Topic: how things work

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How do batteries work?

If you've ever used a flashlight, or changed the channel with a remote control, if you've ever recharged your electric car, or if you're reading this on a smart device, then you know how useful batteries can be. But h...

Explore wastewater treatment with LeVar Burton & Reading Rainbow

How do we use technology to turn human waste into water that we can drink? This Reading Rainbow field trip is an excellent introduction to how we use bacteria, solar power, oxygen, gravity, chlorine, and more to reuse...

Anodizing Titanium – “The Rainbow Metal”

Titanium is nicknamed "The Rainbow Metal" in some jeweler circles because it can be anodized in an electrolyte solution to produce a variety of colors. The colors are created by passing electricity through it to produ...

How To Stop Yourself Being Ticklish – with Dr Emily Grossman

Why do we feel ticklish? Why does it make us laugh? It’s hard to pin down a scientific definition – or explanation – of tickling. It’s a complex phenomenon, involving a range of sensory and neurological elements, whic...

Emoji Science with Bill Nye the Science Guy

Have you ever found an idea in science to be confusing and said, "I wish I had some emoji around to help make this information more clear." Well, look no further because Bill Nye the Science Guy has teamed up with GE ...

The Four Spheres (Geo, Bio, Hydro, & Atmo) with Crash Course Kids

The ground or geo-sphere, water or hydro-sphere, air or atmo-sphere, and life or bio-sphere: Earth and everything on it can be organized into these four distinct yet interconnected subsystems. Knowing more about each ...

The science of static electricity – TED Ed

What is static electricity? Why do we get a tiny spark when we've walked across a carpet and touched a doorknob? Or have you ever pet a cat and then picked up something metal, like a spoon to stir up cat food? Zap! (A...

Stanford’s MicroTug robot can pull 2,000x its weight on glass

Inspired by the incredible sticking power in ant feet and gecko toes, researchers at Stanford's Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Lab have developed directional adhesives that help this 12-gram µTug (MicroTug) rob...

Emperor Penguins Speed Launch Out of the Water

We've seen a video of penguins rocketing out of the water as if powered by jets, but we've never seen it happen from underwater... until now. In this National Geographic clip, photographer Paul Nicklen captures how th...

ScienceTake: How the Octopus Moves

How do you move from here to there when you have eight long, flexible legs that radiate out from your head? After analyzing recordings of how an octopus moves, three Israeli researchers have determined something prett...

What Happens When You Put a Hummingbird in a Wind Tunnel?

Most hummingbirds weight less than a nickel. Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any warm-blooded animal. They are the only birds that can fly sideways and backwards. They hover expertly, too. These are just s...

Chameleon Tongue Attack in Slow Motion – Earth Unplugged

Chameleons are fascinating creatures for so many reasons: Their eye sight provides them with 360 degree vision, they can change color based on their moods and social needs, and their tongues are fast and powerful for ...

Slime Cannon Attack – How Velvet Worm slime jets work

Giant velvet worms (Peripatus solorzanoi) are unusual creatures for many reasons -- including the fact that they are "not worms, not insects, millipedes, centipedes, or slugs" -- but their super-sliming glands, rapidl...

The One Year Mission in Space: Kelly & Kornienko arrive on ISS

On March 27, 2015, American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko took off for the International Space Station in the Soyuz spacecraft for a historic One Year Mission, twice the length of an av...

Cal Academy: Trogloraptors & How Science Works

In 2010, some amateur cave explorers discovered a relatively large six-eyed, hook-legged, orangey-brown spider in a Southern Oregon cave. In 2012, the spider was named Trogloraptor marchingtoni or Trogloraptor (which ...

The science of solar eclipses: How do solar & lunar eclipses work?

How do solar & lunar eclipses work? And why don't we get eclipses every month? This Vox explainer is packed full of really interesting information about the remarkable science of solar eclipses. Find out how 5.1 d...

Fig. 1: How Much Sugar Are You Really Eating?

The average American eats 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) of sugar every day... that's around 66 pounds of sugar every year for each person. How are we consuming that amount? From Fig. 1 by University of California, learn m...

ScienceTake: The Praying Mantis Leaps

In this ScienceTake from The New York Times, we watch a young praying mantis leap over and over and over again... a completely fascinating, rather cartoon-like action that can be super-useful for scientists and engin...

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