I have been thinking about this for several years. It is a reality show that would not only help the country, but the school and university systems also.
Here is my premise:
The President(only he could do this, with the help of Congress) announces to the Nation that we are going back into space, this time to colonize the Moon, or maybe Mars. But instead of the government financing this project, which would cost billions, he institutes a new reality based TV show which has groups of scientists from across the country from the top 10 colleges in the country refurbish or rebuild the shuttles that were recently decommissioned. And further more, the show will be shown on all 4 major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and to be fair I'm adding FOX in there) on a schedule to be set up at a later date. Who will pay for this, you might ask? The same people that put up millions to advertise the big budget movies and the TV shows that air every night. That's right. Make them use all that money for something good.
How will this help our schools and colleges? The 10 colleges will be given tax credits for every new invention or innovation that gets their particular team closer to getting their craft into space and on its' way to its' destination. Also, schools across the country will compete to get their students into the colleges. Those that do will also get tax credits. Hopefully, students will embrace this and try harder in school, as they will be given a full scholarship to one of the ten schools. Parents might even try and help their children learn more and do better in school, as this will take the burden of them paying for college, or their child having to take out student loans that take years to pay off.
To outfit the shuttles will take many different types of academic knowledge. Science (obviously), physics, engineering, mathematics, hydroponics, astronomy, the list is endless, so everyone will have a chance to compete. I mean, someone has to figure out how to make toilet paper when they get to the Moon or Mars, for Pete's sake! It doesn't grow on trees (well, not on the Moon or Mars, as there are no trees there, yet)!
So far in this admittedly far-fetched writing no one is losing. The people of the Nation don't have to pay more taxes or spend any money out of pocket to get the space program relaunched, except to buy the products that the advertisers are using to sponsor the shows. The government isn't losing anything but a few tax breaks, which they won't need anyway if the public is buying all of the products that are being advertised. They get taxes from that product everytime it sells. Parents will take more pride in their childen if they are excelling in school, plus saving money by not paying for their children to go to college. The colleges win by getting better students and the tax breaks. The advertisers make their money back by selling their product. Heck, the children of today may even benefit by actually learning in school.
This is actually a simple idea. It is probably too simple. Whoever our next President is, hopefully he would see the benefits of this idea. But government doesn't like to take the easy way. There will be those that think we are entitling the more gifted people in the Nation, but that's not the case. This should make everyone want to do a little better, push themselves to do more, learn more.
This reality show would run for years, because, face it, it will take longer than 1 season to get those shuttles into space. This reality show could, in reality (pun intended), run for at least 20 years. Think of how far we will go in that time. The advancements in all of the sciences and other achievements. how many geniuses will surface in that time? Time will tell. It always does.
Anyway, thanks for reading. Hope to hear from ya'll.