Teachers know that the easiest way to understand new concepts is to see them in action. But you can’t always do hands-on experiments or demos in the classroom. Plus, some things just aren’t possible—like a trip to outer space or a deep dive into the ocean. That’s when you need a good source for free science videos. Our picks include short and long options for students from pre-K through high school. Enjoy the show!
Free Science Videos on Instagram
Instagram videos are terrific when you’re short on time. They’re all shorter than ten minutes, and many are even briefer. Use these free science videos to introduce a lesson, illustrate a point, or as bell ringers to get class started.
With lots of quick clips, especially of fascinating animals, Discovery’s Instagram videos are winners for multiple ages.
Check it out: @discovery
Hands-on science experiments and demos are always a favorite with kids, but not all of them are practical in the classroom. Fortunately, MEL Science has a whole collection of them in their Instagram videos!
Check it out: @melscience
When it comes to space, there’s no better source than NASA. Their videos are informative and beautiful, with topics ranging from life on Earth to the furthest reaches of space.
Check it out: @nasa
National Audubon Society
Doing a unit on birds? Tap into the Audubon Society’s quick videos for gorgeous footage of feathered fliers from around the world.
Check it out: @audubonsociety
Nature shares a wide variety of quick videos featuring adorable (and hilarious) animals, beautiful scenery, and much more.
Check it out: @nature
It’s no surprise that National Geographic has a robust Instagram account. The quality of their videos is stunning, just like you’d expect.
Check it out: @natgeo
The oddly mesmerizing videos from Physics Fun show physics toys in action. The text explains the science behind it all.
Check it out: @physicsfun
ScienceAlert rounds up the latest news stories about scientific topics of all kinds. Their Instagram video feed highlights some of the coolest new science videos out there.
Check it out: @sciencealert
The Science Channel’s Instagram feed includes its own videos, plus highlights from related channels like Animal Planet.
Check it out: @sciencechannel
Science magazine keeps you up to date on the latest science news. Their Instagram videos highlight new discoveries and amazing finds.
Check it out: @sciencemagazine
Free Science Videos on YouTube
On YouTube, free science videos vary widely in length and depth. Some are short clips, while others can fill a whole class period with detailed information on a topic. That means you’re sure to find something that will work for your class!
If you spend any time on social media, you’ve almost certainly seen some of AsapScience’s work. These hand-drawn free science videos are as fun to watch as they are informative, so it’s easy to see why they’re so popular. (Many of these will be more appropriate for older students, so pre-screen before you play.)
Check it out: AsapSCIENCE
This series explores more of those nagging questions you’d love to know the answers to, like, “Does my dog know what I’m thinking?” The conversational tone makes even complex topics easy to understand.
Check it out: Be Smart
Clarendon Learning is a one-stop shop for complete free lesson plans on a variety of subjects. They also have an extensive video library, including dozens of science videos that are perfect for an elementary school audience.
Check it out: Clarendon Learning Science
Getting ready to introduce a new topic to your class? Start off with a CrashCourse video. These quick overviews of detailed topics are fast and engaging and will prepare your students to take a more detailed look at things. The videos were made with adults in mind, so they’re best for middle and high school kids.
Check it out: CrashCourse
Finding Stuff Out
This Canadian TV series explores topics that interest kids, with a kid host to lead the way. Full episodes are about 20 minutes, just long enough to hold their attention.
Check it out: Finding Stuff Out
Home Science is another channel showing hands-on science experiments. These simple videos don’t include any narration, so use them as an accompaniment to a lesson that provides more info.
Check it out: Home Science
How Stuff Works
You’ll find a huge variety of topics here, all done in a casual style that’s easy for kids to relate to. Be aware that some of these videos are a little more PG-13 than G, so watch in advance to make sure they’re appropriate for your audience.
Check it out: How Stuff Works
The Infographics Show
Need a constant source of new videos? The Infographics Show has you covered. Each day, they upload a new video full of numbers and statistics to answer life’s important and not-so-important questions. Their content varies, but many cover science topics. They’re not all appropriate for younger kids, so preview before showing in class.
Check it out: The Infographics Show
MinuteEarth has a regularly updated collection of short, free science videos all about Earth. We especially love that there’s a whole channel of videos in Spanish (MinutoDeLaTierra), too.
Check it out: MinuteEarth
When you want longer videos than Instagram can provide, visit NASA’s YouTube channel. Their video collection includes recordings of launches and landings as well as plenty of other important space-related topics.
Check it out: NASA’s Video Gallery
National Geographic Kids
Help kids explore the world, both near and far, with Nat Geo Kids videos. Learn amazing facts about ice cream, robots, inventions, droids, and more. You name it—Nat Geo Kids has it!
Check it out: National Geographic Kids
This UK-based YouTube channel focuses mainly on the human body, exploring how it works through fun videos. Their selection includes videos featuring kids with health challenges and disabilities, putting a real face to these conditions to help students better understand them.
Check it out: Operation Ouch
Popular Science has been covering fascinating topics in its magazine for nearly 150 years. So it’s no surprise they have an archive of videos on pretty much any subject you can think of. Some are more in-depth than others, so teachers of all ages will find useful, free science videos here.
Check it out: Popular Science
Science Bob’s videos are a combination of experiments you can try yourself and experiences you probably can’t replicate. Whether he’s building a baking soda volcano or floating through zero gravity with 2000 ping-pong balls, these free science videos are sure to entertain.
Check it out: Science Bob
Science Kids rounds up free science videos from YouTube and other sources in one place. They cover a wide range of topics, like weather, engineering, and video-game technology, just to name a few.
Check it out: Science Kids
Scientific American has been publishing its magazine since 1845, and its video archives are full of fascinating subjects. There are free science videos here for a range of ages and interests.
Check it out: Scientific American
Science Max takes the same science experiments you might try in the classroom and supersizes them! These are things you probably can’t try at home, but your students will love watching these videos instead.
Check it out: Science Max
The Pre-K crowd will enjoy learning alongside Squeaks, a curious mouse puppet. SciShow Kids has a huge selection of free science videos on every topic imaginable, all aimed at little ones who are ready to learn.
Check it out: SciShow Kids
Sid the Science Kid
Chances are good that if you teach preschool, you already know about Sid the Science Kid. His fun and friendly approach to topics like muscles, whales, and bugs is beloved by kids everywhere. You’ll find some Sid the Science Kid videos on YouTube, and even more on the PBS Kids website.
Check it out: Sid the Science Kid
The Slow Mo Guys
Camera technology allows us to see the world in new ways, including in super slow motion. These free science videos let kids see things that happen too fast for the naked eye, making difficult concepts easier to understand.
Check it out: The Slo Mo Guys
What is it about puppets that just make learning more fun? Socratica’s free videos star friendly puppets that aim to help pre-K kids get ready for school by learning the basics of science and math topics.
Check it out: Socratica Kids
There’s plenty of science behind kids’ favorite sports. This video series from ESPN looks at the science involved in running the fastest, jumping the highest, kicking the hardest, and more.
Check it out: Sport Science
Steve Spangler’s Sick Science
Steve Spangler has all the coolest science experiments and demos, the ones that make kids go “wow!” You can watch his videos on their own or use his directions and explanations to complete hands-on science activities in class.
Check it out: Steve Spangler’s Sick Science
Tell Me Why
The Tell Me Why series from The Explained Channel seeks to answer the never-ending “but WHY?” inquiries from kids. These fun videos offer a light-hearted look at all sorts of science concepts.
Check it out: Tell Me Why
According to creator Derek Muller, Veritasium is the “element of truth.” Derek brings science to life with interviews, quizzes, and even two-part videos, in which you get to predict the outcome of an experiment then see the results.
Check it out: Veritasium
While you’re on YouTube, why not drop by the WeAreTeachers page? We’re always adding new videos just for teachers, like How to Print on Post-it Notes or Making Stress Balls for the Classroom. Be sure to subscribe so you’ll always know what’s new!
Plus, check out the Best Science Websites for Middle and High School.