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Who invented emoji?

Who invented emoji?

2022-11-1822:304

Emoji are those little images you can send in text messages to friends and family. Nine-year-old Leila in New Jersey wants to know how they were invented. So in this episode we find out with Jane Solomon, editor at Emojipedia and Paul Galloway of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. We learn what the first emoji looked like, way back in the dark ages of the 1990s and we explore how emoji may be a new trend, but communicating through pictures is a very old tradition. Plus, are emoji…art? Give this episode a 👂to find out! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript
But Why has answers to your dinosaur questions! When did the dinosaurs live? How many species of dinosaurs were alive in the Cretaceous period? How do dinosaurs get their names (and why are they hard to say)? Why are dinosaurs extinct? We visit Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas to see some actual dinosaur evidence: tracks left by two types of dinosaur 113 million years ago. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas has several sites where dinosaur footprints have been well-preserved. Though some of the tracks were actually chiseled out and sold before the park got state recognition and protection. In the summer of 2022, drought in this part of Texas caused riverbeds to dry out, revealing new tracks that hadn’t been seen before. These discoveries made news around the world! The rock in the area is limestone. And the tracks are largely in what are now riverbeds. But In the time of the dinosaurs, 113 million years ago, the landscape looked very different. The sea covered much of the land, and the spots where the tracks are were the seashore, full of sticky wet mud. The dinosaurs walked through the mud and left footprints, which were then covered over by silt and other sediment. As the mud got compressed and eventually turned into limestone, the tracks were preserved. The landscape changed over the millennia. As the sea receded and rivers curved through the landscape, the flowing water eroded the limestone, eventually revealing these tracks that had been covered for millions of years. Some of the tracks at Dinosaur Valley State Park are about the size of a large dinner plate look like classic dinosaur prints, with three long toes and claw marks. Those are from a dinosaur called Acrocanthosaurus. Acrocanthosaurus was shaped like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It walked on two legs and had a large ridge down its back. It was a carnivore and likely the apex predator in its North American environment. The other dinosaur whose tracks have been found at this state park is Sauroposeidon. These tracks are much bigger and rounder, more like an elephant track. They’re so big a kid could sit inside one as if it was a bathtub! Sauroposeidon was a huge dinosaur. It walked on all fours and had a long tail and a very long neck. It weighed as much as 44 tons and was as tall as a 6-story building. In fact, it may have been the tallest animal that has ever lived! Sauroposeidon was an herbivore, and may even have been hunted by Acrocanthosaurus. The two dinosaurs lived at the same time and made the visible tracks at the park within hours or days of each other. The biggest dinosaurs lived in the Cretaceous period,145 million to 65 million years ago. It’s estimated there were as many as a thousand different dinosaur species in that time period, but only a few hundred have so far been named. Most paleontologists believe most dinosaurs died out more than 65 million years ago when an asteroid hit planet Earth.The asteroid itself didn’t kill all the dinosaurs all at once, though it was big enough to cause a lot of devastation. It also kicked up a huge cloud of dust and debris that essentially blocked sunlight from reaching the earth. This caused plants to die. Without plants, large herbivores didn’t have enough to eat. When the herbivores died, the carnivores had nothing to eat and they died, too. If you want to see the dinosaur tracks, check out our videos on YouTube.
How is cheese made?

How is cheese made?

2022-10-2125:074

Kids love cheese! (So do adults: Americans consume an average of 40 pounds of cheese per person per year.) In this episode we learn how cheese is made and answer all of your cheesy questions: Why are there different types of cheese? Why do cheeses have different flavors? How do you make Colby Jack cheese? How does cheese get its color? And why do we say cheese when we take a picture? We visit the Cabot Cheese factory and talk with Maegen Olsen and Panos Lekkas. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Cheese starts with milk. Cheese is often made with milk from cows or goats, but it can also be made with milk from sheep, buffalo, camels or other mammals. (There’s even a moose-cheese company in Russia!) If the cheese is made in bulk to sell to lots of people, companies will usually run tests on the milk before they turn it into cheese. They want to make sure it doesn’t have bad bacteria or antibiotics in it. The milk is then pasteurized, which means it’s heated quickly and cooled quickly to kill any lurking bad bacteria. Next cheesemakers will add a starter culture. Starter culture is GOOD bacteria, which will eat the milk sugar (lactose), create lactic acid and drive down the pH of the milk. That helps create curds. The next step is coagulation! (Coagulation is the process of turning a liquid into a semi-solid or solid.) To coagulate the milk, an enzyme called rennet is added. Now it’s time to separate the curds from the whey. Cheesemakers will use knives to cut the coagulated milk into chunks known as curds, leaving some liquid behind. That liquid is known as whey. When milk is made into cheddar it gives a 10% yield, meaning 10% of the milk will become cheese and 90% will be left over as whey. Some cheesemakers, like Cabot, use the whey to make protein powders. In other factories it might go to waste. Next, it’s time to add salt. Salt serves as a preservative and gives the cheese flavor. If it’s a flavored cheese, things like garlic or peppers will be added at this point. The cheese is then pressed into blocks. At factories like Cabot, they pull the curds into tall towers and then add more and more, creating pressure that forms those curds into solid blocks. Smaller cheesemakers use a cheese press. In the final step, the cheese is aged. It will sit in a cold storage or cheese cave and just…get older. Cheddar can be aged for years, giving it a stronger flavor. Aging also changes the texture of a cheese like cheddar. It can get more crumbly the older it gets. Once it’s ready, it will be cut, packaged and shipped to stores.
Why do bees pollinate? How do they make honey? Why do bees have stingers? Why do (some) bees die when they sting you? What's the difference between a bee and a wasp? Does honey have healing properties? Farmer and beekeeper John Hayden answers all of your bee questions! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slides | Transcript | Coloring Page Bees collect nectar from flowers. Nectar is the sweet liquid that entices the bees to the flower. The bees climb onto or into the flower and suck up the nectar with their straw-like mouth and collect it in a little sac called a crop. They also collect pollen on their legs. As they move from flower to flower, they leave a little bit of that pollen on each new flower they visit. That's called pollination and it’s how flowers reproduce. Bees take the pollen and nectar back to their hives and put it into the honeycomb (six-sided cells they have built out with wax). Pollen is like protein, one of the building blocks of animal bodies, and bees use that to feed their young mostly. To turn nectar into honey, bees spit it up into other bees’ mouths and eventually they spit the liquid into the honeycomb cells. Then they fan it with their wings to evaporate some of the moisture. Once it has reached the right consistency, they seal it off with wax to store it for later. So honey is just concentrated nectar. Bees keep the honey in storage for the winter months when there are no flowers. But they make more than they need, so beekeepers take the extra honey out of the hive and leave the bees enough to survive through the winter. Bees sting to protect their hive and defend their honey from potential predators. But honeybees don’t sting unless they have to, because after they sting, their stinger gets pulled out of their body and they die! Honeybees die when they sting because their stinger has a barb on it, like a fish hook. The stinger gets hooked into your skin and then when the bee tries to fly away the hook stays in and pulls out the bee's abdomen as it flies away. Honeybees are social insects who depend on their colony to survive. So they are willing to sacrifice themselves to make sure the whole colony can survive. Honeybees are far from the only pollinator. Bees are very important to our ecosystem and there are more than 4000 species in the US alone. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and bats also play important pollinator roles. Resources How do big plants grow from small seeds? How are babies made?  Honeybee music video
Why do sharks have multiple sets of teeth? Why do sharks lose so many teeth? Do sharks eat fish? How do sharks breathe underwater? Do sharks sleep? Give a listen to this totally jaw-some conversation about sharks with Dr. Kady Lyons, shark researcher at the Georgia Aquarium! We also tackle: Why are dinosaurs extinct and sharks are not? Were megalodons the biggest sharks in the world? Do sharks have noses? How do sharks communicate? Why do sharks bite? Why are sharks dangerous? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Sharks are a type of fish. They’ve been around for millions of years and their body plan hasn’t changed much in that time! Sharks’ skeletons are made of cartilage. They don’t have any calcified bones - so the only part of a shark that gets left behind in fossil records is their teeth!  Megalodons were the biggest shark, but they are extinct (despite sensational TV shows that claim otherwise). The latest research suggests megalodons were bigger than modern day humpback whales! Sharks and other fish breathe by extracting oxygen from water by the use of their gills. Gills are made of very thin tissue. The blood inside the tissue picks up oxygen from the water and brings it into the organs in the fish’s body.  Sharks evolved to have sharp teeth to grab slippery fish and other prey. If they break a tooth, they can regrow a new one, and they just drop the old one. Easily replacing a tooth that breaks off is a strategy that allows them to keep hunting. Their teeth grow continually through a shark’s life, moving forward in their mouth kind of like on a conveyor belt, maturing as they go. So when a tooth falls out a new one moves forward. Some sharks lose whole rows of teeth, like dentures, all at the same time. All sharks are carnivores, eating fish, seals, and sometimes other sharks. Some species, like whale sharks, filter feed, mostly on zooplankton but sometimes phytoplankton (sea plants) as well. Sharks have been known to attack humans, but humans actually aren’t great prey for them because we lack a thick layer of blubber or other energy the sharks are on the hunt for. Usually sharks attack when they mistake a human for something else, like a seal.  Sharks go through periods of sleep or rest, reducing brain activity.  Sharks have a fantastic sense of smell. It helps them find their prey. 
How do popcorn kernels pop? How do salmon know where to return to spawn? How do rabbits change colors? Why does television fry your brain? How do zippers zip stuff? Who was the fastest runner in the world? In this episode, we'll tackle all of these questions! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Inside the husk is a tiny little droplet of water surrounded by something called the endosperm. The endosperm is what you're actually eating when you eat popcorn. When you heat up popcorn, the tiny droplet of water gets hot and turns into steam. That steam pushes through the endosperm and turns it kind of soft and that endosperm builds up pressure and explodes through the husk. When it explodes, that soft gelatinous endosperm hits cooler air and it hardens up in whatever shape it has exploded into. So that's why popcorn has all those funny shapes and feels kind of like foam. Salmon are born in freshwater, but then spend their lives in saltwater. They return to the freshwater to spawn (lay and fertilize eggs) and die. Some salmon return to any body of freshwater to spawn, but some salmon have special ways of finding their way back to the place they were born. They use a kind of internal compass to head back to the spot. Other fish rely on their sense of smell to find their way back to fresh water.  Animals that turn white in winter use the length of day as their cue to stop producing pigment in their fur. Their bodies can sense the hours of daylight, and when the daylight starts getting shorter, their hormones will tell the cells to stop producing melatonin.  Hormones tell the cells what to do to shut off the production of pigment in the fall and to turn it on again in the spring. It's not because the days and the nights get colder or warmer.  The fastest runner in the world is Usain Bolt. He's the fastest man who's ever been timed. He's a Jamaican sprinter, and he holds the world record for both the 100 and the 200 meter sprints. He has nine gold medals at the Olympics and 11 world championships. His record for the 100 meter sprint is 9.58 seconds. That is super fast. That's more than 23 miles an hour. Want to pop your own popcorn from kernels? Find a big pan with a tight-lid. Pour two tablespoons of cooking oil in the pan. Then add a half a cup of popping corn. Cover the pan and turn the heat to high. In a few minutes the popcorn will start to pop. Turn off the heat. Open the lid when the popcorn stops popping. Enjoy! How a zipper works Sounds Wild
How do snakes slither?

How do snakes slither?

2022-08-2635:571

Field trip time! Today we’re learning all about snakes while out on a search for timber rattlesnakes in New York with state wildlife biologist Lisa Pipino. Some of the questions we tackle: How do some snakes make venom? Why are some snakes venomous and others are not? Why do rattlesnakes have a rattle? How do snakes slither on the ground without legs? Why don’t snakes have legs? Why don’t snakes have ears? How do they smell with their tongues? Why do some snakes use heat vision? Do snakes sleep? Why do snakes stick out their tongues so much? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Snakes are ectothermic - meaning they are cold-blooded and rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. Snakes like to bask on warm rocks to stay warm. A rattlesnake’s first rattle segment is called a button. They shed their skin once or twice per year and each time they do, they get a new rattle segment. Rattle segments sit on top of each other, and when rattlesnakes shake their tail, the segments rattle. This noise is a warning to predators to stay away. Some snakes lay eggs. Others develop eggs that grow and hatch inside their body, meaning the snakes give birth to live young. Rattlesnakes give birth to live young but only stay with their babies for about a week. Those babies follow their mother’s scent trail back to the den for winter. Some snakes are venomous, but not poisonous. What’s the difference?! Venom is delivered through a bite or a stinger, while poison is usually inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin. Snake venom is a lot like saliva, except it’s toxic. Snakes create it using a special gland. They then use their venom to immobilize or kill their prey before they eat it. They sometimes use their venomous bite as a defense as well. Snakes do have nostrils and can smell through their nose a little bit. But they mostly use their tongues to smell and sense their environment. They stick out their tongues to pick up scents. And then they rub their tongues on a special organ at the top of their mouths, which sends a message about the scent to their brains. Timber rattlesnakes live in the Eastern US and are different from some of the other well-known rattlesnakes in the Western US. In much of the northeastern states they’re considered threatened or endangered. People shouldn’t try to look for these snakes because of the possibility of disturbing the snakes or their habitats.
Why do we feel pain?

Why do we feel pain?

2022-08-1225:095

Why do we feel pain when we get hurt? What is pain? Why do we cry when we get hurt? Why do we say ow or ouch? We’re learning about how pain works with Joshua Pate. He’s a physical therapist and author of a forthcoming children’s book series about pain. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Pain happens when your body sends signals to your brain that something is wrong. And your brain sends signals to your body to feel pain! Pain is protective–it lets us know to stop doing something that is damaging or might damage our bodies. And it lets us know that something is wrong and we might need to get help from an adult or a medical provider. When you get hurt, like scraping your knee for example, the nerve cells in the knee send a message to the brain. Your eyes might see the scraped knee and send another message to your brain. Then your brain has to decide how much danger your knee is in. Pain is messaging that lets your brain know that something is not well. If you didn’t have that pain, you might keep scraping your knee over and over. Pain is biopsychosocial, meaning biology, psychology and social or environmental factors all play a role in what pain feels like for individual people. A lot of things can turn the feeling of pain up or down. Distraction, like listening to music or watching a video can help turn pain down. Staring at the source of pain can make it hurt more. Outside factors can also impact pain. In a study from several years ago, people were asked to hold a freezing cold rod. Scientists changed the colored lights in the room. When the lights were blue people felt less pain from the rod than when the lights were red. Normally, pain will recede when an injury heals. But not for everyone. Sometimes people suffer from chronic pain after an injury. We cry when we’re in pain as a way of letting others know that something is wrong. We also learn to use the words ow or ouch. Other languages have different words for pain.
Why do we have friends?

Why do we have friends?

2022-07-2945:0714

Why do friends care about each other? How do you make friends? Can you have more than one best friend? How do you deal with a bully? We answer questions about friends and bullies with Dr. Friendtastic (also known as Eileen Kennedy-Moore), a psychologist and author of Growing Friendships: A Kids’ Guide to Making and Keeping Friends. And we get lots of advice from kids themselves about how to make friends and deal with bullies.  Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Friendship is often about action. It's about what we do together, how we treat each other. The key to friendship is kindness.  Best friends are nice, but the word “best” can make it feel like a contest. Most people have different friends and for different situations. So it’s okay to have several close friends instead of needing to identify just one best friend. Some people have lots of friends, but other people may just have a few close friends. People with more friends tend to put more effort into having more friends. It’s okay to have a lot of friends or just a few!  To make friends, you have to show an openness to friendship. That can be as easy as smiling or saying hi. It’s also important to be kind to potential friends. And it also helps to identify people who have similar interests to you. Then, invite them to do something. Kids make friends by doing fun things with other kids. Don’t wait until you feel close to someone to invite them to do something; you become close by doing shared activities. Shy people might be unintentionally sending the message to potential friends that they don’t like them. Stop focusing on being uncomfortable and instead look the other kid in the eye (or the forehead if eye contact is hard for you), smile and say hello. Practice it with an adult.  At recess or on the playground, bigger groups of kids will be more open to you joining than groups with just two or three kids.  Research shows that instead of asking if you can play with a big group, hang back and watch for a few minutes to figure out the game the other kids are playing, and then just join in. If you ask “Can I play with you?” you risk interrupting the play.  Bullying is deliberate (intentional) meanness directed at one person where there is an imbalance of power. For example, an older or more popular kid picking on a younger or less popular kid.  It’s important to know the difference between bullying and meanness. Bullying requires adult intervention. If you’re having a problem with a friend that is not bullying, you may still want to talk that through with an adult, but it’s often possible to handle that conflict with your friend on your own. 
Why do crickets chirp?

Why do crickets chirp?

2022-07-1527:437

How are crickets so loud? Why do they chirp at night? How are they different from grasshoppers? We’re talking crickets today with Karim Vahed, a cricket and katydid expert and entomologist (bug scientist) at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom. Professor Vahed also takes on some of your pressing insect questions: Do insects have bones? What do baby bugs like to do? Do insects drink water? Why are bugs so important? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript  There are over 9,000 known species of crickets on the planet. These insects are best known for singing and hopping! Insects are divided into different orders depending on what kind they are. Crickets are in the order known as Orthoptera, which contains grasshoppers, locusts, crickets and bush crickets, and katydids. Crickets and grasshoppers are different! For one thing, most grasshoppers make noise by rubbing one of their legs against one of their wings. But most crickets make sound by rubbing their two forewings (their front wings) together. One wing is jagged, like a little row of teeth. And the other wing kind of scrapes up against it, making a sound. The number of teeth on the scraper, the speed of the rubbing and how frequently they make the chirps differ depending on the species. So there are lots of different cricket songs. Try an experiment: Get a comb and run your fingernail across it. See if you can make a sound. If you have more than one comb, or a comb with two differently sized/spaced teeth, see if they make different sounds. Does the size of the fingernail make a difference in the sound? Try giving your comb to an adult and find out! In most cricket species, the males chirp to attract a female. And they mostly sing at night to help avoid predators.  But Karim Vahed says some studies have shown that predators like domestic house cats follow the chirps of the crickets to find and eat them! Imagine a cricket the size of a hamster! A cricket so big it would cover the palm of your hand if you were holding it. The giant wētā [say it: WEH-tah] is that insect!  There are several species of giant wētās. They all live in New Zealand and most of them are protected because they’re quite rare. Insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet. There are more than a million known species (about 80% of all known animals). But scientists estimate anywhere from 10 million to 80 million insect species have yet to be discovered!
That’s just one of the questions we answer in this week’s episode, which also includes instructions on how to easily make your own ice cream at home! We’ll also tackle the why and how of melting ice cream and why some flavors tend to melt faster than others! Our expert in this episode is ice cream entrepreneur Rabia Kamara, of Ruby Scoops in Richmond, Virginia. It's going to be sweet! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide  | Transcript After listening, if you're ready to try making ice cream at home, here's Rabia's easy recipe. INGREDIENTS: 2 cups of heavy cream 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk Optional additional flavorings: a splash of vanilla pinch of salt And whatever else you might want to add! (Chocolate chips, cookie crumbles, etc.) INSTRUCTIONS: Use a hand mixer to beat the heavy cream until it is the consistency of whipped cream, with peaks that hold their shape. Fold any additional ingredients into the sweetened condensed milk and add the mixture to the heavy cream and fold them together using a spoon. Put into a freezer safe container. Let freeze for about 8 hours. Enjoy!
The Washington Mystics of the WNBA join us in this episode to answer all of your questions about the sport of basketball and what it’s like to be a professional athlete. How many basketballs does the team have? Why do balls spin when you bounce them? Who invented basketball? Why are basketballs orange with black lines? Why do men and women play on separate teams? How do injuries impact professional careers? And do you have to be tall to play hoops? Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Resources Basketball Games for Kids Learn More About the WNBA
For the past 50 years, visitors to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. have been able to observe giant pandas. It’s one of the few places in the United States to see these black and white bears. For our latest episode we took a field trip to the zoo to visit the three pandas currently living there and answer panda questions with zookeeper Mariel Lally. We tackle: Why do animals live in the zoo? Why are pandas black and white? Do pandas hibernate? How can we save the pandas? And check out our social media pages for lots of pictures! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Three pandas live at the National Zoo: adults Tian Tian and Mei Xiang and their cub, Xiao Qi Ji.  Zookeepers are never in the same space as the pandas. Even though they are herbivores, pandas are still wild animals with sharp claws and big teeth, so it’s important for people to stay safe. Researchers at the National Zoo have worked with colleagues in China on a breeding program for both captive and wild pandas. That research has helped pandas go from endangered to vulnerable. They’re still at risk of extinction, but doing better than they were just a few decades ago. Pandas eat 100 pounds of bamboo per day! The National Zoo cuts bamboo from sites around the D.C. area, including at some local private homes. Researchers aren’t sure why pandas are black and white, but the leading theory is that the white color provides camouflage in their snowy natural habitat and the black fur helps them blend in when they hide in shady bamboo forests. Panda cubs do have predators in the wild. Pandas do not hibernate, but they spend their time eating or sleeping. They have a period of deep sleep, similar to the torpor of reptiles. Keepers say they try not to wake sleeping pandas because they get very grumpy! (So the saying, “Never wake a sleeping bear” is especially true for pandas.) Zoo pandas get daily training to make their care easier. For example, they learn their names and they are taught to open their mouths and show a paw so they can more easily receive medical care. Zoos used to display animals primarily for human enjoyment. Now, most zoos focus on species conservation, research and educating the public about animal species.  Resources National Zoo’s Panadriffic Pack (games and coloring pages) Panda Cam
When there's mass violence in the news, especially when it involves children, it can be really hard to know how to speak to your kids about what is going on. In this special episode FOR ADULTS, we talk with a child psychologist about some recommended ways to approach these conversations. We first released this episode in 2016, and are heartbroken and angry that it remains so relevant.  Dr. Robin Gurwitch is a child psychologist at the Duke University Medical Center, and she has served on numerous commissions and committees about children and trauma, including the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters. Though this episode is for adults, we know children sometimes listen to episodes without adults around, so the information in this episode is intended to be non-traumatizing for children to hear. (Transcript) Here are additional links for more information: [American Psychological Association](about:blank) The National Child Traumatic Stress Network The Family Acceptance Project
What is climate change?

What is climate change?

2022-05-2027:225

What is climate change? What is causing climate change? How do you cool down the earth? How is climate change affecting the oceans? Kids are hearing about climate change and they have lots of questions. In this episode we explain the science of climate change and look at how humans will adapt to a rapidly warming planet. We speak with Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson, oceanographer at the University of South Carolina and Dr. Jola Ajibade, a geographer at Portland State University. This certainly isn’t a comprehensive look at the issue, but it’s a good way to start a conversation about this issue for families and teachers. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Climate is the long-term trend of temperatures and weather. You can think of the difference between climate and weather like a dog walking down a sidewalk: The dog might go from side to side of the sidewalk - that’s kind of like the weather - it varies. But the general direction of the dog is forward - that’s the climate. Since the 1800s we’ve had a lot of changes in technology that mean humans are burning a lot of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, to power engines, run our cars, heat our homes and create electricity. That puts a lot of greenhouse gasses and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The atmosphere is like a blanket around the earth. The increase in greenhouse gasses means that the blanket is getting thicker, making the earth warmer. Think of the earth like a human body: when a fever increases our body temperature by a few degrees, it can make you feel really sick (sometimes really hot, but other times with cold shivers). It’s the same thing for the earth! Even one or two degrees difference in average global temperature can make a big difference, including changing the amount of rainfall that a region gets or the overall temperature of the ocean, throwing our systems out of balance. Climate change can increase sea levels. As polar ice caps melt because of increasing temperature, the water levels rise, which can cause higher tides and more flooding. A good experiment you can do to visualize this is to grab a mixing bowl and turn a smaller bowl upside down inside of it (like an island). Pour some water and several ice cubes into the big bowl and see how high the water goes up the side of the smaller bowl. (You might need to weigh the smaller bowl down so it doesn’t float up.) As the ice melts, observe how the water level rises up the sides of the small bowl. Increased water temperatures are bad for coral reefs and other ocean animals. The best way to stop climate change is to stop burning fossil fuels. People will respond to climate change through coping mechanisms, including migration and relocation. The people most affected by climate change are the people least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. If you’re concerned about global warming, find ways to consume fewer resources and to burn fewer fossil fuels. And lobby your government officials to make policies that benefit the environment and those most vulnerable to climate change. Resources NASA’s Climate Kids NASA’s Kids’ Guide to Climate Change National Geographic Kids Climate Change Explainer Take Action: Young Voices for the Planet Science Moms
Why do flowers bloom?

Why do flowers bloom?

2022-05-0622:4222

Why do flowers bloom? How do flowers grow? Why are flowers different colors? Why do people find flowers beautiful? How are seeds made? Why do plants grow from seeds? Why do we put seeds in the garden? We’re answering your questions about seeds and flowers with garden writer Charlie Nardozzi and Hannes Dempewolf from The Crop Trust. Find more answers to plant questions in two of our older episodes: How Do Big Plants Grow From Such Small Seeds? and Are Seeds Alive?  Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript New seeds are made through pollination, plant reproduction. Pollen makes its way to the ovary of a flower in various ways. Sometimes it is spread from one flower to another by a pollinator, like a bee or hummingbird. Some flowers are called “perfect”, meaning they can reproduce with their own pollen–not the pollen from another plant. But they still need a way for their own pollen to drop onto their egg. A gentle gust of wind, or the jostling of the plant by a gardener's hand can do the trick.  The flower will create the seed and then the flower structure will fade, leaving behind a seed. Sometimes it’s in a pod, sometimes it’s in a fruit or other structure to protect it.  Seeds are alive, but dormant. They contain all the nutrients needed to make a new plant. That seed will wait for the right conditions to germinate and create a new plant. Some seeds only need a little moisture to germinate, others need to be submerged in water. There are many different kinds of seeds and they have different necessary conditions. Flowers can be many different colors. They use those colors to attract pollinators. Those colors are created by pigments, natural colorings, in the plants. Some plants only flower once per year, others can bloom multiple times. Some plants flower in spring, others in summer, and some in fall. There is a lot of diversity in plants and the way they reproduce. That benefits all of us because if some plants aren’t thriving in certain conditions, other plants may do better.  Resources Seed sprouting experiment Window gardening for kids Webinar: Gardening with Kids
Why are some people right-handed and some are left-handed? And what’s up with some people being ambidextrous (equally good with both hands)? Why, in the past, did some people try to make left-handed people use their right hands? We talk with Chris McManus, professor and author of the book Right Hand, Left Hand: The Origins of Asymmetry in Brains, Bodies, Atoms, and Cultures. We’ll even find out how common left-handedness (or left-pawedness) is in other animals! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Why do we prefer one hand over the other? McManus says it probably pays to specialize. It’s better to do something with one hand over and over and get really good at it, as opposed to doing it sometimes with one hand and sometimes with the other. For example, it takes years to develop your handwriting, so it would take twice as long to develop good handwriting with both hands! How do we pick which hand? We chose the hand that feels more normal to us, and then we practice with that hand. Try a simple experiment: bring your hands together quickly and entwine your fingers like you’re holding hands with yourself. Which thumb do you have on top? Now switch which thumb is on top. It probably feels a bit wrong. 90 percent of people use their right hand more. Our brain is asymmetrical (different on the right and left sides), and most of us use the left half of our brain to talk. Our heart is also on the left side of our body for most humans and vertebrates. There must be an advantage to being left-handed or we wouldn’t have left-handed people, but no one is sure exactly what that advantage is. What about people who say they’re ambidextrous? McManus believes there’s no such thing. He says people who say they’re ambidextrous are generally good at different things with each hand, but aren’t actually equally good at everything with both hands. McManus calls these people mixed-handers. Many animals also have handedness. But while right-handedness is dominant i people, animals tend to split down the middle. (So, for example, half of cats are right-handed, half are left-handed. Same goes for dogs and mice etc. in the 19th century, when people wrote with pens dipped in inkwells, writing with your left hand was messy business, as left hands would smear ink across the page. But as people have shifted to mostly typing, the hand you write with matters less. For every five left-handed boys, there are only four left-handed girls, and scientists have no idea why.
Why do pigs oink?

Why do pigs oink?

2022-04-0832:238

Why do pigs snort? And why do we call their snorts “oink” in English? We’re taking our exploration of animal noises in two directions today. First we’ll learn about why we use different words to describe animal noises, depending on what language we’re speaking. And then we’ll examine what animals are actually saying when they oink or tweet or moo! Our guests are linguist and author Arika Okrent and bioacoustic researcher Elodie Briefer, of the University of Copenhagen. Other questions we tackle in this episode: Do cows make different amounts of “moos” to say different words? Why do ducks make loud noises? Why do roosters cockadoodle-do in the morning? PLUS, so many kids sent us animal noises in different languages and we’ll hear them all! Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript Bioacoustics is the study of sounds made in nature. Scientists like Elodie Briefer study how animals make sounds and what information we can find in those sounds. Scientists will record sounds and use computers to measure and analyze what they hear and use observational skills to help determine what the sounds might mean. Animals speak in emotion, not in words. Pigs have contact calls as well as positive and negative calls. Researchers have found that pigs will make longer calls when they are unhappy. Scientists and animal welfare advocates hope to use this information to eventually develop an app that farmers can use to improve animals’ lives on farms. With words like moo, oink and cockadoodle-do, we are giving a name to a sound. But we’re not just trying to mimic the sound. Most of us can make the sound of a pig snort but we need words like oink because we don’t want to stop using our language to make a pig snort in the middle of a conversation. Human voices are capable of millions of sounds but a language only uses a subset of those sounds. Our animal noise words will use the sounds available in our individual languages. Words that sound like the sound they are describing are called onomatopoeia. An animal has to have some cultural importance for a language to create a word for its call. That’s why we don’t have words in English for the noise a camel or a sloth would make. In Turkish there is no word for a pig call because that culture doesn’t keep pigs on farms.
We’re bringing back an episode from the archives, all about the moon: Why does the moon change shape? How much does it weigh? What color is it? Why does the Earth only have one moon? Why does it have holes? Where does it go when we can't see it? Why do we sometimes see it in the daytime? And why does the moon look like it's following you when you're in the car? Answers to your moon questions with John O'Meara, chief scientist at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript | Coloring Page We can see the moon during the day for the same reason we see the moon at night. The surface of the moon is reflecting the sun's light into our eyes. But we don't see the moon all the time during the day, and that's because of where the moon might be in the sky. There are times where the moon is on the other side of the earth so we can’t see it. We see the moon in the sky when it’s in the right spot and it’s reflecting enough light to be brighter than the background of the sky. The moon is a satellite. A satellite is something that moves or rotates around a planet, the earth in this case. The moon is 239,000 miles away. That's far, but it's way closer than any of the other stars or planets you can see in the night sky. That's why the moon looks so big compared to other celestial objects even though the stars are actually much bigger. The moon weighs 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds. That’s a lot! But it’s such a big number it’s hard to imagine how much that weighs. Instead, think about how much the moon weighs compared to the Earth. It turns out that the moon is about 1% percent the mass of the earth. That’s a lot! When you’re in a car and it feels like the moon is following you, what you’re actually seeing is an optical illusion. The moon is very far away, compared to anything else you see when you're driving — like the telephone poles that appear to fly past your car as you're going down a highway. But the moon is so far away that its size and shape in the sky doesn’t change, so it feels like the moon is following you.
The invasion of Ukraine has been the top story in the news for the last few weeks, and kids around the world are asking questions about what is happening and what it means for them. In this episode we ask Erin Hutchinson, Assistant Professor of Russian History at the University of Colorado Boulder, to help us understand the history behind this conflict. Adults: we don’t go into detail about what war looks like on the ground, but we acknowledge war is a scary topic. You may want to preview this episode ahead of time to make sure it's right for your kids. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript We have collected some resources for parents/caregivers about how to talk to kids about war and ways families can help.  How to talk to kids about war Meet the Helpers Common Sense Media News Sources for Kids from Common Sense Media NAMLE Parent’s Guide to Media Literacy Ways To Help Save the Children UNICEF Eurasia Foundation Donations for refugees in Moldova
Comments (120)

Fa Al

thanks

Nov 22nd
Reply

Dottie Tansley

hi

Sep 9th
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Mahdi315

Where can we finde the transcriptions?

Jul 24th
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Jack Mandel

this podcast needs to upload more. :(

Jul 15th
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lindi

crazy people doesn't like icecream 😒😔

Jul 4th
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Miguel Ángel García-Ariza

terrible explanation, just trying to put the same hysteria and exceptionalism of gringo grown ups into younger gringos. propaganda right from the onset of their lives. Terrible episode, just shows how decaying the US society is.

Jun 16th
Reply (2)

Farzaneh

very good 👍

May 24th
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Dylan Dunn

You helped me understand it so well!

Apr 15th
Reply

K

This is the first episode we've ever listened to of this podcast and we're never listening again. The guy going on and on about how it's a parents "job", "duty", and a basic parenting requirement to check under their bed for monsters and whatnot was so condescending, smarmy, and he honestly sounds like he doesn't have children or he's not a good parent. What you're doing when you check each and every sound out for them is teaching them to solely rely on YOU to make them not scared anymore. That teaches them to be scared of every noise, that they need to get an adult to check out every noise, and to rely on other people not to be scared. Absolutely terrible parenting and I'm so glad we didn't let our son listen to this by himself.

Dec 27th
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cartoon cat

hola

Dec 8th
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Jessica Rebella

being racist is the worst thing you can do trust me just except everyone ok and be nice ok🙂🖤🤍👍👍🌗⬛⬜

Nov 30th
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Cupcake_EmilyCutie

why is the sky blue?

Aug 1st
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Cupcake_EmilyCutie

why are there bears in the world?

Aug 1st
Reply

이지은

I have listened to almost all of your podcasts!♡♡

Jul 23rd
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samaneh

thanks jane

Jul 15th
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Abriana Alanzo

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Jun 25th
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fyiimcrazy

Wow, thanks for helping me learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I know this is in 2021, 2 years later, but I still listened to it. This is very inspiring. I hope Mary's thoughts get to enter the real world!( I'm not a fake, I actually acted in doctor who, look me up)

May 13th
Reply

fyiimcrazy

Amazing. Thanks for helping me learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I know this is in 2021, but I listened to the podcast even 2 years later.

May 13th
Reply

RADIO REBEL DJ.34

my little brother loves this episode your little ones will to

Mar 9th
Reply

Faranak Raste

In my mother tongue Farsi,we call lady bugs "Kafshdoozak" which means shoe maker!

Jan 27th
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