Science

Brains On! Science podcast for kids

American Public Media

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Brains On!® is a science podcast for curious kids and adults from American Public Media. Co-hosted each week by kid scientists and reporters from public radio, we ask questions and go wherever the answers take us.

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How do volcanoes erupt? (Encore)

26:36 | Oct 3rd, 2017

There are all kinds of volcanoes all over the world, but how are they formed? And how do they erupt? To find out, we'll travel to the center of the Earth, and we'll meet a NASA robot that went on a very special volcano mission. Plus: A brand new Mome...Show More

Brains On: Waves, wind, tides and moon

26:37 | Aug 30th, 2016

Sir Isaac Newton drops by and drops knowledge. He helps explain why the tides ebb and flow. Then, an oceanographer/surfer tells us where waves come from and how they get there shape - cowabunga! Plus we hear about what it's like for marine life that ...Show More

Earthrise: The picture of our planet that changed the world

34:49 | Dec 25th, 2018

50 years ago NASA astronauts took a picture that changed the world. It was a full color photo of planet Earth as seen from space. This image inspired many to think differently about our home. In this episode we'll tell the tale of that epic snapsho...Show More

Soil: Can you dig it?

28:07 | Dec 18th, 2018

We’re ready to get our hands dirty as we explore the stuff beneath our feet. Clay, sand, mud — soil is everywhere. And it’s alive! We’ll find out how it helps plants grow and learn about all the little organisms that are invaluable in the process (hi...Show More

Dreams: The science of a sleeping brain

37:33 | Dec 11th, 2018

You dream every night, even if you don't remember them. But why? We'll hop on a wild ride to go inside the brain and see which parts help create these often fantastical images and storylines. We'll also learn how to take control of our dreams and how...Show More

Voices: How do we make sound?

36:10 | Dec 4th, 2018

We are very vocal about this episode, and that’s because it’s all about voices. We look into how our bodies produce sound and talk to a voice recognition expert. And we find out what’s happening when helium enters the equation. Plus, humans don’t hav...Show More

Roller coasters: from dream to extreme

26:27 | Nov 27th, 2018

How do roller coaster designers go from dream to reality? World-renowned roller coaster designer Alan Schilke tells us how he does it. Also — why do some people feel sick or dizzy after riding them? And how do coasters make you feel like you’re float...Show More

Finding your way without a map

39:14 | Nov 20th, 2018

If your GPS suddenly stopped working, would you still be able to find your way? In this episode we'll teach you tricks and tips to navigate on your own. We'll explain how compasses work and we'll tell you who helped move north to the top of the map....Show More

Video Games: A Tale of Two Pongs

33:04 | Nov 13th, 2018

Introducing our brand new history show, Forever Ago! Join host Joy Dolo and kid co-host Kai on an epic quest through history to figure out how video games began. With help from intrepid reporter Cari Spivack, they’ll visit the age of dinosaur compute...Show More

Do dogs know they're dogs?

29:19 | Nov 6th, 2018

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....Show More

Body Bonanza: Yawns, hiccups, goosebumps and more!

43:32 | Oct 30th, 2018

Brains On listeners have LOTS of questions about the human body so we’ve decided to answer nine – count em NINE – of these questions in one go. The terrific topics tackled: Hiccups, yawns, getting dizzy, goosebumps, fingerprints, limbs falling asleep...Show More

How to find the facts (Prove It: Part 4)

28:19 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Today information is everywhere, but what should you trust? Can you spot the difference between well researched articles and stories full of opinion, errors or even lies? In our final chapter of “Prove It: How to find the facts,” we’ll find out how t...Show More

The scoop on journalism (Prove It: Part 3)

35:09 | Oct 16th, 2018

Fair and fact-based news helps people make good decisions. That's why journalists work hard to get their facts straight. In the third installment of our series "Prove It: How to find the facts," we'll hear how one daring reporter got herself locked i...Show More

Science under the microscope (Prove It: Part 2)

28:34 | Oct 9th, 2018

Science is a powerful fact-finding tool -- but how does it work? In this second installment in our series "Prove It: How to find the facts," we look to the past for answers. We find out how a snake heart helped get rid of an old idea about blood and ...Show More

A Brief History of Facts (Prove It: Part 1)

28:38 | Oct 2nd, 2018

We’d be nothing without facts. They ground us in reality, help us make new discoveries and allowed us to build the modern world. In this episode we explain how we developed two of our most powerful fact finding tools: science and journalism! Plus, we...Show More

Brains On! + The Story Pirates: What makes fun things fun?

33:03 | Aug 28th, 2018

We're teaming up with our pals The Story Pirates to learn about the science of having fun! Our experts tell us what makes something fun and why we're so geared toward seeking a good time. Plus, the Story Pirates share their song "Pizza Revenge." We'v...Show More

What makes gross things gross?

36:16 | Aug 21st, 2018

Fair warning: Today we’re gonna get gross! We’re talking sounds, smells, and tastes that some people might find repulsive. But we're asking: why? What's the purpose of disgust? Is it something we're born knowing or do we learn to dislike things? When...Show More

Keeping water healthy, one clue at a time

22:36 | Aug 14th, 2018

Last week, we heard about the tale of the Cuyahoga River -- a river in Ohio that caught on fire multiple times because it was so polluted. The river is now doing much better, but beyond the fact that it’s not on currently fire -- how do we actually k...Show More

Burning rivers of fire

25:59 | Aug 7th, 2018

Rivers are known for being wet. So how did a river in Ohio suddenly catch fire, not once, but several times last century? In part three of our water series, we'll explore the shocking tale of the Cuyahoga River. We'll look at how pollution led to thi...Show More

How does GPS know where you are?

24:30 | Jul 31st, 2018

Without GPS, we’d be lost. Literally. Thanks to these radio transmissions from space though, we’re able to pinpoint our location and find our way home. Join us as we learn all about satellites, how the robot voice of GPS is created and how atomic clo...Show More

Salty snack science: Popcorn, nachos and the origins of salt

33:22 | Jul 24th, 2018

We're having a snack attack in this episode and we're using it as an excuse to delve into the facts and history of some of our favorite snacks. How does popcorn pop? Who invented nachos? And where does salt come from? Plus, our Moment of Um tells us ...Show More

Wanna see Mars' close approach? Just look up!

28:07 | Jul 17th, 2018

The Red Planet is putting on a show this July. It'll be closer to Earth than its been in 15 years and that means at night it'll appear bigger and brighter than average. In fact, you should be able to see it easily without a telescope! In this episode...Show More

Smash Boom Best: Books vs Movies

33:28 | Jul 10th, 2018

Today, we’re sharing another epic showdown from our brand new debate show, Smash Boom Best. Each episode, we pit our favorite things against each other, like bats versus owls! Or pizza versus tacos! And we ask you to decide who won.

How to cook for an alien

33:17 | Jul 3rd, 2018

The aliens are coming to dinner! In this episode we wonder what food aliens might eat and talk to real scientists who've thought long and hard about this question. Plus, our friends at America's Test Kitchen show us how to whip up a delicious beef an...Show More

Mix: The science cooking, pt. 4

29:18 | Jun 26th, 2018

Are you ready to mix it up? In this episode, we find out why oil and vinegar are like bickering siblings in the back seat of a car, what delicious food inspired the invention of the blender, and the most effective whisking technique (spoiler alert: i...Show More

Chop: The science of cooking, pt. 3

31:51 | Jun 19th, 2018

Our knives are drawn and ready to mince and dice our way through the science of chopping. In this episode we'll find out what happens to that carrot you're chopping on a molecular level (spoiler alert: the knife never actually touches it!). We also v...Show More

Chill: The science of cooking, pt. 2

29:01 | Jun 12th, 2018

From ice cubes to ice cream, cold things are a crucial part of cuisine. How do we use chill to our advantage? This is part two of our series on the science of cooking, a collaboration with the brilliant foodies at America's Test Kitchen Kids. This ep...Show More

Heat: The science of cooking pt. 1

31:36 | Jun 6th, 2018

We’ve teamed up with America’s Test Kitchen Kids to delve into the scrumptious science of cooking. You’ve sent in so many great cooking questions that we had to spread the answers over four episodes. This is our first installment: HEAT. What crazy ch...Show More

Boogers and sun sneezes: Know your nose

20:49 | May 29th, 2018

In this encore mash-up episode, we revisit some fascinating facts that will help you get to know your nose. Why does the sun make some people sneeze? And where do boogers come from anyway? Plus: A brand new moment of um answers the question: "Why do ...Show More

The wonderful weirdness of water

29:14 | May 22nd, 2018

One of the weirdest substances in the universe is right under your nose. No, not boogers. Water! Water seems ordinary, almost boring, but take a closer look and you’ll find a wonderfully weird molecule that behaves like nothing else in the universe. ...Show More

Smash Boom Best: Bats vs. Owls (new show alert!)

27:40 | May 15th, 2018

For the past few months, we’ve been working on a top secret project and we’re so excited we finally get to share it with you! It’s a new show called Smash Boom Best and it’s nothing but debates. Sort of like the ones you’ve heard on Brains On, but wi...Show More

What was the first robot? And more from Robotstravaganza

31:55 | May 8th, 2018

What was the first robot? What is artificial intelligence? How do robots "learn?" In this special episode, we have pieces from our live Robotstravaganza show in Boston. We meet some awesome robots (including one that's very cuddly), debate whether ro...Show More

What's in your water?

26:17 | May 1st, 2018

What’s in your water, and how did it get there? Clean water is a must, but modern living can put a lot of bad stuff in it. Road salt, fertilizer, dog doo-doo, heavy metals - how do these things get in our water? Why should we care? And how can we tel...Show More

What makes paint stick?

26:28 | Apr 24th, 2018

Paint goes on wet, then it dries — and it’s stuck there. But how does it stick? We’re going to zoom way in to find out. We’ll visit a forensic chemist, a painter who makes his own paint and a party happening at the molecular level.

Allergy Attack: How our bodies can overreact

26:31 | Apr 9th, 2018

Pollen, peanuts, dust mites. These things aren't poisonous - so why do some people's bodies act like they are? In this episode, we'll find out what happens during an allergic reaction, explore why only some people have allergies and hear about new tr...Show More

Mystery Sound Extravaganza 2018

30:34 | Apr 3rd, 2018

Sounds abound all around. Do you think your ears are up to the task? We have an episode chock full of nothing but mystery sounds to challenge and stretch your listening powers. Also, did you hear that the Brains On store is open? We couldn't be happ...Show More

How do animals breathe underwater?

27:44 | Mar 26th, 2018

Our lungs are great at getting oxygen out of the air, but if we needed to do that underwater, we'd be sunk. So how do fish, shrimp, jellyfish and other marine animals breathe underwater? And what happens when there is no oxygen in the water for them ...Show More

'The Rice Cakes and the Oni': A story from Circle Round

16:09 | Mar 20th, 2018

Sometimes we're in the mood for a good story, so we're turning our show over to Circle Round this week. It's a podcast produced by WBUR in Boston that tells folktales from around the world. These stories are funny, surprising, suspenseful and downrig...Show More

Circadian rhythm pt. 2: Beyond human

27:36 | Mar 13th, 2018

Circadian rhythms keep our bodies on schedule. But what about the rest of the animal and plant world? Turns out, most living things run on similar cycles. In this episode we take a look at why some animals hibernate. There’s also an interview with a ...Show More

Circadian rhythm pt. 2: Beyond human

27:36 | Mar 13th, 2018

Circadian rhythms keep our bodies on schedule. But what about the rest of the animal and plant world? Turns out, most living things run on similar cycles. In this episode we take a look at why some animals hibernate. There's also an interview with a ...Show More

Video game music: From 8-bit to orchestras (encore)

27:25 | Mar 6th, 2018

You know how important music can be when it comes to gaming. But what if you choose to play without music? Or, what if you replace the music with your own soundtrack? How does that affect your playing? We're going to dig into the psychology of video...Show More

From 8-bit to orchestras: How does video game music affect you?

27:25 | Mar 5th, 2018

If you’ve ever played a video game, you know how important music can be when it comes to gaming. But what if you choose to play without music? How does that affect your playing? We’re going to dig into the psychology of video game music, explain how ...Show More

The tick-tock of our circadian clock

43:40 | Feb 27th, 2018

The near 24-hour-cycle that keeps us on track is conducted by the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It’s a tiny part of our brains, but it’s super, super important.

The tick-tock of our circadian clock

43:40 | Feb 27th, 2018

Our bodies are filled with tiny clocks. Down to the cellular level, they tick and tock and stay in sync with the light and dark cycles of the sun. These near 24-hour-cycles are known as our circadian rhythm. Do you want to know the best time of day...Show More

‘Is it opposite day?’ and other mind-bending paradoxes

25:26 | Feb 20th, 2018

Think about it: the answer to the question “Is it opposite day?” will always be no. So how do you figure out if it is, in fact, opposite day?

'Is it opposite day?' and other mind-bending paradoxes

25:26 | Feb 20th, 2018

Think about it: the answer to the question "Is it opposite day?" will always be no. It's a head-scratcher. So how do you figure out if it is, in fact, opposite day? We talk to two philosophers who walk us through how questions like these can bend and...Show More

Our 100th episode! What's the big deal?

41:27 | Feb 13th, 2018

In this milestone of an episode, we ask why people seem to love the number 100 so much. We also learn some amazing tricks involving the number 100 and fan favorite Gungador goes from Most Epic Fighting Battle Realm to a much more challenging setting:...Show More

Our 100th episode! What's the big deal?

41:27 | Feb 13th, 2018

In this milestone of an episode, we ask why people seem to love the number 100 so much. We also learn some amazing tricks involving the number 100 from a mathemagician. And fan favorite Gungador goes from Most Epic Fighting Battle Realm to a much mor...Show More

Meet Sandy, the left-handed mutant snail

10:52 | Feb 6th, 2018

For humans, being left-handed or right-handed can definitely affect the way we experience life. Usually, that mismatch is just a minor nuisance — but sometimes, sidedness can change the future of an entire species, as is the case for Sandy.

Meet Sandy, the left-handed mutant snail

10:52 | Feb 6th, 2018

Sandy is a mutant snail whose shell coils to the left instead of the right. For humans, being left-handed or right-handed can definitely affect the way we experience life, though that mismatch is usually just a minor nuisance. But sometimes, sidednes...Show More

Dolphins vs. Octopuses: Showdown in the sea!

54:36 | Jan 30th, 2018

Two of our planet’s most amazing animals go head to head in our latest debate.

Dolphins vs Octopuses: Showdown in the sea!

54:36 | Jan 30th, 2018

Two of Earth's most amazing animals go head to head in our latest debate. We're asking you to decide which animal reigns supreme. Is it the eight-armed, three hearted, shape-shifting octopus? Or the speed swimming, echo-locating, super-jumping dolphi...Show More

Dogs: What's the secret of their sense of smell?

25:13 | Jan 23rd, 2018

If you’ve ever seen a dog, you know they like to sniff — the ground, people, each other’s butts. They like to smell just about everything. But why? We’re digging into the science of smell and how dogs are able to decode things we can’t even begin to ...Show More

Dogs: What's the secret of their sense of smell? (Encore)

25:13 | Jan 23rd, 2018

If you've ever seen a dog, you know they like to sniff -- the ground, people, each other's butts. They like to smell just about everything. But why? We're digging into the science of smell and how dogs are able to decode things we can't even begin to...Show More

Mary Shelley and the science of Frankenstein

07:02 | Jan 16th, 2018

As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication, we look at how Mary Shelley was inspired by science and how the lessons of the book still resonate with the scientific world today.

Mary Shelley and the science of Frankenstein

07:02 | Jan 16th, 2018

Frankenstein has become a pop culture mainstay and it all started off as a novel written by an 18-year-old woman written in the early 1800s. As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the novel's publication, we look at how Mary Shelley was inspired by...Show More

Super-size-asaurus: How did dinosaurs get so big?

34:09 | Jan 9th, 2018

Ancient dinosaurs were some of the biggest creatures to ever stomp the Earth. But how and why did they get so giant? Was there more food to help them grow? Was the planet itself somehow different, allowing them to reach epic proportions? In this epis...Show More

Super-size-asaurus: How did dinosaurs get so big?

34:09 | Jan 9th, 2018

Ancient dinosaurs were some of the biggest creatures to ever stomp the Earth. But how and why did they get so giant? Was there more food to help them grow? Was the planet itself somehow different, allowing them to reach epic proportions? In this epis...Show More

Mysteries of the universe: Expansion and gravity

24:36 | Jan 2nd, 2018

In this episode we ponder some big questions from Brains On listeners about the vastness of space.

Mysteries of the universe: Expansion and gravity (Encore)

24:36 | Jan 2nd, 2018

Have you ever wondered what's beyond the edge of the universe? Or better yet: IS there an edge of the universe? And what does it mean that the universe is expanding? In this episode we ponder some big questions from Brains On listeners about the vast...Show More

The nerve! Electricity in our bodies

25:25 | Dec 26th, 2017

Your body is making and using electricity all the time — but how do we do it? We’ll take a look at how bioelectricity helps our brain sends signals and our hearts pump blood. And we’ll learn about some amazing animals that use electricity in weird an...Show More

The nerve! Electricity in our bodies (Electricity Series pt. 4)

25:25 | Dec 26th, 2017

Your body is making and using electricity all the time -- but how do we do it? We'll take a look at how bioelectricity helps our brain sends signals and our hearts pump blood. And we'll learn about some amazing animals that use electricity in weird ...Show More

Charged up! The science of batteries

30:43 | Dec 19th, 2017

Batteries are everywhere — they’re in our phones, our computers, our cars, our toys. But how do they work? To find out, we talk to a scientist who’s making really big batteries to store renewable energy, another who’s working on really small ones to ...Show More

Charged up! The science of batteries (Electricity Series pt. 3)

30:43 | Dec 19th, 2017

Batteries are everywhere -- they're in our phones, our computers, our cars, our toys. But how do they work? To find out, we talk to a scientist who's making really big batteries to store renewable energy, another who's working on really small ones to...Show More

High voltage! How electric power reaches your outlet

35:45 | Dec 12th, 2017

We use electricity all the time, but where exactly does it come from? How does it get to our homes? It’s a fascinating journey that can start hundreds of miles from your outlet.

High voltage! How electric power reaches your outlet

35:45 | Dec 12th, 2017

We use electricity all the time, but where exactly does it come from? How does it get to our homes? It's a fascinating journey that can start hundreds of miles from your outlet. We'll trace the path electricity takes from the power plant to your ligh...Show More

Shocking! The science of static (Electricity series pt. 1)

28:42 | Dec 5th, 2017

What makes your hair stand on end? Why does your skirt stick your tights? Why do you get zapped by electric shocks when you go to touch a doorknob?

Shocking! The science of static (Electricity Series pt. 1)

28:45 | Dec 5th, 2017

What makes your hair stand on end? Why does your skirt stick your tights? Why do you get zapped by electric shocks when you go to touch a doorknob? We answer those questions as we explore the science of static electricity. We'll also learn about the ...Show More

Word don't fossilize: The origins of language (encore)

29:13 | Nov 28th, 2017

Where did language come from? Is it possible to know without traveling back in time? And how do babies learn to speak? In this episode we have the answers to those questions and we'll hear how the word "silly" has evolved over the last several hundre...Show More

Where did language come from?

24:35 | Nov 27th, 2017

Is it possible to know about the origin of language without traveling back in time? And how do babies learn to speak?

Smash: When continents collide!

30:27 | Nov 21st, 2017

How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is…tectonic plates!

Smash: When continents collide!

30:27 | Nov 21st, 2017

How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is... tectonic plates! These are giant, moving slabs of rock covering the Earth's surface. When they slide past or smash into each other it...Show More

Curio: Flies on the bus

08:48 | Nov 14th, 2017

A few weeks ago, we got two emails that were so similar and so intriguing we had no choice but to investigate.

Curio: The flies on the bus

08:48 | Nov 14th, 2017

A few weeks ago, we got two emails that were so similar and so intriguing we had no choice but to investigate. They both basically asked this: Is a fly on a bus flying as fast as the bus is moving? Or is just hovering? And why doesn't it need a seatb...Show More

What's smaller than an electron?

23:03 | Nov 7th, 2017

The natural world can be broken down into atoms. And those atoms can be broken down even further. Will the discovery of smaller and smaller particles ever stop?

Smaller than small

23:03 | Nov 7th, 2017

Molecules make up everything around us and they are very, very small. But those molecules are made of atoms, which are even smaller. And then those atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons, which are even smaller. And protons are made up ...Show More

Healing skin and regrowing limbs: The science of regeneration (Encore)

26:36 | Oct 31st, 2017

We all know what happens when you get a cut or scrape. You get a scab, you try not to pick at it, and then after a little while it heals. But what's really going on under that scab? What superpowers does our skin have to repair itself? And what about...Show More

Healing skin and regrowing limbs: The science of regeneration

26:36 | Oct 30th, 2017

What superpowers does our skin have to repair itself? And what about other animals like salamanders that can do some pretty extreme healing? We’re going under the skin for this one.

What is Down-syndrome?

27:37 | Oct 24th, 2017

You may have heard of Down syndrome, but what is it exactly? In this episode, we’ll break down the science of chromosomes and how having an extra one leads to this fairly common condition. Plus, we’ll learn some tips for making friends with someone w...Show More

What is Down syndrome?

27:37 | Oct 24th, 2017

You may have heard of Down syndrome, but what is it exactly? In this episode, we'll break down the science of chromosomes and how having an extra one leads to this fairly common condition. Plus, we'll learn some tips for making friends with someone w...Show More

Bonus: Kidcast sampler

21:15 | Oct 23rd, 2017

Looking for more awesome podcasts to listen to? We're bringing you a special bonus episode today to let you know about some of the other podcasts that you might want to check out. And if you want to find lots of other podcasts for kids you can always...Show More

Bonus: Kidcast sampler

21:15 | Oct 22nd, 2017

Looking for more awesome podcasts to listen to? We're bringing you a special bonus episode today to let you know about some of the other podcasts that you might want to check out. And if you want to find lots of other podcasts for kids you can always...Show More

Curio: Vampire of the Great Lakes

10:46 | Oct 17th, 2017

The sea lamprey, with its concentric rows of sharp teeth, is part vampire and part alien invader. Would you let it suction to your arm? Reporter Dan Kraker did. Find out if he lived to tell about it.

Curio: Vampire of the Great Lakes

10:46 | Oct 17th, 2017

Creepy crawly insects and creatures with big teeth and bigger roars can be scary. In preparation for Halloween, here's a tale of one of the scariest creatures around: the sea lamprey. At about 3-4 feet long, the lamprey slithers through the water lik...Show More

Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?

28:26 | Oct 10th, 2017

In this episode, we learn all about narwhals (what that tusk is for and how they’re connected to the myth of the unicorn) and the evolution of teeth (from scale-like nubbins to the versatile chompers we have today).

Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?

28:26 | Oct 10th, 2017

Narwhals are whales, and super cool ones at that. But that cool thing coming out of their heads is a tusk, not a horn. Which means it's a tooth! And it's the only known spiral tooth to boot! In this episode, we learn all about narwhals (what that tu...Show More

How do volcanoes erupt?

26:36 | Oct 2nd, 2017

There are all kinds of volcanoes all over the world, but how are they formed? And how do they erupt? To find out, we’ll travel to the center of the Earth, and we’ll meet a NASA robot that’s going on a very special volcano mission.

For crying out loud: All about tears

33:47 | Sep 26th, 2017

It’s something so natural that we take it for granted — but when you think about it, it’s a little strange. Why does water come out of our eyes? And why does it happen when we’re happy? Or sad? Or scared? Or exhausted? In this episode we dive into ou...Show More

For crying out loud: All about tears

33:47 | Sep 26th, 2017

It's something so natural that we take it for granted -- but when you think about it, it's a little strange. Why does water come out of our eyes? And why does it happen when we're happy? Or sad? Or scared? Or exhausted? In this episode we dive into o...Show More

Curio: Quindar tones and talking in space

11:12 | Sep 19th, 2017

You know those beeps in old NASA recordings? They’re called Quindar tones. This episode explains them and talks to a couple musicians who incorporate archival, NASA recordings into their songs.

Curio: Quindar tones and talking in space

11:12 | Sep 19th, 2017

If you've ever heard an old recording of a NASA space mission, then you've heard a Quindar tone. Those are the beeps that we hear behind the voices of mission control and astronauts orbiting space. Today we find out why these tones exist and how they...Show More

Mars: Our next home planet?

30:19 | Sep 12th, 2017

In this episode we learn about Mars’ ancient past, meet an architect hoping to build cities there and we hear from Mars itself, thanks to the planet’s video blog, of course.

Mars: Our next home planet?

30:19 | Sep 12th, 2017

Would you like retire to Mars? It may be possible in the not-so-distant future. Mars is more Earth-like than any other planet in our solar system. In fact, billions of years ago it was warmer and wetter and life may have developed there. Scientists a...Show More

Thunder, lightning and tornadoes: Where do they come from? (Encore)

17:05 | Sep 5th, 2017

There are some basic ingredients to make thunderstorms and tornadoes. We'll find out what they are - and how to observe these powerful and amazing storms safely. Plus: A brand new Moment of Um will tackle the question, "How do zippers work?"

Thunder, lightning and tornadoes: Where do they come from?

17:28 | Sep 4th, 2017

There are some basic ingredients to make thunderstorms and tornadoes. We’ll find out what they are – and how to observe these powerful and amazing storms safely.

Animal farts: A mighty wind

34:24 | Aug 29th, 2017

Most animals fart. And some animals put those farts to work.

Animal farts: A mighty wind

34:24 | Aug 29th, 2017

Just like humans, most animals have to fart. Some use their gas as a warning to predators, while others use it to dive in the water. And beware, there is a real-life killer fart out there. It gives a whole new meaning to silent but deadly. With help...Show More

Sunburns: The why behind the ouch (and how to avoid them)

22:53 | Aug 15th, 2017

To help us understand sunburns, we’re going deep into the skin to look at cells, molecules and electrons.

Sunburns: The why behind the ouch (and how to avoid them)

22:53 | Aug 15th, 2017

We're taking a look at skin cells, and molecules and electrons to understand how the sun causes our skin to burn. And we explore the different ways to prevent burning in the first place. Plus, in our "moment of um" we tackle this question: What is th...Show More

Everything you need to know before the solar eclipse

27:11 | Aug 1st, 2017

On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible on a path that crosses the U.S., from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east coast. In this episode, we cover all your eclipse essentials: What causes an eclipse? What happen...Show More

Total solar eclipse: Everything you need to know

27:11 | Aug 1st, 2017

On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible on a path that crosses the U.S., from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east coast. In this episode, we cover all your eclipse essentials: What causes an eclipse? What happen...Show More

Deep Sea vs. Outer Space

57:30 | Jul 18th, 2017

It’s time for the next Brains On debate! This intense matchup brings us to the depths of darkness, under the water and beyond our earth’s atmosphere. Who will prevail?

Deep Sea vs. Outer Space

57:30 | Jul 18th, 2017

It's time for the next Brains On debate! Our listeners sent in over 100 possible matchups and we whittled the list down to ten. You voted and chose this intense matchup from the depths of darkness, under the water and beyond our earth's atmosphere. W...Show More

Fart Smarts: Understanding the gas we pass

26:48 | Jul 4th, 2017

Is farting good for us? Where do farts come from? Why do only some make sounds? And what’s up with the smell? We tackle your questions about the gas we all pass in this episode.

Fart Smarts: Understanding the gas we pass (ENCORE)

29:01 | Jul 4th, 2017

Just in time for fireworks, we're bringing back one of our most-requested episodes. It's a blast from the past encore show. Enjoy! Is farting good for us? Where do farts come from? Why do only some make sounds? And what's up with the smell? We tackl...Show More

Riding in the car: Motion sickness and optical illusions (Road trip pt. 5)

21:41 | Jun 30th, 2017

Hosts Molly and Gabriella are locked out. No worries: Sanden and Bob to the rescue. While the duo drives a spare set of keys to our beloved hosts, they pass the time discussing science you might see (or feel) in a car.

Riding in the car: Motion sickness and optical illusions (Road Trip pt. 5)

21:41 | Jun 30th, 2017

In the final leg of our road trip, we explore what happens to our bodies when we travel in cars. Why do some people feel queasy during the ride? Why do cars far away look like they're moving slower than they actually are? Why do roller coasters feel ...Show More

Traffic: Phantom jams and chicken soup (Road trip pt. 4)

24:22 | Jun 23rd, 2017

On the fourth leg of our road trip, we figure out where traffic comes from and what it would take to make it finally go away.

Traffic: Phantom jams and chicken soup (Road Trip pt. 4)

24:22 | Jun 23rd, 2017

On the fourth leg of our road trip, we figure out where traffic comes from and what it would take to make it finally go away. We learn how far back in history traffic jams were happening (spoiler: very far) and how "phantom jams" occur. We visit a r...Show More

Monster trucks and car design (Road trip pt. 3)

28:35 | Jun 20th, 2017

At the third stop on our road trip series, we coast in for a pit stop and check out car design. We find out how monster trucks are different than cars, how culture influences car design and what it’s like to make car into animated, talking movie star...Show More

Monster trucks and car design (Road Trip pt. 3)

28:35 | Jun 20th, 2017

From the headlights to door locks, cars are obsessively designed. But that hasn't always been the case. Find out about innovations like windshield wipers, rearview mirrors and fancy paint. Ralph Gilles knows a thing or two about the look and feel of ...Show More

The future of fuel, and the problem with exhaust (Road trip pt. 2)

17:44 | Jun 16th, 2017

Our planet needs some carbon dioxide, but cars are pumping more into the atmosphere than our carbon cycle can handle. We’ll explore what all this carbon means for our planet. And we talk to a scientist who is working to change how we fuel our cars, s...Show More

The future of fuel (and the problem with exhaust)

17:44 | Jun 16th, 2017

In this episode, we're answering a question from listener Katelynn: "Why is car exhaust bad for the planet?" Our planet NEEDS some carbon dioxide, but cars are pumping more into the atmosphere than our carbon cycle can handle. We'll explore what all ...Show More

How do engines work? (Road trip pt. 1)

21:48 | Jun 9th, 2017

On the first leg of our road trip, we’re exploring the history of engines and how they work, with a little help from Car Talk’s Ray Magliozzi.

Exploding engines (Road Trip pt. 1)

21:48 | Jun 9th, 2017

On the first leg of our road trip, we'll explore the history of engines and how they work, with a little help from Car Talk's Ray Magliozzi. The fundamentals of the internal combustion (or exploding) engine, haven't really changed since it was first ...Show More

Mystery sound extravaganza!

32:22 | Jun 6th, 2017

Regular listeners of Brains On know all about our mystery sounds. Every episode we test your ears with some puzzling noise and give you a chance to guess what it is. There are so many great mystery sounds in the world -- and many, many of them have b...Show More

Books and the brain

33:08 | May 23rd, 2017

What happens in your head when you read? Short answer: A LOT. From recognizing shapes as letters and words to discovery of empathy and new worlds, our brains really get a workout when we read books. Ben Bergen drops by to shed some light on how our b...Show More

Slime: What is it and why are we so obsessed?

20:36 | May 9th, 2017

Homemade slime is sticky, gooey and all the rage, but what is it? When you combine ingredients like glue and laundry detergent you get a strange, flubbery substance. We'll explain what's happening on a molecular level to make this stuff. We'll also h...Show More

What was the first life on Earth?

32:15 | Apr 25th, 2017

What was the first lifeform like? What was very first the first fish or mammal? Is it even possible to know? In this episode, we look to the fossil record to help us trace our roots back to the Last Universal Common Ancestor. Paleontologist Neil Shub...Show More

How do pianos pianos work?

25:18 | Apr 11th, 2017

Behind every piano's polished exterior are thousands of parts. From keys to strings, they work together to produce a sound. In this episode, we take a field trip to a piano shop, peek behind the walls at a world-famous piano factory and have an EPIC ...Show More

The ups and downs of elevators

37:14 | Mar 28th, 2017

Elevators are like magic. You walk in, the door shuts and when it opens again, you are suddenly someplace new! Ta da! But it's not magic that does this trick, it's science and engineering. In this episode we explain how elevators work and we talk...Show More

Why is the ocean salty?

16:12 | Mar 14th, 2017

If you've ever been the ocean, you've tasted that salt. But where does it come from? And why aren't lakes and rivers salty too? A sea shanty is probably the best way to explain, right? Plus: we learn about the weird and wonderful world of deep ocean ...Show More

Ants: Who's in charge here?

30:00 | Feb 28th, 2017

We have a lot to learn from ants. This episode digs into the hierarchy of ant colonies (spoiler alert: there is none) and why they walk in a straight line (spoiler alert: they don't). Scientists are also studying how ants spread out and search. This ...Show More

Do we all see the same colors?

15:41 | Feb 14th, 2017

What if the color that you call blue and the color I call blue don't look the same at all? When our brains see color, we're really just seeing waves of light. Sure, we may be seeing the same waves when we look at the color blue, but do we know if our...Show More

Cats: Glowing eyes, puffy tails and secret purrs (Encore)

25:49 | Jan 31st, 2017

Why do cat eyes look the way they do? Can cats really see in the dark? And what are they trying to tell us with that purr (you know the one)? We've got the answers -- cat behavior expert Mikel Delgado help us decode cat quirks and producer Sanden Tot...Show More

Dinosaur bones: How do we know their age?

18:32 | Jan 17th, 2017

Fossil dating is a lot like eating a delicious ice cream cake. Well, sort of. We find out how scientists look at the rock and elements AROUND a fossil to figure out its age. Plus: We talk to a scientist who studied one of the coolest fossils discover...Show More

Lighting the way for sea turtles at Gulf Islands National Seashore

15:37 | Dec 30th, 2016

We don't know much about the long life of a sea turtle, since it's mostly spent in the ocean. When they do come ashore to lay their eggs, we know the babies use the moon and stars to guide them back to sea. But what happens when hotels and houses and...Show More

Surviving the desert at Joshua Tree National Park

18:36 | Dec 29th, 2016

The desert is hot, dry and deadly. But plenty of plants and animals thrive there. How do they do it? We'll learn the tricks trees, bats and roadrunners use to make it in Joshua Tree National Park.

Making the sands sing at Great Sand Dunes National Park

14:10 | Dec 28th, 2016

When an avalanche happens at the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, it sounds like the sand is singing. Huh? How? Why? We learn about the special sand and the specific conditions that make this acoustic phenomenon possible. This is the third of five episo...Show More

Tracking wild horses at Assateague Island National Seashore

24:42 | Dec 27th, 2016

The wild horses at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland are very popular, but they're also an invasive species. We find out how park rangers are giving people a chance to see the horses while also protecting the native plants and animals F...Show More

Going underground at Wind Cave National Park

24:47 | Dec 26th, 2016

Producer Marc Sanchez finds out what it's like to explore one of the biggest networks of caves in the world -- and new branches are still being discovered. Marc will show us the wonders hidden underground and how tricky it can be to go to uncharted t...Show More

How does the internet get to us?

26:07 | Dec 20th, 2016

This podcast comes to you thanks to the internet. But how does it get to us? And where is it coming from? We'll find out how a system of cables around the globe (and deep in our oceans) brings websites, songs, videos and podcasts to our phones and co...Show More

What makes cute things cute?

13:57 | Dec 6th, 2016

Think of the cutest puppy, kitten or baby you've ever seen. Now what sound did you just make? Was it an "Awwwww?" Or did you want to pinch, bite or squeeze it? In this episode, we'll find out why these are natural reactions to cuteness and why we're ...Show More

Fire vs. Lasers!

40:16 | Nov 22nd, 2016

Time for our next debate: fire vs lasers! Listeners sent us over 100 topics to choose from, they voted and this was the winning showdown. Fire and lasers are both cool -- but which is COOLER? Producer Marc Sanchez has tricks up his sleeve for team fi...Show More

How do whales communicate?

13:37 | Nov 8th, 2016

The sounds whales make underwater are super cool, and also very important for them to locate prey, navigate and communicate with each other. We find out how they make those sounds and what scientists think they mean. We also learn how a blowhole is l...Show More

Body Bonanza: Yawns, hiccups, goosebumps and more!

38:15 | Oct 25th, 2016

Brains On listeners have LOTS of questions about the human body so we've decided to answer nine - count em NINE - of these questions in one go. The terrific topics tackled: Hiccups, yawns, getting dizzy, goosebumps, fingerprints, limbs falling asleep...Show More

Could it rain lemonade?

16:01 | Oct 11th, 2016

If you filled a lake with lemonade, would it rain lemonade? This delicious head-scratcher does not have a straightforward answer, so we asked atmospheric scientist Deanna Hence to help out with this thought experiment. It's one-part water cycle, one-...Show More

How do invisible x-rays help us see?

28:35 | Sep 27th, 2016

X-rays, part of the electromagnetic spectrum, help doctors see our bones -- but they also help scientists understand the very smallest particles and the most massive black holes. We'll follow the electrons, wind up at a synchrotron, get frozen in cry...Show More

Carnivorous plants: How they lure, trap and digest

12:17 | Sep 13th, 2016

Most plants get the energy and nutrients they need from water, sunlight, air and soil. But carnivorous plants get key nutrients from a different source: bugs. We'll find out how they do it and talk about the mystery of how venus fly traps snap shut...Show More

How is glass made?

14:18 | Aug 11th, 2016

The process that turns sand into glass is very cool - or rather, we should say very hot. Very, very, very hot as it turns out. Humans have been turning minerals from the earth's crust into glass for 3,500 years. Find out how it's done and how it's ev...Show More

Allergy attack: How our bodies can overreact

25:28 | Jul 28th, 2016

Pollen, peanuts, dust mites. These things aren't poisonous - so why do some people's bodies act like they are? In this episode, we'll find out what happens during an allergic reaction and hear about new treatments.

Mosquitoes: What are they good for?

12:35 | Jul 15th, 2016

It's summer and our ankles are covered in mosquito bites. So we want to know: How and why do mosquitoes suck our blood? Why do their bites itch ALL the time? Why do some people get bitten more than others? And do these pesky and possibly dangerous in...Show More

How do airplanes fly?

26:46 | Jun 28th, 2016

How do planes stay in the air? And how did humans figure out that it wasn't enough to just strap wings to our arms and flap them like birds? We'll find out about the invention of airplanes and our co-hosts will share the frustrations and joys of bein...Show More

Big universe, big questions

16:17 | Jun 14th, 2016

Have you ever wondered about what's beyond the edge of the universe? Or maybe a better question: is there even an edge of the universe? And what does it mean that the universe is expanding? Nine-year-old Thea talks with astrophysicist Katie Mack to f...Show More

The how's and why's of hair

27:41 | May 31st, 2016

The hair on our heads is on our minds. We have fun with follicles and learn about how they make hair. Our experts help us decipher what makes hair black or brown, blonde or red, and even why it turns gray. From eye lashes to ear and nose hair, this e...Show More

Why don't carnivores need to eat their vegetables?

12:23 | May 17th, 2016

We're back with new episodes! Carnivores are animals that only eat other animals - so how do they get the vitamins, minerals and fiber that we humans get from eating plants? We take a trip to a salad bar with some animal pals to find out.

How do you catch a cold? (Encore)

23:31 | Apr 22nd, 2016

We've been catching colds for millennia - but it wasn't until fairly recently that we actually understood how and why we get sneezy, coughy, and achy. In this episode, we find out more about the common cold: Does standing outside in the cold actually...Show More

Is there life on other planets? (Encore)

27:34 | Apr 7th, 2016

Is there anybody out there? Like, WAAAAY out there? In this episode we hear from astronomer Laura Danly about the search for life on other planets. We'll also learn what that search has in common with a fairy tale (HINT: it involves three bears). And...Show More

Brains On: Extinction (Encore)

33:26 | Mar 22nd, 2016

This is an encore presentation of our Extinction episode. In this episode, co-host Kate Wexler joins us to ask and answers some questions related to extinction: Did dinosaurs have feathers? What is extinction anyway? Could you bring back species ...Show More

Brains On! Besties

23:45 | Mar 8th, 2016

We hear from a lot of kids and parents saying they love Brains On! and they want more. We hear you, and we are hard at work trying to ramp up production. In the meantime, we thought we'd introduce you to some of our BFFs - our audio buddies. In this...Show More

Living large with the International Space Station

28:42 | Feb 21st, 2016

The International Space Station sits 250 miles above Earth, but how did it get there? Astronaut Don Pettit tells us about what it's like to live on the ISS, and he should know. He's spent over a year of his life on various space missions. We'll als...Show More

Mystery Sound extravaganza!

22:41 | Feb 10th, 2016

OMG, this is the episode you've been waiting for... an all-out, wall-to-wall, super-duper Mystery Sound show. Guess the sounds sent in from listeners and scientists alike. Plus, if you like having fun (and dancing), stick around to the end of the epi...Show More

Spider sense: The amazing world of spiders

26:19 | Jan 26th, 2016

Do spiders give you the heebie-jeebies? If so, we want to change your mind about our eight-legged buddies! In this episode we'll explain how spiders weave those amazing webs and stick to walls. We'll also hear how spider venom is being used to find n...Show More

Why are no two snowflakes the same?

11:16 | Jan 13th, 2016

From a distance, snowflakes may all look the same, but they are not. In fact, there are lots of different shapes of snowflakes -- not just those classic shapes you might try to replicate with paper cut-outs. Dr. Ken Libbrecht answers all of our snowf...Show More

Science of baking

21:57 | Dec 22nd, 2015

Baking can seem kind of magical. You take a bunch of ingredients, mix them all together, put them in the oven, and then a little time passes -- and you have cake! Or cookies! Or bread! But there's no magic wand involved in the process -- it's chemist...Show More

Barks, growls, meows and purrs: Translating cats and dogs

15:19 | Dec 8th, 2015

This episode brings you a slew of mystery sounds to puzzle over. By listening to cat and dog sounds what can we learn? Why do cats meow? What's the difference between playful barks and warning barks? Give a listen to find out!

How do meteorologists predict the weather?

23:58 | Nov 25th, 2015

There's all sorts of weather happening right now around the world. Rain, sun, wind, snow... you name it, somewhere it's happening. It may seem hard to keep track of it all, but scientists have it figured out. We'll find out how they collect data on w...Show More

The great cat debate: Evil or misunderstood?

15:04 | Nov 18th, 2015

We're transporting you to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul for a segment from a recent live show: Cats vs. Dogs. In this very important debate, producers Marc Sanchez and Sanden Totten try to get the bottom of our feline friends' mysterious behavio...Show More

Healing skin and regrowing limbs: The science of regeneration

23:04 | Oct 29th, 2015

We all know what happens when you get a cut or scrape. You get a scab, you try not to pick at it, and then after a little while it heals. But what's really going on under that scab? What superpowers does our skin have to repair itself? And what about...Show More

Your booger questions, answered

11:24 | Oct 21st, 2015

Nasal mucus is very important to our health - and actually kind of magical. There's a lot going on in our noses all the time that we don't appreciate. Where do boogers come from? Why does your nose run when you're out in the cold? Why does your nose ...Show More

Fart smarts: Understanding the gas we pass

26:48 | Sep 30th, 2015

Is farting good for us? Where do farts come from? Why do only some make sounds? And what's up with the smell? We tackle your questions about the gas we all pass - plus the mystery sound (it's not what you think)!

Tickle time: Why does tickling make you laugh?

11:57 | Sep 15th, 2015

Can you tickle yourself? Probably not. Almost everybody is ticklish, but what's happening to us is a bit of a mystery. We talk to a neuroscientist about how our skin and brain are connected, and a paleoanthropologist about why it make us a laugh.

Bridges vs. Tunnels

28:50 | Aug 26th, 2015

We've gotten a lot of questions about bridges and tunnels: How do bridges stay up? How are tunnels built? How do they build bridges over water? How do they put tunnels underwater? To answer these questions we're staging a little friendly competition:...Show More

Thunder, lightning and tornadoes: Where do they come from?

13:57 | Aug 13th, 2015

There are some basic ingredients needed to make thunderstorms and tornadoes. We'll find out what they are – and how to observe these powerful and amazing storms safely. Plus: A weather-related mystery sound!

Cats: Glowing eyes, puffy tails and secret purrs

25:53 | Jul 27th, 2015

Why do cat eyes look the way they do? Can cats really see in the dark? And what are they trying to tell us with that purr (you know the one)? We've got the answers -- cat behavior expert Mikel Delgado helps us decode cat quirks and producer Sanden ...Show More

Mission to Pluto!

11:21 | Jul 10th, 2015

We talk to Dr. Alan Stern, the leader of NASA's mission to Pluto - New Horizons. He's been working on the mission for over 20 years and he's excited to see the surprises that New Horizons will be sending back. Plus: We take the Brains On time machine...Show More

Words don't fossilize: The origins of language

24:35 | Jun 30th, 2015

Where did language come from? Is it possible to know without traveling back in time? And how do babies learn to speak? Plus: We'll hear how the word "silly" has evolved over the last several hundred years.

Cuttlefish: Ultimate shapeshifters!

09:05 | Jun 9th, 2015

Masters of camouflage, cuttlefish are part of the cephalopod family - you know, like octopuses and squids. Find out how these amazing sea creatures use three colors, two layers of skin and papillae to make them the ultimate shapeshifters.

Trees: From seed to shining seed

20:36 | May 27th, 2015

Kids love trees. How do we know? They send us a LOT of questions about our bark-wrapped friends. How do trees make oxygen? How do they grow? How do evergreens stay green all year? Why do tree leaves change color? How long can trees live? We're branch...Show More

Bright Lights, Big Sneezy

10:00 | May 12th, 2015

The question of why the sun makes some people sneeze has been a mystery for millennia. Turns out there's a name for the phenomenon: photic sneeze reflex. We'll look at possible causes. Plus: The mystery sound and more fun facts about the sun, or as w...Show More

How does GPS know where you are?

22:47 | Apr 28th, 2015

Without GPS, we'd be lost. Literally. Thanks to these radio transmissions from space though, we're able to pinpoint our location and find our way home. Join us as we learn all about satellites, how the robot voice of GPS is created and how atomic clo...Show More

Jellyfish: How -- and why -- do they sting?

08:25 | Apr 9th, 2015

All jellyfish sting - but not all jellyfish sting people. In this episode, we learn about how jellyfish sting and how they eat. Plus: stro-bi-la-tion (how jellyfish grow up).

How do animals breathe underwater?

23:56 | Mar 24th, 2015

Our lungs are great at getting oxygen out of the air, but if we needed to do that underwater, we'd be sunk. So how do fish, shrimp, jellyfish and other marine animals breathe underwater? And what happens when there is no oxygen in the water for them ...Show More

Volcanoes in space!

10:19 | Mar 18th, 2015

The biggest volcano in our solar system is not on Earth -- and its footprint is as big as the entire state of Arizona.

How do volcanoes erupt?

22:34 | Feb 22nd, 2015

There are all kinds of volcanoes all over the world, but how are they formed? And how do they erupt? To find out, we'll travel to the center of the Earth, and we'll meet a NASA robot that's going on a very special volcano mission.

Attack of the parasitoids!

08:57 | Feb 13th, 2015

After a caterpillar goes into its chrysalis, you would expect a beautiful butterfly to emerge. But when this parasitoid attacks, the results are very different.

What makes paint stick?

22:25 | Jan 27th, 2015

Paint goes on wet, then it dries -- and it's stuck there. But how does it stick? We're going to zoom way in to find out. We'll visit a forensic chemist, a painter who makes his own paint and a party happening at the molecular level.

The mystery of gravity

08:15 | Jan 16th, 2015

Gravity is a very familiar force to us here on Earth. We know how it behaves and how it affects us. But where does it come from? We'll also talk to a NASA astronaut about what it's like to experience micro-gravity.

Roller coasters: From dream to extreme

20:03 | Dec 17th, 2014

Up the hill and down the drop, hop aboard this episode of Brains On! How do roller coaster designers go from dream to reality? Brothers Ezra and Ottar interview world-renowned roller coaster designer Alan Schilke to find out how he does it. Also -- w...Show More

A brief history of roller coasters

07:52 | Dec 9th, 2014

Roller coasters keep getting taller, faster and steeper. But how did they get their start? We have the answer right here.

Dogs: What's the secret of their sense of smell?

21:28 | Nov 16th, 2014

If you've ever seen a dog, you know they like to sniff -- the ground, people, each other's butts. They like to smell just about everything. But why? We're digging into the science of smell and how dogs are able to decode things we can't even begin to...Show More

From 8-bit to orchestras: How does video game music affect you?

22:40 | Oct 14th, 2014

You know how important music can be when it comes to gaming. But what if you choose to play without music? Or, what if you replace the music with your own soundtrack? How does that affect your playing? In this episode, we're digging into the psychol...Show More

How do monarch butterflies travel so far?

21:34 | Sep 9th, 2014

Monarch butterflies are unique -- they're the only butterfly to travel thousands of miles when the seasons change. They travel from as far north as Canada all the way down to a few very specific mountaintops in central Mexico. They don't have a car,...Show More

Soil: Can you dig it?

23:29 | Aug 12th, 2014

We're ready to get our hands dirty as we explore the stuff beneath our feet. Clay, sand, mud -- soil is everywhere. And it's alive! We'll find out how it helps plants grow and learn about all the little organisms that are invaluable in the process (h...Show More

Water, water everywhere -- but how does it get there?

21:00 | Jul 8th, 2014

It's easy to take water for granted. After all, you just turn a faucet and it pours right out. But how does it get to our faucet? We'll explore the water cycle from rain to your drain. And did you know that space is full of water? It's one of the mos...Show More

How do you catch a cold?

20:43 | Jun 10th, 2014

We've been catching colds for millennia - but it wasn't until fairly recently that we actually understood how and why we get sneezy, coughy, and achy. In this episode, we find out more about the common cold: Does standing outside in the cold actually...Show More

Is there life on other planets?

25:08 | May 13th, 2014

Is there anybody out there? Like, WAAAAY out there? In this episode we hear from astronomer Laura Danly about the search for life on other planets. We'll also learn what that search has in common with a fairy tale (HINT: it involves three bears). And...Show More

Minisode: Can football fans create an earthquake?

08:05 | Dec 27th, 2013

If you've ever been tackled, it may feel like an earthquake to you. But in reality, even when a group of linebackers pile on another player, it doesn't shake the earth much. But can fans create enough noise to cause an earthquake? Give a listen to fi...Show More

Numbers!

31:14 | Dec 6th, 2013

The questions we have about numbers are uncountable -- but here are a few of them: Where does zero come from? How is there more than one kind of infinity? What is it like to do math when numbers have different colors -- and personalities? (All of the...Show More

Minisode: Talking to computers

04:26 | Oct 28th, 2013

Everything a computer -- or tablet or phone or website or video game -- is able to do is because someone somehwere told it what to do and how to do it.

Secrets!

24:37 | Oct 14th, 2013

If you look a little closer, listen a little harder, you'll notice the secret life of things all around you. Want to know about the secret lives of bees, crickets, coral -- and your own backyard? Give a listen!

'Because Bees' by Rupert Angeleyes

0:00 | Sep 23rd, 2013

The number of honeybees has been shrinking and scientists are trying to figure out why this is happening. We asked Rupert Angeleyes to write a song for us about what would happen if all the bees disappeared.

Sleeping!

19:42 | Mar 15th, 2013

NA

Music!

20:55 | Mar 1st, 2013

NA

Eating!

20:33 | Oct 1st, 2012

NA