My coworkers and I are in a routine now. We drink coffee together and chat about last night’s stellar Uno game. We settle down quickly to the serious work of resubmitting an R01 and creating content for Edge for Scholars. Middle management naps in the window.

The interns roll in around 10 AM and, after reviewing our mission, vision, values and goals, embark on training and development with frozen waffles.

At the intersection of Zoom conferences and melt downs are the glorious You Tubers who have valiantly posted hours of distraction content.

Here are emergency supplies for 30 minutes to 5 hours of quiet time:


Mark Rober

Former NASA engineer delivers quality content with clear explanations. Mark Rober is a family favorite and has just started science class 3 days a week. His monthly videos are impressive.



When your kids are engrossed in learning about the French Revolution, you can’t tell them to turn off the TV and clean their room. The most entertaining of history lessons.


Popular Mechanics for Kids (PMK)

Canadian TV show from the late 1990s that shows how things work. A little dated, but still a favorite in our house.


King of Random

Videos dedicated to all kinds of life hacks, experiments, and random projects. Less focused on science, but entertaining.


Colin Furze

His description: Mad vehicles. Epic projects. Crazy inventions.

My kids are still talking about treadmill stairs and catapulting out of bed. Perhaps don’t try these at home.


Kara and Nate

Geography, adventure, and kindness. Kara and Nate spent 4 years visiting 100 countries and documented every single moment.


Moriah Elizabeth

Rainbow art projects with a little ‘tude. Tween heaven.


Most Dangerous Ways to School

These eye opening family-friendly episodes had my kids thinking about school in a very different way.

Recommendations from my colleagues with younger kids

 Go Noodle

Fun movement and mindfulness videos for when the interns are jumping off the couches.



Daily projects based on grade level.


Adventure Academy (annual subscription)

An educational and interactive game.


Brainpop and Brainpop Junior (annual subscription) and

Short, animated, educational movies for kids of all ages.


PBS Kids

Enough quality programming for a good 6 years of social distancing.

Favorites: Sid the Science KidDoc McStuffinsSuper Why, Daniel Tiger, and Dinosaur Train.



Staying Productive and Patient

Awesome Science Videos

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1 Comment

You can get a lot done in 30 minutes – these are all great!

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