NOVA Making Stuff: Smaller on WXXI-TV

NOVA Making Stuff: Smaller on WXXI-TV

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 9:00pm

Pictured: David Pogue

Credit: Courtesy of Powderhouse Productions

Here in the information age, smaller is better. How small can we go?

NOVA's ambitious series continues with a quest for the world’s strmallest stuff. Transistors, microchips, laptops and cell phones are triumphs of tiny. Now, host David Pogue takes us to an even smaller world, as he profiles the latest in high-powered nano-circuits and micro-robots that may one day hold the key to saving lives and building materials from the ground up. Making Stuff: Smaller airs Wednesday, January 26 at 9 p.m. WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). Could we one day have robots taking “fantastic voyages” in our bodies to kill rogue cells? Pogue explores the star materials of small applications, including silicon, the stuff of computer chips, and carbon, the element now being manipulated at the atomic level to produce future technology.

Popular New York Times technology reporter David Pogue will take viewers on a thrilling tour of the material world we live in, and the one that may lie ahead—offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at scientific innovations that are ushering in a new generation of materials that are stronger, smarter, smaller, and cleaner than anything we’ve ever seen.


The series continues with:

Making Stuff: Cleaner, Wednesday, February 2 at 9 p.m. Most modern materials are dangerous to the environment, but what about cleaning up our world? Batteries grown from viruses, tires made from orange peel oil, plastics made of sugar, and solar cells that cook up hydrogen–these are just a few glimpses of a new generation of clean materials that could power devices of the future. David Pogue explores the rapidly developing science and business of clean energy and examines alternative ways to generate it, store it, and distribute it.

Making Stuff: Smarter, Wednesday, February 9 at 9 p.m. What can nature teach us about building smarter materials? Can we create materials that sense and respond? “When describing ‘smart materials,’ one analogy scientists give is the evolution from the first Terminator robot, a machine made of metal and circuitry, to the shape-shifting ‘liquid guy’ in Terminator 2,” said Making Stuff producer Chris Schmidt. Smarter looks into the growing number of materials that almost seem alive–able to react, change, and even learn.

WXXI will host Making Stuff Science Cafe at the Rochester Museum & Science Center on Saturday, February 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. Guests will preview clips from the series and participate in a community conversation with University of Rochester scientists Lewis Rothberg and Todd Krauss. The event is free, and open to the public (recommended for high school students and adults), but reservations are required. Register at

The Rochester Museum & Science Center has also invited WXXI and Making Stuff to participate in its Science Saturday event on Saturday, February 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families will engage in hands-on material science demonstrations, which is part of the museum's addmission. Museum admission: Adults $10, Seniors/College Students $9, Ages 3–18 $8, Children under 3 FREE.