April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse!

A solar eclipse will be visible over parts of North and South America on, Monday, April 8th, 2024! This will be a total solar eclipse in the path of totality of the U.S. Learn more by visiting NASA’s eclipse website: science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2024 If you want to watch an eclipse, make sure to use appropriate eye protection (linked to NASA Safety …

Episode 168: All About the Total Solar Eclipse – How To Watch and More!

On April 8th, 2024 (tomorrow!), a total solar eclipse will be visible over North America and parts of the United States. But, what is the science of solar eclipses, how do they happen, and how can people view them safely? In this special episode, I will be exploring the science of solar eclipses and how …

Episode 167: Flying High Airplane Science! With Mr. Jonel Murray from Delta

Ever wondered how airplanes soar in the skies? What science goes into building and most importantly, maintaining aircraft? In this episode, I will be speaking with Mr. Jonel Murray, an aircraft mechanic and A220 Instructor/Developer from Delta Air Lines. Mr. Murray knows a lot about how airplanes work, how they are maintained, and how teamwork …

Episode 166: Sugarcane Waste to Sugarcrete! With Ms. Oluchukwu Okonkwo

Over 2 billion tons of sugarcane is produced around the world. When it is processed, waste is generated. This waste sits there or gets burned, polluting the environment. But, scientists at University of East London have figured out a way to turn the waste into Sugarcrete, construction materials made of sugarcane. In this episode, I …

Episode 160: Why Do We Get Goosebumps?

Whether you’re scared or cold, you get goosebumps. Why do we get goosebumps and what is the science behind them? Were they actually useful to our ancestors thousands of years ago? In this episode, I will uncover the science of goosebumps and why they happen! Here is an article! It is called “What Are Vestigial Features?” …

Evolution Souvenir Scavenger Hunt! Activity

Materials: Directions: Time to look for evolution souvenirs! These are traits that are left over from previous ancestors due to evolution. They are also known as vestigial features. These vestigial traits are hidden in the human body and even in other animals! Your job is to go on a scavenger hunt and find out these …

What Are Vestigial Features?

Vestigial features are traits and characteristics leftover from evolution that are not useful for survival. Vestigial features are usually not important for the survival of the present-day animal, but may have been important for the ancestors of the animal. These features are left over due to evolution and will still be found in present day organisms. Over …

Episode 159: What Are Gravitational Waves? With Dr. Zoheyr Doctor

What are gravitational waves? It is hard to wrap your head around something that bends the fabric of space-time itself! How are gravitational waves formed and how are they detected? In this episode, I will be speaking with Dr. Zoheyr Doctor to break down this amazing space science for us. Dr. Doctor is an astrophysicist …

Episode 157: Why Are Earthquakes So Hard To Predict? With Dr. Ramon Arrowsmith

Earthquakes are groundbreaking natural phenomena. What are earthquakes, how do they form, and why are they so hard to predict? In this episode, I will be talking to Dr. Ramon Arrowsmith to learn more about earthquakes and answer these questions. Dr. Arrowsmith studies earthquakes and fault lines at Arizona State University. Do you have science …

Episode 155: How Can We Build Wildfire Resilient Houses? With Dr. Michele Barbato

Wildfires are very destructive events that can wipe out homes and communities. How can we build houses that are able to withstand nature’s fiery forces? The answer lies beneath our feet! In this episode, I speak with Dr. Michele Barbato to take a closer look at the fire-resilient materials he is working on at University …

Episode 154: What If Volcanoes Didn’t Exist? With Dr. Amanda Clarke

Volcanoes! Lava, rocks, ash, and dust! Volcanoes are some of the most mind-blowing natural phenomena in the world, and are destructive forces that shape our planet. But, what if volcanoes didn’t exist? How would our lives be like on Earth without volcanoes? In this episode, I will answer this question with the help of Dr. …

Tsunami Poster!

Materials: Directions: Make a poster educating people about tsunamis and how they are formed. Make your poster colorful and appealing! Some of my favorite posters might be featured on this website! Have an adult help you to send me pictures of your poster by emailing me at Use the Spectacular Science episode to help you!

Why There Are Seasons Worksheet!

Materials: Spectacular Science Why There Are Seasons Worksheet (Click here!) Directions: Print the worksheet out (only page 1) and fill in the blanks. Check your answers with the answer key on the next page. Use the video about why days get shorter in the winter (located below) to help fill in the answers easier.

Episode 149: Halloween Special! – “Mummified” Plants!? All About Plant Fossils

Mummified plants? Sounds crazy and spooky, right? In this Halloween special episode, I take you behind the science of plant mummys, also known as plant fossils. We will learn how plant fossils are formed, how they are preserved, and what scientists do with them now. Here is an article! It is called “How Plant Fossils …

Episode 148: What if Black Holes Didn’t Exist? With Dr. Christopher Carroll

Black holes! They’re mysterious objects in space. When things go in them, they never come back. In this episode, with the help of Dr. Christopher Carroll, I am answering a burning questions about black holes: what if they didn’t even exist? Dr. Carroll studies black holes at Washington State University and knows a lot about …

Episode 147: All About Gorillas! With Ms. Rhiannon Schultz

Gorillas! They’re amazing animals! This episode features amazing questions sent in by a few of my listeners! We will all learn more about gorillas with the help of Ms. Rhiannon Schultz. Ms. Schultz is a gorilla researcher at the University of Georgia and knows a lot about the kings of jungles. Learn more about Ms. …

Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse! 2023

The “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse was earlier today! Check out yesterday’s post for more information. I watched the eclipse from where I live (with solar viewing glasses, of course). I couldn’t see the entire eclipse since I wasn’t in the path of it. It was truly a spectacular event! My question about solar …

Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse Tomorrow!

A solar eclipse will be visible over parts of North and South America tomorrow, Saturday October 14th! This will be a partial solar eclipse in many areas of the U.S. Learn more by visiting NASA’s eclipse website: https://science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2023/ If you want to watch an eclipse, make sure to use appropriate eye protection (linked to NASA …

Find a Maple Tree Activity!

Materials: Directions: Time to hunt for maple trees! Be like a scientists a use clues to find maple trees. Scientists in the field use reference pictures. See some of the reference pictures below. Look for the pattern of the leaves to identify a maple. This is a fun scavenger hunt-like activity! Have fun!

Episode 144: What Makes Diamonds So Strong?

You’ve probably heard that diamonds are the strongest material naturally found on Earth. What makes diamonds so strong? In this episode, I will take you into the science of diamonds, how they form, and how all that plays a role in why diamonds are considered the strongest natural material in the world! Here is an …

Episode 143: How We’re All Made of Stardust!

We’re all made of stardust! It seems mind-blowing or even unreal, but everything on Earth is made out of materials that were originally in stars. In this episode, I will uncover how we’re actually made of stars and some amazing facts about our early universe. Here is an article! It is called “What is a …

Episode 142: What if Coral Reefs Disappeared? With Dr. Emma Camp

What if all coral reefs on Earth suddenly disappeared? How would the Earth react? What problems would that create? In this episode, I talk to Dr. Emma Camp, a marine biologist at University of Technology Sydney, about this mind-boggling question and to tell us more about the harsh future of coral reefs. Dr. Camp is …

Episode 141: What are Shooting Stars?

You’ve probably heard the saying “wish on a shooting star”. What exactly are shooting stars? Hint! They might not be actual stars. In this episode, I will talk more about shooting stars and what they really are. Here is an article! It is called “What Causes Meteor Showers”. (https://spectacularsci.com/2022/06/what-causes-meteor-showers/) Here is an activity! It is …

Episode 140: Why is There a Hurricane Season?

Why is there a specific hurricane season, especially in North America? Why don’t hurricanes come at all times of the year? I will explore the science and wonders of hurricanes, such as Hurricane Idalia and answer some of these mind-boggling questions in this episode.. Here is an article! It is called “How Do Hurricanes Form?” …

Episode 137: Biomes – Part 1 – What Are Biomes?

Welcome to this 3 part series about biomes! Biomes are different areas of Earth that have different temperatures and are home to unique types of life! In this series, Akshay will be covering the science behind biomes and the different types of biomes on Earth! In part 1, Akshay will be introducing you to biomes …

Episode 136: Physical and Chemical Changes!

Physical and chemical changes are all around you! But, what are these changes, and what are some real-world examples of them? What’s the difference between physical and chemical changes? In this episode, Akshay talks about the science behind physical and chemical changes and why it is so important for our world. Here is an article! …

New Spectacular Science Fun Fact Generator!

Introducing… the all new Spectacular Science Fun Fact Generator! I have collected many science facts over the years and have put them on this fact generator website so you can experience the feelings of awe and wonder we get while looking at these mind-blowing facts! Visit facts.spectacularsci.com to check it out and generate awe-inspiring science …

Episode 135: Your Body’s Clock! Circadian Rhythm with Dr. Erin Gibson

Do you know what controls your sleep cycle, hunger, and even changes in body temperature? Circadian rhythm does! Circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock and controls when certain things happen in your body. How does circadian rhythm work and why is it important? In this episode, Akshay wonders about circadian rhythm after waking up …

Episode 134: What Is LiDAR and How Does It Work? – With Mr. Jack Wood

LiDAR is a type of technology that uses light to scan areas and to build a computer model of real-world places. LiDAR is now being used for many things, such as self-driving cars and even on smartphones. What really is LiDAR and how does it work? What does the future of LiDAR look like? In …

Episode 132: All About Artificial Selection! With Dr. Ian Dworkin

Have you ever wondered how there are so many breeds of dogs in the world. Or, have you wondered why there are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables. It’s all thanks to artificial selection and selective breeding! Akshay visits the animal shelter in search of a new pet, and sees all of these hundreds …

Episode 131: What’s The Deal With Microplastics? Why They Are Harmful To Earth

What’s the big deal with microplastics? What is microplastic and why is it harmful to the environment, especially animals? In this episode, Akshay tries to relax on the beach, but can’t because of all the plastic on the beach! He gets curious about microplastics and learns more about them. In this episode, we will learn …

Episode 129: For Crying Out Loud! Why Onions Make Us Cry

You’re in the kitchen chopping onions, then suddenly, you start crying! No, it’s not because you are hurt but is because of the onion. Why do onions make us cry? In this episode, Akshay is making his signature Soup of Imagination in his kitchen. He starts chopping onions for his soup and starts crying! In …

Episode 128: Shark Talk! All About Sharks With Ms. Melissa Cristina Márquez

Sharks! They’re one of the most mysterious, misunderstood, and amazing creatures on Earth! Have you ever wondered about sharks and what it is like when diving with them? Akshay wants to learn more about sharks, so he talks to Ms. Melissa Cristina Márquez, a shark researcher and explorer. Akshay builds a new imaginary submarine and …

Episode 127: Where’d You Go? All About Chameleons!

Now you see me, now you don’t! Chameleons are able to camouflage into their surroundings. But, how do they do this and is how they change dependent upon their surroundings? In this episode, Akshay goes out exploring in the woods and finds chameleons everywhere, even though he can’t see some of them! Learn about chameleons …

Episode 126: Survival of the Fittest! Evolution with Dr. William Ratcliff

Have you ever wondered how humans originated from apes or why birds look different based on their environments? Evolution and natural selection are the answers to those questions! What is evolution and natural selection? How does it work? Akshay wonders about this on his trip to the zoo, so he talks to Dr. William Ratcliff, …

Episode 125: Glow Up! How Do Creatures Make Light?

Many creatures such as fireflies, mushrooms, fish, worms, and microscopic sea animals make light. They have this amazing superpower that lights up their surroundings. How do they make light? Akshay wonders the same thing while watching fireflies in his backyard! In this episode, we are going to take a deep dive into the science of …

Episode 123: Pollinators vs. Climate Change! With Dr. Samuel Myers

Pollinators are all around us! They help us humans get food and crops and also help the ecosystem stay in balance. But, we have a problem! Climate change! Climate change is impacting pollinators and the ecosystem as well. Akshay is curious about this and meets Dr. Samuel Myers at a bee farm! Dr. Myers is …

What Causes The Smell Of Mown Grass?

You probably know the smell of freshly-mown grass. It is a very strong smell and, for some people, is relaxing. This smell comes from the cut grass and is made up of lots of chemicals that plants make. But, that soothing and very strong smell is actually a plant distress call!! Plants don’t have a …

Episode 122: The Toughest Animal On Earth! Microscopic Tardigrades

What is the toughest animal on Earth? You may think that it is the cheetah or the blue whale, but your have to think small! Very small, even microscopic. The tardigrade is a microorganism that can survive in extreme environments, even space! How can they do this? In this episode, Akshay takes you on a …

Episode 118: Concrete! How It’s Made and Why It’s Important

Concrete is all around you! The sidewalks, roads, houses, and even skyscrapers! It plays a huge role in your everyday life. But, how is concrete made and how is it used? In this episode, Akshay takes you into a deep dive into the science of concrete! Sign up for the free Spectacular Science Membership where …

How Does Snow Happen?

The white, powdery precipitation called snow is a winter’s delight! It falls from the sky as snowflakes. One condition is the temperature. It has to be below freezing or below 32°F or 0°C. This freezing temperature makes the water in the atmosphere freeze and turn into snowflakes! The other condition is atmospheric lift. This is …

Episode 117: Hummingbirds! Small Birds With Flight Superpowers

Hummingbirds are small birds, but they are the masters of flight. These tiny birds have adapted special ways for them to fly fast and in different directions quickly. In this episode, Akshay explores the science of hummingbirds and how they have specially adapted wings that help them fly fast and even backwards! Sign up for …

Episode 114: Auroras! The Greatest Light Show on Earth

Auroras! They are known as the “greatest light show on Earth”. These natural colored light shows happen near the North and South pole. But, how do these spectacular events happen and what is the science behind that? In this episode, Akshay takes you on a deep dive into the science of auroras. Sign up for …

What Are Meteor Showers and How Do They Happen?

Meteors are small bits of rock that enter Earth’s atmosphere and sometimes land on the ground. Meteors are also known as “shooting stars”. Meteor showers are caused by comets. Comets are giant balls of rocks and ice that orbit a star. They are made up of 3 main parts: the nucleus, the coma, and the …

Episode 113: Making Oxygen on Mars! All About MOXIE with Mr. Shravan Hariharan

There is no Oxygen on Mars. The thin Martian atmosphere is only made out of Carbon dioxide. How will we send humans and rockets to space without the Oxygen that they need? MOXIE, a machine aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover helps with that! This amazing technology turns Carbon dioxide into Oxygen and is working …

Rate The Lunar Eclipse That Is Coming Up! November 8th, 2022

Get ready, because tonight, a total lunar eclipse is visible over the United States! Check out our post about lunar eclipses to refresh yourself. While you’re watching the lunar eclipse, use our worksheet, Rate a Lunar Eclipse, to use the Danjon Scale to rate what color the Moon is an how bright it is! Spectacular …

What Is Cellular Respiration?

Cellular respiration is the set of chemical reactions that break down glucose from our food into ATP or andosine triphosphate. The ATP is energy for the body. Cellular respiration requires Oxygen and glucose to start the cycle. Cellular respiration takes place in the mitochondria or “powerhouse” of the cells. They take in the Oxygen and …

Episode 109: The Carbon Cycle! From The Earth To Living Things

Carbon is the building block of all living things, even you! But, have you ever wondered about how the carbon got to you and how the carbon is spread out around Earth? It’s all thanks to the Carbon cycle, a giant cycle which the Carbon on Earth goes through to get recycled and reused by …

Happy International Podcast Day!

Happy International Podcast Day! On September 30th, 2022, we recognize podcasts and podcasters of their work and spreading their stories with the world. I am so happy that my podcast has gotten so far and I really want to thank you, my listeners! My mission when starting this podcast was to spread the spectacular things …

How Do Hurricanes Form Over The Ocean?

Hurricanes are a group of storm clouds that create a very dangerous storm. If you see a hurricane from space, you will see a giant swirling cloud. Hurricanes can bring heavy rain, wind, and sometimes minor tornadoes. Hurricanes are formed when storm clouds form over warm water. As the storm clouds move, the warm water …

Episode 106: The Science of 5G Technologies with Mr. Lyle Paczkowski

A new era of communication has been released in the past few years and is gaining heat now! It is called 5G or the fifth generation of technologies! This new type of communication tech is opening possibilities of having faster phone and internet speeds as well as having more smart gadgets, such as self-driving cars …

First Day of Fall In The Northern Hemisphere!

Fall is here in the Northern Hemisphere! In this post, you will learn about why leaves fall from trees during the fall! Trees are living things, just like us. They are called organisms. You’ve seen that some trees lose all of their leaves in the fall and go dormant or in a resting stage in …

Episode 105: The Science of Machine Learning With Mr. Dale Lane

There are many smart machines around us such as smart speakers, self-driving cars, and even smart thermostats! But, how do these machines learn how to perform their tasks and how are they able to respond to different situations? This is all thanks to machine learning! In this episode, Akshay gets curious about machine learning while …

How Do Electrical Wires Work?

This is because the material inside of the wires is a conductor. Conductors are materials that electrons can travel through easily. Conductors are usually made out of metals. Conductors are used in the electrical wiring itself! Humans are also conductors of electricity (that is very dangerous) That is why humans should wear insulators to protect themselves from …

What Are The Smaller Parts Of An Atom?

Atoms are the microscopic building blocks of the universe. They make up almost ANY material including solids, liquids, and gases! A human has more than 1 billion atoms! Atoms have specific parts. There is the nucleus, which is the center of the atom. Then, there are even smaller parts. They are protons, neutrons, and electrons! …

Episode 101: Diving at Super-Speed! Peregrine Falcons

Welcome to season 5 of Spectacular Science! Peregrine falcons are very special birds. These birds dive for their prey at up to 250 miles per hour! But, how do these amazing birds dive from the air so fast? What’s the science behind the super fast flying skills? In this episode, Akshay explores the science behind …

What Is The Nitrogen Cycle!

Nitrogen is an element that very common on Earth. In fact, nitrogen makes up most of the air that we breathe in. This nitrogen actually cycles through different forms and stages over time. This cycle is kind of similar to the carbon cycle. The nitrogen cycle starts as nitrogen gas in the atmosphere. This gas …

What Are The Characteristics Of Living Things?

Living things are also called organisms! Humans, plants, and even bacteria are great examples of living things. But, what determines that a thing is living? There are a few characteristics that make things living. One is that they are made out of cells. Living things are ALL made out of cells. Cells are tiny building …

What Are Ocean Currents?

Ocean currents are rivers of water that move around the world. There are deep ocean currents and surface currents. Deep ocean currents are caused by differences the water’s density. Density is how close molecules are packed together in an object. The density of water is impacted by salinity (how much salt there is) and temperature. …

Why Are Electric Stoves Better Than Gas Stoves?

Electric stoves are now used in place of gas stoves because they can heat things more evenly. Electric stoves used electricity to heat up and cook food. When you turn the stove on, the electricity flows through metal coils that are either exposed or under the cooking surface (if you have a glass ceramic surface). …

What Is The Difference Between Pressure and Electric Rice Cookers?

The main parts of a basic electric rice cooker are the outer pot, inner pot, the heating element, lid, and button controls. The outer pot contains the heating element. The inner pot, where the uncooked rice goes, fits inside of the outer pot. The heating element heats up metal coils in the outer pot to …

How Does REM Sleep Affect Your Body?

REM Sleep or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep is a very important stage for human health. REM Sleep is the stage when your brain is active, dreams occur, and your eyes move back and forth rapidly under your eyelids. During this stage, your brain is very active! The brain organizes information it learned the past day in a …

What Is The Difference Between Airplanes and Helicopters?

Airplanes are machines that can fly with engine or propeller power. They are able to use aerodynamics (how air and objects move) to fly. Airplanes make it so that we can travel around the world in just a few hours! Airplanes can coke in all shapes and sizes like the tiny airplanes that you see …

What Causes The Continents On Earth To Move?

They move thanks to convection currents. Convection currents all start with density. Density is how much “stuff” (atoms and molecules) that are packed into one thing. If something has a high density, all of the atoms and molecules are close together and will sink. If something has a low density, the atoms and molecules are …

Grass Alarm Smell! The Strong Smell of Mown Grass

You probably know the smell of freshly-mown grass. It is a very strong smell and, for some people, is relaxing. This smell comes from the cut grass and is made up of lots of chemicals that plants make. But, that soothing and very strong smell is actually a plant distress call!! Plants don’t have a …

What Are The Differences Between Amphibians and Reptiles?

Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrate (has a backbone) animals. Reptiles are ectothermic, meaning that they rely on the Sun’s energy to heat them up and match the temperature in the air around them. When it is cold outside, reptiles become more inactive in order to maintain a body temperature and are very active when it warms up! Most …

The Providence Canyon in Georgia!

Providence Canyon State Park in Georgia is home to Providence Canyon, also known as “The Little Grand Canyon”. This canyon formed because of clearcutting of trees and farming. The land’s history began millions of years ago when sediments were deposited under ancient seas and coastal beaches. These delicate ribbons of sand were protected by trees and …

What Is Mechanical Weathering?

Weathering is the breaking down of rock by many natural agents like water, wind, and gravity. Mechanical Weathering is when rocks are broken down without a chemical change. They are changing their physical properties. Mechanical weathering can split rocks in half and turn them into dust! Some examples of Mechanical Weathering are ice wedging (when water …

What Is Green Energy?

Green Energy means a way to make power without polluting the atmosphere. Most power plants today use coal and gasoline to generate electricity. When they burn coal and gasoline, it creates Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which is a Greenhouse Gas. This means that it traps the Sun’s energy in the atmosphere and makes the planet hotter. This causes …

What Causes Objects To Slow Down On Earth?

It is all because of friction. Friction is a force that happens when two or more objects are rubbed together. This can break the object, generate heat, or make sounds. Friction is a force that blocks the movement. That is why remote control cars can’t drive well on carpet. When there is too much friction, …

The 100th Episode of Spectacular Science! – Music and the Brain

This is the 100th episode of Spectacular Science! This is a very big milestone for this podcast. In this episode, Akshay is celebrating the 100th episode of Spectacular Science with a musical spectacular! In this episode, Akshay talks to Dr. Alan Harvey from the University of Western Australia about how the brain processes music. Akshay …

Why Do Some Fruits Have Peels Or Shells?

Fruits are pieces of plants that have sugar inside of them. They don’t always have to be sweet to be a fruit! Fruits have either of these two things: seeds or come from flowering plants. The entire purpose of fruits is to help the plant reproduce. The seeds help the plants make more plants. If …

How Do Fireworks Explode And Create Dazzling Colors In The Sky?

Aerial fireworks are the fireworks that you see launched into the sky! They are usually fired using rockets and mortars. These fireworks create a dazzling light show above us! They all start with a paper tube. That tube is filled with small bits of metal, like iron or steel, colorants (made using gases/elements such as …

What Makes The Sky Appear Blue?

The Visible light spectrum is the different colors in the white light that we see. The different colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. You can see these colors by bending light with a prism or with water. The sky is blue because the molecules (building blocks of the universe) in the …

What Do Plants Use Sunlight For?

Plants need sunlight because plants use the Sun to make food. Chlorophyll helps plants collect the sunlight. Chlorophyll is made up of even smaller parts called Chloroplasts. Chloroplasts have a green color to them. Leaves have Chloroplast because they help the plant or tree collect sunlight and turn it into sugar. That process is called …

What Are The Effects of Deforestation?

Deforestation is when people cut down large areas of forests. These trees are cut down in a way called clearcutting. Clearcutting is when all of the trees in the area are completely gone. This can be done for new buildings, roads, logging, or farmland. Clearcutting and deforestation in general can be very bad for the …

What Makes Some Plastics Clear?

Plastic is a type of polymer. Polymers are certain materials that have atoms that are bonded together in a link pattern. Atoms are the tiny building blocks of all elements. When atoms bond together, like in polymers, they form molecules! Poly means many and mer or mers means units. Polymers means many units! A great example of a human-made polymer is …

Episode 98: A Need For Speed! How Cheetahs Run So Fast

When you think of speedy animals, what is the first animal that comes to mind? The cheetah! Cheetahs are known for running very fast. But, how do cheetahs run so fast? They have developed many adaptations that help them run so fast! In this episode, Akshay explores the science behind how cheetahs run so fast! …

A Few Million Years Ago, Antarctica Was a Rainforest! How?

Antarctica, a few million years ago, was a rainforest! Now, we see Antarctica as a giant deserts with just ice. How did this transformation happen? It all happened because of the continents moving. They move thanks to convection currents. Convection currents all start with density. Density is how much “stuff” (atoms and molecules) that are …

Episode 97: What Makes a Bubble Pop?

Bubbles! Why do they pop? And why do they have shadows even though they are transparent? In this episode, Akshay gets curious about the science of bubbles when he was blowing bubbles! Join Akshay on an adventure from the small soap molecules to giant-sized bubbles in this episode. Please follow/subscribe wherever you’re listening right now! …

What Makes It Easy For Cheetahs To Run So Fast?

A cheetah is a mammal that mostly lives in the African Savanna. It is covered in spots and has black markings under its eyes. Cheetahs are in the genus or family Acinonyx. They are unlike big cats like tigers or lions because they do not have retractable claws that they can pull in. Their claws are …

Episode 96: Asteroids! Giant Pieces of Rock Floating In Space

Have you ever heard of asteroids? Asteroids are giant pieces of rock floating in space. But, did you know that there are different types of asteroids? In this episode, Akshay explores the science behind asteroids and the asteroid belt! Spectacular Science is on YouTube! Please subscribe to the Spectacular Science YouTube channel by using this …

How Are Rainbows Created?

Rainbows are optical illusions that happen when light bends in water droplets and splits into different colors. Those colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. White light is made out of all these colors. When it rains, lots of water droplets are in the sky. The Sun shines through these water droplets. …

How Do Fuses Help With Short Circuits?

A circuit is a path that current electricity or electrons can flow through. Current electricity is a type of human-made electricity. A simple circuit is made out of four parts: the power source, wires, the load, and a switch! A simple circuit works by electrons, which are negatively charged, exit from the negative terminal of …

How Do Electric Cars Work?

Electric cars work differently from regular gasoline-powered cars. Regular cars work using an Internal Combustion Engine that creates a small, controlled explosion inside of the engine. That moves a piston which is connected to a wheel. That wheel then moves while the piston is moving! That gasoline that you put into your car powers the …

How Does Echolocation Work?

Echolocation is when animals locate objects using sound. Bats, dolphins, and other animals use echolocation. First, the animal makes a sound, which is usually high pitched. This helps the sound travel farther and also give it more energy. Then, the sound reflects or bounces off of a surface or another animal. Then, the sound reflects back to …

How Plastic Is Made!!

Plastic is a type of polymer. Polymers are certain materials that have atoms that are bonded together in a link pattern. Atoms are the tiny building blocks of all elements. When atoms bond together, like in polymers, they form molecules! Poly means many and mer or mers means units. Polymers means many units! A great example of a human-made polymer is …

Why Do Flowers Wilt After They Have Been Taken Off The Plant?

Flowers are an assortment of petals and pollen that a plant produces to reproduce. The pollen of a flower contains the genetic information to make seeds and new plants. Besides being pretty, flowers actually make fruits possible! A fruit is what is left after a flower dies and sugar is put into the dead flower bulb. Thank …

Episode 94: The Secret Senses of Plants!

Can plants feel pain? No, they don’t feel pain. But, they have some amazing secret senses! Akshay wonders about these plant senses and explores the science behind the secret superpowers of plants! Plants are able to defend each other and themselves, recognize bugs that attack them, and even figure out which direction to grow!! Please …

May 15-16 – Amazing Lunar Eclipse!

Yesterday was a total lunar eclipse over the United States! I was very excited for this eclipse to happen! Just a refresher, a lunar eclipse is when Earth’s shadow is cast on the Moon. This causes the Moon to appear red because of the light being scattered on Earth. This is called the “Blood Moon”. Before the …

Rate The Lunar Eclipse That Is Coming Up!

Get ready, because tonight, a total lunar eclipse is visible over the United States! Check out our post yesterday about lunar eclipses to refresh yourself. While you’re watching the lunar eclipse, use our worksheet, Rate a Lunar Eclipse, to use the Danjon Scale to rate what color the Moon is an how bright it is! …

How Does Earth’s Tilt Cause Seasons?

Seasons are different climate patterns that happen throughout different times in a year! Places on Earth experience seasons at different times. Some seasons are noticeable and others are not. We have seasons because the Earth is slightly tilted on its axis. An axis is an imaginary rod going from the top to the bottom where …

How Do We See Things And Know What Color They Are?

Let’s start with light. Light can be broken up into a few colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet! When we see white light coming from the Sun or a lightbulb, that white light is all of the rainbow colors together. When the white light hits an object it reflections, or bounces of …

What is Hair And Why Is It Important?

Hair is a strand of string protein that grows out of hair follicles or tiny sacs in your skin. Hair is made up of keratin, the same material your fingernails are made out of. Hair grows through a process of cells dividing and getting pushed out of the follicle. This causes a strand of cells …

Why Is Earth The Only Planet In Our Solar System That Supports Life?

There are a few reasons why Earth is the only planet in the Solar System to support life. One is that Earth is located in the “Goldilocks Zone” from the Sun. The “Goldilocks Zone” is a specific distance from the Sun where it is not too hot or not too cold. It is just right! …

Why Will Your Weight Change If You Are On Another Planet?

Go to projects.spectacularsci.com/calculate-your-weight-on-planets to try out my new weight calculator on planets! This will tell you how much you will weigh if you are on another planet in the Solar System! If you try out the calculator, you might notice that your Earth weight differs from planet to planet! But, why does that happen? It …

What Is The Difference Between Viruses and Bacteria?

A virus is infectious object that depends on living organisms’ cells to multiply. They are bad for living organisms and take over cells. Viruses infect a body and travel to a cell and inject it’s DNA code into the cell which will make the virus multiply and will destroy the cell. This is how viruses make us …

How Do Black Holes Consume Stars and Matter?

A black hole is a place in space that is extremely dense and has a strong gravitational pull. This is because a lot of matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This usually happens when a star is dying. Black holes can suck in entire stars and planets! Black holes can be from the size of a single atom to …

Episode 90: Beyond the Planets! The Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud

We all know our Solar System and it is our home. But, have you ever thought about the objects beyond Neptune? That is what we are learning about today! Akshay gets curious about the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud which are outside of the planetary region! We will learn what these objects beyond the …

What Caused The Formation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge?

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a divergent tectonic plate boundary that is on the ocean floor. A divergent boundary is when two tectonic plates move apart from each other. In this case, the plates are the South American Plate and the African Plate. As those plates pull apart, magma from below the Earth’s crust rises up and cools …

Why Does Pollen Give Some People Allergies?

Pollen is a sticky substance that is found inside of most flowering plants. Pollen is in the middle of the flower of the plant. Pollen is attached to long structures called stamens and smaller structures called pistils. This pollen helps make new plants grow through a process called pollination. That is when pollen is transferred …

Why Are Bees Important For Flowers?

Bees are important in a lot of ways, but the most important is pollination. Pollen is a sticky substance that is found inside of most flowering plants. Pollen is in the middle of the flower of the plant. Pollen is attached to long structures called stamens and smaller structures called pistils. This pollen helps make …

What Causes A Chemical Reaction?

Chemical reactions are when two or more materials combine to make a new material! The two materials usually react with each other, producing that new material. This happens when molecular and atomic bonds are broken apart or connected. A great example is when you mix baking soda and vinegar to make Carbon dioxide gas! There …

What Makes Graphite Weaker Than Diamond Even Though They Are Made Of The Same Element?

Graphite and diamonds are both made out of Carbon. Carbon is a very abundant element. But, why is diamond stronger than graphite if they are made out of the same material? It is all because of the arrangement of the atoms into molecules. Atoms are the microscopic building blocks of the universe. They make up …

What Is Run-Off Of Water?

Run-off is when precipitation (snow, rain sleet, or hail) hits the ground and drains into rivers, lakes, and oceans. This run-off is what causes accumulations or build-ups of water. Run-off is also a cause of erosion, which can break down and carry rocks to different places. Millions of years ago, planet Earth did not really have rivers …

What Is A Stethoscope?

A stethoscope is a instrument used by doctors and other medical specialists. It is used to measure people’s heartbeat and their breathing. It is placed on the area where the heart is or on the back. A modern stethoscope is made up of a Y-shaped flexible plastic tube. An earpiece is attached to each end of the Y and a sound-detecting device at the other end. The sound-detecting device …

What Are Some Ways Rocks Can Weather?

Weathering is when rocks get broken down into pieces. Weathering can happen in many different ways, from salt to clay to ice! We are going to focus on the 5 main ways: water, ice, salt crystallization, clay formation, and plant roots. To learn more about weathering, check out our episode about weathering! Weathering with water happens …

Episode 86: How Did The Universe Form? – With Dr. Paul M. Sutter

Have you ever looked up in the night sky and wondered how everything got there? I’m talking about the origins of our universe! The one thing that formed this universe!! Akshay wonders about that when he goes stargazing, so he visits Dr. Paul M. Sutter, an astrophysicist and author of Your Place in the Universe …

What Is The Nervous System?

The nervous system is the collection of all the nerves in your body and its function is to receive and send information on what’s going with the body. The nervous system includes your brain and spinal cord. Your brain and spinal cord are the centers where the information is being sent and received. Without the …

What Are The 3 Types of Heat Transfer?

Heat transfer is the spread of heat between objects. There are three types: conduction, radiation, and convection. Conduction is heat that is transferred through direct contact. Conductors are materials that allow heat to pass through them. An example of conduction is touching a hot pot on a stove (NEVER do that!). Then, there is radiation. …

How Do SPG Nerves Cause Brain Freezes?

A brain freeze is an informal term for Sphenopalatine Ganglion Neuralgia. It is when the blood vessels in your brain expand to cause a headache! This is all caused SPG nerves. These nerves are at the back of your mouth and are very sensitive to cold foods like ice cream. SPG nerves or the sphenopalatine …

How Do The Continents Move?

They move thanks to convection currents. Convection currents all start with density. Density is how much “stuff” (atoms and molecules) that are packed into one thing. If something has a high density, all of the atoms and molecules are close together and will sink. If something has a low density, the atoms and molecules are …

Episode 85: 142-Year-Old Seed Experiment! – With Dr. David Lowry

Have you wondered how long seeds last underground before they can’t sprout anymore? Akshay wonders the same thing! So, Akshay talks to Dr. David Lowry from Michigan State University about the amazing Beal Seed Experiment. Join Akshay and Dr. Lowry on an adventure to discover what the Beal Seed Experiment is and go on a …

How Do Cumulonimbus Clouds Form?

Cumulonimbus clouds are storm clouds. Clouds are large collections of water droplets that can be frozen, but only sometimes. They form due to condensation, when water evaporates into a gas and cools down above the Earth. Then, the water drops attach to pieces of dust or dirt that are above the Earth. As more droplets …

What Are Low Pressure Systems?

Air molecules around us push down on us all the time. The air from the atmosphere takes up space, so it has mass (weight). The more atmosphere above you, the more the air pressure. There is actually 14.7 pounds per square inch of your body pushing down on you right now!! That means that your …

What Are Flowers and What Is Their Purpose?

Flowers are an assortment of petals and pollen that a plant produces to reproduce. The pollen of a flower contains the genetic information to make seeds and new plants. Besides being pretty, flowers actually make fruits possible! A fruit is what is left after a flower dies and sugar is put into the dead flower bulb. Thank …

Why Is There So Much Pollen In The Air During Spring?

There is so much pollen in the air because lots of flowers bloom in the Spring. Pollen is a sticky substance that is found inside of most flowering plants. Pollen is in the middle of the flower of the plant. Pollen is attached to long structures called stamens and smaller structures called pistils. This pollen …

What Is The Greenhouse Effect and What Causes It?

The Greenhouse Effect is what climate change is caused by. This effect is when gases like Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4) are released into the atmosphere. These gases, also known as greenhouse gases trap the heat that the Sun beams out inside of Earth’s atmosphere. This happens because these gases are able to absorb …

Why Do Leaves That Fall On The Ground Dry Up?

During the Fall, leaves from trees fall to the ground and the trees become dormant. Over time, those leaves on the ground start to shrink and turn brown. Then, they dry up. Why? It is all because the leaf is not receiving or making water or nutrients. When a leaf is attached to a tree …

How Do Plants Know When To Grow?

Plants know when to grow because of the change in temperature. As spring approaches, there will be an increase in temperature because the Earth is tilted towards the Sun. The temperature change is very noticeable for animals and plants too! When the seed or dormant plant senses that the temperature is increasing, it starts sprouting …

How Does Photosynthesis Work?

Photosynthesis is the process of taking sunlight and Carbon dioxide and making it into Oxygen gas and sugar! The word “photo” means light. Photosynthesis is used by green plants, algae, and bacteria. That helps the bacteria, plants, or algae make food for themselves. Photosynthesis also made our Oxygen atmosphere! These organisms use a part of their …

What Is The Differences Between Solids and Liquids?

A solid has the atoms packed tightly together, without any gaps. Solids have a definite size and shape. The solid state of matter is very common in the universe. The atoms make the solid positively charged (more protons) or negatively charged (more electrons). Electrons and protons are even smaller parts of atoms. When solids heat …

What Are The Layers of a Tree’s Bark?

Just like an onion, there are many layers to a tree’s bark. The 5 main layers are the outer bark, inner bark (phloem), cambium cell layer, sapwood, and heartwood. The outer bark is the tree’s first line of defense from rain, extreme temperatures, and insects. It is always renewed by the inner bark, which is …

How Do Tectonic Plates On Earth Move?

They move thanks to convection currents. Convection currents all start with density. Density is how much “stuff” (atoms and molecules) that are packed into one thing. If something has a high density, all of the atoms and molecules are close together and will sink. If something has a low density, the atoms and molecules are …

What Is The Mid-Atlantic Ridge?

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a divergent tectonic plate boundary that is on the ocean floor. A divergent boundary is when two tectonic plates move apart from each other. In this case, the plates are the South American Plate and the African Plate. As those plates pull apart, magma from below the Earth’s crust rises up …

How Does Hydroelectricity Work?

Hydroelectricity or hydropower is a way of harnessing water in order to make electricity! This is a renewable source of power. Renewable resources are resources that can be replaced and do not run out. Renewable means that we can constantly renew or make/get more of these resources. They can be replaced in a human lifetime …

What Are Warm-Blooded Animals?

Warm-blooded animals always have a fixed body temperature and is always different from the outside temperature. Most warm-blooded animals are vertebrates. Vertebrates are animals with a backbone. The backbone is also known as the vertebrate! The backbone is a row of connected bones that run down the back. Vertebrates animals make up only 5% of …

What Are Cold-Blooded Animals?

Cold-blooded animals are animals that rely on the outdoor temperature to determine their own body temperature. Most cold-blooded animals are invertebrates. Invertebrates are animals without a backbone. That means that they are the opposite of vertebrate animals. Invertebrates make up 95% if the Earth’s animals! Some invertebrates have a hard covering on the outside of …

How Do Ocean Waves Form?

 Waves are created by energy passing through water, causing it to move in a circular motion. However, water does not actually travel in waves. Waves transmit energy, not water, across the ocean and if not obstructed by anything. Ocean waves are most commonly caused by wind. Wind-driven waves, or surface waves, are created by the friction …

Episode 78: Gecko-Inspired Robot! – With Dane Brouwer

Akshay is curious about how geckos can walk on glass! Then, he discovers that some scientists have actually built a robot that is inspired by gecko feet! In this episode, Akshay talks to Mr. Dane Brouwer, from Stanford University, about farmHand, a gecko robot hand! Join Akshay and Mr. Brouwer as they talk about the …

What Are Severe Thunderstorms?

Thunderstorms are storms with cumulonimbus or storm clouds. The clouds have water inside of them and the water pours down on the ground below. Thunderstorms can also have heavy winds. Lightning and thunder are the main things in thunderstorms. First, we have to start off with a storm cloud. Tiny pieces of ice, which are …

What Are The Ways Moons Can Form?

A moon is a natural satellite that orbits around a larger object like a planet. A natural satellite is different from a human made satellite because natural satellites are produced naturally.  Moons usually have a stable orbit. This means that the rate of which the moon circles around the planet is just the right speed. …

What Is Water Pollution?

Water pollution is when humans dump trash and harmful or toxic chemicals into waterways like oceans, streams, rivers, and ponds. This trash and chemicals can cause problems for marine life. This trash can also come back to humans! When humans drink water, the water may be polluted! This is also a very big problem in …

Episode 77: How Do Flamingos Stand On One Leg? – With Dr. Young-Hui Chang

Have you ever wondered how flamingos can stand or even sleep on one leg? Akshay wonders this same exact thing when he tries to balance on one leg! Akshay visits Dr. Young-Hui Chang, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology who studies movement in animals. Join Akshay and Dr. …

What Conditions Have To Be Met To Snow?

The white, powdery precipitation called snow is a winter’s delight! It falls from the sky as snowflakes. One condition is the temperature. It has to be below freezing or below 32°F or 0°C. This freezing temperature makes the water in the atmosphere freeze and turn into snowflakes! The other condition is atmospheric lift. This is …

What Are Reptiles?

Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrate (has a backbone) animals. Reptiles are ectothermic, meaning that they rely on the Sun’s energy to heat them up and match the temperature in the air around them. When it is cold outside, reptiles become more inactive in order to maintain a body temperature and are very active when it warms …

What Are Amphibians?

Amphibians are a group of animals that live part of their lives in water and part on land! They are cold-blooded, small invertebrates that need water or a moist environment to survive. Amphibians include frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and caecilians. They depend on the sun for warmth because they are ectothermic. Ectothermic means that they …

What Is The Difference Between Air and Water Pressure?

Right now, as you are reading this, there are tons of air pushing down on you. That is air pressure. As you might know, the Earth is covered with a blanket of gases. That is called the atmosphere. The air from the atmosphere takes up space, so it has mass (weight). The more atmosphere above …

Episode 76: Welcome to Season 4 – Light!

We are starting off Season 4 of Spectacular Science with a really bright episode! This episode is all about light! Light makes our world bright and helps animals and plants survive! In this episode, Akshay explores the science of the visible light around us. Please follow/subscribe to Spectacular Science! Learn how to follow this podcast …

What Is Evapotranspiration?

Evapotranspiration is the process of evaporation and transpiration combined. Evaporation is when water evaporates from the ground. This is when the sunlight heats the water and turns it into a gas called water vapor. As the sunlight heats up the water, the molecules get farther apart and start to turn into a gas or water …

What Are The Parts of An Atom?

Atoms are the microscopic building blocks of the universe. They make up almost ANY material including solids, liquids, and gases! A human has more than 1 billion atoms! Atoms have specific parts. There is the nucleus, which is the center of the atom. Then, there are even smaller parts. They are protons, neutrons, and electrons! …

What Is Adhesion of Water?

Adhesion is a property that water has. Adhesion means that water molecules like to “stick” to other water molecules and other things. That is actually why water forms in round drops! Adhesion also makes water more vulnerable to pollution because water sticks to many materials. Adhesion also helps plant suck up water from the ground. …

What Are Natural Plastics?

Natural plastics are any natural material that has the polymer structure. That is a structure that has a chain of molecules. Natural plastics were used before human-made plastics were invented. Natural plastics are formed with the polymer structure. Examples of these natural plastics are rubber, skin, bones, and even DNA. Rubber from rubber trees were …

What Causes Seasons?

Seasons are different climate patterns that happen throughout different times in a year! Places on Earth experience seasons at different times. Some seasons are noticeable and others are not. We have seasons because the Earth is slightly tilted on it’s axis. An axis is an imaginary rod going from the top to the bottom where …

Why Does The Sun Rise and Set?

The Sun rises and sets because of Earth’s rotation. The Earth and the planets orbit the Sun, but they also spin on their own axis,. The axis is the point from which the planet rotates on. Earth’s axis is tilted, which is what makes seasons! When the Earth spins, different sides of the planet experience …

Recycling! Start 2022 With Something Good for Earth

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2022! Recycling is the process of making used or old things into new things. Recycling usually happens with some plastics, glass, and paper. They melt/shred the materials and make new objects out of them. Recycling reuses the material and shapes it into new objects that can be used again! Recycling …

What Is Mount Everest?

Located on the border of Tibet and Nepal, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. It reaches a height of 8,848 meters above sea level, which is equal to the height of 5.5 miles! Mount Everest was formed because of converging tectonic plates. Tectonic plates are giant slabs of rock that move. Tectonic plates make up the curst, the thinnest …

All About the North Pole – The Arctic!

When you talk about the North Pole, it can mean the North Magnetic Pole or the North Geographic Pole. In this post, we are going to focus on the North Geographic Pole. That is the point on Earth where all the lines of longitude meet to form a single point. The North Pole is located …

Why Is Plastic Used In So Many Things?

Plastic is a type of polymer, or a chain of atoms and molecules. That chain pattern gives plastic some amazing abilities! They are flexible because the chains of atoms can be twisted or turned in many different shapes, sometimes even when the object is a solid! It is moldable (or easy to twist into different …