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405 Episodes Play All Episdoes
Our 200th episode is SUN-sational!
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time6 days ago
There’s no better way to celebrate our 200th episode than with our own shining star: the sun! In this episode we speak with Dr. Nicola Fox, who leads a team of NASA scientists that sent a probe to collect data and zoom by the sun. We also hear some great listener suggestions on what new planet could be added to our solar system. We even get a chance to check in with The Sun and her weekly broadcast, That’s Hot. Our 200th episode wouldn’t be complete without a visit from some of our favorite pals: Bob, Gungador, Harvey and Elevator! Of course there’s a new Mystery Sound too. And the Moment of Um comes just in time for mosquito season, because it answers the question: Why do we itch? Thank you so much for helping us make 200 episodes! We could never have done it without your questions and encouragement, and we can’t wait to make 200 more! This episode was sponsored by: ID Tech (idtech.com/brainson) Sakara (sakara.com/brainson) GoHenry (gohenry.com promo code: brainson)
How far can a cloud travel?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time13 days ago
We’ve all played the “what does that cloud look like” game. Maybe you saw a bunny… or an airplane… or a unicorn. What if that same cloud could also be seen by someone in a far off continent? That’s what a listener in Minnesota wondered. He wanted to know if the same cloud he saw in a park near his house could also be seen in Africa. We talk to Deanna Hence, one of our favorite weather experts, and she tells us about how clouds travel. We also dust off the Zoom Ray to learn about what is inside of a cloud. And have you ever noticed the similarities between cloud types, like cumulonimbus, and magic spells from Harry Potter? Well, we have, and we made a game out of it! We also have a brand new Mystery Sound for your guessing pleasure and a Moment of Um that answers the question: Why do pugs have such scrunchy faces? This episode was sponsored by: Indeed.com (indeed.com/brainson)
Totally Slothsome: All about sloths
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time20 days ago
There’s more to sloths than slowness. They’re great at saving energy, hanging upside down, and swimming! In this episode, Sloth Appreciation Society founder Lucy Cooke stops by to tell us all about these amazing animals. We also get into a sloth mystery: The Case of the Perilous Poop Journey. Luckily, there’s a sloth sleuth on the case. And sloths aren’t the only animals who aren’t in a hurry — a few others show off their slowest skills. There’s also a Mystery Sound for you to guess, and a Moment of Um: Why do ostriches stick their heads in the ground? This episode was sponsored by: Mathnasium (mathnasium.com) KiwiCo (kiwico.com Promo code: BRAINSON)
How do computers store so much info in such a tiny space?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time27 days ago
If you translate “Hello! How are you?” to binary code, it looks like this: 01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111 00100001 00100000 01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00111111 This episode takes a look at how computers can do so much with such tiny parts. But computers weren't always small -- so we take a look at where computers came from. We visit Ada Lovelace, whose love of math and weaving paved the way for modern-day computers. And we hear about the material that let computers shrink from the size of a room to something that fits in our pockets. There’s also a visit from a yak and a ram, but you’re just going to have to listen to find out why. All that plus a new Mystery Sound and Moment of Um that answers the question: what is the flavor of root beer? This episode is sponsored by Mathnasium (Mathnasium.com) and Sun Basket (sunbasket.com promo code: brains on)
How does taste work? We react to our very first episode!
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 month ago
 Brains On has a very special milestone coming up -- it’s almost our 200th episode! To celebrate, we're re-listening to our very first episode which was all about eating. We'll play the episode and chime in with commentary to give you some behind the scenes glimpses and backstories along the way. We’ll also hear an update from our very first co-host ever -- Ian Roberts, who is now a college student and an adult. Plus a brand new Moment of Um answers the question: Why do we have birthmarks? This episode is sponsored by: Mathnasium (mathnasium.com) GoHenry (gohenry.com promo code brainson)
Like bread and cheese? Thank fungus!
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 month ago
That fuzzy sandwich in your fridge? Yeah, don't eat that kind of fungus. But the mushrooms in your stir fry? Or the yeast in your bread? Or the rind on your brie? Or the miso in your soup? All of those delicious foods are possible thanks to fungus! In this episode, we'll learn about how our ancestors first figured it out some mushrooms were safe to eat, we'll learn about the microbes that make cheese possible, and we'll meet some fungal chefs who are key to cooking up some of our favorite foods. Plus a brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: "How does rubbing two sticks together make fire?" This episode was sponsored by: Mathnasium (mathnasium.com) Sakara (sakara.com/brainson) Indeed (indeed.com/brainson)
Is mold alive? A look at fascinating fungus
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time2 months ago
Fungus deserves a party because it’s everywhere and super important to life on this planet. The kingdom of fungus includes mushrooms and molds, but also yeasts, like the kinds that help make bread. So today, we’re embracing the ick, we’re snuggling up to the slimy, we’re making friends with mold and mushrooms… It’s a full on Fung-o-Rama! We'll learn about a day in the life of mold, a fungus that turns ants into zombies, and how fungi will help us in the fight against climate change. All that, plus a brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: "How does air fry?" This episode is sponsored by: Purple(purple.com/brainson10 promo code brainson10) KiwiCo (kiwico.com promo code brainson) ID Tech (idtech.com/brainson code brainson)
Is time travel Possible?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time3 months ago
Will we ever get to rewind time, or fast forward through it? Sanden stops by to tell us all about how time works. He also has a couple ideas about how we might make time travel a reality! But one tricky thing about time travel is that it’s full of paradoxes — so we look into those, too. And science fiction expert Lisa Yaszek swings by to tell us just how long humans have been thinking about time travel (hint: a really long time). Listen closely for the mystery sound, and the moment of um: how do clothes get dirty even though you can’t see it? Today’s episode is sponsored by: Mathnasium: (mathnasium.com) and Sun Basket (sunbasket.com/brainson - promo code: brains on)
Mystery Sound Extravaganza 2021
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time3 months ago
What's that you hear? That's right, It's an episode of nothing but mystery sounds! Are your ears up to the challenge? Plus, we'll hear an answer to the question: "How do squirrels find their nuts after they bury them?" If you'd like to submit a mystery sound, you can share it with us here: brainson.org/contact. And, you can support the show at brainson.org/fans. Or, you can also buy our book, complete with Mystery Photos, at brainson.org/shop or at your favorite local bookstore. Today’s episode was sponsored by: Sitka Salmon Shares (sitkashares.com/brainson) Purple (purple.com/brainson10)
What did dinosaurs sound like?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time3 months ago
Did dinosaurs roar? Or meow? And how do we know? Paleontologist Julia Clarke stops by to talk about sounds T-Rex might’ve made. We know a bit more about other dino sounds, and dinosaur expert Riley Black fills us in on those. Plus, a game about dinosaur names, and a look at how dinos might’ve moved with paleontologist Jingmai O’Connor. Stick around for the mystery sound, and a Moment of Um that answers this head-scratcher: How does hair dye work? This episode was sponsored by: Sun Basket (sunbasket.com/brainson promo code: brainson) Mathnasium (mathnasium.com) FDA (fda.gov/feedyourmind)
Dino Edition: How do we know what dinosaurs looked like?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time4 months ago
20 years ago, we pictured dinosaurs as green, scaly animals. But times have changed! Now, we know some dinosaurs had feathers. And who knows — maybe some even had stripes. This episode looks at how we figure out what color dinosaurs might’ve been. We talk to Jingmai O’Connor, who studies fossil reptiles, about finding color pigment in fossils. And paleoartist Emily Willoughby talks to a “museum” about how her dino-depictions have changed over the years.  Our co-host, Elyana, also brought us this important question: If dinosaurs evolved from birds and birds don’t fart, did dinosaurs fart? Wha-wha-what!?! Look no further than this episode for an extensive investigation. Remember to keep your ears open for the brand new Mystery Sound. And break out your kilns, because today’s Moment of Um answers this question: How do you make clay for pottery? There’s so much dino-tastic information that we decided to make a second dinosaur episode. So if you haven’t had enough (and who has?), make sure to check out next week’s show about what dinosaurs might have sounded like. This episode is sponsored by: Mathnasium (Mathnasium.com) KiwiCo (kiwico.com checkout code: BRAINSON)
What's in the COVID vaccine?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time4 months ago
In this episode, we're using our zoom ray to zoom way in and answer your questions about the COVID vaccine. What's in the COVID vaccine? How does it work? And how do they make it? We'll also look at how our fight against the new coronavirus has had a huge impact on another virus: influenza. And, we'll head to a stadium to learn what 95% effective means for a vaccine. (Warning: There are seagulls overhead!) Plus, we'll have a brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: what do scientists eat in Antarctica? Read Katherine Wu’s article about what’s happening with the flu this year: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/02/covid-19-flu-season/617924/ Find the rest of our episodes about coronavirus here, including episodes on the vaccine, masks, social distancing, and how we’re processing this historic time: https://www.brainson.org/page/coronavirus This episode is sponsored by: Sitka Salmon Shares (sitkasalmonshares.com/brainson) and Purple.com (Purple.com: purple.com/brainson10 promo code: brainson10)
Why do we have crushes?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time4 months ago
When you've got a crush on someone, it can feel a bit overwhelming. All of a sudden, you might have butterflies in your stomach! And maybe you find yourself acting differently than you normally would. Why does our brain do this to us anyway? In this episode, we'll answer a slew of your crush-related questions: Why do we get crushes? Why do they make you feel so many feelings? How do you decide who you have a crush on? Plus, how do you navigate all the tricky parts of crushes -- like your crush finding out you like them? We tackle all these questions. Stick around for a Moment of Um that answers: "What would happened if it rained oobleck?"
Let's go bananas!
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time5 months ago
HARVEY, our omnipresent virtual voice assistant, gets a software update that makes him go bananas for bananas. And if we talk about anything except bananas, he turns the microphones off! We talk to geneticist Dr. Janina Jeff about how much DNA we share with a banana, find out why bananas make other fruits ripen, how bananas grow, and where that slipping on a banana peel joke came from. Speaking of jokes, we'll hear a bunch of banana jokes from listeners too! Plus: The Moment of Um answers the question: "Why are peaches fuzzy?" You can hear more from Dr. Jeff on her podcast In Those Genes. Silent film expert Lea Stans has a wonderful blog post about the history of the banana peel joke that you can read right here. You can see some of those early comics that featured the joke!  https://www.youtube.com/watch/RMDgmHB4znc Today’s episode is sponsored by: KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson code: BRAINSON) Purple (purple.com/BRAINSON10 promo code BRAINSON10)
A super special shot: All about coronavirus vaccines
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time5 months ago
In December, people started getting vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a huge scientific accomplishment and important step in making it safe for us to hang out in person again. So how did scientists develop this vaccine so fast? And how did they test it to make sure it's safe? And how do these mRNA vaccines work? We have answers to all your questions, plus New York Times science journalist Apoorva Mandavilli explains what scientists have found out about how long immunity lasts to this new coronavirus. And Kara and Gilly are back with a cow-side chat about herd immunity. Plus: A new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question, "What would happen if the moon fell down onto earth?" Today’s episode is sponsored by Sitka Salmon Shares (http://sitkasalmonshares.com/brainson)
Meet Gitanjali Rao, Time Magazine's first-ever Kid of the Year
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time5 months ago
Today we have a special episode featuring an old friend of ours -- scientist and inventor Gitanjali Rao. Time Magazine recently named her the first-ever Kid of the Year! We first met Gitanjali back in 2018, when she was the co-host for a series of episodes we did all about water. Back then, she was a 12 year old who had recently won 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Now, she's a very busy 15 year-old who is an inventor, STEM advocate and author. Molly and Gitanjali chat about how kids can turn their ideas into reality, and why kids shouldn't be afraid to share their viewpoints and skills with the world -- we need them! Gitanjali has also written a book, which you can check out here. Also, you can hear Gitanjali judge a very science-y Smash Boom Debate: Helium vs Neon! Check out the water series that Gitanjali co-hosted: What’s in your water? The wonderful weirdness of water Keeping water healthy, one clue at a time Burning rivers of fire
How do synthesizers work?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time5 months ago
Synthesizers are a very recent invention, especially when you compare them to acoustic instruments, like pianos and guitars. In this episode, we learn how these machines with keys, knobs, switches, buttons and sliders actually make sound. We’ll also travel back to the 1960’s and hear how synth pioneers like Bob Moog helped bring these sound making devices into the mainstream. Plus, we’ll check in with Suzanne Ciani, who has been using her synthesizer to create iconic sounds for movies, television and video games for over 50 years! All that plus a striking Mystery Sound and Moment of Um that answers the question: Do airplanes have a speed limit? Today’s episode is sponsored by Sun Basket (sunbasket.com/brainson promo code: brainson)
Why is it so hard to break a habit?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time6 months ago
If habits are really stuck, we don't think much about them -- we just do them! Some habits are good (like brushing your teeth in the morning) and others are not as good (like biting your nails). Today we find out what parts of our brains help us form habits and why it's actually super useful to not have to think so hard about everything. Gungador tries to break a bad habit, and we find out the best tips for ditching habits we want to leave behind. Plus: A brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: "How do 3D glasses work?If you want to join the Brains On fan club and get a mailing of awesome temporary tattoos, have an adult sign up or update your mailing address at brainson.org/fanclubToday’s episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com and promo code BRAINSON) and Purple (purple.com/brainson10 and promo code BRAINSON10).
Smash Boom Best: Flowers vs Rainbows
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time7 months ago
We’ll be back with new episodes in January. But we wanted to share another show with you that we’ve been working on: Smash Boom Best! It’s a debate show where we take two cool things, smash them together and let you decide which one is best. Today we’re sharing with you an excerpt from a debate featuring our very own Sanden Totten: Flowers vs RainbowsSanden is repping team flowers and our good friend Joy Dolo, host of Forever Ago, is arguing for team rainbows.To hear the rest of the debate, find Smash Boom Best wherever you listen to podcasts. There are over 30 debates ready for your binge listening this holiday season! Play along at home by yourself -- or with your family! You can find score sheets and other fun stuff at smashboom.org
Bones from the inside out
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time8 months ago
Bones! They’re spooky. They’re creepy. They’re utterly fascinating!This episode we dig up the science behind skeletons. We’ll look at how our bones grow, what happens when we break a bone and why bones last so long. Plus, we’ll meet a talking skeleton who will help us bone up on bone trivia!And we have a mystery sound to tickle your auditory ossicles and a Moment of Um that answers the question: Why does time fly when you're having fun?We’re taking a break after this episode and will be back with new episodes on Jan. 5th. Until then, we’d love for you to go check out our sister show Smash Boom Best (smashboom.org). We’re also going to be doing a live virtual hangout in November where you can ask Molly, Marc, Sanden and Menaka all your questions. Anything you want to ask, we’ll answer! If you want to join us, the first step is to sign up for our totally free fan club (brainson.org/fans). In November we’ll send an email out to the fan club with more details about this free, virtual hang out. So keep an eye out for that!This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson), Ancestry (ancestry.com/brainson), Purple (purple.com/brainson10), Guardian Bikes (guardianbikes.com/brains), and Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls (pillsbury.com/products/cinnamon-rolls). You can support the show and help us keep making new episodes at brainson.org/donate
Why do siblings annoy each other?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time8 months ago
Having a sibling is a special thing -- but, wow, can they be annoying! In this episode we’ll look at why our brothers and sisters are so good at pushing our buttons. Plus, is there any truth to the idea that oldest kids are the most mature and the youngest ones are the most charming? We’ll look at the science of personality and birth order. We also visit a sibling drive-thru, get quizzed about animal relationships and answer this question in our Moment of Um: why does rain come in small droplets? This episode is sponsored by: KiwiCo (https://kiwico.com/brainson) Ancestry (https://ancestry.com/brainson) White Hat Jr. (https://www.whitehatjr.com/) General Mills Pillsbury (https://www.pillsbury.com/products/cinnamon-rolls) If you want to find out more about how to stop bullying, please go to Stop Bullying Speak Up: http://includesomeone.com/
Past, present and future: Using time to understand this pandemic
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time9 months ago
If time feels weird to you lately, you’re not alone. The pandemic has changed the pace of life for people around the world. We’ll talk to a psychologist about how our sense of time works. We’ll look back into the past to see how a similar pandemic played out 100 years ago. Plus, we’ll ask experts to tell us what they think life will be like six months from now. Oh yeah, and virus podcasters Kara and Gilly are back to tell you how you can be a part of history! Warning: Boogers are involved. Our Moment of Um answers the question: why do your arms move when you walk? This episode is sponsored by: Stop Bullying Speak Up (http://includesomeone.com) KiwiCo (https://kiwico.com/brainson) Laurel Springs Online School (https://laurelsprings.com/brainson) AncestryHealth (https://ancestryhealth.com/brainson) Daily Harvest (https://dailyharvest.com) General Mills Pillsbury (https://www.pillsbury.com/products/cinnamon-rolls)
Behind the scenes: See how we make the show
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time9 months ago
A listener asked how making  Brains On is different during the pandemic. So with this episode we're giving you a peek into how we're making the show while staying safe. Spoiler alert: we're doing it all from our homes! What's the best way to record crystal clear sound at home? (Hint: Lots of soft surfaces!) How do we make sound effects? How do we get all the animals, humans and machines in our homes to keep it down while we tape? Plus: We asked our co-hosts to share what it was like for them to record and episode from home. All that, plus a brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: how do rocks form? This episode is sponsored by: Purple.com (https://purple.com/brainson10 Promo code: brainson10) Daily Harvest (https://dailyharvest.com Promo code: brainson) PayPal - you can download the PayPal app at https://paypal.com
The buzz on bees, pt. 2
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time9 months ago
In this second episode on bees (a bee-quel, you might say!) we’re taking a look at pollination: the many pollination talents of different bees, why pollination is so important, and what you can do to help wild bees!  The tables are turned in the Mystery Sound department: our beekeeping cohosts have a sound for Menaka and Sanden to guess! And the Moment of Um answers an age-old stumper: how are alligators and crocodiles different? Want to hear more about bees? Listen to The buzz about bees, pt. 1 (https://www.brainson.org/episode/2020/09/08/the-buzz-on-bees-pt-1) This episode is sponsored by: Ancestory.com (http://ancestry.com/brainson), General Mills Pillsbury (https://www.pillsbury.com/products/cinnamon-rolls) and Varsity Tutors (http://varsitytutors.com/brainson)
The buzz on bees, pt. 1
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time10 months ago
We’re making a big buzz about bees! Our pollen-collecting friends get so much done, and we’re taking a look at how they live. We’ll bust some bee myths and meet some honeybees for a look at life inside the hive. Our mystery sound is from a listener (here’s a hint: they recorded the sound in Alaska!), and our Moment of Um answers a buzzworthy question: Why do beehives look like hexagons? And! One episode on bees just isn’t enough. We’ll be back next week with more buzz on pollination. Today’s episode is sponsored by Native (https://native.com/brainson | Promo code: brainson), Laurel Springs (http://laurelsprings.com/brainson) and Daily Harvest (http://dailyharvest.com Promo code: brainson)
Stars: Twinkling, glowing, giant balls of gas
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time10 months ago
Those tiny pinpoints of light glittering in the night sky are actually incredibly distant, giant, churning balls of gas. They produce huge quantities of light and heat. In this episode, Mars interviews the biggest star in his eyes: the sun! We also ask astronomer Moiya McTier to help us count all the stars in the universe. And we'll hear a couple of the stories that people here on earth tell about the stars. Plus, a brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: how do whales drink? This episode is sponsored by Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com/brains) and School Mask Pack (http://schoolmaskpack.com/brainson). You can support the show at brainson.org/fans. Find out more about our book at bit.ly/brainsonbook and our book events at brainson.org/events
Poop Party: Answers to your poo questions
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time10 months ago
Warning! This episode is all about the fascinating and gross world of doo doo. We know you have a lot of poo questions because you’ve sent many, many of them to us. So we’re finally bringing you the poo answers! It’s a poop party!We’ve invited scientists to tell us about weird animal feces. (It’s true! Wombats have cube-shaped poop!)We tune into a news channel all about dookie (see the Bristol Stool Chart here: https://www.bladderandbowel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BBC002_Bristol-Stool-Chart-Jan-2016.pdf).We hear from our favorite “poo-tuber” Taylor the Turd about how some poops are helping fight serious illnesses. (Remember Taylor? Here’s her first appearance: https://www.brainson.org/shows/2019/03/19/flush-where-does-our-poo-and-pee-go)Plus, a sorta stinky Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um answering a question: why is pee yellow?This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson) and Laurel Springs (laurelsprings.com/brainson). Fill out a quick survey to tell us more about yourself: podsurvey.com/brains
Introducing: Million Bazillion
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time11 months ago
We’re thrilled to share a brand new show with you. It’s called Million Bazillion and it’s all about money -- how we earn it, how we save it and how we spend it.In the first episode you’ll travel back thousands of years to learn the ways people got what they needed before money was invented. Back then some people traded goods, others made pacts to share what they had. We’ll also meet the king who came up with the idea for coins. Plus, Kristen Bell designs her own money!This show is a collaboration between Brains On and Marketplace. It’s hosted by Jed Kim with Bridget Bodnar. You can listen to more episodes here, or subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Masks and mouth mist: What we know about the coronavirus now
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time11 months ago
Since the world first learned about this new coronavirus at the end of 2019, we’ve been watching science happen in real time. Scientists all over the world are studying this virus and learning how to protect us from it. As they learn new things, we learn new things too. One thing they’ve learned is how this virus spreads. The primary culprit is droplets from our noses and mouths. That’s why masking up is so important to protect our communities. We’ve also been hearing from a lot of listeners wanting to know about the future: when will the vaccine be ready? what will it be like at school? when will things go back to normal? We're going to do our best to answer some of these questions in our next coronavirus episode. But they don’t have concrete answers right now. Right now, trying to look a month, or a year into the future is hard. We call this feeling of not knowing what will happen -- uncertainty. And it’s hard to deal with. Our brains likes being able to predict what’s going to happen because it makes us feel safe. When we feel unsafe, that’s when anxiety kicks in.  One way to deal with this anxiety is to focus on the present -- what’s happening right now.  It’s also important to let yourself feel your feelings and know you’re not alone in them. It’s normal right now to feel frustrated, or angry, or sad, or all of them at the same time. But also try to think about the moments you have that are fun, and the times you feel contentment and happiness. If you’re having trouble staying focused on the present there are some tricks you can try: Look around you and make a list in your head of everything you see that is green. Try to think of all the character’s names in your favorite book or tv show Take deep breaths -- inhale for four counts, hold that breath for four, and then exhale for four Distract yourself by going outside, or watching a movie or reading a book.  If you’re still having trouble keeping your mind off the “what ifs” it’s great to talk to your parents or another adult you trust. There are always people who want to help you. If you need help and aren’t sure who to talk to, you can call 800 273-8255. It's a free phone call, and people are there all the time, ready to listen and help. MORE: The Child Mind Institute has a lot of resources for families about how to deal with this uncertain time. (https://childmind.org/coping-during-covid-19-resources-for-parents/) This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson) and Native (nativedeo.com/brainson) - use promo code: BRAINSON at checkout.
The world of tiny robots
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time11 months ago
We’re talking all about teeny, tiny robots in today’s episode. You know, the ones that are as light as a postage stamp and as look like insects? They may be small, but these robots can still take in information and make decisions on their own. Find out how bees and cockroaches are teaching us about the future of small robots and what big tasks they might take on. There’s also a new Mystery Sound to rattle your ears. Plus a moment of Um that answers the question: Why does the sun stay in one place? This episode was sponsored by KiwiCo (www.kiwico.com/brainson)
Why do kids have more energy than adults?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time12 months ago
We’re taking on an age-old question today: Do kids have more energy than adults? Breakfast tacos, caffeine, an energized DJ and an epic battle between a girl and her parents. This episode has all that and then some. Discover how we turn food into energy at an awesome taco party. Then pump up the jams with DJ Thyroid. Speaking of music, get ready for a song from Lake Street Dive’s Mike Olson. And just when you think the show might be out of energy, we engage in an out-of breath competition between a kid and her parents. Plus, there’s a brand new Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um about why we lose our voices sometimes. This episode is sponsored by Laurel Springs Online School (laurelsprings.com/brainson) and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson)
Why does green mean go? And other color conundrums
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
The world is full of color, but how do our eyes see it? In this episode we’ll explain how color vision works, complete with a journey to a jazz club in the back of your eye. We’ll also look at the cultural meanings of the color red, we’ll find out about a new type of blue, and we’ll find out why stoplights use green to mean go. Our Moment of Um tackles the question, “why are bees black and yellow?” This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson) and Nurture Life (use code: BRAINS at checkout).
Injustice and Anger: Understanding your emotions
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
A lot of us are angry right now, with good reason. We’re seeing people treated unfairly because of racism -- that’s when people don’t like someone’s race or the color of their skin.In this episode we’ll talk about how anger can be a useful emotion and can be used to push for change. We’ll also revisit parts of our 2019 series on emotions, including an explanation of the hormones behind anger, why some of us are quicker to anger than others and what we can do when we feel overwhelmed by our feelings. Plus, our Moment of Um tackles the question, “What happens when lightning strikes water?” If you want to talk to your kids about race but don’t know where to start, we suggest reading this article (https://bit.ly/3eEss5k) by pediatricians Dr. Jacqueline Dougé, & Dr. Ashaunta Anderson or Talking to Kids About Race by Heather Greenwood Davis (https://on.natgeo.com/306a2Xe).There are great books to help your family start a conversation about race. Here's a list from Embrace Race (https://bit.ly/2U1SvLV). Or try Brown Bookshelf's Generations Book Club (https://bit.ly/3gSljA3).This episode is sponsored by Laurel Springs (laurelsprings.com/brainson) and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate.
Introducing: Julie's Library
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
We're very excited to share an episode of a brand new podcast we've been working on called Julie's Library. It’s hosted by the legendary, the one and only, Julie Andrews. Every week, she and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton read from their favorite children’s books. The featured book in this episode is Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen, and illustrated by Matt Phelan. You can listen to more episodes and subscribe at Apple Podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/julies-library-story-time-with-julie-andrews/id1507980417), Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/show/7l9G5ddvRI3BqLf2WVCOS7), Google Podcasts (http://tiny.cc/wrhrpz), or wherever you usually listen. Find out more at julieslibraryshow.org
Coronavirus: How to be a helper from home
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
We’re all doing our best to stay safe from coronavirus, but is there anything we can do for others as well? In this episode we look at some ways you can help from home, like by making masks, donating to food banks or writing letters. Two stars of the World Handwashing Federation stop by to explain the science of how water actually dries out our hands. Plus, Kara and Gilly interview science journalist Carl Zimmer on the weird world of viruses, including some viruses that help people! There’s a listener-submitted mystery sound and this week’s Moment of Um tackles the question: how do seashells get their shape? This episode is sponsored by Betty Crocker bettycrocker.com and Care.com promo code: BRAINS
Thinking ink: The scoop on this colorful stuff!
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
Ink is amazing. It helps us captures our thoughts, comes in many colors and some of it is even made by animals! In this episode we explore the history of this special substance. We’ll also talk squid ink with biologist Sarah McAnulty and explain how tattoos work. Plus, your poems about ink! Obviously there’s also a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: what happens if salt is poured on snails? This episode is sponsored in part by Betty Crocker - bettycrocker.com and Laurel Springs School - laurelsprings.com/brainson
Mystery Sound Extravaganza 2020
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
You don’t have to search far to find amazing Mystery Sounds. If you listen, you can find them in every room of your house. Today’s episode is chock full of these audible wonders. They are cotton candy for the ears! They are the notes to make your tympanic membrane sing! It’s time for the Mystery Sound Extravaganza! An episode made up of nothing but Mystery Sounds, most of them recorded by our amazing listeners.Plus, today's Moment of Um answers this stumper: when your eyes are closed, are your pupils big or small? Today’s episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson)
Can you dig to the center of the Earth?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
Like an onion, the Earth has layers. In this episode we’ll see if you can dig through those layers to get to the center of the planet. We’ll also hear about the Danish scientist who discovered more about Earth’s core by studying earthquakes. Plus, we investigate the phrase “dig a hole to China.” Children’s book author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers stops by to talk about the Earth’s crust. “Here We Are,” his book about our vast and wonderful planet, was just turned into a movie (you can find it on Apple TV+). And our Moment of Um answers the question: do fish have tongues? All that and a Mystery Sound in this very layered episode! This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson) and Skylight Frame (skylightframe.com/brains). You can support the show at brainson.org/fans
Joy Overload! The science of tickles and cuteness
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
Get ready for some smiles! We’re looking at the science of two things that bring us joy: tickles and cuteness. We’ll explain why tickles make us giggle and why you can’t tickle yourself. Then we’ll talk about what makes cute things cute and why sometimes we want to eat or smoosh cute things. Plus, a super cute Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um answering the question: “Can a moon have a moon?” This episode is sponsored by iD Tech (idtech.com/brains). You can support the show at brainson.org/fans
Virus Busters: How scientists are working to stop the coronavirus
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
Scientists around the world are working fast to fight the new coronavirus. They’re developing medicines to help people who are sick. They’re also working on vaccines to stop the virus from spreading. In this episode we’ll explain how these treatments work and we’ll give you some tips on keeping six feet from other people while taking a stroll outside. Oh, and Kara and Gilly stop by to drop some epic virus facts. Plus a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that looks at whether or not worms sleep. Today’s episode is sponsored by Laurel Springs (laurelsprings.com/brainson). You can support this non-profit public radio podcast at brainson.org/fans Please note that this episode was released on April 7, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, please head to trusted sources like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To learn more about how viruses spread, you can listen to our first episode about this new coronavirus: Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread: https://www.brainson.org/shows/2020/03/10/understanding-coronavirus-and-how-germs-spread-for-kids And to learn about why it’s important to stay home, listen to our second episode: Staying home: How social distancing helps fight coronavirus: https://www.brainson.org/shows/2020/03/24/staying-home-how-social-distancing-helps-fight-coronavirus For more on how our immune system fights viruses, check out our episode: How do flu vaccines work? https://www.brainson.org/shows/2019/10/08/how-do-flu-vaccines-work For more on how to know which sources of information are trustworthy, you can check out our four-part series Prove It:Part one: A brief history of facts: https://www.brainson.org/shows/2018/10/02/a-brief-history-of-facts-prove-it-part-1Part two: Science under the microscope: https://www.brainson.org/shows/2018/10/09/science-under-the-microscope-prove-it-part-2Part three: The scoop on journalism: https://www.brainson.org/shows/2018/10/16/the-scoop-on-journalism-prove-it-part-3Part four: How to find the facts: https://www.brainson.org/shows/2018/10/23/how-to-find-the-facts-prove-it-part-4
Do plants have feelings?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
There’s more to plants than meets the eye. They detect sounds, they defend themselves against insect attacks and they can even send each other secret messages through the wind! Our leafy, green friends sense and interact with the world in their own, planty way. We’ll learn all about it in this episode, plus we’ll find out why some plants like to grow in spots where other plants have died. We’ve also got a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: why do bats sleep upside down? This episode is sponsored by Khan Academy (khan.com/freekidsapp)
Staying home: How social distancing helps fight coronavirus
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
Lots of schools are closed and people are staying home. In this episode we’ll explain how this could help slow the spread of the new coronavirus. We’ll explain some terms you’re probably hearing too, like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve.” Plus, we talk with a doctor who is on the front lines helping people get better, and two virus podcasters help answer your coronavirus questions like “how did this virus start” and “can our pets get sick too?” And of course there’s a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um looking at why our tongues stick to ice. This episode is sponsored by Perfect Snacks (perfectbar.com/brainson)
Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
It’s impossible to miss the news about coronavirus, but you probably still have lots of questions. What exactly is it? How does it spread? Can I protect myself? In this episode we’ll breakdown what we know about this new virus and tell you how to stay safe. Plus, we’ll listen to a podcast hosted by two chatty viruses to learn how these germs spread (and how our bodies fight back). We’ve also got a special message from some super tough hand washers. Plus a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that looks at why shoelaces come untied. Please note that this episode was released on March 10, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, please head to trusted sources like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more on how our immune system fights viruses, check out our episode How do flu vaccines work? Our friends at NPR made a really excellent comic about the new coronavirus, and you can read it here. For more on how to know which sources of information are trustworthy, you can check out our four-part series Prove It:Part one: A brief history of factsPart two: Science under the microscopePart three: The scoop on journalismPart four: How to find the facts This episode is sponsored by Blinkist (blinkist.com/brains) and Laurel Springs Online School (laurelsprings.com/brainson)
Weather Watching: The birth of forecasts
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
Humans have been predicting weather for a long time - way before modern technology. So how did they do it? We’ll meet the man who invented the word “forecast” and brought weather reports to the newspaper. Plus, we'll tell you how to watch for signs of rain and we'll learn about the field of phenology. Oh, and we’ve got a Mystery Sound, Moment of Um and a weather lore game show. So grab an umbrella and tune in because this episode has a 100% chance of being super interesting. Today’s episode is sponsored by Khan Academy Kids (khan.co/freekidsapp) and Perfect Kids (perfectbar.com/brainson). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/fans. And you can find information about our live shows in Boston, Washington DC and New York at brainson.org/fans.
The secret world of dust
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
Dust looks gray and boring to us, but it’s full of secrets! Like did you know that up close, dust is colorful? And there are creatures living in your dust? And some dust comes from outer space? We’ll take you on a tour of the dust universe and show you how dust can help solve crimes. Plus, we learn about the tiny critters living all over your skin! And of course there’s a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: why do we jump when we’re scared? This episode is sponsored by Care (care.com/brains) and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson)
Canine club: From wolves to dogs!
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
How did wolves go from wild, untamed animals to the friendly furballs we know as dogs? In this episode we’ll learn about how our canine companions evolved. Plus, we’ll get a howling lesson, meet a pack of Alaskan wolves that moved to the Minnesota Zoo and hear what wolves mean to members of the Anishinabe Nation. And don’t forget: an action packed Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um about chapped lips. This episode is sponsored by Perfect Snacks (perfectbar.com/brainson) and Blinkist (blinkist.com/brains).
Mirrors, sequins and glitter: what makes them shine?
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
Have you ever entered the mirror-verse and heard yourself talking back? Well, that’s what happens in today’s episode. We take a look (pun intended) at how mirrors work and talk to a scientist to find out what color they are. And in a history of sequins, we learn why, for a long time, rain was a disaster for glittery gowns. Not only can you make today’s Mystery Sound, but you can use it to spiff up your crafts. All that, plus a Moment of Um about why words start sounding funny funny funny funny funny when you repeat them. This episode is sponsored by: KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson), Laurel Springs Online School (laurelsprings.com/brainson), and the MacMillan Kids book, “Astronauts: Women on the final frontier” (https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626728776).
Aliens and UFOs: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 4
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
In the final episode of our series about myths and legends, we’re launching our imaginations into outer space! Monster expert Emily Zarka tells us about her favorite alien and why aliens fascinate so many people. In the Hoax Hunters season finale, Marc and Sanden bring us a UFO spoof. Plus, scientists give us the lowdown on the real quest for extraterrestrial life — we haven’t found any yet. And, planets and moons compete for the title of ‘most likely to have life’. A new moment of um keeps us outside the atmosphere: why does space look so dark if the sun is so bright? Today’s episode is sponsored by The American Dental Association (ada.org/brains). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate and get a bonus Mystery Sound Extravaganza episode in January!
Mermaids, Kraken and the Loch Ness Monster: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 3
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time1 year ago
What’s lurking in the depths of the ocean? Or your local loch? We’re diving deep into the world of water-dwelling mythical creatures in part three of our series on myths. We’ll talk with monster expert Emily Zarka and learn about the very real creature that may have inspired the tale of the Kraken. We’ll also hear from a frustrated manatee and dugong, and get caught up on all the latest deep sea trends. Marc and Sanden are back with a Hoax Hunters about the Loch Ness Monster. Plus, a Moment of Um about our physical reaction to fear.Today’s episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate and get a bonus Mystery Sound Extravaganza episode this January!
Lost Cities: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 2
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
access_time2 years ago
Was Atlantis a real city? If not, why have so many people gone looking for it? In part two of our series on modern myths and legends, we’re searching for lost cities. We’ll trace the origins of El Dorado, and head to the ruins of an actual lost city in Egypt. We'll find out how mangrove trees could help prevent cities from being lost to climate change, and Sanden and Marc are back with another edition of Hoax Hunters. Plus, a Moment of Um about how tattoos stay put. Today’s episode is sponsored by Quip (getquip.com/brains), KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains), American Dental Association (ADA.org/brains) and Stitch Fix Kids (stitchfix.com/kids/brains). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate and get a bonus Mystery Sound Extravaganza episode this January!