About

Welcome to Brains On! We’re an American Public Media award-winning science podcast for kids and curious adults.

Each week, a different kid co-host joins Brains On! Host Molly Bloom to ask fascinating questions about science - like why cats purr or why humans sneeze - and then go wherever the answers take them. Sometimes that means putting on plays about sound waves, interviewing snake handlers, or writing songs about sleep.

At Brains On, our mission is to encourage kids’ natural curiosity and wonder about the world. There is no age limit on curiosity and episodes of Brains On can be enjoyed by kids and parents alike.

Brains On! is supported in part by the National Science Foundation, where discoveries begin.

Looking for a good place to start? Check out the episodes below for the best Brains On episodes:


Books: How they’re made and how your brain reads them

Books are magical objects, capable of transporting us to different places, times and to worlds that only exist in an author’s imagination. This episode looks at the amazing feats that go into making and interpreting these texts.


Fire vs. Lasers

Fire and lasers are both super cool — but which is COOLER? That’s the tricky question being debated by producers Marc Sanchez and Sanden Totten in this episode. If you like this epic match-up, we also suggest checking out Deep Sea vs. Outer Space and Bridges vs. Tunnels.


Cats: Glowing eyes, puffy tails and secret purrs

Cats always seem a little bit mysterious, right? In this episode we try to get to the bottom of some of their
behaviors. And if you’re a dog lover, you might want to check out this episode about their super noses.


Mystery Sound Extravaganza

A fan favorite, mystery sounds are a feature of every Brains On episode. Most episodes have one or sometimes two. But this episode is 100 percent mystery sounds, most of them recorded and revealed by our kid listeners. If you’re looking for some friendly competition, you can even keep score and see how many you guess right!


Fart Smarts: Understanding the gas we pass

This episode tackles many listener questions about farts including: Is farting good for us? Where do farts come from? Why do only some make sounds? And what’s up with the smell? And if this episode isn’t enough flatulent goodness for you, we also did a follow-up episode all about animal farts.


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About our hosts!

Molly Bloom is the host of Brains On! She loves finding out about the way things work — whether it’s a glass factory or our brains or molecular bonds. She likes playing piano, sings in a choir and wishes that people would break into song and dance like they do in the musicals that she loves. She was always the shortest one in her class and has worn glasses since the third grade.

Marc Sanchez is a Brains On! producer. He gets a kick out of music, technology, and writing. If he’s not playing drums or concocting noises for Brains On!, you might see him in ridiculous, day-glo clothing, running around the lakes and rivers of Minnesota or scouring the city in search of the world’s best burrito. You have his permission to sneak up behind him and scream, “Brains On!” if you ever see him in a taqueria.

Sanden Totten writes and reports for Brains On! His favorite subjects are obviously dinosaurs and space, but he really enjoys studying the brain and the environment too. He has a rad collection of comic books, he can jump a curb on a skate board and his favorite food is sushi. If you see him around, say hi and ask for a high five.