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Howe & Howe Tech
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that despite some arguing and occasional strong words ("ass") and bleeped profanity (“s--t," “f--k” ), this educational reality series about adult twins who design, build, and test prototypes for high-tech military vehicles is age appropriate for older tweens who are interested in the subject matter. Many of the tests done on the featured vehicles simulate war-time scenarios, which include explosive detonation and other loud, dangerous events. While they don't offer opinions about war, both men express their respect and gratitude for the work that the military does to protect the country; thy also place a lot of emphasis on family.
What's the story?
HOWE & HOWE TECH looks at the incredible inventions of Geoffrey and Michael Howe, the award-winning twin brothers from New Brunswick, Maine, who run Howe & Howe Tech -- a research and development shop that focuses on designing and building high-tech vehicles for military use. With the help of project coordinator Will McMaster and a dedicated group of technicians, welders, and fabricators, the Howes build prototypes for new vehicles and then test their usability and safety. Keeping the administrative side of the family owned business running smoothly are wives Tammy and Tracy, who also happen to be sisters.
Is it any good?
This educational reality show/docuseries highlights the process by which high-tech vehicles are designed, built, and tested. Because most of them are intended for military use, the Howes offer limited (but clear) explanations about each vehicle’s design. They also give a lot of insight into what these vehicles can help the military accomplish -- and how they can keep soldiers and other military personnel safe while they're being operated.
Some of the Howes' explanations are a little dry, but these moments are offset by the testing portion of the show, which usually includes detonating explosives and exposing both vehicles and crash dummies to a variety of war-like simulations. There’s definitely some drama, too, especially when team members begin to crack under the pressure of meeting tight deadlines. Overall, Howe & Howe Tech probably won’t appeal to everyone, but viewers who are into robotics and/or high-tech inventing will definitely find something worthwhile here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what inspires people to invent new technology. Do people start building things because they need something, or is it because they simply enjoy the process? What kind of training do you need to do this kind work?
How does this show compare to other series about either dangerous jobs and/or scientific testing? What shows is it most like? How does it set itself part from them?