Brains On! Science podcast for kids
Brains On! Science podcast for kids
American Public Media
Brains On!® is a science podcast for curious kids and adults from American Public Media. Each week, a different kid co-host joins Molly Bloom to find answers to fascinating questions about the world sent in by listeners. Like, do dogs know they’re dogs? Or, why do feet stink? Plus, we have mystery sounds for you to guess, songs for you to dance to, and lots of facts -- all checked by experts.
Why do we lose teeth?
Today we’re looking at a phenomenon that happens to all of us: losing our baby teeth and getting new ones! So how do our teeth grow in and what makes them fall out? Naturally, a group of wandering teeth helps us explain. We'll also find out why we have two sets of teeth in the first place. A chatty tooth travel agent will introduce us to all the different ways to send our baby teeth off in style and we'll play a game that will test your knowledge of animal teeth. Plus, the Moment of Um answers the question "Why do bees make a buzzing sound?" You can support Brains On at brainson.org/fans — there you can donate, join our free fan club, check out our merch or buy our book! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (indeed.com/brainson) Bobby Wonder podcast (gokidgo.com or subscribe to Bobby Wonder on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts)
Jul 27
38 min
What causes wildfires?
A fire can be super useful or cozy or even magical. But it can also be dangerous -- and in the case of wildfires, if they burn long and hot enough, they can destroy ecosystems and send lots of harmful smoke into the air. In this episode, we're going to find out why wildfires are getting bigger and why wildfire season is lasting longer now. We'll learn how the tribes who've lived in what is now called Northern California managed the forests and kept fire in check for thousands of years, and how those practices are being used today. We'll hear from a friendly house about how to stay safe from smoke inside and find out how firefighters work to contain fires once they've started. Plus, our Moment of Um answers the question: Is the name of a letter considered a word?This episode is sponsored by Bobby Wonder, a podcast from GoKidGo. You can support Brains On at brainson.org/fans — there you can donate, join our free fan club, check out our merch or buy our book!
Jul 20
35 min
Million Bazillion answers your questions about money
Today we’re sharing an episode with you from our friends at Million Bazillion, the podcast that answers the questions kids have about money. They help dollars make more sense and they’re back for a whole new season!   In today’s episode, hosts Jed and Bridget answer a question from two curious listeners who want to know why we pay taxes. In answering the question, they come across the legendary Robin Hood, known for his hatred of taxes. Back in his day, tax-collecting sheriffs forced people to pay money to a king, who decided how those taxes were spent. These days our tax system works a bit differently. We get to vote for people who’ll spend that money on things we care about — like schools and libraries, health care for elderly people, police, parks, sewers and so on. With the help of a rambling troubadour and a tax policy expert, Jed and Bridget teach Robin Hood that the way tax dollars are spent today reflects what we prioritize as a society. Plus, we’ll ask random kids some not-so-random questions. Million Bazillion is a collaboration between Brains On and Marketplace. It’s hosted by Jed Kim and Bridget Bodnar. You can listen to more episodes here, or subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.  
Jul 15
19 min
Why do mosquitoes bite? Scratching that itch
In this episode, we're tackling all the mosquito questions that have been bugging our listeners. Why do they bite? Why do the bites itch? Is scratching them a good idea? Why do some people seem to be more delicious to mosquitoes? How can we keep them away from us? And are mosquitoes good for the world? The Hoax Hunters make an appearance plus the Moment of Um answers the question, "What is a solar flare?" This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/brainson)
Jul 13
27 min
Why do songs get stuck in our heads?
You know that feeling where you get a snippet of a song stuck in your head and it loops over and over? Those hard to shake songs are also known as earworms, and in this episode Molly has a particularly sticky one in her brain. We'll find out why some songs are catchier than others and, most importantly, scientifically-proven ways to get rid of them. Plus, we'll hear a mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: "Do spiders have bones?" Today’s episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson) and you can listen to Million Bazillion wherever you get your podcasts. You can support Brains On at brainson.org/fans — there you can check out our merch, join our free fan club, donate or buy our book!
Jul 6
30 min
Vaccines for kids and silver linings: Our second COVID summer
Adults around the world are getting vaccinated against the coronavirus, and now, in a handful of countries (including the U.S.) kids over 12 can get vaccinated too. We hear from a 13-year-old who participated in a clinical trial for a vaccine and get tips for how to navigate the world when only some people in your family are able to be vaccinated. Plus, Kara and Gilly share expert advice on how to handle big feelings as the world starts to open back up. And a new Moment of Um answers the question: What are eye boogers? Find out more about how mRNA vaccines and clinical trials work in our previous episodes: A super special shot: All about coronavirus vaccines: https://www.brainson.org/episode/2021/01/26/a-super-special-shot-all-about-coronavirus-vaccinesWhat’s in the COVID vaccine?: https://www.brainson.org/story/2021/02/23/whats-in-the-covid-vaccine-transcriptFind all our coronavirus coverage right here: https://www.brainson.org/page/coronavirusToday’s episode is sponsored by the podcast "Avatar: Braving the Elements”You can support our show at brainson.org/fans
Jun 29
33 min
Do dogs know they're dogs?
We treat dogs like they're part of the family. But do they know they are a different species, or do they think they're just short, four-legged people? In this episode, canine cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz helps us puzzle out this question. We’ll also find out what happens (or doesn’t) when a dog looks in the mirror. Dogs are always dozing, and we’ll check in to see if they are dreaming too. And, we take a quick trip around the world in the language of barks. All that, plus a brand new Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: “Why does the moon follow us?” Today’s episode is sponsored by Hooked On Phonics (HookedOnPhonics.com/brainson). You can support the show at brainson.org/fans
Jun 22
28 min
Our 200th episode is SUN-sational!
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)
Jun 15
39 min
How far can a cloud travel?
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)
Jun 8
28 min
Totally Slothsome: All about sloths
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)
Jun 1
32 min
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