Since its inception, TikTok has quickly become an arbiter of culture, memes, and even political organizing, all while curating eerily specific For Your Pages for its users full of dancing videos, funny filters, and viral songs. But one of its most promising uses is connecting more people to fun, educational accounts, spanning the range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
STEM creators have gathered tons of engagement on their informational videos in various fields of science, math, and even public health, as physicians took to the platform to dispel misconceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic. Educational accounts like these combine the easily digestible format of the short form video app with hard science, making often over-the-head STEM topics easily digestible for millions of viewers.
The STEM side of TikTok offers something for just about everyone — no science interest is too niche. Scroll on for a short list of STEM accounts sharing content across a wide range of expertise and give a few of them a follow to add some fun, educational videos to your FYP.
Geo Rutherford is a printmaker, fiber and book artist, and resident teacher of lake science for more than one million TikTok users. Rutherford’s account is a neat combination of beautiful, environment-inspired art and science posts about hydrology, geology, and underwater exploration. She’s known for her “spooky lake month” series, in which she spends all of October sharing eerie or unusual facts about bodies of water around the world, like the parts of the Amazon River that boil or the shipwrecks at the bottom of the Black Sea. Go to her page for more cool hydrology videos, explanations of strange Great Lakes geology, and explainers on ancient lakes that have long dried out.
Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut with the European Space Agency, is credited as the first TikToker in space, and she’s on a mission to educate the masses on what it’s like to orbit around in space. Cristoforetti’s account includes videos on how astronauts use the bathroom, what kind of food you can bring on space stations, and how her fellow space explorers build up their muscles while in zero gravity. Her TikTok page’s creation coincided with her journey back into space, which began on April 27 — she posted her first TikTok from the International Space Station on May 5. Follow her to keep up with her adventures in space.
Annelise Baer, TikTok’s “friendly neighborhood archaeologist,” is an archaeologist and producer with Project Nivica Archaeology, a research initiative on the prehistoric cultures of Nivica in southern Albania. Baer has a master’s degree in Archaeology for Screen Media, which she has used to produce educational archaeological content for various history and archaeology-themed series. On her TikTok page, Baer dives into archaeological history, highlights new discoveries, and dispels common misconceptions about history and pseudoscience, as well as how archaeology is conducted — it’s an inside look into the field.
Darrion Nguyen is probably one of the most recognizable STEM accounts on TikTok because of his frequently viral (pun not intended) comedy videos about biochemistry, medical research, and other human sciences. A student at the University of Texas, Nguyen’s posts often riff on current trends and memes, adding genuine science lessons to the app’s current crazes. Videos include funny takes on the immune system, protein synthesis, and other concepts from your college biology courses you may have forgot (or never even learned). His page is probably a relatable stop for any pre-med students or lab technicians, bonding over the struggles of doing hard research and combating misinformation.
Phillip Cook is a high school chemistry teacher at the private Culver Academy and a beloved TikTok educator, whose accessible teaching has even made it onto the Kelly Clarkson Show. Cook’s account shares simple science experiments with things you can find at home, everyday chemistry explainers like how hair dye works, and how chemistry can be used to create sustainable solutions like how biodiesel fuel can be made from cooking oil. Follow his account for chemistry videos accessible for all ages.
Kyne Santos is a drag queen and longtime YouTube creator with an impressive brain for all things math. Since 2020, the TikTok star has utilized her bachelor’s degree in mathematics to make short-form videos, sharing straightforward explanations of math and physics concepts to 1.3 million followers. Santos’ videos aren’t just about the formulas or concepts you learned in your math courses, though. Instead, the videos relate core math principles to our everyday life, like how the Farenheit temperature scale works, how to optimize making change by adding new coins to U.S. currency, and how game theory relates to the modern workplace. Follow Santos’ account for a daily dose of math that’s helpful, interesting, and might break your brain — but in a fun way!
With more than 9 million followers, the Institute of Human Anatomy is TikTok’s go-to spot for quick lessons on human anatomy and physiology. Off the internet, the Institute is a Utah-based private human cadaver lab (received through body donor programs) that provides anatomical education for health professionals. The TikTok account is run by the organization staff, including marketing director and instructor Justin Cottle. In addition to the TikTok account, you can find science explainers by institute co-founder Jonathan Bennion on the Institute’s Instagram page, or head to its YouTube channel. A gentle warning here that this account doesn’t shy away from showing real body parts, genitalia, organs, you name it.
Yes, the Encyclopedia Britannica does have a TikTok account and its sharing all things science with more than 200,000 followers — it’s basically the 2022 version of the famed general knowledge book first published in 1768. The page is great for all ages, posting fun songs and trends turned into quick science lessons, as well as deep dives into facets of biology, physics, and just about anything else you can think of.
New York City’s American Museum of Natural History also has its own TikTok page engaging more than 250,000 followers with content about its collection, the natural sciences, and museum curation. Scrolling through its feed, you’ll find videos on ancient creatures like the Megalodon, fun facts about present-day animals, and highlights from unknown facets of science, like paleoceanography. The page also features lessons by museum curators and resources for educators and further learning.
A personal favorite and beloved TikTok creator, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History has gone viral time and time again for its Mollusk Monday weekly series, in which resident mollusk expert Tim Pearce shares jokes and occasional fun facts all about snails and their close relatives. The account isn’t just for snail fans, however, as the museum posts a plethora of content within the study of natural history, all of which is presented by museum experts in fields like herpetology, geology, and paleontology.
Famous science educators Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Neil DeGrasse Tyson have easily made the transition from our television screens onto the TikTok app. Follow their pages for more of their classic science content we grew up with.