Cover art for podcast Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Brains On! Science podcast for kids

252 EpisodesProduced by American Public MediaWebsite

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 s… read more

episodes iconAll Episodes

The Mosties!

May 24th, 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 …

Forever Ago is back June 1!

May 20th, 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, 

Dreams: The science of a sleeping brain

May 17th, 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 …

Tongue twisters: Terribly terrific and truly tantalizing

May 10th, 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 …

How does a caterpillar become a butterfly?

May 3rd, 2022


Caterpillars go through a striking transformation from a crawly, tube-like creature into a soaring, beautifully-winged butterfly. This process is …

What makes tiny tardigrades tick?

April 26th, 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 …

Into the eye of a storm: How hurricanes form

April 19th, 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 …

Is mind-reading real?

April 12th, 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 …

Owl about Owls

April 5th, 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 …

How are we related to stars?

March 29th, 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 …

Why are butts and poop so funny?

March 22nd, 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 …

Inside the immune system: Bad robots and friendly monsters

March 15th, 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 …

What's up with worms?

March 8th, 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 …

Mountain life: How's the air up there?

March 1st, 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 …

Chilling out with snow

February 22nd, 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, …

Could you walk around the world?

February 15th, 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 …

Why do we like sugar so much?

February 8th, 2022


Marshmallows, lollipops, gummi bears -- we want them all! But we’ve all heard that eating a lot of sugar isn’t that healthy for us. So what’s the …

Do we live in a multiverse?

February 1st, 2022


Get ready to learn the science behind the multiverse! That’s the idea that our universe isn’t the only universe out there. What if there were other, …

Why are giraffe tongues blue? - A Moment of Um extra

January 25th, 2022


Wow, wow, wow! Our new Moment of Um podcast is finally here. Check out this sample episode, and subscribe to Moment of Um in your podcast player. There are already five episodes just waiting for you to listen, and …

Introducing Moment of Um!

January 18th, 2022


We're super excited for you to hear our newest podcast: Moment of Um!

What’s that? You’ve already heard of Moment of Um featured on Brains On! …

What happens if you drop a feather in space?

November 23rd, 2021


In space, will a feather stay still? Fall down? Float away? Turns out, the answer depends on where you are! But one thing affects your feather no matter what: gravity! So Galileo is joining us all the way from the 1500s …

The innies and outies of belly buttons

November 16th, 2021


Today’s episode is all about your belly button aka navel aka umbilicus. And not just your belly button -- every single person you can think of has one. This means our listeners have LOTS of questions about them. We're …

A guide to getting your COVID shot

November 9th, 2021


Kids over 5 can now get a COVID vaccine in the U.S. We know a lot of you have been waiting for this day and lots of you have sent us questions about the vaccine since the pandemic started: like what's in the COVID …

Shark teeth: The sharp bits of a squishy animal

November 2nd, 2021


In this episode, we’re asking sharks to say “aaaah”, and taking a close look at their chompers. We’ll see how shark teeth grow, and what those teeth can teach us about sharks of the past. We’ll also play a game of Jaws …

Spooky superstitions! Why we think 13 is bad luck

October 26th, 2021


Just in time for spooky season, it’s an episode all about superstitions! Do you avoid the number 13? Or maybe it’s your lucky number, like Taylor Swift? In this episode we’ll look at why we have such strong feelings …

Crystals: More than just shiny rocks

October 19th, 2021


This episode shines a light on crystals, and they’re sparkling right back at us! We’ll zoom way in on a diamond to understand the structure that makes crystals special, and hear about some unexpected crystals, too …

Squirrelsperience: Trying out squirrel skills

October 12th, 2021


In many places, tree squirrels are extra busy these days. It’s time for them to collect nuts to prepare for winter! So we’re heading to a …

The heroes we need to defeat the coronavirus

October 5th, 2021


Eighteen months into our fight with this coronavirus, it may feel frustrating that we're still in this battle, but there are many reasons to feel …

How to conquer Garbage Mountain

September 28th, 2021


After getting a firsthand look at the history of trash, we’re having visions from garbage’s present and future this week. Producer Kunsang Dorjee visits a landfill to see what happens to our trash after we throw it …

The invention of trash

September 21st, 2021


A pair of ghost shoes visit Molly with a message: it's time to think about garbage. They predict that Molly will be visited by three visions of …

Take a deep breath: How does breathing work?

September 14th, 2021


Breathing is a really cool thing. We breathe automatically without thinking about it, but we can also control our breath and play with it. We'll …

What does the giraffe say? Our animal mystery sound extravaganza!

September 7th, 2021


When one of our listeners wrote in with an animal sound mystery (What sound does a giraffe make?) we set out to find an answer. We came back with lots of other fascinating animal sounds, so we decided it was time for an …

Why do we lose teeth?

July 27th, 2021


Today we’re looking at a phenomenon that happens to all of us: losing our baby teeth and getting new ones! So how do our teeth grow in and what makes them fall out? Naturally, a group of wandering teeth helps us …

What causes wildfires?

July 20th, 2021


A fire can be super useful or cozy or even magical. But it can also be dangerous -- and in the case of wildfires, if they burn long and hot enough, …

Million Bazillion answers your questions about money

July 15th, 2021


Today we’re sharing an episode with you from our friends at Million Bazillion, the podcast that answers the questions kids have about money. They …

Why do mosquitoes bite? Scratching that itch

July 13th, 2021


In this episode, we're tackling all the mosquito questions that have been bugging our listeners. Why do they bite? Why do the bites itch? Is scratching them a good idea? Why do some people seem to be more delicious to …

Why do songs get stuck in our heads?

July 6th, 2021


You know that feeling where you get a snippet of a song stuck in your head and it loops over and over? Those hard to shake songs are also known as …

Vaccines for kids and silver linings: Our second COVID summer

June 29th, 2021


Adults around the world are getting vaccinated against the coronavirus, and now, in a handful of countries (including the U.S.) kids over 12 can get …

Do dogs know they're dogs?

June 22nd, 2021


We treat dogs like they're part of the family. But do they know they are a different species, or do they think they're just short, four-legged people?

In this episode, canine cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz …

Our 200th episode is SUN-sational!

June 15th, 2021


There’s no better way to celebrate our 200th episode than with our own shining star: the sun! In this episode we speak with Dr. Nicola Fox, who leads …

How far can a cloud travel?

June 8th, 2021


We’ve all played the “what does that cloud look like” game. Maybe you saw a bunny… or an airplane… or a unicorn. What if that same cloud could also …

Totally Slothsome: All about sloths

June 1st, 2021


There’s more to sloths than slowness. They’re great at saving energy, hanging upside down, and swimming! In this episode, Sloth Appreciation Society founder Lucy Cooke stops by to tell us all about these amazing …

How do computers store so much info in such a tiny space?

May 25th, 2021


If you translate “Hello! How are you?” to binary code, it looks like this: 01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111 00100001 00100000 01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01111001 …

How does taste work? We react to our very first episode!

May 18th, 2021


 Brains On has a very special milestone coming up -- it’s almost our 200th episode! To celebrate, we're re-listening to our very first episode which was all about eating. We'll play the episode and chime in with …

Like bread and cheese? Thank fungus!

May 11th, 2021


That fuzzy sandwich in your fridge? Yeah, don't eat that kind of fungus. But the mushrooms in your stir fry? Or the yeast in your bread? Or the rind on your brie? Or the miso in your soup? All of those delicious foods …

Is mold alive? A look at fascinating fungus

May 4th, 2021


Fungus deserves a party because it’s everywhere and super important to life on this planet. The kingdom of fungus includes mushrooms and molds, but …

Is time travel possible?

March 30th, 2021


Will we ever get to rewind time, or fast forward through it? Sanden stops by to tell us all about how time works. He also has a couple ideas about how we might make time travel a reality! But one tricky thing about time …

Mystery Sound Extravaganza 2021

March 23rd, 2021


What's that you hear? That's right, It's an episode of nothing but mystery sounds! Are your ears up to the challenge? Plus, we'll hear an answer to the question: "How do squirrels find their nuts after they bury them?"

Why are smartphones so hard to put down?

March 16th, 2021


Screens are everywhere these days! We’re taking a look at why smartphones are so addictive, and how our devices affect us. Our co-hosts took on a …

What did dinosaurs sound like?

March 9th, 2021


Did dinosaurs roar? Or meow? And how do we know? Paleontologist Julia Clarke stops by to talk about sounds T-Rex might’ve made. We know a bit more …

Dino Edition: How do we know what dinosaurs looked like?

March 2nd, 2021


20 years ago, we pictured dinosaurs as green, scaly animals. But times have changed! Now, we know some dinosaurs had feathers. And who knows — maybe some even had stripes.

This episode looks at how we figure out what …

What's in the COVID vaccine?

February 23rd, 2021


In this episode, we're using our zoom ray to zoom way in and answer your questions about the COVID vaccine. What's in the COVID vaccine? How does it work? And how do they make it? We'll also look at how our fight …

What's behind the waves and tides?

February 16th, 2021


In this encore episode, we answer the questions: How does the moon control the tides? Where do waves come from? And what’s it like to live in a tide …

Why do we have crushes?

February 9th, 2021


When you've got a crush on someone, it can feel a bit overwhelming. All of a sudden, you might have butterflies in your stomach! And maybe you find …

Let's go bananas!

February 2nd, 2021


HARVEY, our omnipresent virtual voice assistant, gets a software update that makes him go bananas for bananas. And if we talk about anything except bananas, he turns the microphones off! We talk to geneticist Dr. Janina …

A super special shot: All about coronavirus vaccines

January 26th, 2021


In December, people started getting vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a huge scientific accomplishment and important step in making it safe for us to hang out in person again. So how did scientists develop these …

Meet Gitanjali Rao, Time Magazine's first-ever Kid of the Year

January 19th, 2021


Today we have a special episode featuring an old friend of ours -- scientist and inventor Gitanjali Rao. Time Magazine recently named her the …

How do synthesizers work?

January 12th, 2021


Synthesizers are a very recent invention, especially when you compare them to acoustic instruments, like pianos and guitars. In this episode, we learn how these machines with keys, knobs, switches, buttons and sliders …

Why is it so hard to break a habit?

January 5th, 2021


If habits are really stuck, we don't think much about them -- we just do them! Some habits are good (like brushing your teeth in the morning) and others are not as good (like biting your nails).

Today we find out what …

Smash Boom Best: Flowers vs Rainbows

November 25th, 2020


We’ll be back with new episodes in January. But we wanted to share another show with you that we’ve been working on: Smash Boom Best!

It’s a debate …

Bones from the inside out

October 27th, 2020


Bones! They’re spooky. They’re creepy. They’re utterly fascinating!

This episode we dig up the science behind skeletons. We’ll look at how our bones grow, what happens when we break a bone and why bones last so long. …

Why do siblings annoy each other?

October 20th, 2020


Having a sibling is a special thing -- but, wow, can they be annoying! In this episode we’ll look at why our brothers and sisters are so good at …

How do flu vaccines work?

October 13th, 2020


The flu shot changes every year. But why is the flu special, if other illnesses have much longer-lasting vaccines? This episode takes us into the world of viruses and immunity.

We released this episode about flu vaccines …

Past, present and future: Using time to understand this pandemic

October 6th, 2020


If time feels weird to you lately, you’re not alone. The pandemic has changed the pace of life for people around the world. We’ll talk to a …

Smash: When continents collide!

September 29th, 2020


How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is…tectonic plates!

These are giant, moving slabs of rock covering the Earth’s surface. When they slide past …

Behind the scenes: See how we make the show

September 22nd, 2020


A listener asked how making  Brains On is different during the pandemic. So with this episode we're giving you a peek into how we're making the show while staying safe. Spoiler alert: we're doing it all from our homes!

The buzz on bees, pt. 2

September 15th, 2020


In this second episode on bees (a bee-quel, you might say!) we’re taking a look at pollination: the many pollination talents of different bees, why …

The buzz on bees, pt. 1

September 8th, 2020


We’re making a big buzz about bees! Our pollen-collecting friends get so much done, and we’re taking a look at how they live. We’ll bust some bee …

Stars: Twinkling, glowing, giant balls of gas

September 1st, 2020


Those tiny pinpoints of light glittering in the night sky are actually incredibly distant, giant, churning balls of gas. They produce huge quantities of light and heat. In this episode, Mars interviews the biggest star …

What makes gross things gross?

August 25th, 2020


Fair warning: Today we’re gonna get gross! We’re talking sounds, smells, and tastes that some people might find repulsive. But we're asking: why? …

Poop Party: Answers to your poo questions

August 12th, 2020


Warning! This episode is all about the fascinating and gross world of doo doo.

We know you have a lot of poo questions because you’ve sent many, many of them to us. So we’re finally bringing you the poo answers! It’s a …

Introducing: Million Bazillion

August 4th, 2020


We’re thrilled to share a brand new show with you. It’s called Million Bazillion and it’s all about money -- how we earn it, how we save it and how we spend it.

In the first episode you’ll travel back thousands of years …

Masks and mouth mist: What we know about the coronavirus now

July 28th, 2020


Since the world first learned about this new coronavirus at the end of 2019, we’ve been watching science happen in real time. Scientists all over the world are studying this virus and learning how to protect us from it. …

The world of tiny robots

July 14th, 2020


We’re talking all about teeny, tiny robots in today’s episode. You know, the ones that are as light as a postage stamp and as look like insects? They may be small, but these robots can still take in information and make …

Why do kids have more energy than adults?

June 30th, 2020


We’re taking on an age-old question today: Do kids have more energy than adults? Breakfast tacos, caffeine, an energized DJ and an epic battle …

Why does green mean go? And other color conundrums

June 16th, 2020


The world is full of color, but how do our eyes see it? In this episode we’ll explain how color vision works, complete with a journey to a jazz club …

Injustice and Anger: Understanding your emotions

June 3rd, 2020


A lot of us are angry right now, with good reason. We’re seeing people treated unfairly because of racism -- that’s when people don’t like someone’s …

Introducing: Julie's Library

May 26th, 2020


We're very excited to share an episode of a brand new podcast we've been working on called Julie's Library. It’s hosted by the legendary, the one and …

Coronavirus: How to be a helper from home

May 19th, 2020


We’re all doing our best to stay safe from coronavirus, but is there anything we can do for others as well? In this episode we look at some ways you can help from home, like by making masks, donating to food banks or …

Thinking ink: The scoop on this colorful stuff!

May 5th, 2020


Ink is amazing. It helps us captures our thoughts, comes in many colors and some of it is even made by animals! In this episode we explore the …

Mystery Sound Extravaganza 2020

April 28th, 2020


You don’t have to search far to find amazing Mystery Sounds. If you listen, you can find them in every room of your house. Today’s episode is chock …

Can you dig to the center of the Earth?

April 21st, 2020


Like an onion, the Earth has layers. In this episode we’ll see if you can dig through those layers to get to the center of the planet.

We’ll also hear about the Danish scientist who discovered more about Earth’s core …

Joy Overload! The science of tickles and cuteness

April 14th, 2020


Get ready for some smiles! We’re looking at the science of two things that bring us joy: tickles and cuteness.

We’ll explain why tickles make us giggle and why you can’t tickle yourself. Then we’ll talk about what …

Virus Busters: How scientists are working to stop the coronavirus

April 7th, 2020


Scientists around the world are working fast to fight the new coronavirus. They’re developing medicines to help people who are sick. They’re also working on vaccines to stop the virus from spreading.

In this episode …

Do plants have feelings?

March 31st, 2020


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 …

Nervous: All about feelings, pt. 4

March 27th, 2020


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 …

Staying home: How social distancing helps fight coronavirus

March 24th, 2020


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 …

Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?

March 17th, 2020


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 …

Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread

March 10th, 2020


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 …

Weather Watching: The birth of forecasts

March 3rd, 2020


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 …

The secret world of dust

February 25th, 2020


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 …

For crying out loud: All about tears

February 18th, 2020


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? …

Canine club: From wolves to dogs!

February 11th, 2020


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 …

Mirrors, sequins and glitter: what makes them shine?

February 4th, 2020


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) …

Aliens and UFOs: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 4

December 31st, 2019


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 …

Mermaids, Kraken and the Loch Ness Monster: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 3

December 24th, 2019


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 …

Lost Cities: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 2

December 17th, 2019


Was Atlantis a real city? If not, why have so many people gone looking for it? In part two of our series on modern myths and legends, we’re searching for lost cities.

We’ll trace the origins of El Dorado, and head to …

Bigfoot, Unicorns and Dragons: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 1

December 10th, 2019


Where do stories of unicorns, mermaids and Bigfoot come from? And do they have any truth to them? In this four-part series, we're tackling listeners' biggest questions about modern myths and legends.

Today's episode …

How do pianos work?

December 3rd, 2019


Behind every piano’s polished exterior are thousands of parts. From keys to strings, they work together to produce a sound.

In this episode, we take …

Flavor facts: Why food is so delicious

November 26th, 2019


You might think flavor is what happens on your tongue – and it is. But it’s also so much more.

Flavor is influenced by all the senses. How food looks, smells and feels can make a difference. Even the sounds you hear …

What was the first life on earth?

November 20th, 2019


What was the first lifeform like? What was the first fish or mammal? Is it even possible to know? In this episode, we look to the fossil record to help us trace our roots back to the Last Universal Common Ancestor. …

Ask-A-Scientist: Bird Bonanza!

November 12th, 2019


In this special episode, we've asked two rock star ornithologists to answer a flock of listener questions about birds. Drew Lanham and Corina Newsome …

Books: How they're made and how your brain reads them

November 5th, 2019


There is so much happening in your brain when you read. From recognizing shapes as letters to discovering empathy, our brains really get a workout when we read books.

In this episode, Ben Bergen from the Language and …

Why do we like getting scared?

October 29th, 2019


Spooky stuff may make you cover your eyes in fright, but many of us find ourselves peeking through our fingers to get another glimpse. Why are we drawn to things that make us jump? In this episode, we'll find out how …

Wonderful Wool: The secrets of this amazing fluff

October 22nd, 2019


Wool is warm, absorbs water and odors, plus it’s flame resistant. In short, wool is amazing!

In this episode we explore how wool is different from …

How does the internet get to us?

October 15th, 2019


In this episode, we find out how a system of cables around the globe (and deep in our oceans) brings websites, songs, videos and podcasts to our phones and computers, almost at the speed of light. The internet can seem …

Why do we lie?

October 1st, 2019


Most of us think we’re good at detecting lies, but it turns out humans only get it right about half the time. And why do we do it anyway? What makes us want to deceive other people? In this episode we get to the truth …

The secrets of the spectacular spacesuit

August 27th, 2019


Never explore the final frontier without your trusty, white, puffy space suit! But why is it puffy and white? And why do astronauts need them? Turns out space is super dangerous and these suits can save your life.

What is dyslexia? And how do our brains read?

August 20th, 2019


Have you heard the word dyslexia before? It's a term used to describe when people have a hard time learning to read. It's actually very common because reading is a fairly new skill that humans have developed.

In this …

How do elevators work?

August 13th, 2019


Elevators are like magic. You walk in, the door shuts and when it opens again, you are suddenly someplace new! Ta da! But it’s not magic that does this trick, it’s science and engineering.

In this episode we explain how …

Hey, where did you get those genes?!?

August 6th, 2019


Today we’re talking genes - the recipe for you! We’ll go microscopic and check out how traits like hair color are passed down through your family. …

Plastic: Why it's everywhere

July 30th, 2019


Human-made plastics are super useful -- they're lightweight, can be molded into anything, and they don’t break down. And because plastic is so …

Ants: Who's in charge here?

July 23rd, 2019


We have a lot to learn from ants. This episode digs into the hierarchy of ant colonies (spoiler alert: there is none) and why they walk in a straight …

Tree, Myself and I: All about our leafy green friends

July 16th, 2019


Trees are the strong, silent type but that doesn’t mean they can’t communicate. In this episode we’ll explore how trees send each other messages above ground and below. Plus we’ll learn how a seed goes from a tiny …

Do insects see the world in slow motion? Looking through animal eyes

July 9th, 2019


Do insects see the world in slow motion? Do animals see the same rainbow we do? How do eagles see so far away? Our listeners have a lot of questions about the way animals see the world, and this episode tackles lots of …

Going underground at Wind Cave National Park

July 2nd, 2019


What wonders are hiding underground? Producer Marc Sanchez finds out what it’s like to explore one of the biggest networks of caves in the world — and scientists are still discovering unmapped branches. Marc will show …

Angry: All about feelings, pt. 3

June 18th, 2019


This is the third of our four-part series on feelings. Today we're learning why we all get angry and what to do with that emotion. We'll get in touch with our inner Super You Person and learn what physical reactions …

Sad: All about feelings, pt. 2

June 11th, 2019


This is the second episode in our four-part series on feelings! In this episode, we're covering the small and big parts of sadness.

Because this episode touches on some heavy pieces of sadness -- we recommend kids …

Happy: All about feelings, pt. 1

June 4th, 2019


Where do feelings come from? And why do we have them? In this four-part series, we're digging deep into our emotions.

In this first episode, we're getting happy! We'll get a play-by-play of the chemicals in our brain …

Thinkin stinkin: Why we smell

April 30th, 2019


You may have noticed some strong smells coming from your feet, your friend's breath, or your brother's armpit. Where do these body odors come from? We'll meet the microscopic organisms responsible and visit the kingdom …

Forever echo: Can a sound wave go on forever?

April 23rd, 2019


Today we shout out our love for the ECHO! (echo echo) Discover how these curious callbacks happen and why we hear them in some places but not others. We'll also play you the longest echo in the world and take you to an …

The hows and whys of hair

April 16th, 2019


The hair on our heads is on our minds. We have fun with follicles and learn about how they make hair. Our experts help us decipher what makes hair …

Mystery Sound Extravaganza 2019

April 2nd, 2019


This episode is an ear-tickler! Guess your way through eleven mystery sounds — one from a scientist, and ten from listeners like you! Plus, another mystery: what’s making Marc and Sanden dance to the sounds of a door …

Carnivores: Plants and animals that bite back

March 26th, 2019


Most plants get the energy and nutrients they need from water, sunlight, air and soil. But carnivorous plants get key nutrients from a different source: bugs. We’ll find out how they do it and talk about the mystery of …

Flush! Where does our poo and pee go?

March 20th, 2019


Every time you flush, your poo and pee start an epic journey. From the toilet, to the sewers, to a treatment plant, our waste travels quite a distance only to end up cleaner by the end. We'll hear from a "PooTube" star …

Black Holes, Wormholes and Donut Holes

March 12th, 2019


Black holes happen when you have a super huge, mega-giant amount of stuff --- crammed into a super-tiny, infinitely-small amount of space. AND THEY …

Walking on walls: How ants and spiders do it

March 5th, 2019


Ants and spiders are able to defy gravity -- but how do they do it? We'll learn about how awesome their feet are and how one predator takes advantage of these powers. Plus: A very challenging mystery sound and a Moment …

My air came from where?! How oxygen gets around

February 26th, 2019


Oxygen is quite the savvy traveler. We explore how this gas travels all around the world and ends up pretty much everywhere for us to breathe. Plus we'll look at how plants and others make the stuff. And we learn how …

How do airplanes fly?

February 19th, 2019


How do planes stay in the air? And how did humans figure out that it wasn’t enough to just strap wings to our arms and flap them like birds?

We’ll find out about the invention of airplanes and our co-hosts will share …

Memory and deja vu

February 12th, 2019


In this episode, we take a trip down memory lane. We visit a campus full of hippos to learn how memories are stored, and drop in on a badger trainer …

Are we still evolving?

February 5th, 2019


In this episode, we climb up, down and all around our evolutionary family tree. When did we branch off from our more ape-like ancestors? And will we …

Brains On: Behind the scenes

January 30th, 2019


This is a special fundraising episode, where we peek behind the curtain of Brains On!

Earthrise: The picture of our planet that changed the world

December 25th, 2018


50 years ago NASA astronauts took a picture that changed the world. It was a full color photo of planet Earth as seen from space. This image inspired …

Soil: Can you dig it?

December 18th, 2018


We’re ready to get our hands dirty as we explore the stuff beneath our feet. Clay, sand, mud — soil is everywhere. And it’s alive! We’ll find out how it helps plants grow and learn about all the little organisms that …

Voices: How do we make sound?

December 4th, 2018


We are very vocal about this episode, and that’s because it’s all about voices. We look into how our bodies produce sound and talk to a voice recognition expert. And we find out what’s happening when helium enters the …

Roller coasters: from dream to extreme

November 27th, 2018


How do roller coaster designers go from dream to reality? World-renowned roller coaster designer Alan Schilke tells us how he does it. Also — why do …

Finding your way without a map

November 20th, 2018


If your GPS suddenly stopped working, would you still be able to find your way?

In this episode we'll teach you tricks and tips to navigate on your …

Video Games: A Tale of Two Pongs

November 13th, 2018


Introducing our brand new history show, Forever Ago! Join host Joy Dolo and kid co-host Kai on an epic quest through history to figure out how video …

Body Bonanza: Yawns, hiccups, goosebumps and more!

October 30th, 2018


Brains On listeners have LOTS of questions about the human body so we’ve decided to answer nine – count em NINE – of these questions in one go. The terrific topics tackled: Hiccups, yawns, getting dizzy, goosebumps, …

How to find the facts (Prove It: Part 4)

October 23rd, 2018


Today information is everywhere, but what should you trust? Can you spot the difference between well researched articles and stories full of opinion, …

The scoop on journalism (Prove It: Part 3)

October 16th, 2018


Fair and fact-based news helps people make good decisions. That's why journalists work hard to get their facts straight. In the third installment of our series "Prove It: How to find the facts," we'll hear how one …

Science under the microscope (Prove It: Part 2)

October 9th, 2018


Science is a powerful fact-finding tool -- but how does it work? In this second installment in our series "Prove It: How to find the facts," we look …

A Brief History of Facts (Prove It: Part 1)

October 2nd, 2018


We’d be nothing without facts. They ground us in reality, help us make new discoveries and allowed us to build the modern world. In this episode we …

Brains On! + The Story Pirates: What makes fun things fun?

August 28th, 2018


We're teaming up with our pals The Story Pirates to learn about the science of having fun! Our experts tell us what makes something fun and why we're so geared toward seeking a good time. Plus, the Story Pirates share …

Keeping water healthy, one clue at a time

August 14th, 2018


Last week, we heard about the tale of the Cuyahoga River -- a river in Ohio that caught on fire multiple times because it was so polluted. The river …

Burning rivers of fire

August 7th, 2018


Rivers are known for being wet. So how did a river in Ohio suddenly catch fire, not once, but several times last century? In part three of our water series, we'll explore the shocking tale of the Cuyahoga River. We'll …

How does GPS know where you are?

July 31st, 2018


Without GPS, we’d be lost. Literally. Thanks to these radio transmissions from space though, we’re able to pinpoint our location and find our way home. Join us as we learn all about satellites, how the robot voice of …

Salty snack science: Popcorn, nachos and the origins of salt

July 24th, 2018


We're having a snack attack in this episode and we're using it as an excuse to delve into the facts and history of some of our favorite snacks. How does popcorn pop? Who invented nachos? And where does salt come from? …

Wanna see Mars' close approach? Just look up!

July 17th, 2018


The Red Planet is putting on a show this July. It'll be closer to Earth than it’s been in 15 years and that means at night it'll appear bigger and …

Smash Boom Best: Books vs Movies

July 10th, 2018


Today, we’re sharing another epic showdown from our brand new debate show, Smash Boom Best. Each episode, we pit our favorite things against each other, like bats versus owls! Or pizza versus tacos! And we ask you to …

How to cook for an alien

July 3rd, 2018


The aliens are coming to dinner! In this episode we wonder what food aliens might eat and talk to real scientists who've thought long and hard about this question. Plus, our friends at America's Test Kitchen show us how …

Mix: The science cooking, pt. 4

June 26th, 2018


Are you ready to mix it up? In this episode, we find out why oil and vinegar are like bickering siblings in the back seat of a car, what delicious food inspired the invention of the blender, and the most effective …

Chop: The science of cooking, pt. 3

June 19th, 2018


Our knives are drawn and ready to mince and dice our way through the science of chopping. In this episode we'll find out what happens to that carrot …

Chill: The science of cooking, pt. 2

June 12th, 2018


From ice cubes to ice cream, cold things are a crucial part of cuisine. How do we use chill to our advantage? This is part two of our series on the …

Heat: The science of cooking pt. 1

June 6th, 2018


We’ve teamed up with America’s Test Kitchen Kids to delve into the scrumptious science of cooking. You’ve sent in so many great cooking questions that we had to spread the answers over four episodes. This is our first …

Boogers and sun sneezes: Know your nose

May 29th, 2018


In this encore mash-up episode, we revisit some fascinating facts that will help you get to know your nose. Why does the sun make some people sneeze? And where do boogers come from anyway? Plus: A brand new moment of um …

The wonderful weirdness of water

May 22nd, 2018


One of the weirdest substances in the universe is right under your nose. No, not boogers. Water! Water seems ordinary, almost boring, but take a …

Smash Boom Best: Bats vs. Owls (new show alert!)

May 15th, 2018


For the past few months, we’ve been working on a top secret project and we’re so excited we finally get to share it with you! It’s a new show called Smash Boom Best and it’s nothing but debates. Sort of like the ones …

Robots take over (the show)! Live from Robotstravaganza

May 8th, 2018


What was the first robot? What is artificial intelligence? How do robots "learn?" In this special episode, we have pieces from our live Robotstravaganza show in Boston. We meet some awesome robots (including one that's …

What's in your water?

May 1st, 2018


What’s in your water, and how did it get there? Clean water is a must, but modern living can put a lot of bad stuff in it. Road salt, fertilizer, dog doo-doo, heavy metals - how do these things get in our water? Why …

What makes paint stick?

April 24th, 2018


Paint goes on wet, then it dries — and it’s stuck there. But how does it stick? We’re going to zoom way in to find out. We’ll visit a forensic chemist, a painter who makes his own paint and a party happening at the …

Allergy Attack: How our bodies can overreact

April 9th, 2018


Pollen, peanuts, dust mites. These things aren't poisonous - so why do some people's bodies act like they are? In this episode, we'll find out what …

Mystery Sound Extravaganza 2018

April 3rd, 2018


Sounds abound all around. Do you think your ears are up to the task? We have an episode chock full of nothing but mystery sounds to challenge and …

How do animals breathe underwater?

March 26th, 2018


Our lungs are great at getting oxygen out of the air, but if we needed to do that underwater, we'd be sunk. So how do fish, shrimp, jellyfish and other marine animals breathe underwater? And what happens when there is …

'The Rice Cakes and the Oni': A story from Circle Round

March 20th, 2018


Sometimes we're in the mood for a good story, so we're turning our show over to Circle Round this week. It's a podcast produced by WBUR in Boston …

Circadian rhythm pt. 2: Beyond human

March 13th, 2018


Circadian rhythms keep our bodies on schedule. But what about the rest of the animal and plant world? Turns out, most living things run on similar …

From 8-bit to orchestras: How does video game music affect you?

March 5th, 2018


If you’ve ever played a video game, you know how important music can be when it comes to gaming. But what if you choose to play without music? How …

The tick-tock of our circadian clock

February 27th, 2018


The near 24-hour-cycle that keeps us on track is conducted by the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It’s a tiny part of our brains, but it’s super, super important.

‘Is it opposite day?’ and other mind-bending paradoxes

February 20th, 2018


Think about it: the answer to the question “Is it opposite day?” will always be no. So how do you figure out if it is, in fact, opposite day?

Our 100th episode! What's the big deal?

February 13th, 2018


In this milestone of an episode, we ask why people seem to love the number 100 so much. We also learn some amazing tricks involving the number 100 …

Meet Sandy, the left-handed mutant snail

February 6th, 2018


For humans, being left-handed or right-handed can definitely affect the way we experience life. Usually, that mismatch is just a minor nuisance — but sometimes, sidedness can change the future of an entire species, as …

Dolphins vs. Octopuses: Showdown in the sea!

January 30th, 2018


Two of our planet’s most amazing animals go head to head in our latest debate.

We’re asking you to decide which animal reigns supreme. Is it the eight-armed, three hearted, shape-shifting octopus? Or the speed-swimming, …

Dogs: What's the secret of their sense of smell?

January 23rd, 2018


If you’ve ever seen a dog, you know they like to sniff — the ground, people, each other’s butts. They like to smell just about everything. But why? We’re digging into the science of smell and how dogs are able to decode …

Mary Shelley and the science of Frankenstein

January 16th, 2018


As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication, we look at how Mary Shelley was inspired by science and how the lessons of the book still resonate with the scientific world today.

Super-size-asaurus: How did dinosaurs get so big?

January 9th, 2018


  Ancient dinosaurs were some of the biggest creatures to ever stomp the Earth. But how and why did they get so giant? Was there more food to help them grow? Was the planet itself somehow different, allowing them to …

Mysteries of the universe: Expansion and gravity

January 2nd, 2018


In this episode we ponder some big questions from Brains On listeners about the vastness of space.

The nerve! Electricity in our bodies

December 26th, 2017


Your body is making and using electricity all the time — but how do we do it? We’ll take a look at how bioelectricity helps our brain sends signals and our hearts pump blood. And we’ll learn about some amazing animals …

Charged up! The science of batteries

December 19th, 2017


Batteries are everywhere — they’re in our phones, our computers, our cars, our toys. But how do they work? To find out, we talk to a scientist who’s making really big batteries to store renewable energy, another who’s …

High voltage! How electric power reaches your outlet

December 12th, 2017


We use electricity all the time, but where exactly does it come from? How does it get to our homes? It’s a fascinating journey that can start hundreds of miles from your outlet.

Shocking! The science of static (Electricity series pt. 1)

December 5th, 2017


What makes your hair stand on end? Why does your skirt stick your tights? Why do you get zapped by electric shocks when you go to touch a doorknob?

Where did language come from?

November 27th, 2017


Where did language come from? Is it possible to know without traveling back in time? And how do babies learn to speak? Plus: We’ll hear how the word …

Curio: Flies on the bus

November 14th, 2017


A few weeks ago, we got two emails that were so similar and so intriguing we had no choice but to investigate.

What's smaller than an electron?

November 7th, 2017


The natural world can be broken down into atoms. And those atoms can be broken down even further. Will the discovery of smaller and smaller particles ever stop?

Healing skin and regrowing limbs: The science of regeneration

October 30th, 2017


What superpowers does our skin have to repair itself? And what about other animals like salamanders that can do some pretty extreme healing? We’re going under the skin for this one.

What is Down syndrome?

October 24th, 2017


You may have heard of Down syndrome, but what is it exactly? In this episode, we'll break down the science of chromosomes and how having an extra one leads to this fairly common condition. Plus, we'll learn some tips …

Bonus: Kidcast sampler

October 22nd, 2017


Looking for more awesome podcasts to listen to? We're bringing you a special bonus episode today to let you know about some of the other podcasts that you might want to check out. And if you want to find lots of other …

Curio: Vampire of the Great Lakes

October 17th, 2017


The sea lamprey, with its concentric rows of sharp teeth, is part vampire and part alien invader. Would you let it suction to your arm? Reporter Dan …

How do volcanoes erupt?

October 2nd, 2017


There are all kinds of volcanoes all over the world, but how are they formed? And how do they erupt? To find out, we’ll travel to the center of the …

Curio: Quindar tones and talking in space

September 19th, 2017


You know those beeps in old NASA recordings? They’re called Quindar tones. This episode explains them and talks to a couple musicians who incorporate …

Mars: Our next home planet?

September 12th, 2017


In this episode we learn about Mars’ ancient past, meet an architect hoping to build cities there and we hear from Mars itself, thanks to the planet’s video blog, of course.

Thunder, lightning and tornadoes: Where do they come from?

September 4th, 2017


There are some basic ingredients to make thunderstorms and tornadoes. We’ll find out what they are – and how to observe these powerful and amazing …

Animal farts: A mighty wind

August 29th, 2017


Most animals fart. And some animals put those farts to work.

Sunburns: The why behind the ouch (and how to avoid them)

August 15th, 2017


To help us understand sunburns, we’re going deep into the skin to look at cells, molecules and electrons.

Everything you need to know before the solar eclipse

August 1st, 2017


On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible on a path that crosses the U.S., from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the …

Deep Sea vs. Outer Space

July 18th, 2017


It’s time for the next Brains On debate! This intense matchup brings us to the depths of darkness, under the water and beyond our earth’s atmosphere. Who will prevail?

Fart Smarts: Understanding the gas we pass

July 4th, 2017


Is farting good for us? Where do farts come from? Why do only some make sounds? And what’s up with the smell? We tackle your questions about the gas we all pass in this episode.

Riding in the car: Motion sickness and optical illusions (Road trip pt. 5)

June 30th, 2017


Hosts Molly and Gabriella are locked out. No worries: Sanden and Bob to the rescue. While the duo drives a spare set of keys to our beloved hosts, …

Traffic: Phantom jams and chicken soup (Road trip pt. 4)

June 23rd, 2017


On the fourth leg of our road trip, we figure out where traffic comes from and what it would take to make it finally go away.

Monster trucks and car design (Road trip pt. 3)

June 20th, 2017


At the third stop on our road trip series, we coast in for a pit stop and check out car design. We find out how monster trucks are different than …

The future of fuel, and the problem with exhaust (Road trip pt. 2)

June 16th, 2017


Our planet needs some carbon dioxide, but cars are pumping more into the atmosphere than our carbon cycle can handle. We’ll explore what all this carbon means for our planet. And we talk to a scientist who is working to …

How do engines work? (Road trip pt. 1)

June 9th, 2017


On the first leg of our road trip, we’re exploring the history of engines and how they work, with a little help from Car Talk’s Ray Magliozzi.

Mystery sound extravaganza!

June 6th, 2017


There are a whopping 10 sounds for you to guess in this episode. Are your ears up to the challenge?

The science of slime: What is it and why are we so obsessed

May 9th, 2017


Homemade slime is sticky, gooey and all the rage, but what is it? When you combine ingredients like glue and laundry detergent you get a strange, …

Why is the ocean salty?

March 14th, 2017


If you’ve ever been the ocean, you’ve tasted that salt. But where does it come from? And why aren’t lakes and rivers salty too? A sea shanty is probably the best way to explain, right?

Do we all see the same colors?

February 14th, 2017


What if the color that you call blue and the color I call blue don’t look the same at all? When our brains see color, we’re really just seeing waves …

Cats: Glowing eyes, puffy tails and secret purrs

January 31st, 2017


Why do cat eyes look the way they do? Can cats really see in the dark? And what are they trying to tell us with that purr (you know the one)?

Dinosaur bones: How do we know their age?

January 17th, 2017


Fossil dating is a lot like eating a delicious ice cream cake. Well, sort of. We find out how scientists look at the rock and elements AROUND a fossil to figure out its age. Plus: We talk to a scientist who studied one …

Lighting the way for sea turtles at Gulf Islands National Seashore

December 30th, 2016


We don’t know much about the long life of a sea turtle, since it’s mostly spent in the ocean. When they do come ashore to lay their eggs, we know the babies use the moon and stars to guide them back to sea. But what …

Surviving the desert at Joshua Tree National Park

December 29th, 2016


The desert is hot, dry and deadly. But plenty of plants and animals thrive there. How do they do it? We’ll learn the tricks trees, bats and roadrunners use to make it in Joshua Tree National Park in California.

Making the sands sing at Great Sand Dunes National Park

December 28th, 2016


When an avalanche happens at the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, it sounds like the sand is singing. Huh? How? Why? We learn about the special sand and …

Tracking wild horses at Assategue Island National Seashore

December 27th, 2016


The wild horses at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland are very popular, but they’re also an invasive species. We find out how park …

What makes cute things cute?

December 6th, 2016


Think of the cutest puppy, kitten or baby you’ve ever seen. Now what sound did you just make? Was it an “Awwwww?” Or did you want to pinch, bite or squeeze it? In this episode, we’ll find out why this is a natural …

Fire vs. Lasers!

November 22nd, 2016


Fire and lasers are both super cool — but which is COOLER? Producer Marc Sanchez has tricks up his sleeve for team fire and Sanden Totten gives his …

How do whales communicate?

November 8th, 2016


The sounds whales make underwater are super cool, and also very important for them to locate prey, navigate and communicate with each other. We find …

Could it rain lemonade?

October 11th, 2016


If you filled a lake with lemonade, would it rain lemonade? This delicious head-scratcher does not have a straightforward answer. It’s one-part water …

How do invisible x-rays help us see?

September 27th, 2016


X-rays, part of the electromagnetic spectrum, help doctors see our bones — but they also help scientists understand the very smallest particles and …

Carnivorous plants: How they lure, trap and digest

September 16th, 2016


Most plants get the energy and nutrients they need from water, sunlight, air and soil. But carnivorous plants get key nutrients from a different source: bugs. We’ll find out how they do it and talk about the mystery of …

How is glass made?

August 11th, 2016


The process that turns sand into glass is very cool – or rather, we should say very hot. Very, very, very hot as it turns out. Humans have been …

Mosquitoes: What are they good for?

July 15th, 2016


How and why do mosquitoes suck our blood? Why do their bites itch ALL the time? Why do some people get bitten more than others? And do these pesky …

Big universe, big questions

June 14th, 2016


Have you ever wondered about what’s beyond the edge of the universe? Or maybe a better question: is there even an edge of the universe? And what does …

Why don't carnivores need to eat their vegetables?

May 17th, 2016


We’re back with new episodes! Carnivores are animals that only eat other animals – so how do they get the vitamins, minerals and fiber that we humans get from eating plants? We take a trip to a salad bar with some …

How do you catch a cold?

April 22nd, 2016


We’ve been catching colds for millennia – but it wasn’t until fairly recently that we actually understood how and why we get sneezy, coughy, and …

Is there life on other planets?

April 7th, 2016


Is there anybody out there? Like, WAAAAY out there? In this episode we hear from astronomer Laura Danly about the search for life on other planets. We’ll also learn what that search has in common with a fairy tale.


March 22nd, 2016


Did Dinosaurs have feathers? Can you bring back species that have gone extinct? Find out here.

Brains On! Besties

March 8th, 2016


Meet the Brains On! Besties… kid-friendly audio finds we think you’ll love.

Living Large with the International Space Station

February 21st, 2016


The International Space Station sits 250 miles above Earth, but how did it get there? And what’s it like to live in space?

Mystery sound extravaganza!

February 10th, 2016


  OMG, this is the episode you’ve been waiting for… an all-out, wall-to-wall, super-duper Mystery Sound show. Guess the sounds sent in from listeners and scientists alike. Plus, if you like having fun (and dancing), …

Spider sense

January 26th, 2016


Do spiders give you the heebie-jeebies? If so, we want to change your mind about our eight-legged buddies!

Why are no two snowflakes the same?

January 13th, 2016


In this episode, Dr. Ken Libbrecht answers all of our snowflake questions: How are snowflakes made? Why are they different shapes? How is it that they’re all unique? And how does a scientist who lives in southern …

The science of baking

December 22nd, 2015


Baking can seem kind of magical. You take a bunch of ingredients, mix them all together, put them in the oven, and then a little time passes — and …

Barks, growls, meows and purrs: Translating cats and dogs

December 8th, 2015


This episode brings you a slew of dog and cat mystery sounds to puzzle over. Can you tell the difference playful barks and warning barks? How about …

How do meteorologists predict the weather?

November 25th, 2015


There’s all sorts of weather happening right now around the world. Rain, sun, wind, snow… you name it, somewhere it’s happening. It may seem hard to keep track of it all, but scientists have it figured out. We’ll find …

The great cat debate: Evil or misunderstood?

November 18th, 2015


We're transporting you to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul for a segment from a recent live show: Cats vs. Dogs. In this very important debate, …

Your booger questions, answered

October 21st, 2015


Nasal mucus is very important to our health – and actually kind of magical. There’s a lot going on in our noses all the time that we don’t appreciate. Where do boogers come from? Why does your nose run when you’re out …

Why does tickling make you laugh?

September 15th, 2015


Can you tickle yourself? Probably not. Almost everybody is ticklish, but what’s happening to us is a bit of a mystery.

Bridges vs. Tunnels

August 26th, 2015


We’ve gotten a lot of questions about bridges and tunnels: How do bridges stay up? How are tunnels built? How do they build bridges over water? How do they put tunnels underwater? To answer these questions we’re staging …

Mission to Pluto!

July 10th, 2015


We talk to Dr. Alan Stern, the leader of NASA’s mission to Pluto – New Horizons. He’s been working on the mission for over 20 years and he’s excited to see the surprises that New Horizons will be sending back. Plus: …

Cuttlefish: Ultimate Shapeshifters!

June 9th, 2015


… and you thought chameleons could hide.

Trees: From seed to shining seed

May 27th, 2015


How do trees make oxygen? How do they grow? How do evergreens stay green all year? Why do tree leaves change color? How long can trees live? We’re …

Why does the sun make some people sneeze?

May 12th, 2015


This question has been a mystery for millennia. Turns out there’s a name for the phenomenon: photic sneeze reflex.

How and why do jellyfish sting?

April 9th, 2015


All jellyfish sting – but not all jellyfish sting people. In this episode, we learn about how jellyfish sting and how they eat. Plus: stro-bi-la-tion (how jellyfish grow up).

Volcanoes in space!

March 18th, 2015


The biggest volcano in our solar system is not on Earth -- and its footprint is as big as the entire state of Arizona.

When parasitoids attack!

February 13th, 2015


After a caterpillar goes into its chrysalis, you would expect a beautiful butterfly to emerge. But when this parasitoid attacks, the results are very …

The mystery of gravity

January 9th, 2015


Gravity is a very familiar force to us here on Earth. We know how it behaves and how it affects us. But where does it come from? We’ll also talk to a NASA astronaut about what it’s like to experience micro-gravity.

How do monarch butterflies travel so far?

September 9th, 2014


Monarch butterflies are unique — they’re the only butterfly to travel thousands of miles when the seasons change. They travel from as far north as Canada all the way down to a few very specific mountaintops in central …

Water, water everywhere - but how does it get there?

July 8th, 2014


It’s easy to take water for granted. After all, you just turn a faucet and it pours right out. But how does it get to our faucet? We’ll explore the water cycle from rain to your drain. And did you know that space is …


December 6th, 2013


The questions we have about numbers are uncountable. But here are a few of them: Where does zero come from? How is there more than one kind of …


October 14th, 2013


If you look a little closer, listen a little harder, you’ll notice the secret life of things all around you. Want to know about the secret lives of bees, crickets, coral — and your own backyard? Give a listen!


August 1st, 2013


We have some questions about sleep: It’s ok to stay up late, right? Is it possible to control your dreams? Do all animals sleep? Why do we need to …


August 1st, 2013


The questions asked and answered in this episode include: What is harmony exactly? What does it take to be a great rapper? How does sound travel?


August 1st, 2013


Among the questions answered in this episode: Is it better to be taller or shorter? Do animals grow the same way that humans do? What superpowers does your brain have before it’s done growing?


July 25th, 2013


In this episode, we ask: Why do some foods taste better to adults than kids? And what happens to food once you’re done tasting it?

Loading ...

Are you the creator of this podcast?

Verify your account

and pick the featured episodes for your show.

Listen to Brains On! Science podcast for kids


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens