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.

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
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How do vacuums work?

5/14/2024
Vacuums are full of surprises! Did you know that they blow air out to suck things up? Or that old-fashioned vacuums were so huge, they had to be hauled from house to house by horses?! Join Molly and co-host Baker as they learn all about these awesome appliances. They’ll dig into vacuum history, shrink to the size of air molecules and explore the inside of this curious contraption, and even check out a vacuum museum in Missouri. All that, plus a tricky new mystery sound that will blow you away! Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: - Poshpeanut.com/brainson - Receive 20% off your first order - Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson - Inside Out 2 - Disney and Pixar's Inside Out 2 is coming to theaters, June 14th.

Duration:00:29:29

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How do stringed instruments make sounds?

5/7/2024
Have you ever wondered why a guitar sounds different from a violin? Or why a banjo is twangy and a cello is mellow? Then this episode is for you! Join Molly and co-host Ellie as they explore the ear-tickling world of string sounds! Together, they’ll learn about sound waves, and visit the Brains On instrument petting zoo, where they'll learn about all the amazing sounds that stringed instruments can make. Plus, a shiny new mystery sound! Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: - Poshpeanut.com/brainson - Receive 20% off your first order - Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson - Paramount’s IF - From writer and director John Krasinski comes a new film about what happens to our Imaginary Friends (IFs) when we grow up. Out in theaters on May 17th!

Duration:00:27:04

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Smarty Pass Sneak Peek: Radical Design

5/3/2024
Looks like Marc has a beautiful new plant but doesn’t know where to put it. Direct sunlight or indirect sunlight? It’s too hard to figure out! But you know what’s not hard to figure out? Whether or not you should play Molly’s new game, Radical Design! Grab your Smarty Pass to see what producers Marc Sanchez and Rosie duPont think homes would look like on other planets!

Duration:00:01:20

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How to build a house on the Moon

4/30/2024
Humans have visited the Moon but we’ve never lived there. Could we build a home on our lunar neighbor? Join Molly and co-host Ira as they find out why the Moon can be a dangerous place, and what it would take to live there. We’ll imagine a visit to a lunar hotel, hear about all the stuff humans have left up there and even hear a song sung by the Moon herself! Featured Expert: Phil Plait, astronomer, journalist and author of several books, including, Under Alien Skies: A Sightseer’s Guide to the Universe, which uses science and imagination to paint a picture of what it would be like to vacation on the moon. Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: - Poshpeanut.com/brainson - Receive 20% off your first order - Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson - Paramount’s IF - From writer and director John Krasinski comes a new film about what happens to our Imaginary Friends (IFs) when we grow up. Out in theaters on May 17th!

Duration:00:29:11

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Are there insects in Antarctica?

4/23/2024
Looking for an escape? Join Molly and co-host Julian as they explore Antarctica! They’ll learn about Antarctica’s massive ice sheets and active volcanoes — plus they’ll meet the largest land animal on the continent! (Hint: it’s black, shiny, and can perch on a pencil eraser!) Then they’ll chat with scientist Dr. Jennifer Mercer about what it’s like to live and work in one the coldest places on the planet and explore what Antarctica was like 90 million years ago. (Hint: It was a lot like a beach resort!) And stick around for a mystery sound that’s so cool it’ll give you goosebumps! Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: - Sitkaseafoodmarket.com - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. - Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson - Poshpeanut.com/brainson - Receive 20% off your first order

Duration:00:34:25

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How can you tell when food is expired?

4/16/2024
Have you ever taken a big ol’ whiff of rotten milk? It probably smelled like dirty socks or stinky garbage. Blech! But why does food go bad, and how can we be sure that something is fresh and safe to eat? Join Molly and co-host Rachel as they explore the world of food expiration dates — those little numbers and dates on food packages that help us figure out how old food is! Together, they’ll find out why food goes bad, listen to a rotten egg sing about the power of the sniff test, and learn about the history of expiration dates from Forever Ago host Joy Dolo! All that plus a treat for your ears — an all-new mystery sound! Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: - Sitkaseafoodmarket.com - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. - Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson - Poshpeanut.com/brainson - Receive 20% off your first order

Duration:00:26:42

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How does ibuprofen help stop pain?

4/9/2024
Ouch! If you’ve ever stubbed your toe, gotten a paper cut or fallen off your bike, you know that getting hurt is no fun. Sometimes we can take medicine to help feel better, like ibuprofen. But how does that medicine know where to go in our bodies to stop the pain? In this episode, Molly and kid co-host Skylar explore where pain comes from and chat with expert Dr. Amanda C de C Williams about why it’s useful. Then they’ll eavesdrop on an ibuprofen pill on its first day of work to find out how it does its job. And of course, an all new mystery sound! Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: - Sitkaseafoodmarket.com - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. - Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson

Duration:00:24:02

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Smarty Pass Sneak Peek: Mystery Sound Investigation

4/5/2024
Oh no! It looks like Brains On host Molly Bloom and producer Marc Sanchez are in some deep trouble, and the only way to get out of it is with an extra special game of Mystery Sound. Will either of them be able to guess the right sound? Grab your Smarty Pass to find out!

Duration:00:01:22

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Everything you need to know before the 2024 solar eclipse

4/2/2024
On April 8, a total solar eclipse will be visible on a path that crosses North America, from the west coast of Mexico to the east coast of Canada. In this episode, Molly and co-host Aminah cover all your eclipse essentials: What causes an eclipse? What’s it like to experience one? How do you watch one safely? (Spoiler alert: Don’t stare at the sun without special eyewear. Really. Please. Don’t do it.) Plus, indigenous science educator Nancy Maryboy tells us about Navajo and Cherokee traditions during an eclipse and we’ll meet Dr. Ralph Chou, a scientist who has seen 29 total solar eclipses. And, of course, a stellar new mystery sound! Come see Brains On live in Washington, DC, Princeton, NJ, and Brooklyn, NY! Get tickets here: brainson.org/events Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: - Sitkaseafoodmarket.com - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. - Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson

Duration:00:26:17

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Are UFOs real?

3/26/2024
We love a good mystery, and UFOs are magnificently mysterious! But are they real? In this episode, Marc and Sanden take over the Brains On feed with a new episode of their radio show, Hoax Hunters. They’ll look into the myths and hoaxes surrounding UFOs (which stands for unidentified flying objects). Plus, they’ll talk about what kinds of things often get mistaken for UFOs and how you can stay smart and skeptical when hearing shocking information. And of course, an episode about mystery will have an all-new Mystery Sound! Read more about Val Johnson from MPR News. And if you love Hoax Hunters, check out our Making Sense of Myths series! Bigfoot, Unicorns and Dragons Lost Cities Mermaids, Kraken and the Loch Ness Monster Aliens and UFOs Come see Brains On live in Washington, DC, Princeton, NJ, and Brooklyn, NY! Get tickets here: brainson.org/events Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: - Sitkaseafoodmarket.com - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. - Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson

Duration:00:37:15

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Join us for Brains On live in April!

3/19/2024
Hello friends! We're so excited to announce that Brains On is coming to the east coast! We’re doing three live shows -- in Washington DC, Princeton, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York! Our live show is a super fun journey through the brain, featuring magic tricks, a game show, mystery sounds and even dancing! You can get tickets at brainson.org/events Plus, after each show, we're having a VIP party, where you can meet and play games with me, Marc and Sanden. And -- if you're not able to make it to our live shows in person, we'll be doing a virtual event in April that anyone can join! Tickets for that are also available at brainson.org/events Thanks so much for listening to Brains On and we can't wait to meet you in Washington, DC, Princeton, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York! Again, you can get your tickets at brainson.org/events. Hope to see you there!

Duration:00:01:01

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Why do we laugh?

3/12/2024
Laughter is like a language and humans are really good at understanding it. In this episode, Molly and co-host Milla decode different kinds of laughs, from uncontrollable goofy laughter to chuckles that make others feel good. They’ll meet laugh experts Sophie Scott and Adrienne Wood and test their knowledge in three rounds of the game show: Laugh Attack! Plus, a new mystery sound for you to guess! Come see Brains On live in Washington, DC, Princeton, NJ, and Brooklyn, NY! Get tickets here: brainson.org/events Subscribe to Smarty Pass for ad-free feeds, bonus episodes, and ticket discounts! Today’s episode is sponsored by: Sitkaseafoodmarket.com - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. Indeed.com/brainson - Receive a $75 sponsored job credit with code brainson

Duration:00:34:21

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How do satellites work?

3/5/2024
Satellites are like robots in the sky: they monitor the weather, make GPS possible, and take stunning pictures of outer space! But how exactly do they work? When a satellite named Meep Moop gets delivered to Brains On HQ by mistake, Molly and co-hosts Tessa and Fallyn learn all about satellite solar panels, thrusters, and radio waves! Then, they chat with Dr. Moriba Jah about satellite space junk and the importance of keeping space pristine. Plus, a stumper of a mystery sound! Featured expert: Dr. Moriba Jah, space environmentalist and professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin. Find him on Instagram at @moribajah and Facebook @Moriba Kemessia Jah Special thanks to: Dr. David “Goldy” Goldstein, principal engineer, SpaceX; Colonel., U.S. Air Force, Ret. Resources: If you want to hear more about GPS, check out the Brains On episode How does GPS know where you are? And if you’re curious to learn more about space junk, check out Satellite uses giant net to practice capturing space junk and the video Tracking space junk, both written and hosted by Loren Grush and produced by The Verge. Do you have your Smarty Pass yet?? Get yours today for just $4/month (or $36/year) and get bonus episodes every month, and ad-free versions of every episode of Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago. Visit www.smartypass.org to get your Smarty Pass today! ____________ This episode was sponsored by: Sitka Seafood Market - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. Indeed - Use promo code brainson to receive a $75 sponsored job credit

Duration:00:24:45

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Tooth or Dare: A Smarty Pass Sneak Peek

3/1/2024
What’s that alluring flute music and what does it have to do with Molly Bloom’s biting new game? Well, there’s only one way to find out. Grab your Smarty Pass to hear Anna and Rosie play Molly’s latest game: Tooth or Dare!

Duration:00:01:50

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How does a match make fire?

2/27/2024
Have you ever seen someone strike a match? The match rubs against a scratchy strip and a split second later – poof! It makes fire! But how does a match work, anyway? Join Molly and co-host Maxwell as they get all fired up about matches! They’ll explore the three things a fire needs to ignite and learn how lighting a match is just a super fast chemical reaction that sometimes smells like farts. Plus, we’ll hear your hot new names for matches and of course, a new mystery sound! Do you have your Smarty Pass yet?? Get yours today for just $4/month (or $36/year) and get bonus episodes every month, and ad-free versions of every episode of Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago. Visit www.smartypass.org to get your Smarty Pass today! ____________ This episode was sponsored by: Sitka Seafood Market - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. Indeed - Use promo code brainson to receive a $75 sponsored job credit

Duration:00:26:14

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How deep does the sand go on the beach?

2/20/2024
Sand! We use it to make all kinds of things, from spectacular sandcastles to roads and bridges. But where does it come from? And why is the sand on so many beaches disappearing? In this episode, Molly and co-host Leon head to the beach to explore the secrets of sand. They run into the ultimate sand STAN Sanden Totten and discover what it's made of. Then, they chat with producer Nico Gonzalez Wisler about why beaches are running out of sand. All that, plus a stumper of a new mystery sound! Do you have your Smarty Pass yet?? Get yours today for just $4/month (or $36/year) and get bonus episodes every month, and ad-free versions of every episode of Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago. Visit www.smartypass.org to get your Smarty Pass today! ____________ This episode was sponsored by: Sitka Seafood Market - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. Indeed - Use promo code brainson to receive a $75 sponsored job credit

Duration:00:25:27

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Is hypnosis real?

2/13/2024
Hypnosis. You’ve seen it in movies, cartoons, and maybe even on stage! But is it real? And if so, what is it? Join Molly and co-host Jasmine as they uncover the truth about hypnosis and its power to heal. They’ll hear from pediatrician and hypnosis expert, Dr. Daniel Kohen, about what it is and isn’t. (Spoiler alert – it isn’t mind control!) They’ll also chat with 13-year-old Joshua who uses hypnosis to overcome anxiety! Plus, a special appearance from the ghost of Franz Mesmer, a famous practitioner and the man behind the word mesmerizing. Entranced? Stick around for a new and puzzling mystery sound! Do you have your Smarty Pass yet?? Get yours today for just $4/month (or $36/year) and get bonus episodes every month, and ad-free versions of every episode of Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago. Visit www.smartypass.org to get your Smarty Pass today! ____________ This episode was sponsored by Sitka Seafood Market - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order. Indeed - Use promo code brainson to receive a $75 sponsored job credit

Duration:00:30:02

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Why do we get cavities?

2/6/2024
Your teeth are like a squad of superheroes inside your mouth. They help you crunch on carrot sticks, nibble popcorn and chew bubblegum. You’ve probably heard it’s important to brush your teeth to prevent cavities. But what is a cavity? And how do dentists fix them? Join Molly and cohost Aya on a terrifically toothy adventure, as they explore what causes these pesky little holes in our teeth. They’ll meet a group of rowdy, party-loving bacteria and find out how sometimes, troublemaker bacteria in our mouths can cause cavities. Plus, dentist Dr. Jean Star will help explain how to fix cavities. All that, plus a brand new Mystery Sound! Do you have your Smarty Pass yet?? Get yours today for just $4/month (or $36/year) and get bonus episodes every month, and ad-free versions of every episode of Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago. Visit www.smartypass.org to get your Smarty Pass today! ____________ This episode was sponsored by Sitka Seafood Market - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order.

Duration:00:29:16

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Baby Mystery Sound: A Smarty Pass Sneak Peek

2/2/2024
Producers Rosie duPont and Aron Woldeslassie are at the Brains On petting zoo checking out some of the cutest baby animals in the world. It’s there that Rosie realizes that they should play a round of Baby Mystery Sounds! It’s the classic Brains On game Mystery Sound with an adorable twist!

Duration:00:01:42

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How did ferns survive the dinosaur extinction?

1/30/2024
Listener Gideon sent in this brilliant question: “How did ferns survive the dinosaur extinction and are they the same ferns we see now?” Our search for the answer will introduce us to James Frond, international fern of mystery, and take us flying through the air on an airplane’s wing. We’ll also meet a scientist who’s trying to understand how ferns are such strong survivors — by recreating the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs! All that, plus a fern-tastic new mystery sound! Do you have your Smarty Pass yet?? Get yours today for just $4/month (or $36/year) and get bonus episodes every month, and ad-free versions of every episode of Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago. Visit www.smartypass.org to get your Smarty Pass today! _____________ Today’s episode is sponsored by: Sitka Seafood Market - Use promo code Molly35 to receive $35 off your first order.

Duration:00:30:03