100 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

    • Kids & Family

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.

    Aliens and UFOs: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 4

    Aliens and UFOs: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 4

    In the final episode of our series about myths and legends, we’re launching our imaginations into outer space!
    Monster expert Emily Zarka tells us about her favorite alien and why aliens fascinate so many people. In the Hoax Hunters season finale, Marc and Sanden bring us a UFO spoof. Plus, scientists give us the lowdown on the real quest for extraterrestrial life — we haven’t found any... yet. And, planets and moons compete for the title of ‘most likely to have life’.
    A new moment of um keeps us outside the atmosphere: why does space look so dark if the sun is so bright?
    Today’s episode is sponsored by The American Dental Association (ada.org/brains). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate and get a bonus Mystery Sound Extravaganza episode in January!

    • 31 min
    Mermaids, Kraken and the Loch Ness Monster: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 3

    Mermaids, Kraken and the Loch Ness Monster: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 3

    What’s lurking in the depths of the ocean? Or your local loch? We’re diving deep into the world of water-dwelling mythical creatures in part three of our series on myths. We’ll talk with monster expert Emily Zarka and learn about the very real creature that may have inspired the tale of the Kraken. We’ll also hear from a frustrated manatee and dugong, and get caught up on all the latest deep sea trends. Marc and Sanden are back with a Hoax Hunters about the Loch Ness Monster. Plus, a Moment of Um about our physical reaction to fear.Today’s episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate and get a bonus Mystery Sound Extravaganza episode this January!

    • 30 min
    Lost Cities: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 2

    Lost Cities: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 2

    Was Atlantis a real city? If not, why have so many people gone looking for it? In part two of our series on modern myths and legends, we’re searching for lost cities.
    We’ll trace the origins of El Dorado, and head to the ruins of an actual lost city in Egypt. We'll find out how mangrove trees could help prevent cities from being lost to climate change, and Sanden and Marc are back with another edition of Hoax Hunters. Plus, a Moment of Um about how tattoos stay put.
    Today’s episode is sponsored by Quip (getquip.com/brains), KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains), American Dental Association (ADA.org/brains) and Stitch Fix Kids (stitchfix.com/kids/brains). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate and get a bonus Mystery Sound Extravaganza episode this January!

    • 30 min
    Bigfoot, Unicorns and Dragons: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 1

    Bigfoot, Unicorns and Dragons: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 1

    Where do stories of unicorns, mermaids and Bigfoot come from? And do they have any truth to them? In this four-part series, we're tackling listeners' biggest questions about modern myths and legends.
    Today's episode is about mythical creatures that live on land. We'll hear the story of El Chupacabras, learn about the search for Bigfoot, and hear from some animals once mistaken for unicorns. Marc and Sanden have a new project to share, and Gungador has an urgent announcement. Plus, a Moment of Um about how sloths snooze upside down.
    If you want to learn more about the history, facts and lore behind dragons and unicorns, check out this fascinating episode of Smash Boom Best: UNICORNS VS DRAGONS!
    This episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, iD Tech (idtech.com/brains), and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate. All supporters of the show will get a bonus mystery sound extravaganza episode this January!

    • 29 min
    How do pianos work?

    How do pianos work?

    Behind every piano’s polished exterior are thousands of parts. From keys to strings, they work together to produce a sound.
    In this episode, we take a field trip to a piano shop, peek behind the walls at a world-famous piano factory and have an EPIC FIGHTING BATTLE to discover how sound travels. And the Moment of Um answers this question: “Can you really hear the ocean in a seashell?”
    This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains), Quip (getquip.com/brainson) and the Good Kids podcast. You can support the show and get access to a bonus Mystery Sound extravaganza episode at brainson.org/donate

    • 25 min
    Flavor facts: Why food is so delicious

    Flavor facts: Why food is so delicious

    You might think flavor is what happens on your tongue – and it is. But it’s also so much more.
    Flavor is influenced by all the senses. How food looks, smells and feels can make a difference. Even the sounds you hear while eating can impact how you perceive taste.
    We’ll visit a tastebud beauty salon, talk with a chef researcher and do some experiments provided by our friends at America’s Test Kitchen Kids. Plus: a three-part Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: “What makes spicy food spicy?”
    Note: If you want to do the experiments along with us, congratulations, you can! You’ll need jellybeans, a blindfold and two pieces of dark chocolate. Listen, eat and yum!
    This episode is a collaboration with our friends at America’s Test Kitchen Kids! They’re sharing access to their “The Nose Knows” experiment with Brains On listeners! Check out the whole activity right here.
    This episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Stitch Fix Kids (stitchfix.com/kids/brains), and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains).

    • 35 min

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