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Help 'Brains On!' — the science podcast for kids — hit its Kickstarter goal




KPCC's science reporter Sanden Totten and Nikola Tesla, aka David Malki, pose next to a Tesla coil built by KPCC engineer Lance Harper for at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum celebration of Nikola Tesla's 158th birthday July 20, 2014.
KPCC's science reporter Sanden Totten and Nikola Tesla, aka David Malki, pose next to a Tesla coil built by KPCC engineer Lance Harper for at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum celebration of Nikola Tesla's 158th birthday July 20, 2014.

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For the last couple years, we've been sampling Brains On! — the science podcast for kids co-produced by KPCC's Sanden Totten — on Off-Ramp.

In that time, we've learned about spiderwebs, dinosaur sounds, human digestion through the eyes of a sandwich and why dogs sniff butts. This week, I lent my voice to a skit about the International Space Station.

Brains On! is not only fun — it's important. Kids need to learn about science, and frankly, we need kids to learn about science. And Brains On! does it in a smart and fun way that helps kids (and adults) learn and get engaged in the world around them.

And now, Brains On! needs to grow. They need $48,000 that will help them accomplish three important things:

1. Do our first special series: The science of National Parks. 

America is full of so many amazing National Parks and each one has unique science to teach us. It’s tough to visit them all. But thanks to the magic of podcasts, we can go on an audio adventure to places like the geysers at Yellowstone and the singing sand of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. No need to pack your bags, just your imagination.

2. Find coast-to-coast co-hosts. 

Our show is co-hosted by kids!  However, we've been limited in who can co-host the show, based on location.  Our team is split between Los Angeles, California and Saint Paul, Minnesota, but we’d love to work with curious kids from all over the country… Boise, ID; Tallahassee, FL; Portland, OR; Chattanooga, TN… everywhere. So we’ll use some of the money we raise to rent studios and hire engineers and producers who can help us collaborate with new kids in new places.

3. Bring the music back.

We used to have original, science-themed songs on Brains On! They were fun, catchy and taught us all about water and space and volcanoes… I mean, what better way to learn science than by rocking out? But to get fresh new tunes we need to pay our talented musician friends. With your support we can do that — and keep the music coming.

And that's why they've started a Kickstarter campaign. Won't you help with a contribution right now?

Listen to the audio to hear John and Sanden talk about some of the great questions kids send in to be answered on Brains On!