Ever wonder how to map an underwater forest? Or what it takes to compose a symphony about space? Perhaps it would be fun to learn how we might one day communicate with astronauts on Mars? Or how people can restore their connection with water? And just what exactly would a person take with them on a journey to an “underwater spaceship’?
All of these sound like pretty cool jobs don’t they? What’s even better is that anyone could have a career that deals with any of these issues. These intriguing questions are all problems that real-life STEM and STEAM experts are solving right now in their day-to-day work. But what exactly would it take to follow their path?
Solve It! For Kids is a new science podcast that I started with podcast personality Jed Doherty that gives kids and families a peek into the life of real scientists, engineers, and experts and challenges listeners to use curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity to solve a problem related to each guest’s work.
Geared to children of ALL ages 10 and up, at home or in school, Solve It! For Kids taps into everyone’s natural curiosity about science, history, mysteries, and how to fix issues. Each week, Jed, myself, and our guests – aquanaut and ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau, world-famous conductor and composer Eric Whitacre; Astronaut Cady Coleman; Dr. Gene Van Buren, nuclear physicist from Brookhaven Lab; Dr. Kelsey Leonard, water scientist and member of the Shinnecock Nation; Award-winning author/illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton; NASA Mars engineer Darlene Lim; and magician Sue-Ann Webster; among others – give our listeners a behind the scenes look at the expert jobs, including some awesome fun facts.
Did you know that it takes between 4 and 24 minutes for a signal to travel to Mars from the Earth?
Did you know that aquanauts swim 10- 12 hours a day when they are underwater?
Did you know that sometimes aquanauts have to swim in water that looks as dense as chocolate milk?
Each episode concludes with our guest posing a challenge to listeners (see the collection at www.solveitforkids.com ) so kids and their families and students and their teachers can get creative! Here’s a few recent challenges:
- Compose a piece of music in less than 24 hours, using only four notes that lasts 1 minute long,
- Compile of list of things to take to your underwater spaceship, or even just take a quiet walk along the water
Why did I create this podcast? I have been honored to work with some amazing scientists and engineers over my 10 years as a STEM children’s author. I see these experts’ energy and excitement when they are explaining what they do, what problems they have to solve, and their joy at working in STEAM-oriented fields. I wanted to display that passion to kids— of all ages— to give them a tangible sense that science is FUN and exciting! In our chats, the experts often talk about what led them to their careers and how kids can follow their path. It is their hope, and mine, that everyone who listens will be inspired to pursue STEM/STEAM interests in jobs, hobbies and activities, and everything they do. After all science is all around us!
All Solve It! For Kids episodes are aligned with K-12 NGSS standards for Design and Engineering and are downloadable on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. Perfect for classroom or homeschool use. Give them a listen and start planning your STEM dream job today!
Written by Jennifer Swanson
About Co-hosts Jennifer Swanson and Jed Doherty
Jennifer Swanson’s motto is: Science Rocks! A middle school science instructor for Johns Hopkins’ CTY Online and a STEM enthusiast, Swanson encourages kids of all ages to engage their curiosity and discover the science all around them. An accomplished speaker, she has presented at National Science Teachers Association conferences, the World Science Festival, the Highlights Foundation, the Atlanta Science Festival, and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival. Her over 40 published nonfiction books for children and have received many accolades including National Science Teachers Assn. (NSTA) BEST STEM awards, the Green Earth Book Honor Award, a Florida Book Award, and multiple California Reading Association awards, a Parent’s Choice Gold Award, among many others.
Solve It! co-host Jed Doherty is the executive producer and host of the Reading With your Kids Podcast, nominated for the iHeartRadio Best Kids and Family Podcast Award and has long been a supporter of books and reading and kids books and kids reading. Solve It! initially launched on the Reading With Your Kids Podcast which has a following of over 50,000 listeners, has been downloaded to every continent on the planet, and published over 700 episodes.