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Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Kids-and-family

Brains On!® is a science podcast for curious kids and adults from American Public Media. Each week, a different kid co-host joins Molly Bloom to find answers to fascinating questions about the world sent in by listeners. Like, do dogs know they’re dogs? Or, why do feet stink? Plus, we have mysteryRead more

Popular episodes

What happens if you drop a feather in space?

Nov 23 • 32:35

In space, will a feather stay still? Fall down? Float away? Turns out, the answer depends on where you are! But one thing affects your feather no matter what: gravity! So Galileo is joining us all the way from the 1500s to fill us in on his theory about gravity. Then, we’re heading to space, and dropping a feather in a few different places to see what happens. Listen close...

The innies and outies of belly buttons

Nov 16 • 28:34

Today’s episode is all about your belly button aka navel aka umbilicus. And not just your belly button -- every single person you can think of has one. This means our listeners have LOTS of questions about them. We're going to tackle several of these fascinating navel-gazing questions like: is your belly button connected to your insides? Where does belly button fuzz come f...

A guide to getting your COVID shot

Nov 9 • 35:48

Kids over 5 can now get a COVID vaccine in the U.S. We know a lot of you have been waiting for this day and lots of you have sent us questions about the vaccine since the pandemic started: like what's in the COVID vaccine? How does it work? How do scientists know it's safe? And even if the vaccine isn’t available to you where you live yet, this episode will answer those qu...

Shark teeth: The sharp bits of a squishy animal

Nov 2 • 32:38

In this episode, we’re asking sharks to say “aaaah”, and taking a close look at their chompers. We’ll see how shark teeth grow, and what those teeth can teach us about sharks of the past. We’ll also play a game of Jaws Jeopardy, and find out how sharks help keep the ocean helping with their super snacking. Stick around for a listener-submitted mystery sound and a Moment of...

Spooky superstitions! Why we think 13 is bad luck

Oct 26 • 38:43

Just in time for spooky season, it’s an episode all about superstitions! Do you avoid the number 13? Or maybe it’s your lucky number, like Taylor Swift? In this episode we’ll look at why we have such strong feelings toward 13, and we’ll hear about other unlucky and lucky numbers around the world. Plus, Marc and Sanden will explain why our brains latch on to superstitions i...

Crystals: More than just shiny rocks

Oct 19 • 35:17

This episode shines a light on crystals, and they’re sparkling right back at us! We’ll zoom way in on a diamond to understand the structure that makes crystals special, and hear about some unexpected crystals, too (hint: chocolate chip cookies contain a few different crystals!). Then, we take a look at how crystals form and get their cool colors. Plus, Marc and Sanden hunt...

Squirrelsperience: Trying out squirrel skills

Oct 12 • 31:17

In many places, tree squirrels are extra busy these days. It’s time for them to collect nuts to prepare for winter! So we’re heading to a squirrel-themed adventure course and practicing a few of the skills they use to survive: gathering nuts, traveling in trees, and speaking like a squirrel. We’ll also learn about how squirrels evolved, and hear about some of their surpris...

The heroes we need to defeat the coronavirus

Oct 5 • 38:37

Eighteen months into our fight with this coronavirus, it may feel frustrating that we're still in this battle, but there are many reasons to feel hopeful. One reason is that we know a lot about this virus now and have plenty of tools to fight it. We meet the superheroes prepared to help us defeat the coronavirus: Sgt. Socially Distanced, the Masked Mentor, the Testmaster a...

How to conquer Garbage Mountain

Sep 28 • 36:06

After getting a firsthand look at the history of trash, we’re having visions from garbage’s present and future this week. Producer Kunsang Dorjee visits a landfill to see what happens to our trash after we throw it away, and producer Ruby Guthrie shows us how we can make less trash and dispose the trash we do make in ways that are better for the planet. Plus: we hear from ...

The invention of trash

Sep 21 • 35:39

A pair of ghost shoes visit Molly with a message: it's time to think about garbage. They predict that Molly will be visited by three visions of garbage, one from the past, one from the present and one from the future....

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