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Elizabeth Xu
Noodle Expert Member

December 18, 2019

There is plenty of great programming available online, so why not learn something while you relax? Check out these 11 great science documentaries.

You might associate television programming with “brain drain," but with the right show it doesn’t have to be. These great science documentaries can teach kids about the beauty of the rainforest or the quest to find the “God particle."

Let these visual lessons about natural science kick-start your kid’s interest in this fascinating subject. Check out these films:

Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk (2003)

Whether you’re the first one diving off the cliff or more content to hang back and see what happens, you’re definitely aware of adrenaline. This documentary focuses on skydivers and base jumpers and looks at the science behind why people take such risks.

Where to find it? Amazon

Among the Great Apes With Michelle Yeoh (2009)

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work with great apes, this film will give you an inside look. Actress Michelle Yeoh travels to Malaysia to discover how orangutans are being helped and nursed back to health.

Where to find it? Amazon

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

In this 13-episode documentary, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson takes viewers on an intergalactic adventure, exploring different themes in each episode. Episodes investigate the Milky Way, molecules, gravity, the greenhouse effect, and more. Older viewers will recognize this remake of Carl Sagan’s 1980s television series of the same name.

Where to find it? Amazon

The City Dark (2011)

This documentary illuminates the issue of light pollution and its effects on the night sky. It also explores the impact on city dwellers who can no longer see the stars at night due to light pollution.

Where to find it? Amazon

Disneynature: Wings of Life (2011)

Bird lovers will adore this documentary. It takes a peek at the lives of butterflies, hummingbirds, and other winged creatures.

Where to find it?

Make Me Superhuman (2011)

Thanks to some innovative, man-made inventions, many of us can now live our dream of wanting to be superhuman. This National Geographic documentary explores how wearable machinery is being used for medical, recreation, and military benefits.

Where to find it? Netflix

Particle Fever (2013)

This documentary took seven years to film, as it followed the experimental physicists who eventually identified the Higgs boson.

Where to find it? Amazon

PBS Nature (Multiple documentaries)

PBS certainly knows documentaries, and this series is proof. Animal lovers can choose from a number of episode options, including ones about bears, eels, zebras, deer, and tigers — with views that would never be possible without huge risks and huge security budgets.

Where to find it?

The Planets (1999)

Episodes explore the solar system, the moon, the stars, and each specific planet. Learn about the celestial bodies that make up our tiny corner of the universe.

Where to find it? Amazon Instant Video

Secret Universe: Journey Inside the Cell (2012)

The BBC tackles the topic of cells, from how they function to how they react to viruses. Hear from professors teaching at the world’s top colleges and universities.

Where to find it? Daily Motion

Wildest Arctic (2012)

This four-part documentary showcases the Russian taiga, Iceland, the tundra, and the Arctic Ocean. Learn about the plants and animals that make this ecosystem unique.

Where to find it? Amazon