Some studies have suggested that eating snot is good for your immune system! Watch Madagascan aye-aye Kali picking her nose with her 8-cm-long finger here:
Some studies have suggested that eating snot is good for your immune system! Watch Madagascan aye-aye Kali picking her nose with her 8-cm-long finger here:
If there’s a curious child in your family who never stops asking ‘why?’, Whizz Pop Bang could be just the answer you’re looking for! Give a gift subscription this Christmas and help your scientist-in-training to understand the world around them. Get a free Science Joke Book worth £6.99 with every subscription!
Keep reading to find the answers to these questions written by Whizz Pop Bang’s expert team of scientists, and discover why endless questioning is a really important part of your child’s development (even when finding the answers can be challenging!)
Questioning trusted adults is a crucial way for children to understand, and form their own ideas, about the world around them. But it can be exhausting at times – Paul L. Harris, Professor of Education at Harvard, estimates that a child asks 40,000 questions between the ages of two and five.
Every issue of Whizz Pop Bang is packed with fascinating facts, simple scientific explanations, and experiments designed to demonstrate the answers to some of your child’s burning questions. Our team of expert scientists (including our all-knowing robot, Y) are on hand to answer our readers’ questions every issue, too – so if you can’t find the answer to your child’s latest conundrum here, why not email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and see if we can help?
Meanwhile, here are the scientific explanations of a few wonderful questions we’ve been asked recently…
We eat at least six different parts of plants. Sometimes we eat the leaves (e.g. lettuce and kale and cabbage). Sometimes we eat the stems (e.g. celery, asparagus, and rhubarb). We eat seeds, such as sunflower seeds and sweetcorn. We eat flowers (such as broccoli) and fruit. And we also eat roots and tubers. A carrot is the main root (or tap root) of a carrot plant. As well as soaking up water and minerals from the soil, it acts as an underground food store for the plant. That makes it a great food for us, too!
Rain isn’t salty because when water evaporates, anything dissolved in it is left behind. Rivers are topped up by this rainwater, so they aren’t very salty either. But rivers do pick up some salt as they rush over rocks. Eventually, this salt ends up in the sea. Rivers around the world carry 3.6 billion tonnes of salt to the oceans every year! But the oceans don’t just get saltier and saltier, because about the same amount of salt sinks to the seabed each year, becoming part of new rocks.
Unlike rocks, bouncy balls are made of elastic materials, such as rubber. Elastic materials are flexible – it’s easy to change their shape. But they return to their original shape after being squashed or stretched. When the ball hits the ground, it is squashed out of shape. Some of its movement energy is changed into elastic energy, stored very briefly inside the ball. Once the ball has come to a stop, this elastic energy is released as the ball returns to its original shape. The ball pushes against the ground and the ground pushes back, sending the ball back up into the air.
About 4.5 billion years ago, a giant space rock the size of Mars crashed into Earth and knocked off a chunk of our planet. This chunk of rock became the Moon, and it still orbits Earth, roughly once every 27 days. The Moon is big enough and close enough that its gravity causes bulges in Earth’s water that sweep across the planet’s oceans and seas, causing the tides. Many living things have adapted to depend on the tides for shelter and food. Humans who live near coasts also depend on the tides for catching certain fish and sea creatures, and for sports like surfing. But if the Moon suddenly disappeared it wouldn’t just be coastal life that was disrupted. All life depends on the Moon, because it helps to keep Earth’s climate stable.
Want to know why cats’ eyes glow? They shine in the dark because each eye has a thin layer of crystals at the back. This layer is called the tapetum lucidum. Its job is to bounce light back into the cat’s eye. This extra light helps cats to see better in the dark. Lots of other crepuscular and nocturnal animals have this light-reflecting layer too. Most animals that are awake in the daytime don’t, including humans. However, you’ll sometimes see human eyes glow red in a photograph, when the bright light of a camera flash bounces off the back of our eyes.
Heat always moves from a warmer place to a colder place. When you lick a lolly, heat flows from your toasty tongue to the, erm, icy ice. If the lolly is very cold, the saliva coating your tongue drops below 0°C before your body can warm it back up. The saliva freezes and becomes part of the chunk of ice along with the lolly! The same can happen with wet fingers and a very cold ice cube. Never pull your skin away – use room temperature water to melt the ice and set yourself free!
Want to know why do we shiver? Deep inside your brain, your hypothalamus (say hi-po-thal-a-mus) is busy monitoring your core body temperature. It’s your inbuilt thermostat! But instead of turning on the central heating when you drop below 37°C, the hypothalamus triggers reactions that help keep your organs warm while you find shelter! One of these is shivering. Muscles produce heat as they contract – think how warm you get when you exercise. Shivering is your body’s way of making your muscles contract and relax as you stand still. As your jaw muscles shiver, your lower jaw moves up and down quickly, bumping your teeth together.
Heat is one part of the ‘fire triangle’ – the three things needed for a fire to start. The other two are fuel (something to burn) and oxygen (from the air). The heat – from a burning match, lightning or even the Sun’s rays – starts a reaction between the fuel and the oxygen. This produces gases, including water vapour and carbon dioxide. It also releases energy as heat and light. This heat keeps the reaction going until the fuel or oxygen runs out, or the fire is cooled.
People can speak the same language with very different accents. This is because we aren’t born speaking a particular language, but with a brain that is brilliant at absorbing and imitating any sounds it hears. This amazing ability to learn is why people tend to speak with the accent they heard most often when they were very young. By the time we are a year old, we are less able to hear different sounds and it becomes harder to pick up a new accent. The ability to imitate stays with us though, so accents can change as people move around, or even during a conversation. In fact, scientists have found that mimicking each other’s speech patterns can help two people to understand each other better, and make friends more quickly.
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.
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!
The Taurid meteor shower has begun and is due to peak in the UK in the very early hours of Sunday 13th November 2022. Although the Taurids aren’t known for an impressive, dramatic display they do provide a regular sprinkle of meteors throughout October and November so lots of opportunities to spot a shooting star! 💫
When the Earth moves through debris left from passing comets, those particles burn up from the friction with the air when they pass into our atmosphere and create beautiful shooting stars. In the case of the Taurids, the debris is left by the Comet Encke.
Follow these tips from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich for the best chance of meteor-spotting.
☄️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 13th November (the night of the 12th November).
☄️Fill your view with the sky and wait! Lying on the ground is a great way to see as much as possible.
☄️The Taurids are not particularly dramatic but they are wide spread so keep your eyes peeled.
☄️Blanket optional but highly recommended. Reclining deckchairs make an even more comfortable way to view the sky.
☄️Remember to wrap up warm!
Are you looking for some help and ideas for teaching animal adaptations in year 6? Here is how to use our downloadable teaching resources in your unit of work on evolution and inheritance.
When planning a unit of work on evolution and inheritance it can be quite difficult to think of relevant practical investigations for your pupils to do. This unit involves a lot of research, looking at how animals and plants have changed over time. It is important to first revisit their understanding of fossils from year 3 and then build on that knowledge. Take a look at how characteristics are inherited, starting with themselves and their family; how do they look similar? You can then start to look simply at genes. Our resources include a great game where pupils look at how genes are passed on to puppies.
Teaching adaptations should come towards the end of the unit. In our lesson pack, pupils will plan a simple investigation around animal paws and how they can access food to survive. They will carry out a simple investigation and record their results. They will then draw on their knowledge about habitats and animal survival to decide if the species would evolve or eventually become extinct.
More science reading links…
From our Prehistoric Flying Beasts issue, we have two reading comprehensions for year 6 that link to the topic and will spark your pupils’ curiosity.
Prices from as little as £197.99 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. <add in link>
We’ve also launched a new individual membership option so teachers and home educators can access all of our amazing downloadable resources for just £20 for the whole year. <add in link>
Calling future volcanologists! Create your very own eruption at home with this exciting Volcano Science Kit!
Volcanos + Eruptions = awesome science fun! Your child will love building and painting their own volcano and then watching it erupt! National Geographic’s learning guide provides many interesting facts and is designed to promote a love of geology and science.
We’ve got two sets to give away! Just answer this question in the comments to be in with a chance of winning:
What is the molten rock that erupts from a volcano called?
This competition closes at midnight on Wednesday 30th November 2022. Whizz Pop Bang competition terms and conditions are here.
© 2022 National Geographic Partners LLC. All rights reserved.
Have you ever wondered how huge pterosaurs got off the ground? Here’s how they might have launched themselves into the air:
Are you looking for some spooky science to do at home? Discover how to make fake blood, gooey oobleck slime and a puking pumpkin right here, PLUS discover which issues of Whizz Pop Bang contain Halloween activities!
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
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!
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!)
Stock up on brainteasing science fun with this new bundle of two magazines, together with the awesome new Whizz Pop Bang Science Riddle Book!
The bundle contains:
⭐️ Issue 13: Spy Science
⭐️ Issue 51: Coding Capers
⭐️ PLUS the brand-new Whizz Pop Bang Science Riddle Book
All for just £11.99 including FREE UK p&p (saving you £4.50!)
Looking for more spooky science? These issues have some simple Halloween science ideas inside!
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!
Teaching the unit ‘light’ in year 6 builds on the foundations they will have learnt in year 3, and also in year 5 when they covered ‘Earth and Space’. Pupils should already know how shadows are formed and that light is reflected from surfaces, as well as that we have night and day due to the Earth’s rotation. In year 6 you should be able to build on this, but in your first lesson it is a good idea to revisit and secure their understanding to avoid gaps in knowledge before you move on.
Our ‘constellation torch’ lesson is a great way to start your topic. At the beginning of the lesson, elicit the pupils’ understanding by asking them to name different light sources and tell you how shadows are formed. Creating a simple brainstorm mind map in their book with the word ‘light’ in the middle is all that is needed. Give the children ten minutes to complete it and then start your lesson, discussing their ideas or addressing misconceptions. At the end of the topic, get them to use a different-coloured pen and add what they have learnt to their mind map; it is a brilliant and easy assessment.
In this lesson pack, pupils will play around with making star constellations by using simple printable templates, cardboard tubes and single-bulb torches. They will consider how light travels. They will then draw a simple diagram to show that light travels in straight lines, that light will travel through the holes in the paper, and that it is reflected from a surface into the eye.
As part of your sequence of lessons, include our activity of making a periscope. It is a great way for pupils to build on their understanding that light travels in straight lines and is reflected into the eye. Our lesson pack includes simple instructions and a scientific explanation for teachers – we know how hard it is to remember everything, so we always explain the science behind every lesson. There are also some ten-minute science activities around the topic of light, which are great for creating science discussions in your classroom.
Our ‘Starry Skies’ edition of Whizz Pop Bang delves into the wonders of the universe, which children are enthralled by and often have loads of questions about! Our resources include several reading comprehensions linking to the topic of light.
Using quality science text in your reading time helps to squeeze a little bit of extra science into the day!
📣 We’re super excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with Den Kit Company and Tim Peake for October’s online competition which we are running on Instagram and Facebook only! Head over to our socials to find out how to win this bumper prize! ⭐
You could win:
⭐ The new Potions Making kit from Den Kit Company. Take your Potion Making Kit on an outdoor adventure and collect any special petals, leaves, grasses or soil to create a marvellous mixture of your own making. Add a pinch of natural colour, a splash of water, a sniff of sunshine – and just imagine the spells you could cast. Find it here.
⭐ Astronaut Tim Peake’s brand new book – A Cosmic Diary of our Incredible Universe. Are you bursting to know the answers to REALLY BIG questions? Like, how are stars made? What will we find in a black hole? Which fruit can create antimatter? What even IS antimatter? Put on your seatbelts and blast into space with your guide, astronaut Tim Peake (and a host of expert STEM characters) in this fascinating adventure through space, time and the diary of our truly incredible universe. Find it here.
⭐ A bumper bundle of 6 magically intergalactic issues of Whizz Pop Bang magazines that will have any scientist-in-training zooming to the Moon and cooking up peculiar potions, all with items you will probably find you already have in your kitchen cupboard. Each issue is jam-packed with science news, fun makes, puzzles, jokes and more!
To enter this competition please head over to Facebook or Instagram to find out more!
T&C’s: This giveaway closes at midnight on Monday 31st October 2022. One winner will be selected at random from all entries via Facebook and Instagram and will be contacted in the first week of November. This competition is open to UK residents only. Winner will be informed via the original comment you made on the appropriate platform and will be from @whizzpopbangmag – please be wary of scams, do not give personal details or follow any links from other accounts. For full terms and conditions visit http://buff.ly/3ij98Q3?fbclid=IwAR0eEqSY-V9JtUvvaYsKhjvmSRBURmapUOmYBaR7hl5XESRIS3hdqsWTqHI. This competition is in no way affiliated, endorsed, sponsored or administered by Instagram or Facebook.