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Brains On! Science podcast for kids

American Public Media

Kids & Family, Education For Kids

4.4 • 12.6K Ratings

Overview

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.

335 Episodes

How do trees help our cities?

Did you know that more than half the people in the world lives in cities? The hustle and bustle of a city can be awesome, but cities can also be hot and polluted. Luckily, there’s a solution we can all get behind – trees! Join Molly and co-host Nallini as they learn how these magnificent towering giants make our cities better places to live and help fight climate change. They’ll also visit an urban orchard that grows fruit in the middle of Philadelphia. All that plus a tree-mendous 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 - Inside Out 2 - Disney and Pixar's Inside Out 2 is coming to theaters, June 14th - PRX's Jamming on the Job - Check out new episodes of PRX's Jamming on the Job wherever you get your podcasts. - Mrs. Wordsmith - Visit mrswordsmith.com and use code brainson15 to get 15% off your order.

Transcribed - Published: 4 June 2024

If our bodies are 98 degrees, why does it feel so hot outside?

98.6 degrees is hot. If it were that hot outside, you’d be sweaty and want to go jump in a nice cold pool. But the insides of our bodies are that hot all the time! And that’s because there’s a lot going on in there that creates heat. In this episode, Molly and co-host Saathvik find out how our bodies keep our insides at a nice steady temperature (and why that’s harder to do when it’s hot outside!). And we’ll talk with Dr. Joe Alcock about why humans and lots of other animals get fevers. Plus, a new mystery sound guaranteed to make you sweat! 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 - PRX's Jamming on the Job - Check out new episodes of PRX's Jamming on the Job wherever you get your podcasts. - Mrs. Wordsmith - Visit mrswordsmith.com and use code brainson15 to get 15% off your order.

Transcribed - Published: 28 May 2024

It’s a mystery sound extravaganza!

Looking for some sneaky sound puzzles to solve? Tune in to our all-new mystery sound extravaganza! Join co-host Maggie as she listens to recordings of sounds from Brains On listeners – and tries to figure out what they are. You’ll hear Maggie and her brother Sam go head-to-head in a sibling mystery sound battle and listen to podcast producers Nichole Hill and Yowei Shaw struggle to solve some sonic stumpers. Get your listening ears ready for this one! 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.

Transcribed - Published: 21 May 2024

How do vacuums work?

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.

Transcribed - Published: 14 May 2024

How do stringed instruments make sounds?

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!

Transcribed - Published: 7 May 2024

Smarty Pass Sneak Peek: Radical Design

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!

Transcribed - Published: 3 May 2024

How to build a house on the Moon

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!

Transcribed - Published: 30 April 2024

Are there insects in Antarctica?

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

Transcribed - Published: 23 April 2024

How can you tell when food is expired?

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

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2024

How does ibuprofen help stop pain?

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

Transcribed - Published: 9 April 2024

Smarty Pass Sneak Peek: Mystery Sound Investigation

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!

Transcribed - Published: 5 April 2024

Everything you need to know before the 2024 solar eclipse

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

Transcribed - Published: 2 April 2024

Are UFOs real?

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

Transcribed - Published: 26 March 2024

Join us for Brains On live in April!

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!

Transcribed - Published: 19 March 2024

Why do we laugh?

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

Transcribed - Published: 12 March 2024

How do satellites work?

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

Transcribed - Published: 5 March 2024

Tooth or Dare: A Smarty Pass Sneak Peek

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!

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2024

How does a match make fire?

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

Transcribed - Published: 27 February 2024

How deep does the sand go on the beach?

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

Transcribed - Published: 20 February 2024

Is hypnosis real?

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

Transcribed - Published: 13 February 2024

Why do we get cavities?

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.

Transcribed - Published: 6 February 2024

Baby Mystery Sound: A Smarty Pass Sneak Peek

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!

Transcribed - Published: 2 February 2024

How did ferns survive the dinosaur extinction?

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.

Transcribed - Published: 30 January 2024

What happened to the Neanderthals?

Dig in with Molly and co-host Audrey as they learn about our extinct ancient relatives, the Neanderthals! With archaeologist and Brains On producer Anna Goldfield as their guide, they’ll learn how Neanderthals were once misunderstood, and how scientists are learning more about them. Explore the wondrous NeanderHALL at Brains On HQ and unearth the truth about these prehistoric humans with Anna and her talkative NeanderDOLL, Paul! Plus, discover the origins of a tricky 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!

Transcribed - Published: 23 January 2024

Taxonomic Ticklers: A Smarty Pass sneak peek

Sparklemuffin, turdus maximus, and sarcastic fringehead. These are the names of some of Marc’s favorite animals! Will Molly be able to guess what kind of animals they are?

Transcribed - Published: 19 January 2024

Where does lightning come from?

Grab your raincoat, and join Molly and co-host Lily as they float into the clouds to learn about lightning! They’ll explore how lightning is made and what it takes to stay safe during thunderstorms. To close with a bang, Molly will slip on her Thunderpants and host an electrifying lightning-themed game show. But don’t bolt too soon. We’ve got a mystery sound reveal that promises to shock! 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!

Transcribed - Published: 16 January 2024

Brains On presents Forever Ago - Superman: An immigrant's story

The Brains On crew is hard at work on our next batch of episodes, and we'll be back in your feed on January 16, with an electrifying episode about lightning. Until then, check out our history show: Forever Ago. It's hosted by our friend Joy Dolo, and it looks into the fascinating past of things we take for granted. In this episode, Joy invites Molly on to the show to share the origin story of Superman that you've probably never heard. Take a listen! To hear the entire episode, search for “Forever Ago” wherever you listen to podcasts or head to foreverago.org.

Transcribed - Published: 5 December 2023

Hungry? Check out the Snacktacular Road Trip

Grab your traveling gear because Brains On and Smash Boom Best host Molly Bloom and Forever Ago host Joy Dolo are going on a road trip. Not only will this be a fun-filled video romp with two buddies cruising the highway, but this trip has a theme that everybody loves: SNACKS! Mmmmmm, yum! The third Brains On Universe Field Trip is called, what else, Snacktacular Roadtrip, and you’re invited! Molly and Joy will be joined by Sanden and Marc as they cruise through a history of sandwiches, discover what beaver butts have to do with slushies and check out a Smash Boom Best debate between ketchup and maple syrup. Plus, someone from the Brains On Universe will join in live, at the end of the show, to answer questions, play some Mystery Sounds and tell you who won the debate. Whoa! Tickets are $19.99, and there’s a 20% offer if you’re a Smarty Pass member. Spots are limited, but we have multiple dates and times to choose from. Head to brainson.org/fieldtrips to get the details.

Transcribed - Published: 10 November 2023

Why do our bodies take so long to grow?

Join Molly Bloom and co-host Ishalo as they learn about the ingredients we need to grow – and why sometimes the growing seems slow! They’ll chat with Dr. Diva de León Crutchlow about sleep and hormones and help Sanden take care of Dwayne the 5-year-old brain. Is your excitement growing by the minute? Ours too! And we’ve got another tricky mystery sound, just for you. This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS) - Claim your $75 sponsored job credit to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply. Factor (Factormeals.com/brainson50) to get 50% off. IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP) to get a 20% off an IXL membership. Wish (movies.disney.com/wish - Only in theaters November 22, tickets available now. Rated PG, parental guidance suggested) 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!

Transcribed - Published: 7 November 2023

How and why do chameleons change color?

Join Molly and co-host Arjun on a reptilian romp, where they learn all about chameleons’ color-changing abilities, powerful eyes, and super sticky saliva. Along the way, they’ll be joined by a pair of chatty chameleon cabaret performers — Kiki and Paul — and chameleon expert Chris Anderson! Color yourself excited for this awesome creature feature, and an all-new mystery sound! If you want to learn more about chameleons, check out co-host Arjun’s own podcast, Animals Rule! He has an episode all about these loungey lizards, plus a ton of other amazing animals: https://spotify.link/KZrepYscSDb This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS) - Claim your $75 sponsored job credit to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply. Factor (Factormeals.com/brainson50) to get 50% off. IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP) to get a 20% off an IXL membership. 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!

Transcribed - Published: 31 October 2023

Why are we afraid of the dark?

Explore the dark with Molly and co-host Sasha! They’ll chat with psychologist Dr. Sandy Pimentel about why it’s totally normal to be afraid of the dark and hear from Mr. Bonejangles about why it’s the bone-a-fide best! To round out their adventure, producer Nico Gonzalez-Wisler will whisk them off on a starry, overnight field trip. The light at the end of the tunnel? An all-new mystery sound! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS) - Claim your $75 sponsored job credit to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply. Factor (Factormeals.com/brainson50) to get 50% off. IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP) to get a 20% off an IXL membership. *** Don’t miss our virtual events! Our next one, “What’s That Smell?” is happening Oct. 26 — Oct. 28, and our third and final, “Snacktacular Road Trip,” is Nov. 30 — Dec. 2. Join your favorite hosts from Brains On!, Smash Boom Best and Forever Ago LIVE on YouTube for just $19.99 per family. Join the fun, and ask them questions! Plus, Smarty Pass holders get 20% off (sign up today to get yours and the discount). It all starts on September 21, so go to brainson.org/fieldtrips to get your tickets! *** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 24 October 2023

Why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore?

Pluto is tiny, icy, and used to be the ninth planet in the solar system. Used to be. So why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore? Join Molly and co-host Momo as they learn Pluto’s history, talk to planetary scientist Kelsi Singer about NASA’s New Horizons mission, and even hear from the planet itself. All that plus a nifty new mystery sound! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS) - Claim your $75 sponsored job credit to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply. Factor (Factormeals.com/brainson50) to get 50% off. IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP) to get a 20% off an IXL membership. 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!

Transcribed - Published: 17 October 2023

What is ADHD?

Millions of kids and adults across the world have ADHD, which stands for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, though. Some people might have trouble focusing, while others might get really fidgety or take risks without thinking about them. But what is ADHD and what is happening in the brain of someone with ADHD? In this episode, Molly and cohost Julianne (who also has ADHD) learn from Dr. Julie Schweitzer of the MIND Institute at UC Davis about how a brain with ADHD can feel a little bit like an orchestra without a conductor. Plus, Julianne talks with Daniel Kwan, director of the movie Everything Everywhere All At Once, about what it's like to live with ADHD, and how people with ADHD have some superpowers when it comes to creativity. This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS) - Claim your $75 sponsored job credit to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply. Factor (Factormeals.com/brainson50) to get 50% off. IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP) to get a 20% off an IXL membership. Greenlight (Greenlight.com) The banking and investing app for kids and teens. ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 10 October 2023

NEW SHOW ALERT! What's that smell?

Who’s ready for a stinkin’ good time? Join the crew from Brains On, Smash Boom Best and Forever Ago on their next virtual Field Trip - What’s that smell? There’s a mighty stank a comin’ from somewhere deep inside Brains On headquarters, and Sanden Totten is going to track down the source. On his journey, he’ll encounter Marc Sanchez’s fancy new fart pants, Joy Dolo’s historic (non-flushing) toilets and witness a genuinely yuck-tastic debate between slime mold and dung beetles! You have three chances to join the adventure. Head to brainson.org/fieldtrips to pick your stinkin’ date and your stinkin’ time. But hurry - like a fart in the wind, these shows will soon be gone. Smell ’ya later!

Transcribed - Published: 7 October 2023

Going Viral: What is a Computer Virus?

Ah-CHOO! We know viruses make us sick, but what happens when a virus infects your computer? This episode, go digital with Molly and co-host Chloe as they track down a pesky computer virus infecting Brains On Headquarters. Catch our special guests, podcasting viruses Kara and Gilly, and meet a mysterious hacker named Shark Manchez. Plus, a brand new mystery sound! This episode is sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS) - Claim your $75 sponsored job credit to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply. Factor (Factormeals.com/brainson50) to get 50% off. IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP) to get a 20% off an IXL membership. Greenlight (Greenlight.com) The banking and investing app for kids and teens.

Transcribed - Published: 3 October 2023

Ancient beasts: A prehistoric game show!

Prehistoric animals rock! How much do you know about these unusual beasts? Join Brains On! host Molly Bloom as she tests the prehistoric animal knowledge of co-hosts Samaya, Roscoe, Zana, and Arjun! The games begin in the Permian Era, almost 300 million years ago, when giant dragonflies buzzed through the skies. Play along and you’ll wind up in the most recent Ice Age, when saber-toothed cats prowled the California coasts! Plus, you’ll get to hear prehistoric animal haikus and a not-so-prehistoric mystery sound! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your SEVENTY FIVE DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) Factor Meals (Factormeals.com/brainson50 - To get 50% off.) IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP - To get a 20% off an IXL membership.) Greenlight (Greenlight.com - The banking and investing app for kids and teens.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 26 September 2023

How do animals build their homes?

People are really good at building homes out of everything from wood and concrete to mud and ice. But when it comes to animal homes, creatures can be more inventive than humans! In this creatively constructed episode, Molly and cohost Marama renovate Brains On HQ with the help of some clever critter contractors. They talk to animal experts and navigate demolition disasters to build a delicious new food hall for Brains On. Plus, a super spiffy Mystery Sound! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your SEVENTY FIVE DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) Paw Patrol Movie (Pawpatrol.movie - Catch PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE in theaters on September 29th!) Factor Meals (Factormeals.com/brainson50 - To get 50% off.) IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP - To get the most effective learning program out there at the best price.) Greenlight (Greenlight.com - The banking and investing app for kids and teens.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 19 September 2023

How do apples grow?

Apples are a delicious treat! These crispy crunchy sweet snacks are everywhere: in our school lunches, at the farmers market, even covered in caramel at the fair. But as Molly and cohosts Jack and Penelope find out, growing an apple is a lot harder than it sounds. In this episode, we’ll learn how bears and horses helped the first wild apples grow (in their poop!) and meet the world’s biggest apple fan, Johnny Appleseed. Plus, even an apple a day can’t keep a brand new Mystery Sound away! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your SEVENTY FIVE DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) Paw Patrol Movie (Pawpatrol.movie - Catch PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE in theaters on September 29th!) Factor Meals (Factormeals.com/brainson50 - To get 50% off.) IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP - To get the most effective learning program out there at the best price.) Greenlight (Greenlight.com - The banking and investing app for kids and teens.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 12 September 2023

Join us at the Big Dig!

Wow, wow wow have we got some big news! Brains On!, Smash Boom Best and Forever Ago are coming together for the Big Dig - an archeological, paleontological extravaganza that you can participate in through YouTube. The show has it all: Megaladons vs Giant Sloths, dinosaurs covered in cake AND lemonade being slurped through a straw! Go to brainson.org/fieldtrips to secure your space and check out the other events we have planned this fall. Plus, Smarty Pass members can take 20% off!

Transcribed - Published: 8 September 2023

Where does all our energy come from?

Everything in our world is powered by energy. We need it to drive our cars, bake cupcakes and even jump up and down on the bed! All of this energy comes from different sources, like gasoline and wind power. Even the food that powers our bodies is a source of energy. But almost all of the energy on Earth first came from the same place: the sun! In this episode, we’ll find out how the sun powers so much of our lives. Plus, we’ll learn how the amount of energy in the universe has stayed the same since the very beginning of time, which scientists call the Big Bang. Mind-blowing, right? All that, plus a brand new mystery sound and a look at some really cool possible future sources of energy! This episode was sponsored by: Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your SEVENTY FIVE DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) Paw Patrol Movie (Pawpatrol.movie - Catch PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE in theaters on September 29th!) Factor Meals (Factormeals.com/brainson50 - To get 50% off.) IXL (IXL.COM/FIELDTRIP - To get the most effective learning program out there at the best price.) Greenlight (Greenlight.com - The banking and investing app for kids and teens.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 5 September 2023

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence has been all over the news lately — but how does it even work? In this episode, Molly and co-host Sydney explore the how and why of A.I. with researcher Avital Balwit. Together, they imagine possible futures with A.I. and talk about how we might use these powerful tools in thoughtful ways. As a bonus, you’ll get a tricky new mystery sound and a hot track from Sanden’s band, Loudly With A Chance of Screamballs! _______ Don’t miss our next virtual events! In September, your favorite hosts from Brains On!, Smash Boom Best and Forever Ago are going on virtual field trips, and you can join them LIVE for just $19.99 per family. Your ticket gets you one of our limited spots to an online live-action adventure, complete with a live chat and a chance to talk with Molly, Marc, or Sanden after the show. Plus, Smarty Pass holders get 20% off (sign up today to get yours and the discount). It all starts on September 21, so go to brainson.org/fieldtrips to get your tickets! _____________ Today’s episode is sponsored by: Toyota (Visit BuyAToyota.com to explore Toyota SUVs) Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your $100 SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.)

Transcribed - Published: 22 August 2023

How do our eyes, skin and hair get their colors?

All the different colors in our eyes, hair and skin are made by a super special substance called melanin! In this episode, we’ll meet a melanocyte, the artistic cell that makes melanin. Plus, Molly and cohost Jeremy talk with Dr. Tina Lasisi to learn why humans have so many different colors of skin in the first place. And a scientist goes undercover to try to solve the many mysteries surrounding melanin. All that, plus a brand new mystery sound! This episode was sponsored by: Didn’t I Just Feed You (Didntijustfeedyou.com/ - A podcast to help busy home cooks feed their families.) Buy a Toyota (BuyAToyota.com - To explore Toyota SUVs.) Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 15 August 2023

How much can your brain hold?

Your brain does so much stuff! It makes sure your heart is always pumping and your lungs are breathing — plus it stores all kinds of important information, like your best friend’s birthday or your pet’s favorite kind of treat. But could your brain ever run out of storage space? In this episode, Molly and cohosts Corinne and Suriya learn all about our mighty memories. They crack the code on brain storage and figure out the science of forgetting! Plus, an unforgettable new mystery sound. This episode was sponsored by: Didn’t I Just Feed You (Didntijustfeedyou.com/ - A podcast to help busy home cooks feed their families.) Buy a Toyota (BuyAToyota.com - To explore Toyota SUVs.) Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 8 August 2023

Can boredom be good for you?

Boredom is something we all feel sometimes, when nothing seems fun or interesting. But have you ever wondered what’s actually going on in your brain when you feel that way? Can it ever be good for you to be bored? Molly and co-host Maisie explore how boredom can lead to creativity, and how our brain can work past that blah feeling. Plus, a boredom-blasting brain workout from Sanden and his pal Pete the wombat, and a brand new Mystery Sound! This episode was sponsored by: Didn’t I Just Feed You (Didntijustfeedyou.com/ - A podcast to help busy home cooks feed their families.) Buy a Toyota (BuyAToyota.com - To explore Toyota SUVs.) Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) Six Minutes (Wondery.com/shows/six-minutes/ - Follow Six Minutes wherever you get your podcasts.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 1 August 2023

What’s inside a jellyfish?

Jellyfish are some of the most unique creatures on the planet. They’ve been around longer than the dinosaurs. They don’t have brains, bones or blood. And they’re not even fish! So what are they? Float along with Molly and cohost Rosie as they learn about the different parts of a jellyfish, hear from a jellyfish superhero, and talk to scientist Dr. Rebecca Helm about how jellyfish have babies. Plus, a tantalizing new Mystery Sound! This episode was sponsored by: Buy a Toyota (BuyAToyota.com - To explore Toyota SUVs.) Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) Six Minutes (wondery.com/shows/six-minutes/ - Follow Six Minutes wherever you get your podcasts.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 25 July 2023

Hip hip hooray! Why are parties so fun?

Happy birthday to us! Brains On is celebrating its tenth birthday and we’re throwing a big party. Molly is putting up decorations, Sanden has made his special Super Salty Party Punch and Gungador is ready to dance his pants off! But why is Marc hiding out in a closet? Join Molly and co-host Olive as they explore what makes parties so fun – and why they make some of us nervous sometimes. Plus a snazzy 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!

Transcribed - Published: 18 July 2023

Smarty Pass Bonus: Gungador Hosts a Dinner Party!

Hey, Smarty Pal, want more Brains On? Check out this sneak peek of Gungador Hosts a Dinner Party! Gungador is having a party at Brains On! HQ, and everyone’s invited! He’s whipping up special dishes for all of his guests: a tater tot hot dish, caramel coated honey gummies, even a cheese board! But he forgot to call Barbara Toddes from the Philadelphia Zoo before he started prepping meals for his animal friends... and some of his assumptions about what animals eat aren’t exactly right. Will Gungador pull off his festive feast AND keep his cool?! Grab your SmartyPass and listen to find out!

Transcribed - Published: 27 June 2023

Come see Brains On live!!!

Molly, Marc and Sanden are hitting the road to perform the show Your Brain is Magic in Portland on June 17th and Seattle on June 18th. Plus, we'll be in Pasadena on June 25th celebrating our 10th birthday. Tickets for all events are at brainson.org/events - hope to see you there!

Transcribed - Published: 2 June 2023

How do birds communicate?

Chirp chirp, y’all! Ever wondered what birds mean when they’re singing their little birdy hearts out? This week, Molly and cohost Bessie explore the kinds of sounds birds can make, and how those sounds are used. Birdsong researcher Kristin Brunk breaks down some sweet tweet science, and we learn how human noise has affected our feathery friends. Plus, a groovy new Mystery Sound! This episode was sponsored by: Liquid I.V. (LiquidIV.com - Use code BRAINS at checkout to receive 20% off anything you order when you order.) Buy A Toyota (BuyAToyota.com - Explore Toyota SUVs.) Indeed (Indeed.com/BRAINS - To claim your ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post. Terms and conditions apply.) Bird sounds in this episode came from Xeno-Canto: Emily Brhel, XC760144. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/760144. Manuel Grosselet, XC663795. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/663795. Elias A. Ryberg, XC791170. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/791170. Sunny Tseng, XC749764. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/749764. Sunny Tseng, XC753147. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/753147 Russ Wigh, XC573211. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/573211. Russ Wigh, XC692169. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/692169. ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 16 May 2023

How would life evolve in space?

Humans and every other living thing on Earth are perfectly suited to our wonderful planet. There’s life everywhere, from boiling-hot ocean vents to chilly mountain peaks. But what would life look like in other parts of the galaxy, or beyond? What would happen to our bodies if we lived in space? In an out-of-this-world episode, Molly and cohost Jaxson moonwalk through the possibilities of life in outer space. They learn what scientists look for when they want to know if a planet or moon could support life. And they explore how science fiction can help actual scientists think about what alien life might look like. Plus, a spiffy new Mystery Sound! This episode was sponsored by: Liquid I.V. (LiquidIV.com - Use code BRAINS at checkout to receive 20% off anything you order when you order.) ***** 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!

Transcribed - Published: 9 May 2023

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