Listening to Science: Great Science Podcasts
Aug 05, 2011
If your child is interested in science, or if your child is struggling to connect with science, encourage him or her to subscribe to a science-based podcast. These podcasts can help make science feel relevant and exciting. This article describes ten of the most popular and useful science podcasts for both kids and adults.
1. Ecogeeks: Science Video Podcast
This video podcast series, which is produced by the Wild Classroom Crew, features scientists and graduate students from throughout the world. With a goal of engaging and entertaining children, the podcast covers diverse topics that find the fun in science. For example, podcasts have explored the chemistry of falling in love and taught cell biology through a music video.
2. WNYC's Radiolab
Produced by WNYC public radio, Radiolab is a podcast focused on investigating the intersection between science and culture. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich create entertaining and informative podcasts that always center around One Big Idea that ties the program together. Podcasts have focused on a seizure-afflicted ultra-marathoner, a family dog that disappeared into the wild and the science of luck.
3. Prototype Online: Inventive Voices
This podcast series is produced by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, a branch of the Smithsonian. The podcasts, which generally last between 15 and 30 minutes, feature inventors and innovators. They discuss their latest research, discoveries and inventions. The Smithsonian offers a teacher's guide for translating the podcasts into activities for the classroom or home.
4. Science Friday Audio Podcast
Every Friday, Ira Flatow hosts Science Friday on NPR. The informative show, which is educational and engaging for both kids and adults, is also available as a free podcast. The show features the latest news and research from the world of science, with recent podcasts covering the science of raising beef cattle and the future of renewable energy.
5. Bytesize Science
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, posts new episodes of this podcast on Mondays. Aimed at young listeners, the podcast takes scientific discoveries from their 36 different journals and translates them for a young audience. Topics include the science of microwave ovens, why fake snow is better than real snow and the chemistry of simple magic tricks.
6. Science Experiments for Kids
Produced by the KidsKnowIt Network, this video podcasts stars Nanna KnowItAll as she guides kids through educational experiments. Topics include using resonance to make music with wine glasses, using air pressure to create a water shower and making an eggshell soft with vinegar. Each podcast is under ten minutes in length.
7. 60-Second Science
This podcast is produced by Scientific American. Every week, a report or commentary on the world of science is presented in just one minute. Topics come from all over the science spectrum, including a study of whether the strain of carrying medieval armor outweighed its protective benefits and a report on a bifocal fish that keeps its eyes half above the water and half below, seeing both clearly through its unique evolution.
8. Science Made Fun
Science Made Fun is a podcast that mixes audio and video to teach kids about science. The podcast focuses on common science topics that are both interesting and easy to grasp for young kids, such as how flying machines work and a home experiment for acids and alkali. The podcast also has special episodes that link science subjects to topical themes, such as a Halloween podcast that explores werewolves, mummies and vampire bats.
DragonflyTV video podcasts are produced by Twin Cities Public Television. They show ordinary kids performing science experiments and exploring scientific concepts. For example, one podcast features Taylor from Palmerton, Pennsylvania, who seeks to understand how an old zinc smelting plant polluted the local water and how it's getting cleaned up.
10. TVOKids: Citizen Science
Led by Sara Poirier, who works at the Ontario Science Centre, TVOKids: Citizen Science is a video podcast that dissects important scientific concepts for kids. The topics cover a wide range of science topics. These include the difference between incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, tips for stargazing and how snow forms.
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