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

Did the Brontosaurus really exist?

10/4/2022
Today’s episode is all about one of the most dynamite dinosaurs, the Brontosaurus! This long-necked icon has been featured in books, cartoons, movies, and even logos. But did the Brontosaurus really exist in the first place? We’ll dig into that question and uncover the history of Brontosaurus with science writer and bronto-enthusiast Riley Black. We’ll also learn about taxonomy from a ghost and catch up with Mr. Bone Jangles. Plus, a new mystery sound to discover! This episode is...

Duration:00:33:36

What happens at zoos after dark?

9/27/2022
In this episode we check out three different zoos after visitors leave and the gates are locked. We’ll hear about some adventurous penguins, learn how chimps tuck themselves in and find out why it’s important to smell a gorilla first thing in the morning. Oh, and did you know sometimes zoo animals need a ride from the airport? All this and a brand new mystery sound! This episode is sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINSON - to start hiring now. Terms and conditions apply. Cost per...

Duration:00:36:29

Where does your imagination come from?

9/20/2022
Picture this: a pickle with a cowboy hat. It has cute little arms and legs -- let’s make them orange. And this pickle is riding a horse on the beach as the sun sets. #PickleLife, am I right? Now think about this: you just imagined that whole scene in your head! Imagination can engage every one of our senses. It sprouts from the things we’ve experienced in life, then collages itself into new thoughts… like a pickle on a horse. This episode goes into the far reaches of the brain and...

Duration:00:36:55

Where do accents come from?

9/13/2022
Today we're looking at why there are so many different ways to pronounce the same words and where our accents come from. How did British and American accents become different? Why do some kids have different accents than their parents? We're going to answer these questions and find out how our accents tell the stories of our communities and our ancestors. Plus: A brand new mystery sound! This episode is sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINSON - to start hiring now. Terms and conditions...

Duration:00:29:46

Get a whiff of that: Why you smell like you

9/6/2022
Have you ever noticed that different people have different scents? Go on, sniff your friend, we’ll wait. Today’s episode dives nose-first into what makes up our personal scents. With the help of Candace, a one-of-a-kind candle maker interested in making podcast-scented candles, we get the lowdown on body odor. We’ll also hear about super-sniffing animals and some other creatures that thrive on stink. And there’s a new Mystery Sound -- this one is definitely not a stinker! This episode is...

Duration:00:27:29

Why is glass see-through?

8/30/2022
Glass is a magic thing that is both solid as a wall and clear as the air. It starts out as sand and with tons of heat, and a few key ingredients, it becomes the super useful material we know and love. In this episode we look at how glass is made, why it's clear and how nature makes glass too. Plus, hear about Sanden's latest invention and guess the all new Mystery Sound. This episode is sponsored by Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINSON - to start hiring now. Terms and conditions apply. Cost per...

Duration:00:29:15

Body Bonanza 2.0 - Your body questions answered

8/23/2022
Today’s episode has something for everyBODY. It's the Body Bonanza where we answer a ton of your questions about our human bodies! This time around, we’ll hear from some of our favorite body parts: the heart beats, the stomach rumbles, the appendix writes a poem. The ear brings us a new Mystery Sound, a foot gives us the lowdown on how it falls asleep, the tongue sings a song… and there’s even an appearance from the “anti-mouth.” Wow! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed...

Duration:00:27:09

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