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Impressive engineering is fun for tweens and up.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series details the design and construction process of some of the world's most impressive architectural and engineering feats.

Violence & scariness

Occasional discussion of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities that occur during the construction process.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary series details the design and construction of some of the world's most impressive structures and machines. Experts weigh in on the process from conception through planning and building, and computer graphics help demonstrate the science behind it all. The series also touches on outside factors (wars, depressions, technological advances, etc.) that played a role in enhancing or delaying each project. The educational content is great for tweens and teens, but young kids may find it on the dull side.

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What's the story?

MEGASTRUCTURES documents the design and construction of some of the world's most architecturally impressive buildings and machines, explaining how engineers overcame daunting challenges to complete the projects and relied on innovative tools to get the job done. The series also explores the history of the building materials that make these projects possible -- like concrete, steel, and brick -- as well as machines of war and awe-inspiring bridges. Past episodes have taken behind-the-scenes looks at everything from the Pentagon, the Sears Tower, and the Panama Canal to the Berlin Wall and the Autobahn, including historical background on the project's location, putting the need for the super structures and the various factors that made their construction difficult into context. Experts explain the design and building process, and video footage and accounts from actual participants help illustrate the scale of each undertaking. When visuals are needed, computer graphics demonstrate the science behind the construction.

Is it any good?


In addition to offering insight into large-scale construction, MegaStructures celebrates the innovative human spirit that's at the heart of every project featured in the series. Families of tweens and teens can marvel at these man-made wonders together, but the show's somewhat dry subject matter may well bore younger viewers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the role and impact of TV documentary series. Do shows like this one make education fun for viewers? Do you think they usually give an accurate representation of the facts? How can series like this inspire interests in fields like architecture, archaeology, and history? Families can also discuss the construction process. What challenges do planners face when designing massive structures? How do factors like weather and geography affect their success? What tools allow them to overcome these challenges? How has technology changed the way designers and architects work?

TV details

Premiere date:September 15, 2004
Cast:Jonathan Hart
Network:National Geographic Channel
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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