156 episodes

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!

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids Vermont Public Radio

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.5 • 17 Ratings

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!

    Who Invented Noodles?

    Who Invented Noodles?

    This week, we answer a question from 4-year-old Hugo in Burlington, Vt. Hugo wants to know how noodles are made. We visit M.Y. China , a restaurant in San Francisco, CA to watch executive chef Tony Wu hand-pull 16,000 noodles and hear from the restaurant's owner, chef Martin Yan , host of the PBS show Yan Can Cook . 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.

    • 19 min
    Are Seeds Alive?

    Are Seeds Alive?

    Are seeds alive? What are they made of? Here in Vermont it's planting time, and we've been getting a lot of questions about seeds from kids around the world. In this episode we'll explore the importance of preserving seed diversity with Hannes Dempewolf of the Global Crop Diversity Trust . Crop Trust manages a repository of seeds from around the world at the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, above the Arctic Circle. Plus, ethnobotanist and Abenaki scholar Fred Wiseman shares a little bit about a project called Seeds of Renewal, which aims to find seeds traditionally grown by Abenaki people in our region and return them to cultivation.

    • 32 min
    How Are Words Added To The Dictionary?

    How Are Words Added To The Dictionary?

    Our guest this week is a lexicographer. That's someone who studies words and, in this case, edits dictionaries. Emily Brewster is a senior editor at Merriam-Webster and host of the podcast Word Matters. Emily answers a question from 8-year-old Emma in Kentucky, who wants to know how words are added to the dictionary. But before we can answer that, we'll tackle 7-year-old Julia's question, "How are new words created?" Join us for an episode about how words are created, when they've reached a critical level of use to get their own dictionary entry, and when words are removed from the dictionary. Get ready for some word nerdery!

    • 21 min
    How Do You Whistle?

    How Do You Whistle?

    How do people whistle? How does whistling make a sound? Why does your tongue change a whistle higher or lower? Can you get a trophy for whistling? Can people with laryngitis whistle? Get ready, we learn all about whistling with musician and champion whistler Emily Eagen and musician Yuki Takeda. And who whistles our theme song? We'll hear from musician Luke Reynolds, and a kid whistling chorus from our listeners!

    • 28 min
    How Are Rocks Formed?

    How Are Rocks Formed?

    How are rocks made? Why are some rocks hard and others soft? How do rocks shine? How are geodes and crystals made? Why do some rocks have gems in them? Answers to your rock questions with Hendratta Ali, rock doctor! Ali is a geologist who studies and teaches at Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

    Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

    • 36 min
    Ethics: Is It OK To Break A Rule?

    Ethics: Is It OK To Break A Rule?

    Is it OK to do something that you were told not to do and then never tell anybody? In this episode we tackle that thorny question from 10-year-old Finn from Seattle. We'll also wrestle with the question, "Why do people make really bad choices and want other people's lives to be harder?"

    Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

    We're tackling some ethical dilemmas in this episode and we're letting kids give the answers! We also get a response from ABC Radio's Short & Curly, a podcast devoted to ethics for kids.

    Here's how some of our young listeners answer the question about whether it's ever okay to break a rule and lying about it:

    "No, because it usually just means you get in trouble." - Juniper

    "I think so. If you're protecting somebody or keeping a surprise." - Camille

    "It depends who told you. Like if your parents told you, then you shouldn't do it. Or if you do it, you should tell them you did it. But if it's like a mean person you met on the street it's ok. And it depends what it is. Because if it's a bad question, you shouldn't do it either way if it's a bad thing. If it's a good deed you should do it. And if you did that, why wouldn't you tell anyone?" -Sylvie

    "No, not really. If you don't tell anyone about it. It's mostly the doing it and then not telling anybody about it. Mostly what isn't the good thing about it. It's a little bit worse, if you don't tell someone you might get a feeling where you feel kind of embarrassed. And you don't tell anybody and it just sticks with you the rest of your life."  - Piper

    • 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

rooo 🌸🌼🌻 ,

Lol

Pop

Top Podcasts In Kids & Family

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Vermont Public Radio