196 episodes

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 mystery sounds for you to guess, songs for you to dance to, and lots of facts -- all checked by experts.

Brains On! Science podcast for kids American Public Media

    • Education for Kids

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 mystery sounds for you to guess, songs for you to dance to, and lots of facts -- all checked by experts.

    Bones from the inside out

    Bones from the inside out

    Bones! They’re spooky. They’re creepy. They’re utterly fascinating!This episode we dig up the science behind skeletons. We’ll look at how our bones grow, what happens when we break a bone and why bones last so long. Plus, we’ll meet a talking skeleton who will help us bone up on bone trivia!And we have a mystery sound to tickle your auditory ossicles and a Moment of Um that answers the question: Why does time fly when you're having fun?We’re taking a break after this episode and will be back with new episodes on Jan. 5th. Until then, we’d love for you to go check out our sister show Smash Boom Best (smashboom.org). We’re also going to be doing a live virtual hangout in November where you can ask Molly, Marc, Sanden and Menaka all your questions. Anything you want to ask, we’ll answer! If you want to join us, the first step is to sign up for our totally free fan club (brainson.org/fans). In November we’ll send an email out to the fan club with more details about this free, virtual hang out. So keep an eye out for that!This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson), Ancestry (ancestry.com/brainson), Purple (purple.com/brainson10), Guardian Bikes (guardianbikes.com/brains), and Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls (pillsbury.com/products/cinnamon-rolls). You can support the show and help us keep making new episodes at brainson.org/donate

    • 32 min
    Why do siblings annoy each other?

    Why do siblings annoy each other?

    Having a sibling is a special thing -- but, wow, can they be annoying! In this episode we’ll look at why our brothers and sisters are so good at pushing our buttons. Plus, is there any truth to the idea that oldest kids are the most mature and the youngest ones are the most charming? We’ll look at the science of personality and birth order. We also visit a sibling drive-thru, get quizzed about animal relationships and answer this question in our Moment of Um: why does rain come in small droplets?



    This episode is sponsored by:

    KiwiCo (https://kiwico.com/brainson)

    Ancestry (https://ancestry.com/brainson)

    White Hat Jr. (https://www.whitehatjr.com/)

    General Mills Pillsbury (https://www.pillsbury.com/products/cinnamon-rolls)

    If you want to find out more about how to stop bullying, please go to Stop Bullying Speak Up: http://includesomeone.com/

    • 36 min
    How do flu vaccines work?

    How do flu vaccines work?

    The flu shot changes every year. But why is the flu special, if other illnesses have much longer-lasting vaccines? This episode takes us into the world of viruses and immunity.We released this episode about flu vaccines last year but we wanted to share it with you again since it’s flu vaccine season but also because vaccines are in the news a lot lately. Scientists are testing a bunch of vaccines for the new coronavirus right now. This episode gets into the details of how vaccines work and how they’re made.A friendly lymphocyte fills us in on how flu shots work, and science journalist Anna Rothschild shares how vaccines started around the world. We'll hear from some virus-busting detectives to see how scientists solve the case of how to make next year’s flu shot as effective as possible. Author Maryn McKenna will stop by and drop some flu knowledge, too!

    Get your ears ready for a good, thumping mystery sound, and a new Moment of Um: how do straws work?

    This episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (KiwiCo.com/brainson), Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls, Guardian Bikes (GuardianBikes.com/brains) and Varsity Tutors (VarsityTutors.com/brainson). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate

    • 33 min
    Past, present and future: Using time to understand this pandemic

    Past, present and future: Using time to understand this pandemic

    If time feels weird to you lately, you’re not alone. The pandemic has changed the pace of life for people around the world. We’ll talk to a psychologist about how our sense of time works. We’ll look back into the past to see how a similar pandemic played out 100 years ago. Plus, we’ll ask experts to tell us what they think life will be like six months from now.



    Oh yeah, and virus podcasters Kara and Gilly are back to tell you how you can be a part of history! Warning: Boogers are involved. Our Moment of Um answers the question: why do your arms move when you walk?



    This episode is sponsored by:

    Stop Bullying Speak Up (http://includesomeone.com)

    KiwiCo (https://kiwico.com/brainson)

    Laurel Springs Online School (https://laurelsprings.com/brainson)

    AncestryHealth (https://ancestryhealth.com/brainson)

    Daily Harvest (https://dailyharvest.com)

    General Mills Pillsbury (https://www.pillsbury.com/products/cinnamon-rolls)

    • 40 min
    Smash: When continents collide!

    Smash: When continents collide!

    How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is…tectonic plates!

    These are giant, moving slabs of rock covering the Earth’s surface. When they slide past or smash into each other it shakes the planet. But, they also helped shape the land we live on.

    Find out how they work with an extreme cooking demonstration (you’ll never see peanut M&Ms the same way). Meet the scientist who thought long ago all the continents were smushed together in a super-continent (spoiler: he was right!). Plus an interview with a USGS scientist about what our planet might look like in a million years.

    All that plus a mystery sound and a Moment of Um about stinky breath. Listen up and rock on!



    This episode is sponsored by:

    Guardian Bikes (https://guardianbikes.com/brains)

    Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (https://www.pillsbury.com/products/cinnamon-rolls)

    Hank the Cowdog podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hank-the-cowdog/id1529174742)

    • 31 min
    Behind the scenes: See how we make the show

    Behind the scenes: See how we make the show

    A listener asked how making  Brains On is different during the pandemic. So with this episode we're giving you a peek into how we're making the show while staying safe. Spoiler alert: we're doing it all from our homes!



    What's the best way to record crystal clear sound at home? (Hint: Lots of soft surfaces!) How do we make sound effects? How do we get all the animals, humans and machines in our homes to keep it down while we tape? Plus: We asked our co-hosts to share what it was like for them to record and episode from home. All that, plus a brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: how do rocks form?



    This episode is sponsored by:

    Purple.com (https://purple.com/brainson10 Promo code: brainson10)

    Daily Harvest (https://dailyharvest.com Promo code: brainson)

    PayPal - you can download the PayPal app at https://paypal.com

    • 26 min

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