KS3 (11-14)

Brown rat tops the charts

No, this is not a post about the return of Roland rat to the music industry but a look at the impact of invasive species. More

Spinning around

firewinder

© 2008 The Firewinder Company Limited.

I’m always on the lookout for new toys and gadgets that can demonstrate science in a fun way.  The latest one to catch my eye is the Firewinder.  The helical structure catches the wind, and the turning affect creates electricity which is used to light the LED bulbs embedded in its surface.  It’s a bit like a wind turbine, only looks nicer in the dark. More

Volcanic eruption causes chaos

Ash plumeMany of Europe’s travellers got very angry yesterday (and it looks like are going to be for a while yet) as their flights were grounded due to the enormous ash cloud caused by the eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajoekull (extra marks shall be awarded for correct pronunciation). More

Super speedy car

The gadget show team

Last weekend I visited The Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham in the hope to see some applications of science in the future tech on show there.

One thing that caught my eye was the Bloodhound SSC.  This car is Britain’s latest attempt on the World Land Speed Record and it hopes to reach an amazing 1000 mph (237 mph faster than the current record, also set by the same group).  SSC is an acronym for Super Sonic Car as it will travel at 447m/s, faster than the speed of sound. More

Multi-functional albino alligator

albino alligator

courtesy of iamdonte

Meet Alistair the albino alligator (he hasn’t actually got a name but I feel the need to give him one).

He is the latest animal to be homed at the South Carolina Aquarium in the USA.  As well as being a fascinating creature to observe, Alistair is living in an aquarium because of his poor chances of survival in the wild.   The website states that albino alligators only manage a mere 24 hours of life before being eaten by predators. More

Jetpack science

Martin Jetpack Unveiling, Liftoff!

image courtesy of martinjetpack

I must admit, when I picked up a magazine the other day to discover that there was a jetpack for sale, I thought it was a late April Fool’s joke, but apparently not.

As advertised on their website, the Martin Jetpack costs an eye-watering US $86,000 but the uplift from the two-litre 200hp engine can provide 30 minutes of flight and will take the (brave) pilot up to 8000 feet above the ground. More

New species of giant lizard discovered

Green tree monitor lizardI am always amazed at the biodiversity of life on Earth.  Just when you think we have discovered all there is, a news story like this comes along.

It is rare to find a new species of animal, especially one as large as this 2m long monitor lizard that has just been discovered in the Philippines. More

A chocolate fountain to teach changes of state

courtesy of mrphancy

Heston Blumenthal’s new series started on Channel 4 last night – and what a great start to what looks like a magical journey into the appliance of science to cooking.

Heston is somewhat of a hero to me as he combines two of my favourite things: food and science.  He makes amazing, fantastical food and the way he does this is to understand and apply scientific concepts. More