Cool Science Videos and Links

Here are some of my favorite links to fun and interesting videos, games and activities about the science in the Mad Scientist Academy books.


Mad Scientist Academy: The Weather Disaster

The field of paleontology is always changing, as scientists make new discoveries and learn new things about some of the most amazing creatures ever to walk the Earth. Below are links to some of the sites and videos that I found really helpful when I was writing The Dinosaur Disaster.




AMNH.tvDinosaurs Explained
These videos from the American Museum of Natural History do a great job answering dozens of questions about dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs Explained

What Do Paleontologists Do?
These fascinating videos show how paleontologists do their jobs.

Discovering a Lost World 

Moving a Giant 10-Ton Fossil

These videos on the American Natural History Museum website are all about the flying cousins of dinosaurs.

What is a Pterosaur

How Did Pterosaurs Fly?

Why Are Pterosaur Fossils Rare?

Velociraptor fighting protoceritopsPrehistoric Life
This page from the BBC has lots of facts about Velociraptors, including a video of a computer animated battle between two dinosaurs based on a fossil found in the Mongolian desert.

Nature: Prehistoric Life

Five ancient crocodile ancestors, two previously unknown, have been uncovered in the Sahara by a National Geographic researcher and his team. The most imposing, BoarCroc, had triple fangs and likely could have taken down a dinosaur.

Weird Prehistoric Crocs Discovered

Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Dinosaur bones: How do we know their age?
Fossil dating is a lot like eating a delicious ice cream cake. Well, sort of. We find out how scientists look at the rock and elements AROUND a fossil to figure out its age. Plus: We talk to a scientist who studied one of the coolest fossils discovered recently: a dinosaur tail trapped in amber, complete with feathers! (18 minutes)

Age of Dinosaur Bones
Dinosaurs Had Feathers?
Kristi Curry Rogers is a paleontologist who focuses on evolution and paleobiology of dinosaurs. She’s been interested in dinosaurs since she was a little girl. She read a magazine article about a paleontologist that had found fossilized dinosaur eggs. Kristi had never thought about dinosaurs having babies before. Or being parents. She couldn’t stop thinking and asking questions about dinosaurs and she’s been doing it ever since.(11 minutes)

Dinosaurs Had Feathers?

In this episode, co-host Kate Wexler joins us to ask and answers some questions related to extinction: Did dinosaurs have feathers? What is extinction anyway? Could you bring back species that have gone extinct? (30 minutes)


Interactive Websites

Bizarre Dinosaurs

This website features strange facts about 22 different dinosaurs:

Learn about Bizarre Dinosaurs


On this site you can learn about the evolution of life on Earth, from the birth of the planet until the time when humans evolved.

Prehistoric time line

National Geographic Kids: Dinosaurs

Watch videos, play games, and learn fascinating facts about dinosaurs at this fun website:

Nat Geo Kids

London Natural History Museum

This site features fun games and quizzes about dinosaurs:

NHM Kids Only Dinosaurs

Virtual Fossil Dig

On this site you can use a paleontologist's tools to uncover dinosaur bones:

Dig for dinosaurs

Free iPad Apps

Dinosaur iPadThese free iPad apps are fun and interactive ways to learn more about pterosaurs and dinosaurs.

Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs

DINOSAURS iPad: AMNH Collections


AMNHThe American Natural History Museum has a great list of other books for kids to learn more about dinosaurs

Dinosaurs Alive Booklist for Children

Activities and Lesson Plans

Teacher Resources

Mad Scientist Academy Dinosaur Activities
I have bunch of dinosaur activities and lesson plans geared around The Dinosaur Disaster, and you can find them all here:

Games, activities, and lesson plans

American Museum of Natural History
There are many dinosaur educational resources on the American Natural History Museum website:

Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries Educator Guide
Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries Activities
The World's Largest Dinosaurs Educator Guide


Mad Scientist Academy: The Weather Disaster

Meteorology is a fascinating and exciting science, covering everything from sunny summer days to massive hurricanes. Below are links to some of the sites and videos that I found really helpful when I was writing The Weather Disaster.




All About Tornados
Tornadoes, nearly three-quarters of which occur within the U.S., are unpredictable and can cause massive damage. New tools and data are helping scientists learn more about when they might form and what paths they might take.

Tornados 101

What causes hurricanes?
Hurricanes are massive storms with deadly force. Find out how they form, and what's being done to better predict their impact.

Hurricanes 101

Climate and Weather
Where does climate stop and weather begin? And which is to blame when Mother Nature turns violent? Learn what makes nature unleash her fury and what you can do to protect yourself.

Climate and weather

Weather educational videos for elementary students
Here is a website with links to a lot of YouTube videos that teach kids about weather, climate, extreme weather, and more.

Weather Videos for Kids

What is Climate Change?
Climate Change is a real and serious issue. In this video Bill Nye, the Science Guy, explains what causes climate change, how it affects our planet, why we need to act promptly to mitigate its effects, and how each of us can contribute to a solution.

Climate Change 101

Brains On! Science podcast for kids

The Water Cycle
It's easy to take water for granted. After all, you just turn a faucet and it pours right out. But how does it get to our faucet? We'll explore the water cycle from rain to your drain. And did you know that space is full of water? It's one of the most common features of the universe. We'll also look at all the important things our bodies do with water -- and how that's a cycle too. Caution: this episode may make you very thirsty. (21 minutes)

Water, water everywhere -- but how does it get there?

Thunder, lightning and tornadoes
There are some basic ingredients needed to make thunderstorms and tornadoes. We'll find out what they are – and how to observe these powerful and amazing storms safely. Plus: A weather-related mystery sound! (14 minutes)

Thunder, lightning and tornadoes: Where do they come from?

Predicting the weather
There's all sorts of weather happening right now around the world. Rain, sun, wind, snow... you name it, somewhere it's happening. It may seem hard to keep track of it all, but scientists have it figured out. We'll find out how they collect data on weather around the globe and turn it into a forecast. We'll also find out where wind comes from and test our ears with the mystery sound! (24 minutes)

How do meteorologists predict the weather?

From a distance, snowflakes may all look the same, but they are not. In fact, there are lots of different shapes of snowflakes -- not just those classic shapes you might try to replicate with paper cut-outs. Dr. Ken Libbrecht answers all of our snowflake questions: How are snowflakes made? Why are they different shapes? How is it that they're all unique? And how does a scientist who lives in southern California study snow? And, he also lets us in on his brush with a couple Arendelle princesses. Music in this episode by Podington Bear. (12 minutes)

Why are no two snowflakes the same?

Interactive Websites

Learn about solids, liquids, and gases with this interactive game.

Solids, Liquids and Gases

Here's another game to learn more about water changing between solid, liquid and gas.

Changing State of Water

Test your weather knowledge with this multiple choice game on Fun Brain.

Weather Dog

Activities and Lesson Plans

Here's a website with lots of weather related experiments you can try.

Weather Wiz Kids

Learn how snowflakes form from crystals in this experiment (some adult help required)

Make a Crystal Snowflake!

NASA's website for teaching students about weather and climate change.

Climate Kids: NASA's Eyes on the Earth

Weather and Seasons worksheets and activities. These can be sorted by grade level.

Worksheets and activities


Astronomy is an amazing science with break throughs every year. New discoveries and possibilities for life beyond Earth are appearing all the time. Below are links to some of the sites and videos that I found really helpful when I was writing The Space Disaster.




Exploring Our Solar System
Here is an in-depth introduction to the Solar System and the planets that are in it. From the sun to why poor Pluto is no longer considered a planet, come along for a ride across the Solar System and learn a ton of cool facts about Solar System! (11 minutes)
Exploring Our Solar System

The Planet Earth
Our home plane Earth is the third planet from the sun. We have one moon, liquid water, and life! Learn about the layers of the earth, what our atmosphere does for us, and why years and days are the lengths they are. (6 minutes)
The Planet Earth

All About the Sun
The Sun is a giant ball of burning hot gasses, millions of degrees at its core! The sun is a star (yes, really!) that provides the heat and energy that life on Earth needs to survive. It may look peaceful from where we sit, but 93 million miles/150 million km away - that's how far it is - the sun is churning and roiling with eruptions of radiation bigger than the earth! (5 minutes)
All About the Sun

The International Space Station
This educational HD video shows how the International Space Station works and operates. Get a personal tour of the ISS from an astronaut living there! (29 minutes)
The International Space Station

Brains On! Science podcast for kids

Living Large on the International Space Station
The International Space Station sits 250 miles above Earth, but how did it get there?
Astronaut Don Pettit tells us about what it’s like to live on the ISS, and he should know. He’s spent over a year of his life on various space missions.
Living on the ISS

Is there life on other planets
In this episode we hear from astronomer Laura Danly about the search for life on other planets. We’ll also learn what that search has in common with a fairy tale (HINT: it involves three bears).
Is There Life on Other Planets?

The Mystery of Gravity
Gravity is a very familiar force to us here on Earth. We know how it behaves and how it affects us. But where does it come from? We’ll also talk to a NASA astronaut about what it’s like to experience micro-gravity.
The Mystery of Gravity

Interactive Websites

NASA Space Place
A fun website for kids of all ages. Learn about astronomy with games, activities, and animations.
NASA Space Place

Lesson Plans

A Study of the Size and Scale of the Sun and Planets for Grades 3-5
Home Science Tools
Three lesson plans on learning about the Solar System for Grades 1-2
Earth and Space worksheets and activities
These can be sorted by grade level.