Making Stuff

Invisibility cloaks; spider silk that is stronger than steel; plastics made of sugar that dissolve in landfills; self-healing military vehicles; and clothes that monitor your mood – what will the future bring and what will it be made of?

Beginning Tuesday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Science, MAKING STUFF takes a thrilling tour of the material world we live in.

The fascinating new four-part series, MAKING STUFF, offers a behind-the-scenes look at scientific innovations ushering in a new generation of materials that are stronger, smarter, smaller and cleaner than anything we’ve ever seen.

From carbon nano-tubes to artificial skin, the world is poised at the frontier of a revolution in materials science. MAKING STUFF traces the surprising roots of today’s super-materials thousands of years into the past and focuses on the human qualities that spark the process of invention – the visionary talent, sheer luck and dogged determination that turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material.

Hosted by New York Times technology reporter David Pogue, MAKING STUFF connects today’s big ideas and world-changing impact with memorable stories of past breakthroughs with an eye on the future. 

 

Episode highlights from MAKING STUFF include:

 

MAKING STUFF – “Stronger”

Tues., May 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Understand what defines strength by examining and testing the world’s strongest materials – everything from mollusks to a toucan’s beak! Travel from the deck of a U.S. naval aircraft carrier to a demolition derby to the country’s top research labs where experts are re-engineering what nature has given us to create the next generation of strong “stuff.”

 

MAKING STUFF – “Smaller”

Tues., May 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Examine the latest in high-powered nano-circuits and micro-robots that are revolutionizing the way we live. Explore atom by atom the star materials of small applications, including silicon and carbon. Nanotechnology is changing the face of medicine, with intelligent iPills that know what medicine to release into the body and treat patients from the “inside” based on changing needs, to robots that repair damaged body parts, and more.

 

MAKING STUFF – “Cleaner”

Tues., June 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Explore the rapidly developing science and business of clean energy and examine alternative ways to generate, store and distribute it. One scientist is using chicken feathers to create a cheap way to make hydrogen cars safer. Others are developing a process where batteries can run on molten salts or on genetically engineered viruses. Investigate the latest developments in bio-based fuels and solar energy for our cars, homes and industry.

 

MAKING STUFF – “Smarter”

Tues., June 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Look into the growing number of materials that can shape themselves – reacting, changing, and even learning. For inspiration, material scientists turn to nature and biology, modeling a material after sharkskin to develop an antibacterial film that, when sprayed in hospitals, could eliminate Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria from clinging to surfaces.