Editing Curious Kids – where we ask academic experts to answer real questions from real kids – is the highlight of my working week. The questions are brilliant, of course, but I also love how determined the academic authors are to craft replies that are informative and engaging, but not condescending.
And in amongst all the grant-writing, research and day-to-day work of academia, engaging with insatiably curious young minds is a nice reminder for many of why they became topic experts in the first place. Or so I have been told.
This year saw the launch of the podcast Imagine This, a co-production between ABC KIDS listen and The Conversation, based on our Curious Kids articles.
Hosted by Brianna Peterson, Imagine This tackles topics we’ve covered before in Curious Kids, including: Why does rain only come from grey clouds? Why are mosquito bites itchy? and Do animals sleep like people?
And many more! You can see the full episode list here. And I speak from some personal experience when I say: Imagine This is a god-send if you are contemplating a long car trip with kids these holidays.
I’ve listed below some highlights from Curious Kids this year, sorted into some broad categories. It’s not an exhaustive list and you can see all our Curious Kids stories over here. I hope any young minds in your household find something they like in there – and may be inspired to send their own questions to email@example.com.
If you like space…
- Curious Kids: What existed before the Big Bang? Did something have to be there to go boom?
- Curious Kids: What are some of the challenges to Mars travel?
- Curious Kids: Are there living things on different galaxies? (listen to the podcast episode from Imagine This over here).
- Curious Kids: Is there anything hotter than the Sun?
- Curious Kids: How do wormholes work?
- Curious Kids: will the universe expand forever, or contract in a big crunch?
- Curious Kids: Why do you have to wear a helmet in space?
If you like animals…
- Curious Kids: Why is a magpie’s poo black and white?
- Curious Kids: Do butterflies remember being caterpillars?
- Curious Kids: What sea creature can attack and win over a blue whale?
- Curious Kids: Why do birds sing?
- Curious Kids: Do cats and dogs lose baby teeth like people do?
- Curious Kids: Why do sea otters clap?
- Curious Kids: Where do seagulls go when they die and why don’t we find dead seagulls on the beach?
- Curious Kids: Why don’t dogs live as long as humans?
If you like technology…
- Curious Kids: How do remote controls work?
- Curious Kids: what’s the history of aircraft squawk codes and how do they work?
- Curious Kids: How do you know that we aren’t in virtual reality right now?
- Curious Kids: How do SIM cards make a phone work?
If you like nature…
- Curious Kids: What is dew?
- Curious Kids: where do clouds come from and why do they have different shapes?
- Curious Kids: Why do volcanoes erupt?
- Curious Kids: Where did trees come from?
- Curious Kids: Is it true that male seahorses give birth?
- Curious Kids: What causes windy weather?
- Curious Kids: why doesn’t lava melt the side of the volcano?
- Curious Kids: Why are leaves green?
If you like physics, chemistry and forces…
- Curious Kids: How and why do magnets stick together?
- Curious Kids: If an insect is flying in a car while it is moving, does the insect have to move at the same speed?
- Curious Kids: Why aren’t birds pulled down by gravity while they’re flying?
- Curious Kids: How does glow in the dark paint work?
- Curious Kids: If Australia is at the bottom of the world, why are we the right way up?
If you like knowing how our bodies work…
- Curious Kids: Why does my snot turn green when I have a cold?
- Curious Kids: What happens in our bodies when we sleep?
- Curious Kids: Why do people get cancer?
- Curious Kids: How do we smell?
- Curious Kids: Why do we need food? (You can hear the Imagine This podcast episode on the same topic over here.)
- Curious Kids: Why do people grow to certain sizes?
- Curious Kids: Why do we have tonsils?????
- Curious Kids: Why do you blink when there is a sudden loud noise close by?
- Curious Kids: Why do people get the hiccups and how do you get rid of them? (You can hear the Imagine This episode on the same topic over here.)
- Curious Kids: Why are we ticklish?
- Curious Kids: What happens in the body when we sweat?
Read more: Curious Kids: Are mermaids real?
Hello, curious kids! Have you got a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please tell us your name, age and which city you live in. We won’t be able to answer every question but we will do our best.