America's Greatest Makers

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
America's Greatest Makers TV Poster Image
Solid Shark Tank takeoff showcases STEM-based inventions.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

STEM, creativity, entrepreneurship work hand in hand, can help people, be profitable.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Inventors are from all walks of life; most are STEM-educated.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Intel sponsors the show, is prominently featured; Ace computers, team product logos visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that America's Greatest Makers is a competition-style show featuring teams of innovative minds attempting to bring their inventions to life. It doesn't have a lot of content to be concerned about, but it heavily features Intel technology and spotlights a lot of new product logos. There's some talk about making money and profits, but most of the show is focused on using science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to make new things.

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What's the story?

AMERICA'S GREATEST MAKERS is a reality competition featuring teams of innovative minds attempting to bring wearable inventions to life in a variety of ways. Twenty-four teams pitch their tech-driven inventions, all of which incorporate the Intel Curie module for wearable technology, to the panel of judges, including producer and angel investor Kevin Periera, entrepreneur Carol Roth, and Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel. Fifteen teams move on and continue to work on the capability of the technology in their products and improve their marketing plans to continue impressing the judges. Those who don't move on get eliminated with each subsequent round. The winning team wins a $1 million prize. From a toothbrush-activated game to help people improve their oral hygiene, to a new tagging system for ranch cows, each team demonstrates how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) tenets are taking inventors to a whole new level.

Is it any good?

The compelling series spotlights inventions people are constructing with the help of STEM and highlights how creative and innovative uses of technology have real-world applications. It also stresses how important it is to think about how each product will be marketed to consumers, most of whom are more concerned about how it will help them in their daily lives than the technology behind it. Meanwhile, much like its sister series Shark Tank, the costs associated with mass production, potential profit margins, and patent protections are a factor in determining which invention merits investment.

While it's a promotional vehicle for Intel, the show's focus on invention and technology will appeal to makers of all ages, especially those who are tech-driven. Adding interest are some of the guest judges, including known celebs such as NBA champion Kenny SmithDirty Jobs host Mike Rowe, and neuroscientist and The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, all of whom have some sort of science, manufacturing, or investment backgrounds. Viewers who like watching entrepreneurs competing for cash won't be disappointed, but the show may get folks from all walks of life to think differently about science and technology and inspire them to learn more about it. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about STEM. Why are there more men than women in STEM-related fields today? What can be done to change this? Do you think shows such as this one can help change what people think about science and technology and who can learn it? What other ways can media help kids learn more about it?

  • Do you have any ideas for inventions that use technology? What would your product be used for? What kinds of things would you need to make and sell it?

TV details

For kids who love STEM TV

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