Nature Tech

TV review by
Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Nature Tech TV Poster Image
The natural world inspires technology in fascinating series.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show encourages applying nature's lessons to technology.

Violence & Scariness

Some scenes show animals hunting their prey.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that because nature isn't always pretty and nice, some scenes might be a little too gross -- or even a little scary -- for very young children. For example, one segment focuses on cockroaches and how their movement helps robot designers ... but viewers get to see the bugs perching on top of human food. Another segment follows a goshawk as it hunts, and so on. But kids can learn a lot from this interesting series, and the ick/violence factor isn't as high as in some other nature-focused shows.

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What's the story?

Award-winning series NATURE TECH looks at the natural world the way that scientists do: as a source of inspiration to find solutions to thorny problems. What kind of problems? How about building a robot that can move over all kinds of rough terrain and still stay stable. Or designing a better airplane. (Believe it or not, observing a common housefly is a huge help in the latter department!)

Is it any good?

While the show can get a little gross -- like when there are shots of insects crawling over human food, for example -- overall, it's fascinating. And while the photography is spectacular (the show won an Emmy for cinematography), the best part is actually the series' inspirational nature.

For example, one episode features a segment on how geckos can climb vertical glass walls and even hang upside down on ceilings. The show proceeds to reveal, via microscopic photography, just how they do it -- and then looks at some human problems that could be solved by this ability. It's only a short step from there to asking your kids to come up with their own ideas for "natural" technology.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how camera work can enhance what we see on TV and at the movies. How do you think the filmmakers got such good, clear close-ups of small bugs and birds in flight? What can cameras capture that the human eye can't? Families can also discuss whether shows like this one inspire kids to think about becoming scientists or inventors. Why or why not?

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