Ask Web Links
January 2015: Tame the Flame
Learn more about woodpeckers at All About Birds:
What Is Fire?
This fun cartoon won the 2012 "Explain Flame" challenge, a contest for scientists to explain big ideas, judged entirely by kids:
Meet the cartoonist, who is also a quantum physicist:
More about the Flame Challenge: http://www.centerforcommunicatingscience.org/the-flame-challenge-2/the-2012-flame-challenge/
Around the Campfire
See how a fire bow works:
More about forest fires and fire safety:
November/December 2014: Fairy Tale Science
Why won't your wand work?
October 2014: Tricky Treats
Watch what happens to cookies when you bake them:
Should everyone eat bugs?
September 2014: Drop It!
Watch the historic Feather-Hammer drop on the Moon:
Play with Newton's cannon:
More cannon shennanigans:
Newton's laws of motion explained with a bicycle:
Try out Galileo's dropping and rolling experiments:
Build your own roller coaster:
How to make a Prince Rupert's Drop (and break one):
Watch the pitch drop experiment, the world's slowest drip:
Help astronomers spot craters with the free Moon Mappers app (for Android phone or tablet):
July/August 2014: Crafty Vikings
See the Sea Stallion at Sea:
Watch a film about the Sea Stallion:
More videos from the Viking Ship museum (in Danish!)
How to play Nine Men's Morris:
Learn more about Skateistan at:
See how Ann made her hand-powered flashlight:
And help astronomers spot craters with the free Moon Mappers app (for Android phone or tablet):
May/June 2014: Stuck On You
Try your hand at editing science at Frontiers in Science!
Searching for the Invisible World, a cartoon tour of your microbiome:
Find more glowing animals at "Creatures of Light." There's even a free app to download.
April 2014: On Top of the World
Track jaguars in the Sky Mountains with Sergio Avila:
See videos of Hawaii's seamounts:
A day in the life of a seamount, as the plankton rises to feed at night, then sink down in the day:
February 2014: After the Dinosaurs
Watch the record-breaking bike in action:
See more Ice Age creatures from the La Brea Tarpits:
Explore Whale evolution at the Smithsonian online museum—did it go backward?
Check out the Indiana State Museum's new exhibit on “Ice Age Giants: The Mystery of Mammoths and Mastodons.” The exhibition will be on view through Aug. 17, 2014.
And learn all about the art of bone collecting with Jake!
January 2014: Ticket to Mars
Get the Mars facts:
Watch Curiosity land on Mars in seven minutes of terror:
Check out NASA's "Mars in a Minute" for short, fun answers to Mars questions:
Mars in a Minute: How do you get to Mars?
Mars in a Minute: How do you land on Mars?
Mars in a Minute: How do you drive on Mars?
Mars in a Minute: How is Curiosity looking for life?
Mars in a Minute: How does Curiosity phone home?
More "Mars in a Minute":
Curiosity’s Cameras and how it takes pictures, including its own selfie:
Curiosity’s first two years on Mars:
Curiosity’s cool tools:
See what wet Mars might have looked like:
Find out what you weigh on other planets:
Get the latest news on Curiosity Rover Reports:
See even more of Mars:
Martians are coming! Not really, but it was a fun prank. Here you can listen to the original radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" from 1938 (it's an hour long):
http://sounds.mercurytheatre.info/mercury/381030.ra (Real player)
November/December 2013: How Smart Are Animals?
More about the Chelyabinsk meteor:
See crows and keas solve the puzzle box (video about halfway down):
Is Aesop's fable of the clever crow true? It is!
And if you want to know how magnets REALLY work, Minute Physics explains their true quantum weirdness:
Minute physics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFAOXdXZ5TM
October 2013: Expect the Unexpected
Check out this great blog written by a kid who really likes the Cambrian:
See the real fossils of the creatures in Stump the Scientists:
And more paleobiology:
September 2013: Computers Inside Out
Scratch is a free programming website, online at
Or learn to code at the Code Academy:
See Babbage's Thinking Machine in action:
Even more computers online at the Computer History Museum:
July/August 2013: Wild in the City
More on Pale Male the city hawk and other New York wildlife:
Wherever you live, you can turn your own home into a wildlife refuge:
May/June 2013: So Many Seasons!
Play with earth's tilt and see how earth's motion around the sun makes seaons:
Calculate your age on another planet!
April 2013: Meet the Family
Hear the unusual voice of Noc:
Your Family, Our Family
Learn more about the human family:
Watch the artist make models of early humans:
Your Family Tree
Construct your own family tree online:
See Your DNA!
Watch a video of a slightly different way to do this experiment:
What is DNA, anyway? Explained here!
March 2013: Hair, There and Everywhere
See a dung beetle cooling it:
Watch Felix Baumgarner's record-breaking skydive:
See how male and female lions react to the dummies :
http://www.cbs.umn.edu/lionresearch/mane-research (videos are at the bottom of the page)
The Buzz about Dino Fuzz
See an animation of what microraptor the four-winged dinosaur might have looked like when alive:
Naked Mole Rats!
February 2013: Oceans of Grass
See a rescue roach in action:
Oceans of Grass
How hard can it be to make a prairie?
How does grass make sugar from water and sunlight?
Little School on the Prairie
Make a wild prairie or wildlife refuge in your own backyard!
Growing with the Grass
See more pictures of prairie settlers, and read their stories from the files of the Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award98/nbhihtml/pshome.html
A Hunger for Grass
Wildebeests on the move:
January 2013: Our Star
See the Hiriko folding car in action:
Where do cats go? See what the camera reveals:
See what the sun is up to today and check on the latest space weather forecast at:
Flares erupt, sunspots grow, and other amazing video from the SDO satellite:
Watch the northern lights from high above the earth, filmed by the International Space Station:
See what the sun looks like from other planets:
How plants turn sunlight into sugar:
Learn more about the sun at Space School:
November/December 2012: Animals Sound Off
Explore more animal sounds and videos at the Macaulay Library of sound:
Why Do Birds Sing?
Hear the calls and songs of your favorite birds:
Name that bird game:
The Noisy Ocean
Listen to the deep ocean in real time with LIDO, a network of underwater microphones across the globe:
Help scientists match whale calls at WhaleFM:
On the Frogwatch
Hear the frogs that live in your area, and find out how to join the FrogWatch:
October 2012: Skeleton Stories
What the Bones Say
Expore Jamestown at:
Watch a skeleton being assembled:
September 2012: Who Needs Numbers?
Watch a crab shell being printed, animals counting, body numbers, and an abacus in action on our video page:
See a crab shell being printed:
To be even more amazed by the Fibonacci numbers, through doodling, check out these fun videos:
Part 1: http://vihart.com/blog/doodling-fibonacci-1
Part 2: http://vihart.com/blog/doodling-fibonacci-2
Part 3: http://vihart.com/blog/doodling-fibonacci-3
Bot's Number Tricks
For more fun games and cool things to make, visit the Museum of Mathematics (MoMA) online at:
July/August 2012: Caves Rock!
Follow the migrating cranes:
The Secret Cave
Tour Lascaux caves from your computer and see all the amazing paintings:
http://www.lascaux.culture.fr/?lng=en#/fr/00.xml (English language site)
Explore more caves online and get a list of caves near you at the National Caves Association:
Learn more about bats at the Bat Conservation Society:
Build your own bat house! Free plans at:
Is it legal to keep raccoons and other wild animals as pets? To find the laws in your state, check:
May/June 2012: Bubbles and Balloons
See a jawfish mimic the mimic octopus:
Take a tour of the Canadian ice hotel:
And there's one in Sweden, too:
The First Balloonists
Play with the gases in Earth’s atmosphere at the Atmosphere Design Lab:
There's a Balloon in My Belly!
Video of the Cartesian Diver experiment, and another way to make the diver:
The Alchemist of Air
Explore more about air pressure:
April 2012: How Many Fish in the Sea?
See archaeologists remove an axe from the Viking boat burial:
Everything you want to know about the census! At the Census of Marine Life website:
See where the tuna are right now with the real-time tuna-tracking:
See where other ocean predators are right now too:
Follow tuna taggers as they tag tuna:
Deep-sea explorer game:
Design your own research submarine (ROV) online:
Design your own virtual fish and release it in an online aquarium:
The Encyclopedia of Life, a page for every species on Earth:
Marine expeditions with the classroom-at-sea online:
March 2012: It's Shocking!
Follow the removal of the Elwha river dams as it happens:
Learn more about electricity:
Here's another way to build a motor:
February 2012: In Your Dreams
Find out what other kids think about dreams at PBS Kids It’s My Life:
How much do different animals sleep?
Australian Aboriginal cultures view dreams as a whole separate world. Learn more at:
January 2012: Crazy for Color
Crazy for Color
Explore more color at the Exploratorium:
Try mixing light colors:
See the Universe's cosmic colors:
Body Talk Beneath the Sea
Watch a show about the amazing color-changing cuttlefish:
November/December 2011: Robots Like Us
Hear the vegetable orchestra play:
To find a group building robots near you, check out:
FIRST Lego League
(the international robot soccer league)
BEST Robotics (in Texas and surrounding states)
Robo-One (Japan), a league specializing in humanoid robots
Robo-Games (mostly for older kids)
Robot Events lists events going on in many different leagues:
See automatons in action:
Anatomy of a Robot
See more of what’s inside Pleo the robot dinosaur:
See robot animals in action!
Robot sandfish lizard:
If you like to make stuff, check out Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show:
October 2011: The Fungus Among Us
Join the Khan team or see how the search is going:
Check out more fungi at the Children's University:
See some more mushrooms that glow like the ones on our cover:
September 2011: What's in a Face?
Explore the mind and expressions at the Exploratorium:
July/August 2011: Seeing Stars
This Month's Contest
Get a Sky Map of the stars above your house tonight:
Explore more mysteries of space:
See an animation of a black hole:
Follow the Voyagers’ journey and see what’s on their gold record:
Have more questions about black holes? Check out
Help count the stars from your own computer:
Join the hunt for other planets from your own computer:
Hear sleeping bears snore:
May/June 2011: Wild or Mild?
Hear the newly discovered Koro language:
Tale of the Dog
Read more about Brian Hare and his experiments with how dogs think:
Black Pine Animal Sanctuary:
There are many animal sanctuaries around the country; to find one in your area, search online for "exotic animal sanctuary" or "exotic animal rescue" and your state.
For help with an injured or straying wild animal
Find a wildlife rehabilitator in your area (searchable by city or zip code):
Your local police department (311) can direct you to the animal control officer. They will know what's best to do with any wild animal you might encounter.
National Audubon Society (for help with birds):
April 2011: Can Your Trust Your Senses?
How does a cat drink?
Hear the pyramid that chirps like a bird:
Do You See with Your Eyes or Your Brain?
See balls roll uphill and more amazing illusions:
Gorilla? What Gorilla?
Can you spot the gorilla? See the original experiment:
March 2011: Who Needs Wind?
Meet some of Mr. Blobby's friends at the Census of Marine Life:
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
See a video documentary about William Kamkwamba and his windmill:
Learn how to build an electric motor:
Follow the Rough Science challenge to generate electricity:
Jersey Atlantic Wind Farm
See pictures of the Jersey Atlantic Wind Farm being built:
February 2011: Secret Life of Forests
See Icarus the crow work hard for his dinner:
Visit dancing robots at the RoboCup:
Don't believe it? See a shirt being sprayed on:
What Good is a Forest Fire?
January 2011: Just the Right Size
See a zebra fish embryo growing:
November/December 2010: A Peek Behind the Scenes
Explore a 3D model of Lyuba:
Learn more about mammoths and mastodons:
Lyuba’s exhibit, “Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age”
will be coming to these museums:
October 16, 2010 - January 9, 2011 Liberty Science Center, NJ
March 4 - October 9, 2011 The Anchorage Museum, AK
November 25, 2011 - April 15, 2012 Missouri History Museum, St. Louis, MO
May 26 - September 3, 2012 U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL
October 13, 2012 - January 13, 2013 Museum of Science, Boston, MA
February 15 - May 27, 2013 Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver, CO
July 4 - October 6, 2013 San Diego Natural History Museum, CA
Raise the Bridge
Learn more about Chicago's movable bridges at:
Visit inside a Chicago bridge lift for yourself, at the Chicago Bridge Museum (located inside a bridge):
Watch videos of the bridge going up:
A Day at the Aquarium
To go on your own behind-the-scenes tour at the Shedd aquarium:
Or check with your own local aquarium!
Need more fish facts?
Design your own research submarine (ROV) online:
October 2010: Secrets of Alchemy
See how a fireworks show is put together:
Learn how to make crazy putty in your kitchen:
The Comic Book Periodic Table of the Elements:
September 2010: In Other Words
See meat ants at work:
Follow Plastiki's voyage:
Conversation with an Ape
Learn more about Kanzi and his family:
July/August 2010: Born to Build
See the difference in barefoot running:
See more stone-age symbols:
Which Nest is Best?
Build an oriole nest:
May/June 2010: Try, Try Again
See flying fists of fruit-fly fury: http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13308
Watch an octopus with shells: http://museumvictoria.com.au/about/mv-news/2009/tool-use-in-veined-octopus/
Wings for One
See the Martin Jetpack: http://www.martinjetpack.com/video-gallery.aspx
See the Condor: http://web.mit.edu/invent/www/ima/maccready_video.html
April 2010: Lost & Found
Hear a Parasaurolophus: www.nmnaturalhistory.org/sci_parasaur.html
Hear the first recorded voice: www.firstsounds.org/sounds/scott.php
Hear a rebel yell: http://www.26nc.org/History/Rebel-Yell/rebel-yell.html
Hear a short talk with Rawls, and his recreation of a big group Rebel Yell:
See a live coelacanth:
Grow your own Wollemi pine:
March 2010: Can We Save Them?
Find out more about endangered species and what you can do to help at:
The World Wildlife Federation: http://gis.wwfus.org/wildfinder/
US Wildlife service: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/kids/index.html
Adopt an Animal!
Ask at your local zoo or aquarium, or:
World Wildlife Federation: http://www.worldwildlife.org/ogc/species_category.cfm
National Zoo, Washington: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Support/AdoptSpecies/
Brookfield Zoo, Chicago: http://www.brookfieldzoo.org/ecomv2/adoption/adopf08.asp
Houston Zoo, Houston: http://www.houstonzoo.org/adopt/
San Diego Zoo: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/adopt/animal.html
Explore the world of frogs at: www.exploratorium.edu/frogs
Learn more about the Amphibian Ark: http://www.amphibianark.org/
Watch a documentary about the Amphibian Ark, “A Thin Green Line” :
Help scientsts track frogs and other wildlife:
Wildlife Watch: http://www.nwf.org/WildlifeWatch/
Make a certified native habitat in your backyard:
National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat program: http://www.nwf.org/kidsgardenforwildlife/
or (for grownups) : http://www.nwf.org/backyardwildlifehabitat
Build a Bat House: http://www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife/bathouse.cfm
Bat House instructions to print out: http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/bathouses/SingleChamberBHPlans.pdf
February 2010: Do You See What I See?
Learn more about telescopes:
How does a magnifying glass magnify?
More about reflections:
More about refraction (How does light passing through glass or water bend and make rainbows?):
Find out how to make your own Galileo telescope:
Learn more about light and optics at:
January 2010: In the Ice
Hear cats purr like a baby:
See more about science in the Antarctic:
Explore the North and South poles:
November/December 2009: Searching for Pirates
See more artifacts from the Queen Anne's Revenge and read Wendy's reports at:
Locate artifacts on a map of the Queen Anne's Revenge dive at:
October 2009: Boo!
See the amazing Vegetable Car:
Learn more about fear at:
The California Science Center Goosebumps site,
September 2009: Eureka!
See Snowball the Cockatoo dance:
See an animation of how the Antikythera gears might have worked:
See a Lego model of the Antikythera:
Learn more about the Antikythera at:
July/August 2009: Contintents Crack Up!
Listen to the sound of a real queen ant and a caterpillar faker:
Play the Pangaea game: