But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids But Why is a show led by you, kids! You ask the questions and we find the answers. It's a big interesting world out there.On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.Have a question? Send it to us! Adults, use your smartphone's memo function or an audio app to record your kid's question (get up nice and close so we can hear). Be sure to include: your child's first name, age and town. And then email the audio file to questions@butwhykids.org.
But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids

But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids

From Vermont Public

But Why is a show led by you, kids! You ask the questions and we find the answers. It's a big interesting world out there.On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.Have a question? Send it to us! Adults, use your smartphone's memo function or an audio app to record your kid's question (get up nice and close so we can hear). Be sure to include: your child's first name, age and town. And then email the audio file to questions@butwhykids.org.

Most Recent Episodes

Why do oranges have peels?

Why do oranges have peels? Why is the inside of an orange segmented? Why are lemons and limes so sour? Why do lemons have seeds but limes don't? Why does fruit have juice? How many oranges are in a gallon of juice? How do seedless oranges reproduce? How are oranges available year-round? Why are the fruit and the color both called orange? We're answering questions about citrus with Fernando Alferez from the University of Florida's Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Drive | Transcript

Do people eat bugs?

Yes! In many parts of the world, insects are a regular part of people's diets. Bugs are an efficient source of protein, and many cultures find them delicious. Some countries, like the US, don't have a strong culture of insect cuisine, but that's starting to change as people look for ways to feed a growing global population without using as many resources as we currently do. So insects might be an important part of our future diets as well. With all the talk about cicadas this summer, eating bugs has been making news for adults. So, in this bonus episode, But Why learns about cooking up insects with Joseph Yoon, edible insect ambassador at Brooklyn Bugs. Download transcript

Why do cicadas come out every 17 years?

This spring, trillions of periodical cicadas are emerging from the ground, where they've spent 13 or 17 years feeding on xylem (basically, tree juice). The two specific broods emerging this year have not come out at the same time since 1803, and kids may be hearing a lot of news about these loud insects. So today we're tackling the cicada questions you've sent us: Why do cicadas come out every 17 years? What do cicadas eat? Why are there more cicadas at night than in the morning? Why do cicadas molt? How do cicadas get babies? We speak with Dan Gruner, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, to get answers.Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

Where does the sky end?

Where is the border between sky and space? That's what 5-year-old Matthias of Durham, New Hampshire wants to know. Alesandra, 3 of Bella Vista, Arkansas wants to know why we can't hold air. In this episode from 2020, we're joined by anthropologist Hugh Raffles, a professor at The New School, and by astronomer John O'Meara, chief scientist at the Keck Observatory. And we have special scoring by cellist Zoë Keating.Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

What's cool about cockroaches?

That's a question a lot of people have, honestly. But a kid named Rosie was bold enough to ask us to investigate why. So, in the latest episode, we dig in on why cockroaches get such a bad rap and why you might want to reconsider if you're not a fan.Only two percent of the world's cockroaches are considered pests. Those are the ones that can live in houses and potentially make us sick. But the vast majority of cockroaches don't bother humans at all! Some, like the social cockroach species known as termites, work to decompose organic material and are hugely important to our environment. So where do people learn negative attitudes toward insects? We dig deep into insects with Jessica Ware, an entomologist and curator at the American Museum of Natural History. She's also the host of the PBS digital series Insectarium. Answers to your questions about cockroaches, termites, dragonflies, praying mantises and more!Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

How do crocodiles chomp?

Why do lizards have scales? Why are reptiles cold-blooded? Why do lizards have long tongues? How do lizards grow their tails back? Are crocodiles dinosaurs? What's the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Why do crocodile eyes look like they have mirrors in the back? How do crocodiles chomp? Why do crocodile teeth stay sharp? Why are crocodiles green? Why do crocodiles swim? Answers to all of your crocodile and alligator questions with Venetia Briggs-Gonzalez, one of the researchers known as the Croc Docs at the University of Florida. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

Why do ballerinas wear ballet shoes?

Why do people dance? Where did ballet come from? How do you make pointe shoes for ballet? How does practice make you better at things? But Why visited Dance Theatre of Harlem to get answers to these questions with company artists Derek Brockington and Lindsey Donnell. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse is coming to North America on April 8, 2024. The moon will line up perfectly between the Earth and the sun, blocking out the sun's light and casting a shadow that will pass over parts of Mexico, the United States and Canada. People in the path of totality will experience a few minutes of darkness during the day as the moon perfectly covers the sun. Those not in the path of totality in those countries will still experience a partial solar eclipse. In this episode, we're answering questions about the eclipse and talking about how to keep your eyes safe if you're watching it! We speak with Bridgewater State University solar physicist Martina Arndt, Fairbanks Museum planetarium director Mark Breen and Thomas A. Hockey, author of America's First Eclipse Chasers. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

How do invasive species take over?

Why are there Burmese pythons and chameleons in the Florida Everglades? We might not know how those animals arrived but they are causing damage to the natural ecosystem. An invasive species out competes native plants and animals in an ecosystem. So how does this happen? But Why travels to the Everglades to learn more about how and why species end up in places they shouldn't. Plus, why are we sometimes told to kill invasive insects like the spotted lanternfly? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide Transcript

Can snowstorms have thunder?

How is snow made and what's it made out of? Why is it white and sparkly? Why do snowflakes look different? Can snowstorms have thunder? Why do some places, like mountains, get more snow than others? Answers to all of your questions about snow, with Seth Linden, who works for the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Plus we hear what it's like to live at the top of Mount Washington, famous for its extreme weather, from Alexandra Branton, a meteorologist who works at the observatory at the top of the mountain, even during the frigid winter. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slides | Transcript