Science Channel

The maker movement hits prime time tonight with the premiere of Science Channel’s new series All-American Makers.

Starring Printrbot founder Brook Drumm, roboticist Brian Roe, and serial entrepreneur Marc Portney, the show highlights different inventors and engineers who have created and built their own piece of technology — anything from brain-controlled toy helicopters to electric roller-skates — and are looking for assistance on what next to do with it. Portney constantly assesses each maker’s needs and wants, looking at how far into the process they’ve come so far and where their product might lead. He then partners up with the inventors of the products he feels he is most capable of helping to bring to market.

The show has parallels to the ABC hit Shark Tank, but it is Drumm and Roe’s inclusion that makes it stand apart. The master-maker duo provide Portney with actual product expertise, providing hands-on testing and dissection of each product, examining construction and design while explaining the science and engineering that make them function.

“It has some resemblance to some of the competition shows out there but it’s not a head-to-head competition, which I think is more keeping to our approach to things,” explains Rita Mullin, Science Channel’s General Manager.

“There’s a large piece of each show where they’re putting whatever that invention is through its paces, whether they’re taking the top off to understand how it works — often there’s a great exchange between the makers and these two guys about ways they might improve it.”

This element in particular has helped win the new series the support of the White House, who names the show on their list of 2015 STEM education showcases.

Watch All-American Makers tonight at 10pm ET/PT.