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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the MythBusters spinoff, MythBusters: The Search, is a science and engineering competition show. The language is a little rough at times ("crap," "hell"), and some of the testing methods use flames and result in spectacular crashes and explosions (that should NOT be tried at home). However, it also shows the role of science and systematic methods in problem solving and learning, and reminds folks that science can be fun and exciting. There are also references to franchises Formula One and car makes and models like Ford Camaros are sometimes shown.
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What's the story?
MYTHBUSTERS: THE SEARCH is a reality series dedicated to find the next generation of people committed to scientifically testing urban legends in spectacular style. Hosted by Kyle Hill, it features ten elite builders vying for a chance to continue the legacy of the original MythBusters team by using their ingenuity, engineering skills, and science savvy to design and conduct experiments that can help determine whether specific myths are fact or fiction. Through team and individual challenges, contestants must design and build prototypes, collect data, and run bigger than life tests in order to figure out if proposed myths can be busted. At the end of each episode, Hill, along with the crew and former MythBusters cast members and guests, decide who gets eliminated, and who moves one step closer to becoming an official MythBuster.
Is it any good?
This entertaining science-based competition follows the popular MythBusters formula by offering viewers a chance to see how builders use their smarts to find answers to specific questions. From figuring out whether it's possible to build a side-ejecting car seat, to determining if a deflated ball is actually easier to catch than one full of air, robot experts, rocket scientists, electricians, engineers, and a range of other trained folks brainstorm, build prototypes, and start over when tests fail in order to answer the questions being posed.
The building process and over-the-top testing methods are a big part of the series. However, MythBusters: The Search also focuses on the leadership skills and charisma of the contestants to determine if they are suited for a tv spotlight. The elimination process adds some edge to the show, but takes some of the focus away from the idea that folks can participate in science and engineering activities just for the fun of it. Nonetheless, it successfully underscores the importance of teamwork, creativity, and above all, using science and engineering to learn and problem solve.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role science and engineering have in our every day lives. What kinds of new things have scientists, engineers, and other building experts created over the centuries that we now take for granted?
MythBusters: The Search judges contestants' personalities as well as their science savvy. Are personality traits like being personable and having the ability to lead really important when you are a builder? Why?
Find more TV shows that help kids build character.
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