121 Ways to Teach Yourself About Science

If you’re like me, you might have hated science in school. Or just didn’t understand the value. Or didn’t retain a single thing. Maybe all of the above.

My freshman honors biology class was like torture, sitting in a lab that we never touched. My college anatomy class was hours of note taking that never got applied to anything but test taking. Conversely, my physical science class was so basic that I hardly ever went.

When I look back at my science education, the word boring comes to mind in big neon lights. But now, STEM is evolving. It’s engaging and humorous and really, really exciting. The truth is that STEM has always been this way, but we were just more disconnected from it. Now, we have more information at our fingertips. I mean, Elon Musk just launched a Tesla Roadster into space and we get to see pictures!

If you find yourself wishing that you’d paid more attention in science class, especially as your kids learn, there are tons of resources out there. Here’s my ultimate list of resources to teach yourself about science!

Some of the links included in my posts are affiliate links. That means that if you follow the link and purchase something, I earn a small commission for my recommendation. This support helps keep my site free and is much appreciated!

Books

Biology

Chemistry

Mathematics

Physics and the Cosmos

Religion & the Afterlife

Technology & Engineering

Women in Science

Miscellaneous Reads


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Streaming Series and Documentaries

I have limited time and brainpower these days (see: two toddlers), so I do a lot of science consumption by video. Here are some of my favorites on popular streaming services!

Netflix

Bill Nye Saves the World – Bill Nye the Science Guy for grownups
Brain Games – entertaining series exploring the tricks our brains can play on us
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – an incredible series about our universe
Dinotasia –
CGI storytelling of prehistoric creatures
Edge of the Universe – latest cosmic discoveries
Einstein’s Biggest Blunder – scientists explore Einstein’s theory of relativity
The Farthest Voyager in Space –
all about NASA’s 1977 launch of space probes
Great Human Odyssey –
scientists map humans’ journey from Africa
Horizon: Secrets of the Solar System – 
advances in astronomy
The Inexplicable Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson – Neil talks technology and wonders of the Universe
Into the Inferno – amazing footage of volcanoes
Life – explore the variety of life on Earth
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World – the history of the internet
The Mars Generation – teenagers at Space Camp
Mega Builders – engineering of awe-inspiring structures
Nature’s Greatest Events – how seasonal changes affect wildlife
Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey –
this series gets bonus points for female hosts
Planet Earth –
 travel the Earth from your couch (Note: all of the BBC Earth documentaries are worth a watch, like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth II, Frozen Planet, etc)
Race of Life – how wild animals continue to survive
The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms –
how they work and where we can find them
The Story of Maths – the history of math, from ancient Egypt to today
Tesla: Master of Lightning – awesome biodoc about Nikola Tesla
White Rabbit Project – from the producers of “MythBusters”, history’s greatest hits

Hulu

Destination Wild – travel around the world to see wildlife in their natural habitats
Hello World – a global look at the inventors and scientists of the future
How It’s Made – how everyday objects are engineered and manufactured
Mojo’s The Circuit – latest tech and gadget news
MythBusters – 
the classic show that busts urban legends and myths
NASA 360 – a look at NASA developed technology that’s changed our lives
NASA X – new innovations by NASA scientists
Secrets of Your Mind – an inside look at case studies about the human brain
StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson – all things space with Neil

Amazon Prime

The Amazing World of Gravity – all about the physics of gravity
Bacterial World: Microbes that Rule Our World – all about bacteria
Birth of the Earth – the story of our planet
Clouds Are Not Spheres – a look at fractal geometry
Edison: The Father of Invention – a biodoc about the inventor
Einstein and the Theory of Relativity – learn about the theory and the scientists still conducting experiments about it
Everything and Nothing: the Science of Empty Space – 
a unique look at empty space
The Fabric of the Cosmos – a look at what makes up the Cosmos
The Fantastical World of Hormones – a look at the chemicals that control our bodies
Hawking – a biopic about Stephen Hawking and his incredible contributions
Henry Ford –
a biopic about Henry Ford and his innovations
How the Grand Canyon Was Made – new evidence of how the Grand Canyon was carved
Life on Us: A Microscopic Safari –
 a microscopic look at the creatures that live on our bodies
Mapping the Future: The Wonder of Algorithms – how algorithms can predict our lives
The Mystery of Dark Matter – explore what we know about dark matter
Nikola Tesla: The Genius Who Lit the World – a look a the father of our modern technological age
Order and Disorder: The Forces that Drive the Universe – a look at the laws of the Universe
The Poisoner’s Handbook – a screen adaption in the spirit of the book
Ring of Fire – explore the geological wonders of the Pacific
Sahara: Altering the Course of History – a look at the great Saharan Desert and the life that used to live there
Sight: The Story of Vision – how our eyes and brains help us see
Sonic Magic: The Wonder of Science and Sound – how sound has shaped our history
Virus Empire: From Sars to Ebola – how viruses have evolved and affect our world

Other Ways to Learn

There is a ton of information out there on the internet. Not all of it is good information, but there are piles of awesome YouTube videos, blogs (like mine, right?), and websites just waiting to answer your most burning science questions. If you’re ever wondering about something, look it up! Add terms like “101” or “introduction” to the subject matter and see what you can find.

One of my favorite ways to learn is to visit local museums and science centers. Some communities have more resources than others, but most of us find ourselves within driving distance of something! Also, check out your local museums, community centers, libraries’ adult programming departments, and universities for opportunities. You never know who might be coming to speak!

And as always, you can send me a message with a topic you’d like to see covered!

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Did I miss any awesome resources? Leave a comment or send me a message to update the list!

5 Fun Kids’ Science Experiment Books

As much as I love Pinterest, it can be time consuming to sort through all of the boards and pins and blog posts to find experiments to try. By the time I find them, I’m done! I don’t want to experiment anymore!

So, that’s when I turn to my trusty collection of books to look for experiments.

Here are my five favorite books on my shelf!

1. 365 Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials

61d0SZTwUWL._SX436_BO1,204,203,200_This book is chocked full of truly simple science experiments, most of which only require basic supplies already floating around your house (like a bottle and wad of paper, for instance). It’s the perfect book to grab when you’re faced with a chorus of “I’M BORED!” this summer.

Bonus: Grab “365 MORE Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials” when you work your way through the first 365!

2. Kitchen Science Lab for Kids

61nYRSXSiPL._SX496_BO1,204,203,200_No, this isn’t a cookbook, exactly. But it is full of exciting projects that will entertain the youngest and oldest scientists at your house with “ingredients” found in your kitchen. The safety moms among us will enjoy her safety tips and attention to detail throughout the book.

Can’t Miss Experiments:
Frankenworms
Rock Candy
Pizza Box Solar Oven
Vegetable Vampires

 

3. The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young Scientists

61slzmdLAxL._SX294_BO1,204,203,200_Who could resist a title like that, right? If there’s anything that can engage an uninterested young scientist, it’s promise of irresponsibility and daring adventure. This book delivers with a lot of fun explosions and messes, best intended for an outdoor setting. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted experimenters (potato guns, Frankenstein hands, homemade lightning, and more)… which is precisely what we love about this book!

On a side note, the book is really aesthetically pleasing too. It doesn’t look or feel like a science book, which makes it all the more appealing for your hesitant scientists.

 

4. Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments

518O7IuSl-L._SX403_BO1,204,203,200_Admittedly, I am the science experiment nerd of this household, with my husband being the nature/conservation nerd, so I wasn’t sold when I looked at the title of this book. However, it is really well written to engage a wide range of ages, not insulting anyone’s intelligence, but still presenting the science in understandable terms for kids.

This book will have your scientists doing everything from polishing pennies to making straw balloon rocket blasters. With only 30 experiments in the book, they’re all well detailed, with color photos to help guide you through the process.

5. Kids’ Book of Simple Machines

61Augt7G+uL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_I love this book on simple machines for many reasons, but especially because it’s a topic usually ignored for the more glamorous chemistry-based reactions. Just like in the movies, the explosions get all the attention!

The six simple machines are made equally thrilling here, with fun projects and detailed explanations to really show their worth!

 

Have you used any of these books with your families? Have other favorites? Let me know in the comments! I always love book suggestions.

Now, go forward, read, and experiment!

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