Whilst the rest of the website deals with the more serious aspects of GCSE science, this is the place for junior scientists to have see how much fun you can have with science. We look at explosions, have some fun with Mytho-zoology and cover some of the things that do not appear in the GCSE syllabus. It’s also the place where you can see that things don’t always go right first time in the Science Rocks studio!
Let’s start with the favourite topic of almost any scientists – explosions! An explosion involves a rapid increase of volume and release of energy in an extreme manner. You see explosions every bonfire night in firework displays – the various chemicals used in the fireworks determine the colour of the explosion. Here we have some of our favourite explosions – some of which you can replicate at home with the help of your parents.
- Coke and Mentos – a great one to try at home, but be aware – the explosion can be quite violent, so make sure to do it in the garden where you can easily wash away the sticky coke afterwards!
- Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar – using fairly normal kitchen ingredients, this is another great kitchen explosion, but keep it contained so everything does not end up smelling of vinegar.
- Fizzy Vitamin C and Warm Water – using an Indiana Jones-type action story, this is an easy one to try at home…. though it still took a lot of takes to get the explosions right, as you can see in our bloopers reel.
- Elephant Toothpaste – not one to try at home – the chemicals used in this explosion can be harmful and messy so just watch and enjoy the Science Rocks team doing this one for you.
Mytho-zoology is the zoological study of mythical creatures. In this section we take a light-hearted look at some of the better known mythical creatures in an attempt to answer some key questions about where they fit in the scheme of things. In ‘Centaurs – Man, beast or insect?‘ we use a lighthearted application of Linnaeus‘ classification schema to mythological creatures and the ‘Mermaids’ video takes a look at whether mermaids are really half mammal, half fish, or indeed if they are all mammal…. you decide!
The Sixty Seconds of Science clips are a series of videos featuring snapshots of science. We started the series by looking at the science of being on holiday, but have started adding new clips on special topics.
Check out our 60 SOS videos on:
- Light and Sound – The speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. That is why you see the flash of lightning before you hear the corresponding rumble of thunder. Counting the time between the flash and the rumble allows you to work out how far away the storm is – but how does this work?
- Heat Transfer – Convection, conduction and radiation are all processes for transferring heat energy, but which process heats the pool and the sea? In this 60 SOS clip we look at which processes are involved.
- Parascending – What are the processes involved in parascending? Why does it work? Parascending is actually more like flying a kite than parachuting. This episode of 60 SOS tells you about the forces involved.
- Refraction – Refraction is the change in direction of a wave due to a change in the transmission medium. This is why an object underwater appears to be in a differet place to where it actually is, or ahy an object in a glass of water appears to be bent.
- The Ice Bucket Challenge – The ALS ice bucket challenge took on a life of its own, raising millions for the charity and generating thousands of films of people tipping cold water over their heads. Science Rocks accepted the challenge, but also added a little bit of information on the science involved. For a more detailed look at heat and temperature, see our interview with Dr Michael de Podesta in the Physics Section.
There are loads of other great science experiments you can try out yourselves or with your parents. Science Rocks did some Simple Science Experiments with young guest presenter Tilly, and had some great fun looking at Slime – A Non-Newtonian Fluid. We even took a humerous look at Newton’s First and Second Laws of Motion. You can get your parents to take you on a Fungal Foray (preferably not in the rain), or just head out an about and look at some of the wildlife you have around you. We were lucky enough to get a behind the scenes visit to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Arundel to take a look at Form and Function in Water Voles, and as part of the same series we also looked at Form and Function in Otters.
Science is all around you – you just have to get out there and look!