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!
111 Episodes
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How Do We Fall Asleep?

How Do We Fall Asleep?

2020-02-1400:26:341

Why do people need to sleep? How do we actually go to sleep? How does sleeping get rid of toxins in the brain? And how come when it's nighttime I don't want to go to sleep but when it's morning I don't want to wake up? Those questions and more, all about sleep. We're highlighting an episode from 2018 with pediatric sleep psychologist Dr. Lisa Meltzer. And stay tuned; our next episode is all about dreams!
Curious kids are hearing about the impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump. So But Why is helping them understand what impeachment is and what happens when a president is impeached. We'll explain why impeachment is an important part of the US constitution and why impeaching a president doesn't mean removing him or her from office. Our guests for this episode are Loyola Law School professor and legal analyst Jessica Levinson and Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About History and other books.
Do Animals Get Married?

Do Animals Get Married?

2020-01-1700:27:024

Do animals get married? Do they fall in love and have friends? Do they laugh when they're happy and cry when they're sad? When you talk to your pets, can they understand you? Why can't they speak to us? And do animals know what kind of animal they are? Alyssa Arre of the Comparative Cognition Lab at Yale tackles these interesting questions.
Why Do Lions Roar?

Why Do Lions Roar?

2020-01-0300:17:398

Why do lions roar? Why do crickets chirp? Why do bucks shed their antlers every year? How can porcupines and hedgehogs avoid poking themselves? Do fish pee? What is the fastest fish? What do jellyfish eat? A roundup of animal questions, with answers from Paola Bouley of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Kent McFarland of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, naturalist Mary Holland and Jo Blasi of the New England Aquarium.
How Do We Taste Food?

How Do We Taste Food?

2019-12-2000:23:542

Why do we like to eat certain foods? Why do some people like to eat spicy food? And what's up with kids not liking vegetables? Why does pineapple hurt your mouth when you eat too much of it? Why do we taste things and how? Why do different foods taste different? Do animals have the same taste buds as people? In this episode of But Why we get answers to all of those questions from chef, author, and TV personality Chris Kimball, Dr. Leslie Stein of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, and Vermont-based chef and cookbook author Matthew Jennings.
Why Are Some Words 'Bad'?

Why Are Some Words 'Bad'?

2019-12-0600:24:0711

In this episode, we tackle why some words are "bad". Plus: Why do people say bad words? Why aren't kids allowed to say cuss words? Why is the middle finger bad? And adults, don't worry, we won't actually be using any bad words in this episode! But we will explore the psychology and brain science behind bad words with Benjamin Bergen, professor of cognitive science at University of California, San Diego. He's the author of What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves.
How does water turn into ice? Why is ice sometimes slippery and other times sticky? Why is it so cold? Why does it float? How are icicles made? Why are icebergs mostly underwater? What was the ice age? We'll get answers to all of those questions with help from Celeste Labedz of the California Institute of Technology. And we'll take a trip to the world's largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario.
How do weather people predict the weather and know what's going to happen tomorrow? Why is a meteorologist called a meteorologist? We learn about weather forecasting with National Weather Service Meteorologist Jessica Neiles and NBC5 Chief Meteorologist Tom Messner.
Are Unicorns Real?

Are Unicorns Real?

2019-10-2500:23:018

Are unicorns real? Who made them up? Where do they come from? What do they eat, how big are they, and do they have rainbow manes? We're answering all of your questions about unicorns-and learning about other mythical creatures as well with Adam Gidwitz, creator of The Unicorn Rescue Society and Dana Simpson cartoonist and author of Phoebe and Her Unicorn.
Are Jellyfish Made Of Jelly?

Are Jellyfish Made Of Jelly?

2019-10-1100:17:349

In this episode we're answering a few short questions about animals! Are jellyfish made of jelly? Do fish stink in the water or on land? Where do fish sleep? Do chickens have tongues? Can spiders sleep or not? How many types of animals are there in the world? Do snakes live in Antarctica? Is a springbok faster than a grizzly bear? Do skunks have big tails or small tails?
Why does school exist? When did kids start going, and why is it mandatory? Why are there 12 grades in school? Why do we call teachers by their last names? In this episode, we get schooled on school by sociologist Emily Rauscher and National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson.
How Are Noodles Made?

How Are Noodles Made?

2019-09-1300:21:336

This week, we answer a question from 4-year-old Hugo in Burlington, Vt. Hugo wants to know how noodles are made. But he's about to get more than he bargained for! For this episode we visit a restaurant called M.Y. China, in San Francisco, CA to watch executive chef Tony Wu hand-pull 16,000 noodles in 2 minutes. The restaurant's owner, chef Martin Yan of the PBS show Yan Can Cook narrates the action. And to give us some historical context, Jen Lin-Liu, author of On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta, shares her insight.
How Is Paper Made?

How Is Paper Made?

2019-08-3000:28:251

How is paper made from trees? Why does paper fall apart when it gets wet? Why does it lose color in the sun? Who invented paper? We make a few sheet of paper and learn all about how it's made with artist Carol Marie Vossler at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, New York.
This episode is all about bugs! We've gotten a lot of questions from you about insects and other critters. So we're tackling them with the help of Jessica Honaker and Kristie Reddick, otherwise known as the Bug Chicks.
Why Do Earthquakes Happen?

Why Do Earthquakes Happen?

2019-08-0200:28:027

Why do earthquakes happen? How do the tectonic plates move underground? How do we stay safe during an earthquake? Why are continents so far apart? Why do buildings sometimes catch fire after earthquakes? Why are there tsunamis after earthquakes? For this week's show we headed to California to visit Jennifer Strauss at the Berkeley Seismology Lab and we hear from Celeste Labedz at the California Institute of Technology.
How Do Circuits Work?

How Do Circuits Work?

2019-07-1900:23:362

How do circuits work? How do electric plugs work? Why do some things conduct electricity and some things do not? How does a battery make a phone work? How do lights turn on? Where do electrons go when the electricity is off? How fast is electricity? How do light bulbs work? How does solar power work? How do electric cars work? Why is electricity dangerous? Electrical Engineer Paul Hines answers our questions for the second half of our electricity live call-in program. Hines is a professor at the University of Vermont and co-founder of Packetized Energy.
What Is Electricity?

What Is Electricity?

2019-07-0500:24:413

Where does electricity come from? What is electricity made of? Who invented it? How does electricity work? What are electrons made of? Electrical Engineer Paul Hines answers our questions, in part one of our live call-in program. Hines is a professor at the University of Vermont and co-founder of Packetized Energy.
Why Do Trains Run On Tracks?

Why Do Trains Run On Tracks?

2019-06-2100:22:054

How do trains work? What about electric trains? Steam trains? Bullet trains? Why do they have to go on tracks? How can trains go so fast even though they're so heavy? And why don’t trains have seat belts? We’re traveling to Union Station in Washington, DC and answering all of your questions with Amtrak’s Patrick Kidd.
This week we're answering questions about gender. We've gotten a lot of questions about the differences between boys and girls so we're tackling them with Vanderbilt anthropologist Anna Catesby Yant and Dr. Lori Racha of UVM Medical Center. This is a frank but age-appropriate conversation about male and female bodies and about how biological sex differs from gender. We think the whole family will enjoy this episode, but you're always free to give our episodes a listen to see if it's right for your young ones. Other questions in this episode: Why are boys taller than girls? Do only boys have Adam's apples? Why can't girls grow beards? Why do most boys have short hair? Why do girls wear makeup and boys don't? Why do professional sports have all-men's and all-women's teams? Why can more girls do the splits than boys? Why didn't women have as many rights as men back in the olden days?
We're heading to the coast of Maine to learn a little bit about why the sea is salty and how mussels get their shells with Zach Whitener, a research associate at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, Maine. We also get an answer to a question to how you get a ship in a bottle from Colorado-based ship-in-bottle builder Daniel Siemens in this encore episode from 2016.
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Comments (41)

assaf bester

wild Kratts

Nov 26th
Reply (2)

Heather Boylen

We love you Mr. Gidwitz!!! Please come to Atlanta!

Oct 26th
Reply

taravat jalalifarahani

i'm a serious fan of (but why) and (brains on). they are useful, even for adults.

Aug 31st
Reply (1)

Gayathri Prabhath

Thank you Girls..

Jun 11th
Reply

Code: Fearlicia

hi

May 29th
Reply

Code: Fearlicia

*whistles*

May 24th
Reply

Erica Ervine

but why does most of our stuff come from china

May 8th
Reply

Ryan & Emma Nowell

awesome

Apr 19th
Reply

James Minnion

James.minnion@gmail.com and a very nice one thanks for they will be back in touch with the other one soon and I will be back in touch with the other one tomorrow to see if they can help me with the application form and b to the court to be done by the end of the week

Mar 29th
Reply

James Minnion

Smash boom best

Mar 27th
Reply

Hugh Han

good for english learners~

Mar 27th
Reply

Diana Kio

this is a cute idea for a podcast

Mar 5th
Reply

Diana Kio

idk why

Mar 5th
Reply

Diana Kio

not good episode

Mar 5th
Reply

Diana Kio

best podcast ever

Mar 4th
Reply (1)

Erica Ervine

My mom and I love this podcast! ❤️ Keep making great episodes!

Mar 2nd
Reply

assaf bester

cusisfic

Feb 20th
Reply

Milica Novakovic

Feb 8th
Reply

Anurag Deshpande

honestly I feel like kid in Disney Land. so many options to explore. thank you for bringing all if these similar podcasts together. thank you

Feb 6th
Reply

Anurag Deshpande

one podcast that just calms you and puts you to peace almost immediately. thank you for making this

Jan 27th
Reply
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