STEM Podcasts can be valuable teaching tools.
Podcasts are a relaxing way to learn during car rides or long trips, but they’re also great for classroom use. They do the hard work of breaking advanced concepts down into short, easily understandable terms for a large audience. Get started with a few of these STEM podcasts that are ideal for educators – and their classrooms:
This podcast for educators by Edutopia blogger and Yale professor Ainissa Ramirez is released in short, two-minute segments. Teachers are a built-in part of its target audience, and the segments often match well with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), making it a great resource for educators.
Lab Out Loud is a bi-weekly podcast produced by the National Science Teachers Association. It’s hosted by science teachers Dale Basler and Brian Bartel, whose podcasts for educators provide resources on everything from lesson planning to updates on science education in the news and in politics.
CarStuff by the How Stuff Works series of podcasts delves into the nuts and bolts of how various mechanical concepts work. Also home to several other STEM podcasts, such as TechStuff, the How Stuff Works family of podcasts are generally straightforward and very classroom friendly, so they’re great to share with your students as part of a lesson.
The Amp Hour Electronics Podcast is a unique, weekly show that discusses concepts in electronic design. Their episodes include a lot of interviews with industry professionals. There’s also a bit of overlap with elements of computer programming thrown in, which would interest a lot of students. Because it is more technical in nature, this STEM podcast would be best suited for older, more advanced students.
99% Invisible focuses on topics in the areas of technology, infrastructure, design, and architecture. Their website describes 99% Invisible as being “about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about” and its hosts achieve this with compelling storytelling. Past podcast topics include things like tree-covered skyscrapers and how pneumatic tubes work.
There are not a lot of podcasts that deal purely with engineering topics. The Engineering Commons podcast is hosted entirely by engineers and deals with some difficult concepts in a transparent manner. Like many podcasts for educators, they also leave detailed show notes for listeners to easily explore any of the ideas mentioned.
A product of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, the Math Factor ended in 2012, but their archives are still full of great podcasts for educators and students alike to explore a range of mathematical concepts.
Stanford math professor Keith Devlin began making appearance’s on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday back in 1995. He tackles questions that connect mathematics to everyday life, exploring how math is taught in the classroom and its appearance in popular culture. Check out the link above for a complete sound archive of his episodes.
STEM podcasts and radio programs do important work; they help transmit ideas to learners who might never encounter them otherwise. Read on to find out more about helping your students develop better communication skills.