WIN an epic Build Your Own marble run kit!

Get ready to race with this marble of engineering! Slot together the press-out parts to create three twisting neon tracks, just waiting for marbles to shoot, spin and whizz around.

This clever marble run kit from Build Your Own includes an ingenious lift and drop marble elevator and run switches to randomise the courses. It’s Build Your Own’s most challenging creation yet – with a build time of four hours, this kit is bound to keep the whole family busy during long weekends at home.

Designed in the UK and made from high-quality sustainable cardboard, this is one amazing piece of kit and we’ve got THREE to give away to lucky winners!

To be in with a chance of winning one of three Build Your Own marble run kits, simply answer this question in the comments:

Who is Mae Jemison?

A An engineer and NASA astronaut
B A marbles champion
C A botanist

Good luck!

This competition closes at midnight on Monday 30th November 2020. Whizz Pop Bang competition terms and conditions are here.

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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Halloween science experiments!

Discover how to make fake blood and gooey oobleck, plus which issues of Whizz Pop Bang contain fun Halloween science ideas!

Make fake blood

You will need…

• 4 dessert spoons of golden syrup
• 10-20 drops of red food colouring
• 1-2 drops of blue food colouring
• 1-2 pinches of cocoa powder
• Flour

What you do… Mix the red food colouring into the syrup a drop at a time until it looks blood coloured. Adding a drop of blue food colour ing will make it even more realistic, but be careful you don’t make it purple! Mix in a pinch of cocoa powder. Add a little flour if it needs thickening, or a drop or two of water if it needs thinning out. Drip it around your mouth like a vampire and go and scare your friends!

Oobleck recipe

Find out how to make the freaky non-Newtonian fluid, oobleck! It’s a great Halloween science activity (and it’s easy to clean up!)

Watch Whizz Pop Bang kid Poppy make some spooky oobleck!

Looking for more spooky science? These issues have some simple Halloween science ideas inside!

Make a moveable skeleton in SPECTACULAR SKELETONS!
Whizz Pop Bang: Sweet Dreams issue is all about the science of sleep
Make brilliant bat bunting!
Thanks to Henry, aged 7, for sending in pictures of his brilliant bats – find the instructions in issue 63: Sweet Dreams!

Looking for more home science fun? From science experiments, science activities, collectible science club badges to science colouring and more, you’ll find loads of brilliant ideas right here!

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Fireworks experiment

Hooray, it’s Bonfire Night! While the big displays have been cancelled, there’s still lots you can do to celebrate at home. ⠀

To create your own indoor fireworks display (and investigate surface tension at the same time), you just need some full fat milk, gel-based food colouring, a cotton bud, some liquid soap and a plate. Oh, and a willing helper and Whizz Pop Bang’s ‘Fireworks on a plate’ instructions, of course! Here’s what you need to do – keep scrolling to download a PDF of this activity.

This experiment is included in our FRE science club resources – find loads more brilliant activities here:

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Watch a fire snake in action!

Find out how to make this freaky fire snake using a fire lighter block, sugar and bicarbonate of soda inside FIRE FIRE (Issue 64 of Whizz Pop Bang magazine). Please remember that fire is extremely dangerous. Make sure you have a bucket of water close by and an adult to light the fire and supervise at all times.

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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Moon poem winners!

In Whizz Pop Bag 62: Zoom to the Moon, we asked readers to write a poem inspired by the Moon.

Image: Shutterstock

The fantastic entries were out of this world! It was so hard to pick just three winners, but we eventually settled on Amelie, aged 8, Isabella, aged 9 and Isa, aged 8. Keep scrolling to read their Moon poems.

Each prize-winning poet won a Geosafari Vega 360 telescope from Learning Resources.

My moon by Isa aged 8

Silver sparkles, a bright light
the moon shimmers every night
If only I could go and see
I wonder what there would be?

I lay in bed in my dark room
When all of a sudden, a loud sonic boom!
I looked outside and couldn’t believe my eyes
A rocket in my garden! What a surprise.

Off I went, zoom zoom zoom,
Before I knew it, I was on the moon!
Could this be real? I rubbed my eyes
Chocolate-filled craters and mountains of pies

What more could there be, I started to think
Some delicious moon nectar for me to drink
I leaned in close, to fill up my mug
When all of a sudden I felt a warm hug

Oh no I thought, who could it be?
An alien or monster? I just couldn’t see!
‘Wake up sleepy-head’, I heard her say
I guess I’ll have to finish my adventure some other day.

Who holds the moon? by Amelie aged 8

Neither closer nor further in the night sky
The alluring moon hangs there so high
Landscapes of craters, mountains and seas
Luminous, it’s beauty bathes the trees

Have you wondered what force holds it there
For all to see, to dream and stare
Is it a wire, a rope or some string
No, there must be some invisible thing

Magnetism, is that what it could be
The reason the moon can’t break free
I struggle and ponder to find the theory
Although it takes time, it’s never dreary

I ponder and think, I jump up and come down
This is beyond me I say with a frown
Who knows not I, let’s wait and see
Ahh, maybe it’s the force of gravity

A Day Trip to the Moon by Isabella, aged 9

Gakk, Riley and Emmi, decided to go to the moon!
Y tried to warn them, that it could all end in doom!
Riley told them all, they should build a rocket,
Ready for this moment, he pulled a blueprint from his pocket,
Emmi tried to think, what else they needed to bring?
Gakk ran off and returned, with spades and a rubber ring!
“What on earth is that for?” Y shouted with glee,
Gakk smiled and said loudly “We are going to the sea!”
Riley laughed and shouted “ There aren’t any seas on the moon!”
“Yes there is!”, Gakk replied “you’ll see very soon!”
Emmi say to Y “We are going to need a ride”
Y says “Don’t worry, I have my moon buggy outside!”
Everything was assembled, Emmi climbed onto the first stair,
Y then shouted suddenly “Wait!, we can’t go anywhere”
“We haven’t got any rocket fuel and no money to pay!”
Emmi said “Never mind, we can go another day!”

These runners up each won a wonderful Y’s Wonder Club badge!

All About the Moon by Ada, aged 9.

The moon is dusty and far away.
It can be seen at night and sometimes day.
Wolves howl at the moon,
Bats swoop past the moon.
Moths navigate by the light of the moon.
Astronauts have stood on the moon.
Dropping a hammer, dropping a feather.
Testing the gravity.
Checking the weather.
The moon is bright on a dark night,
But it’s just reflecting the sun’s light.
With all that said, I bet it’s true,
We still don’t know all about the moon.

Team Moon by Layton, aged 6

Man has walked on the Moon,
NASA is going back really soon,
I wish I could be part of their team,
Being an Astronaut is my dream.

I love to stargaze with my mum,
When we have said goodnight to the Sun,
The stars all twinkle really bright,
But nothing is better than the Moon at night.

The Moon by Anna, aged 10

The moon is a silver coin tossed up high,
Glinting always in the dark black sky.
Will it land on heads or tails?
Will the moon landings succeed or fail?

The moon is a diamond, clear and bright,
Sparkling and shining all through the night.
Always staying in that same place,
In the deep black mines of mysterious space.

The moon is a guardian circling forever,
It and the Earth have always been together.
The moon watches over all that we see,
It watches you and it watches me.

The moon is a shapeshifter, changing shape and size,
Each night something different appears before our eyes.
Changing shape like cards shuffling, King, Queen, Ace,
Full, quarter, crescent, new, all the way up in space.

But whatever the moon is, it’s there every night,
Silver and glowing, clear and bright.
The moon is with us until the end,
And that’s why I say that the  moon is my friend.

The Rhyming Moon by Louis, aged 6

Bright white
Night light
In space 
I see a face
Made of cheese, if you believe

Wolves howl a tune
At the silvery moon.
Hey! Would you like to play on the moon tonight?

The Moon by Elijah, aged 11 

Somewhere up in the clouds above,
Where no creature or human lies,
When the sun goes down and darkness thrives,
Look! It’s the moon! Standing bright and alive.
Where the stars eyes gaze onwards,
All those miles away,
up in the great black skies,
the moon is there,
to guide our way.
Always watching onwards,
Always one step ahead,
The moon sits,
Just waiting,
Waiting for the sun to go down,
For it is then that the moon can stand,
Bright and alive.

Moon Poem by Nicholas, aged 11

Moon, Moon glowing bright,
you are the queen of the night.
You shine from dusk till dawn,
but are faint when we wake in the morn.

Moon, Moon glowing bright,
you are the queen of the night.

Moon, Moon glowing bright,
centrepiece of our night.
Your cycles wax and wane,
you’re greater than the sun with its fiery mane.

Moon, Moon glowing bright,
centrepiece of our night.

Moon, Moon glowing bright,
you take the troubles from our night.
You shine within our darkest hour,
and give us your glory and power.

Moon, Moon glowing bright,
you take the troubles from our night.

Moon, Moon can you hear me?
You save ships tossed at sea,
you guide sailors who have lost their way
and when they’re safe they say:

Moon, Moon who gives us light,
our beaming saviour of this night.

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Top tips for becoming a super science co-ordinator

Are you new to the role of Science Co-ordinator? Or maybe you’ve been a Science Co-ordinator for a while, but you’d like to freshen things up. Read these top tips from our primary school expert Kirsty Williams…

Writing your action plan

Being a co-ordinator of any subject can be daunting and it can be difficult to know where to start. An action plan is an ideal way to get things off the ground.

If you can, talk to the previous Science Co-ordinator. They will already have a wealth of knowledge on the subject and will be able to tell you what they have already done, what has worked well and what they think the next steps are. If they have left the school, look at their action plan from the previous year and speak to senior management staff to find out more information. It’s really important to establish the subject’s current profile at your school before you can decide what will go into your action plan. Just remember to make the targets achievable – for example, although having a science week is nice, an excellent science day might be more realistic.

Your responsibilities as a science co-ordinator

Once you’re familiar with your school’s science provision and future aims, you can write an action plan based on your responsibilities as a science co-ordinator. These are:

1. Promoting science

To be a good co-ordinator, you don’t have to be a subject specialist, but you do need to be interested in the subject and confident in teaching it. To be able to effectively promote science to the rest of the staff, it’s important to lead by example. When another teacher walks into your classroom, it should be clear that you have a love of science. Always have a science display and, when the opportunity arises, get your class to share their science work. Encourage other teachers to send their pupils to you to show you their science achievements. You could even keep some special science stickers to hand out as rewards!

Try to incorporate science into as many lessons as you can. Share your passion with the children and make it cross curricular. Choose science-related texts during English lessons and for reading comprehensions. Use historical scientists as well as current scientists, making sure there is a balance of gender. Interviews with people who use science in their jobs is a great way of promoting science capital. You want your pupils to see that science is everywhere and useful and can lead to some really exciting jobs, such as being a nature navigator or a coral biologist who gets to dive in the ocean as part of her job, or a thrill engineer who designs rollercoasters! The list goes on – check out our bank of reading comprehensions here.

In staff meetings, it can be hard to give your subject a voice because it’s one of many subjects taught and you don’t want to add to your fellow teachers’ workloads. However, don’t forget that all children have to take several exams in science at GCSE level, along with English and maths, so it shouldn’t be allowed to be pushed out of the primary curriculum. If you have the opportunity to lead a staff meeting, try to make it fun and practical so that it’s memorable; remind teachers how enjoyable it is to teach science and make sure they leave with an idea they can try out in their own class. Whizz Pop Bang’s downloadable teaching resources are packed with engaging hands-on science lesson plans to ensure staff are never short of ideas.

2. Ensuring coverage and progression

It’s important to ensure each area of science is being taught in the correct year group, in line with the National Curriculum. To do this, you can ask teachers which topics they are teaching in each term, plus which enquiry skills they are covering. This overview will help you to see if there are any gaps, and a record should be kept in your co-ordinator’s file. The PSTT has a great poster which explains each enquiry skill, which may be a useful document to give to each member of staff to support their planning.

It can be tempting to buy into a scheme to try to ensure progression. A scheme can provide a good skeleton to support your less confident colleagues, but it isn’t strictly necessary – schemes are expensive and can still have gaps.

To ensure progression in lessons, you should make time during the year to do a medium-term planning scrutiny. You should look for progression and make sure that members of staff are covering the content of each topic correctly. It’s important that year groups don’t cross over. Some topics are smaller than others so, where this is the case, encourage teachers to broaden their pupils’ scientific thinking and cover more of the enquiry skills, rather than adding in further content that may be taught in another year group. It’s important that pupils learn science skills, as we all know it’s about the journey and not about the final outcome. OFSTED will be looking to see evidence of where lessons are going and where they have come from, so showing progression is particularly important.

Vocabulary progression is also key; giving each teacher a vocabulary list for each topic can be helpful. Knowledge organisers are also popular. These are useful tools that help teachers to make sure they cover the correct content. It’s important these are used correctly – they shouldn’t be given to pupils to learn the content, but instead, they should be used as a support for spellings and definitions. Whizz Pop Bang has vocabulary posters and knowledge organisers for each year group – they’re available within our teaching resources.

3. Resourcing

You are responsible for ensuring teachers have the resources they need to teach their subjects. One of your first jobs at the beginning of the school year should be making sure the resources are organised and clearly labelled so you can see what is missing or needs replacing.  Ensure consumable resources, such as batteries, are topped up regularly and buy class sets of beakers and measuring cylinders etc, to make testing ‘fair’. In the current situation, the sharing of certain resources is prohibited. There is more guidance on this from CLEAPS

Whizz Pop Bang provides hundreds of engaging downloadable science lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, hands-on investigations and science reading comprehensions that are all written by primary school teachers and linked to the National Curriculum.

4. Supporting less confident colleagues

Supporting teachers who are not confident with teaching science is really important. As primary school teachers, we are expected to teach lots of different subjects so there’s nothing wrong in admitting that you need help teaching an area of science – we can’t all be good at everything! Talk to your colleagues and establish which areas they are less confident about and how you can help them. You might be able to assist them with planning or you could arrange for them to watch you teach science. If it’s subject knowledge that they’re wobbly on, Reach Out CPD is a really useful free website that explains the science behind the topics. It only takes a few minutes to go through each unit.

In Whizz Pop Bang’s downloadable lesson plans, the science behind each experiment or investigation is clearly explained, to give teachers the confidence they need to deliver the lessons.

5. Keeping up to date

As part of your role, it is important to be aware of what is new. This is hard to do when you are busy but social media is an easy way to do this. It is a great place to find support and get new ideas. As a community, teachers are supportive and are keen to share ideas and give advice. There are some great groups out there, such as primary science co-ordinators and the Whizz Pop Bang teachers’ group, which gives regular updates on new resources added to the website and shares relevant news and articles.

6. Keeping things on track

Once you’ve written an action plan and begun to implement it across your school, it’s important to keep an eye on how things are progressing. There are plenty of ways to keep track of science in school – observing lessons, learning walks, book scrutiny, planning scrutiny and pupil chats. All of these are important, but most importantly, remember to lead by example so that all the staff and children sense your infectious love of science!

If you have found this blog useful, we also have a blog about how to prepare for an Ofsted deep dive into science.

Whizz Pop Bang magazine and teaching resources are brilliant ways to enhance your school’s science teaching:

  • We provide downloadable science lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, hands-on investigations and science reading comprehensions written by primary school teachers.
  • Whizz Pop Bang teaching resources link to the National Curriculum, ensuring correct coverage.
  • All of our resources are year group specific, ensuring progression between the years.
  • We make cross-curricular links to other subjects, such as English, Maths, History, Geography, Design and Technology and PSHE.

Prices from as little as £190 per year for a copy of Whizz Pop Bang magazine through the post each month and whole-school access to our ever-growing library of downloadable teaching resources, with unlimited teacher logins.

Using Whizz pop bang school resources has enabled investigations to be an integral part of my science planning. I now have investigations and experiments throughout my planning rather than just at the end. The lessons are easy to resource and the pack has everything I need to teach the lesson so it saves me time as well!” Louise Hampson, Year 3 teacher  

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COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN a Whizz Pop Bang binder filled with 12 issues!

Kick-start your child’s Whizz Pop Bang collection with this brilliant competition – we’re giving away a binder filled with 12 magazines of the winner’s choice!

Is your child showing a new interest in science? Do you want to help them to engage with the natural world? Are you keen to support their science education, but not sure where to start? Perhaps you’re a home educator who wants to do lots of amazing science experiments at home? Or a primary school teaching looking to add a sprinkle of science to your reading corner? Then Whizz Pop Bang is just what you’re looking for!

We pack lab-loads of hands-on experiments, puzzles and awesome science news into each month’s magazine, sparking imaginations and inspiring the scientists of the future from the moment Whizz Pop Bang comes bursting through the letterbox.

And what better way to keep their collection pristine than with a specially-designed binders! Each binder can hold a year’s worth of magazines and means that mini scientists can flick through their collection with ease. They’re the perfect gift to give alongside a year’s subscription.

Psst, did you know that you can save 20% on binders for the whole of October? Just use the Whizz Pop Bang discount code BINDER20 at the checkout! Offer valid until 31 October 2020.

To be in with a chance of winning a Whizz Pop Bang binder plus 12 magazines of your choice, simply answer this question in the comments:

Which one is NOT a type of dinosaur?

A Saltasaurus
B Saltopus
C Saltychipus

Whizz Pop Bang’s competition terms and conditions can be found here.

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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Win a build your own microscope kit

COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN a Build Your Own microscope kit!

Spark some serious curiosity with this brilliant build your own microscope kit from Build Your Own. Simply press out the parts, slot them together, then add the lenses and mirror to construct a sturdy, fully-functioning microscope. We’ve got THREE to give away to lucky winners!

Each kit comes with everything you need to start examining the world up close. Head outdoors and gather leaves, feathers, mini-beasts and more, then pop each one in a specimen tray and examine it at up to 30x magnification!

To be in with a chance of winning one of three Build Your Own microscope kits, simply answer this question in the comments:

The part of the microscope that the user looks through is called…

A the fine focus
B the eyepiece
C the eye-eye cap’n

Good luck!

This competition closes at midnight on Saturday 31st October 2020. Whizz Pop Bang competition terms and conditions are here.

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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Emmi’s Eco Club bat banner templates

Have you been reading Whizz Pop Bang’s Sweet Dreams issue? You can find instructions for how to make an eco-friendly, upcycled Halloween bat banner inside!

If you want some help to make the bats’ heads, bodies and wings, click the ‘download’ button below to get a printable set of templates.

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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Mask mess

To help stop the spread of Covid-19, face coverings are now required in many countries. However, this is coming at a cost to the environment; a recent study estimated that the world is using a staggering 129 billion disposable masks each month during the pandemic.

Environmental charity Greenpeace is urging people to instead choose reusable masks wherever possible. Throwaway masks contain plastics, which clog up habitats and pose a threat to animals and nature. The World Health Organisation recommends that the public should wear suitable cloth coverings that can be washed and re-worn.

Find out how to make reusable masks here

Read the latest science news in every issue of Whizz Pop Bang magazine!

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COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity book!

Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity: Words that Changed the World by Carl Wilkinson brings Einstein’s world-changing understanding of gravity, time, space and light to life for young readers.

Go on a journey through Einstein’s mind as this beautiful book breaks down his complex theories to make them accessible for young readers.

Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity by Carl Wilkinson is published by Laurence King on 14th September and we’ve got three copies to give away to lucky Whizz Pop Bang fans!

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this question in the comments:

Where was Albert Einstein born?

A United Kingdom
B Austria
C Germany

Good luck!

This competition closes at midnight on Sunday 27th September 2020. Whizz Pop Bang competition terms and conditions are here.

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!

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