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Ultimate Stem Playlist: 67 Songs About Science and Engineering

The Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies is an award-winning STEM specialty center that supports hands-on engineering education.

Here are songs that reference all things STEM:  robots, electricity, space, science, rockets, pi, technology, calculators, viruses, biology, medicine, the periodic table, and more!

Here are songs that reference all things STEM: robots, electricity, space, science, rockets, pi, technology, calculators, viruses, biology, medicine, the periodic table, and more!

Customize A STEM Playlist: We'll Get You Started

You're a logical, technical, analytical type who loves solving a compelling problem. In a world that is a complex machine, you create, innovate and move things forward. What would we do without you and your love of STEM?

If you're a scientist or engineer (or aspire to be one), then why not assemble a custom STEM playlist as a reminder of your passion for science, technology, engineering and math? Here is a list of STEM songs to get you started.

Reader Poll

1. "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby

When science and engineering are your passion, you try to break down even the impractical and mystical things like love, attraction, and relationships into factual, practical tidbits.

This 1982 song is about a mad scientist who falls in love with his laboratory assistant. Thomas Dolby is often considered a one-hit wonder, although this song is iconic 1980s.

Mmm ... but she blinded me with science
"She blinded me with science!"
And failed me in biology ... .

2. “Rocket Man,” Elton John

Written during the space race, this 1972 song is about an astronaut whose daily job is space travel. Space flight is his symbol for fame, and Elton John describes it as lonely and isolating:

And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Til touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no, I'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone ... .

3. "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo

Written for a popular movie by the same name, this 1985 song was also used as a theme song for the television series. It's about an amateur scientist who uses plastic tubes, technology, electricity, and microchips to create the ideal woman:

Fantasy and microchips
Shooting from the hip
Something different
We're makin' weird science.

4. "Mr. Roboto" by STYX

There are both benefits and dehumanizing aspects of technology. Modern man has been transformed into a robot in this 1983 song, with "Domo arigato" meaning a sarcastic "Thank you very much." The android has a human heart but a computerized brain.

You're wondering who I am (secret secret I've got a secret)
Machine or mannequin (secret secret I've got a secret)
With parts made in Japan (secret secret I've got a secret)
I am the modern man.

Safety First

Who doesn't like welding?

Who doesn't like welding?

5. "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats

Every scientist and engineer has to value safety, right? After all, they work with chemicals that could burn, moving parts that could pinch (or worse), and electricity that could jolt them into oblivion. Safety first!

This catchy 1983 song is a fun song that repeatedly references The Safety Dance, or pogo dancing. It was a style of new wave dancing that was done by yourself instead of with a partner and was a precursor to moshing. Dancers kept their torso and arms stiff against their bodies as they jumped up and down in place like a pogo stick. Bouncers typically discouraged the practice because sometimes the dancers would accidentally bump into one another.

Eighty-four percent of manufacturing executives agree there is a talent shortage in US manufacturing, and they estimate that 6 out of 10 open skilled production positions are unfilled due to the shortage.

— Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute

6. "Electric Avenue" by Eddie Grant

Electric Avenue sounds like a the household electronics and appliances department of Home Depot. What a great place for technology nerds to hang out, right?

However, this 1982 song is about a location in the United Kingdom that had a high number of immigrants, unemployment and violence culminating in rioting.

7. "Electric Boogie" by Marcia Griffiths

Calling all electrical engineers and electricians. Here's your song! This 1982 hit is synonymous with the Electric Slide, a fun line dance for parties and proms. The song describes the social atmosphere as electric and irresistible.

8. "The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades" by Timbuk3

Imagine being a nuclear science student — one with good grades who hasn't graduated from college yet but has a great-paying job already lined up. Pick the right STEM major and you'll describe yourself as "heavenly blessed and worldly wise" with a future that's only getting better. This 1986 song perfectly reflects how in-demand and great paying science and engineering degrees can be.

9. "The Scientist" by Coldplay

The guy in this 2002 hit wants a do-er after his romantic relationship has fallen apart because he wasn't emotionally warm and expressive enough. An apology, the song emphasizes a desire to go back to the start:

I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart
Questions of science; science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart.

If you’re looking to make a lot of money right out of school, pay attention to your major: College graduates who focused on STEM fields will likely make the highest starting salaries this year.

— Money Magazine, 2016

10. "Video Killed the Radio Star" by Buggles

How appropriate that this was the first music video played on MTV in 1981. The 1979 song reflects the mixed emotions that many Americans had at the time regarding technological advances. As technology marched on, it changed the expression of creativity and mechanized the process:

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone to far
Pictures came and broke your heart
Put the blame on VCR.

11. "Make a Circuit With Me" by The Polecats

A circuit is a circular path that is needed to get electricity flowing and doing something useful. This rockabilly song from 1981 geeks out on electricity, which the singer prefers to romance:

I'll be a diode, cathode, electrode
Overload, generator, oscillator
Make a circuit with me
Just plug in and go, go, go
I'll be your human dynamo.

12. "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons

Released in 2013, this is a post-apocalyptic song about waking up and doing something new. It contrasts danger and defeat with change of a new age.

Radioactivity refers to the loss of energy from the nucleus of an unstable atom. Improperly used, radioactive isotopes can be deadly. However, science has a variety of positive uses for it, too, including:

  • establishing the ages of various objects
  • as tracers
  • killing harmful microorganisms in food, and
  • diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.

13. "Walkin' On the Sun" by Smash Mouth

This was Smash Mouth's first major hit in 1997, an ode to the past during a time when society was becoming increasingly uptight. The song asks that aging hippies share their message of peace and love with their children. If they fail to do this, they might as well be "walking on the sun" — which any scientist knows is a sheer death wish, as the surface of the sun is 5,778 K (approximately 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit).

14. "The Flaming Lips" by Race for the Prize

This 1999 song is about two scientists with the laudatory goals of finding a cure for an illness, even if it kills them:

Two scientists are racing
For the good of all mankind
Both of them side-by-side
So determined ... .

Science is all around us.

Science is all around us.

15. "Science Is Real" by They Might Be Giants

This 2009 song is from a Grammy-nominated children's album, "Here Comes Science." The song herald's the mind-bending awesomeness of science -- more amazing than elves, unicorns and angels combined. Science is logical, practical and real:

A scientific theory
Isn't just a hunch or guess
It's more like a question
That's been put through a lot of tests.

Among the other science-loving songs from the album include: "Meet the Elements," "I Am a Paleontologist" and "Why Does the Sun Shine?"

"Electricity can be dangerous. My nephew tried to stick a penny into a plug. Whoever said a penny doesn't go far didn't see him shoot across that floor. I told him he was grounded." Tim Allen, American comic

"Electricity can be dangerous. My nephew tried to stick a penny into a plug. Whoever said a penny doesn't go far didn't see him shoot across that floor. I told him he was grounded." Tim Allen, American comic

Even More STEM Songs

Did we miss a good STEM song? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

Song & Year ReleasedArtistSTEM lyrics

16. History of Everything (2007)

Barenaked Ladies

Math, science, history, unravelling the mysteries, That all started with the big bang!

17. Maths Song (parody of "That's What Makes You Beautiful) (2011)

One Direction

You're insecure, so half of four / Your old brains are not what they were before / Add two threes, it's fun for us / 'Cause we're young and we can still remember stuff.

18. Pocket Calculator (1981)

Kraftwerk

I am adding and subtracting / I'm controlling and composing / I'm the operator with my pocket calculator

19. Moving to Mars (2011)

Coldplay

They'll be tearing us apart / Maybe moving us to Mars / Past the satellites and stars / Maybe moving us to Mars

20. Stellar (2000)

Make Yourself

Meet me in outer space / We could spend the night / Watch the earth come up

21. I Am Not Your Game Boy (2004)

Freezepop

Six double A batteries, and I'm good to go / Seven-hundred milliamps, I'm here to rock the show

22. Spaceman (1972)

Harry Nilsson

I wanted to be a spaceman / I wanted to be it so bad / But now that I am a spaceman / I'd rather be back on the pad

23. Like A Surgeon (1985)

Weird Al Yankovich

I finally made it through med school / Somehow I made it through / I'm just an intern / I still make a mistake or two

24. Pi (2005)

Kate Bush

Sweet and gentle sensitive man / With an obsessive nature and deep fascination for numbers / And a complete infatuation with the calculation of pi

25. I Think I'm A Clone Now (1988)

Weird Al Yankovich

What would people say if only they knew / That I was part of some geneticist's plan / Born to be a carbon copy man / There in a petri dish late one night

26. We Are All Made of Stars (2002)

Moby

People they come together / People they fall apart / No one can stop us now / 'Cause we are all made of stars

27. Take Me Ta Mars (1983)

The Flaming Lips

Take me please, take me to Mars

28. Supermassive Black Hole (2006)

Muse

You set my soul alight / Glaciers melting in the dead of night / And the superstars sucked into the super massive

29. Pancreas (2005)

Weird Al Yankovich

My spleen just doesn't matter / Don't really care about my bladder / But I don't leave home without my pancreas

30. Man On the Moon (1992)

R.E.M.

If you believed they put a man on the moon / Man on the moon / If you believe there's nothing up his sleeve / Then nothing is cool

31. Virus Alert (2006)

Weird Al Yankovich

We wanna give you a warning / 'Cause I found out this morning / About a dangerous, insidious computer virus

32. Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine (2003)

The White Stripes

Acetaminophen You see the medicine / Girl, you have no faith in medicine

33. Black Hole Sun (1994)

Soundgarden

Crying out, you have all the anger / Blame it on yourself again, there's nothing wrong with it / You're a black hole

34. Science Genius Girl (2000)

Freezepop

i'm a science genius girl / I won the science fair

35. Fly Me To the Moon (1964)

Frank Sinatra

Fly me to the moon / Let me play among the stars / Let me see what spring is like on A-Jupiter and Mars.

36. Walking On the Moon (1979)

The Police

Giant steps are what you take / Walking on the moon

37. A Glorious Dawn (2009)

John D. Boswell with Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking

Space is filled with a network of wormholes / You might emerge some when-else in space / Some where else in time

38. Space Oddity (1969)

David Bowie

For here Am I sitting in a tin can / Far above the world / Planet Earth is blue / And there's nothing I can do

39. Biology 2 (1971)

Sparks

"Hey Lisa, they're having a big party down at the Allele Pool tonight!"

40. The Elements (1959)

Tom Lehrer

There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium ..." (Lists all known elements at the time the song was written.

41. Golgi Apparatus (1989)

The Phish

I look into the microscope I see Golgi apparatus

42. Atomic (1979)

Blondie

Oh your hair is beautiful / Oh, tonight, atomic

43. Electricity (2005)

Elton John

And suddenly I'm flying / Flying like a bird / Like electricity / Electricity

44. It's All About the Pentiums (1999)

Weird Al Yankovich

Wanna be hackers? / Code crackers? / Slackers / Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers? / 9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?

45. Space Truckin' (1972)

Deep Purple

We had a lot of luck on Venus / We always had a ball on Mars / Meeting all the groovy people / We've rocked the Milky Way so far.

46. Jupiter Crash (1996)

The Cure

Meanwhile millions of miles away in space / The incoming comet brushes Jupiter's face / And disappears away with barely a trace

47. Why Does the Sun Shine (1993)

They Might Be Giants

The sun is mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace / Where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees

48. Science & Faith (2011)

The Script

You won't find faith or hope down a telescope / You won't find heart and soul in the stars / You can break everything down to chemicals But you can't explain a love like ours.

49. Galaxy Song (1983)

Monty Python

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving / And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour / That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned / A sun that is the source of all our power

50. Mammal (1992)

They Might Be Giants

So the warm blood flows / Through the large four-chambered heart / Maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have / Mammal, mammal, their names are called

51. White and Nerdy (2006)

Weird Al Yankovich

There's no killer app I haven't run / At Pascal, well, I'm number one / Do vector calculus just for fun

52. Einstein (2011)

Kelly Clarkson

Simple math, our love divided by the square root of pride / Multiply your lies, plus time / I'm going out of my mind

53. Neutron Dance (1986)

The Pointer Sisters

I'm just burning doin' the neutron dance

54. Stuck To You (1999)

Josh Ritter

It is not love that makes the stars shine / But the spontaneous combustion of super-heated and super-condensed gasses in the process known as fusion that creates new elements when the time is right

55. Gravity (2002)

Coldplay

And then I looked up at the sun and saw the sky / And the way that gravity pulls on you and I

56. Gravity (2009)

Sara Bareilles

But you're neither friend nor foe / Though I can't seem to let you go / The one thing that I still know / Is that you're keeping me down / You're keeping me down, eh ooh

57. Gravity (2006)

John Mayer

Whoa, gravity is working against me / And gravity wants to bring me down

58. Speed of Sound (2005)

Coldplay

Look up, I look up at night / Planets are moving at the speed of light

59. Space Cowboy (1969)

Steve Miller Band

Put a smile on your face / As we walk with space / In the brave new world

60. Drops of Jupiter (2001)

Train

Tell me, did you sail across the sun? / Did you make it through the Milky Way / To see the lights all faded / And that heaven is overrated

61. Pluto (2012)

Naughty Boy

You keep on insisting you’re different / You say you found another solar system, but listen / Before you buy a house and sell your spaceship / There’s something you should know

62. '39 (1975)

Queen

Don't you hear my call though you're many years away / Don't you hear me calling you

63. Portrait (He Knew) (1977)

Kansas

He was in search of an answer / The nature of what we are / He was trying to do it a new way / He was bright as a star

63. Hundred Million Miles From Home (2017)

Styx

And I've got my hands on the wheel of my rocket mobile / And I'm a hundred million miles from home

64. Radio Silence (2017)

Styx

Clear blue skies above / And all I feel is love / In this dream / Sand, water/ The earth beneath my feet

65. Radio Ga Ga (1984)

Queen

You gave them all those old time stars / Through wars of worlds invaded by Mars / You made them laugh, you made them cry / You made us feel like we could fly (Radio)

66. Under Pressure (1981)

Queen

Pressure pushing down on me / Pressing down on you, no man ask for / Under pressure that burns a building down

67. Pressure (1982)

Billy Joel

Pressure / You're just like everybody else / Pressure

"Without mathematics, there's nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers." -  Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and human calculator

"Without mathematics, there's nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers." - Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and human calculator

What's In A Name? Locations With STEM Names

© 2016 Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies

Comments

Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on August 03, 2020:

Travis F. - Thank you for the recommendation.

Travis F. on June 19, 2020:

Clarity by Zedd

Alan N. on August 20, 2019:

A couple more for you to consider:-

Super Collider (2013) Megadeth

Clones (We're All) (1980) Alice Cooper

Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on May 16, 2019:

Geoff M. - Good one! Thanks for those recommendations!

Geoff M on May 09, 2019:

What? Neither top selling hit for "Pressure" made the list? "Under Pressure" by Billy Joel, or "Pressure" by Queen with David Bowie. Wow. How "depressing"! I'm so deflated to see this. :-)

Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on April 10, 2019:

Brent Haggen - Thank you for the suggestion. I've added the song at #65.

Brent Haggen on April 06, 2019:

Queen Radio Ga-ga

Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on July 28, 2017:

John - Thank you for these suggestions which have been added. The Styx songs are also being added to our Astronaut's Playlist: Songs About Stars, Planets and Space: https://spinditty.com/playlists/astronomy-stars-pl...

John on July 26, 2017:

Fantastic list, but there are two great and important songs missing! Both are from the 70s. One is called '39, a Queen song written by the guitarist Dr. Brian May. He is an astrophysicist, and the song is about time dilation (Einstein's General Theory of Relativity). It from a very well known album called A Night at the Opera. The second is a Kansas song called Portrait. It's a song about Einstein written by Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh for the Point of Know Return album, another big-time album from the 70s. I think these two songs should be near the top of the list! Also, Styx just came out with a new album after all these years. It's called The Mission and it's filled with Mission to Mars type songs. Check out Radio Silence.

Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on April 07, 2017:

Svetlana - The Academy thanks you ;-). How awesome that you're multi-talented in so many areas, including engineering! I like the "cool stuff maker" idea.

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on April 03, 2017:

Now, I took the time to look up who is behind that blue moon, profile and all. It sounds very official and I don't want to say intimidating, but non-inviting.

That's my view on why on your other side of the Hub Universe, there are on average 25 - 30 comments per hub and here are virtually none. It's hard to talk to the Academy, it's much easier to relate to a person with a friendly face.

I may laugh all I want, but my brain is suited for engineering, but heart isn't. What is unattractive about engineering that it does sound too technical and intimidating. And it is. I have a degree and I know what's involved - not everyone is suited for it and it's not a question of intelligence.

What I'd like to see is STEM students submerse in non-technical creativity. If someone says "Join us, it's fun" and there are no volunteers, I'd say mission failed. If someone does not even have to say much and you have people joining so that you cannot stop them - then we know - mission accomplished.

That is much harder than technical stuff and students need that challenge. In fact, to be successful we all have to be challenged.

To me even the word "engineer" sounds boring. Take the "engine" out of it and do something like "cool-stuff-maker" (sounds like "coffeemaker), but you get my idea.

All the best,

from a certified engineer (twice certified).

I certified them back.

Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on April 03, 2017:

Svetlana - I think folks are commenting "on the inside." Thank you for being our lone commenter.

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on March 31, 2017:

No comments? Ha-ha-ha!

Let me put it on Facebook!!! This is hilarious.

Our tacit or unspoken agreements were that engineering was better left back at school - when we socialize we can talk about something else.

But I love that. No comments. Really? No comments.

Don't tell me that you have the "No Comments" playlist.