Have any of you caught the Master Blasters show on the Science Channel yet? The premise of this wacky reality show is that the Master Blasters team takes on a visiting team in a challenge to construct some sort of rocket-based machine and then blast it off. Dan Stroud and Terry Stroud (father and son) form the core of the Master Blasters team. The rest of the members vary from show to show.
Alert! If you are offended by salty language, give this show a miss.
In the first show I caught, the challenge was to blast up a rocket, have it land safely, deploy a robot vehicle, return the vehicle to the rocket and take off again. In the short time allowed, the teams were not able to design and build something that really worked. One did crash in a spectacular way, however.
Most of the blogs I checked pretty much panned the show. I have to say that I did enjoy the reality show flavor and the fact that it showcased people having fun with science. Although the science definitely took a back seat to entertainment in many cases, I can see some young viewers developing an interest in rockets and rocketry by watching. It looked the teams were having a blast (pun intended).
This show comes with a bold "Do not try this at home" message. The dangers of working with rockets are readily apparent as team members duck flying debris and the fire crews race to put out fires. These are real problems encountered when working with rockets. I know someone who started a vacant lot on fire with a small rocket when he was a kid. His parents had to call the fire department to come put it out. Under different conditions, he could have caused a lot of damage. Hopefully, the message will get through to potential rocketeers.
If you are looking for other inspiring tales of rockets, try the 1999 movie October Sky. This movie is rated PG and also has mild profanities and scenes of rockets blowing up. One the plus side, it does show how a childhood interest can literally lead someone to become a rocket scientist.