Science is an exciting and ever-evolving field that covers a vast range of topics. It can be challenging to keep up with the latest scientific discoveries and developments, but fortunately, there are many excellent science-based podcasts available that offer informative and entertaining content. Podcasts have become a popular medium for learning, entertainment, and storytelling. They are an excellent resource for educators looking for new and engaging ways to teach their students. I like to listen to science podcasts during my commute or while I’m scrubbing the shower, but I have also used them in the classroom for research, entertainment, and engagement with my middle schoolers. Here are some suggestions for science-based podcasts that are both informative and engaging.
Radiolab is a popular science podcast hosted by NPR . It covers a wide range of topics, including biology, physics, and psychology. The show is known for its creative storytelling and innovative sound design, making it an engaging and thought-provoking listen. The hosts explore various scientific phenomena and events, often with the help of experts in the field. Enjoy it for its very wide berth of subject matter.
Ologies is a science podcast that explores a variety of different scientific disciplines, from entomology to vulcanology to linguistics. Hosted by Alie Ward, the show invites experts in the field to discuss their work and share their insights. The show is both informative and entertaining, providing listeners with a comprehensive understanding of various scientific disciplines. Ologies itself is NSFW, but they produce student friendly episodes called Smologies.
Hidden Brain is a podcast that explores the various complexities of human behavior and psychology. Hosted by Shankar Vedantam, the show covers a wide range of topics, from decision-making to social interaction to the effects of technology on the brain. The show is both informative and entertaining, providing listeners with an understanding of why people do the things they do.
Stuff You Should Know
My long time favorite science podcast is Stuff You Should Know. The show is hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, who cover various science, history, and culture topics in an informative and engaging manner. The show is a great resource for anyone interested in learning about a variety of different subjects in an accessible and entertaining way.
The AstroGuy podcast is a great listen if you’re interested in astronomy or astrophotography. Every month, the host tells listeners what interesting objects are visible in the night sky and highlights a few deep sky objects that are available for the looking. The podcast is great, but the accompanying YouTube videos are even better for your astronomy classes to get them out there and looking!
Using science podcasts in the classroom
Podcasts can be assigned as independent learning activities, allowing students to work at their own pace and on their own schedule. They are an engaging and motivating resource for middle school students and can be used to pique students’ curiosity and to inspire them to learn more. When students are interested in a topic, they are more likely to engage with it and to retain what they’ve learned.
An easy way to use a science podcast in your classroom is to assign it as homework or as an in-class activity. Students can also use them to deepen their understanding of a particular subject or topic. Podcasts are an excellent way to introduce new topics and ideas to students. Students can listen to the podcast on their own or as a group, and then participate in a discussion to reinforce what they’ve learned.
Podcasts can also be used to improve listening comprehension and critical thinking skills. Students can be asked to answer questions about an episode, engage in a class discussion about the episode, or summarize what they’ve learned in writing. Podcasts can also help students make connections between different subjects. For example, a science podcast can be used to explore the scientific principles behind a historical event, or an English language arts podcast can be used to analyze the narrative structure of a podcast episode.
Comment below with your favorite podcast, or let me know how you use podcasts in your classroom!