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Why do flowers bloom?

Why do flowers bloom?

2022-05-0622:4216

Why do flowers bloom? How do flowers grow? Why are flowers different colors? Why do people find flowers beautiful? How are seeds made? Why do plants grow from seeds? Why do we put seeds in the garden? We’re answering your questions about seeds and flowers with garden writer Charlie Nardozzi and Hannes Dempewolf from The Crop Trust. Find more answers to plant questions in two of our older episodes: How Do Big Plants Grow From Such Small Seeds? and Are Seeds Alive?  Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript New seeds are made through pollination, plant reproduction. Pollen makes its way to the ovary of a flower in various ways. Sometimes it is spread from one flower to another by a pollinator, like a bee or hummingbird. Some flowers are called “perfect”, meaning they can reproduce with their own pollen–not the pollen from another plant. But they still need a way for their own pollen to drop onto their egg. A gentle gust of wind, or the jostling of the plant by a gardener's hand can do the trick.  The flower will create the seed and then the flower structure will fade, leaving behind a seed. Sometimes it’s in a pod, sometimes it’s in a fruit or other structure to protect it.  Seeds are alive, but dormant. They contain all the nutrients needed to make a new plant. That seed will wait for the right conditions to germinate and create a new plant. Some seeds only need a little moisture to germinate, others need to be submerged in water. There are many different kinds of seeds and they have different necessary conditions. Flowers can be many different colors. They use those colors to attract pollinators. Those colors are created by pigments, natural colorings, in the plants. Some plants only flower once per year, others can bloom multiple times. Some plants flower in spring, others in summer, and some in fall. There is a lot of diversity in plants and the way they reproduce. That benefits all of us because if some plants aren’t thriving in certain conditions, other plants may do better.  Resources Seed sprouting experiment Window gardening for kids Webinar: Gardening with Kids
Why are some people right-handed and some are left-handed? And what’s up with some people being ambidextrous (equally good with both hands)? Why, in the past, did some people try to make left-handed people use their right hands? We talk with Chris McManus, professor and author of the book Right Hand, Left Hand: The Origins of Asymmetry in Brains, Bodies, Atoms, and Cultures. We’ll even find out how common left-handedness (or left-pawedness) is in other animals! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Why do we prefer one hand over the other? McManus says it probably pays to specialize. It’s better to do something with one hand over and over and get really good at it, as opposed to doing it sometimes with one hand and sometimes with the other. For example, it takes years to develop your handwriting, so it would take twice as long to develop good handwriting with both hands! How do we pick which hand? We chose the hand that feels more normal to us, and then we practice with that hand. Try a simple experiment: bring your hands together quickly and entwine your fingers like you’re holding hands with yourself. Which thumb do you have on top? Now switch which thumb is on top. It probably feels a bit wrong. 90 percent of people use their right hand more. Our brain is asymmetrical (different on the right and left sides), and most of us use the left half of our brain to talk. Our heart is also on the left side of our body for most humans and vertebrates. There must be an advantage to being left-handed or we wouldn’t have left-handed people, but no one is sure exactly what that advantage is. What about people who say they’re ambidextrous? McManus believes there’s no such thing. He says people who say they’re ambidextrous are generally good at different things with each hand, but aren’t actually equally good at everything with both hands. McManus calls these people mixed-handers. Many animals also have handedness. But while right-handedness is dominant i people, animals tend to split down the middle. (So, for example, half of cats are right-handed, half are left-handed. Same goes for dogs and mice etc. in the 19th century, when people wrote with pens dipped in inkwells, writing with your left hand was messy business, as left hands would smear ink across the page. But as people have shifted to mostly typing, the hand you write with matters less. For every five left-handed boys, there are only four left-handed girls, and scientists have no idea why.
Why do pigs oink?

Why do pigs oink?

2022-04-0832:234

Why do pigs snort? And why do we call their snorts “oink” in English? We’re taking our exploration of animal noises in two directions today. First we’ll learn about why we use different words to describe animal noises, depending on what language we’re speaking. And then we’ll examine what animals are actually saying when they oink or tweet or moo! Our guests are linguist and author Arika Okrent and bioacoustic researcher Elodie Briefer, of the University of Copenhagen. Other questions we tackle in this episode: Do cows make different amounts of “moos” to say different words? Why do ducks make loud noises? Why do roosters cockadoodle-do in the morning? PLUS, so many kids sent us animal noises in different languages and we’ll hear them all! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Bioacoustics is the study of sounds made in nature. Scientists like Elodie Briefer study how animals make sounds and what information we can find in those sounds. Scientists will record sounds and use computers to measure and analyze what they hear and use observational skills to help determine what the sounds might mean. Animals speak in emotion, not in words. Pigs have contact calls as well as positive and negative calls. Researchers have found that pigs will make longer calls when they are unhappy. Scientists and animal welfare advocates hope to use this information to eventually develop an app that farmers can use to improve animals’ lives on farms. With words like moo, oink and cockadoodle-do, we are giving a name to a sound. But we’re not just trying to mimic the sound. Most of us can make the sound of a pig snort but we need words like oink because we don’t want to stop using our language to make a pig snort in the middle of a conversation. Human voices are capable of millions of sounds but a language only uses a subset of those sounds. Our animal noise words will use the sounds available in our individual languages. Words that sound like the sound they are describing are called onomatopoeia. An animal has to have some cultural importance for a language to create a word for its call. That’s why we don’t have words in English for the noise a camel or a sloth would make. In Turkish there is no word for a pig call because that culture doesn’t keep pigs on farms.
We’re bringing back an episode from the archives, all about the moon: Why does the moon change shape? How much does it weigh? What color is it? Why does the Earth only have one moon? Why does it have holes? Where does it go when we can't see it? Why do we sometimes see it in the daytime? And why does the moon look like it's following you when you're in the car? Answers to your moon questions with John O'Meara, chief scientist at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript | Coloring Page We can see the moon during the day for the same reason we see the moon at night. The surface of the moon is reflecting the sun's light into our eyes. But we don't see the moon all the time during the day, and that's because of where the moon might be in the sky. There are times where the moon is on the other side of the earth so we can’t see it. We see the moon in the sky when it’s in the right spot and it’s reflecting enough light to be brighter than the background of the sky. The moon is a satellite. A satellite is something that moves or rotates around a planet, the earth in this case. The moon is 239,000 miles away. That's far, but it's way closer than any of the other stars or planets you can see in the night sky. That's why the moon looks so big compared to other celestial objects even though the stars are actually much bigger. The moon weighs 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds. That’s a lot! But it’s such a big number it’s hard to imagine how much that weighs. Instead, think about how much the moon weighs compared to the Earth. It turns out that the moon is about 1% percent the mass of the earth. That’s a lot! When you’re in a car and it feels like the moon is following you, what you’re actually seeing is an optical illusion. The moon is very far away, compared to anything else you see when you're driving — like the telephone poles that appear to fly past your car as you're going down a highway. But the moon is so far away that its size and shape in the sky doesn’t change, so it feels like the moon is following you.
The invasion of Ukraine has been the top story in the news for the last few weeks, and kids around the world are asking questions about what is happening and what it means for them. In this episode we ask Erin Hutchinson, Assistant Professor of Russian History at the University of Colorado Boulder, to help us understand the history behind this conflict. Adults: we don’t go into detail about what war looks like on the ground, but we acknowledge war is a scary topic. You may want to preview this episode ahead of time to make sure it's right for your kids. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript We have collected some resources for parents/caregivers about how to talk to kids about war and ways families can help.  How to talk to kids about war Meet the Helpers Common Sense Media News Sources for Kids from Common Sense Media NAMLE Parent’s Guide to Media Literacy Ways To Help Save the Children UNICEF Eurasia Foundation Donations for refugees in Moldova
Violet, 5, wants to know: what was life like before refrigerators? And Ellinor, 6, asks: how did they make ice in the old times? In this episode, we learn about the history of ice harvesting and the industry that built up around it, where ice cut from lakes in New England was shipped to as far away as India and the Caribbean. We hear more about this history from Gavin Weightman, author of The Frozen Water Trade. And we visit Rockywold-Deephaven Camps in New Hampshire, where ice is still harvested each winter from Squam Lake and used to keep old fashioned ice boxes at the camp cool all summer long. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Before refrigeration, people stored food in a lot of different ways. Food would be smoked, dried, salted, fermented or pickled. It would also be kept in root cellars or pits underground. Wealthy people who lived in cold climates were more likely to have an ice pit or later an ice house where they would keep ice for use in warm months. In the 1800s, a Massachusetts man named Frederic Tudor thought he could get wealthy by shipping ice to warmer climates. After trying and failing many times, he finally succeeded in convincing people that there was a market for ice and wound up shipping ice around the world, as far away as India. The ice was kept cold by insulating it with straw and sawdust and stored in warehouses until it was time to be used. People cut ice from lakes using hand saws. Eventually they started using horse drawn machinery to cut ice, but it was still hard and dangerous work. People in cities also became accustomed to ice as an everyday necessity, and eventually, naturally harvested ice was eventually replaced by ice made in factories. In cities, “ice men” would deliver ice to butchers and fishmongers, and to individual houses, where people would use them in their ice boxes. Ice boxes were wooden or metal chests with a compartment in the top where a block of ice would be placed. Cold air falls and cools the food below it. Ice boxes needed more ice every day or two. The electric refrigerator was invented in the early 1900s and became popular by 1940. Resources Ice Harvesting Video
Why is the heart a symbol of love? Why do people draw hearts when they love someone? Why do we draw hearts the way we do when they're nothing like the hearts inside of your body? And do we need a heart to love or does the brain do it? We’re learning all about hearts and symbolism with Thomas and Stephen Amidon, authors of The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart.    Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript No one really knows where the heart symbol comes from, but there are theories. One is that the heart shape comes from the shape of the leaves of a now-extinct plant called silphium, which was considered a key component of a love potion in the time of the Romans. Another theory is that St. Valentine used the symbol when arranging secret marriages. Another is that it was simply a guess of what the human heart looked like. Love and other emotions are actually regulated in the brain, not the heart. Specifically, a part of the brain called the amygdala. People might partly associate the heart with strong emotions like love because when we get excited to see someone, our heart sometimes beats faster, and we notice our heartbeat. We aren’t really aware of what’s happening in our brain. The human heart pumps blood to all parts of your body. The heart beats once a second. If you live to the age of 70, your heart will have beat about 2 billion times!   Resources How the heart actually pumps blood - TEDEd Your Hardworking Heart and Spectacular Circulatory System by Paul Mason Heart and Circulatory System Activities
The U.S. Mint is producing a new series of quarters featuring American women. The first one, featuring poet Maya Angelou, has just been released. We're learning about coins are made and how images are chosen for money around the world. The US has a law preventing any living person from appearing on its money. Kenya has a new rule preventing any individual people on their money at all. Meanwhile, many countries with kings or queens have those leaders on their money while they’re still in power. Questions we tackle in this episode: How are coins made and how do they get their logos? How are presidents chosen for coins? Why does Lincoln have his shoulder in the picture while other presidents don’t? Why are coins different sizes? What are coins made of? We learn more from Rodney Gillis of the American Numismatic Association and Leigh Gordon of the Royal Australian Mint.  Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Some people like learning about coins so much they collect them! A coin collector is called a numistmatist! Numismatics is the study or collection of coins, paper currency, and medals. The U.S. Mint makes coins for the United States. There are four facilities in the US where our coins are made: San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, and West Point, New York A new image on a coin requires approval from Congress. Australian coins feature kangaroos, koalas and native plants.  U.S. Coins mostly feature former presidents, but some non-presidents have appeared on coins including Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea and Ben Franklin. The reverse side of quarters changes frequently. There are quarters for every state. Over the next four years the U.S. Mint is releasing quarters featuring 20 notable American women. US law says no living person can be pictured on our money. Today, the smallest US coin is a dime. But there used to be something called a trime! It was a tiny 3-cent coin and it was so small and thin that it often got bent in people’s pockets. Resources Coins for A’s U.S. Mint Collector’s Corner How Coins Are Made
Why does the wind blow?

Why does the wind blow?

2022-01-1432:004

What causes wind? How is wind created?  Why does the wind blow in different ways? How does the wind start blowing and what makes it stop? Why is it windy by the ocean? Why does it get windy when the weather is changing? How is it you can you feel and hear the wind but not see it? Why is the wind sometimes strong and sometimes cold? Answers to all of your wind questions with National Weather Service Meteorologist Rebecca Duell. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Wind is just the air around us moving. The atmosphere always wants to be in balance. Some areas of the atmosphere have more air pressure than others. When there’s a pressure imbalance, the higher pressure air moves to fill a vacuum left by lower pressure air. The wind starts blowing when that balance is off  - when one area is heated more than another area. That heat comes from the sun. Warm air will rise and cold air will sink. When one area is heated that warm air will start to rise. Air at the surface will be rushing to fill that area where the air is rising. Wind near the ocean is called a sea breeze. The land is absorbing more heat from the sun than the ocean water absorbs. As the less dense warm air over the land starts to rise and the cooler, the more dense air over the ocean rushes in to fill the space. If there’s enough moisture in the air when it rises, it will cause rains, which is why you often get afternoon rain and thunderstorms in places like Florida. The wind can be hot or cold depending on where that air is coming from. The northern winds will be colder, winds from the south will be warmer. (In the northern hemisphere. It’s opposite in the southern hemisphere.) Related Episodes What’s What With The Weather? How Do Meteorologists Predict the Weather?  Experiment One way to see the wind is to put some steam or smoke into the air. Which way is it blowing? Be sure to have an adult help you! Or you can look at a smokestack or chimney. Which way is the smoke blowing? Are there other ways you can see the wind?
We asked our listeners: if you could invent anything what would it be? And we got so many fantastic ideas from kids all over the world: a solar cooler, a chimney that changes carbon dioxide to oxygen, a slide that gives you an ice cream cone at the bottom, and more. Some kids would like to invent robots that do their chores, flying cars, teleporting devices to take them back in time, and even a bully behavior zapper.  This episode is all about creativity! But how do you take a great idea and turn it into reality? We’ll get advice from teenage brothers Ayaan and Mika’il Naqvi, who invented, patented and now sell Ornament Anchor after Ayaan came up with the idea in fourth grade.  Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript What would you invent? Inventors are often driven by a desire to create something that would help solve a problem. Our listeners are interested in ways to tackle climate change, clean up the environment and to make life easier or more fun for all. Once an inventor has an idea, they can get something called a patent. A patent protects the idea and means that no one else can take that concept and start selling a product without permission from the inventor.  Once someone has a patent, there are a lot more steps required to actually start a business. People who start businesses are sometimes called entrepreneurs. They need to find a way to manufacture (make) and sell the product. Some companies will do research to figure out how well a product will sell and who will buy it.   Learning Resources Little Inventors  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Resources for Kids Camp Invention
Why do seasons change?

Why do seasons change?

2021-12-1732:292

Why do seasons change? Why does it get darker earlier in the winter and why is there more daylight in the summer? Why are some seasons warm and some are cold and icy? Why do some places not have seasonal changes at all? We’re learning about solstices, equinoxes and seasons in this episode of But Why. Our guide is John O’Meara, Chief Scientist at Hawaii’s Keck Observatory. And kids around the world tell us what they like best about their favorite season.  Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript The solstices are on December 21 and 22 and June 20 or 21, those are when the earth is leaning as far away from the sun or as close to the sun as it gets. Whether the solstice is your winter or summer solstice depends on whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere. The two equinoxes - when both hemispheres are getting about the same amount of solar energy are on March 21 or 22 or September 22 or 23.  If you want to visualize the solstice, John O’Meara has an experiment. Find a ball and a flashlight. Have someone hold the flashlight; you hold the ball. Spin the ball around and around, the way the earth would rotate in a day. You can even draw a dot on the ball to mark where you are. Now lean the ball a little bit away from the light and keep spinning. Remember the earth is tilted on its axis (23.5 degrees to be exact!). Observe how the light falls differently on the dot. It forces the sunlight to be brighter on some spots and darker in others even during the day because of the way the light falls on the earth.  In some parts of the world there aren’t big seasonal changes. Those places are near the equator. The equator is a line around the middle of the earth, where the sphere is at its fattest or widest. While the poles get more or less light because of the tilt of the earth, the middle stays centered, so people near the equator have about the same length of daylight all year and don’t have as many seasonal shifts in light and temperature. The amount of sunlight in any given location makes a big impact on how cold or hot it is. But there are other factors that determine the climate (long-term weather trends) where you live, too. Differences in the landscape, global wind systems, proximity (how close or far you are) from the ocean, and precipitation patterns also determine what the seasons will feel like where you live. 
How are babies made?

How are babies made?

2021-12-0324:387

How are babies made? We speak with Cory Silverberg, author of What Makes A Baby, for answers to questions about how we all come into the world. This is a conversation that welcomes all kinds of families as we answer questions about why babies don't hatch out of eggs, why boys have nipples, why girls have babies but boys don't and why some people look more like one parent more than the other. Later in the episode we also explore how we get our last names and how two people can have the same last name when they're not related. We made this episode with our youngest listeners in mind, but parents may want to preview this episode on their own or listen with their kids. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript "How are babies made?" - Wade, 7, Charlottesville, Va. In his book What Makes a Baby, Cory Silverberg begins by reminding kids and grownups that there are really two questions: what makes a baby in general, and then the more specific question that is unique to you--where did you come from? That's a question that only your parent or parents or the adults who love you can answer. While there are lots of ways that babies join families, some things are true for all of us. “For all humans to be born we need three things. We need to start with an egg; we need to start with a sperm; and those come from two different bodies. And then we need a third body part which is called a uterus. That's where we grow, where this tiny, tiny thing grows into a baby, which is the thing you are when you are born," Silverberg explains. Book recommendations from Cory Silverberg Books Geared to Kids 4 - 7 (ish) What Makes a Baby By Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth A book about where babies come from that works for every kind of family, regardless of who is in it and how the child came to be. What's the Big Secret: Talking about Sex with Girls and Boys By Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown A simplified and clear introduction to reproduction, genitals, and touch. Leaves out a lot of kids and families, but better than most. Who Are You? The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee and Naomi Bardoff Also simplified, but a good introduction on gender identity written and illustrated for younger children. Books Geared to Kids 7 to 10 (ish) The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls By Valorie Schaefer and Josee Masse Only for girls, and not trans inclusive, but still one of the best books to cover a range of sexuality and puberty related topics. It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families By Robie Harris and Michael Emberly Covers reproduction including intercourse gestation and birth, with a focus on heterosexual, gender normative parents and kids. Sex Is a Funny Word By Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth Covers body parts, boundaries, touch, and an extensive gender section for kids and families of all identities and orientations. Stacey's Not a Girl By Colt Keo-Meier, illustrated by Jesse Yang A picture book about a kid who knows they aren't a girl, but isn't sure if they are a boy.
Why is the Burj Khalifa so tall? That’s what 5-year-old Simon wants to know. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and it’s located in Dubai. 6-year-old Isabel, who lives in Dubai, visited the tower and gives us the bird’s eye view in this episode! Plus, Janny Gédéon, architecture educator and founder of ArchForKids answers lots more questions about tall buildings: How are tall buildings built? How do they stay up? Why are so many buildings squares or rectangles? How do they make buildings that are taller than cranes? Resources Architecture workshops and online learning: ArchForKids Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slides | Transcript Why is the Burj Khalifa so tall? - Simon, 5, Chicago The Burj Khalifa is 160 stories tall. It measures over 2,716 feet tall – or if you think in metric that’s 828 meters. “If you put 450 grown ups stacked on top of each other, that would be the height of the building,” Janny Gedeon says. Architecture is the science of designing buildings. Architects consider the purpose of the building and what it will be used for and then they design that space. Square and rectangular buildings are less expensive to build, but architects do like to design buildings in interesting shapes. Check out the Lipstick Building in New York or the Gherkin in London, or the Sydney Opera House. Tall buildings are more common in cities because they allow more people to live in a smaller space. They have to build vertically to fit more people in a small area. “The footing, the space that the building takes is not that big, so they have to build up,” Janny says. The footing is like your footprint, the amount of space you take on the ground. Manhattan is built on a very strong rock, so it can support those tall buildings. Buildings stay up in much the same way humans stay up. There are footings--think of them like feet--that go into the ground. Buildings have a skeleton, called a structural frame, kind of like bones in a human. And on the outside, they have a cladding, aluminum or glass or other materials, kind of like our skin. Wind is a big consideration for architects building tall buildings. They design the buildings to sway. If buildings are too brittle they will break, they are designed to sway. Most skyscrapers get narrower toward the top. In earthquake prone areas, buildings sometimes have footings on a track so they can move. Activity Try making the tallest tower you possibly can, just using paper. (Newspaper works great if you have some newsprint lying around. But printer paper or construction paper is fine, too.) You should focus on making it strong and stable. Strong means that it can hold something. Stable means that if it’s pushed to the side it can stay upright. You can use cardboard for the base, but otherwise, see how you can do with just paper. Need a hint? Janny says to think about the ways you’d stay stable when playing sports.
Squirrels are everywhere. Three hundred or so species of these often adorable rodents live on every continent except Antarctica. No matter where you live, city or country you’re bound to have squirrels nearby. How much do you know about our bushy-tailed neighbors? How fast do squirrels and chipmunks run? Why do squirrels have big bushy tails? Do squirrels get sick? Why do they like nuts better than berries? How do squirrels eat acorns? How do squirrels sleep? Are squirrels nocturnal?  Answers to your squirrel questions with Ben Dantzer, scientist at University of Michigan. Plus some observational activities you can do to learn more about squirrel behavior! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slides | Transcript Submit your squirrel observations to iNaturalist How do squirrels climb up trees? -Rachel, 5, Alabama Squirrels have long nails and they have five digits (fingers or toes) on their paws just like us.  And squirrels are expert climbers. “Some tree, or arboreal, squirrels are really well adapted to climb up trees whereas ground squirrels also have nails or claws, but they use them primarily for digging and not for climbing,” explains Ben Dantzer. “Tree squirrels have this especially long middle digit that helps them climb up and down trees.” So an extra long middle finger and they can do something else that humans can’t. “The most helpful thing they can do is when they climb down a tree, squirrels can turn their back feet around when they’re climbing down head first. They turn their rear feet entirely around so they can use those claws to hang down from a tree and walk down easily.” What? Tree squirrels can turn their feet all the way around so they’re backwards when the squirrel is climbing down a tree?! Time to go outside and see if you can observe that in the wild!
The FDA recently gave emergency use authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids age 5 to 11. With all the news and conversation about this development, kids are curious to know more about the Covid vaccine--and vaccines in general! So in this episode we answer questions from kids and parents, including: Why does it have to be a shot? How do vaccines work? How does a vaccine trial work? Should an 11.5yo get the shot as soon as it’s available or wait until age 12 to get the larger dose? We speak with Sofia and Nico Chavez and their parents. The kids took part in the vaccine trial at Stanford University. We’re also joined by Dr. Jenna Bollyky, an investigator in the Stanford trial site, and Dr. Mark Levine, Vermont’s Health Commissioner. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slides | Transcript Strategies to prepare kids for shots Vaccine Info from the CDC. “Why do they have to use needles for shots?”  - Nina, 6, Maryland “In general, vaccines are a way to train your immune system without having to get sick,’ explains Dr. Bollyky Your immune system is how your body works to fight off sickness from things like viruses. Most vaccines use a small protein from the virus you want to fight, or from a similar virus – and they put that little protein in your body in a very small and weakened or changed amount to help your body learn how to fight the real invader. But giving the vaccine as a drink or a pill wouldn’t work, because of your stomach acid! “Whenever we want to give a protein or something that your body turns into a protein, the acid in the stomach does a really good job of breaking down that protein. So it’s really hard to get a vaccine that comes as a pill,” Bollyky says. “Why can’t we drink medicine to keep us safe from the virus, instead of shots? - Eloise, 5, Texas In order to get that vaccine into your muscle, where it needs to go, a doctor or a nurse uses a thin needle. They do have to poke you, but that doesn’t mean they like it. “If we could give it as a pill we would,” Dr. Bollyky promises! While that poke might hurt, sometimes the anticipation of the shot is worse than the real thing. The reason your arm sometimes aches after getting a shot is that the immune cells are coming to be educated. “The cells around where the medication was delivered, they’re doing their job, they’re taking in the information they need and are starting to train your immune system,” Dr. Bollyky assures us. “So that immune response is exactly what you want to teach your body to fight the infection should you encounter the real virus later.” It’s normal to feel a little tired or run down after some vaccines, including the COVID vaccine. But if you feel very ill, you should contact a doctor or health care provider.
How Do Apples Grow?

How Do Apples Grow?

2021-10-0829:576

Why do apples have stems? Why do fruits start out as flowers? How did the first apple grow when no one was there to plant its seed? Why can you make a seedless grape and not a seedless apple? Why are apples so juicy? How is apple juice made? Why are apples hard and pears soft? In this episode we take a field trip to Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, Vermont to learn more about apples. Our guides are 10-year-old Rupert Suhr, his father, Bill, and apple expert Ezekiel Goodband.  Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript  Flower to Fruit Image Why are some fruits a flower before they’re fruit? - Grayson, 8, San Jose, California Actually ALL fruits start as flowers (but not all flowers turn into fruit). Growing fruit is a way that some plants reproduce. Fruit is the nice ripe container that holds the seeds, which humans or animals will eat and then spread around (often through their poop), allowing new plants to grow. But that process begins with a flower. The outer part of the flower often has beautiful colors and shapes and smells—and that’s all part of the way the plant tries to attract a bee or other pollinator: “The flower has an ovary at the base of the petals. The petals are enticing a bee to come with the pollen from another blossom that it’s visited and there’s some nectar that the bee can collect and while the bee is doing that it’s shedding some pollen,” explains Ezekiel Goodband. “That pollen completes the information that the apple needs to start growing. So the flower is to attract the bee.” That ovary at the base of the flower will start to grow and that will become the apple that you eat. If you look at the bottom of an apple—the opposite end of where the stem is attached to the tree—you can actually see where the flower used to be. It even kind of looks a little bit like a tiny flower.
How Deep Is The Ocean?

How Deep Is The Ocean?

2021-09-2420:0510

We’re exploring a part of the world that not much is known about—in fact, you could be one of the people who help us understand and learn more about this very important, and very large, part of our earth. The land underneath the ocean is as varied and interesting as the terrain up on dry land—with mountains and canyons, plains and forests. (That’s right, forests! There are kelp forests where the kelp is as much as 150 feet tall!) In this episode, what’s known--and unknown--about the bottom of the ocean. How deep IS the deepest part of the ocean? And how was the Mariana Trench formed? We get answers from Jamie McMichael-Phillips and Vicki Ferrini of Seabed 2030, a global collaboration designed to map the sea floor, by 2030. Resources Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Seabed 2030  Visual: What Lurks In The Depths Of the Ocean? (CBC Kids) “How deep is the deepest part of the ocean?” –Freya, 8, Wellington, New Zealand The deepest part of the ocean is the Challenger Deep, 11,034 meters in the Mariana Trench. It’s about seven miles deep! How did the trench get so deep?  The same processes that formed canyons and mountains on dry land also formed the depths of the ocean and the islands that peek above the water. In the case of the Mariana Trench, it was formed by the process of subduction—when one tectonic plate slides under another. A tectonic plate is a gigantic piece of the earth’s crust and the next layer below that, called the upper mantle. These massive slabs of rock are constantly moving, but usually very slowly, so a lot of changes to the earth’s structure take place over a long time. But sometimes something like an earthquake can speed that process up. A trench is formed when one plate slides or melts beneath another one. The Mariana Trench is the deepest trench in the world—farther below sea level than Mount Everest, is tall!
Kala wants to know why we say soccer in the United States, when the rest of the world calls the game "football." In this episode we hear from people who make their living in the game: professional players, coaches and commentators. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript “Why is soccer called 'soccer,' instead of being called 'football?'” - Kala, Colchester, Vt. "It's an interesting question because so many people around the world play the game of football," said David Saward, now-retired men's coach at Middlebury College. "What happened with the words soccer and football goes back to the 1800s when the game was developed. There were two groups of people in Britain who got together to set the rules of two different games, one that was known as rugby football, and another that was known as association football. From those two first words: 'rugby' and 'association,' came two very separate games. Rugby was abbreviated to the word 'rugger.' And out of the word 'association' came 'soccer.' That's the root of where the two differences came." So although these days you probably won't hear many Brits calling the sport "soccer," the word actually originated there. Americans brought the nickname to the US, and as the sport became popular, soccer stuck. "When you look around the world," says Coach Saward, "there are all sorts of different forms of football: American football, Australian rules football, Gaelic football, rugby football and association football. I think for the clarity of everyone over here when we say the word football, we think of people running around with helmets and pads on; so soccer is a very clear distinction."
Who Invented Money?

Who Invented Money?

2021-08-2722:256

In this episode of But Why we visit a credit union to learn what money is all about. And Felix Salmon, Anna Szymanski and Jordan Weissman from Slate Money answer questions about why money plays such a big role in modern society. How was money invented? Why can't everything be free? How do you earn money? How was the penny invented? Why are dimes so small? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Related Episodes: What Is The Biggest Number? Resources: How To Talk To Kids About Money, Million Bazillion podcast Who invented money? - Luca, 9, Ashland, Ore. There's no first person we can point to who invented money. The idea of money has evolved as human society got more complicated. In the early days of humankind, people mostly bartered. Bartering is essentially trading. But over time people realized they needed to have a system for dealing with things when there wasn't an easy trade. If you have something I want but I don't want anything you're offering because I really need something else, how do we work it out? That's where the earliest forms of money emerged. First they were things like shells or rocks. Then pieces of clay with symbols or faces pressed into them. These things don't have much value by themselves, but if everyone agrees that they're going to use them as a symbol of value, you can trade them and start a system of payment. Eventually these objects became more formalized, turning into coins and paper dollar bills, like the ones we use today. These days there's another method of buying and selling: the credit or debit card.
Five-year-old Odin in Wyoming is about to start school and he sent us this question: If I’m terrified about kindergarten do I have to go? What should I do if I’m scared? What if kids are mean to me? In this episode, tips and suggestions from our listeners for kids returning to school, along with answers from guidance counselor Tosha Todd and National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Related Episodes: Why Do We Have To Go To School? First day of school book recommendations from Tosha Todd First Day Jitters Night Before Kindergarten Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten The Kissing Hand Back to school tips Make a hug button! Draw a heart on the inside of your hand. Draw a heart on your parent’s hand. Squeeze them together to charge your hug button. If you feel nervous at school, push the hug button and it will send you a hug. - Tosha Todd, school guidance counselor Keep a picture of your family in your backpack. You can share with your teacher the things your family does for fun. That will help your teacher understand your family. - Juliana Urtubey, National Teacher of the Year If you're nervous try to have fun and try to make some friends and the school year will be a lot better.-  Zoe, 10 Colorado Remind yourself that you are brave and confident. - Clarissa, 8, Ontario Get into a school routine now. Pick out your clothes the night before. Maybe pack your lunch too. - Tosha Todd When I start school I feel nervous, but when I step in I feel ok. For the first few days I play by myself. When those first few days are done, I play with others. - Julius, 8, Ontario Take a deep breath, be kind to someone and they'll be kind to you. - Zoe, 6, California Get everyone's names and if you forget them it's ok to ask again. - Lucy, Vermont Say hi to all the kids. - Ben, 6, Michigan You're going to make friends, and your mom and dad will pick you up; they're not going to leave you there forever. - Sly, 7, New York
Comments (107)

Dylan Dunn

You helped me understand it so well!

Apr 15th
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K

This is the first episode we've ever listened to of this podcast and we're never listening again. The guy going on and on about how it's a parents "job", "duty", and a basic parenting requirement to check under their bed for monsters and whatnot was so condescending, smarmy, and he honestly sounds like he doesn't have children or he's not a good parent. What you're doing when you check each and every sound out for them is teaching them to solely rely on YOU to make them not scared anymore. That teaches them to be scared of every noise, that they need to get an adult to check out every noise, and to rely on other people not to be scared. Absolutely terrible parenting and I'm so glad we didn't let our son listen to this by himself.

Dec 27th
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the DEVIL

hola

Dec 8th
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Jessica Rebella

being racist is the worst thing you can do trust me just except everyone ok and be nice ok🙂🖤🤍👍👍🌗⬛⬜

Nov 30th
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Cupcake_EmilyCutie

why is the sky blue?

Aug 1st
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Cupcake_EmilyCutie

why are there bears in the world?

Aug 1st
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이지은

I have listened to almost all of your podcasts!♡♡

Jul 23rd
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samaneh

thanks jane

Jul 15th
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Jun 25th
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fyiimcrazy

Wow, thanks for helping me learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I know this is in 2021, 2 years later, but I still listened to it. This is very inspiring. I hope Mary's thoughts get to enter the real world!( I'm not a fake, I actually acted in doctor who, look me up)

May 13th
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fyiimcrazy

Amazing. Thanks for helping me learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I know this is in 2021, but I listened to the podcast even 2 years later.

May 13th
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RADIO REBEL DJ.34

my little brother loves this episode your little ones will to

Mar 9th
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Faranak Raste

In my mother tongue Farsi,we call lady bugs "Kafshdoozak" which means shoe maker!

Jan 27th
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Max Madan

hi I’m nine I LOVE THIS PODCAST I speak Russian and English and rarely listen to a Russian podcast called карманный Учёный so if you speak and understand Russian check it out and also there’s a awesome podcast called bedtime histories it’s in English 

Jan 18th
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Max Madan

hi I’m nine I LOVE THIS PODCAST I speak Russian and English and rarely listen to a Russian podcast called карманный Учёный so if you speak and understand Russian check it out and also there’s a awesome podcast called bedtime histories it’s in English 

Jan 18th
Reply

Peyman Karimi

I'm not a kid :D, but I love this podcast and listen to it evertime a new opisode pops out.

Jan 11th
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leila sarlak

from one to one hundred i give 1000000000

Jan 2nd
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Kate Sheahan

My podcast is What’s That Witch but imma change it soon 🔜 tO bE dElEtEd

Dec 29th
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Kate Sheahan

I am 10 years old and I just found this I am obsessed!!!!🤩can you do one for ways to bond with your 🐎 horse? I ride horses and I’m a #HorseGirl so yea Also if you are too comment #FellowHorseKid

Dec 29th
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enda west

I'm 8 I love what you do thank you so much keep doing what you do

Dec 23rd
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