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Design Squad Nation
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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Design Squad Nation is a spin-off of Design Squad that's a smart, thought-provoking series. It's a great way to introduce kids to the practical applications of science and engineering. With kid-inspired projects ranging from a bike-powered musical instrument to a skateboarding street course, the show’s diverse content demonstrates how engineering relates to a variety of interests. There’s plenty to learn from the show’s experts, who explain their designs in a kid-friendly way and incorporate scientific terms and definitions in their dialogue.
What's the story?
In DESIGN SQUAD NATION, engineers Adam Vollmer and Judy Lee travel the globe to help kids make their design dreams a reality. Whether it’s creating a mobile garden for teens to sell homegrown produce to restaurants or building a human-powered flying machine, there’s no task too challenging for this enthusiastic pair of hosts. Each episode follows the design and building process and culminates in a public unveiling of the finished product.
Is it any good?
If only every TV series offered the content that’s packed into this well-rounded show, which is a spin-off of Design Squad. From the obvious benefits of exposing kids to useful applications of science to strong messages about creative thinking, teamwork, and problem solving, there’s no end to the positive takeaways available here. The show also reflects the shift in the traditionally white male-dominated field of engineering by casting male and female hosts and incorporating a racially diverse pool of boys and girls.
That’s not to say Design Squad Nation is all about learning. There’s plenty of fun to be had watching how this team brings kids’ creations to life, and it’s sure to spark some interesting conversations with your kids about their own inventive ideas. Add a little quality family time and some group ingenuity to the mix, and those same ideas could become fun projects for the whole family.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about science. What did you learn about science from Design Squad Nation? What aspects of science are most intriguing to you? How can you use engineering principles to improve something in your life?
Kids: What is this show’s message about overcoming challenges? In what areas of your life have you faced and overcome adversity? Did you have teammates or friends to help you? How does having other people around help in difficult times?
How diverse are traditionally male- or female-dominated career fields like teaching, nursing, and engineering? Are there any factors that stand in the way of increased diversity in these fields? Which careers do you think are the most open to both men and women?
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