10 Fun Channels for Learning on YouTube
Over 17 million subscribers can't be wrong. They all tune in to Vsauce to see educator and comedian Michael Stevens take on questions of science, physics, and general knowledge in a fun and lighthearted way. He answers questions like “How much does a shadow weigh?”, “What if everyone jumped at once?”, and "What if the earth stopped spinning?" From the weird to the wonderful, Stevens breaks down complicated stuff so we can all understand.
Dr. Derek Muller is the big brain behind Veritasium, which goes deep into hard science to explain the world all around us, often conducting large-scale experiments to get the answers. Dr. Muller shows us that some of the things we see as simple are actually quite complex. Can silence make people crazy? What's the lightest object in the world? The answers may surprise you.
Doling out knowledge with delightful doodles, Canadian YouTubers Gregory Brown and Mitchell Moffit cover topics like chemistry, biology, and physics on AsapSCIENCE. Plus, a bunch of oddball stuff, such as the burning questions of "Should we all be eating insects?", "Should you hover or cover the toilet seat?", and "What's the science of cheating?" Videos are short, each running about four minutes, entertaining, and to the point.
Another channel that keeps videos short, targeted, and entertaining, MinutePhysics does just what the name says, offering physics lessons in mere minutes. Narration and basic doodles break down complex concepts into easily digestible bites, answering questions like "Why is the solar system flat?" and "How do microwaves work?" All with a healthy dose of humor.
Smarter Every Day
There's no guarantee that this YouTube channel will make you "Smarter Every Day," but there's a pretty good chance that it could. Join engineer Destin Sandlin and his warm southern drawl for in-depth looks at how everyday stuff works. Do you know how film for cameras works? How pecans are harvested? Or how hard you can hit a golf ball? Sandlin breaks it all down with effortless charm.
Taking on topics that range from technology and geography to politics and history, CGP Grey answers basic questions like "How many countries are there?" and "What is a continent?" Plus, big things like how machines use AI to create algorithms. All with animated videos that make learning fun, from five-minute quickies to 20-minute deeper dives.
Hank Green, famous for hosting the YouTube channel Vlogbrothers with his sibling Josh, is the main brain behind SciShow. Using colorful animation in fast-moving videos, the channel covers a wide span of scientific stuff: psychology, astronomy, botany, chemistry, medicine, anthropology, and so much more. Tune in for the answers to things like "Why are eggs egg-shaped?", "What is a botnet?", and "Where does the fat that our bodies burn go?"
The channel began with "crash courses" in biology and history. But as it built up to amass over 12 million subscribers, Crash Course has branched out to cover literature, psychology, ecology, computer science, theater, and more. Bright, colorful animation makes often-dense subjects easy and fun, aided by a teacher who explains topics like plate tectonics, data literacy, and mythologies around the world.
Talks at Google
You're probably aware of TED Talks, which took the concept of putting expert speakers in the spotlight to the masses. Well, Google Talks hosts some awesome chats too. Experts in science and technology are joined by notable names such as Padma Lakshmi offering everyday recipes, astronaut Peggy Whitson on her time in space, and talks with Matthew McConaughey and Graham Norton about their books.
Taking a listology approach to feeding our brains, Mental Floss covers an impressive array of topics. How about food history that looks at the origins of nachos, mashed potatoes, and ramen? Misconceptions about bats, Vikings, and the Renaissance? Would you like to know 23 dramatic facts about Broadway and 10 inventions that changed food history? It's all answered on Mental Floss.
The best YouTube channels for learning are also some of the most compelling. Why not check out a few for yourself and grin as you get smarter?
Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.