Topic: how things work

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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...

How playing an instrument benefits your brain – TED Ed

Your brain is a muscle. When you give it more challenging exercises, you're strengthening your brain's abilities to learn and grow. Now add some music to the mix: When you listen to music, multiple areas of your b...

How to practice effectively…for just about anything

Mastering any physical skill takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. But what does practice actually do to m...

How do wind turbines work?

From NOVA PBS, an explanation of how wind turbines work, what challenges wind power faces, and why this renewable energy source is important. With charts! More vids with wind turbines are in the archives.

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...

The most amazing thing about domino chain reactions

A domino can knock over the next domino at about 1.5x larger (perhaps 2x larger) and this instant video classic from 2009 is a great example of this chain reaction. Watch University of Toronto’s Professor Steph...

You Are Your Microbes – TED Ed

Every gut microbe has a job to do. Find out who these millions of different microbes are and what their jobs are within the ecosystem that is you, from the wonderful TEDEd: You Are Your Micro...

How does the heart pump blood? – TED Ed

"For most of history, humans had no idea what purpose the heart served... although everyone could feel their own heart beating, it wasn't always clear what each thump was achieving... Even in the 21st century, only a ...

How to make fizzy bottle rockets – ExpeRimental

This ExpeRimental episode from The Royal Institution is full of super explosive fun. Danielle and Michael show a group of kids how to make fizzy bottle rockets with some small, sports-capped plastic bottles, some Alka...

Debunking the “I will never need to use this…” myth

If you've ever heard the phrase, "I will never need to use this ever again," regarding a theorem of mathematics, or a scientific law, or a fact from the history of a far corner of the planet, consider this from astrop...

Exploding plants disperse their seeds with high pressure bursts

Violets, poisonous squirting cucumbers, and touch-me-nots or Impatiens capensis (not to be confused with these touch-me-nots) have an effective way of dispersing their seeds: They burst! The forceful ejection sends th...

The Pythagorean theorem water demo

The Pythagorean theorem water demo: See the two smaller squares of water on the two shorter sides of a right triangle pour perfectly and equally into the area of the larger square on the longer side, known as the hypo...

Male Blue Manakins wait in line to impress a female

Taking turns with other suitors, male Blue Manakins seem to wait in a relatively polite line before briefly but repeatedly trying to impress their potential mate. Almost blending into the trees with her green feath...

Newton’s Three Laws of Motion

Follow four astronauts on a six month journey from Earth to Mars, and see how Newton’s Three Laws of Motion -- 'Newton' referring to English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton -- can help us understand and p...

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

Update 2018: The video has been blocked by NHK. See another Design Ah! video below, or see screenshots of the original video at tha.jp. In 2011, Japan's NHK television network began broadcasting Design Ah!, a Peabo...

Spiders Tune Their Webs Like A Guitar

Much more than just a net to catch prey, spider webs can transmit lots of information about what has been caught or what might be visiting. Oxford researchers have recently discovered that the strands of silk vibrate ...

What is a constellation? – Crash Course Kids

A constellation is a cluster of stars that create an imaginary shape... a celestial connect-the-dots. In a sky full of millions of stars, these connections between the brightest objects helps astronomers, storytellers...

The Stacked Ball Drop (and Supernovas) – Physics Girl

How is a supernova like a basketball, a bouncy ball, and a golf ball all stacked together? It's all in what happens when you drop them. In this video, Physics Girl Dianna Cowern demonstrates the momentum transfer betw...

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