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Brains On! Science podcast for kids
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Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Author: 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 ranging from the science behind sneezing to how to translate the purr of cats, and go wherever the answers take us. @Brains_On
241 Episodes
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In this episode, we 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 computers, almost at the speed of light.
How do flu vaccines work?

How do flu vaccines work?

2019-10-0800:36:151

The flu shot changes every year. But why is the flu special, if other illnesses have much longer-lasting vaccines? This episode takes us into the world of viruses and immunity.A friendly lymphocyte fills us in on how flu shots work, and science journalist Anna Rothschild shares how vaccines started around the world. We'll hear from some virus-busting detectives to see how scientists solve the case of how to make next year’s flu shot as effective as possible. Author Maryn McKenna will stop by and drop some flu knowledge, too!Get your ears ready for a good, thumping mystery sound, and a new Moment of Um: how do straws work?This episode is sponsored by America’s Test Kitchen Kids (atkkids.com/brainson and promo code ATKKIDS10), Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner (bona.com/brainson) and Quip (getquip.com/brainson). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate
Why do we lie?

Why do we lie?

2019-10-0100:35:556

Most of us think we’re good at detecting lies, but it turns out humans only get it right about half the time. And why do we do it anyway? What makes us want to deceive other people? In this episode we get to the truth about lying. We take a look at when people start lying, and how that helps us in our development as humans. We also hear from A. Lie, who tries to remind us that we might need lies more than we think. Plus, Angela Evans stops by and fills us in on the latest lie detection research. And remember to listen for the Moment of Um at the end of the show. This time we get squishy and find out if sponges are still harvested from the sea. This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson), Hello Products (helloproducts.com and promo code HELLOBRAIN) and America’s Test Kitchen Kids Young Chef’s Club (atkkids.com/brainson and promo code atkkids10).
Never explore the final frontier without your trusty, white, puffy space suit! But why is it puffy and white? And why do astronauts need them? Turns out space is super dangerous and these suits can save your life. We’ll give you a tour of all the features of NASA’s iconic EMU suit and explain why it looks like a squishy marshmallow. Plus, we’ll interview an engineer working on the next generation of space suits and hear a funky new space jam by singer Jamie Lidell. Add in a mystery sound, a Moment of Um looking at knuckle cracking and some rad ideas for super suits of the future and you’ve got an action packed episode of Brains On.This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (KiwiCo.com/brainson), Panama City Beach (VisitPanamaCityBeach.com), The Great Courses Plus (TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/brainson) and Quip (GetQuip.com/brainson). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate
Have you heard the word dyslexia before? It's a term used to describe when people have a hard time learning to read. It's actually very common because reading is a fairly new skill that humans have developed.In this episode we do a deep dive on dyslexia. We'll look at how our brains have cobbled together the ability to read by re-purposing parts of the brain that evolved for other functions. And we’ll learn what scientists think might be going on in the brains of people with dyslexia when they learn to read. We also talk to Ann Bancroft, a Polar explorer and educator who also has dyslexia, about why getting lost can be fun.Plus we’ll hear a new Mystery Sound and find out if mice actually do love cheese in our Moment of Um.This episode is sponsored by Sun Basket (sunbasket.com/brains), Old El Paso, and Panama City Beach (VisitPanamaCityBeach.com). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate
How do elevators work?

How do elevators work?

2019-08-1300:42:436

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 about how they’ve changed over time. For instance, did you know the first elevators had no walls?We also speak with historian Lee Gray about two elevator innovators who both happen to be named Otis. Speaking of Otis, Vijay Jayachandran with the Otis Elevator company, joins us to drop some high level elevator facts. Plus, we hear your ideas for the elevators of the future! And listen to the end to our Moment of Um for an answer to this question: Why do crickets chirp?This episode is sponsored by Old El Paso, Sun Basket (sunbasket.com/brains), Panama City Beach (VisitPanamaCityBeach.com) and The Great Courses Plus (thegreatcoursesplus.com/brainson). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate
Today we’re talking genes - the recipe for you! We’ll go microscopic and check out how traits like hair color are passed down through your family. We’ll also hear the story of genetics pioneer Nettie Stevens and find out how current-day geneticist Janina Jeff unlocks the information packed in genes. And if you have ever wondered how two black Labrador retrievers can be the parents of a yellow Lab, you’re not alone. We have the answer to that too. All this and an especially rambunctious Mystery Sound. Don’t forget to listen to through to the end, where the Moment of Um tackles the question: do we sneeze in our sleep?This episode is sponsored by:Discount Tire - Visit discounttire.com to find out more.KiwiCo - Visit kiwico.com/brainson for a free trial to this subscription service of hands on art and science projects.Panama City Beach - Go to VisitPanamaCityBeach.com to find out more
Plastic: Why it's everywhere

Plastic: Why it's everywhere

2019-07-3000:43:159

Human-made plastics are super useful -- they're lightweight, can be molded into anything, and they don’t break down. And because plastic is so versatile, we humans have found lots of uses for it. But the fact that it last forever means we find ourselves with a plastic problem. In this episode, we'll learn about the invention of plastic, how it's made and recycled and what you can do to help handle plastic waste. Plus: A very special appearance by Gungador, a tricky mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: "How do glow in the dark things glow?"One thing you can do now to help with plastic pollution is use Jenna Jambeck's Marine Debris Tracker to report where you're finding plastic in the environment.Today’s episode is sponsored by Old El Paso, Panama City Beach (VisitPanamaCityBeach.com) and Madison Reed (madison-reed.com and coupon code BRAINSON). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate
Ants: Who's in charge here?

Ants: Who's in charge here?

2019-07-2300:40:417

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). We’ll also find out about epic ant battles and how the study of ants is teaching us about how cancer spreads, how the internet can be improved, and could even give us new ways to explore Mars. Plus: Our Moment of Um answers the question: Why do the mountains look blue from far away? This episode is sponsored by Old El Paso, KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson), The Great Courses Plus,(thegreatcoursesplus.com/brainson), and Sun Basket (sunbasket.com/brains). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate.
Trees are the strong, silent type but that doesn’t mean they can’t communicate. In this episode we’ll explore how trees send each other messages above ground and below. Plus we’ll learn how a seed goes from a tiny sapling to a towering plant. We find out some fruit facts and hear an all new Mystery Sound. Oh, and our Moment of Um answers the question: why does the moon sometimes change color? This episode is sponsored by Discount Tire (discounttire.com) and Raddish, a cooking club for kids (RaddishKids.com/brains and coupon code BRAINS). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate.
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Comments (82)

taravat jalalifarahani

please record more shows.

Oct 13th
Reply

Makayla Dastillon

Hi

Sep 28th
Reply

taravat jalalifarahani

hello, could you please record more show, I love your episodes, I wish if you had a new episode every day.

Sep 20th
Reply

Grace Sharry-English

Awesome!

Sep 11th
Reply

trisha philippeaux

???

Aug 23rd
Reply

Caitlin Drummond

I ❤ this podcast!!

Aug 7th
Reply

taravat jalalifarahani

hi. I love brains on. i'm not a child, but I always enjoy listening and learning from you. thank you so much!

Jul 18th
Reply (1)

Nolan the noob

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

Jul 17th
Reply (3)

Hannah Stanford

cooooooooolest science show!

Jul 16th
Reply (1)

Hannah Stanford

coooooooledt

Jul 16th
Reply (1)

Benjamin Nation

you know. out of all the subs. you'd think people would comment more.

Jul 2nd
Reply

Ewan Barr

this is brilliant podcast

Jul 2nd
Reply (1)

Jaya Desai

Great 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀

Jun 11th
Reply

Emily Pust

hello / jello

May 28th
Reply

roger chou

where are the new episodes?

May 15th
Reply (1)

Rachel Berry

yay!! CarTalk was the best! how nice to hear his voice again :)

May 15th
Reply

Belle H

best

May 3rd
Reply

Mexi Shrimp

hot onions!!!

May 1st
Reply

roger chou

super

Apr 22nd
Reply

roger chou

super

Apr 22nd
Reply
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