Science Fair Ideas

Are you thinking of taking part in the Science Fair at your school? Do you see yourself as being part of the next generation of scientists, but have no idea where to start? 

Below are ideas of some cool experiments you can do. You will of course have to find some information on how they work yourselves…you can’t expect everything to be given to you on a plate. Remember this is just a starting point! 

If you decide to go for it, make sure you have enough equipment to carry out your investigation multiple times. Prepare your experiment with the explanation and get ready to amaze your audience! 

Here are SIX SIMPLE BUT BRILLIANT EXPERIMENTS for you try. 

Click on the image below to see some more

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-10-26-03-pm

Not inspired yet? Click on the related articles below for more ideas. 

EVEN MORE Fun Science Investigations!

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

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Electrifying games!

So you should already know what a circuit is, its components and the different types. Now it’s time for some more fun learning!

Test your knowledge on electricity, or find out more by playing these great BBC Bitesize games!

Start clicking! 

What is electricity?

What is electricity?

bbc.co.uk

 

How can you change a circuit? 

How can you change a circuit?

bbc.co.uk

 

How do you draw electrical symbols and diagrams?

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-11-29-25-am

bbc.co.uk

 

What are conductors and insulators?

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-11-28-49-am

bbc.co.uk

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

Weight or Mass! What’s the difference???

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Confusion hits us all when we start discussing weight and mass. Aren’t they the same thing??Well actually….not really! 

WHAT IS MASS?

Mass is a measure of how much matter there is in an object. Mass is measured in kilograms.

SO an object for example a can of coke has a mass of 100 kg. It means this makes it heavy enough to show a weight of 100 kg.

Weight is caused by gravity. An object’s weight is how hard gravity is pulling on it. We think the weight is the same everywhere because we all live on Earth  BUT if it where in orbit it would not push the scale at all because there is no gravity. The scales would show 0 kg but the mass of the object will not change, it will still be 100 kg!

Depending on where you and according to the gravitational pull, the scales will show something different. Click on the image to see how scale measurements would look on different planets!

An object’s mass doesn’t change (unless you remove some) but it’s weight can change depending on where it is weighed.

WHAT IS WEIGHT?

WEIGHT IS  the effect of the pull of gravity on a mass; the measured heaviness of an object.

So Why Do People Say Weight instead of Mass?

People often use “weight” to mean “mass”, and vice versa.

Because gravity is pretty much the same everywhere on Earth, we don’t notice a difference.

But remember .. they do not mean the same thing,
and they can have different measurements.

Here are some conditions where the Weight might change:

  • in space – can be weightless
  • on the moon and other planets
  • you can even get very slight differences in weight in different locations on earth

HOW DO WE MEASURE WEIGHT?

WEIGHT should not really be measured in kilograms. What??? Yes, it is technically wrong to measure weight in kilograms, even though we weigh ourselves on scales which show kilograms. It’s a bit like when we refer to a tomato as a vegetable, it’s not, technically it is a fruit! Really!

tomato

Weight is technically a force, and the correct unit for measuring a force is the

NEWTON (=1 kg·m/s2) which is abbreviated N. It is named after Isaac Newton who discovered it after an apple fell on his head. 🙂

Newton_wide

Gravity makes a 1 kilogram mass exert about 9.8 Newtons of force, so a mass of 100 kg really weighs about 980 Newtons on Earth.

why don’t scales use newtons?

It’s because people understand kilograms and grams best and it makes it easier for us to calculate. 😉

Hope this made things a bit clearer.

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

Go to http://www.mathisfun.com for more information and great explanations.

Images downloaded from the internet.

Featured image downloaded from http://www.i.ytimg.com and modified.

Have more fun learning about food chains and webs!

You and the Food Chain

Have you wondered where you fit into the food chain? Because you are an omnivore and eat both plants and animals, you are a primary and a secondary consumer. In most cases you are also the tertiary consumer.

Sound complicated? Well not really, you see, the carrot you ate at lunch makes you a primary consumer, but the meatloaf you ate for dinner makes you a secondary consumer. Fortunately, unless you live next door to a family of cannibals, you will probably not have to worry about another secondary consumer trying to eat you! But even though people are mostly secondary consumers, we still cannot escape the decomposers. When someone gets very old and dies, their energy is eventually returned to the soil where it will be taken up by plants to begin a new food chain and continue the circle of life.

Are you ready to test your knowledge on food chains and webs? 

Try out the following to see how good you really are! 

Click below to play the quiz. What was your score? 

quiz icon

Ready for another fun game? Click on the image below to play! 

food fight game

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

Images downloaded from the internet.

Featured image background downloaded from 3amteacher TpT.

Text taken from http://www.idahoptv.org , a great site for more information on food chains and webs!

 

Food chains and webs

In an ecosystem, plants and animals all rely on each other to live. Scientists sometimes describe this dependence using a food chain or a food web. Read on to find out more information and play some fun games! 

Food chain

All living things need food to give them the energy to grow and move. A food chain shows how each living thing gets its food. It shows who is eating who. The arrow is read “is eaten by”.There are names to help describe each link of the food chain. The names depend mostly on what the organism eats and how it contributes to the energy of the ecosystem.

Here is an example of two food chains:

food chain

 

Producers:

Plants are producers. This is because they produce energy for the ecosystem. They do this because they absorb energy from sunlight through photosynthesis. They also need water and nutrients from the soil, but plants are the only place where new energy is made.

Consumers:

Animals are consumers. This is because they don’t produce energy, they just use it up. Animals that eat plants are called primary consumers or herbivores. Animals that eat other animals are called secondary consumers or carnivores. If a carnivore eats another carnivore, it is called a tertiary consumer. Some animals play both roles, eating both plants and animals. They are called omnivores. Humans are examples of omnivores.

Decomposers :

Decomposers eat decaying matter (like dead plants and animals). They help put nutrients back into the soil for plants to eat. Examples of decomposers are worms, bacteria, and fungi.

Energy:

Like we said above, all the energy made in the food chain comes from the producers, or plants, converting sunlight into energy with photosynthesis. The rest of the food chain just uses energy. So as you move through the food chain there is less and less energy available. For this reason, there are fewer organisms the closer you get to the end of the food chain.

For example, there is more grass than zebras, and more zebras than lions. The zebras and lions use up energy doing things like running, hunting, and breathing.

Food Web

In any ecosystem there are many food chains and, generally, most plants and animals are part of several chains. When you draw all the chains together you end up with a food web.

Test your knowledge of food chains by playing these fun games below! Just click on the images to be taken to the games.

foodchaingame

food9

game image

 

 

 

 

 

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

Images downloaded from the internet. Information from http://www.ducksters.com

 

Thought experiments

The great scientist, Albert Einstein, used thought experiments to help him develop his amazing relativity theories about space and time. He used these imaginary experiments because it wasn’t actually possible at that time to do the experiments he thought up. More recently, with modern developments in science and technology, some of these experiments have become possible and when they are done the results turned out to be exactly what Albert Einstein had predicted.

salad-sunrise-oil-vinegar-1

QUESTION: 

You have a bottle one-third filled with vinegar and one-third filled with oil. You want only vinegar on your chips and oils on your salad. How can you separate each one from this bottle?

ANSWER: 

Oil floats on vinegar. You can pour oil from the top of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down and now the vinegar is next to the lid.  This method of separation, by careful pouring, is called decanting.

QUESTION: moon

Imagine a hole dug right through the moon from one side to another. What happens if you drop a ball into one end of the hole?

ANSWER: 
The ball will be pulled by gravity to the centre of the moon. It will go faster and faster, reaching its greatest speed at the moon’s centre. It will then slow down until it reaches the other end of the hole, where it will stop. Then it will fall back down the hole. It will go forever backwards and forwards.

Have fun trying to think up thought experiments and seeing if you can solve them in your brain. 

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

Images downloaded from the internet.

Thought experiments from Action Books, Experiments Key Stage 2, New Look Books, 1997.

 

Mixtures and Solutions

A solution or a mixture? 

Here is what you need to remember so that you don’t get confused!

Mixtures

A mixture is made when two or more substances are combined, but they are not combined chemically.

General properties of a mixture:

  • The components of a mixture can be easily separated
  • The components each keep their original properties
  • The proportion of the components is variable
Solutions 

A solution is a mixture where one of the substances dissolves in the other.

The substance that dissolves is called the solute. The substance that does not dissolve is called the solvent.

An example of a solution is salt water. These components can be easily separated through evaporation and they each retain their original properties. However, the salt is dissolved into the water to where you can’t see it and it is evenly distributed in the water. In this example the water is the solvent and the salt is the solute.

solution

In chemistry a solution is actually a type of mixture. A solution is a mixture that is the same or uniform throughout. Think of the example of salt water.

A mixture that is not a solution is not uniform throughout. Think of the example of sand in water.

Interesting Facts about Mixtures
  • Smoke is a mixture of particles that are suspended in the air.
  • Tap water is a mixture of water and other particles. Pure water or H2O is generally referred to as distilled water.
  • Many of the substances we come into contact with every day are mixtures including the air we breathe which is a mixture of gases like oxygen and nitrogen.
  • Blood is a mixture that can be separated by a machine called a centrifuge into its two main parts: plasma and red blood cells.
  • Mixtures can be liquids, gases, and solids.

Ready for a fun game??? Click on the mouse icon to start! Can you identify mixtures and solutions?

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

Fun Science Investigations to try out at home!

Science you can do at home!

After special requests from my pupils, here are some more fun investigations you can try out at home… 

Lemon volcano

lemon volcano

Soda can jump

 

soda can jump

 

Travelling water            travelling water

 

rainbow travelling water

colour mixing

Take some into school to show the class!

Everyone will be amazed! 

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

Images downloaded from the internet

 

Reversible and Irreversible Changes

REVERSIBLE CHANGES

In a previous post, ‘What’s the matter?’, we discussed the three states of matter and how matter can change from one state to another by heating and cooling it. Changes between the states of matter can also happen by mixing.

Mixing

SaltInWaterSolutionLiquidLet’s take salt as an example. If we mix salt (solid) with water (liquid) we will get a salt solution. The salt will dissolve in the water and we know it’s there because if we taste it, it tastes…yucky!! Is there a way we can get the salt back though after the water has dissolved it..? The answer is yes, we can.

If you heat the salt solution, the water will evaporate, leaving the salt behind, the water vapour can be cooled so that it condenses back to liquid form (water). This is a reversible change because we will get the salt and water back in their original forms.

IRREVERSIBLE CHANGES

Not all changes are reversible, those which cannot be reversed are called IRREVERSIBLE.

Irreversible changes are permanent. They cannot be undone.

In an irreversible change, new materials are always formed. Sometimes these new materials are useful to us.

Heating

Heating can cause an irreversible change. For example you heat a raw egg to cook it. The cooked egg cannot be changed back to a raw egg again. Can you think of other examples?

Mixing

Mixing can also cause an irreversible change, for example when we put in a vitamin (solid) into water (liquid). The vitamin fizzes up and is dissolved in the water, this is called effervescent reaction : it is the formation of gas bubbles in a liquid, by a chemical reaction. This is an irreversible change because no matter what we do we cannot get the vitamin back to its original solid form.

Now that you know all about reversible and irreversible changes click on the effervescent vitamin above to play a game to test your knowledge! 

Ready for  more fun?? Watch these videos and see if you can do these experiments at home! Click on the images below.

Folding Egg experiment screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-9-56-47-pm

 

Rubber Egg experiment Image result for Rubber egg image

Till next time…

Peppi Orfanogianni

Chemical and Physical Changes

There are several differences between a physical and chemical change in matter or substances.

A physical change in a substance doesn’t change what the substance is.

In a chemical change where there is a chemical reaction, a new substance is formed and energy is either given off or absorbed.

Does that sound complicated? Here are some examples that will hopefully make things clearer.

Did the above examples help you understand this better?

Click on the icon to start the quiz!    quiz icon

Till next time…

Image downloaded from http://www.slideshare.net