Sadie’s Science Corner #3: NOVA

Editor’s Note: This week’s blog will be going up sooner than the normal 7:00 pm. release due to this week’s topic. Tonight please check out NOVA on your local PBS provider; it is aired at 9:00/8:00 central-standard time each Wednesday.


This week we will speak about NOVA, and while this iconic television programming does not entirely revolve around aviation, it has been used to educate Americans about scientific discoveries and exploration, that which includes amazing programming about aviation, as seen below. Anyone that has watched PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) has more likely seen NOVA once or twice, as it began being aired in 1974, and was created to teach the populous the intricacies of science and discovery without having to simplify the science being taught.

NOVA seeks to cover a wide range of scientific discoveries and achievements, as well as look back on past technologies and their history. Among several of the more memorable episodes are an Easter Island special where scientists built a replica Moai (the large head statues) as well as an episode where they studied landslides and their causes. Thanks to NOVA you do not have to be a leading scientist or engineer at a major university to know what is happening currently in the exciting world of discovery and exploration.

I would recommend everyone to watch NOVA; I have for several years and I always look forward to Wednesday evenings because I know that I will be able to learn something that I want to learn about. NOVA and other shows like it have shown that when education is not forced, people eagerly want to learn more. To me, NOVA gives people that special ability to learn without the pressures of a test or a class grade, and I can attest that while I can remember most of what happened in a NOVA episode, I would probably not be able to tell you half of what was on my Psychology test last week. That is what education is supposed to be about, actual learning and a betterment of understanding, not being able to re-show information through tests. It has been proven that education that would advance our understanding will not be possible through see-and-regurgitate methods.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” -Isaac Asimov

I wish more people watched and contributed to educational shows such as NOVA, rather than spending millions of dollars on reality tv shows that will not last over a few years. Imagine if the majority of television programming were educational how much better off we would be as a society. Education should be constantly advancing, but over the last several years it has been only stagnant, and has actually worsened. Something like this should never happen, and yet it has. America went from a world-leader in education to #17 on the list, with countries like Peru ahead of us in educating their people. It is time to once again lead the world in exploration and discovery, that is what America is about!

“I have watched NOVA since the 1980’s and it has always been very informative and educational.”  -Barbara Owens

As I have spoken of before, for thousands of years man had looked to the heavens and hoped to fly like eagles, and thanks to hard-working mainly self-educated Americans with a dream (the Wright brothers) we were able to achieve flight. Nearly fifty years down the road we had landed on the moon; where did that spirit go? Discovering the unknown is what drives humans to do what they do, not 9-5 jobs. America was founded directly from human exploration and scientific achievement. Someone had to design a ship capable of crossing the Atlantic, some people had to be willing to leave everything they knew and loved in order to become explorers, some had to want to move to America in order to have religious freedoms and think on their own. I could go on forever, but you understand my point, that humans are driven by the excitement of discovering something, being the first to walk on another celestial body, as well as a host of other reasons. America was founded because people were tired of a stagnant government system in Europe, they wanted to be free to explore, to believe what they knew to be right, and to uphold their curious side of ‘what if?’ Though America was founded on these principles, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we are falling away, starting at the smallest level. Children begin going to school and love to learn, but through tests and deadlines and having to prove they learn through ways proven useless for transferring information (such as just seeing a math problem but not working one) they finish school and do not care anymore. That is why I love NOVA so much, people are not forcing me to learn, and you begin to look at it as, ‘hey, on Wednesdays I get to learn something from NOVA!’

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”-Albert Einstein

Through NOVA education and understanding once again flourish, and people want to learn. Through educational shows such as NOVA people push themselves to further their education, and our country could once again lead the world in learning. Through NOVA programming a child could grow up to be the next Einstein, or invent a faster way for us to get to Mars, or even invent or discover technologies that would make it less expensive to do things such as fly, as seen with carbon fiber.

Tonight, please enjoy NOVA with family or friends,learn something, and consider donating to your local PBS station. Also, feel free to join us in writing a letter to PBS and the NOVA producers/leaders in thanking them for what they do by sending in a short letter that will be added onto our main letter to, or you can personally contact them here at or send them an actual letter to:


WGBH Educational Foundation

1 Guest Street

Boston, MA 02135

While you’re at it swing over to and check out the newly updated scholarship page here . Since you’ll already be over there (btw who is that handsome fella in the leather jacket and CAP blues?) make sure to check out some of the amazing aircraft there for sale. As always, thanks for reading!


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