185 episodes

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 and go wherever the answers take us.

Brains On! Science podcast for kids American Public Media

    • Education for Kids
    • 4.4, 714 Ratings

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 and go wherever the answers take us.

    Why do kids have more energy than adults?

    Why do kids have more energy than adults?

    We’re taking on an age-old question today: Do kids have more energy than adults? Breakfast tacos, caffeine, an energized DJ and an epic battle between a girl and her parents. This episode has all that and then some. Discover how we turn food into energy at an awesome taco party. Then pump up the jams with DJ Thyroid. Speaking of music, get ready for a song from Lake Street Dive’s Mike Olson. And just when you think the show might be out of energy, we engage in an out-of breath competition between a kid and her parents. Plus, there’s a brand new Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um about why we lose our voices sometimes.


    This episode is sponsored by Laurel Springs Online School (laurelsprings.com/brainson) and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson)

    • 39 min
    Why does green mean go? And other color conundrums

    Why does green mean go? And other color conundrums

    The world is full of color, but how do our eyes see it? In this episode we’ll explain how color vision works, complete with a journey to a jazz club in the back of your eye. We’ll also look at the cultural meanings of the color red, we’ll find out about a new type of blue, and we’ll find out why stoplights use green to mean go. Our Moment of Um tackles the question, “why are bees black and yellow?”

    This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson) and Nurture Life (use code: BRAINS at checkout).

    • 36 min
    Injustice and Anger: Understanding your emotions

    Injustice and Anger: Understanding your emotions

    A lot of us are angry right now, with good reason. We’re seeing people treated unfairly because of racism -- that’s when people don’t like someone’s race or the color of their skin.In this episode we’ll talk about how anger can be a useful emotion and can be used to push for change. We’ll also revisit parts of our 2019 series on emotions, including an explanation of the hormones behind anger, why some of us are quicker to anger than others and what we can do when we feel overwhelmed by our feelings. Plus, our Moment of Um tackles the question, “What happens when lightning strikes water?”
    If you want to talk to your kids about race but don’t know where to start, we suggest reading this article (https://bit.ly/3eEss5k) by pediatricians Dr. Jacqueline Dougé, & Dr. Ashaunta Anderson or Talking to Kids About Race by Heather Greenwood Davis (https://on.natgeo.com/306a2Xe).There are great books to help your family start a conversation about race. Here's a list from Embrace Race (https://bit.ly/2U1SvLV). Or try Brown Bookshelf's Generations Book Club (https://bit.ly/3gSljA3).This episode is sponsored by Laurel Springs (laurelsprings.com/brainson) and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate.

    • 29 min
    Introducing: Julie's Library

    Introducing: Julie's Library

    We're very excited to share an episode of a brand new podcast we've been working on called Julie's Library. It’s hosted by the legendary, the one and only, Julie Andrews. Every week, she and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton read from their favorite children’s books.
    The featured book in this episode is Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen, and illustrated by Matt Phelan.
    You can listen to more episodes and subscribe at Apple Podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/julies-library-story-time-with-julie-andrews/id1507980417), Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/show/7l9G5ddvRI3BqLf2WVCOS7), Google Podcasts (http://tiny.cc/wrhrpz), or wherever you usually listen. Find out more at julieslibraryshow.org

    • 18 min
    Coronavirus: How to be a helper from home

    Coronavirus: How to be a helper from home

    We’re all doing our best to stay safe from coronavirus, but is there anything we can do for others as well? In this episode we look at some ways you can help from home, like by making masks, donating to food banks or writing letters. Two stars of the World Handwashing Federation stop by to explain the science of how water actually dries out our hands. Plus, Kara and Gilly interview science journalist Carl Zimmer on the weird world of viruses, including some viruses that help people!

    There’s a listener-submitted mystery sound and this week’s Moment of Um tackles the question: how do seashells get their shape?

    This episode is sponsored by Betty Crocker bettycrocker.com and Care.com promo code: BRAINS

    • 38 min
    Thinking ink: The scoop on this colorful stuff!

    Thinking ink: The scoop on this colorful stuff!

    Ink is amazing. It helps us captures our thoughts, comes in many colors and some of it is even made by animals! In this episode we explore the history of this special substance. We’ll also talk squid ink with biologist Sarah McAnulty and explain how tattoos work.

    Plus, your poems about ink! Obviously there’s also a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: what happens if salt is poured on snails?

    This episode is sponsored in part by Betty Crocker - bettycrocker.com and Laurel Springs School - laurelsprings.com/brainson

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
714 Ratings

714 Ratings

ariel greenwald ,

Long time

Wow I can’t believe Green zone has been making videos for for 4 years per week

FocusFactor ,

I love you 😍 guys.

I really love listening to this it makes me sooo much smarter and when my parents are amazed I tell them it’s because of you
. I am 12 years old, my name is Brielle, I live in Canada 🇨🇦 and I really wish I could co host an episode. You guys are so fun and I love all your debating. Shout out to Smash Boom Best. Thanks for teaching me sooooo much Molly.

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I love your show ☺️😊

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