What is it:
Mark Rober makes YouTube videos about science. These include making a snowball machine gun, making a self-directing bowling ball, or volcanoes made from mentos and coke.
He’s not quite Steve Irwin, but shares that same type of enthusiasm and knowledge, for chemistry and physics rather than for animals.
Who is it for:
Many kids like seeing guys blow up stuff in their backyard, but these videos have a bit more science explanation. So kids who like bold, kinetic, science.
What Kids Like:
They like the ‘wow’ factor. Many videos are like high school chemistry classes (although with a much higher budget), where there’s an initial cool explosion or something, followed by an explanation of how it worked.
There is an old Sesame Street adage (from the CTW era) that if you have to choose between educating a child and entertaining them, then entertain them. Because once you stop entertaining them, you lose their interest and lose the chance to educate them again.
And that seems to be part of the philosophy of Mark Rober, to keep the kids watching.
What Parents Like:
There is legitimate science in these videos, exposing kids to new, sometimes high-level concepts, such as the Square-cube law (The square–cube law (or cube–square law) is a mathematical principle, applied in a variety of scientific fields, which describes the relationship between the volume and the surface area as a shape’s size increases or decreases.)
And perhaps more important, the videos show science to be cool and fun and interesting, that science is about being curious and figuring stuff out.
Rober is clearly a very bright and capable engineer, not merely just another youtuber.
And he has the budget and knowledge to do the sort of thing I would like to do with my kids if I could.
Mark sometimes uses language such as ‘frikken’ and ‘sucks’, which I’m not thrilled about.
There is a culture and attitude on the channel that explosions are cool and guns are cool, and this is an attitude that many families (including ours) like to de-emphasize. But in Mark’s defense, he does talk about safety and eye protection, etc.
And YouTube has ads. I still have mixed feelings about letting the kids watch YouTube at all, but there is so much good content mixed in with all the garbage there, so I let them do it with me in the room.
(And this is more of a pet peeve, but Mark sometimes speaks with bad grammar, things like, “Her and I colaborated…”. This probably shouldn’t bother me, but ideally someone devoted to education should be a better example.)
Who Made it:
Mark B. Rober is an American YouTuber, engineer, and inventor. He is known for his YouTube videos on popular science and do-it-yourself gadgets. Before YouTube, Rober was an engineer with NASA for 9 years where he spent seven of those years working on the Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He later worked for four years at Apple Inc. as a product designer in their Special Projects Group, where he authored patents involving virtual reality in self-driving cars.
From his YouTube page:
Former NASA and Apple engineer. Current YouTuber and friend of science.
Answers to some common questions:
1) I studied Mechanical Engineering in School. I did my undergrad at BYU and Masters at USC.
2) I worked for NASA JPL for 9 years, 7 of which were working on the Curiosity Rover (I made a video about it you should def totes watch cause it’s probably my favorite of all my videos). Then I created Digital Dudz (made some videos about this too) and eventually sold it after 2 years. Then I worked for Apple in their Special Projects Group doing Product Design as a Mechanical Engineer for 5 years. As of 2019, I just make my monthly YouTube videos.
3) Link to free and therefore substandard build plans for my custom workbench can be found below.
4) I made a 30 Day Creative Engineering Class that teaches my end to end engineering process so you can make stuff too! Check it out here- https://monthly.com/MarkRober
In October 2011, Rober recorded his first YouTube video. It shows a Halloween costume that used two iPads to create the illusion of seeing through his body. His video of the “gaping hole in torso” costume went viral, receiving 1.5 million views in just one day. The following year, Rober launched Digital Dudz, an online Halloween costume company that specializes in Halloween costumes based on the same concept as the video (to which Rober holds the patent).
In December 2018, Rober posted a video showing how he tricked parcel thieves with an engineered contraption that sprayed glitter on the thieves, emitted a foul odor, and captured video of the thieves. Rober posted a follow-up in December 2019, teaming up with Macaulay Culkin and featuring an improved design. During the process of building the third bomb, Rober collaborated with Jim Browning, ScammerPayback, and various state and federal authorities to use the glitter bomb bait package as a tactic to track and arrest money mules and their supervisors, who were working with scamming call centers in India to rob elderly people of thousands of dollars. Some of the investigations are still ongoing.
Where Can I Get it: