Squishy circuits

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20160127_144008I recently worked with two Y4 classes to introduce their new topic Electricity. We made some basic circuits and then used squishy circuits to investigate different ways of making circuits, different components and different ways to connect them up. They also had the opportunity to get creative with their squishy creations! I returned to the school a few weeks later and they’d made a fantastic display on what they’d learned so far
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For more information about squishy circuits and how to make your own see the University of St Thomas website.20150318_112706

 

Why science?

I love this poster from Tomorrow’s Engineers that gives you ten great reasons to become a scientist or engineer. If you are interested in finding out more (or you know someone else who does) they have loads of interesting information about the different types of jobs that engineers do – some might surprise you.

10-great-reasons-to-become-a-scientist-or-engineer-poster-web
click to open pdf version

A scorching summer fair

Last weekend I ran a science stall at my daughter’s school summer fair. I would love for kids to think it normal to take part in fun science activities as well as win sweets and eat cakes!

The beads inside (no UV light)

This year, I had UV-sensitive beads for visitors to make into wrist-bands or bag charms. The beads change colour under UV light. It was a scorcher of a day so ideal for demonstrating the beads.

Light is made up of colours we can see (the colours of the rainbow) and some which we can’t (e.g. ultra-violet or UV light). These beads change colour in UV light. Inside they are clear as seen in the picture to the right.

Take them outside (or shine a UV light on them) and they change colour. Even on a cloudy day they change faintly. On a really sunny day the colours are bright as can be seen in the second picture below.

…and outside in bright sunlight

Too much UV light from the sun can give us sunburn and damage our skin. We used factor 30 sun cream to block the UV rays and prevent the beads from changing colour.

Making bath bombs

Kids love making bath bombs! It’s an activity I have done in several settings and it’s always popular with both boys and girls. Most recently, I ran this as a school fair where it was so popular it was hard to keep up with demand! It is better in a more controlled setting such as a classroom or youth group.

The main things in a bath bomb that make it fizz are bicarbonate of soda (an alkali) and citric acid (an acid – clue’s in the name really). When these chemicals mix in water they react and form a gas (carbon dioxide), this gas is what causes the fizzy bubbles you see in the bath when you drop them in. The other chemicals in the bath bomb are there to make it smell nice or add effects to the water (e.g colour or glitter). If you ever make these yourself my top tip is only put a teeny tiny bit of glitter or petals or whatever in your bomb, believe me they get all over your bath as well as all over you!