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Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Brains On!® is a science podcast for curious kids and adults from American Public Media. Co-hosted each week by kid scientists and reporters from public radio, we ask questions ranging from the science behind sneezing to how to translate the purr of cats, and go wherever the answers take us. @Brains_On

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brainson.org/

Episodes

Do plants have feelings?

There?s more to plants than meets the eye. They detect sounds, they defend themselves against insect attacks and they can even send each other secret messages through the wind! Our leafy, green friends sense and interact with the world in their own, planty way. We?ll learn all about it in this episode, plus we?ll find out why some plants like to grow in spots where other plants have died. We?ve also got a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: why do bats sleep upside down? This episode is sponsored by Khan Academy (khan.com/freekidsapp)
2020-03-31
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Nervous: All about feelings, pt. 4

This is a special re-release of an episode from our series on emotions. It?s all about how to handle big feelings like anxiety, nervousness and fear. There have been so many unexpected changes in all of our lives and a lot of us have big feelings right now. And that?s good -- we should feel those feelings. We also think having facts and information can help you feel more in control. This episode should help you with that. (This is the final installment in our series about feelings. Check out the first three if you haven't yet.) You know that feeling when you have butterflies in your stomach? Or maybe you get sweaty and hot? Or maybe you get fidgety and your heart beats really fast? Yeah, we know those feelings too. Today we're finding out why being anxious can make our bodies feel that way. We'll find out why fear has been really useful to our survival as a species and what you can do if that fear and anxiety is too much to handle. Plus: Mallika Chopra, the author of Just Breathe, shares a meditation to try when you're feeling nervous. And we'll finally get to hear Sanden's debut in the new Alpaca Jack musical, Fleece of Mind! Today?s episode is sponsored by New Cloud Control Cat Litter by Arm & Hammer, Aunt Fannie?s (auntfannies.com/summer and coupon code BRAINS), and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls the Podcast (rebelgirls.co/podcast). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate
2020-03-27
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Staying home: How social distancing helps fight coronavirus

Lots of schools are closed and people are staying home. In this episode we?ll explain how all of this could help slow the spread of the new coronavirus. We?ll explain some terms you?re probably hearing too, like ?social distancing? and ?flattening the curve.? Plus, we talk with a doctor who is on the front lines helping people get better, and two virus podcasters help answer your coronavirus questions like, ?How did this virus start?? and ?Can our pets get sick too?? And of course there?s a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um looking at why our tongues stick to ice. Please note that this episode was released on March 24, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, please head to trusted sources like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To learn more about how viruses spread, you can listen to our first episode about this new coronavirus: Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread For more on how our immune system fights viruses, check out our episode: How do flu vaccines work? For more on how to know which sources of information are trustworthy, you can check out our four-part series Prove It:Part one: A brief history of factsPart two: Science under the microscopePart three: The scoop on journalismPart four: How to find the facts Please note that this episode was released on March 24, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, please head to trusted sources like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This episode is sponsored by Perfect Snacks (perfectbar.com/brainson). Brains On is a non-profit public radio podcast. You can support the show at brainson.org/fans
2020-03-24
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Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?

Narwhals are whales, and super cool ones at that. But that cool thing coming out of their heads is a tusk, not a horn. Which means it?s a tooth! And it?s the only known spiral tooth to boot! In this episode, we learn all about narwhals (what that tusk is for and how they?re connected to the myth of the unicorn) and the evolution of teeth (from scale-like nubbins to the versatile chompers we have today). Plus our Moment of Um explores whether or not water has a taste. Today?s episode is sponsored by KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson), Khan Academy Kids (khan.co/freekidsapp) and iD Tech (idtech.com/brains). Brains On is a non-profit public radio podcast. You can support Brains On at brainson.org/fans.
2020-03-17
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Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread

It?s impossible to miss the news about coronavirus, but you probably still have lots of questions. What exactly is it? How does it spread? Can I protect myself? In this episode we?ll breakdown what we know about this new virus and tell you how to stay safe. Plus, we?ll listen to a podcast hosted by two chatty viruses to learn how these germs spread (and how our bodies fight back). We?ve also got a special message from some super tough hand washers. Plus a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that looks at why shoelaces come untied. Please note that this episode was released on March 10, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, please head to trusted sources like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more on how our immune system fights viruses, check out our episode How do flu vaccines work? Our friends at NPR made a really excellent comic about the new coronavirus, and you can read it here. For more on how to know which sources of information are trustworthy, you can check out our four-part series Prove It:Part one: A brief history of factsPart two: Science under the microscopePart three: The scoop on journalismPart four: How to find the facts This episode is sponsored by Blinkist (blinkist.com/brains) and Laurel Springs Online School (laurelsprings.com/brainson)
2020-03-10
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Weather Watching: The birth of forecasts

Humans have been predicting weather for a long time - way before modern technology. So how did they do it? We?ll meet the man who invented the word ?forecast? and brought weather reports to the newspaper. Plus, we'll tell you how to watch for signs of rain and we'll learn about the field of phenology. Oh, and we?ve got a Mystery Sound, Moment of Um and a weather lore game show. So grab an umbrella and tune in because this episode has a 100% chance of being super interesting. Today?s episode is sponsored by Khan Academy Kids (khan.co/freekidsapp) and Perfect Kids (perfectbar.com/brainson). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/fans. And you can find information about our live shows in Boston, Washington DC and New York at brainson.org/fans.
2020-03-03
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The secret world of dust

Dust looks gray and boring to us, but it?s full of secrets! Like did you know that up close, dust is colorful? And there are creatures living in your dust? And some dust comes from outer space? We?ll take you on a tour of the dust universe and show you how dust can help solve crimes. Plus, we learn about the tiny critters living all over your skin! And of course there?s a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that answers the question: why do we jump when we?re scared? This episode is sponsored by Care (care.com/brains) and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson)
2020-02-25
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For crying out loud: All about tears

It?s something so natural that we take it for granted ? but when you think about it, it?s a little strange. Why does water come out of our eyes? And why does it happen when we?re happy? Or sad? Or scared? Or exhausted? In this episode we dive into our mysterious emotional tears, find out [?]
2020-02-18
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Canine club: From wolves to dogs!

How did wolves go from wild, untamed animals to the friendly furballs we know as dogs? In this episode we?ll learn about how our canine companions evolved. Plus, we?ll get a howling lesson, meet a pack of Alaskan wolves that moved to the Minnesota Zoo and hear what wolves mean to members of the Anishinabe Nation. And don?t forget: an action packed Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um about chapped lips. This episode is sponsored by Perfect Snacks (perfectbar.com/brainson) and Blinkist (blinkist.com/brains).
2020-02-11
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Mirrors, sequins and glitter: what makes them shine?

Have you ever entered the mirror-verse and heard yourself talking back? Well, that?s what happens in today?s episode. We take a look (pun intended) at how mirrors work and talk to a scientist to find out what color they are. And in a history of sequins, we learn why, for a long time, rain was a disaster for glittery gowns. Not only can you make today?s Mystery Sound, but you can use it to spiff up your crafts. All that, plus a Moment of Um about why words start sounding funny funny funny funny funny when you repeat them. This episode is sponsored by: KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brainson), Laurel Springs Online School (laurelsprings.com/brainson), and the MacMillan Kids book, ?Astronauts: Women on the final frontier? (https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626728776).
2020-02-04
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Aliens and UFOs: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 4

In the final episode of our series about myths and legends, we?re launching our imaginations into outer space! Monster expert Emily Zarka tells us about her favorite alien and why aliens fascinate so many people. In the Hoax Hunters season finale, Marc and Sanden bring us a UFO spoof. Plus, scientists give us the lowdown on the real quest for extraterrestrial life ? we haven?t found any... yet. And, planets and moons compete for the title of ?most likely to have life?. A new moment of um keeps us outside the atmosphere: why does space look so dark if the sun is so bright? Today?s episode is sponsored by The American Dental Association (ada.org/brains). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate and get a bonus Mystery Sound Extravaganza episode in January!
2019-12-31
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Mermaids, Kraken and the Loch Ness Monster: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 3

What?s lurking in the depths of the ocean? Or your local loch? We?re diving deep into the world of water-dwelling mythical creatures in part three of our series on myths. We?ll talk with monster expert Emily Zarka and learn about the very real creature that may have inspired the tale of the Kraken. We?ll also hear from a frustrated manatee and dugong, and get caught up on all the latest deep sea trends. Marc and Sanden are back with a Hoax Hunters about the Loch Ness Monster. Plus, a Moment of Um about our physical reaction to fear.Today?s episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate and get a bonus Mystery Sound Extravaganza episode this January!
2019-12-24
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