‘What If…’ Tells Stories of Nebraskans Innovation, Creativity

News Release Date: 
January 7, 2021

For Immediate Release

‘What If…’ Tells Stories of Nebraskans' Innovation, Creativity

LINCOLN, Neb. (Jan. 6, 2021) – Good ideas often begin with the question, “What If…” The second season of “What If…” answers those questions and tells the stories of Nebraskans’ innovation and creativity.

“What If…” premieres, at 8:30 p.m. CT, Thursday, Jan. 21 on NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations.

Four new shows follow visionaries who think outside the box in a wide range of areas like entrepreneurship, research, non-profits, education, economic development and more.Host Mike Tobias, left, looking at corn roots.

In the first episode, producer and host Mike Tobias takes viewers along to chase tornadoes with the largest-ever drone-based severe weather research project. Plus, meet an experimental music composer/teacher/performer in Omaha and to learn how a Lincoln candle entrepreneur bounced back from failure.

Episode two, airing Jan. 28, gives viewers a look at how a farmer raises soybeans…and shrimp near Diller, a look at two young Albion farmers putting new ideas into old dirt, scientists looking at corn roots in different ways and high school girls in Bassett who started their own business making gelato.Shrimp Farming

On Feb. 4, the season ends with back-to-back episodes starting at 9 p.m. CT. The first show focuses on a Benkelman entrepreneur making leg braces for injured dogs, restoration of an 1880s painting at History Nebraska’s Ford Center, a SpiderCam at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and how a rural school district in the Sandhills creatively adapted to remote learning.

In the second show, explore Omaha’s tech library Do Space, visit a bike/coffee shop in Omaha helping kids aging out of foster care and discover how a unique development in Omaha looks to end poverty.

The series also features music from Nebraska composers who submitted pieces for use in “What If…” stories. Some of this music will be featured on radio's “The Verge,” at 6 p.m. CT, Sunday, Jan 17. Also, learn about “What If…” and a story profiling experimental music composer, performer and educator Stacey Barelos on radio's “Friday LIVE” at 10 a.m. CT, Friday, Jan 8. 

“What If…” also has an online educational component of the program called “Innovator Insights” in the PBS LearningMedia library at net.pbslearningmedia.org.

These short videos talk to the next generation of young innovators about risk taking and success.  On The Go Gelato

Students learn what influenced the innovators, what they’ve learned along the way and how they got their start. These components are designed for a high school/college aged target audience and include Spanish captions and materials for teachers.

For more information about “What If…” visit netNebraska.org/whatif.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  Sandi Karstens, 402-470-6578, skarstens@netNebraska.org

NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, is the statewide public media service dedicated to creating opportunities for Nebraskans to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. NET serves each of Nebraska’s 93 counties with 52,560 hours of programming each year on four television and two radio channels, plus online and mobile content. In addition to providing free, high-quality educational programming for children, NET provides programming in the arts, award-winning news and current affairs information and emergency alert services. For more information about NET, visit netNebraska.org.