Interview with Tim Peake – download this FREE reading comprehension

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!


Post Comment

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


Post Comment

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


Post Comment

Celebrating International Friendship Day: Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage

Today is International Friendship Day and we’re celebrating a friendship that led to some super-important scientific developments!

Find out more in Whizz Pop Bang: CODING CAPERS

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.

Find out more about this fantastic friendship and the science of coding in Whizz Pop Bang: CODING CAPERS!


Post Comment

Celebrating scientists on International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day on Monday 8th March, we’ve shared some stories of some inspirational scientists. You’ll find more fantastic free reading resources, as well as loads of home science activities and experiments, right here!

Are you a primary teacher looking for inspiring scientist role models? Keep scrolling to find reading comprehensions about these incredible women!

Find out which of these scientists are trained to travel to the Moon, who started their career aged 13 and who blows things up for a living!

Jessica Watkins, NASA Astronaut


Nikita Hari, Electrical Engineer


Agnes Arber, Plant Scientist


Kate Biberdorf, Explosions Engineer


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.


Nikita Hari, Electrical Engineer

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

Agnes Arber, Plant Scientist

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

Kate Biberdorf, Explosions Engineer

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


If you think these could be useful in your classroom, you’ll love Whizz Pop Bang’s amazing science and reading resources for schools! Find out more here.

  • Resources linked to the science and reading curricula
  • A monthly magazine for broader understanding of key topics
  • Written by expert teachers and science writers
  • Gives teachers the confidence to deliver accurate science lessons
  • Lots of quick and easy hands-on experiments!

Find out more right here!


Post Comment

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!


Post Comment
Whizz Pop Bang: Sweet Dreams issue is all about the science of sleep

The dreams of astronaut Helen Sharman

Listen to Britain’s first ever astronaut, Helen Sharman, talking about dreaming in and about space!

This video animation, What do astronauts dream of?, was made by the Royal Institution as part of a fantastic series called A Place Called Space.

The RI say: “In 1991, Helen Sharman became the first Briton in space; in this animation she shares a dream she has about returning to space, and talks about what it’s like to gaze down on the earth from above.”

Find out more about the science of sleep in SWEET DREAMS – it’s in our shop now!

Whizz Pop Bang: Sweet Dreams issue is all about the science of sleep
Whizz Pop Bang: Sweet Dreams issue is all about the science of sleep

Did you know that you’ll spend up to a third of your life happily dozing? It sounds pretty relaxing, but actually, sleep isn’t as uneventful as you might imagine. Inside this dreamy edition of Whizz Pop Bang, you’ll find out what goes on inside your sleeping brain, discover ten animals with weird and wonderful ways to sleep and learn all about snoring. You can also build a hibernation station for sleepy wildlife, race around the clock in a pull-out board game and experience the chilling body temperature of a hibernating hamster!

Meet a turtle expert who tells us how these hibernating reptiles breathe through their bottoms, create your own sleep diary, snuggle up with hibernating bears, find out how sleep scientist Eugene Aserinsky discovered some dreamy sleep secrets and reduce Halloween waste by making an upcycled bat garland.

That’s a lot to pack in before bedtime!

Click here to read everything you need to know about Whizz Pop Bang – the awesome science magazine for kids!

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!


Post Comment
On the move cover

The secrets of stinging nettles: natural navigation with Tristan Gooley

The August edition of Whizz Pop Bang: ON THE MOVE is about amazing migrations and is packed with the science behind all sorts of incredible journeys made by animals and humans!

Inside, we chat to Tristan Gooley, a natural navigator who looks for nature’s clues and works out how they can help us to find our way. Learning more about this fascinating skill is a brilliant way to engage children with the natural word – keep reading to learn a nifty tricky you can teach them when you’re outdoors together.

We asked Tristan to explain a little about his unusual job:

“Every single plant, every single animal, even every single cloud is telling us something about what’s going on around us. I’m a nature detective, trying to solve each clue. I don’t look for specific things that are interesting or amazing: instead, I wonder what the signs around me can reveal. Sometimes it’s a plant showing me which way is north, or a stinging nettle telling me I’m near a town. It’s so much fun!”
Tristan Gooley in Whizz Pop Bang: ON THE MOVE

Tristan Gooley, Natural Navigator

If you’re wondering how to keep children entertained on a long walk or how to help your child connect with nature, here’s a tip from Tristan all about the secrets of stinging nettles:

If you teach children a trick that is related to their experience of the wild then you could grab their attention

Find an area with both stinging nettles and white dead-nettles:

White dead-nettle
Stinging nettle

Ask the children what the white dead-nettle is – they will probably guess ‘stinging nettle’. Most kids can identify this before any other wildflower, because it has a big impact on their experience of the outdoors!

Next, show how brave you are by running your hands up and down the white dead-nettle, then dare them to do the same. Once they realise that white dead-nettles are different to stinging nettles, they take an interest. They understand that the white flower is the important clue to which one stings, and that’s something worth remembering!

It also tends to stick as this is a great trick for showing it off to other kids!

Nature appreciation that leads to fewer stings AND the ability to show off? That’s a recipe for getting kids interested!

Find out more in this brilliant blog post about engaging children with nature. Want more tips like this? Head over to Tristan’s website to discover all sorts of intriguing ways to read nature’s clues – they’re guaranteed to liven up a long walk with children!

Read more about Tristan’s fascinating job in Whizz Pop Bang: ON THE MOVE – it’s in our shop now.

On the move cover

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!


Post Comment

FREE science activities for year 5 and P6!

Now that schools are closed, have you become a home educator overnight? Whizz Pop Bang is the world’s most awesomely amazing kids’ science magazine, bursting with hands-on experiments, facts and fun, and we want to help you and your children with the huge transition that many of us face.

Here are some FREE science activities and experiments to help you entertain, excite and educate your year 5 child! You’ll find out how to make a water wheel lifter, a balloon rocket, a model of our solar system, flying machines and paper planes, plus reading comprehensions about astronaut Tim Peake and sensational scientists The Wright Brothers!

Our experiments are designed for children from 6 to 12, but this list of experiments is particularly perfect for year 5, P6 (Scotland) and 9-year-olds and 10-year-olds as they tie in with the relevant National Curriculum objectives and topics.

The reading comprehensions included here were designed to be read at A3 size, so text may appear too small when printed at A4. They work really well on a tablet or monitor, or you may need to print them on two pages of A4 if your printer allows.

If you have any comments or questions about our free year 5 science experiments and reading comprehensions, please leave a comment for us. Or do you have any science homeschool ideas or general home educating ideas for 9- and 10-year-olds? We’d love to hear from you!

Find loads more science activities, puzzles and games in our award-winning monthly kids science magazine, Whizz Pop Bang!


Water wheel lifter

Harness the power of water in this fun free science experiment using household items.

This activity is taken from Whizz Pop Bang’s Awesomely Amazing Science Club – download the entire pack here! 

You will need:
1 small plastic bottle
1 large yoghurt pot or plastic bottle cut in half
Duct tape
String
Paper clip
Bowl
Wooden spoon or pencil

Bonus activity: balloon rocket

Make a balloon fly across the room!

You will need:
A balloon
String
Two chairs
Measuring tape
A 5 cm piece of straw

Topic links: Year 5 Forces and magnets, P6 Forces


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.

Topic links: Year 5 Earth and Space, P6 Space


Paper stunt planes

Print and fold a paper stunt plane that should fly in a circle!

You will need:
Sticky tack

Year 5 Forces and magnets, P6 Forces


Paper straw flying machines

Experiment with making flying machines by adding different shapes to paper straws!

You will need:
Paper straws


Year 5 Forces and magnets, P6 Forces


The Wright Brothers reading comprehension

A biography text on the remarkable story of the team behind the world’s first powered flight. In December 1903 Wilbur piloted a plane with a petrol engine for 59 seconds and travelled 260 metres. The Wright brothers had unlocked the secret of mechanical flight!

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A feature about sensational scientists, The Wright Brothers, for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 5 Forces and magnets, P6 Forces


Craft your own a solar system

Learn the order of the planets by making a model solar system. Just download, print, add scissors and glue, and your astronauts-in-training will do the rest. It’s out of this world! 

Topic links: Year 5 Earth and space, P6 Space


Are you home educating children in other year groups? Find more free resources here:
Free science activities for year 2 and P3
Free science activities for year 3 and P4
Free science activities for year 4 and P5
Free science activities for year 6 and P7


Post Comment

FREE science activities for year 6 and P7!

Now that schools are closed, have you become a home educator overnight? Whizz Pop Bang is the world’s most awesomely amazing kids’ science magazine, bursting with hands-on experiments, facts and fun, and we want to help you and your children with the huge transition that many of us face.

Here are some FREE science activities and experiments to help you entertain, excite and educate your year 6 child! Meet an electrical engineer, discover invisible germs in a bacteria investigation, read about the father of electricity, Michael Faraday, play two bacteria games and design a bridge!

Our experiments are designed for children from 6 to 12, but this list of experiments is particularly perfect for year 6, P7 (Scotland) and 10 year olds and 11 year olds as they tie in with the relevant National Curriculum objectives and topics.

Some of these activities, including all reading comprehensions, were originally designed as A3 magazine spreads, so text may appear too small when printed at A4. They work really well on a tablet or monitor, or you may need to print them on two pages of A4 if your printer allows. 

If you have any comments or questions about our free year x science experiments and reading comprehensions, please leave a comment for us. Or do you have any science homeschool ideas or general home educating ideas for 10 and 11 year olds? We’d love to hear from you!

Find loads more science activities, puzzles and games in our award-winning monthly kids science magazine, Whizz Pop Bang!


Interview with an electrical engineer reading comprehension

Building electrical circuits is loads of fun and Nikita Hari gets to do that every day, as she’s an electrical engineer. She explains why she become an electrical engineer, all the obstacles she overcame and gives advice to young scientists. 

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A reading spread about electrical engineer Nikita Hari for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 6 Electricity, P7 Electricity


Mouldy bread bacteria experiment

Investigate and observe how much mould and bacteria develops when happens when slices of bread are rubbed with clean hands and dirty hands. Children can set up their own investigation and make sure it is a fair test. 

This experiment can be found here or downloaded below.  

Topic links: Year 6 Living things and habitats, P7 Body systems and cells


Interview with Michael Faraday reading comprehension

Discover why we would all be in the dark if it wasn’t for ‘Father of electricity’, Michael Faraday. Find out how he got a job in the Royal Institution as Humphrey Davy’s assistant and how his fascination for electromagnetism led to the invention of the world’s first electric motor and the dynamo.

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A reading spread about sensational scientist Michael Faraday for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 6 Electricity, P7 Electricity


Bacteria invasion game

Play a fun printable game, complete with counters and tokens, that shows how bacteria can spread.

NB If you can’t print double sided, just print the first page of the file named ‘tokens-double-sided’

Topic links: Year 6 Living things and habitats, P7 Body systems and cells


Bacteria battle cards

A printable card game that pit several strains of bacteria head-to-head.

Bonus activity: extremophile puzzle!

Topic links: Year 6 Living things and habitats, P7 Body systems and cells


Design a bridge

Make a beam bridge and a suspension bridge, then design your own bridge with this engineering challenge.

You will need:
Lego
Coins
Two chairs or stools
Plastic pot
String or wool


Are you home educating children in other year groups? Find more free resources here:
Free science activities for year 2 and P3
Free science activities for year 3 and P4
Free science activities for year 4 and P5
Free science activities for year 5 and P6


Post Comment