Shelley Latham Outreach Coordinator

STEM Podcast Roundup

PostedThursday, December 6, 2018 at 3:41 PM

STEM Podcast Roundup

Podcasts are easy, fun, cover unlimited topics, and are extremely popular. A recent industry report estimated the number of active podcasts at 550,000 with over 18.5 million episodes.  There are several theories about why they have become the preferred news and entertainment media for millions of listeners.  After an initial excitement with interactive screens, people might be getting tired of constantly reading and scrolling through visual content. Podcasts shift the focus to the ears and allow us to engage with content while driving or doing repetitive tasks. My husband listens to his favorites while gardening. On the production side, they can be easy and inexpensive to produce making it possible for non-media professionals to share their passions or expertise to a wider audience. Educators have taken the opportunity to produce podcasts on topics from pedagogy to self-care and teachers are tuning in.

So, it is no surprise that there is an excellent selection of podcasts related to engineering and STEM education. There are many ways for educators to use podcasts. They are excellent sources of professional development for the time-pressed. Episodes can be listened to while commuting, walking the dog, or making dinner. They can be used for refreshing familiarity with subject matter or for new curriculum ideas. Some teachers have incorporated podcasts into their lesson plans as an alternative to reading and text-based research for students. Podcasts can allow students to slow-down and focus. Often delivering science and engineering in new and exciting ways.

We have assembled a list of 12 podcasts with an engineering or STEM focus that we think are worth adding to your listening library.

Listening to Teachers

The K12 Engineering Education Podcastki12podcast

Episodes: 71   Length: Range 28-60 minutes   Frequency:  twice/month
Sample episodes: The Future of Assessment in Engineering Design; Are All-Girl Engineering Classes Different?

Producer and host Pius Wong thinks he might have the only podcast dedicated entirely to the teaching of k-12 engineering.  And he just might be right. His target audience is educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and parents who want to instill engineering thinking into young people. Pius interviews educators and engineers to find better ways to teach and inspire kids in invention, problem-solving, persistence, teamwork, and imagination. Pius is a member, so if you like his podcast you can connect with him here on LinkEngineering.

STEM everydaySTEM Everyday Podcast

Episodes: 112   Length: 20-30 minutes  Frequency: twice/month
Sample Episodes: I Teach Explorers, Innovators, & Problem Solvers; The Secret Society of Tinkerers

Produced and hosted by Chris Woods, a high school math teacher and STEM presenter, the STEM Everyday Podcast focuses on how teachers can infuse STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) into their everyday lessons. Episodes explore and share great ideas that inspire students to want to learn while challenging them in the process. Woods says “It doesn’t matter what subject or grade level is being taught, STEM can be incorporated into all classrooms. This podcast aims to assist teachers in giving students needed opportunities to learn and take charge of their learning, rather than having them acquiring sequestered bits and pieces of content.”

LaboutloudLab Out Loud

Episodes: 225+   Length: Range 28-60 minutes   Frequency: twice/month
Sample episodes: Science Education for Incarcerated Youth; On the Lookout: 3D Printers, Virtual Reality, and Drones!; A Space Engineer’s Guide to Exploration

Hosted by two science teachers, Dale Basler and Brian Bartel, Lab Out Loud is a podcast that discusses science news and science education by interviewing leading scientists, researchers, engineers, science writers and other important figures in the field.

STEM ReadsThe STEM Read Podcast

Episodes: 13    Length: 40-60 minutes   Frequency: monthly
Sample episodes: Science Fiction to Fuel Science Fact;  Games, Goldfish and Greatness

The STEM Read podcast explores the connections between STEM and storytelling.  Hosts Gillian King-Cargile and Dr. Kristin Brynteson dive into hot topics in K-12 education with an educator or STEM expert. After that, they talk with an author whose books can ignite enthusiasm for reading and learning.  They have great reading recommendations that will spark STEM ideas for your classroom or library. 

Fresh Takes on Engineering and Science

EnginesThe Engines of Our Ingenuity

Episodes: 3,197   Length: 3-4 minutes   Frequency: weekly
Sample episodes:  Newspapers vs. the Internet: The Converging Literacies of the Digital Age; The invention of money -- an abstraction of goods and servicesFlying Down to Rio: Making flight safe; keeping flight dangerous

The Engines of Our Ingenuity is a radio program that tells the story of how our culture is formed by human creativity. Written and hosted by John Lienhard and other contributors, it is heard nationally on Public Radio and produced by Houston Public Media. It is now available as a podcast.

Don’t be fooled by the short run-times. These little audio essays pack a lot of interest into a small package. They cover the who, what, where, why, how of man’s inventions. The website has full transcripts and is a treasure trove of interesting stories and thought-provoking ideas. The 3,000+ episodes are searchable, which makes this a great destination for students. The short run-times make these a fun addition to lesson plans in history, math, science, and engineering.

SciShow TangScience Show Tangents

Episodes: 5  (New!)  Length:  30 minutes  Frequency: Weekly
Sample episodes: Satellites; Flightless Birds

The producers behind the popular YouTube series SciShow, Hank Green, Ceri Riley, Stefan Chin, and Sam Schulz, have created this podcast to try to one-up and amaze each other with weird and funny scientific research. Suitable for adults and kids, there are tangents about video games, music, weird smells, and surprisingly deep insights about life, but it always comes back to the science. High energy, well produced, funny and with celebrity hosts.

STEM StoryHer STEM Story

Episodes: 35   Length: 30-45 minutes  Frequency: Weekly
Sample episodes: Leading Women Engineers; Deciphering Astrophysics and Diversity; This Mom Can Code

Producer and host, Prasha Sarwate, created Her STEM Story to share the interesting and often inspiring stories about how women get into STEM. The interviews with female engineers and scientists discuss their backgrounds, education, and what they are doing today. These stories can be valuable for middle and high school students curious about different engineering fields while providing examples of successful women at all stages of their STEM careers.

99%99% Invisible

Episodes: 331   Length: 30-40 minutes  Frequency: weekly
Sample episodes: Raccoon Resistance; The Athletic Brassiere

99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. With over 250 million downloads, 99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes.

The hundreds of episodes are searchable by category: architecture, infrastructure, cities, objects, sounds, visuals, technology and history. The show has high production values and very engaging storytelling. Great for adults and kids.

unprofessionalUnprofessional Engineering

Episodes: 118    Length: 30-40 minutes   Frequency: weekly
Sample episodes:  Dams: Making Power, Yet Killing the Environment; Engineers Love Affair with 2D Drawings; How it Works: The Printing Press

Producers and hosts James and Luke take a laid-back approach to getting people interested in science, technology, machinery, engineering and the history behind everyday things. Not unlike hanging out with friends who know a little more about engineering than you do. They break down a weekly engineering topic, often suggested by their audience. A fun way to demystify the engineering process.

CurrentsThe Current Science & Technology Podcast

Episodes: 10   Length: 15-20 minutes   Frequency: monthly
Sample episodes: The Future of Robotics; Solar Sailing with the Planetary Society

From the Museum of Science in Boston. Podcasting an in-depth look at the latest in science and technology through weekly interviews with guest researchers and Museum staff. A nice, quick way to stay on top of emerging technology and scientific breakthroughs.

discovery filesThe Discovery Files

Episodes: 802   Length: 1:30 minutes   Frequency: weekly
Sample Episodes: WiFi Spy; Re-Makable

An upbeat, very quick look at the latest advances in science and engineering. Each episode covers a project funded by NSF -- federally sponsored research, brought to you by you!

Engineering Innovation Podcast & Radio Series

Episodes: 735   Length: 1minute   Frequency: weekly
Sample Episodes: Master List of Murder;  Future Flood Fixes

The National Academy of Engineering works with the Washington, D.C. region's most listened-to radio station — the all-news format WTOP Radio — to provide weekly features highlighting engineering innovations and stories that add technical context to issues in the news.

Tell us what you are listening to in the comments. Any favorites that we missed? Let us know!

Add a Comment
Add a Comment