Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation

The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation

Spring 2015 Television
Ages: 13 - 16 yrs.
Network: Weekly
Rating: TV G

If only more TV shows would work to showcase bright, innovative thinkers, as are profiled in this series.

Yes, it would have been nice if this show were titled simply Innovation Nation, but CBS partnered with The Henry Ford organization and Litton Entertainment to produce it, so each show starts at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mich. While it is an ad for the museum, it's fully in keeping with the inventions and innovation theme of the show.

Host Mo Rocca tells viewers of historic innovators of the past, explaining the stories behind great inventions, and then he goes out and finds inventors around the country who are working on new projects.

The show is designed to both inspire and educate, and get everyone in your house into the innovation spirit. Think beyond TV, out of the box - and away from the box.

Take Sara Volz, for example. She's an MIT student with a serious passion for algae. She says she has been "doing science" her whole life. Her idol? Not Taylor Swift. It's Marie Curie, the renowned physicist and two-time Nobel Prize winner. Volz is working on creating a sustainable biofuel out of her green goo. Now that's cool.

Or check out Grant Hamill. He worked to create something called iFetch, which allows a dog to launch a ball from a small machine and then fetch it. He has turned it into a viable business product.

What's prized on this show is a mind that is curious and willing to work at something until it's right. Or as the show notes, "Failures inform success." Keep pursuing until you get a meaningful result.

You'll come away from the show wanting to think up the next great invention. That's what TV should do.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, assistant director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, began her career at The Washington Post and went on to spend more than two decades with USA Today, where she covered pop culture topics. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Litton Entertainment

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