Topic: how things work

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What makes that fresh rain smell? MIT films rain drops to find out

Why do we smell that fresh earthy scent before and/or after it rains? With high-speed cameras, MIT researchers have filmed rain drops, and believe that the footage explains petrichor, the "pleasant smell that frequent...

The Ring of Truth: Two Hydrogen Atoms & One Oxygen Atom

Possibly the most well-known scientific formula on the planet, H2O is one of those terms that we see around all the time. We know that H2O means water, and that a water molecule is composed of two hydrogen (H) atoms &...

Design Ah! (デザインあ) introduces kids to design concepts

In 2011, Japan's NHK television network began broadcasting Design Ah!, a Peabody award-winning children's educational program that explores different types of creative thinking for viewers of all ages. With an "Ah" th...

Volcanic Eruptions 101: How It Happens

How do volcanos work? From explosive eruptions to creeping lava flows, this NYT video explains the anatomy of a volcano, and how the unseen underground variables can make it difficult to know how a volcano might behav...

Deep Look: The Fantastic Fur of Sea Otters

Sea otters are creatures who live in water that's far too cold for their bodies. There are other animals, like whales and sea lions, that are insulated from the cold by blubber, a layer of fat under their skin, but as...

TED Ed: The benefits of a good night’s sleep

Sleep to remember! Remember to sleep! This TED-Ed focuses on those of us who are studying for tests or staying up late for deadlines, but The Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep can also help younger kiddos understand wh...

Cambridge Ideas: The Sticky Feet of Ants & Cockroaches

Have you ever watched an ant walk up a wall? Have you seen one upside down on a ledge while carrying something? How do insect feet stick like that?! Get a very close look at the minuscule foot anatomy of ants and cock...

Science Take: The Hidden Complexities of the Simple Match

Schlieren flow visualizations illuminate a world of activity that we almost never pay attention to, even when we're causing it to happen. Simple things like breathing, sneezing, clapping hands, or just producing heat ...

Ocean sponges have incredible filtering power

Ocean sponges are fascinating multi-cellular animals that don't walk or swim. They eat by filter-feeding, straining the water around them to capture organic debris particles and microscopic life forms. How powerfu...

Stay In Queue (2006): A lesson about staying in line

From Ferdinand Lutz, music by Dominik Mueller, this is STAY IN QUEUE (2006), which has also become a classic gif. Watch more animated videos about humor, bears, and perception.

Dead stuff: The secret ingredient in our food chain

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nouri...

Physics Girl: How to make a Crazy Pool Vortex

Have a plate, a pool, and some food coloring? In this experiment, Physics Girl Dianna Cowern makes strange black circles form by briefly dragging a plate through the pool. On a sunny day in still water, those black ci...

How do wounds heal & how do scars form?

What happens when we get cut and bleed? How does skin scab over and heal? And why does skin scar? These two new vocabulary-filled TED-Eds from Sarthak Sinha get deep under our skin to give us a better understanding of...

Astronauts grow a water bubble in microgravity on ISS

Observing water in space is not only fascinating, but it clearly looks fun! Watch NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman, and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst create a floating bubble of water o...

The Hammer-Feather Drop in the world’s biggest vacuum chamber

...though in this case, "the hammer" is a bowling ball. In this excellent clip from the BBC's Human Universe: Episode 4, Professor Brian Cox visits NASA’s Space Power Facility in Ohio, home of the world's biggest vacu...

Luxo Jr. Pencil Test: Emotional storytelling in wire frames

How do animators make a character lovable when the character doesn't have a face and doesn't speak? How can you build a relatable story with something as minimal as a computer generated pencil test? How do you communi...

Straightening teeth with dental braces: An 18 month time lapse

The impact of getting braces has never been as evident as in this 18 month orthodontic time lapse of an 11 year old girl and the alignment of her teeth. Ready... set... straighten! Today's Orthodontics: See what brace...

To the Scientists of the Future: Materials science with EUPHRATES

Created by EUPHRATES and Masahiko Sato for Japan's National Institute for Material Science (NIMS), these three "To the Scientists of the Future" short films are a mesmerizing combination of materials research innovati...

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