DiscoverBut Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
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But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

Author: Vermont Public Radio

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But Why is a show led by kids. They ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world. Know a kid with a question? Record it with a smartphone. Be sure to include your kid's first name, age, and town and send the recording to questions@butwhykids.org!
141 Episodes
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A few weeks ago we talked about why kids can't vote and we also answered some questions about the U.S. Presidential Election. It's been two weeks since the November 3rd election, but we're still getting questions about it! We get answers from NPR political reporter Ayesha Rascoe. TRANSCRIPT Here are some of the questions we're tackling in this episode: What would happen if someone counted the votes wrong? Why is President Donald Trump going to court and why are people saying Joe Biden might not be president? What is the Electoral College and why do we still have it; why haven’t we changed to a popular vote? How does the president talk to the people without being on the news? Helping us answer these questions is political reporter Ayesha Rascoe, who covers the White House for NPR. Adults, you might want to check out the NPR Politics Podcast, a daily podcast that frequently features Rascoe's reporting and expertise.
Why Do Whales Sing?

Why Do Whales Sing?

2020-11-0628:01

In our most recent episode, we answered questions about  really big animals: whales! We covered a lot when it comes to these huge aquatic mammals but there was one big topic we didn't get to: and that's how whales communicate.  We'll learn more about the sounds whales make: singing, whistles, and echolocation clicks with Amy Van Cise, a biologist at NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slides | Transcript
Why Are Whales So Big?

Why Are Whales So Big?

2020-10-2330:433

How do whales spray water? Why are humpback whales so fat and blue whales so long, and why are blue whales blue? Do whales have belly buttons? How do you weigh a whale? And how do whales drink water in the salty ocean? We have a whale of a time answering questions about these ocean-dwelling mammals with paleontologist Nick Pyenson, author of Spying on Whales: The Past, Present and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
Why Can't Kids Vote?

Why Can't Kids Vote?

2020-10-0930:252

In the United States, where But Why is based, we have a big election coming up. Election Day is officially on November 3rd. But more Americans than usual are voting in advance this year, sometimes in person at their town hall or city office. And sometimes by mailing in their ballot-that's the piece of paper where they mark down who they want to vote for. People in lots of states are voting for their governors, who help run their states, or their Congresspeople, who work in Washington to help run the country. But the position that's getting the most attention is the election for who will be president for the next four years. We learn about voting and elections with Erin Geiger Smith, reporter and author of Thank You For Voting and Thank You For Voting Young Readers' Edition.  Also: how does the government work? Why haven't we had girl presidents before? Why are Democrats called Democrats? Why are Republicans called Republicans? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Who Invented The President? Who Makes The Laws?
This episode may not be suitable for our youngest listeners or for particularly sensitive kids. We're discussing animal ethics with author Hal Herzog. In a follow up to our pets episodes, we look at how we treat animals very differently depending on whether we think of them as pets, food, or work animals. Why do some cultures eat cows and others don't? Why do some cultures not have pets at all? And is it okay to breed animals like dogs that have significant health problems even though we love them? Herzog is the author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
Why Do Dogs Have Tails?

Why Do Dogs Have Tails?

2020-09-1121:385

Why do dogs have whiskers? Why are dogs' eyesight black and white? Why do dogs have so many babies? Why do dogs have tails and we don't? Why are dogs thumbs so high on their paw? Why don't dogs sweat? Why do dogs roll in the grass? Why aren't dogs and cats friends? Veterinarian and dog scientist Jessica Hekman has answers. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slides | Transcript | Coloring Page | Dog Breed Quiz | Answer Key
Why do cats purr? How do cats purr? Why can't we purr? Why do cats "talk" to people, but not other cats? Why do cats sharpen their claws? Are orange cats only male? Why do cats like milk and not water? Why are some cats crazy? Can cats see color? All of your cat questions answered with Abigail Tucker, author of The Lion in the Living Room. Download our learning guide: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript | Coloring Page
In this installment, we follow up on our March episode about the novel coronavirus now that we know more about COVID-19 and how it spreads. Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, assistant clinical professor of infectious diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina, returns to answer questions about the things we can do to keep ourselves and those around us safe. And we'll learn about what vaccines are, how they're developed and the accelerated process for developing a coronavirus vaccine. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
How is ice cream made? Why does ice cream melt? Why does some ice cream melt faster than others? We’ll answer your questions about this summery concoction with Rabia Kamara, of Ruby Scoops in Richmond, Virginia. It’s going to be sweet. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Recipe | Transcript
Why do forest fires happen? What happens to the forest after a fire? Sometimes you send us questions about things you've heard about, and sometimes you send us questions about your experiences. We'll hear from 5-year-old Abby in Australia who wanted to know more about the bush fires near her home earlier this year. Liam and Emma tell us about their wildfire experiences in California, and we get answers to your questions from Ernesto Alvarado, professor at the University of Washington. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
This week, we're getting out our bug nets and talking about dragonflies and ladybugs! Why do ladybugs have spots? How many different types of ladybugs are there? How do they crawl on the ceiling without falling down? Where do dragonflies and ladybugs sleep? Why are dragonflies called dragonflies? Do they bite? We're joined by Kent McFarland, a research biologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the co-host of another great VPR podcast called Outdoor Radio. Download our learning guide: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
In this special live episode But Why had a musical celebration with Mister Chris, the Junkman and May Erlewine, and we heard your songs. You can listen to But Why Live at vpr.org and call-in every Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time through June 26, 2020. This program is in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education to bring interactive educational opportunities to students while schools are closed. TRANSCRIPT | EDUCATION RESOURCES
In this special live episode But Why held a discussion about race and racism with the authors of ABCs of Diversity, Y. Joy Harris-Smith and Carolyn Helsel. You can listen to But Why Live at vpr.org and call-in every Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time through June 26, 2020. This program is in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education to bring interactive educational opportunities to students while schools are closed. TRANSCRIPT | EDUCATION RESOURCES
But Why Live: Trees

But Why Live: Trees

2020-06-1349:072

In this special live episode learned about trees and tree communication with scientists Alexia Constantinou and Katie McMahen of the Simard Lab at the University of British Columbia. You can listen to But Why Live at vpr.org and call-in every Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time through June 26, 2020. This program is in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education to bring interactive educational opportunities to students while schools are closed. TRANSCRIPT | EDUCATION RESOURCES
In this special live episode we held a kid press conference with Vermont Governor Phil Scott. You can listen to But Why Live at vpr.org and call-in every Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time through June 19, 2020. This program is in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education to bring interactive educational opportunities to students while schools are closed. TRANSCRIPT | EDUCATION RESOURCES
Why don't spiders stick to their own webs? How do spiders walk up walls and on ceilings without falling? Why do spiders have eight legs and eight eyes? How do they make webs? And silk? What's a cobweb? How do spiders eat? And why are daddy long legs called daddy long legs when they have to have a female to produce their babies?! We're talking spiders today with arachnologist Catherine Scott. Download our learning guides: Transcript| Coloring Page
In this special live episode we learn about words and language with linguist John McWhorter, host of the podcast Lexicon Valley. You can listen to But Why live at vpr.org and call-in every Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time through June 19, 2020. This program is in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education to bring interactive educational opportunities to students while schools are closed. TRANSCRIPT | EDUCATION RESOURCES
In this special live episode we learn about space and space exploration with Jim Green, NASA's Chief Scientist. You can listen to But Why live at vpr.org and call-in every Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time through June 19, 2020. This program is part of a collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education to bring interactive educational opportunities to students while schools are closed. TRANSCRIPT | EDUCATION RESOURCES
How Does Slime Work?

How Does Slime Work?

2020-05-2222:192

What is slime and how do you make it? What makes glue sticky? Why does mixing diet coke and Mentos make an explosion? How does glow in the dark stuff glow without batteries? We're talking about sticky things like slime and glue in this episode. Plus, bonus: explosions! The branch of science we're focusing on is called chemistry. Chemistry is basically the study of stuff and what it's made of, and how different substances interact with one another, sometimes even combining to make new stuff. Our guest is Kate Biberdorf, professor of instruction at the University of Texas, better known as "Kate the Chemist." Her new book is called The Big Book of Experiments. Download our listening guide: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript | Puffy Slime Recipe | Experiments
But Why Live: Poetry

But Why Live: Poetry

2020-05-1649:421

In this special live episode we learn about poetry and writing with Poetry Guy Ted Scheu, Rajnii Eddins, and we hear your poems! Get your pencils ready; we’ll be doing some fun writing exercises as well. You can listen to But Why live at vpr.org and call-in every Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time through June 19, 2020. This program is part of a collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education to bring interactive educational opportunities to students while schools are closed. TRANSCRIPT | EDUCATION RESOURCES
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Comments (77)

RADIO REBEL DJ.34

I love your show 🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

Oct 8th
Reply

RADIO REBEL DJ.34

thay die da😵🤦‍♂️

Oct 7th
Reply

RADIO REBEL DJ.34

nightmares and dream,s are cunchrel over dream and nightmares be saying what you want to draw about 🏄‍♂️🐶🍕🎮🏝📱💰💴💵💶💷🔫💊so ya I know this and I'm only 8

Oct 7th
Reply

RADIO REBEL DJ.34

i,m only 8 and I love this podcast and I found when I was looking for a a good podcast so thanks for making it 🎧😉😉📻

Oct 7th
Reply

RADIO REBEL DJ.34

there is no biggest number numbers never end

Oct 6th
Reply

Ryan & Emma Nowell

and it made me happy to hear horses in the episode 😁

Jun 16th
Reply

Ryan & Emma Nowell

hi I loved that episode it was so cool and can you do a horse episode like can horses throw up (no)😁🐴🐎 and I am a horse person so I ride horses and p.s I am a kid

Jun 16th
Reply

Sady Max

Improving my listening skills listening to this wonderful podcast.

Jun 4th
Reply

Lauren Hillin

. My kids and I listened to that little boy from Brooklyn, Corin maybe, ask his question over and over.. Sooo adorable. "why do they have stingersiwannatouchit!!" 😂😂😂😂

Jun 4th
Reply

Bárbara Heliodora

Oi Paula!

May 27th
Reply (1)

Ruairi & Vicky Kelly

nice podcast thanks

May 7th
Reply

Ruairi & Vicky Kelly

I love this podcast thank you for making it I love everything you do but why I love you 🌺✨🌺✨🌺✨🌺✨🌺✨🌺🥥

May 7th
Reply (1)

Charmaine Marsella

Is there a way that you can stop a nightmare?

May 5th
Reply

Ruairi & Vicky Kelly

I haven't tried but why podcast but why I have not tried it yet but I will love it love but whythis episode even at the spectank tank it's gonna be really nice you should try and do it are you going at the air right now I will be at really really excited if I went there 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

May 5th
Reply (4)

Mayank Bhatta

I have made a video about podcasting. The link is below 👇 https://youtu.be/oKCbOztmEVA

May 4th
Reply

Mayank Bhatta

Super episode. I got to know that there are different types of coronaviruses and the one now is called covid-19.

Apr 24th
Reply

Michelle Cameron

Love this for educational listening in the car. My child has been requesting to listen at breakfast because they enjoy it so much!

Apr 17th
Reply

Minerva

ok. but why my brain asks me to wake up if I have a nightmare? I mean whene things get insane something tells me this is a dream and you can wake up. And I'm not having nightmares many times a year but it happens and I wake up.

Apr 2nd
Reply (1)

Mayank Bhatta

You guys give out very interesting podcasts and I listen to them with lots of interest

Mar 28th
Reply

Mayank Bhatta

This is a very good podcast. I learn a lot from this But Why and my Dad has intrest listening to this podcast. But how do I send questions to you?

Mar 25th
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