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Digestive System – Experiment at Home01/02/2021

We all have one, and it’s working all the time, even when we’re asleep! Our digestive system is an amazing thing. It uses lots of different parts of your body, all working together to make sure that you get the nutrients you need from your food. This experiment will show you how all the different parts of your body work together, in a fun and messy way!

 

You will need:

  • Baked beans
  • 2 biscuits
  • A bowl or tub
  • Potato masher
  • Pair of tights
  • Scissors (ask a grown up)
  • Sandwich bag
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • Water

Method:

Digestive system

  • FOOD – empty your baked beans into your bowl and crumble in your biscuits (yum!).
  • SALIVA  – your spit helps to break down your food! Pour a little bit of water into your bowl.
  • TEETH – Mash your food up using your potato masher. Or, if you don’t have one, use something like a fork or even your hands!
  • STOMACH – Your food travels down your oesophagus (throat) into your stomach! Pour your “food” into the sandwich bag. Your stomach has acid in it, so pour in a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to be your stomach acid.
  • Your stomach is always squeezing and releasing (that’s why your stomach rumbles) so give the bag a squeeze to keep breaking down that food!
  • *MESSY BIT* INTESTINES – You have two intestines – small and large. The small intestine absorbs nutrients – the good stuff that your body needs. The large intestine absorbs moisture – it gets the liquid out! Open one leg of your tights and pour your stomach contents into the tights (you may need someone to help).
  • Carefully squeeze the contents slowly down your intestine. You should see (and feel!) lots of moisture coming out through the tiny holes in the tights, this is like your intestines.Digestive System
  • POO – The intestines is where it turn into poo! If you move the food too slowly through the intestines, too much moisture will be absorbed and your poo will be too hard and dry (constipation), bit if you move it too quickly, it will be too wet (diarrhoea).
  • RECTUM – Otherwise known as your bottom! This is where the waste (poo) leaves the body. Cut a small hole in the end of your tights and squeeze the ‘poo’ through it.

This messy experiment shows just how many different parts of your body are involved in your digestive system.

Have you seen our Human Body Home Kit on our shop yet? It’s ust £5 and covers everything from teeth to mucus and even DNA!

Properties of Water – Experiment at Home19/01/2021

Experimenting at home can be tricky if you don’t have the right equipment. Luckily water is one thing that most people should have access to. Water is fascinating, and we have two easy experiments to show you why, whilst also learning the science behind the properties of water. A glass of water has never been so interesting!

Experiment 1 – The Coin Test

You will need:

  • A coin
  • A pipette (if you don’t have a pipette, you could use a straw, or your finger. We also sell them on our shop)
  • Washing up liquid
  • A cup

Method:

  • properties of waterFill your cup with water.
  • Place your coin on a flat surface.
  • Fill your pipette with water.
  • Drip the water from the pipette onto the coin. Count each drop!
  • Keep dripping the water until it falls off the coin.
  • How many drops did you fit on your coin?
  • This time, add some washing up liquid to your water, stir it round.
  • Try dripping the water onto the coin now.
  • Did you manage more drops or less?

The Science Bit: 

Water is COHESIVE. This means that it sticks to itself. When your drops fell onto the coin they joined together and created something called SURFACE TENSION which allowed it to hold together on the top of the coin.

When you added the washing up liquid, it weakened the surface tension of the water, which meant that the water couldn’t hold together as well. So you should find that you could fit less drops on the coin!

Experiment 2 – Magic Flower

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors (ask a grown-up to help)
  • A bowl or tray
  • Water

Method:

  • properties of waterDraw a flower on your paper, a bit like this one –
  • Cut out your flower (ask a grown-up to help).
  • Fold the petals into the middle of the flower.
  • Fill your bowl or tray with water.
  • Place the folded flower on the water.
  • Watch the petals unfold!

The Science Bit:

As well as being COHESIVE, water is also ADHESIVE. This means that it can stick to other surfaces. A bit like how you get rain drops on your windows. In this experiment, the adhesive property of water meant that it could absorb into the paper. This made the paper swell (not really enough for us to see) and make the petals unfold!

Halloween Experiments – Fun Science22/10/2020

Here are some Halloween experiments for you to try with your little scientists in this spooky season –

Erupting Pumpkin

You will need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide (you can buy this from most pharmacies)
  • Dried yeast
  • Washing up liquid
  • Pumpkin (carved!)
  • Cup x 2
  • Spoon

Method:

  • Make sure your pumpkin is carved (ask a grown up to help).
  • Pour your hydrogen peroxide into a cup, so the cup is half full.halloween experiments
  • Add a squirt of washing up into the cup and stir.
  • Place the cup inside the pumpkin.
  • Pour the dry yeast into your other, empty cup.
  • Fill the cup half full with water and stir until the yeast is mixed in.
  • Pour the yeast into the hydrogen peroxide and put the lid on your pumpkin!
  • Watch the foam erupt out!

The Science Bit:

  • Hydrogen peroxide has a similar chemical formula to water. Water is H2O (two hydrogens and one oxygen) and hydrogen peroxide is H2O2 (two hydrogens and two oxygens)! When the yeast mixes with the hydrogen peroxide it splits it into H2O (water) and O (oxygen), and the washing up liquid mixes with the water to make the foam! The bubbles in the foam are full of oxygen.
  • This is an exothermic reaction (a reaction that makes heat) so you may notice that the foam is warm!

Spooky Disappearing Picture

You will need:

  • A clear, sealable sandwich bag
  • A piece of paper
  • Colouring pens
  • Permanent marker
  • Clear container, big enough for the sandwich bag to fit inhalloween experiments

Method:

  • Cut your paper so that it fits flat in your sandwich bag.
  • Draw a picture on your paper with your colouring pens.
  • Place it in the bag and seal it.
  • Draw round part of your drawing, or the outline, using a permanent marker on the sandwich bag.
  • Fill your container with water.
  • Slowly lower the bag into the water.
  • If you look from above, you should notice part of your drawing disappear!

The Science Bit:

  • When you look at the water from above, the light refracts through the water, and bounces back at such an angle that we can’t see the image on the paper!

 

Inflating Ghost Experiment

You will need:

  • A bottle
  • Balloon (white is best for a ghost but any colour will do!)
  • Permanent marker
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • Spoon

Method:

  • Blow up your balloon (don’t tie it!) and draw your ghost face on your balloon using your permanent marker.halloween experiments
  • Let the air out of your balloon
  • Put 1-2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda into your balloon. You may need someone to help you, or you could use a funnel.
  • Place the balloon to one side.
  • Fill your bottle 1/3 full with vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Carefully stretch the neck of the balloon over the neck of the bottle, but don’t let the bicarbonate of soda fall in yet!
  • When you are ready, lift the balloon up so that the powder can fall into the bottle.
  • Watch your ghost inflate!

The Science Bit:

  • Bicarbonate of soda is an alkali and vinegar (or lemon juice) is an acid. These are opposite chemicals. When you mix bicarbonate of soda with an acid they react. In this case it made bubbles of carbon dioxide!
  • Carbon dioxide is a gas and when the bubbles popped the carbon dioxide escaped and travelled up into the balloon, making it inflate.

 

Did you enjoy these Halloween experiments? Find lots more on our blog or check out our science kits on our shop.

Chicken in a Cup Experiment14/10/2020

We love experimenting with sound. Do you know how sound travels? It’s by vibrations! When you talk, when you bang a drum, even when you walk, vibrations are travelling to your ears. Have a go at making this fun chicken in a cup experiment and annoy your grown ups for hours – it’s science!

chicken in a cup experiment

You will need:

  • A plastic cup
  • A paper clip
  • String
  • Piece of kitchen roll

Method:

  • Poke a hole in the bottom of the cup, big enough to thread your string through. You may need a grown up to help.Chicken in a cup experiment
  • Tie one end of your string to the paperclip.
  • Turn your cup upside down and thread the string through the hole, so the paper clip anchors it to the bottom of the cup.
  • Take your kitchen roll and get it wet.
  • Fold it in half and pinch the string inbetween the wet halves.
  • Keep pinching and pull the paper towel down the string in short, sharp bursts.
  • It should sound like a chicken in a cup!
  • What happens if you move your paper towel down in one movement?chicken in a cup experiment

The Science Bit:

Sound travels by vibrations. If you tried the experiment without the cup the string would still vibrate but it would be almost silent. The cup spreads out the vibrations and amplifies them (makes them louder).

This is like how a guitar works. The vibrations from the guitar strings are amplified by the wooden body of the guitar. this is how a piano works as well!

Why not try:

  • Using a bigger cup – would it make a different sound?
  • Using a different length of string.
  • Using a different type of string.
  • What else can you think of to change?

Did you enjoy this chicken in a cup experiment? Find lots more on our blog and check out our home science kits on our shop.

How to Make a Simple Paper Kite11/09/2020

We love flying kites but unfortunately the weather in the UK isn’t always ideal for it. However, this simple paper kite can be flown indoors or outdoors! Read on to find out how to make your own and the science behind why it flies.

You will need:

  • A4 paper
  • Extra piece of paper
  • Stapler
  • Holepunch
  • 50cm 5tring

Method:

  • Fold your A4 paper in half (like you are folding a card).

  • Take the top corner and place it on the opposite side, about 1/3rd of the way down.
  • Do the same on the other side.
  • Staple them in place.
  • We made a beak and some tail feathers for our kite! But you may want to do something different.
  •  Put a hole punch around 1-2cm from the staple.
  • Thread the string through the hole and tie in place.
  • Hold the end of the string and wave it around to fly your simple paper kite!finished simple paper kite

The Science Bit:

The shape of this simple paper kite makes it a great flier. The curved wings mean that the air has to travel faster to get over them, fast moving air has lower pressure. The air travelling underneath the kite, and the air going through the wing tunnels doesn’t have to travel as fast and so it has a higher pressure, which pushes the kite up. This is called Bernoulli’s principle!

Looking for more experiments to try at home but don’t have the equipment? Find lots of home kits, including our Big Box of Science, on our shop!

Simple Hydrogel Experiment09/09/2020

Have you heard of hydrogels? Would you like to try a hydrogel experiment? Hydrogels are polymer chains (lots of atoms linked together) that are ‘hydrophillic’ which means they love water! This makes them super absorbent. Some hydrogels are saturated which means they have already soaked up water – hair gel is an example of this. Other hydrogels are unsaturated which means they haven’t soaked up water but they can if they need to. An example of this is the material inside a baby’s nappy! In this simple hydrogel experiment we are going to be removing the water from a saturated hydrogel – hair gel!

To do this hydrogel experiment – you will need:

  • Hair gel – any brand will do.
  • Salt
  • Little pot or cup

equipment needed for this hydrogel experiment

The method:

1) Put some hair gel into a little pot. Just a little squirt will work fine.

gel ready for a hydrogel experiment

2) Sprinkle some salt on top of the hair gel

You should see the hydrogel start to turn from a gel into a liquid – this is the water coming out of the hydrogel structure.

The result of our hydrogel experiment

 

Why not try testing different hair gel brands or research some other household hydrogels and give them a try! Do you think the experiment would work with sugar instead of salt? Write a prediction and then give it a try.

The science:

So how did this hydrogel experiment work? Hair gel is a saturated hydrogel so it contains lots of water, held inside lots of chains of atoms stuck together. Water bonds to salt so when you put salt on top of your hair gel, the water came out of the hydrogel to try and stick to the salt. This made the hydrogel structure collapse. This is why when you have salty food, you feel thirsty – salt sucks water out of your cells in the same way that it sucked the water out of the hair gel. If you have too much salt, you get dehydrated.

Home ed online science sessions03/09/2020

Online science course for home educated childrenOur next course of online home ed science sessions starts on the 1st October 2020 and is aimed at home educated children aged 5-9. This course will be run via Zoom and you will need a computer to access the sessions. A webcam is desirable but not essential and your child does not have to be on camera. Just £4 per session and £1 for each additional sibling.

These 45 minute home ed science sessions are run by a highly trained scientist and provide children with an opportunity to socialise whilst learning. Sharing results is a key part of scientific research and these sessions will encourage collaboration.

All sessions will involve practical science experiments that use easily obtainable materials. Please see below for a list of sessions and the equipment that will be needed. You will need to source this equipment ahead of each session but you are likely to have most of it at home already. The majority of each session will be practical experiments with some time for watching a larger demo and sharing ideas with other children in the group.

Prices

The price for a block of four sessions is £16 per screen. Additional siblings are welcome to share a screen and work on the activities together and there is an additional total cost of £4 per additional sibling. All sessions will be recorded so that you can access the session even if you are unavailable one week. We are also on hand for help and support between sessions too.

This club will be strictly limited to 15 screens and 20 participants so that every child gets the most out of the club.

Click here to sign up

You may also be interested in our online coding course for children aged 7-12.

Sessions

Session 1 – 11am – 1st October – Colours – In this first session, children will be exploring the science of colour and learning the different between the colours of light and the colours of ink. We will be conducting chromatography, making bubbles to trap rainbows and doing a colour changing reaction. You will need:

  • Kitchen roll/toilet paper x 3 sheets
  • Felt tip pens (a selection of colours)
  • Cup of water x 2
  • Spinner template (either printed our template or draw your own)
  • Cocktail stick/sharp pencil
  • Red cabbage (just a section or a few leaves is fine)
  • One or more acids (e.g. vinegar, citric acid, lemon juice)
  • One or more alkalis (e.g. bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, washing powder, toothpaste),
  • Washing up liquid
  • Straw (paper or plastic)

Session 2 – 11am – 8th October – Rockets and flight – This session is all about forces and children will be making a range of flying machines. You will need:

  • Straw (paper or plastic)
  • Scissors
  • Paper clips x 3
  • A4 paper x 4 sheets (can be scrap paper)
  • Sticky tape

Session 3 – 11am – 15th October – Chemical and physical reactions – Children will go away from this session with a passion for chemistry. They will also know the difference between a chemical and physical reaction! You will need:

  • Cup of water,
  • Small amount of vegetable oil (as much as you can spare)
  • Clear cup/glass x 3
  • Bicarbonate of soda/baking powder
  • Vinegar/lemon juice
  • Teaspoon
  • Empty bottle (any size)
  • Balloon

Session 4 – 11am – 22nd October – Magic science – Some experiments are so cool, they look like magic! This session includes lots of ‘tricks’ and best of all, children will learn how they are done! You will need:

  • String x 15 cm length (roughly)
  • Tray/washing up bowl
  • Sticky tape,
  • 2 x empty clear cups
  • Cup of water
  • A4 paper x 2 sheets (can be scrap)
  • Scissors
  • Pen (any colour). 

Click here to sign up 

 

Beginners Home Ed Coding Course03/09/2020

Is your child interested in learning to code? Would you rather they were designing video games rather than playing them? Home educating and don’t know where to start? Get to grips with the basics of coding with our online coding course specifically designed for home educated children aged 7-12.

All sessions will be run online via zoom so are suitable for children across the UK. Coding sessions will last for one hour per week and children will be working with the BBC Micro:bit and blockly coding. Children will be able to share their coding creations with one another and a scientist will be on hand to help with any tricky coding bugs!

This code club is designed for children with limited/no coding experience and is suitable for children aged 7-12. You will need a computer (mac or pc) with internet access and a USB port. A webcam is desirable but not essential and there is no requirement for your child to be on camera.

In order to take part, your child will also need a BBC Micro:bit microcomputer. We are able to sell these (plus all required accessories) for an exclusive price of £14 (rrp £18.99) for children signed up to the coding club – with free postage too! All children signed up to the Coding Club will also receive a printable certificate and free Ebook on completion of the club. This E-book contains additional projects and links to helpful videos.

Prices

The price for a block of four sessions is £24 per screen (without Micro:bit) or £38 (with Micro:bit). Siblings are welcome to share a screen and work on the activities together. All sessions will be recorded so that you can access the session even if you are unavailable one week. We are also on hand for help and support between sessions too.

This club will be strictly limited to 15 participants so that every child gets the most out of the club.

Click here to sign up (for participants who already have a BBC:Microbit)

Click here to sign up (for participants who would like to purchase a BBC:Microbit)

You may also be interested in our online science sessions for children aged 5 – 9.

Sessions

Session 1 – 11am – 29th September – Getting started and making an animation – In this session, children will be getting started with the online editor, coding their own words, phrases and animations and downloading them onto the Micro:bit.

Session 2 – 11am – 6th October – Making a compass and a step counter – This week we will be using the built in magnetic sensor and accelerometer to code a step counter and a compass.

Session 3 – 11am – 13th October – Coding simple games – Next up, we will be coding some simple games including a rock, paper scissors game. Children will be using ‘if _____ then______’ commands and setting countdown timers plus learning how to create a reset button for their game.

Session 4 – 11am – 20th October – Coding a more advanced game – In this session, children will be using loops, game commands and animations to code a more advanced game that is playable on the Micro:Bit.

Click here to sign up (for participants who already have a BBC:Microbit)

Click here to sign up (for participants who would like to purchase a BBC:Microbit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Science Big Experiment01/06/2020

Fun Science big biscuit dunking experimentHave you ever carried out the biscuit dunking experiment? This experiment is perfect for introducing children to the scientific method – plus it’s great fun too! Here at Fun Science we want to find out once and for all which the best biscuit is for dunking into a nice cool glass of milk, and we need your help. We want children across the country to all take part in one GIANT biscuit dunking experiment and we will be collating the results.

All you will need for this experiment is three different types of biscuit (any brand), a glass/mug and some water. This experiment and the documents below were originally created as part of our BIG EXPERIMENT which we did in the spring of 2020 whilst we were all in lockdown. It’s too late to share your results with us but feel free to continue to use the resources below to carry out your own big experiment! You can also click here to view our results.

Parents and teachers you can click here to download our free teachers/parents guide.

You can then download either our

KS1 Worksheet and table of results
KS2 Worksheet and table of results

Click here to access the Youtube video and dunk along with Chemical Cress!

Looking for more experiments? Click here to visit our shop and find our home learning science kits for parents and teachers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adapting to Covid-1922/05/2020

All across the UK, children’s entertainers and activity providers are adapting to our current ‘new normal’. All our branch owners have a passion for sharing practical science with children and, whilst we are unable to meet with children face to face, they have adapted to bring practical science into the homes of children across the UK. We can’t wait to be back running science experiments at parties and after school clubs but until then, read on to find out what just some of our different branches have been up to.

Sheffield

Magnetic Milla from Fun Science Sheffield has been running WER robotics clubs online via Zoom. As well as working on coding and robotics, all of the children have been researching the pros and cons of increasing use of connected devices (e.g. smart heating, smart TV, smart doorbells, etc) and they have worked in teams for the last month (via email and online team meet-ups) to prepare a presentation of their findings. They’ll be giving their presentations in online sessions this week – learning lots of useful teamwork, communication and research skills!

You can find our more about World Educational Robotics sessions in Sheffield by clicking here.

Dorset

Kinetic Kate from Fun Science Dorset has been selling fortnightly Home Science Kits with everything parents need to complete experiments at home. Her home educated groups have also been working hard to complete the experiments and project work needed for the British Science Association CREST awards and they should be receiving certificates in the next few weeks. Some of these are for the CREST STAR award and others are for their Bronze and Silver Project Awards. As part of their award they have been doing investigations into the crispiness and healthiness of crisps. Kinetic Kate has also been posting elements of the day on Facebook and is trying to memorise all the elements of the periodic table – she’s just under halfway there!

Find out more about Kate’s Home Kits here

West Lancs and Bury/Rochdale

Wacky Jacky, owner of Fun Science West Lancs and Fun Science Bury/Rochdale is hoping to offer socially distant home visits in the near future. These educational visits will bring zero-contact home learning (and entertainment) directly to children’s front gardens whilst following all government guidelines and advice. Jacky hopes that this will re-ignite children’s passion for science and give them a much needed boost during lockdown. You can email westlancs@fun-science.org.uk if you are based in West Lancs, Bury, Rochdale or surrounding areas and interested in a home visit.

Wacky Jacky is also offering home science kits with everything parents need to do experiments at home. Find out more here.

Cheltenham

Fun Science Colours Home KitRun by Diatom Dave, Fun Science Cheltenham was due to launch just as lockdown began and Dave is itching to get going running parties, workshops and free assemblies across Cheltenham and Gloucestershire. Even though he is new to the area and new to the business, Dave hasn’t been simply waiting for lockdown to be over. Instead he has been busy behind the scenes and has created social media pages, jam packed with fun science posts, experiments and pictures (click here to sign up to Dave’s weekly roundup)

Diatom Dave is also offering home science kits for families across Gloucestershire so that they can conduct their own experiments at home. All kits come complete with everything you need to do a range of experiments plus links to video and written instructions. Click here to find out more.

Shropshire

Super Sonic Sue from Fun Science Shropshire has been selling home science kits for parents across Telford and surrounding areas. As well as providing a way for children to keep doing practical science at home, Sue says that packing the kits has given her a much needed activity to do each day! If you are based in Shropshire, what better way to support a local business than by having potions and experiments delivered to your door! Click here to find out more.

Exeter and Medway

Run by Energy Edd (Exeter) and Fluorescent Fiona (Medway), these are two of our newest branches. Whilst their launches may have been postponed for now, both branches are posting lots of fun science experiments on their pages and offering postal home science kits to children and families in their local area. Check them out at Fun Science Exeter and Fun Science Medway

Other branches

Across the UK we have also launched a coding club using the BBC Microbit. You can find out more about this and our home kits by visiting our shop. We have also launched a science hat competition and have been overwhelmed by the amazing hats that we have been receiving from children across the country. The competition is completely free to enter and the prize is 5 different science kits delivered directly to your door.

We have also released a free ebook, started an informative Youtube channel, and continue to release free experiments that parents can do at home.

We can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best and running parties, workshops and clubs for primary school children. But until then, we will continue to support parents and children virtually instead.