Podcasts for Students in Science
For students with an interest in science, the Internet is bursting with good podcast content that balances entertainment with informative value. Here are a few science podcasts among the many high-quality sources available.

  • Ted Talks ( http://www.ted.com”) are easily the foremost in science podcasts. Ted.com features several videos per week from worldwide leaders in science. From the jaw-dropping to the heartwarming, science videos run the full gamut of personal impact that science can provide. Ted talks are a powerful tool for teaching high school and college students to love science in the way that many scientists do. Biology, astronomy, chemistry, sociology, ecology, and technology are all covered by experts in their fields. Runtime is usually fifteen to thirty minutes per talk.

  • The Naked Scientists http://www.thenakedscientists.com/ is a weekly, hour-long broadcast from researchers and physicians at Cambridge University in the east of England. Interviewees are usually renowned scientists from the international science community. The “Kitchen Science” segment of each show, an experiment that listeners can perform at home, has always been a big fan favorite. The cast is enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

  • Slacker Astronomy http://www.learnoutloud.com/Podcast-Directory/Science/Astronomy/Slacker-Astronomy-Podcast/5345#plink is an astronomy show for the college and high school crowd. The laid-back attitude of the cast and use of simpler terminology may be just what some are looking for in a science podcast. Each podcast has a topic that is explored thoroughly in clear terms in about ten minutes. Slacker Astronomy is a good way to have a laugh and learn some astronomy at the same time.

  • The Science Show http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/ hosted by Robyn Williams of Australia’s Radio National, is a science feature that is broadcast over Australia’s airwaves once a week. Mr. Williams is well-educated and asks incisive questions of his interviewees in this hour-long program. Guests are experts in their fields, which cover a similar range to those of the Ted Talks above. The content of this program is appropriate for middle school to college students.

  • Radiolab ( http://www.radiolab.org/series/podcasts/ ) is a rapid-fire combination of entertainment and science. The laid-back style of the show can be a refreshing break from the drier stuff of interviews and monologues that are often found in other science podcasts. The show is of broadcast quality; it runs on many public radio stations across the US. Appropriate for middle school to college students, a bit of banter goes a long way to keep the mood light and the information flowing. Hosts Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad are often charming and always insightful. The runtime is one hour each week.

  • The Wild Classroom ( http://www.thewildclassroom.com/ ) is a video podcast for young students in the elementary to middle school range. Some videos are shot on location in the wild places of the world. The editing and production values reflect a fair budget for the target audience. Biology, ecology, and conservation are at the central focus of the cast and crew’s mission of education.

Many more podcasts are available online, often with focus on specific science sectors and interests. From the elementary level to college, students everywhere are getting better science education every day.

Photo Credit:Patrick Breitenbach

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