KS3 (11-14)

Big beaks help cool birds down

Image: Jon Hanson

The story:

Two scientists have collaborated in a study that suggests that the size of a bird’s beak is linked to the temperature of its natural environment.

We already know that a bird’s beak is adapted for the food it eats and sometimes to attract a mate, but now it looks like it is also a good way of regulating temperature.  More

Is a lack of pressure to blame for World Cup exits?

Image: Shine 2010-2010 world cup good news

For those of you who are football fans, many of the results from the group stages of the World Cup such as past winners Italy and France exiting from the competition at this early stage will have come as a surprise.  Other countries (including England) have not lived up to the promise of the qualifying matches.  For those of you who couldn’t care less – maybe you could be persuaded to ponder if the reason is scientific. More

Vampire biology

credit:Pasukaru76

Get ready for vampire mania as the new movie in the Twilight Saga – Eclipse, is premiering tonight in the USA.  It hits screens in the UK on July 9th so now is a perfect time to teach a little vampire biology.

The PowerPoint I have designed for this occasion contains two starters – one for KS3 and one for KS4/5. More

Festival science

Credit: Logan1138

With Glastonbury commencing on Wednesday, the festival season is well and truly underway.  In this post I will attempt to use the famous music festival as a way of connecting exothermic reactions to Ozzy Osbourne (not literally).

Music festivals generally involve camping and camping involves heating food over naked flames next to a highly flammable nylon tent.  More

What’s plastic, very annoying and heard at football matches?

Image:Flowcomm

Nope, not a CD of the latest repetitive football anthem but the vuvezela – a plastic horn that gets blown by South African football fans at matches. This instrument/weapon of torture is fast becoming one of the most talked about subjects in this year’s World Cup.

The reason for the scientific interest is that it can be loud – very loud. More

The crazy world of future electricity generation

Image: Joby Energy

With all of the publicity surrounding the BP leak, crude oil is earning a very bad reputation indeed.  Hopefully some good will come out of the tragedy by persuading governments to look more seriously at using renewable sources of energy. More

What is the connection between custard and football?

Not the two things with the most obvious of connections I agree, but bear with me.

Spare a thought if you will for all of those body parts that are going to get bashed, smashed and generally knocked around for the next few weeks.  I am of course, referring to the hands, shins and other, more delicate parts of the world’s top footballers as they endure the many matches during the World Cup that starts this Friday. More

Malaria vs lasers

Ten years into the new millennium shouldn’t we be closer to cracking the problem that is malaria?  It is one of the world’s biggest killers but it is proving incredibly difficult to eradicate. More

The world’s most dangerous drink?

Image: Br3nda

The PB&C milkshake may look harmless enough but it has caused outrage amongst some people including UK TV chef, Jamie Oliver.  Not because of its taste, which by all accounts sounds delicious (the PB&C stands for its main constituents-peanut butter and chocolate) but because this drink packs a whopping 2010 calories per serving.  More

Mind bending optical illusions

The video above shows the amazing gravity-defying optical illusion that won the 2010 Best Illusion of the Year Contest earlier this week.

Using optical illusions in science lessons never fails to amaze students.  This particular one could be used as an engaging starter to any lesson on forces. More

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