Millions of kids and adults across the world have ADHD, which stands for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, though. Some people might have trouble focusing, while others might get really fidgety or take risks without thinking about them. But what is ADHD and what is happening in the brain of someone with ADHD?
In this episode, Molly and cohost Julianne (who also has ADHD) learn from Dr. Julie Schweitzer of the MIND Institute at UC Davis about how a brain with ADHD can feel a little bit like an orchestra without a conductor. Plus, Julianne talks with Daniel Kwan, director of the movie Everything Everywhere All At Once, about what it's like to live with ADHD, and how people with ADHD have some superpowers when it comes to creativity.
JULIANNE: You're listening to Brains On, where we're serious about being curious.
CHILD: Brains On is supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
MARC SANCHEZ: Sup, Molly and Sanden. Cool music, am I right?
MOLLY BLOOM: Hey, Marc. Yeah, cool tune. Where is it coming from?
SANDEN TOTTEN: Yeah, and what's with your giant hat covered in speakers and wires?
MARC SANCHEZ: It's not a hat, broskey. It's my latest invention, the cerebral DJ. It's a device that translates your brainwaves into funky fresh beats. Right now, you're listening to the magic of my mind.
SANDEN TOTTEN: Wait, the device on your head is reading your mind?
MARC SANCHEZ: Sort of-- yeah. But check it out. Everyone's brain is so unique, and the cerebral DJ lets you hear that.
Here you go. Try it on, Sanden.
SANDEN TOTTEN: Ooh, it makes my thoughts kind of tickle.
MARC SANCHEZ: Let me just recalibrate it here and--
--there we go.
That's the symphony of Sanden right there.
SANDEN TOTTEN: Whoa, that's awesome. This is exactly what it feels like in my head.
MOLLY BLOOM: How do you think with all that noise, Sanden?
SANDEN TOTTEN: Oh, that's the genius part, Molly. I don't. Your turn!
MOLLY BLOOM: OK, so how does it work, Marc?
MARC SANCHEZ: Well, it scans all the parts of the brain, looks at your personality, behavior, likes, dislikes-- you know, everything that's going on in the old noggin. Then, it translates that into a pattern that's harmoniously synced up to a beat.
All right, Molly, your turn.
MOLLY BLOOM: Hey, my thoughts are grooving. Maybe I can hire my brain to DJ my next birthday?
SANDEN TOTTEN: You guys, our brains are musical geniuses.
MOLLY BLOOM: Wait, what if we let our Brains jam out together?
MARC SANCHEZ: Oh, you want to hear all our cerebral symphonies at once? That's impossible-- impossible to say no to!
Let me just switch on party mode. Here we go!
SANDEN TOTTEN: Oh my. This is--
MOLLY BLOOM: --amazing.
MARC SANCHEZ: I know!
SANDEN TOTTEN: This might be the best song I have ever heard.
MOLLY BLOOM: Can a brain win a Grammy? I feel like our brains could win a Grammy.
MARC SANCHEZ: We need to get this track to a famous singer. Who's got Taylor Swift's phone number, or Beyonce? This needs to be heard!
MOLLY BLOOM: You're listening to Brains On from APM Studios. I'm Molly Bloom, and my co-host today is Julianne from Toronto, Canada. Hi, Julianne.
JULIANNE: Hi, Molly.
MOLLY BLOOM: So Julianne, you sent us a question about something very important to you. What was your question?
JULIANNE: Yeah, I wanted to know what ADHD is.
MOLLY BLOOM: And when did you first hear about ADHD?
JULIANNE: I first heard of ADHD when I was diagnosed.
MOLLY BLOOM: OK, so when were you diagnosed with it?
JULIANNE: Last year.
MOLLY BLOOM: So when you were first diagnosed, what were your questions that popped up, if you can remember?
JULIANNE: Most of them were just what is it?
MOLLY BLOOM: You're like, what is this thing they're telling me that I have in my brain?
MOLLY BLOOM: Do you feel like in the past year that you've been able to learn things, or is it sort of still kind of like a black box, and that's why you wrote to us?
JULIANNE: I know a few things, but not that much.
MOLLY BLOOM: ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
JULIANNE: And ADHD is pretty common. About 10% of kids in the US have been diagnosed with it.
MOLLY BLOOM: Which means if you have a class of about 20 kids, a couple of them have probably been diagnosed.
JULIANNE: You might have also heard of something called Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADHD, which sounds pretty similar to ADHD.
MOLLY BLOOM: And it's not just the names that are similar. The symptoms and treatments for the two were so similar that doctors decided to call them both ADHD.
JULIANNE: But even though a group of people might all have ADHD, that doesn't mean they all think and act the same way. That's because ADHD starts in your brain, and no two brains are exactly the same.
MOLLY BLOOM: Some brains are great at storing facts. Other brains can paint elaborate pictures of imaginary things, and some brains can remember all the lyrics to the theme song from the 1990s Saturday morning cartoon Captain Planet.
(SINGING) We're the planeteers. You can be one too, because saving the planet is the thing to do!
JULIANNE: Not now, Molly.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, OK. Sorry, yeah.
JULIANNE: So even if you and a friend both have ADHD, you might experience it differently.
MOLLY BLOOM: Sometimes, people with ADHD have trouble focusing. Other times, they get really, really into what they're doing.
JULIANNE: Other times, people have trouble controlling their impulses, like maybe they want to interrupt, or fidget, or take risks without really thinking about them.
MOLLY BLOOM: Right. So one diagnosis can mean many different things. Julianne, I'm wondering, does any of this sound familiar to you?
JULIANNE: Yes, it kind of does. I feel like fidgeting all the time.
MOLLY BLOOM: Are you fidgeting right now?
MOLLY BLOOM: Me too. What is your favorite way to fidget?
JULIANNE: Probably fidgeting with my clothes, so then my teacher doesn't yell at me.
MOLLY BLOOM: Like, instead of a toy or something?
JULIANNE: Yeah, like if I were to bring slime to school and fidget with it, I'd probably make bubbles, and then it's like really loud. And let's say he's in the middle of a lesson. He's probably going to make me throw it out or something.
MOLLY BLOOM: So you want to keep your slime intact, so you don't bring it to school. Do you find that doodling is a thing that you like to do?
JULIANNE: Yeah. Like, he doesn't let us fidget with like toys, but he lets me like doodle if I need to.
MOLLY BLOOM: Nice.
JULIANNE: So I bring a sketchbook to school.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, awesome. I bet there's a lot of cool things in that sketchbook right now.
JULIANNE: No, not really.
MOLLY BLOOM: No?
I understand. My-- I doodle a lot, too, and my doodles are just like weird shapes. They don't look like anything, but I enjoy doing it. What does it feel like when you're distracted, would you say?
JULIANNE: I think it just feels like there's nothing around me. Like, I just completely forget about everything. I even stop listening to things. So like, if my teacher calls my name, I'm probably not going to hear him.
MOLLY BLOOM: So when that happens, are you thinking about other things, or is it just kind of your mind is blank?
JULIANNE: My mind is just blank.
MOLLY BLOOM: And how would you describe your brain to a friend who doesn't have ADHD?
JULIANNE: I would probably say because of my ADHD, I like to fidget a lot, and I cannot sit still for a long period of time, or else I get very uncomfortable. Or I would just tell them to search it up on Google.
MOLLY BLOOM: Look it up, please.
JULIANNE: Yeah, just look it up. I don't want to explain it.
MOLLY BLOOM: So yes, our brains are fascinating and complex, and no two brains are exactly the same.
JULIANNE: Scientists are still trying to figure out a lot about how our brains work.
JULIE SCHWEITZER: Even though we've been doing decades and decades of brain research, we're still learning more every day.
MOLLY BLOOM: That's Dr. Julie Schweitzer. She's a psychologist at the MIND Institute at University of California Davis, and she's also a neuroscientist.
JULIANNE: That means she studies how brains work.
MOLLY BLOOM: Scientists have figured out that different parts of the brain are focused on doing different things.
JULIANNE: There are areas of your brain that are active when you're moving your body.
MOLLY BLOOM: Others when you're feeling strong emotions.
JULIANNE: Or doing homework.
MOLLY BLOOM: Dr. Schweitzer used special machines to look at the brains of people with ADHD, and she noticed something.
JULIE SCHWEITZER: We see that they're using brain regions less efficiently. They're bringing in other areas of the brain that typically may not be used to do the tasks that people are doing.
MOLLY BLOOM: This means, for example, when kids with ADHD are doing homework, they might be using more parts of their brains than kids who don't have ADHD. It's not efficient, so basically, they're doing more work than other kids.
JULIE SCHWEITZER: And so when children with ADHD feel like they're giving it their all, they probably are giving it their all. It's just that they have to work harder at it.
JULIANNE: So if it feels like my brain is working harder, it really is.
MOLLY BLOOM: Another thing Dr. Schweitzer noticed about kids with ADHD is that the parts of the brain that control movement--
JULIANNE: Like balancing, running, jumping, and dancing.
MOLLY BLOOM: --those parts are stronger than in the brains of kids without ADHD. But the prefrontal cortex--
JULIANNE: That's the part of the brain that takes in information and makes decisions.
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, it brings thoughts and actions together, making plans and keeping us focused. In brains with ADHD, the prefrontal cortex is less developed. Since brains are made up of so many different parts, the prefrontal cortex has a very important job. It makes sure all the different parts work in harmony.
JULIE SCHWEITZER: I think of it like a symphony, and you have to have these areas of the brain coming in together. Their timing is perfect, and they're just working together in concert.
JULIANNE: But in brains with ADHD--
JULIE SCHWEITZER: That symphony got off cue. Certain instruments started earlier, and other instruments are starting later, and so that's why the communication is not optimal.
MOLLY BLOOM: So let's imagine that different parts of your brain are different instruments, and your prefrontal cortex is like the conductor of your brain symphony. It's keeping all the parts of the symphony together. The part of your brain that keeps you focused is thrumming along.
Your critical thinking is helping you tackle that homework.
Your hand is grasping the pencil firmly and keeping pace with your thoughts.
The part of your brain that makes you feel good about getting stuff done is lighting up.
JULIANNE: Your brain symphony is keeping time, playing together in perfect harmony.
MOLLY BLOOM: But in a brain with ADHD, it might feel more like this.
Your prefrontal cortex conductor isn't cueing things at helpful times.
It feels hard to focus.
JULIANNE: And the part of your brain that moves your body is going strong and fast.
MOLLY BLOOM: But the part of your brain that's supposed to be thinking about your homework is having trouble keeping up.
And your brain is using other parts that it might not really need to do your homework.
JULIANNE: It feels noisy and hard to get stuff done.
MOLLY BLOOM: But it can be helpful sometimes too. Like for instance, it might let someone use their brain in a unique way. Maybe different parts are active, and it leads to unexpected solutions and a new kind of harmony.
Lots of people with ADHD are very creative, and it might be because of the different way they use their brains. Here's Julie again.
JULIE SCHWEITZER: That's why sometimes, I think you see creativity, and they find connections between things that others might not. And that's why I think when I've met some people with ADHD who are real innovators, that's-- they're having to use their brain differently. And that's where sometimes their creativity and innovation comes in, because they've had to do that.
MOLLY BLOOM: So Julianne, does any of this ring true to you, like feeling like maybe the different parts of the symphony aren't playing in harmony sometimes?
JULIANNE: Mhm, yes.
MOLLY BLOOM: So when you're doing a task that maybe is not your favorite and it's hard to focus, does it feel like you're working really hard?
JULIANNE: Yes. I feel like just like not doing it and just taking a break even though I know I shouldn't, because my teacher gives us like a time limit to finish the work. So then if you don't finish certain things, you just don't get marked on it.
MOLLY BLOOM: Does it feel-- does your brain-- when you're in those moments, does it feel noisy, or does it feel quiet? What is-- if you had to describe it sort of like music, what would it feel like to you?
JULIANNE: Many genres playing at the same time. So just making random noises.
MOLLY BLOOM: That's how we describe it with music. Is there another way you might describe how it feels like when your brain is working really hard?
JULIANNE: I start to panic kind of thing.
MOLLY BLOOM: You're like, this is hard. I don't feel good about this.
JULIANNE: Yeah, and then start to get frustrated.
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, but as we just heard, sometimes, this noise can turn into creative solutions and an ability to think outside the box. In just a few minutes, we're going to hear from someone who has ADHD and enormous creative superpowers, filmmaker Daniel Kwan. But first, it's time to tap into your listening powers. It's time for the--
(WHISPERING) Mystery sound.
Are you ready to hear the mystery sound?
MOLLY BLOOM: OK, here it is.
JULIANNE: I think it's a sewing machine--
MOLLY BLOOM: Ooh.
JULIANNE: --because my mom, she liked to sew things in her free time. So then I would sometimes go down to the basement and do stuff while my mom was sewing stuff, and I could hear the machine-- the needle, just like going up and down.
MOLLY BLOOM: That's a really good guess. Well, we're going to hear it again and hear the answer after the credits. So stick around.
We're working on an episode about why we're sometimes afraid of the dark, but the dark is also totally cool. So we want to know what do you love about the dark? Does it feel mysterious, exciting?
Do you like telling stories around a campfire? Are you a night owl? Do you think nocturnal animals like possums are awesome? Julianne, what do you love about the dark?
JULIANNE: I like the dark because that means I get to go to sleep because I like to-- because sometimes, after like a really long day, I want to go to bed. But I also like staying up late.
MOLLY BLOOM: So when you're tired, it means you get to go to bed, and when you're not tired, it means you get to stay up late. What is your favorite thing to do when you stay up late?
JULIANNE: Well, sometimes I grab my diary and write about what happened that day. Because usually when I can't fall asleep is when something exciting happened that day. And I like trying to find ways to fall asleep, so I just write it out because I'm too excited about it. Or something the next day is going to happen, which is super exciting.
MOLLY BLOOM: Nice. That's really great. So it's a good time for you to reflect on what happened during the day or get hyped up for the next day.
JULIANNE: Yeah, and also I think the animals that come out at night sometimes are kind of cute. My dad thinks that possums are gross, but I think they're kind of cute.
MOLLY BLOOM: I am afraid I agree with your dad, but I know a lot of people agree with you too. They are pretty cute from a distance-- from a far distance. Well, listeners, we want to hear from you.
Record yourself describing what you love about the dark, and send it to us at brainson.org/contact. While you're there, you can also send us mystery sounds, drawings, high fives, and questions.
JULIANNE: Like this one.
MILO: Hi, I'm Milo, and I'm from Stonington Connecticut, and my question is, is hyperdrive possible?
MOLLY BLOOM: You can find an answer to that question on our Moment of Um podcast. It's a daily dose of facts and curiosity you can find wherever you listen to Brains On. Again, that's brainson.org/contact.
JULIANNE: So keep listening.
You're listening to Brains On from APM Studios. I'm Julianne.
MOLLY BLOOM: And I'm Molly. And we're talking about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Just like all of our brains are unique, people with ADHD experience it in many different ways.
JULIANNE: Sometimes we might be dreamy, like we're off in our own world. Other times, we might be super fidgety. We asked some of our listeners to share what it's like for them to have ADHD. Here's what they had to say.
DOLAN: My name is Dolan, and I'm from Crossfield. I first learned I had ADHD last year. To help myself focus, I take deep breaths.
AMELIA: Hi, my name is Amelia, and I live in South Korea. I first learned I had ADHD when I was about 10 or 11. To help myself focus, I like to play with slime, sing, and play with fidget toys. ADHD makes my brain feel like a motor that's always on, making me really active.
NOAH: My name is Noah, and I'm from Middletown, Connecticut. When I first learned I had ADHD, I was 4. And I also take this pill that helps me focus. And ADHD makes my brain feel like the part that helps you focus is really rusty.
DAVIS: My name is Davis. I'm nine years old, and I'm from Lawrence Kansas. I first learned I had ADHD when I was in therapy at the age of five. To help myself focus, I take medicine. ADHD makes my brain feel like there's so much going on in my head that I can't focus. Also when I see something exciting, I can't stop thinking about it.
MOLLY BLOOM: Thanks to Dolan, Amelia, Noah, and Davis for sharing your experiences with us. Julianne, you talked with someone who learned he had ADHD really recently too, but he was an adult.
JULIANNE: Yeah, his name is Daniel Kwan, and he told me that when he was younger, it was really hard for him to focus sometimes.
DANIEL KWAN: I felt like there was just like one little thing that was invisible in me that was making everything harder.
JULIANNE: But as an adult, he came up with ways to manage his ADHD so he could do the work he loves, which is making movies.
MOLLY BLOOM: Right. Today, Daniel Kwan is famous for his work, including the Oscar winning movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once.
JULIANNE: Daniel and I talked over Zoom the other day.
How would you describe being inside your brain?
DANIEL KWAN: Wow, what a great question. I feel like that's something you should ask every guest on every podcast. Everyone's going to have a different answer.
The bad version of it is it feels like sometimes, I am not driving my own car, if that makes sense, or sometimes, there's 10 other hands holding it as well, and I'm not always the strongest hand, if that makes sense. Another thing that happens often is, yeah, you're constantly juggling 4 or five different stories in your head at the same time.
I see you're nodding. This is something that I had a really hard time in school with. And so I was always-- while I was in school, I always had to find two or three other things to kind of keep myself occupied. So I was always a doodler.
It sounds like if you're-- if you like to draw and if you like to paint, you probably are a doodler too. My notebooks are just covered in doodles. It almost feels like there's a couple of extra kids in my brain that I have to keep occupied just so they can sit down, which is why we fidget.
We like to-- I have-- I always have this-- this is a ball that spins in my hands. And I have a lot of fidget toys because in some ways, I need to keep my other parts of my brain activated so that they're not distracting the most important part of my brain that's doing the work that I actually want to do. And so a lot of times, I feel like I'm babysitting myself, if that makes sense.
And other times, when I'm in the zone and I am hyperfixated or hyperfocused-- so I'm a filmmaker, and one of the things that really gets me focused is editing. It almost feels like-- I don't know how to put it. It feels like I am flying. In my brain, it feels like I am just surfing on this wave.
And it's one of those rare moments in life where you feel like you're actually where you're supposed to be, and the whole world kind of disappears. So that's my long answer for what's in my brain. Well, how would you answer that question? It's such an interesting question, Julianne. If your friends ask you what it's like to be in your head, what does that look like?
JULIANNE: A million things that I won't do. Sometimes, when I'm doing a test, I will forget about the test sometimes and start doing something else. Sometimes, I'll doodle on my test work, which I shouldn't be doing, but I do it anyways.
DANIEL KWAN: Yeah, I used to doodle, especially in my Spanish high school classes. So yeah, you're not the first one to do that. And yeah, I think there's this forgetfulness sometimes, where you forget what you're doing and you forget where you are. It happens to me all the time.
JULIANNE: Did you have any moments as a kid where it felt like things were more difficult or frustrating than for other kids you knew?
DANIEL KWAN: Yeah, all the time. And the most frustrating thing about it was I couldn't put my finger on why. But even as a kid, I had this feeling. I was like, there's just one thing that's missing or some key that I need to unlock in my brain or something that would make everything different-- like, change everything. What are the things that get you really the most frustrated, or what are the things that you think you struggle with the most?
JULIANNE: The things that get me frustrated the most is probably when I have trouble doing something, and I keep trying again and again, and it doesn't work.
DANIEL KWAN: I hate that more than anything. I would would say that's pretty common. So yeah, that's really hard.
No matter how specific, and weird, and strange your experience might feel, there's someone out there who has felt the same exact thing as you, even if in this moment after diagnosis, you feel isolated, or you feel confused, or you feel like you don't really understand what you're going through. I do think that you should know that there are other people who are feeling exactly what you're feeling.
MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, Julianne, that is an amazing conversation you had. I really love how he described ADHD as feeling like he's trying to drive a car, but 10 other people are also trying to help him drive at the same time and it's hard for him to focus. I love that.
JULIANNE: Yeah, it's like what we were talking about earlier, how ADHD can feel really different for each person.
MOLLY BLOOM: ADHD affects all kinds of people-- kids and adults, people of all genders and backgrounds. So it makes sense that different people have different tools that work for them. You might use medicine or work with a therapist to develop tools and strategies to help you.
JULIANNE: And just like every person with ADHD has different experiences, you might have days where things are easier and days that are harder.
MOLLY BLOOM: Here's Dr. Julie Schweitzer again.
JULIE SCHWEITZER: There might be certain days where everything's going great, you're alert, you're able to follow all the instructions, you're getting your homework done on time. And other days, you just can't get with it. And your parents and teachers will say, I don't understand-- yesterday, things were going great. And you may feel yourself things were just going great yesterday-- I don't know what's happening today-- I just can't seem to get with it. And that's just the way people are with ADHD.
MOLLY BLOOM: Like we mentioned earlier, the brains of people with ADHD often have very strong motor skills. And many people with ADHD need to move their bodies either in big ways, like jumping around, or small ways like jiggling your foot. This can actually be a good thing.
JULIE SCHWEITZER: There's some good evidence now for physical activity enhancing productivity and so forth, and accuracy and people with ADHD. So maybe you need to take a break, your brain needs to take a break. And then maybe you can come back, and you can be more alert.
MOLLY BLOOM: So Julie says it's important for people who don't have ADHD to understand how ADHD can make you feel and act different from day to day, and how breaks and activity can help. And she says, if you don't have ADHD, think about how you can support your friends who do.
JULIE SCHWEITZER: If you can be more patient and understand where they're coming from, and have open discussions about ADHD and how that may affect them. And try to support them and help them look for ways to strategize. So what can you do as a friend if your friend is impulsive?
Are there ways that you can have a pact-- when you can think about it-- when your friend isn't impulsive to talk about, if we're in a situation where I'm under some peer pressure, what can I do to withstand that peer pressure? How are you going to back me up? Or if I'm in a situation where I really need to focus, and there's a lot of distraction, can we think about that, and how can we move ourselves maybe to go study someplace else.
MOLLY BLOOM: Julianne, what kinds of things have you found that your friends, or family, or teachers can do to support you?
JULIANNE: There used to be this like classroom for kids who had like learning disabilities, where they would go there for like-- to do like classes, or to use the space to do work because sometimes, it takes them a little longer.
JULIANNE: So I used to be able to go there.
MOLLY BLOOM: Is there anything special about that space?
JULIANNE: Yeah, because it's like a very quiet space for me to work. And sometimes, the teacher would like take me to the library and do my work-- like, help me with my work.
MOLLY BLOOM: Does that mean there's less distractions there?
MOLLY BLOOM: That's awesome. And it's important to ask for help when you need it, whether it's from teachers, parents, or friends. They want to support you, for sure.
JULIANNE: ADHD is a difference in your brain that can make it difficult to focus.
MOLLY BLOOM: People with ADHD might be restless and fidgety, or they might be quiet daydreamers. Either way, it can be hard for them to pay attention.
JULIANNE: Scientists think that genetics might have something to do with why some brains act this way.
MOLLY BLOOM: And it might have to do with the balance of chemicals in the brain, like dopamine.
JULIANNE: You probably have some friends with ADHD, or might even have ADHD yourself. If you're having trouble, there are ways to slow your brain down and help you focus.
MOLLY BLOOM: That's it for this episode of Brains On.
JULIANNE: This episode was produced by Molly [? Quinlan, ?] Rosie DuPont, Molly Bloom, Anna Goldfield, Aron Woldeslassie, Anna Weggel, Nico Gonzalez Wisler, Ruby Guthrie, and Marc Sanchez.
MOLLY BLOOM: Our editors are Sanden Totten and Shahla Farzan. Sound design by Rachel Brees, and we had engineering help from [? Lucien ?] [? Lauzon ?] and [? Josh ?] [? Savageau. ?] Beth Pearlman is our executive producer. The executives in charge of APM Studios are [? Chandra ?] [? Covatti, ?] Alex Schaffert, and Joanne Griffith. Special thanks to [? Steven ?] [? Farran, ?] [? Sarah ?] [? Shyet ?] [? Josh ?] [? Rudnick, ?] and [? Amy ?] [? Chan. ?]
JULIANNE: Brains On is a non-profit public radio program.
MOLLY BLOOM: There are lots of ways to support the show. Head to brainson.org.
JULIANNE: While you're there, you can send us mystery sounds, drawings, and questions.
MOLLY BLOOM: And you can subscribe to our Smarty Pass. It gives you a special ticket to Brains On universe, bonus content, and ad-free episodes.
Julianne, are you ready to listen to that mystery sound again?
MOLLY BLOOM: Yes! Let's hear it.
So last time, you were like, ah, sewing machine. Do you still feel that way? Do you have any other thoughts?
JULIANNE: I think it might be like a cricket--
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh.
JULIANNE: --because my mom also has that, and she uses it.
MOLLY BLOOM: What is a cricket?
JULIANNE: I don't know how to describe it.
MOLLY BLOOM: So it's not the insect we're talking about and it's not--
JULIANNE: Yeah, it's not an insect.
MOLLY BLOOM: --the sport we're talking about.
JULIANNE: Yeah, it's used for arts and crafts kind of thing.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, OK. I-- cricket-- yeah, so that's like a-- is it for cutting stuff?
JULIANNE: Yeah, you use your computer to make a design, and then it can draw it for you or like cut it out.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, cool.
JULIANNE: And then it comes with like this special paper.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, OK. Yes, yes, yes, I have seen these. So yeah, it's like an electric cutting machine.
MOLLY BLOOM: And you can use your computer to tell it what shape to do. So you can do pretty complex things.
MOLLY BLOOM: Cool, that's a great guess. And you've taught me something today, so thank you. Should we hear the answer?
MOLLY BLOOM: Here's the answer.
CALVIN: Hi, my name is Calvin, and that was the sound of my 3D printer printing a thing for my birthday party.
MOLLY BLOOM: Whoa. You were really close.
JULIANNE: Oh, yeah. I also don't know what a 3D printer sounds like either.
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, I've never heard one before, so now I've heard one. I'm learning a lot today. So I've learned what a 3D printer sounds like, and I learned about a cricket, which is kind of like a 2D printer in some ways, because like, you program a 3D printer-- you can program your cricket. You were very close. I'm giving you partial credit, for sure.
Now, it's time for the Brains Honor Roll. These are the incredible kids who keep the show going with their questions, ideas, mystery sounds, drawings, and high fives.
[LISTING HONOR ROLL]
We'll be back next week with more answers to your questions.
JULIANNE: Thanks for listening.
Transcription services provided by 3Play Media.