Brains On! A podcast featuring science for kids and curious adults.
Brains On!

Brains On!

From MPR News

A podcast featuring science for kids and curious adults.

Most Recent Episodes

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

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!

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

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

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!

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

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

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!

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

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