Lynne has written a beautiful book, Humungous Fungus, an exploration of all things fungi which will amaze young readers, and open their eyes to the fungi thriving all around them and we’ve got four copies to give away!
Simply answer this question in the comments for your chance to win a book.
Which one is a part of a mushroom? a) Gill b) Hill c) Spill
This competition closes at midnight on 31st October 2023 and is open for UK residents only. For full terms and conditions visit whizzpopbang.com/terms
Carl Sagan was an astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, professor and science communicator who was fascinated by extra-terrestrial life. You can read about him in Whizz Pop Bang 98: Aliens!
Carl was involved in American space exploration since it began in the 1950s. He put together messages that were sent into outer space in the 1970s on the Voyager Golden Record.
We can’t include the photographs and diagrams included on the Golden Record because of copyright but you can see some of them here. These show some of the same subjects that featured on it.
If you want to find out more about fantastic scientists like Carl Sagan, subscribe to Whizz Pop Bang, the awesomely amazing science magazine for kids! Learn about inspirational scientists of the past and present every issue – our readers are the in credible scientists of the future!
Team Whizz Pop Bang spent a wild weekend meeting hundreds of scientists-in-training at Just So Festival 2023. Thank you so much to Just So Festival for having us back again – we absolutely love being a part of this incredible event.
This year, we brought Jonathan Scott from the European Space Agency (ESA) along to share his amazing knowledge of staying fit and healthy in space. Jon works in the Space Medicine Team at ESA and he used his expert skills to run an Astronaut Training Camp.
Jon brought a replica space suit along for Whizz Pop Bang fans to try on!
We were overwhelmed with the turn out for Jon’s talk and it was fantastic to see so many budding astronauts! A HUGE thank you to Jon, and to all of you who came and joined in the fun. We hope you picked up a thing or two about how astronauts stay fit and healthy on board the International Space Station.
We also ran The Whizz Pop Bang Discovery Den, where young scientists could explore their five senses in some super-fun hands-on experiments.
Children were invited to visit us in ‘The Future’ area in the woodland at Just So Festival and try five different activities linked to the senses.
It’s not long until the fantastic Just So Festival kicks off – it’s running at Rode Hall, Cheshire on 18th – 20th August 2023. It’s an incredible outdoor adventure for families from bumps to great grandparents, and Whizz Pop Bang are so excited to be a part of the fun that’s in store!
The Whizz Pop Bang team are huge fans of this magical festival, and once again, we’re bringing a sprinkle of science to the programme!
Head to Astronaut Training Camp with ESA’s Jonathan Scott in collaboration with Whizz Pop Bang, the awesome science magazine for kids
Ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut when you grow up? Roll up for an action-packed talk by Jonathan Scott from the European Space Agency to discover the skills and techniques needed to stay healthy on board the International Space Station. Test out some astronaut training exercises, feel how gravity affects us here on Earth and check out a replica spacesuit!
Perfect for children aged 6 to 12.
Discovery Den by Whizz Pop Bang, the awesome science magazine for kids
Come along to an exploration of your senses at this hands-on discovery session run by the makers of the most awesomely science magazine for kids, Whizz Pop Bang! You won’t believe your eyes, ears, noses, fingers or tongues in this interactive session full of weird and wonderful sensations! Perfect for children aged 6 to 12.
Find out more about the festival at justsofestival.org.uk, where the line up has been announced! Discover a celestial celebration of the planets in The Observatory, step out of 2023 and into the future at The Future stage, hear stories galore in the Spellbound Forest, and so much enchanted adventure throughout the site. There’s something for every member of the family!
Whizz Pop Bang is an awesomely amazing monthly science magazine that brings science to life for children aged six to twelve (and their parents too)! There’s lab-loads of hands-on experiments, mind-boggling facts, puzzles, news and fun packed into each month’s magazine. Whizz Pop Bang sparks imaginations and inspires the scientists of the future from the moment it comes bursting through their letterbox. Subscribe today at whizzpopbang.com!
If you’re not lucky enough to be going to Just So Festival this year, but want to have heaps of fun with science, browse back issues in our shop now!
Helen Scales is a marine biologist, writer, broadcaster, teacher and scuba diver who stars as our Science Hero in Whizz Pop Bang 96: Coasts. Read more about her in this issue, now available in our shop. She tells us all about her exciting job, including some of the books she has written, and we’re so excited to have five sets of two of these books to give away to mini marine biologists!
Scientists in the Wild: Galápagos by Helen Scalesfollows a group of marine biologists as they set sail to study the amazing wildlife and habitats of the Galápagos. To get the job done they will climb volcanoes, get sneezed on by marine iguanas, watch dancing birds, launch a deep-diving submersible and explore the dazzling underwater wonders of Galápagos.
Great Barrier Reef by Helen Scales (released 6th July 2023) introduces this incredible, intricate Australian ecosystem to young readers. Discover the plant and animal inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef in this beautifully illustrated book, then find out what we can all do to ensure its survival.
To enter the competition, simply answer the following question in the comments:
We want to inspire the future generation of scientists with our monthly magazine! That’s why, every month we interview inspirational scientists about their jobs so children across the globe can learn about fascinating areas of science and what it takes to do these jobs.
We interviewed astronaut Tim Peake and wanted to share it here for free so that everyone can be inspired by Tim’s story. This pack also includes a reading comprehension question and answer sheet for schools and home educators to teach kids.
Interview with astronaut Tim Peake reading comprehension
This interview delves into what it is really like to travel in space. Tim Peake describes what it feels like to take off in a rocket and to feel weightless, as well as his scariest moments. A must-read for your aspiring astronauts.
This downloadable reading pack includes: – An interview with Tim Peake for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet. – Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.
Our teaching resources are designed for children from 6 to 12, but this reading comprehension is particularly perfect for year 5, P6 (Scotland) and 9-year-olds and 10-year-olds as it ties in with the National Curriculum topic about earth and space they will be taught this during this school year.
Did your mini-scientist enjoy learning about Tim Peake? Why not discover our other space themed issues of Whizz Pop Bang in our shop here! Or click on one of the magazines below for some of our favourite space issues!
Fill your child with science wonder with a subscription to Whizz Pop Bang, the award-winning magazine for 6 to 12-year-olds. Watch their face light up with glee when their very own magazine zooms through the letterbox! Packed full of hands-on science awesomeness, it’s the gift that keeps of delighting, month after month.
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.
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
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…
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
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!
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?
Today is International Friendship Day and we’re celebrating a friendship that led to some super-important scientific developments!
The amazing Ada Lovelace was born in London in 1815, and loved maths and poetry from a young age. When she was a teenager, she met a mathematician and inventor called Charles Babbage. Charles was fed up of doing long calculations by hand, so he invented a machine that could do sums for him. He called it the Difference Engine. Ada was really interested in the Difference Engine. She was inspired to study maths harder than ever before, and she and Charles became good friends.
Charles later invented a machine, called the Analytical Engine, that could do ANY calculations by following a series of steps – but it was so complicated that he found it hard to explain to other people how it would work!
Ada came to the rescue. She was so good at maths that she understood the machine and was able to explain it to other people. Ada wrote a code that turned a real-life maths problem into a list of instructions that the machine could understand. This was the world’s first algorithm (computer code).
She and Charles made a great team! Sadly, Ada died before she could actually help Charles to get the machine made, but the discovery that machines could follow instructions led to the amazing computers that we all use so much today.
Primary school reading comprehension packs with question and answer sheets:
Jessica Watkins, NASA Astronaut
Read about fully trained astronaut Jessica Watkins who hopes to soon be able to fly to the Moon as part of the Artemis missions to the Moon! Includes the feature to print or to read on a tablet, as well as comprehension question and answer sheets. Ideal for Year 5 / P6.
Find out what it’s like to be an electrical engineering whizz with this inspirational interview with Nikita Hari. Includes the feature to print or to read on a tablet, as well as comprehension question and answer sheet. Ideal for Year 6 / P7
Read about sensational scientist Agnes Arber, whose career as a plant scientist started when she was just 13! Includes the feature to print or to read on a tablet, as well as comprehension question and answer sheets. Ideal for Year 3 / P4
Find out why Kate Biberdorf loves to blow things up to inspire her students! Includes the feature to print or to read on a tablet, as well as comprehension question and answer sheets. Ideal for Year 4 / P3