NOVA’s Making Stuff Season 2

October 1st, 2012 - September 30th, 2015 | PROJECT

Making Stuff Season Two is designed to build on the success of the first season of Making Stuff by expanding the series content to include a broader range of STEM topics, creating a larger outreach coalition model and a “community of practice,” and developing new outreach activities and digital resources. Specifically, this project created a national television 4-part miniseries, an educational outreach campaign, expanded digital content, promotion activities, station relations, and project evaluation. These project components help to achieve the following goals: 1. To increase public understanding that basic research leads to technological innovation; 2. To increase and sustain public awareness and excitement about innovation and its impact on society; and 3. To establish a community of practice that enhances the frequency and quality of collaboration among STEM researchers and informal educators. These goals were selected in order to address a wider societal issue, and an important element of the overall mission of NOVA: to inspire new generations of scientists, learners, and innovators. By creating novel and engaging STEM content, reaching out to new partners, and developing new outreach tools, the second season of Making Stuff is designed to reach new target audiences including underserved teens and college students crucial to building a more robust and diversified STEM workforce pipeline. Series Description: In this four-part special, technology columnist and best-selling author David Pogue takes a wild ride through the cutting-edge science that is powering a next wave of technological innovation. Pogue meets the scientists and engineers who are plunging to the bottom of the temperature scale, finding design inspiration in nature, and breaking every speed limit to make tomorrow's "stuff" "Colder," "Faster," "Safer," and "Wilder." Making Stuff Faster Ever since humans stood on two feet we have had the basic urge to go faster. But are there physical limits to how fast we can go? David Pogue wants to find out, and in "Making Stuff Faster," he’ll investigate everything from electric muscle cars and the America’s cup sailboat to bicycles that smash speed records. Along the way, he finds that speed is more than just getting us from point A to B, it's also about getting things done in less time. From boarding a 737 to pushing the speed light travels, Pogue's quest for ultimate speed limits takes him to unexpected places where he’ll come face-to-face with the final frontiers of speed. Making Stuff Wilder What happens when scientists open up nature's toolbox? In "Making Stuff Wilder," David Pogue explores bold new innovations inspired by the Earth's greatest inventor, life itself. From robotic "mules" and "cheetahs" for the military, to fabrics born out of fish slime, host David Pogue travels the globe to find the world’s wildest new inventions and technologies. It is a journey that sees today's microbes turned into tomorrow’s metallurgists, viruses building batteries, and ideas that change not just the stuff we make, but the way we make our stuff. As we develop our own new technologies, what can we learn from billions of years of nature’s research? Making Stuff Colder Cold is the new hot in this brave new world. For centuries we've fought it, shunned it, and huddled against it. Cold has always been the enemy of life, but now it may hold the key to a new generation of science and technology that will improve our lives. In "Making Stuff Colder," David Pogue explores the frontiers of cold science from saving the lives of severe trauma patients to ultracold physics, where bizarre new properties of matter are the norm and the basis of new technologies like levitating trains and quantum computers. Making Stuff Safer The world has always been a dangerous place, so how do we increase our odds of survival? In "Making Stuff Safer," David Pogue explores the cutting-edge research of scientists and engineers who want to keep us out of harm’s way. Some are countering the threat of natural disasters with new firefighting materials and safer buildings. Others are at work on technologies to thwart terrorist attacks. A next-generation vaccine will save millions from deadly disease. And innovations like smarter cars and better sports gear will reduce the risk of everyday activities. We’ll never eliminate danger—but science and technology are making stuff safer.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products
NOVA "Making Stuff Season 2"” Summative Evaluation Report

Team Members

WGBH Educational Foundation, Contributor
Paula Apsell, Principal Investigator, WGBH Educational Foundation


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1222986
Funding Amount: 2053989


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Undergraduate | Graduate Students | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Chemistry | Computing and information science | Engineering | General STEM | Mathematics | Physics | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Community Outreach Programs | Games | Simulations | Interactives | Making and Tinkering Programs | Media and Technology | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media