Topic: how things work

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Earth’s Hydrosphere and Geosphere + Weathering and Erosion

How do the geosphere and hydrosphere interact and work together? How do water and dirt work together to support life on Earth? In this episode of Crash Course Kids, Sabrina Cruz explains how rain, waterfalls, rivers, ...

What’s the dirtiest place in your home?

Think of the dust, the hidden ants and spiders, or the potential molds, fungi, and bacteria that can be in any household. Is the dirtiest place in your home under your bed? On doorknobs? In the dishwashing sponge? In ...

Mental Logs number sticks, a math magic trick

Ask someone to mix these Mental Logs number sticks up in any combination. Can you figure out the total in your head more quickly than they can add the numbers on a calculator? Yes. In fact, you can probably tell them ...

Soil 101

What is soil made of? Why is it important? And how can we nurture soil for the benefit of humans and our ecosystems? Learn about soil with the help of Soil 101, a 2015 animation from the Food and Agriculture Organizat...

Imaginary Friend Society, animations for kids facing cancer

Cancer can be a frightening and confusing topic at any age. How do you start to explain cancer to a child who's facing it? The Imaginary Friend Society, created by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, is a series of ...

Why is water one of the weirdest things in the universe?

Every molecule of water on the Earth and inside you or any other living thing has existed for billions of years. After it came to Earth, that water has been cycling through rocks, air, animals, plants, and back again....

Why do geese fly in V formation?

Why do geese fly in a V formation? In this episode of World By Charlie, our friend Charlie Engelman observes some origami geese to better understand how the vortices of air behind their wings shape their signature V-f...

How to make a self-starting siphon

To move liquid from one container to another, you may need a siphon, a bent tube with one end that's lower than the first. Suction is one way to get the liquid moving through it, but if you don't have a pump and you d...

This humidity-powered seed drills itself into the ground

Powered by changes in humidity—curling when dry and straightening when wet—this Erodium cicutarium seed (or more specifically, an achene) will bury itself by slowly drilling into the ground. This time lapse video by p...

Travel deep inside a redwood tree leaf

Travel down into a small flat redwood tree leaf through a stoma, a tiny opening in its surface. This animation from the California Academy of Sciences takes us on a scientifically accurate journey into a palisade cell...

Percussion instruments: Eleven demonstrations

Spend 17 minutes with 11 instruments found in the percussion section of an orchestra. This thoughtful percussion instruments video from London's Philharmonia Orchestra is chock-full of short, fascinating demonstration...

Shattering glass with the World’s Largest Horn

How do horns amplify sound? Why are they flared at the ends? And how do airhorns work? Mark Rober wanted to find out so he spent eight months building a massive air horn... perhaps the world's largest horn. In this...

What’s the right way to wash your hands?

Handwashing is an easy and effective way to avoid catching the common cold or a seasonal flu. But not using enough soap or washing your hands too quickly might not get rid of all of the germs—bacteria, viruses, fungi,...

How do our eyes and brains work together?

How does an eye work? How do our brains try to interpret the information our eyes send them? And is seeing really believing? This episode of National Geographic's Decoder explains how our eyes and brains work together...

How far would you have to go to escape gravity?

Every star, black hole, human being, smartphone and atom are all constantly pulling on each other due to one force: gravity. So why don’t we feel pulled in billions of different directions? And is there anywhere in th...

How do roller coasters affect your body?

In 1895, crowds flooded Coney Island to see America’s first-ever looping coaster: the Flip Flap Railway. But its thrilling flip caused cases of severe whiplash, neck injury and even ejections. Today, coasters can pull...

The ‘magic’ of invisibility lenses

Using lenses to bend light, YouTuber Brusspup makes a ruler, a knife, a spoon, a hand, and a laser completely disappear from view. Invisibility lenses create the illusion, an optical trick based on The Rochester Cloak...

Can we get solar power to everyone who wants it?

By the end of 2016, the US was home to over 1 million household and commercial solar energy operations, with 4 times as many solar panels installed that year compared to just four years earlier. But if you don’t own t...

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