By BVS Staff
High school students are mentally all over the place – and that is 100% okay. It’s actually encouraged! High schoolers have young and impressionable brains. That makes their potential endless! When choosing the candidates for our list of the 50 Best Educational Podcasts for High School Students, we kept that theory in mind. A high schooler has a mind like a sponge. They absorb everything – so why not expose them to everything?
When it comes to podcasts for high schoolers, there is so much to listen to, so much to learn, so much to discover. There are podcasts for academics, such as science, math, history, and English. There are podcasts for specific topics related to hobbies and interests, such as photography, animals, astronomy. There are podcasts for the kids that have always known they are going to be their own boss. You know, the entrepreneurs. Starting a business when you’re young is the best way to do it, so why not start early? There are podcasts for learning how to sell things online, growing a company, and everything else that helps people rise to the top! One of the most useful topics revolves around motivation and inspiration. High school is tough. When you’re in high school, it is your entire world and it’s easy to feel down and overwhelmed. Listening to an uplifting podcast could really change a high schooler’s life!
As we said, we kept all of these factors and topics in mind when choosing the 50 best podcasts for our list. Motivated high schoolers should be learning daily, and podcasts are a great way to broaden perspectives and stay sharp. Are you ready to start listening?
Entrepreneurship & Work
Science, Technology & Math
Inspiration & Motivation
Language, Grammar & Poetry
Culture & Biography
Money & Finance
Health & Medical
Art & Photography
General and How-to
Leadership, Entrepreneurship & Work
Creative, inventive, a deep thinker? Then this podcast is for you! The podcast came after the blog, created by author Phil McKinney. Phil writes about innovation, leadership, and creativity, and occasionally goes slightly off topic. His weekly national syndicated radio show and podcast are now in their 12th seasons and cover similar topics as the blog. Fun twist though – Phil brings in leading innovators to share personal stories about their innovations and paths to success.
2. eBay Radio
eBay radio is perfect for a high schooler with a desire to be their own boss and becoming entrepreneurs. eBay Radio helps people looking to succeed with eBay by teaching them all the tricks and how to’s. Achieve your goals and maintain a top-rated account, learn all new eBay news first, and have the chance to learn from the pros. This podcast is definitely specific but so helpful for people interested in the topic!
Are you a high schooler with a drive to be your own boss and take over the world? Then it’s time to listen to Rise to the Top. Hosted by David Siteman Garland, this podcast helps creative people create and sell digital products and programs online. High schoolers need to know that they can be their own boss! David makes this an easy concept to understand.
The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar is a weekly seminar that’s a part of the Stanford Speakers Series. The podcast airs seminar some of the most profound, intelligent, and successful entrepreneurs around the world. I mean, it’s run by Stanford – what else would you expect?!
Start Up Nation is the perfect podcast for the determined and independent high school student. This weekly informative podcast teaches people how to create their own business and succeed at it too. Listeners get to hear from every day people who are doing the unique and impressive things by following their dreams. The podcast will leave you feeling inspired and ready for anything.
6. Back to Work
Back To Work is a great podcast to help high schoolers learn about the working world. Whether they started working early or they’re anticipating a job, Back To Work will help give them insight on what to expect and how to handle all of the crazy things a job can throw at you. The award winning podcast, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin, discusses productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and so much more. From white boards to package deliveries, these guys cover it all!
Adam Stacoviak hosts one of the most inspiring and popular podcast out there today. Founder’s Talk is an interview podcast focused on featuring in-depth, one-on-one conversations with people who have founded their own companies and businesses. There are new shows every week and you’re definitely not going to want to miss one.
The Internet Business Mastery podcast is a little specific, but everyone has their thing right? For high schoolers with a special love for the internet and business, this podcast is absolutely perfect. The main goal of the podcast is to turn people’s life passions into profitable internet businesses. It’s led by two entrepreneurs, Jeremy Frandsen and Jason Van Orden, who left their cubicle lives behind and went on to create seven figure incomes by working online. It’s never too early to jump on your entrepreneurial dreams and this podcast can help people do just that.
9. The Urbanist
The Urbanist, produced by the Monocle, is another specific podcast. This podcast is a guide to making better cities through the way of new and better technology, state-of-the-art subways, compact apartments, and so much more. This may seem a little far off from high schoolers, but it’s a topic that can seriously affect the way you think on the daily. It’s also great for students looking to start a career in leadership, politics, architecture, and more. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!
Science, Technology & Math
The State of Tech is an interesting podcast for high school students. It airs bi-weekly and specifically covers educational technology. Each podcast is designed to help those who are interested explore the wide array of uses of technology to help improve their teaching and learning. While we’re sure most of the listeners are teachers, principals, school directors, etc., the shows are also useful for students who want to use technology to maximize their learning potential.
11. How Stuff Works
How Stuff Works is one of the most original podcasts we’ve ever come across. It’s just so simple! Make a podcast that answers the question we ask 10 times a day – “how does that work?” Charles Bryant is the cohost of How Stuff Works and he uses his fun and interesting personality to educate the public about common things and how they work. Pretty cool, right? This podcast is perfect for high schoolers with inquisitive minds and a thirst for knowledge.
12. Math Mutation
Math Mutation is a short podcast that’s fun and easy to listen to. And get this, it’s about math! Math Mutation explores fun, interesting and weird corners of the math world that are most likely not taught in school. This podcast is ideal for a high schoolers who love math and want to expand their knowledge on the subject. Why stop with your text book?!
NASA Science Casts provides new and exciting news for lovers of science! This news is way too exciting for just boring articles and blog posts – so podcasts it is! Take a listen and learn about all of the new discoveries on earth, the solar system, and whatever the heck else is out there!
Math for Primates is perfect for any math loving high schooler. The podcast is run by two guys, Tom and Nick, who talk about anything and everything math related and make you belly laugh while doing so. You’ll learn about where Pi came from, why they think the order of medals is wrong in the Olympics, what the duo thinks is wrong with economics, and so much more.
15. Good Job, Brain!
Good Job, Brain is definitely good for young brains! Well, it’s good for any brains, but high schoolers have the potential to absorb SO much. The Good Job, Brain podcast was started as a Kickstarter initiative back in 2011 and it has been scaling the podcast ladder ever since. Make sure you catch the free weekly podcast that’s part quiz show and part not-so-common news. We really love this podcast, in case you couldn’t tell!
16. 99% Invisible
99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts out there right now and if you listen to an episode, you’ll understand why! The podcast teaches you about all the things you never even knew you wanted to know about! For example, ever wonder how inflatable men became regular fixtures at used car lots? How about where the concept of fortune cookies came from? You can never know too much. Your brain can never fill up, and the world only gets bigger and bigger! This podcast reassures you of all of those things. 99% Invisible teaches us all about the small things in life that often go unnoticed. Why would you want to miss out on that?
17. Astronomy 161
Astronomy 161 is the perfect podcast for high schoolers who show a special interest in astronomy. Like most specific high school subjects, the courses are short and brief. Astronomy 161 will help high schoolers learn more than what is taught in a single semester and allow them to expand their knowledge on the topic. These lecture style podcasts are hosted by professor Richard Pogge and are essentially an introduction to modern astronomy with an emphasis on the solar system. If you love the stars, take this podcast course discover the vast night sky!
We’re sure you’ve heard of the Dummies books, but have you heard of the podcast? Life changing! Take the knowledge of Dummies with you every where you need to go, hands free, eyes free! The episodes are written and recorded by Dummies authors each month and share a variety of technical and interesting topics for everyone!
ShaBAM! is a modern science show that combines fictional stories with real science. I’m sure when you hear science podcast you think … snooze fest. Guess again! ShaBAM! takes prides in its sound effects, music, and brain twitching stories. You’re never going to be bored while you’re learning about cellphones, vaccinations, zombie apocalypses, or the human brain. We promise!
20. Star Talk Radio
Star Talk Radio is another science podcast that we can’t get enough of! For high school students interested in science, make sure you give Star Talk Radio a listen. Astrophysicist and Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson teams up with comedic co-hosts, celebrities, and scientists to discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else involving life in this wild universe. New episodes premiere every Friday night!
The Chemical Heritage Foundation produces podcasts under the name of Distillations about science, culture, and history. There is a podcast for everyone, regardless of what you feel like learning about that day! The podcast explores the human stories behind science and technology, showing the road through history in order to fully understand our present. Take a listen each month so you can hear the intelligent hosts explore the issues caught in the crossfire of science, culture, and history. From tattoo removals, to carbonated, fizzy water, to the history of the sports bra, to natural child birth, you’re really in for quite the show!
Inspiration & Motivation
Now we know the title of this podcast may seem a little heavy or unnecessary for high school students – but why not kick start the personal growth learning process?! Learn Out Loud’s Personal Growth Podcast showcases classic as well as contemporary self development stories and experiences. This podcast will help everyone (not just high schoolers) reach their goals, improve all types of relationships, boost their creativity, and so much more! We really love this podcast.
The Smart People Podcast is for everyone, regardless of what that name leads you to believe! The popular podcast is dedicated to promoting connections among people, fostering personal growth, and expanding people’s worldly views. The best part? They do this all through authentic and genuine conversations with thinkers from every possible profession. Smart People Podcast is inspiring, intriguing, and important!
The Good Life Project is a global community with people from all different lifestyles, cultures, and professions. Artists, full time parents, entrepreneurs – pretty much everyone! The goal of the community is to help each other live more meaningful, connected, and vital lives. The radio podcast helps extend these thoughts and goals to everyone, regardless of where you are. Tune in at your convenience for in-depth, unscripted, inspiring, and amazingly meaningful conversations from people from all walks of life. High schoolers need to know there are no barriers in life and this podcast can help them discover that.
25. Daily Boost
The main goal of the Daily Boost podcast is daily motivation. We really love that concept. The Daily Boost breaks away from the traditional norms of personal development and growth. Rather than being cheesy and predictable, the weekly episodes are funny, fresh, and personable. The creators claim that listening to the episodes feels like listening to your favorite morning radio shows, except the topics will actually change your life and provide you with new strategies and tips to apply to your routines! The podcast is only nine minutes long and will leave everyone, not just high schoolers, ready to be their best self every single day.
The title of this podcast is pretty self explanatory. Straight to the point, straight to the brain. Created by the staff of How Stuff Works, Stuff You Missed in History Class was bound for success. High schoolers can tune in at their convenience to learn about all the things their high school history teacher is leaving out in class. From the history of veterinary medicine, to the creation of Wonder Woman, to Hawaii’s pineapple industry, the potential for learning is endless. The brain can never take in too much!
Language, Grammar & Poetry
27. Grammar Girl
Not the best at grammar? Fix that before college with this fun podcast! Grammar Girl is our go to podcast for understanding the world of grammar, proper punctuation, developments in the English language, and so much more! The podcasts are designed to be short, simple, and friendly in order to improve your writing whether English is your first or second language.
28. Classic Poetry
The Classic Poetry Aloud podcast is just what it sounds like! A podcast in which classic poems are read for your ears to hear beauty! The podcast creator believes that listening to a poem allows you to perceive it differently, understand it more easily, and promote a higher level of emotional impact. We love this concept and think it’s so important for high schoolers! High schoolers typically push poetry aside because well – how many of us really enjoy reading outside of school? Listening to poetry is a much different experience. Give it a go!
29. A Way With Words
A Way With Words is a happy and upbeat public radio show and podcast about language examined through history, culture, and family. It comes out weekly, is an hour long, and will keep you coming back for the next one! Author and journalist Martha Bernette, and Lexicographer and linguist Grant Barrett talk with callers about everything language related. Slang, old sayings, new words, grammar, word origins, dialects, family expressions, writing, speaking. You name it – you’ll learn about it! This podcast is perfect for high schoolers interested in English. This is one of our favorites for sure.
30. Two Book Minimum
Two Book Minimum is the dream podcast for English and book lovers. Every week, three wildly intelligent people talk about books. You’ll listen to a comedian, an author, and an author/comedian turn book conversation into pretty much the funniest conversations in the English community. You won’t want to miss this one.
Culture & Biography
The School of Greatness podcast was created by and is still run by Lewis Howes. The podcast’s main goal is to share inspiring and motivational stories from a wide range of individuals. From brilliant entrepreneurs, to unique thinkers, to world class athletes, to influential celebrities, you name it! This podcast is great for all high schoolers, regardless of their interests. There is something for everyone and you will definitely finish the show feeling inspired.
The Listening Project partners with BBC Radio to provide a totally unique podcast to anyone interested! The general concept of The Listening Project is that you gather and learn so much more when you just take a minute to really listen to what you’re hearing. Since 2012, the podcast has been collecting intimate conversations between friends and relatives from around the world and sharing them with the world in hopes of preserving history and providing people with new and different outlooks. We love this podcast for high schoolers who still have so much to learn about the world!
33. Radio Diaries
If there’s anybody who knows about diaries, it’s totally high schoolers. This podcast is a little different than a typical diary entry, but high schoolers will surely benefit from this unique podcast. Radio Diaries tells the amazing stories of ordinary life. Since the show started in 1996, the creators have been giving people tape recorders and working along side them to report on their own lives and histories. One of the podcast’s strengths is diversity. If you tune in, you will hear stories from teenagers, prisoners, preachers, bra salesmen, celebrities, and so much more. Learning about people from all walks of life is just what every high schoolers needs. The world is so big!
This I Believe has been successfully broadcasting on NPR for over four years now and we get why! The popular podcast is a national project that invites people to write about their core beliefs that guide them through their daily lives. The hosts then go on to air these personal statements from listeners every Monday. The broad diversity of the participants gives us the chance to learn about people from all walks of life. The producers claim that their goal is to create a picture of the American spirit with all of its complexity and details. We really love this podcast.
35. Here Be Monsters
A podcast about the unknown – how cool! Here Be Monsters was created by and for the people who are interested in pursuing their fears and facing the great big unknown. Podcast episodes cover topics such as flesh eating beetles, nudism, crow death rituals, hitchhiking, fake Sasquatch sitings, and beyond. The potential for weird insight is endless and we really support that. We also really love that you don’t have to start from the beginning if you want to jump on board. Listen to the newest one and dive right in!
If you have a crazy brain, Lore is the podcast for you. Lore won the “Best of 2015” and the “Best of 2016” awards for iTunes podcasts and if you give it a listen, we won’t need to explain why. Lore shares real life scary stories with its listeners every two weeks and you won’t be able to get enough once you start. The show exposes the darker side of history and explores the creatures, people, and places of our craziest nightmares. Their slogan is “because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.” Are you prepared?!
Money & Finance
The title is pretty self explanatory for this one! Learn how to properly budget, save, spend and anything else money-related you can think of with this helpful podcast. Practical Money Skills is perfect for high schoolers who are getting their first jobs, saving for college, and preparing for this scary adult world!
Planet Money is a podcast created with the goal of explaining the economy. On the “About Us” section of the podcast’s website they wrote, Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening. That’s what we’re going for at Planet Money.” Pretty cool, right? The bi-weekly podcast is insanely interesting. They also write a blog!
Health & Medical
60 Second Health is a podcast created by the Scientific American, which we all know and love. The weekly podcast is recorded by Dina Fine Maron, a reporter for Scientific American. Maron gives a minute long report on the latest health and medical news. They’re quick, easy to listen to, and so wise!
Art & Photography
Artists Helping Artists is the perfect podcast for art loving high schoolers who plan to make a career out of their passion. The weekly podcast is hosted by Leslie Saeta who discusses how to sell art online, talks with guest artists, gallerists, and other people in the art industry who want to share and talk about the business side of art. This is a topic that often gets brushed under the rug until it’s too late! High schoolers need to know that their passions can be their careers and this podcast will teach them that!
This podcast is perfect for high schoolers who are artists and creative thinkers. Hosted by Jamie Ridler, who owns Jamie Ridler Studios, Creative Living with Jamie is a place where you can listen to words from creative and independent artists and thinkers with the goal of bringing you inspiration, stories, and strategies so that your world can be endlessly colorful! Quirky podcasts like this are so important!
42. American Icons
Produced by WNYC, this podcast is going to really strike a chord with lovers of art, entertainment, and history. American Icons tells the stories behind America’s most iconic works of art. From I Love Lucy, to The Great Gatsby, to Superman, to The Lincoln Memorial, there really is an episode for everyone to love. We love this podcast for everyone, but we specifically love it for high school students. Their minds are just begging to be filled with knowledge, so why not share all of these amazing stories with them?!
Are you a high schooler with a love for photography? Most high schools don’t teach photography and if they do, they’re just a course. There is so much to learn! Turn your passion into a career with this helpful podcast. Tips and Tricks Photography is a weekly podcast where you can learn tips from the pros about lighting, the proper way to take a panorama, lens flares, advice on new products, and so much more. Buying a camera is just the beginning, the photography world is huge!
A History of the World in 100 Objects is a podcast created by The British Museum. Museum director Neil MacGrego uses the podcast to explore history that spans over two million years by means of the objects in the museum. The podcast is a 100 part series. Get it now?! This podcast is an interesting and fun way to fill a high schooler’s brain with knowledge from the past to the present.
The Podcast History of our World is a fun and easy way to brush up on your historical facts! History books are big, heavy, and honestly, they hurt your eyes. Why read about history when you can listen to a podcast about it anywhere at any time?! Learn about the history of our beautiful world from the Big Bang to now! You won’t get bored. Trust us.
BBC created a podcast series called Documentaries and can we just say, it’s so important! These podcasts cover lifestyles, stories, and events from all over the world. From the runaway children of Malaysia to discussion about space, to women changing the tech world, these podcasts cover it all! Take a listen and you will learn something new and wild every day.
General and How-to
47. NPR: Youth Radio
NPR: Youth Radio is one of our favorite podcasts for high school students. I mean, its run by NPR so it has to be amazing, right? Right! Youth Radio was founded back in 1933 in Berkeley during a time of extreme youth violence and homicide. The radio station quickly became an outlet for students in the Bay Area who were involved in all of the craziness. Youth Radio is now operated in bureaus across the country and lets students share their opinions and experiences regarding journalism, education, health, juvenile justice, and so much more.
48. TED Talks
TED Talks are known for covering topics across the board, which is perfect for high schoolers. Their minds are all over the place! The TED Talks audio podcasts are meant to inspire, intrigue, and kickstart our imaginations by means of speeches and talks with some of the world’s most impressive thinkers and doers. Give your brain some freedom! Listen to TED Talks!
49. Slate: Working
Slate is a daily online magazine founded in 1996. The general interest publication shares analysis and commentary about politics, business, news, culture, and technology. The podcast essentially brings these topics to life! Learn all the latest news on your drives, your walk to work, while you’re relaxing in bed, or cooking in the kitchen! We love general podcasts where you never know what you’re going to learn!
50. Start Cooking
Start Cooking is an amazing podcast for everyone, but especially for high school students who are either interested in cooking or are moving out of their parents houses soon and need to step up their game! Start Cooking teaches you the basics of cooking because well…you have to start somewhere! These yummy episodes will explain how to make quick and tasty meals as well as teach you the fundamental skills for kitchen success. Your college roommates will thank us!