214 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

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.5 • 8.6K Ratings

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.

    How far can a cloud travel?

    How far can a cloud travel?

    We’ve all played the “what does that cloud look like” game. Maybe you saw a bunny… or an airplane… or a unicorn. What if that same cloud could also be seen by someone in a far off continent? That’s what a listener in Minnesota wondered. He wanted to know if the same cloud he saw in a park near his house could also be seen in Africa.



    We talk to Deanna Hence, one of our favorite weather experts, and she tells us about how clouds travel. We also dust off the Zoom Ray to learn about what is inside of a cloud. And have you ever noticed the similarities between cloud types, like cumulonimbus, and magic spells from Harry Potter? Well, we have, and we made a game out of it!



    We also have a brand new Mystery Sound for your guessing pleasure and a Moment of Um that answers the question: Why do pugs have such scrunchy faces?



    This episode was sponsored by:

    Indeed.com (indeed.com/brainson)

    • 28 min
    Totally Slothsome: All about sloths

    Totally Slothsome: All about sloths

    There’s more to sloths than slowness. They’re great at saving energy, hanging upside down, and swimming! In this episode, Sloth Appreciation Society founder Lucy Cooke stops by to tell us all about these amazing animals. We also get into a sloth mystery: The Case of the Perilous Poop Journey. Luckily, there’s a sloth sleuth on the case. And sloths aren’t the only animals who aren’t in a hurry — a few others show off their slowest skills.



    There’s also a Mystery Sound for you to guess, and a Moment of Um: Why do ostriches stick their heads in the ground?



    This episode was sponsored by:

    Mathnasium (mathnasium.com)

    KiwiCo (kiwico.com Promo code: BRAINSON)

    • 32 min
    How do computers store so much info in such a tiny space?

    How do computers store so much info in such a tiny space?

    If you translate “Hello! How are you?” to binary code, it looks like this: 01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111 00100001 00100000 01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00111111



    This episode takes a look at how computers can do so much with such tiny parts. But computers weren't always small -- so we take a look at where computers came from. We visit Ada Lovelace, whose love of math and weaving paved the way for modern-day computers. And we hear about the material that let computers shrink from the size of a room to something that fits in our pockets. There’s also a visit from a yak and a ram, but you’re just going to have to listen to find out why.



    All that plus a new Mystery Sound and Moment of Um that answers the question: what is the flavor of root beer?



    This episode is sponsored by

    Mathnasium (Mathnasium.com) and Sun Basket (sunbasket.com promo code: brains on)

    • 37 min
    How does taste work? We react to our very first episode!

    How does taste work? We react to our very first episode!

     Brains On has a very special milestone coming up -- it’s almost our 200th episode! To celebrate, we're re-listening to our very first episode which was all about eating. We'll play the episode and chime in with commentary to give you some behind the scenes glimpses and backstories along the way. We’ll also hear an update from our very first co-host ever -- Ian Roberts, who is now a college student and an adult. Plus a brand new Moment of Um answers the question: Why do we have birthmarks?



    This episode is sponsored by:

    Mathnasium (mathnasium.com)

    GoHenry (gohenry.com promo code brainson)

    • 38 min
    Like bread and cheese? Thank fungus!

    Like bread and cheese? Thank fungus!

    That fuzzy sandwich in your fridge? Yeah, don't eat that kind of fungus. But the mushrooms in your stir fry? Or the yeast in your bread? Or the rind on your brie? Or the miso in your soup? All of those delicious foods are possible thanks to fungus!



    In this episode, we'll learn about how our ancestors first figured it out some mushrooms were safe to eat, we'll learn about the microbes that make cheese possible, and we'll meet some fungal chefs who are key to cooking up some of our favorite foods. Plus a brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: "How does rubbing two sticks together make fire?"



    This episode was sponsored by:

    Mathnasium (mathnasium.com)

    Sakara (sakara.com/brainson)

    Indeed (indeed.com/brainson)

    • 27 min
    Is mold alive? A look at fascinating fungus

    Is mold alive? A look at fascinating fungus

    Fungus deserves a party because it’s everywhere and super important to life on this planet. The kingdom of fungus includes mushrooms and molds, but also yeasts, like the kinds that help make bread. So today, we’re embracing the ick, we’re snuggling up to the slimy, we’re making friends with mold and mushrooms… It’s a full on Fung-o-Rama! We'll learn about a day in the life of mold, a fungus that turns ants into zombies, and how fungi will help us in the fight against climate change. All that, plus a brand new mystery sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: "How does air fry?"



    This episode is sponsored by:

    Purple(purple.com/brainson10 promo code brainson10)

    KiwiCo (kiwico.com promo code brainson)

    ID Tech (idtech.com/brainson code brainson)

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
8.6K Ratings

8.6K Ratings

truthzilla❤️#22 ,

Allie lewen

This is a great pod cast !!!
Give a shout out plz !!!!!!!!!! 😀
You guys are amazing 🤩
My name is Allie lewen from Bend Oregon

S/G/A ,

Hi

I love this podcast!!!!!!!!

I'm nit saying my nam ,

Super good

I have 12 siblings and we all take turns listening to it and it’s super cool!

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