From Physics to Biology, These 10 YouTube Channels Have Your Science Fix
Science has been the downfall of many a good student. All those formulas and facts can make your head spin. Just keeping track of whether or not Pluto is a planet can be exhausting!
On the flip side, I found several YouTube channels that explain science in a way that makes it easy to understand. Plus, these videos piqued my interest because they’re about subjects that relate to my daily life.
But what I really want to know is, where was YouTube when I was in high school? I certainly could have used it.
Right off the bat, I was hooked on Gross Science.
The show is hosted by Anna Rothschild. They’re a combination of her doing the ‘splaining, along with whimsical animations.
Listening to Rothschild is like listening to my best friend; she’s really personable and breaks down information into bite-sized pieces.
Unlike a lot of YouTube hosts, she doesn’t speak in a rapid-fire way. It’s like she’s really talking to you, not reading cue cards.
Veritasium is the kind of channel that made YouTube a big deal. Derek Muller, the host, takes his camera everywhere, so his videos have a homemade quality. Sometimes he interviews people on the street. Sometimes he takes you right into his own bathroom.
Veritasium’s videos don’t rely on animation at all. Muller is constantly filming, so he has a lot of fun footage of himself and strangers.
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
Beautiful animation and original music sets Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell apart from other YouTube science channels. The artists use bright purples, reds, greens and yellows in five-to-10-minute cartoons that explore scientific questions, such as whether GMOs are good or bad?
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell only puts out one video a month because the creative team is “convinced that good things take time, care and precision.”
If you’re looking for a YouTube science channel that isn’t all uppity with itself, Vsauce is for you.
Why? Host Michael Stevens is goofy, and he’s not interested in the Big Bang or entropy. He wants to answer the kinds of questions toddlers ask, like why your bottom is actually in your middle.
Although Vsauce episodes tend to be long — 10 to 20 minutes — they’re perfect for kids. He doesn’t talk too quickly, and he doesn’t use enormous words.
minutephysics is exactly what you think it is: short videos that explain physics.
Henry Reich, the channel’s creator, explains big ideas about physics in videos that last one to three minutes. One of his most popular videos talks about whether it’s better to walk or run in the rain. (I won’t spoil the answer!)
minutephysics videos get right to the nitty gritty of a topic, without fancy introductions. Each concept is explained using time-lapse drawings, which are very entertaining.
SmarterEveryDay is a hodge podge of videos about all sorts of things. Destin, the host, talks about science that happens to him personally, like how his sister got malaria or his balloon’s baffling behavior.
Destin Sandlin is an engineer, so the majority of his videos explain how things work. He also researches questions that you might think of but have no idea how to answer, like what astronauts do with their pee or how to escape from a car through the windshield.
Destin is so personable that his Facebook page is full of family photos and friendly posts.
If you’re looking for more gross science, SciShow has what you need. Hosts Hank Green, Michael Aranda and Olivia Gordon say they “hate not knowing things,” so they make videos about answers to their questions.
SciShow looks great, with really big production values. They use fun visuals to explain science, although a lot of it tends to be pretty gross, like why your pee is sometimes green.
Most of the time, SciShow answers very basic questions in under five minutes, like why humidity makes it feel hotter.
The hosts are clearly having a good time! Don’t miss their hilarious outtakes and bloopers playlist.
AsapScience is the perfect channel for when you need to answer a question about science right now. That means hosts Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown make videos that are usually around three minutes long and that get right to the heart of a topic.
AsapScience looks at science that affects your mind and your body. They ask common questions, like how much sleep do you really need, but they also ask questions most people are afraid to ask, like is masturbation good for you?
The two of them answer all their questions with colorful animations and fun music. In fact, they recorded their own Science Love Song.
Seeker is another YouTube science channel that stars pleasant, young hosts. Trace Dominguez, Julian Huguet, Amy Shira Teitel and Crystal Dilworth seem really excited to talk about science, and their enthusiasm keeps my attention.
Seeker’s videos don’t have a particular style. Sometimes there’s footage of the hosts, sometimes they have cartoons and other times they just have photos or illustrations to make their point.
Like some of the other channels, Seeker’s videos are short. Unlike the other channels, Seeker covers cutting-edge science, like human head transplants. Ouch!
Reactions, a channel that’s brought to you by the American Chemical Society, talks about everyday chemistry.
The videos are made up of quick-witted narration that plays over images and video clips. Most of the channel’s videos are just a few minutes long, so they’re easy to watch.
Nancy Basile has almost 20 years experience as a freelance writer for the web. She focuses on finding ways to squeeze more entertainment into your day for less. Catch her on Twitter @realmediamedusa.