Once again it is that time of year – National Science Week. Some of you might remember that I’m always saying you should go visit your local science centre. If you can’t get your teacher to take the whole class, then ask your parental agents to take you. They’re really very cool places, where not only do you have loads of fun, but you also learn some very interesting stuff.
So I thought I’d share some crazy facts and maybe you’d like to do a little science experiment all of your own at home.
First the facts. Did you know…
- Your tongue is the strongest muscle in your body.
- Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
- There are no naturally occurring blue foods, even blueberries are purple!
- Just like finger prints, everybody’s tongue is different.
- A “jiffy” is the scientific name for 1/100th of a second.
- You breathe on average about 5 million times a year.
- Cockroaches can live several weeks with their heads cut off. (Eeergh – that’s really gross.)
Now for the experiment…
Its winter time and we all enjoy a bit of heat when we are cold – right. Heat is an important form of energy. It is produced in our own bodies as we break down and use the food we eat. We can release stored heat energy by burning fuels such as wood or coal.
Heat can move from one substance to another in three different ways:
- By convection. (Convection takes place when heated molecules move from one place to another, taking the heat with them.)
- By radiation. (Radiation is rays of energy – the Sun’s rays travel through space and reach us as heat and light energy.)
- By conduction. (Conduction is the way heat spreads through a solid or a liquid object – metal is a faster conductor than glass.)
Maybe get an adult to help you here – or at least ask if you can have 3 peas and a teaspoon of butter!
Take a metal spoon, a wooden ruler and a plastic spatula. Stick a frozen pea to one end of each using a bit of butter. Put the other ends in a jug of hot water.
Heat is conducted from the water up each object, melting the butter and making the pea fall off. Which one do you think will be the best conductor?
Science makes the world go round!
The other day I was having lunch at my friend’s house and accidentally dropped some food on my jeans. It made a big oily splodge. I dashed to the kitchen and gave it a rub with some sunlight liquid. Thought I had cleaned it… but no.
When the patch dried, the oily blob was still there.
I was miffed with myself and sad too. Not only were they my favourite jeans, but they were also new and I figured my mum was going to yell at me for messing them up.
Then my friend’s older sister Emma came to the rescue.
“Don’t worry,” she said “I’ll sort them out for you!”
I was a bit worried because she’s an arty type. I half imagined that she might cover up the splodge with a bigger splodge of paint or something, but instead she took the bicarbonate of soda out of the cupboard and made a little white heap on the oily spot. Then she added a few drops of water to the heap.
A couple of hours later she handed my jeans back to me. They were spotless. I couldn’t even see where the mark had been. It was amazing.
When I got home later I googled bicarbonate of soda – also known as baking soda.
Wow! It’s fabulous stuff. You can use it for literally all sorts of things and it does not mess up the environment like other cleaning products do. It’s cheaper too.
Here are just a few ways of using it that I thought were useful.
- You can sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your regular shampoo and wash your hair as usual. The baking soda removes all residue that styling products leave behind and makes your hair cleaner and more manageable.
- If you have a mozzie bite, you can make a paste of baking soda and a bit of water and cover the scratchy spot up. It stops itching.
- You can also give yourself a refreshing facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Gently rub in a circular motion to exfoliate your skin. Rinse clean. You can even use this every day. (It really works – I’ve tried it myself!)
Here’s a link for more ways to use baking soda http://www.care2.com/greenliving/51-fantastic-uses-for-baking-soda.html .
Try out this miracle stuff when you get a chance!
A few weeks ago I read a very interesting story about a school overseas that has something called “friendship benches”. Apparently it started out with just one of the lower grades having a bench but then it spread to the whole school and they ended up having several.
I thought the whole idea was seriously cool.
Most of us know what it’s like to go to school and not have any friends. Whether you are new at that particular school or maybe you only have one special friend and they are not there for whatever reason. It’s okay during classes, because you are listening to the teacher and doing your work, so you don’t really have time to feel lonely or misplaced. But it’s a really horrible feeling to be all alone and not know what to do with yourself during break time or lunch time.
It’s even worse when you have to watch everybody else is running around, chatting and generally having fun.
Imagine having a bench – where you would feel comfortable to go and sit if you are feeling alone and sad, wishing badly you had somebody to talk to.
Everybody else would know that’s the friendship bench and they would make an effort to come and chat to you, or even just sit with you so that you don’t feel so sad and alone.
Maybe it would work even better if a rotation of kids (who had volunteered for the job) were assigned to keeping an eye on the bench to see if anybody was sitting there. I mean, it would not be very useful if everybody thought somebody else would take up the challenge and then nobody actually did it – would it? Then the poor person sitting on the bench would feel even worse.
Often people are shy – and they come across as being full of nonsense, or stuck up or snotty which really isn’t the case at all. They are just really shy.
After all – a stranger is just a friend you have not yet met!
Of course – this does not mean that you should go and sit next to strangers and start chatting to them in public spaces – especially adults. That’s not a very clever thing to do. But in a school environment – it’s perfectly safe.
Why not try something like this out in our schools.
Have a happy day.
Feh! After just a few days of school I am missing the holidays already. Mind you – it was really nice to see all my friends again and I do like learning new stuff.
I decided to be more organized this term. Often I used to scatter my school stuff all over the house and then sometimes land up in class without a book I need or I’d forget my sports clothes or something else important.
So I asked my parental agents if I could have a table into my room so that I can do my homework there instead of in the kitchen. Dad found one at a second hand store and sanded it down for me. We painted it a nice bright pink and now it looks really great.
Funny, but I feel more motivated to sit down and work at my new pink desk.
I also keep all my books lined up against the wall. I pinched two of mum’s smooth round stones from the garden and painted them the same pink as my desk so that I can put them either side of the books and they don’t fall over.
I covered an old tin with a page from a magazine that I liked and I’m keeping all my spare pens, pencils and rulers all neat and tidy in one place, so I can find them. I even have a diary and I write down all the important things that I need to remember and diarize dates.
My next project is to make a notice board that I can put up above my desk, so that I can pin stuff to it. When I finally make it I’ll share details with you all too – in case you want to have a nice tidy, inviting workspace too.
When I get home from school each day I first have a snack. Then I get changed and hang up my school uniform all nice and tidy for the next day.
Instead of procrastinating as much as possible before doing my homework – I am trying to do it straightaway. Then I can reward myself with some TV time or go have fun working in my veggie garden or riding my bike.
So far it’s been working rather well – but then again – we’ve only been back at school for a few days.
We’ll see how long it lasts!
Sjoe! It’s unreal how quickly the holidays have whizzed past. Unbelievable!
I considered getting depressed at the idea of going back to school next week but then I thought it would actually be nice to see my friends again. Plus learning new things is always pretty awesome.
Did any of you use the ideas in my previous blog? If so – I’d love to see the results. You can always email pics to me at email@example.com . We could put your pictures on the website so that other people could also be inspired.
A great way to end the holidays is to make something tasty to eat. I’m talking seriously tasty now – like milo balls! You could get a group of friends together and pool your resources to buy the ingredients.
This is what you need:
I x 250g packet of Marie biscuits; 4 x table spoons of Milo, 1 tin of condensed milk, half a cup of coconut plus extra coconut to roll the balls in.
Smoosh up the Marie biscuits until they are all small and crumbly. If you don’t have a blender or a mixer – you can put them in a zip lock bag and smack them gently with a rolling pin or a wooden spoon for a bit. Be careful not to be too enthusiastic and break the bag though.
Once the biscuits are all nice and crumbly put them into a bowl (if you are not using a blender) and add the Milo, coconut and condensed milk. Blend it well until it is all nicely mixed together.
Using a tea spoon – take a spoonful of mixture and roll it between your palms into a nice round ball. Then drop it into a cup of coconut and swish it around until the ball is coated with coconut. Place it on a baking tray or something similar. Keep rolling until you have used up all the mixture. (It should make approximately 50 – 60 balls – or more if you make them smaller.)
Beware… you will get very sticky hands but you can always lick them clean – after you’ve finished that is!
Place the tray of Milo balls into the fridge for 10 minutes to harden. Then store them in an airtight container.
These really are a delicious treat – and they’re not as sweet as you might imagine. Have fun making them and remember to clean up the kitchen afterwards.