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Blinded by Science: Youtubers and Podcasts to Follow

It’s Science Week!  Some feel science should just be left for homework, and for others it can totally be your jam, but science surrounds us, and it can be fascinating. Podcasts and videos can be a great way to explore your burning inquiries  whether you have just a few minutes or a whole hour to delve into a topic.

science for teens

 

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YouTube has some entertaining and engrossing science channels that are worthy of note, whether it be for entertainment, education, or news. Here are some channels you should know about:

SciShow

SciShow is a series of science-related videos on YouTube. The program is hosted by Hank Green of the VlogBrothers along with Michael Aranda, and has four new episodes per  week. Their weekly lineup includes (channel’s descriptions):

  • Mondays – Tune in for a short Dose about our weird world.
  • Tuesdays – Find answers to our most asked Quick Questions.
  • Wednesdays – Hank or Michael dives deep into a long-form Infusion episode, or an unscripted talk show or quiz show with a guest!
  • Fridays – Learn the latest in science News.

Also check out their sister channels SciShow Space, which posts every Tuesday and Thursday, to explore the universe and beyond.

Crash Course

This has multiple “courses” in one channel. Again, you can learn from Hank Green as he teaches the Anatomy & Physiology, and Phil Plait teaches you Astronomy. There are past playlist that cover Biology, Ecology, and Chemistry.

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Minute Physics

From gravity, to dark matter, how lasers work, tidal and sonar waves, to the big bang and more this has, as they describe it, “Cool physics and other sweet science.”

NASA

Many interesting videos and features on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) YouTube channel. Explore NASA’s recent expeditions, history and future as well as people profiles.

Sick Science!

A channel full of science experiments that you can do at home. Hosted by Steve Spangler, who might be best known for his Mentos and Diet Coke geyser experiment that went viral w while back.

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Podcasts are growing in popularity with teens. Some seek them out for the storytelling, and some enjoy a few minutes of information they can ingest  while on a device. Here are a few podcasts worthy of note and that have teen appeal whether they are seeking them for interest, or needing to explore something for an assignment:

Radiolab

Radiolab explores the spark of interests that lead to study and learning. Loosely based on science, it follows hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich’s particular curiosities.

Stuff You Should Know

Hosted by Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark, this podcast covers the science behind a variety of fascinating queries such as how El Niño works, renewable energy, nitrous oxide, and the deal with poop.

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Bytesize Science

Short snippets in video podcast format about specific science queries such as, “Why does stepping on a lego hurt so bad?” or “Why is chocolate bad for dogs?” Some topics can be very timely like recent post on the Zika virus, and how not to get bitten by mosquitos that carry it, as well as Star Wars’ science.

Naked Scientist

Created by the University of Cambridge, and similar to Bytesize Science, very short episodes answering science questions. This is as great for interest and entertainment as it would be for homework support.

Flash Forward

This takes a look into the future and applies science to “what if” situations. Hosted by Rose Eveleth, and produced by Boing Boing, it tackles possible future problems like what would it take to make mosquitoes go extinct, and what would the world be like if everyone was face blind.

For information on STEAM vs. STEM programming, check out this post on the YALSAblog, or for more inspiration on science programming, check out Anyone Can Do Science!.

— Danielle Jones, currently between books

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Danielle Jones

Danielle is a teen and youth librarian at Multnomah County Library - Hollywood in Portland, Oregon. Her interests include rabbits, reading, and redefining "work appropriate" clothing. Usually she has a song from Hamilton stuck in her head.