Stormy science

Looking for rainy day science activities? With Storm Dennis on his way, these wet weather science experiments will keep your scientists-in-training entertained and curious. What a great way to make the most of the weather, however wet and windy it gets!

Wondering how to entertain your family over rainy weekend and holidays? Whizz Pop Bang magazine is packed with super-exciting experiments and investigations every month. Sign up now!


Make a Robinson anemometer (wind speed measuring device)

Use paper cups, wooden dowels, a plastic bottle and other household items to make a device that measures wind speed. Click here for instructions.


Make a weather vane

Image: pbs.org

Find out which way the wind is blowing with this simple weather vane activity. Will it stand up to Storm Dennis-strength winds? There’s only one way to find out! Click here for instructions.


Make rain in a jar

If all this rain is prompting lots of wonderful questions, this activity could help you answer a big one: how does it rain? Use a glass jar, paper bowl, ice cubes and boiling water to investigate how rain is formed. Click here for instructions.


Make a rain gauge

The Met Office’s DIY rain gauge project uses an unexpected material to ensure that it takes accurate reading: jelly! Click here for instructions.


Make a tornado in a jar

OK, so we’re really hoping there won’t be any real tornados this weekend – making a mini tornado in a jar is much more fun, and a great demonstration of this swirling extreme weather phenomenon. Click here for instructions.


Women in Science day!

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is on 11th February 2020, and it exists to defy gender stereotypes and show that women and girls are a vital part of the science community!

Whizz Pop Bang is a monthly, gender-neutral science magazine that aims to encourage all children to develop a love of science. Our readers are tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and innovators who will shape our world, and we inspire them with amazing female and male role models every issue. Sign up to receive amazing science rocketing through your letterbox every month here!

To celebrate The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, meet an amazing female scientist we featured in Whizz Pop Bang’s Space Travel issue

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids SPACE TRAVEL on night sky

Meet Katherine Johnson

Katherine was part of a team of women carrying out complicated calculations for engineers, but she didn’t act like a computer – she never stopped asking questions! Her curiosity got her noticed, and Katherine was invited to join a team carrying out exciting research into space flight. 

She worked with a team at NASA doing the maths to get America’s first astronaut safely into space in 1961. She went on to calculate the flight paths for many other spacecraft.

Katherine isn’t only famous for her brilliant brain. Rocket science was simple compared to the challenges she faced as an African American woman in the mid-1900s. Until 1964, black Americans faced discrimination at school and work, and were often kept apart from their white co-workers. Katherine helped to break down barriers all through her life, starting when she became one of the first three African Americans to begin a graduate degree at West Virginia University.

Read more in Whizz Pop Bang: Space Travel, available in our shop for £3.99

COMPETITION CLOSED – WIN Unlocking the Universe by Stephen and Lucy Hawking – signed by Lucy!

Have you ever wondered how the universe began? Or what it takes to put humans on the moon – or even on Mars? What would you do if you could travel through space and time?

The brilliant Lucy Hawking and her father, Professor Stephen Hawking discuss these questions (and many more) in this fantastic new book. We’ve got three copies, signed by Lucy, to give away!

This collection of essays explores the creation of the universe, dark matter, life in space, AI, the climate emergency and more written by the Hawking family and other leading experts. Packed with mind-blowing facts and photos, this beautiful collection is sure to get young minds whirring.

Find out more about Unlocking the Universe by Stephen and Lucy Hawking here!

To win a copy, just answer this question in the comments:

How long is a gigayear?

a. Ten thousand (10,000) years
b. A billion (1,000,000,000) years
c. A quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) years

This competition closes at midnight on 9th February 2019. For full terms and conditions see: https://www.whizzpopbang.com/terms-and-conditions/

Meet an Antarctic explorer: Major Nics Wetherill

Nics is an army GP doctor who planned and led a 61-day polar expedition for a team of six women (called the Ice Maidens). Here, she shares what inspired her to begin her adventures in science.

Major Nics Wetherill.
Photo: Crown copyright

Read a full interview with her in Whizz Pop Bang: Polar Science – out now

What first inspired you to become a scientist?

My father was a doctor in the army, and I used to hear about his travels all around the world looking after soldiers and fixing them. I am very similar to him so it was no surprise that I wanted to join, too. I needed to make sure I would enjoy it so I looked into it a lot. It is not for everyone, but as soon as I started doing some army work, I knew this was the perfect job for me.

What advice do you have for young scientists?

My top 3 pieces of advice:

“Always do what interests you.”

Nics Wetherill

Always do what interests you, don’t do it because you think it is the right thing to do.  I wasn’t very clever at school and didn’t get the straight A’s that most medical students are used to getting,  (infact I had to re-take my Spanish A level to get into medical school) but I did really well at the sciences and at medical school because I was so interested in it that I found it really easy. 

“You don’t have to be just one type of anything – you can do lots more.”

Nics Wetherill

Don’t carve a path too early – despite knowing I wanted to be a doctor, I had no idea what kind of doctor I wanted to be, I still don’t really know and keep changing my mind.  I let life and events and experience guide me to my current career, but even then that might change as I am really interested in emergency medicine – you don’t have to just be one type of anything, you can do lots more.

“Present with a solution, rather than a problem.”

Nics Wetherill

Don’t wait for an opportunity to come to you.  If you have an idea, or a vague thought about doing something, don’t wait for someone to offer it to you, go ahead and do your own research and get planning on it yourself.  You won’t get it you don’t ask! If you need the support of people higher up, then provide them with the reason why they should support you in your idea – present with a solution rather than a problem.

Want to find out more about Nics’s amazing Antarctic adventure? Read the Ice Maidens’s blogs here.

Princess Leia hologram could soon be a reality!

Star Wars fans will remember the 3D hologram of Princess Leia projected by R2-D2. Now, British scientists have developed a way of making holograms that can be seen, heard and felt! Here’s a video of this new technology in action:

Have you been reading about holograms in Whizz Pop Bang: POLAR SCIENCE? Pretty amazing, aren’t they? Read more about this story in the Polar Science issue – on sale now!

FREE ACTIVITY: Rudolph’s watching you!

How does it work?

As you move around, it looks like Rudolph’s head turns to follow you! This is called a hollow face illusion. This illusion happens because, when you look at a face, your brain expects it to be convex (budging outwards) and so its fooled into thinking Rudolph’s nose is pointing towards you, when in fact his head is concave (curving outwards).

Download this file, then print, cut out and stick your own amazing Rudolph optical illusion!

Want to give the gift of curiosity this Christmas? Give a subscription with a printable gift certificate – it’s not too late! Just click here

Dreaming of a green Christmas…

Are mountains of festive plastic tat making your Christmas feel a little less than magical? Being an eco-warrior, a super-parent AND Father Christmas can be exhausting stuff, so we’ve sought out some present ideas that bring more cheer and less guilt.

Looking for plastic-free gifts, ethical present ideas, green gifts and other ways to have a green Christmas and make a difference at his time of year? Keep scrolling…

JUNKO modelling kits

Junko junk modelling kits, from £9.99, www.planetjunko.com

Make junk into toys with this super-creative, eco-friendly toy! Each kit contains a variety of accessories (including wheels, paddle wheels, floats, rubber band drives and more) along with plenty of clip-on and magnetic fixings that can be combined to turn household junk into almost anything you can imagine.

Invented by a dad who wanted to avoid throwaway plastic toys, Junko is fully reusable and made from recycled plastic in England. Its system of clips, magnetic fixings and accessories take junk modelling up a notch, encouraging imaginative play, problem solving and serious FUN! 


Whizz Pop Bang subscription

Whizz Pop Bang subscription, from £20.99, www.whizzpopbang.com

Want to give the gift of science wonder every month of the year? A subscription to Whizz Pop Bang magazine sends science learning and fun rocketing through your letterbox, every single month, with no plastic tat in sight! ⠀

And as if that’s not enough…⠀
🌳 Printed with vegetable inks on paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers
🌳 Delivered in paper envelopes⠀
🌳 Advert-free⠀
🌳 Activities and experiments often reuse household items (like the content of your recycling box and shed!)⠀


Wyatt and Jack Junior

Parrot mini tote, £19, wyattandjackjunior.com

Wyatt and Jack create accessories from donated and abandoned inflatables on the Isle of Wight, and they’ve just launched a junior range!


Books!

They’re made of paper (find out more about FSC standards for paper production here) and they can inspire a love of learning, and sometimes some knowledge of the natural world, too. We’ve put together a list of our top science reads for kids here, if you fancy popping some science under the tree this year.


Origami animals kit

Origami animals kit, £6.99, ecovibe.co.uk

First up is an amazing shop dedicated to plastic-free gifts: EcoVibe. From craft kits to lunch bags, building blocks to origami kits, this website promises an easy conscience for all of Santa’s elves. It’s worth having a peek at their adult self-care range too – you might need some TLC after all that shopping!


Seedbom

Tiger Seedbom, £3.50, www.kidly.co.uk

Throw it and grow it with these easy-gardening seedboms (packed with native wildflower and herb seeds in peat-free compost). There’s even an accompanying books, There’s a Tiger in the Garden, if you’re buying for a younger child (age 4-7). We also love the Make a Pizza for the Birds kit – tasty treats for little tweeters!


Dino Snores sleepover

Dino Snores for Kids sleepover, £65 per person, www.nhm.ac.uk

Prefer dinosaurs to reindeer? If you’re looking for something that most definitely won’t get lost under the bed, the Natural History Museum’s dino-snores sleepovers offers a thrilling experience to wander the corridors of the pre-historic after dark. Explore a torch-lit trail, make a dinosaur t-shirt and watch a science show. That’s a present they certainly won’t forget!


Adopt an animal

Adopt a polar bear, from £3 per month, www.wwf.org.uk

Have your kids asked for a puppy for Christmas? How about a polar bear instead? The WWF offers a huge range of animals to ‘adopt’ for Christmas, without the extra hassle of walkies, litter trays and vet bills! From £3 a month, (or from a £36 one-off payment), your little animals will receive a fact pack and regular updates on how their animal is faring in the wild. Upgrade to £5 per month and they’ll get a soft toy of your chosen animal, too! Best of all, your well-earned money will be spent directly on helping the species.


Image: Shutterstock

Words: Nell O’Neill

Whizz Pop Bang’s top science books for children

Putting together a super-exciting science magazine for children (and with some of us being parents of some scientists-in-training ourselves) means that Team Whizz Pop Bang read rather a lot of science books. Looking for science gift ideas for children, science books for kids or Christmas present ideas for young scientists? You’ve come to the right place!

Here’s our list of our top curiosity-awakening, fact-packed, inspiring science reads…

Moth: An Evolution Story by Isabel Thomas

“This is a story of light and dark…
Against a lush backdrop of lichen-covered trees, the peppered moth lies hidden.
Until the world begins to change.
Along come people with their magnificent machines which stain the land with soot.
In a beautiful landscape changed by humans, how will the little moth survive?”

Moth: An Evolution Story by Isabel Thomas

OK, so we’re a little bit biased, but Isabel Thomas (writer of many of Whizz Pop Bang’s features) is just brilliant at communicating complicated ideas to children. Moth is a beautifully-illustrated picture book that explains evolution through the story of the peppered moth. It has recently been shortlisted on the Children’s Science Picture Book Award and included on the New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2019 list!


The Professor Astro Cat series

Meet Professor Astro Cat: “the world’s smartest and bravest feline scientific explorer and he wants to recruit you! Together with Felicity (also a cat) and Astro Mouse, they are always ready to take you on mind bogglingly brilliant adventures into the incredible world of science.” With books covering Space, the Human Body, Physics and more, our Editor Tammy says “We love them!”


The Whizz Pop Bang Science Joke Book by Tara Pardo

Did you hear the joke about the germ?
Never mind, I don’t want to spread it around!

How does the Moon cut his hair?
E-clipse it!

What’s a scientist’s favourite dog?
A lab!

The Whizz Pop Bang Science Joke Book by Tara Pardo

Packed with super-silly science giggles and fantastic facts, the Whizz Pop Bang Science Joke Book is not only a team favourite – Assistant Editor, Tara, wrote it! We can honestly say that every single one of our children love it, too.


Owling: Enter the World of the Mysterious Birds of the Night by Mark Wilson

“My daughter is a very big owl lover so she absolutely adores it,” says Editor-in-chief, Jenny. “It contains loads of information about an assortment of owls, as well as general owl info – pellets, behaviour, abilities and so on. It’s a shame that it’s based on the common owls in North America, rather than in the UK (no tawny owls), but that still includes barn owls and it also includes Emily’s favourite, snowy owls!”


On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

This is another of Editor Tammy’s family’s favourite science stories. “A boy rides a bicycle down a dusty road. But in his mind, he envisions himself traveling at a speed beyond imagining, on a beam of light. This brilliant mind will one day offer up some of the most revolutionary ideas ever conceived. From a boy endlessly fascinated by the wonders around him, Albert Einstein ultimately grows into a man of genius recognized the world over for profoundly illuminating our understanding of the universe,” says Chronicle Books, publisher of this beautiful book.


Audrey the Amazing Inventor by Rachel Valentine

“Audrey was the most inquisitive girl you could hope to meet…”

Audrey the Amazing Inventor by Rachel Valentine

begins this tale of questions, fiddling and fixing, suitable for curious children aged 3+ “My daughter adores this book and often reaches for it at bedtime,” says Whizz Pop Bang’s Schools co-ordinator, Libby.


Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

Celebrate some incredible women in STEM with this beautiful book. Rachel Ignotofsky’s gorgeous illustrations bring the stories of 50 inspirational women in science to life. It’s another one that our Editor, Tammy, recommends for people looking for great science books for kids.


The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day by Christopher Edge

Editor-in-Chief, Jenny, says that this is one of her daughter’s favourites: “It’s about a girl genius who is studying science and maths and whose world gets turned upside down when she wakes on her birthday to find herself in a weird and scary world. It’s full of intriguing and challenging scientific concepts, like infinity, relativity and entropy, and it gets you thinking about the possibility of parallel universes. Probably best for ages 9+”


You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey

“If you were a planet, you’d be a lot like the Earth. Rainforests on land and ale in the oceans are the Earth’s lungs,”

You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey

This intriguing book draws connections between people and the natural world – and it’s another of Editor Tammy’s top science books.


Look Inside How Things Work by Rob Lloyd Jones

“This was very popular with my boys!” says our Customer Service Advisor, Hennie.

“Have you ever wondered how cars roar along roads, or planes soar into the sky? Discover how all sorts of amazing things work, from fire engines and submarines to dishwashers and vacuum cleaners, in this exciting introduction to engineering for young children, with over 70 flaps to lift.”


Explanatorium of Nature by DK

Editor Tammy’s son loves the Explanatorium books (which includes an edition about Science by Robert Winston) and the DK Knowledge Encyclopedias, but the Explanatorium of Nature is his favourite.

COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN a six-month subscription and access to our school resources!

NOMINATE A STAR TEACHER for their chance to win a six-month of Whizz Pop Bang for their classroom PLUS free access to our incredible school resources!

Did you know that in addition to our awesome monthly magazine, we also produce hands-on lesson packs for schools? Each pack includes quality science lesson plans, easy experiments and activities to do in class, as well as lots of ideas for science and eco clubs!

To enter this competition, tell us in the comments why a teacher you know deserves an extra-special thank you.

Are you a teacher? Join the Whizz Pop Bang teachers’ Facebook group to find out more about our resources, for news, competitions and more!

This competition/promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook. This competition closes at midnight on Thursday 2nd January 2020. The prize is: six issues of Whizz Pop Bang magazine delivered to an address of the winner’s choice and free access to our school resources for six months. Full for terms and conditions, see: https://buff.ly/30nZVt4

COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN a Whizz Pop Bang binder!

Whizz Pop Bang’s seven days of prizes: day seven!

It’s the last day of our week of competitions and we’ve got a binder, sorry a blinder, of a prize for you today!  

Today, we’re giving away a Whizz Pop Bang binder – the perfect place for WPB fans to store their magazine collections! Each binder holds a whole year’s-worth of magazines, making it the ideal extra gift for a mini scientist who is dreaming of finding a Whizz Pop Bang subscription under the tree.

Just answer this question in the comments to be in with a chance of winning. Don’t wait around, because this competition is only running for 24 hours!

How many sets of eyelids do camels have?

  1. One set
  2. Two sets
  3. Three sets

This competition closes at 7am on 14th December 2019. For full terms and conditions see: https://buff.ly/384J6Zl