WIN The Cosmic Book of Space, Aliens and Beyond!

It’s your chance to win the galaxy’s most wacky activity book. Grab your pencils, Earthlings. Let our mission commence!

3, 2, 1…blast off! Are you ready to journey out of this world to discover what lies beyond? From space pirates and surfing aliens to galactic shark ships and mysterious planets, strap in, put on your alien mask and zoom through the stars for the ultimate cosmic activity adventure. We’ve got FIVE copies of The Cosmic Book of Space, Aliens and Beyond! to give away!

To win one of FIVE copies, just answer this question in the comments:

Which of these IS NOT one of Jupiter’s moons?

A Callisto
B Europe
C Ganymede

This competition closes at midnight on 31st January 2022. For full terms and conditions visit whizzpopbang.com/terms-and-conditions


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FREE teaching resource: Sensational Scientist, Mae Jemison

To celebrate Black History Month and Mae Jemison’s birthday on 17th October, we’re giving away a free sample page from Whizz Pop Bang magazine – a feature all about engineer, doctor, astronaut, dancer and scientist, Dr Mae Jemison.

And that’s not all… if you’re looking for primary science teaching resources or reading comprehensions, you’re in luck. Keep scrolling to find a heap of resources linked to this biography text!

Find out more about this teaching resource that’s perfect to use during Black History Month:

A biography text for year 3 and P4, linking to the topics animals including humans and body systems and cells, on the remarkable scientist Mae Jemison. Mae Jemison trained to be a dancer, engineer, scientist and astronaut! Mae also spends lots of time teaching and encouraging young people to become scientists, no matter what their background. She wants us all to reach for the stars, and she is still doing this herself by leading a project to develop the science and engineering needed to travel to a different solar system in the next 100 years. Mae doesn’t want anyone to be left out.

Year groups: Year 3 and P4
Topics: Animals including humans 

This downloadable reading pack includes:

  • An A3 reading spread for you to print.
  • Reading comprehension question and answer sheets, differentiated using our magnifying glasses key (on the bottom right). One magnifying glass indicates easier and two means harder.

Download your FREE teaching resources here:

Our award-winning resources…
🧪Are compiled by expert teachers and scientists
🧪 Bring science to life in your child’s classroom 
🧪 Are easy to download
🧪 Make planning science lessons simple
🧪 Link to the National Curriculum for England and the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence for primary schools

Our award-winning downloadable resources make it easy for teachers to teach inspirational science to primary school children. We have a huge library of over 300 curriculum-linked science and reading resources, including hands-on science lesson plansstimulating science reading comprehensions and science vocabulary posters.

Your school can download FREE sample resource packs via our website, and claim a FREE copy of Whizz Pop Bang magazine, too! Simply click ‘Sign up for FREE resources‘ on our schools page…

Teachers say…

The lesson plans from Whizz Pop Bang are fantastic – exactly what teachers want! Written by teachers, for teachers, they are clearly laid out and concisely written so you can pick them up and use them straight away.”
Paul Tyler, Primary Science Lead, Glasgow

The resources and magazines are linked to the science curriculum and support cross-subject learning. Plus they’re bursting with awesome experiments that my less confident colleagues can teach with ease!”
Kay Wilkie, Shawridge Primary School


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COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN Swarm Rising by Steve Cole and Tim Peake!

Astronaut Tim Peake travelled to the International Space Station in 2015 and spent 186 days orbiting the Earth and has shared some tales from this epic adventure with Whizz Pop Bang magazine in this brilliant blog post: Tim Peake spills the beans on life in space!

He’s also just published his first children’s book, along with bestselling author Steve Cole, based on space-age science and technology: Swarm Rising. We’ve got SIX COPIES to give away!

When Danny is kidnapped by Adi – who can run through brick walls and make cars drive on water – he realises that all humans are in danger. Adi is part of a super-advanced hive mind, the Swarm, which intends to protect the Earth from the environmental catastrophe caused by the human race.

Adi – Alien Digital Intelligence in the form of a girl – can bend the laws of physics and control digital data, but as a digital being she wants to know what it’s like to be human. Which is where Danny comes in.

But what exactly is the ‘help’ the secretive Swarm is offering? Can Danny and his friend Jamila help Adi stop the Swarm Agents and give humanity a second chance?

Swarm Rising by Tim Peake & Steve Cole is available now.

To win one of SIX copies, answer this question in the comments:

What does ESA stand for?

A Egyptian Space Association
B Earth Seen Above
C European Space Agency

This competition closes at midnight on 31st October 2021. For full terms and conditions visit whizzpopbang.com/terms-and-conditions


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Tim Peake spills the beans on life in space!

Tim Peake spent 186 days on the International Space Station between 15 December 2015 and 18 June 2016 and has shared some of his amazing experiences with Whizz Pop Bang magazine. He’s also just published his first children’s book, along with bestselling author Steve Cole, based on space-age science and technology: Swarm Rising. Find out how you could win a copy here!

European Space Agency astronaut, Tim Peake.

How did you feel when you were preparing to go into space?

“I had so many feelings! On the one hand, there was a huge amount of excitement and adrenaline. The trip was a culmination of years of work and effort, so I was really looking forward to it. I was a little bit apprehensive as well – obviously there’s a rocket launch to go through, and then all eyes are on you. The eyes of the agency, the eyes of your crew mates, the eyes of the nation watching! There are times when you just have to step up to the plate and perform.

Catching a visiting cargo vehicle is a one-person job: it is your responsibility to connect an entire space station to an entire cargo vehicle, and nobody else can help with that. These tasks are very, very high-pressure!

I felt that pressure – as sports people do when they have to perform – when I went out on the space walk. So I was definitely apprehensive, but the majority of my feelings were excitement and adrenaline. Being up there on the space station is such a privilege and everyone supports you to try and be the best that you can be.”

What’s it like looking at Earth from space?

“I just loved looking down at Kamchatka on the east coast of Russia, for example, and seeing a volcano smoking away. I’d think, ‘Nobody but me knows that volcano is erupting,’ because there literally are no humans within 2000 square miles of that location. It’s just wonderful that you can visualise the entire planet having been around it about 3000 times.

There’s nowhere on Earth that I don’t know now. Although clearly, I haven’t visited every country, I’ve got a different perspective of the planet.

It’s very serene in space. It’s a beautiful environment to be in; weightlessness, to be floating, to be looking down, just gracefully passing over the Earth without any noise, no vibration. It’s a beautiful, beautiful feeling.”

Did you look out for aliens!?

“Absolutely! The funny thing about looking out away from Earth is that in the daytime, you just see the blackness of space. It’s a very strange black – the blackest black you’ll ever see. Here on Earth we never really see black like this, because there’s always ambient light around.

In space – wow! You feel like you’re falling into the void when you look out at the blackness of space. And of course, there are no stars because the Sun is so bright that it blinds out the light of the other stars. You can only see this black abyss.

At night, when we are in the Earth’s shadow, all the stars come out. It’s beautiful to look the other direction: you can see 100 billion stars making up the Milky Way with no light pollution. The interesting thing is, you can’t see other satellites which you can see clearly from Earth – I look up at the night sky here, and I’m always seeing satellites going overhead. But in space, because we’re travelling so fast, it’s very, very hard to see another satellite that’s also travelling very fast with the naked eye. So we don’t see lights coming towards us in space.”

What’s bedtime like in space?

“Sleeping in weightlessness is lovely once you get used to it. It’s a bit tough to begin with, because your body doesn’t know to go to sleep. Here on Earth, every day of our lives we lie down at bedtime, rest our heads on pillows, and these actions are such strong triggers to make us fall asleep. When you don’t have those triggers, you float around all day, you float into your crew quarter, you zip up a sleeping bag, you can switch off the lights, you can put in some earplugs in but your body says, ‘What now?’ Once you get used to it and your body can fall asleep, wow, it’s a lovely sleep. There are no pressure points, no tossing and turning, no restlessness and you wake up completely relaxed.

We only need six hours’ sleep maximum on the space station because the quality of sleep is so good.

I used to like to strap my sleeping bag loosely using tie wraps, just enough to allow me to float around a little bit – not so much that I’d bang my head on the roof, but enough to enjoy that floating experience.”

How do you eat on the ISS?

“You get very unpopular with your crew mates if you open a packet of crisps or something like that!

Crumbs go everywhere, even in people’s eyes, all week long – so we try and avoid that.

I had bags of pistachio nuts, already shelled, but they were a treat that were sent up in care packages every now and again. You just had to be careful about how you eat that kind of thing. But yes, you don’t really want to have crumbs in the space station!”

For fans of Alex Rider, Young Bond and Cherub, this exciting action-adventure is the first children’s book from astronaut Tim Peake and bestselling author Steve Cole, and is based on space-age science and technology.

When Danny is kidnapped by Adi – who can run through brick walls and make cars drive on water – he realises that all humans are in danger. Adi is part of a super-advanced hive mind, the Swarm, which intends to protect the Earth from the environmental catastrophe caused by the human race.

Adi – Alien Digital Intelligence in the form of a girl – can bend the laws of physics and control digital data, but as a digital being she wants to know what it’s like to be human. Which is where Danny comes in.

But what exactly is the ‘help’ the secretive Swarm is offering? Can Danny and his friend Jamila help Adi stop the Swarm Agents and give humanity a second chance?

Swarm Rising by Tim Peake & Steve Cole is available now.

If you want to find out more about Space, check out these issues in our shop!

Whizz Pop Bang 67: Mission to Mars
Whizz Pop Bang 62: Over the Moon
Whizz Pop Bang 48: Hello Sunshine
Whizz Pop Bang 39 Space Travel
Whizz Pop Bang 28: Planetary Adventures
Whizz Pop Bang 7: The Science of Attraction
Whizz Pop Bang 1: Zoom to the Moon


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How to see the Perseid meteor shower

Image: Shutterstock

The Perseid meteor shower is a spectacle not to be missed as, if conditions are right, it’s a great opportunity to spot lots of bright meteors – 60 or more per hour!

In 2021, the Perseids are visible between 16 July – 23 August, but in 2021 the meteor shower reaches it peak on 11th/12th and 12th/13th August.

Here are some top tips for how to spot meteors:

☄️ Research the best time to spot the meteor shower – for the Perseids in 2021 in the UK, this is in the early hours of 12th and 13th August. The days leading up to these dates could also be good opportunities to see a good show.
☄️ Ideally, the sky should be dark. You’ll get a better view away from streetlights and when the Moon is not full. The Moon sets by 10pm in mid-August in the UK, so the sky will be darkest after that time.
☄️ Fill your view with the sky and wait! Lying on the ground is a great way to see as much as possible, or get comfy in a deckchair.
☄️ Give your eyes 15 minutes to get used to the dark
☄️ Check the weather forecast – a clear sky will give a better view.
☄️ Look low in the north-eastern sky to spot the Perseids, although they can appear anywhere in the sky.

Find out everything and more you need to know about the Perseid meteor shower in this brilliant blog post on the Royal Observatory’s website.

There’s lots more information about the Perseids on Astronomy Now, too.


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Take the flying paper challenge!

Looking for some simple science activities to keep children busy during the holidays? Here are three fantastic ways to make paper soar through the air.

Discover new twists on paper planes – just download, print, cut, fold and launch! Try out one design, or challenge your children to make all three and compare how they travel.

If you’re a teacher looking for ideas of primary science ideas, head this way to read about how to use these resources in the classroom and playground throughout primary school.

Make an air-powered rocket:
Whizz-Pop-Bang-air-powered-rocket-2-1


Make a stunt plane that flies in a circle!
https://www.whizzpopbang.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Whizz-Pop-Bang-Stunt-planes-1.pdf


Make straw planes
https://www.whizzpopbang.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Whizz-Pop-Bang-Stunt-planes-1.pdf


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 and flick through a space-themed issue here!


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How to spot the Lyrid meteor shower 2021

The best time to spot the Lyrid meteor in the UK in 2021 is on the night of 21st – 22nd April. This year, it coincides with a gibbous Moon, which means that the night sky will be bright, which makes spotting meteors a little harder – but don’t be deterred! Follow these tips from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich for the best chance of meteor-spotting.

For full information about the Lyrids meteor shower, head to this article on the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

☄️Find a dark site with an unobstructed view of the sky.
☄️The best time to see the shower is in the early morning of the peak day, which this year is the morning of the 22 April (the night of the 21 April).
☄️Fill your view with the sky and wait! Lying on the ground is a great way to see as much as possible.
☄️Look towards the Vega constellation – here’s a handy map showing how to find it at this time of year thanks to Astronomy Now.
☄️Blanket optional but highly recommended. Reclining deckchairs make an even more comfortable way to view the sky.
☄️Remember to wrap up warm!

Image: Shutterstock

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 and flick through a space-themed issue here!


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