others I’ve found but haven’t had the opportunity to try out yet. Discovery has another show called Curiosity which I’d like to try out sometime soon. I’ve also found Imagine science films which consists of a science film festival, although I haven’t had a chance to check out any of them yet. I also found Bots High which is a documentary on a group of high school kids doing a robot combat competition.
Do you have any other shows that need to be added to this list? Please feel free to add them to the comments or provide a link to your own list of science promoting shows.