49 episodes

At the California Science Center, we love to wonder and be curious about the world around us. In each new episode, join host Perry Roth-Johnson as he chats with scientists, engineers, museum professionals, and others to find answers to questions you might have wondered. New episodes every other Wednesday.

Ever Wonder? from the California Science Center California Science Center

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 16 Ratings

At the California Science Center, we love to wonder and be curious about the world around us. In each new episode, join host Perry Roth-Johnson as he chats with scientists, engineers, museum professionals, and others to find answers to questions you might have wondered. New episodes every other Wednesday.

    REBROADCAST: ...what it was like to help build the James Webb Space Telescope? (with Stephanie Hernandez)

    REBROADCAST: ...what it was like to help build the James Webb Space Telescope? (with Stephanie Hernandez)

    On December 25, 2021, NASA launched the James Webb Space Telescope—the most powerful telescope ever put into space. This $10 billion technical marvel is a complex and massive spacecraft—think of something roughly the size of a tennis court—that scientists and engineers have been working on for decades to explore the deepest reaches of our universe.
    Many experts view Webb as the rightful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, which launched in 1990 into a low orbit around Earth. When Hubble didn’t work properly, NASA could send astronauts up in a space shuttle to repair it. 
    But here’s the tricky part: Webb isn’t going into low Earth orbit. Instead, it is in an orbit about a million miles away from Earth, where there’s no way to reach it after launch. It needs to work right the first time.
    Do you ever wonder what it was like to help build the James Webb Space Telescope?
    Stephanie Hernandez is a systems engineer at Northrop Grumman working on the James Webb Space Telescope. She is part of the team that tests and verifies literally thousands of things on the telescope while it’s on the ground first, to make sure that it will work in space later. Stephanie gave us a peek behind the scenes of what it’s like to work on a such a technologically complex and high-stakes spacecraft, how she got started at Northrop Grumman as a summer intern, and what this whole experience means to her as a first-generation college student.
    Relive the launch of NASA's newest premiere space science observatory with more virtual activities and events from the California Science Center.
    Have a question you've been wondering about? Send an email or voice recording to everwonder@californiasciencecenter.org to tell us what you'd like to hear in future episodes.
    Follow us on Twitter (@casciencecenter), Instagram (@californiasciencecenter), and Facebook (@californiasciencecenter).
    Support the show

    • 24 min
    ...if there's any truth to the movie Inception? (with Karen Konkoly)

    ...if there's any truth to the movie Inception? (with Karen Konkoly)

    One of my all-time favorite movies is Inception. No joke, I recently rewatched it, and even though it came out over a decade ago, it still holds up. Between the character’s adventures in different dream levels and the manipulation of time in the story, I still find myself picking up on new details when I watch it again for the umpteenth time. It’s all great movie magic, but…
    Ever wonder if there’s any truth to the movie Inception?
    Karen Konkoly is a graduate student researcher in psychology at Northwestern University. We recently talked to her about her work studying lucid dreaming. And in this short episode, we ask Karen to help us sort out the sci-fi movie magic from real dream science.
    Have a question you've been wondering about? Send an email or voice recording to everwonder@californiasciencecenter.org to tell us what you'd like to hear in future episodes.
    Follow us on Twitter (@casciencecenter), Instagram (@californiasciencecenter), and Facebook (@californiasciencecenter).
    Support the show

    • 7 min
    ...if you can learn to control your dreams? (with Karen Konkoly)

    ...if you can learn to control your dreams? (with Karen Konkoly)

    Think about the last time you had a dream… Was the dream fun? Scary? Maybe you barely remember anything at all. Or maybe the dream was so vivid that you knew you were dreaming even while the dream was happening, a phenomenon known as ‘lucid dreaming.’ Some people are so good at it that they can even control their dreams.
    Ever wonder if you can learn to control your dreams?
    Karen Konkoly is a graduate student researcher in psychology at Northwestern University. She works in a sleep lab where she studies how to induce lucid dreaming and how to communicate with lucid dreamers while they were still sleeping!
    Have a question you've been wondering about? Send an email or voice recording to everwonder@californiasciencecenter.org to tell us what you'd like to hear in future episodes.
    Follow us on Twitter (@casciencecenter), Instagram (@californiasciencecenter), and Facebook (@californiasciencecenter).
    Support the show (https://CaliforniaScienceCenter.org/support)

    • 19 min
    ...who builds rocket engines? (with Nate Perkins and Doug Bradley)

    ...who builds rocket engines? (with Nate Perkins and Doug Bradley)

    NASA is going back to the moon later this year with the Artemis I mission. And in March, NASA rolled out their massive new rocket for Artemis to the launchpad.
    Ever wonder who builds those rocket engines?
    On this episode, we talk to two of those people. Nate Perkins and Doug Bradley both work at Aerojet-Rocketdyne, the company that makes the engines for NASA’s new rocket. Nate and Doug work on a rocket engine called “RS-25.” Four of these engines are mounted at the base of the rocket and will be the first engines to fire when the rocket lifts off and heads to the moon.
    Have a question you've been wondering about? Send an email or voice recording to everwonder@californiasciencecenter.org to tell us what you'd like to hear in future episodes.
    Follow us on Twitter (@casciencecenter), Instagram (@californiasciencecenter), and Facebook (@californiasciencecenter).
    Support the show (https://CaliforniaScienceCenter.org/support)

    • 20 min
    ...how your immune system knows good microbes from bad? (with Joël Babdor)

    ...how your immune system knows good microbes from bad? (with Joël Babdor)

    Our immune systems are always hard at work protecting us from viruses, bacteria, and other critters that can infect our bodies and make us sick.
    But on an earlier episode, we learned that the human body is teeming with microscopic creatures. These microbes—collectively known as the human microbiome—are always with us, coexisting with us and even benefiting our health.
    Ever wonder how your immune system knows good microbes from bad?
    To find out, we talked to Dr. Joël Babdor (@JoelBabdor), an immunologist at UCSF who studies how the immune system and microbiome interact with each other. Joël walks us through how our immune system works, and how studying the microbiome in health can help us understand and treat a wide variety of diseases. Joël is also the co-founder of BlackInImmuno, an organization that aims to amplify, celebrate, and support Black people in immunology.
    Have a question you've been wondering about? Send an email or voice recording to everwonder@californiasciencecenter.org to tell us what you'd like to hear in future episodes.
    Follow us on Twitter (@casciencecenter), Instagram (@californiasciencecenter), and Facebook (@californiasciencecenter).
    Support the show (https://CaliforniaScienceCenter.org/support)

    • 27 min
    ...if our kelp tank fish eat... other fish? (with Erin Shusterman)

    ...if our kelp tank fish eat... other fish? (with Erin Shusterman)

    If you ever visit the kelp tank at the Science Center, you might notice that we have a complete ecosystem on display, including both predators and prey. So, naturally, people often ask our staff if the fish eat each other.
    Ever wonder if our kelp tank fish eat… other fish?
    It is a rare event. But to answer this question, we’re digging into our archives to bring you an unaired clip from our past interview with Erin Shusterman, the interim director of husbandry here at the Science Center. She leads the team of keepers and aquarists that takes care of all our animals. In this clip, Erin breaks down how her team carefully feeds the animals in the kelp tank to keep everything in balance.
    Have a question you've been wondering about? Send an email or voice recording to everwonder@californiasciencecenter.org to tell us what you'd like to hear in future episodes.
    Follow us on Twitter (@casciencecenter), Instagram (@californiasciencecenter), and Facebook (@californiasciencecenter).
    Support the show (https://CaliforniaScienceCenter.org/support)

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

jcrochford ,

Great Insights

This podcast is a must-listen for fans of the California Science Center. Each podcast covers a different science-related subject and many provide insights into the workings of the Center with interviews of staff members, curators, and many others. It’s been nice, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, to remain connected to news from the California Science Center and to reliable information about all manner of scientific subjects. Keep up the great work! I’ll be listening!

My kitten is cute ,

Ever wonder

Wow, I loved this show it was so educational and I just thought it was so amazing.
-A 10year old

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