Yesterday, Lisa Baldwin over at HSBA Post wrote about her Top Ten Favorite Educational Shows on Netflix. It’s a great list and we have a number of them already in our Netflix queue. All of the shows on her list are targeted towards kids under 10 and since many homeschoolers (including myself) have tweens and teens I’d like to offer a list of my own that may be more appropriate for kids over the age of 10.
Where appropriate, I’ve made some personal comments in parenthesis after the title of each show. Let’s go!
Ten Educational Shows for Your Tweens and Teens
1. How It’s Made - Have you ever wondered how things are made? From adhesive bandages to contact lenses, find out how many of the objects we use become the things they are. Watch as “How It’s Made” reveals the methods and materials of everyday items.
2. Mythbusters - Fearless hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take viewers on an eye-opening — and often explosive — journey as they examine some of the most commonly held beliefs in popular science and culture.
3. Extreme Engineering - Host Danny Forster explores the world’s most magnificent feats of engineering — structures seemingly impossible to build and amazing to behold. Watch extraordinary projects in progress as crews defy nature to construct these manmade wonders. From the overhaul of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge to Dubai’s indoor ski resort to Hong Kong’s international airport built 16 miles out at sea, discover the awe-inspiring creations of extreme engineering.
4. Ken Burns: The War (or any other of his documentaries) - A seven-part series brings World War II to life through the harrowing personal accounts of a handful of soldiers and others from “typical” American towns, recreating visceral scenes of the battles at Omaha Beach, Guadalcanal, Okinawa and more.
5. Beakman’s World – Science is cool, and learning is fun in wild-haired Prof. Beakman’s world. Exploring the hows and whys, Beakman takes kids on a tour through science and nature with zany demonstrations and exciting experiments for children to try at home.
6. TED Talks: Chew on This (there are also talks on other topics too) – Take a seat at the TED table with bakers, food scientists, chefs, farmers and foodies for a taste of truth about food. These discussions celebrate and explore all things food, covering flavor, sustainability, obesity, famine and more.
7. When We Left Earth – Follow the 20th century’s space race all the way to the moon — and beyond — in this documentary series. The program features eye-popping footage from a host of various missions, plus in-depth interviews with NASA astronauts and engineers.
8. Dirty Jobs – Ready to tackle any job no matter how disgusting or hazardous, host Mike Rowe travels across America to work side by side with the men and women who perform such thankless tasks as inspecting sewers, retrieving roadkill and handling snakes. Equally horrifying and hilarious, this Discovery Channel reality series shines a light on the lengths that hardworking people go to every day in order to make our lives better.
9. Prophets of Science Fiction – Episodes focus on great minds of sci fi whose spark of imagination changed our reality. See what events influenced the prophecies and the animation that brings them to life; once visionary technology is now put into practice.
10. Bloomberg Game Changers: Marc Andreessen (there are more in this series too) – This installment of “Game Changers” follows Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape Communications Corp. and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, among other high-profile endeavors.
BONUS: Shark Week – Continuing its annual summertime tradition of terrifying vacation beachgoers, the Discovery Channel presents a week’s worth of shark stories — plus a couple of grisly bonus episodes — in this collection spotlighting the ocean’s fiercest predator.
I know I missed a ton of shows. Perhaps I’ll come up with a longer list in the future. What is your favorite educational show on Netflix?