Brains On! Science podcast for kids-logo

Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Minnesota Public Radio

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!® 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.

Location:

Minneapolis, MN

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Can stress be helpful?

8/16/2022
We've all had to deal with stress. It can feel bad and overwhelming, but it’s actually really important. In this episode, we'll hear why our bodies evolved to deal with danger in this way and how it still affects us today. We'll climb a metaphorical mountain to find out how stress can help us sometimes. Oh, and there are lots of monsters that suddenly showed up a Brains On headquarters and maybe they were released by an ancient artifact and no one can find the instruction manual and...

Duration:00:33:15

Underwater volcanoes and lots of salt: A deep dive into the ocean

8/9/2022
The ocean is huge and full of wonders, so it's no surprise our listeners have lots of question about it. In this episode we'll travel to the bottom of the ocean to find out what the ocean floor is made of, and learn how geologist Marie Tharp helped us understand how amazing it is. We'll also delve into why the ocean is salty but lakes and rivers aren't, and sing along with the Salty Sea Shanty. Plus a brand new mystery sound! BrainsOnSaltySeaShanty Our Salty Sea Shanty complete with...

Duration:00:33:37

Why can't we remember when we were babies?

8/2/2022
You've probably seen photos from your first birthday. Or maybe you heard about the time you got spaghetti sauce all over the walls when you were two. The grown ups around you remember these things, so why can't you? In this episode, we'll find out how our brains store memories and why we can't hang on to those early ones. Plus: a brand new mystery sound and a preview of everyone's favorite soap opera, The Young and the Toothless. This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINSON...

Duration:00:27:42

Million Bazillion: How do big video platforms make money?

7/21/2022
We’re thrilled to share an episode from our pals at Million Bazillion. Take a peek at the fascinating world of online video makers and the role money plays. A listener wants to know how the creators of his favorite online videos get paid. It’s a surprisingly complicated question, and Ryan and Bridget have to go viral themselves to find out the answer. Accompanied by their new dog and a bunch of influencers, we’ll learn all about the wild economics of online videos. Put on your tap-dancing...

Duration:00:28:14

The Mosties!

5/24/2022
Raise a curtain. Cue the lights. It’s the most most-tacular night. It’s The Mosties! The Brains Brains On favorites, Bob, Gungador, Elevator and HARVEY have all made it out to celebrate superlatives. The Mosties is an awards show of the extreme. Tonight’s categories include: Biggest Plant, Fastest Organism, Strongest Glue, Oldest Animal and Oldest Music. And don’t forget to stick around for a Mystery Mostie (aka Mystery Sound). And the winner is… ??? This is our last episode of this...

Duration:00:38:45

Forever Ago is back June 1!

5/20/2022
We are so excited to share that our podcast, Forever Ago, is returning for a brand new season! If you didn’t get a chance to hear the first season, Forever Ago is a history show for the whole family hosted by Joy Dolo - where every episode looks into the surprising and fascinating history of things we think are ordinary but they’re not - like ice cream flavors, video games, baths and umbrellas. We think you’ll really like it and we have the trailer of the new season for you to check out!...

Duration:00:02:41

Dreams: The science of a sleeping brain

5/17/2022
You dream every night, even if you don't remember them. But why? We'll hop on a wild ride to go inside the brain and see which parts help create these often fantastical images and storylines. We'll also learn how to take control of our dreams and how they make us more creative. Plus: a new mystery sound and a Moment of Um answers the question "How do octopuses make ink?" Today’s episode is sponsored by Insectlore.com Shopify.ca/brainson – for a free 14 day trial and full access to...

Duration:00:41:11

Tongue twisters: Terribly terrific and truly tantalizing

5/10/2022
Why is it so hard to say sentences like: she sells sea shells at the sea shore? This episode cracks the code of tongue twisters. Check out the role mouth shapes and vocal folds play in tongue twisters. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel will share her research into tongue twisters and how she came up with some of the hardest sentences for people to say. We also have a report on “the late eight,” a group of sounds that can be tough to say — and quite confounding when combined. Also, be sure to...

Duration:00:34:16

How does a caterpillar become a butterfly?

5/3/2022
Caterpillars go through a striking transformation from a crawly, tube-like creature into a soaring, beautifully-winged butterfly. This process is called metamorphosis and it’s no wonder our listeners have lots of questions about it. We’ll find out exactly how a caterpillar transforms (spoiler alert: it doesn’t just grow a pair of wings), and we’ll go on a house-hunting journey with two caterpillars searching for their pupation stations. Plus, a pretty tricky mystery sound for you to...

Duration:00:28:01

What makes tiny tardigrades tick?

4/26/2022
You can find micro-animals just about everywhere. They’re on your face and in your hair. They’re in puddles and in soil. One of the most famous of these microscopic creatures is the tardigrade. This episode zooms in on these adorable little animals, also known as moss piglets and water bears. The biggest tardigrade is about the size of the tip of a sharpened pencil, but most are smaller. More like the width of a hair. They’re kinda like a squishy pillow with eight legs, four on each side,...

Duration:00:32:14

Into the eye of a storm: How hurricanes form

4/19/2022
How do hurricanes form? This episode dives into the eye of the hurricane to track down that answer and so much more. We also talk to hurricane hunter Major Joyce Hirai, who flies airplanes into hurricanes as part of the Air Force’s Weather Reconnaissance team. Also, we learn how humans have figured out how to be resilient in the face of increasing hurricanes (and hear from our friend Manuel the Mangrove). And get your dancing shoes on, because we’ve got a catchy tune that explains how...

Duration:00:34:26

Is mind-reading real?

4/12/2022
Can people actually read minds? Can we move objects with our brains like in the movies? We're exploring the history of shady psychics, sketchy seances, and secret superpower studies. Plus, hear from a scientist who is helping people regain the ability to pick up and move objects through the combined power of their brains and a special computer! You can support our show by donating, buying our book or telling your friends about us! Head to brainson.org If you’re in Los Angeles or the Twin...

Duration:00:33:53

Owl about Owls

4/5/2022
We’re headed off to an owl sanctuary to meet up with Nolan the know-it-owl for a special night owl Tour. We hear the sound of owl wings and check out some super-tubular owl eye facts. Find out how owls can swivel their heads 270 degrees and why their ears are at uneven spots on their heads. We’ll meet a poetry-loving barn owl named Olive, who fills us in on why owls are considered wise. Fun fact: owls are sometimes classified by their sounds -- bigger owls are hooters and smaller owls are...

Duration:00:27:01

How are we related to stars?

3/29/2022
Forget those fancy awards shows. This episode of Brains On is exploding with the stars. Find out how each of us is related to these beautifully bright beacons. Plus, we’ll consider what happens when gravity weighs down on a star over millions, and even billions, of years. We’ll also meet a star detective, who was able to witness an exploding star (aka supernova). All that and a stellar, new Mystery Sound to tickle your ears. Now, let’s blast off!!! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed...

Duration:00:28:09

Why are butts and poop so funny?

3/22/2022
This episode is a real stinker, but it had to happen. We go behind the scenes on what makes butts and poop so funny. Why does the mere mention of them make us laugh? We all have butts and we all poop. Those are the facts. But human butts are different than almost any other animal. We look into the evolution of butts, and find out how our senses of humor develop when we're kids. And we hear from comic Tim Platt on why he thinks butts and poop will always be funny. Plus, we’ll check in with...

Duration:00:34:22

Inside the immune system: Bad robots and friendly monsters

3/15/2022
The immune system is so cool and so important but it largely goes about its business without us knowing it. In this episode you'll get a front row seat as our immune cells (aka friendly monsters) fight off bacteria and viruses (aka bad robots). We'll also find out how vaccines provide important training for our immune cells. Plus, co-host Colin quizzes Molly on immune system facts and there's a brand new mystery sound! This episode was brought to you by Indeed...

Duration:00:35:56

What's up with worms?

3/8/2022
What’s up with worms? How do they sleep? Why are they slimy? How do they move? Here at Brains On, the only way to find out is to embark on an EPIC QUEST! Join co-host Ezra and the worm adventurer extraordinaire Sir Wormus on a journey to find the Golden Worm, a magical artifact! On the way, they’ll learn all about the noble earthworm from the Tome of Worms, a magic book containing all the knowledge of worm expert Emma Sherlock from the Natural History Museum in London! Will our heroes find...

Duration:00:24:40

Mountain life: How's the air up there?

3/1/2022
The ExPLORERR was built to go everywhere. That’s why this vehicle’s full name is: the Extremely Practical Land and Ocean Rover Exploring Remote Realms. And guess what? It has a recording studio built on-board! Good thing, because this episode was recorded while traveling up, up, up a mountain! We discover some wildlife that lives at great heights as well as a rhyming ice cream salesman. Our pal and atmospheric scientist, Dr. Deanna Hence checks in to answer a popular question: if hot air...

Duration:00:34:22

Chilling out with snow

2/22/2022
There are many different types of snow. From the fluffy to the slushy, this slippery frozen stuff comes in all different shapes and sizes. From a distance, snowflakes may all look the same, but they are not. In fact, there are lots of different shapes of snowflakes — not just those classic shapes you might try to replicate with paper cut-outs. In this episode, Dr. Ken Libbrecht answers all of our snowflake questions: How are snowflakes made? Why are they different shapes? How is it...

Duration:00:33:03

Could you walk around the world?

2/15/2022
It might sound impossible, but you can walk around the world! Rosie Swale-Pope has done it, and we get a chance to hear about her adventures in this episode. She tells us how she survives, and remains upbeat, on the road. Guess how many shoes she went through on her trip? Listen and find out. We also hear from D’Wayne Edwards, who helped design some of the most iconic shoes ever (Air Jordan anyone?). And see if you can guess the Mystery Sound. It’s a doozy! Plus, Molly, Marc and Sanden...

Duration:00:35:10