Science can be fascinating for students young and old, but sometimes it’s hard to give kids the hands-on experiences that foster understanding. Thanks to technology, though, parents can now guide kids to an appreciation of the wonders of the physical world. They can also support the school curriculum and help kids to find the fun in learning.
Check out these great YouTube science education channels for all ages.
Science for Beginners and Elementary Students
Hank Green plays the host on this YouTube Science Channel that will appeal to inquisitive minds of all ages, but especially to younger students who have pressing questions about gross things like trash and toilets. Any site that has “Why Do We Have Butt Hair?” on their list of most popular videos is bound to appeal to most kids.
Green has an engaging and amusing style that makes science accessible and entertaining for nearly anyone. And if you’re not careful, you just might learn something along the way.
Though the show has been in syndication for quite a few years now, Bill Nye the Science Guy has quite an engaging set of video clips. Each one is short and sweet (one and two minutes, mostly) and covers a single topic. Nye’s engaging style combines with the brief nature of the clips to make them perfect for explaining topics quickly and easily.
Topics range from energy and evolution to insects and momentum and many more. There are a total of 26 quick clips that can be used as a springboard for further questions and research. Check it out!
Steve Spangler goes above and beyond in his demonstration videos. He shares some very cool experiments and demonstrations, many of which take specialized equipment or supplies that make them difficult or dangerous to do at home. It’s a great opportunity to watch some really interesting science without worrying about how to accomplish it on your own.
Check out his videos about how to make your own magic sand, color run powder, and fake blood! The videos are bite-sized, mostly between three and five minutes in length. Watch a few, and you will definitely become a fan.
Science for Advanced and Older Students
Vanessa Hill (PBS Studios) has created a channel devoted to neuroscience and psychology that will really make the disciplines come to life for older students. What teen hasn’t wondered why we act in the ways that we do, or why some people are night owls and some are early birds?
Hill tackles some of the most challenging scientific issues of modern times in videos about gene editing and why some people get cancer. But it’s not all serious over on her channel-there is also a healthy selection of brain teasers, puzzles, and much, much more. Stop in for a visit!
Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown tackle a selection of topics that will help high school students with their science skills, especially in biology with a smattering of physics, chemistry, and general technology. Parents should preview the site, particularly for younger students. One way that the site owners build interest in science topics is to relate them to hot teen topics, which include sex and similar discussions.
The videos use a lot of songs and song parodies to make the ideas memorable, which really helps students learn. Look for such doozies as the New Periodic Table Song and Science Wars. Teens will also be intrigued with the topics of videos that answer questions such as “What if you stopped sleeping?” and “What does 200 calories look like?”
Though some of the topics are PG and R rated, the videos are quite engaging and teach some important concepts about how science applies in the real world. Check it out, and send your student to the selections that you feel are appropriate.
You want chemistry? This channel has got chemistry, in spades! Based out of the School of Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, developers have posted a video for each element on the periodic table. Find out what is special about each, and learn about molecules and interactions between elements.
In addition to the elements videos, you can follow current chemistry topics and watch award-winning videos about topics such as sulfuric acid. New videos are posted weekly, so check back often.
Here is a treasure trove of stunning photography and videography combined with sound science information about topics from all parts of nature. National Geographic lives up to its world-class reputation with some truly outstanding videos about topics such as volcanoes, planets, and more.
This YouTube channel offers some great fodder for research, and has such a huge selection that kids will want to watch whatever their curiosity leads them to next. Be prepared to have them spend hours on the site and to return again and again.
If you have a budding astronomer or astrophysicist, this is the channel you will want to watch. NASA actually has multiple channels on YouTube, so check out the links to other offerings, but this particular channel is updated frequently and carries the very latest news from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Your young scientist can stay up to date and in the loop with all the latest space news.
This channel is particularly great when there is strong connection between the world of space and current events, such as when there are strong storms that can be seen on satellite imagery or when there is an unusual event such as a rocket launch, convergence of planets, or new results from ongoing experiments.
You can think of this channel as the current events news for astronomy. Videos are posted several times each week, and are great for staying well-informed about the goings-on in and beyond the atmosphere.
More Entertaining and Interesting Science
These offerings might not be much direct help with school work, but they will open some doors to understanding about important ideas.
Veritasium offers a selection of interviews, demonstrations and more about a range of science questions and topics, as well as some engineering information. The owner, Derek Muller, can and does start some heated discussions with his views, but his science videos are very cool to watch. For this reason, parents might want to preview before sharing with children, especially younger ones.
The videos at Veritasium give answers to questions that students may not have yet thought to ask, like what is the roundest object in the world, or who is changing the definition of the kilogram and why? It’s a great site to simply explore science and have fun at the same time.
Henry Reich does an outstanding job of explaining out-of-the-blue questions that kids tend to ask. In fact, when you hear some of the questions, you wonder why you hadn’t wondered about that before! The videos are short (some only as long as ten seconds!), but they use voice over and a white board with animations to make sense of the world.
The videos tackle misconceptions that many people have, such as things you do and do not need to worry about, as well as explaining basic concepts such as how gravity works and what the wave/particle duality is. The author’s easy-going style makes it fun to watch and listen, and viewers are quite likely to leave knowing more than before they watched.