Media Monday: Wow! This is your brain on shows about science!

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There are now so many great podcasts geared toward curious kids that it’s becoming hard to keep up! Podcasts are so great for car trips, both short and long, because they can spark lots of new topics for conversation and learning–and can often touch our emotions or make us laugh, too.

I thought I’d do a quick rundown of a few science-oriented pods you may not have checked out yet, because there’s a new one out today that looks like a lot of fun: NPR’s Wow in the World.

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Although individual local NPR stations have long produced content for kids, this is actually the first venture for the national public radio network. Hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas combine forces in episode one to bring science, technology, and all things innovative to elementary-school-age kids, including what early humans ate and whether saying “thank you” can make you healthier. And it looks like each show will feature a few questions to talk about afterward and some extra reading for kids whose curiosity is really in overdrive.

I feel a little like I wasted some crucial entrepreneurial time in kindergarten and first grade since learning about six-year-old Nate Butkus, who has been hosting his own Show About Science podcast for more than a year. Nate interviews scientists about everything from lava lamps to genetics. He is charming and gets right to the heart of the matter with every question.

Recently, worlds collided when Nate did a show from KPCC in Southern California in order to interview the host of Brains On and see a Tesla coil in action. Brains On! is an American Public Media podcast that explores fun, sciencey topics such as the Science of Slime and How Do Pianos Work. Adults host and kids co-host the episodes, which run around 20 minutes.

But Why has a great hook: Kids ask the questions (But Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers? Who Was the First Person?) and a parade of experts answers them each week. The show originates from Vermont Public Radio.

And whatever you do, don’t forget about our own Austin-based Tumble, which we’ve raved about before and was voted one of the best of 2016 on iTunes. They have a super newsletter that rounds up lots of science and other pod recommendation for kids.

Let us know if there are any podcasts you want to share!

Shelley Sperry