Popular Mechanics for Kids: X-treme Sports and Other Action Adventures
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a terrific video for kids who love action. The show's teenaged hosts play sports from hockey (with an NHL pro) to sandboarding, and have a great time doing it. The girls get to do as much of the rough stuff as the boys, and many of the featured athletes are women as well. Along with the wild rides is plenty of the science behind them --how sports shoes are designed and made, the physics of snowboarding, and why your feet can smell bad are just a few examples. The production values are terrific, and the shows are very entertaining. Some of the activities, however, are quite dangerous. Although they are always performed with all the requisite safety equipment, parents will want to be sure their kids understand what "don't try this at home" means.
What's the story?
PMK features four young hosts who travel around the world seeking out adventure. They ride luges down roads, play sports with professional athletes, hunt for poisonous snakes in the desert, and try some pretty outrageous stuff, like kite waterskiing. What makes this more than just a lot of fun riding around is the explanations of the science behind the fun. The physics of the different sports are explained, and there are hands-on projects, ranging from building your own zip line to how to collect water in the desert. There are cartoons, and funny sequences featuring Charlie, the show's least competent host, who happens to be an adult.
Is it any good?
Whether you're an armchair athlete or an extreme sports addict, this video will entertain and inform. The show is sensitive to gender issues, letting the girl hosts do plenty of wild stunts, and featuring female professional athletes in a number of sports. The photography and animation are top notch, and the science and fun are seamlessly woven together. This is a well-made show, one that kids and parents will both enjoy.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the science behind the sports covered in this program, and can do some research on the science behind other sports.