National Hedgehog Day – 2nd February 2022

Calling all hedgehog fans, tomorrow (2nd Feb) is National Hedgehog Day! Celebrate these spikey critters tomorrow by checking how hog-friendly your garden is. Hedgehog populations are sadly declining, therefore it’s critical that we do everything we can to protect them.

Here are some pointers on how to make your garden a hog’s paradise:

🦔 Shrubs or woody plants provide much-needed cover.

🦔 Native fruit trees, as well as hazel and hawthorn, will attract insects an important food source.

🦔 Wildflowers will also attract insects providing additional seasonal food.

🦔 Ditch the pesticides, unfortunately, toxic pesticides can kill hedgehogs, therefore organic gardening is the best option.

🦔 If you’re looking for a project, why not make a hedgehog house or a hedgehog highway (just a hole in your fence will do!).

It’s important that we protect the hedgehogs of Britain because not only are they adorable, but they help maintain the balance in the ecosystem. Conservationists refer to Hedgehogs as indicator species. This is because the numbers and behaviour of hedgehogs can tell us a lot about the health of their surrounding areas. Hedgehogs eat soil invertebrates, so a fall in hedgehog numbers can signify a decline in the quality of the surrounding environment. Their main source of food is insects which helps to keep insect population levels manageable, if hedgehog populations drop, insect numbers may rise posing unknown threats to the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

If your young ecologist is a subscriber to Whizz Pop Bang and would like to do more to help wildlife in your local area why not encourage them to complete our Wildlife Watcher badge – https://www.whizzpopbang.com/wildlife-watcher/


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Watch Scott Kelly learn how to balance again

While in space, astronauts lose the ability to balance. When they return to Earth, this makes turning corners, climbing stairs and even walking in a straight line very difficult until their balance comes back! Watch NASA astronaut Scott Kelly learn how to balance again.

Find out more about what it’s like to live in space in Whizz Pop Bang: OUT OF THIS WORLD.


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Living in space

Astronauts have been living aboard the International Space Station for the last 21 years. Ever wondered how astronauts wee and poo, sleep and brush their teeth in microgravity? Find out here…

Find out more about what it’s like to live in space in Whizz Pop Bang: OUT OF THIS WORLD.


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COMPETITION CLOSED 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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glow-in-the-dark mega science kit competition bandai national geographic

COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN a Glow-in-the-Dark Mega Science Kit!

Explore glow-in-the-dark science with PUTTY, SLIME, CRYSTALS AND MORE!

The days are getting shorter and the nights are drawing in but fear not, this fun STEM kit from Bandai is sure to brighten any dark evening! Inquisitive minds will love discovering the world of glow-in-the-dark by making glowing slime and growing their own crystals! We’ve got THREE Glow-in-the-Dark Mega Science Kits to give away!

The National Geographic Glow-in-the-Dark Mega Science Kit is an astounding collection of experiments and activities that all glow when the lights are out! Inside the kit, you’ll find a crystal growing set that produces a glow-in-the-dark crystal specimen you can proudly display.

There are two DIY slime packs in this kit as well, allowing you to mix and play with your own glow-in-the-dark purple and green slime! And glow-in-the-dark putty will astound kids as they use the included UV light keychain to draw pictures and words that glow when the lights are off!

There is so much included in this Mega Kit: one glowing crystal seed, two DIY slime powders in glowing green and glowing purple, two slime containers, one glowing putty in a storage tin, one wernerite rock, one UV light, and a full-colour learning guide that takes you through each experiment step by step.

The National Geographic Glow-in-the-Dark Mega Science Kit is available from Next!

To win one of THREE kits, answer this question in the comments:

Which of these means glow-in-the-dark?

A Phonetic
B Photosynthesis
C Phosphorescent

This competition closes at midnight on 30th November 2021. 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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Are You Ready To Be an ECO HERO This Summer?

Our very knowledgeable robot, Y, has another challenge for you this week. Y’s Wonder Club club is for budding scientists to share their adventures in science with our robot, Y, and other Whizz Pop Bang readers. All Whizz Pop Bang subscribers are automatically joined to Y’s Wonder Club and for a limited time this summer we’re opening up the club for everyone!

We have two weeks left so get ready for your scientist in training to put their capes on and become an Eco Hero! If you missed our previous weeks, go back and have a look at the Wildlife Watcher and Super Scientist badges to collect them all! We’ve got some great summer holiday activities that not only keep the kids entertained but do good for the planet too!

Complete these three challenges to earn your Whizz Pop Bang Eco Hero badge…

1)  Upcycle something

Choose an item that’s reaching the end of its life or is destined for the bin and transform it into something useful. For example, you could make a pencil case from an old bag, tie-die a stained t-shirt or freshen up an old wooden stool with bright paints.

2)  Make an environmentally friendly change

Make a lifestyle change that enables you or your family to cause less harm to the environment. Perhaps you could ask your parents if you could walk, cycle or scoot into school or to the park, instead of driving. Maybe you could reduce the amount of single-use plastics you use at home, eat less meat, or help your family to reduce your food waste.

3) Help to raise awareness

Spread the word about an environmental issue that you feel strongly about. You could design and put up a poster about an environmental issue, e.g. reminding your school friends to bring in reusable water bottles or encouraging awareness in your neighbourhood of toads or hedgehogs on the roads. You could write to your MP or your local shops or cafes to ask them to make environmentally friendly changes. Or maybe you could join an environmental campaign or protest.

Here’s how to apply for your badge:

1.   Download the Eco Hero application form. Print it out and complete the first page of the application form to tell us about how you’ve helped the environment. Attach any photos or drawings that you’d like to send to us. If you don’t have a printer, you can type your answers into an email or write your answers on a plain piece of paper and send us a photograph of it.

2.   Ask your parent or guardian to pay the £1-per-badge postage and packing fee, which can be done online at whizzpopbang.com/shop/719619/badge-postage-and-packing/. Add the order confirmation number to the second page of the application form.

3.  Ask your parent or guardian to fill in the second page of the form.

4.  Photograph or scan your completed form and any other documents and email them to Y@whizzpopbang.com with the subject line as ‘Eco Hero Badge’. Alternatively, post your completed application to Eco Hero Badge, Whizz Pop Bang, Unit 7, Global Business Park, 14 Wilkinson Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YZ. Please note that it can take up to 12 weeks for delivery of the badges.


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