Science Class Is in Session—On YouTube!

Crash Course Astronomy © PBS
© Crash Course Astronomy

Whether you’re looking for videos to catch your homeschooled teen’s interest, browsing for something to occupy yourself for a few minutes, or you’re a lifelong fan of learning, it’s always fun to tumble down the YouTube rabbit hole.

Thanks to some incredibly talented science communicators, you and your kids can dive into subjects like physics, astronomy, and more, and find experiments to take science off the screen and into their own hands. Here are four YouTube channels for those who wonder how the universe works—which is everyone!

Crash Course Astronomy

Crash Course Astronomy © PBS
© Crash Course Astronomy

Phil Plait, also known as the Bad Astronomer, is no stranger to the geek world. When he’s not busy with the Bad Astronomy blog on Slate, he’s often spotted at conventions like San Diego Comic-Con. Recently Plait teamed up with Crash Course and PBS Digital Studios for the new YouTube series Crash Course Astronomy.

Plait’s “f***ing majestic” voice (according to one impressed commenter) clearly and quickly leads you through topics like moon phases, eclipses, the basics of astronomy. Stylish graphics and high-res images make each video exciting and engaging for anyone who loves to gaze up at the stars.

Physics Girl

© Physics Girl
© Physics Girl

Dianna, an MIT physics grad, calls herself the Physics Girl. In her easy-to-follow videos, Dianna addresses everyday questions that you might otherwise not have spent much time thinking about, along with exploring the mysteries of the universe. Why is our image flipped in a mirror horizontally and not vertically? Why is the universe flat?

Physics Girl also shares her experiences with being a woman in physics, including her time at MIT, and chats with other interesting scientists in her field.

SciShow

© SciShow
© SciShow

Cathé named SciShow as one of her secret YouTube affairs a couple of years ago, and it’s easy to see why. Hank Green and other knowledgeable hosts share the answers to some of life’s burning questions in quick chunks, like why does mint taste cool and why we have baby teeth.

SciShow also dives deeper into current science topics, such as the recent measles outbreak, and host Hank Green even sat down to chat with President Obama at the beginning of the year. It’s easy to spend hours browsing the fascinating content of SciShow.

Sick Science

© Sick Science
© Sick Science

If you’re more hands-on than just eyes-on, or you’re looking for experiments to do together as a family, Sick Science from Steve Spangler Science is what you’re looking for. There’s no talking in these videos—just quick how-to’s for putting together eye-catching science demonstrations that are sure hook anyone with an interest in science. You can also find other science demonstrations by Steve Spangler on the channel, which is always entertaining.

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Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.