KS3 (11-14)

Meteor hits London!

OK – so this did not really happen. It”s a PR stunt to mark the start of science month on the TV channel, Eden. However, the video does talk about what could happen if a real meteor of this size hit London, and it would be a lot more devastating than one crushed taxi. More

Edible diamonds

Image: Mario Sarto @ wikimedia commons

The story

I have been busy in the kitchen for the past few weeks trying to perfect the technique for growing edible sugar ‘diamonds’ and I think I’ve just about cracked it. This is so I can share an activity with you for your KS2 or KS3 science classes that is related to the Queen’s diamond jubilee – the things I do in the name of science!

This is a gem of an activity (sorry!) that you could do as a fun lesson on the last day before the half-term break or you could give it to your students to complete as a homework over the holidays. All the equipment needed for the experiment you can easily find at home. More

Super stunt science

This video from last week shows stuntman Gary Connery falling 2400 feet without a parachute and surviving to tell the tale. This would be a great story in a lesson on forces with any age student.

The students could:

  • Name the forces acting on him as he fell.
  • Calculate his average speed by using time from the video clip and using the speed equation (2400 feet = 731.52 m). As he fell for around 19 seconds this makes it an incredible 38.5 m/s (86 mph)!
  • Draw force diagrams for when he just left the aeroplane (unbalanced forces), when he was at terminal velocity (balanced forces) and when he had just hit the boxes (unbalanced).
  • Explain why his suit helped him survive the fall. More able students can link forces, particles and energy in this explanation.
  • Calculate his potential energy when he was in the plane (mgh). Gary is approximately 84 kg.
  • Sketch a velocity/time graph for the fall.

If you have any other ideas – please leave a comment and share!

 

Electrical art

The story

Bare paint is an ink which conducts electricity. The paint has been around for a while and has been used to create interactive posters and even to light-up models in a music video. The video below shows how it can be used to create a simple circuit.

More

Lighting the Olympic flame

Image: Jon Candy @Flickr

The story

The flame that will burn during the London Olympic Games was lit at Olympia, the birthplace of the Ancient Olympics, last Thursday. The torch is lit using the same method as it was at the ancient Olympic Games, a parabolic mirror.

More

May Junior Newsletter

Introducing the May edition of the Junior Newsletter for KS2/3. This edition contains three stories with accompanying questions from the past month, suitable for younger students.

Download your copy to find out how a travelling gnome has been helping science!

 

Is a gold medal really gold?

The story

There is no doubt that the gold medals for the London Olympic games are beautiful but how much gold is actually in them?

This is might well be the first of a few Olympic themed postings over the coming months. I wanted to come up with some ideas that were a bit different and unusual so this is my first offering: an  enquiry lesson to use when teaching metal properties or density or just as a way of practising maths and science skills. More

April Junior Newsletter

Following the popularity of the Science in the News-letters for KS4/5, I have decided to write a junior version. This will be a monthly event and include three news-stories with the normal links and questions, but designed for younger students (aged 8-12).

The stories and questions are linked to the KS2/3 curriculum content and the newsletter is supplied with a teacher guide which includes links to news stories for background information and model answers to the questions differentiated by key stage. More

Why did the Titanic sink?

The story

Unless you have been hiding under an iceberg for the past few weeks, you will have noticed an increase in the amount of media attention on the Titanic. This is because the 100 year anniversary of its sinking takes place on Sunday.

Teaching ideas

A lesson on the sinking of the Titanic would be a great way to test KS3 students’ understanding about forces and give them valuable practice at how to write a good scientific explanation.

More

Rare Disease Day 2012

Raise and hold hands at 12 noon today and show your Solidarity with rare disease patients around the world.

The main purpose of Rare Disease Day is to make more people aware of the 6000 – 8000 rare diseases that affect people around the world. A rare disease is one that affects less than 1 in 2000 people; most are life threatening and the majority have no cure. More

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