5 YouTube science channels primary school teachers need to know about

Why should primary teachers use YouTube?

YouTube is now an essential part of the internet and for many young people, it's almost entirely replaced TV. For every Minecraft tutorial out there, there's an education channel dedicated to providing high-quality teaching content. And because it's on YouTube, it's completely free and a goldmine for primary teachers.

We’ve listed channels below that are great for quickly getting up to speed on science topics and some that are great for showing to your class at the start of a lesson.

Our top five ‘science for all’ YouTube channels:

1. SciShow – really useful YouTube channel. Clear explanations of some tricky concepts. Lots of frequently asked, fun science questions. Has a collection of videos all about key figures in science (past and present), which would be perfect for children’s research.

2. Sick Science – in association with Steve Spangler. Lots of fun science experiments. Very child-friendly but doesn’t give much in the way of explanations. Definitely one for the kids!

3. Crash course – this is a great channel for learning more about a wide range of topics with the brilliant Hank Green. Also check out Crash Course Kids, a child-friendly channel for general science themes and other interesting questions.

4. MinuteEarth and MinutePhysics – short animated videos that cover some fairly tricky concepts with clear explanations.

5. Brusspup – no theory and no explanations, just scientific phenomena and illusion videos. Would be perfect to use as an introduction to specific themes. A favourite is 10 Amazing Science Tricks Using Liquid!

… and for some extra brain-melting, super STEM:

1. Veritasium – complex science and science questions you never thought to ask.

2. Numberphile – brilliant for Maths lovers. So, what is a googolplex?

3. VSauce – another great channel geared towards physics, engineering and space. Tackles some brilliant topics and questions. One of my son’s favourites as they appear to answer every question he’s ever asked!

Homework tasks

You could also suggest watching the videos as part of homework and home learning tasks. It's a great way to help your children improve their research skills. So much research is done online now, from finding answers to quick questions to serious academic work. It's a skill that children need to learn.

Do you use YouTube as a teaching tool? Could you suggest any other channels that are great for teachers? Let us know in the comments section below.

Take a look at the Cornerstones YouTube channel.

Want to take science into your classroom?

Get your class excited about science with Love to Investigate, our series of practical, exciting investigations. They cover tricky topics in new and unusual ways, including evolution, mechanisms and air resistance.

Published by

Dr Fran

Dr Fran Barnes is Cornerstones' expert in primary science. Fran is a molecular and cell biologist with a passion for hands-on, practical science in the classroom. She writes our Love to Investigate series and the science topics in our curriculum.

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