The Genius Generation
By Molly Jackel,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Inspiring interviews with young inventors, entrepreneurs.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Tweens and teens who have created often life-changing inventions or businesses talk about their passions and interests, their creative process and ideation, solving problems, and overcoming obstacles; all of which can be instructive for younger -- and older -- listeners.
Young innovators show creativity, perseverance, problem solving, pioneering, resourcefulness, sacrifice, and self-motivation in their pursuits.
Positive Role Models
Tweens and teens describe how they achieved goals, and how they were inspired to do so by wanting to solve a problem in the world; such as, the middle-schooler who noticed how few girls were in her tech classes and so started a school to educate girls in computer science; or the 11-year-old who was so disturbed after a field trip to a soup kitchen, he started a company that diverts excess food from various industries to the folks who need it. Some guests describe sacrificing their free time, others about roadblocks they hit along the way. Guests interact enthusiastically and confidently with the host, Danni Washington, who serves as a role model for active listening.
Interviews with under-18 pioneers from a variety of countries and ethnicities. Nala Hayden teaches young Black children how to care for their natural hair and to be empowered by their natural hair -- host Danni Washington is a Black woman and relates to Nala's story about learning to be empowered by her natural hair. Anugreh Sehtya started a tech company to solve problems like autism, contaminated water, and blindness in his home country of India. Gia Mar Ramos started a nonprofit in Puerto Rico to teach young girls about computer science. Many different cultures, countries and ethnicities are represented.
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Violence & Scariness
A guest mentions self-harm, but no details are given. One guest discusses suffering from a medical condition that resulted in bullying, sexual harassment, racism, depression, anxiety, and ultimately a suicide attempt
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Products & Purchases
After the credits, there's a shoutout for the sponsor of the show and an ad for a socially conscious business.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Genius Generation is a one-on-one interview-style podcast showcasing a different young innovator each week who's achieved success solving a big problem with their big idea before they even turn 18. The host asks questions that span from the guests' origin stories to how they accomplished their goal. Teen guests talk about hunger, climate change, mental health struggles -- eating disorders, self harm, anxiety -- including one guest who suffered from a medical condition that resulted in bullying, sexual harrassment, racism, depression, anxiety, and ultimately a suicide attempt. Because the episodes are fairly short, they don't dive too deep into the details of starting a business or building a robot or app. Parents may need to connect some dots there. Most of the kids are on admirable missions to better the world that both kids and parents will find both inspirational and motivational.
Where to Listen
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What’s It About?
Each week on THE GENIUS GENERATION, host Danni Washington, an entrepreneur herself, interviews one young person who's accomplished something impressive before they turned 18. Guests include inventors, entrepreneurs, and coders who've seen a problem in the world and found a way to solve it. One 16-year-old guest got his idea for a cheaper, more effective way to detect forest fires while on a wildfire-ravaged hike in California. Another is a beach lover who developed a robot to find micro plastics in the ocean. The host prompts her guests to detail their inspiration, how they built their invention or business, and the struggles they faced along the way.
Is It Any Good?
Impressive stories of accomplishment abound in this series, as well as good representation from various countries and ethnicities. The Genius Generation is sure to inspire tweens and teens as they listen to stories of innovation and success straight from the kids who lived the experience. The guests' level of enthusiasm and natural storytelling ability dictates how compelling each show will be; though the host is always super engaged and a great active listener.
Although the host probes the guests well, the short episodes don't allow for exploring the ins and outs of starting a business or building a machine. However, the short duration of the show does help to maintain interest. The audio quality of the guests is not great because interviews sound like they're done online, rather than in studio, likely for pandemic purposes. But the music and effects sound professional and enhance the storytelling. Podcast summaries are helpful in choosing where to start listening.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how The Genius Generation inspired them. What is an issue in the world that's important to you? If you could create a solution or something that could help, what would it be?
Being an inventor or entrepreneur sounds exciting, but it requires hard work, problem solving, and determination. What have you succeeded at despite obstacles and hardships?
After listening to the podcast, what are you most interested in learning about starting your own business or creating your own product? What's the first step you can take today toward your goals?
- Release date: March 18, 2021
- Genre: Entertainment
- Average Run Time: 12 minutes
- Website: https://www.trax.fm/the-genius-generation
- Host: Danni Washington
- Publisher: TRAX from PRX
- Pricing structure: Free
- Topics: STEM, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Science and Nature
- Last updated: May 13, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
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