A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series exposes viewers to the usefulness of engineering. The hosts take care to explain in detail all of their actions, and animated sketches make it easy for kids to understand how simple machines work. Unfamiliar words like “solenoid” and “bellows” are shown on the screen with their definitions.
Common themes include teamwork, determination, curiosity, and creative problem solving. The show encourages viewers to think outside the box, identifying problems they’d like to see solved or inventions they think would help people.
Positive Role Models
The show's diverse cast includes both boys and girls – as well as male and female hosts – which sends positive messages about equal opportunity in traditionally male careers like engineering. Adam and Judy are receptive to the teens’ suggestions and encourage them to get hands-on with the projects. The teens are curious about how things work, excited about seeing their visions become a reality, and open to a new respect for the usefulness of engineering because of it.
Products & Purchases
Kids are encouraged to visit the show’s website to submit photos or sketches of their own inventions.
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.
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.
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.