EASY SCIENCE FOR KIDS: Decomposing experiment + competition to win PATCH bamboo plasters!

Are you looking for free experiments for kids? Here’s an easy science experiment that doesn’t need any special materials or skills, just bags of curiosity…

This decomposing experiment is a great way to show composting in action. If you’re looking for STEM activities for primary school or home school science lessons about living things and habitats, this investigation is a winner!

Keep scrolling to be in with a chance of winning some awesome, earth-friendly prizes, too!

Decomposing experiment for kids

Rotting Rubbish decomposing experiment from Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids

For this experiment you will need:

  • Two jam jars of the same size
  • Two pieces of old fabric
  • Two elastic bands
  • Compost or soil
  • Finely chopped banana or other fruit
  • Small pieces of plastic or polystyrene

The decomposing experiment

  1. Set up the experiment as shown. Each jar should contain the same depth of compost.
  2. Sprinkle a few drops of water over the fruit and plastic.
  3. Leave the experiment for at least five days, noting any changes in the jars.

You should find the fruit will have started to rot but the plastic will be unaltered. Bacteria and fungi eat food waste, helping it to rot, but they don’t usually eat plastic. The plastic won’t start to rot for another 450 years, so don’t wait around! After the experiment, you can reuse the jars and recycle the plastic.

If you’re a teacher or home educator looking for more teaching ideas and STEM activities covering the topic living things and habitats, check out the Rotting Rubbish investigation and an Investigation into Bacteria from the Whizz Pop Bang science and reading learning lab whizzpopbang.com/teaching-resources

COMPETITION TIME! WIN A SET OF PATCH BAMBOO PLASTERS FOR YOUR FAMILY…

PATCH plasters are made from 100% organic bamboo

PATCH adhesive bandages are crafted with 100% organic bamboo fibre with the added natural goodness of activated charcoal, aloe vera and coconut oil.

Did you know that most plasters contain plastic and so take a very long time to degrade? PATCH adhesive strips are wound coverings made from organic bamboo which break down in just a few weeks after they’ve been used.

Watch how PATCH plasters biodegrade…

Independently tested, PATCH Bamboo Plasters will break down naturally into the soil in a matter of weeks, making it the world’s first natural, organic bamboo plaster that is 100% compostable

We’ve got two sets of PATCH Bamboo Plasters to give away to two lucky Whizz Pop Bang readers! Each winner will get 25 Light Bamboo Patches (to help repair minor cuts), 25 Coconut Oil Patches (to soothe grazes), 25 Aloe Vera Patches (ideal for minor burns and blisters) and 25 Black Bamboo with Activated Charcoal Patches (for bites and splinters).

Grazed knees have never looked so good (or been so kind to the planet!)

PATCH, the natural alternative to wound care that just loves your skin!
LATEX FREE – PARABEN FREE-THIMEROSAL FREE – CRUELTY FREE

To enter this competition, answer this bamboo-zling question in the comments box below:

Bamboo is….

  1. The slowest-growing plant on the planet
  2. The most expensive plant on the planet
  3. The fastest-growing plant on the planet

This competition closes at midnight on 31st July 2019. For full terms and conditions visit whizzpopbang.com/terms

PATCH is available to buy from www.patchstrips.eu and from mid-July, you will be able to buy PATCH in most Holland & Barrett and Superdrug stores across the UK.

How to get the most out of one issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine

Mr Tyler, a Year 2 teacher at Great Moor Community Infant School in Stockport, answers the question ‘how can teachers help to get kids and parents more involved in science?’ He came up with a simple answer that’s really easy to implement!

Each month, when Whizz Pop Bang arrives in his classroom, Mr Tyler creates a new Whizz Pop Bang scrapbook.

The children take it in turns to bring both the scrapbook and the copy of Whizz Pop Bang magazine home for the weekend so they can have fun doing a STEM activity, reading the magazine or just doing the puzzles. The children love writing in the scrapbook and proudly sticking in their photos, experiment results and observations. It’s not compulsory, it’s not homework – it’s all about having fun with science at home – and kids, parents, teachers and even Ofsted are loving it!

Toby Tyler, Teacher at Great Moor Infant School in Stockport

Mr Tyler also uses the tag #WPBShare on Twitter to proudly share his class’s Whizz Pop Bang achievements – check it out and tweet us your class’s science achievements too @whizzpopbangmag

62,000 children take part in Great Science Share for Schools

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell of Manchester University

Tomorrow, Tuesday 18th June, over 62,000 children are taking part in the Great Science Share for Schools to share their science learning.

The Great Science Share is about children communicating something that they have been investigating which starts with a question that they are interested in. By promoting child-centred learning in science, the campaign provides opportunity for young people to communicate their scientific questions and investigations to new audiences – in their own words and ways. They will even grill University and civic leaders on matters of climate crisis.

WHERE? All over the world! Schools across the UK, Nigeria, Brazil and India are taking part. See if schools near you are having an event on the map below, or visit greatscienceshare.org for the interactive map.

Great Science Share for schools map of satellite events

The national campaign led by The University of Manchester aims to inspire young people from across the UK and overseas to share their science learning with new audiences. Children and teachers from schools as far afield as Nigeria, India and Brazil, are getting involved alongside children from Great Ormond Street and Manchester Hospital Schools.

The Great Science Share for Schools’ UK flagship event will take place at The University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery on Tuesday, 18 June. This will see hundreds of children from 45 primary schools across Greater Manchester demonstrating their own science investigations to each other on campus.

Are your children taking part? Is your school hosting a satellite event? Share your experiences!

The consequences of plastic pollution are at the forefront of the Manchester event, as Derby High School students share their findings through a specially choreographed dance, whilst other children from Park View Community School have considered what a non-plastic world might look like. This year it’s evident that children are concerned with the environment and how they can use science and engineering to improve lives.

Students will also be putting questions to Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell and Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Abid Latif Chohan about what current and aspiring scientists alike can help address some of the planets biggest problems.

“Once again the Great Science Share for Schools has grown and it’s outstanding to see how such a simple concept can spread so wide. We are proud to be able to give children an opportunity where their scientific questions and interest are valued.”

Dr Lynne Bianchi, Head of SEERIH (Science & Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub)

Primary science teaching resources on light

Hello teachers! Our newest resources are available to download, and they make the perfect accompaniment to the awesome Eye Spy edition of Whizz Pop Bang.

Year 6 and P7: Make a Periscope Lesson Pack

Make a periscope science resource pack from Whizz Pop Bang
Whizz Pop Bang investigation pack for year 6 and P7,
linking to the ‘light’ and ‘vibration and waves’

In this light investigation lesson pack, pupils will discover how light travels in straight lines and reflects off objects so we can see them. Pupils will learn about the different parts of the eye, including the cornea, lens, pupil, retina and iris. Using mirrors and a kitchen roll, pupils will investigate light by building a simple periscope.

This downloadable pack includes:

  • A lesson plan, complete with top tips for setting up the activity
  • Printable instructions for the activity
  • A PowerPoint presentation that explains how we see
  • A writing frame for an explanation text with a diagram of the eye, to be used in English lessons
  • Three speedy science activities

Year 6 and P7: Bionic Eye Interview Reading Comprehension

Whizz Pop Bang interview with a biomedical engineer

This non-fiction Bionic Eye Interview text links to the ‘light’ and ‘vibrations and waves’ topics for year 6 and P7. The interview with Gregg Suaning, a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, explains how his team is developing a bionic eye called Phoenix99 that could help people who have lost their sight to see again.

This downloadable reading pack includes:

  • An A3 reading spread for you to print
  • Reading comprehension question sheet
  • An answer sheet including the objective for each question, which is taken from the reading National Curriculum

This historical scientist biography text for year 6 and P7, linking to the topics *light* and *vibrations and waves*, describes how Patricia Bath invented the ‘Laserphaco Probe’. This invention uses lasers to help break up and remove cataracts through a cut in the eye just 1 mm long. It has been used by eye doctors around the world.


Year 6 and P7: Historical Scientist Patricia Bath Reading Comprehension

Whizz Pop Bang reading pack on historical scientist Patricia Bath

This downloadable reading pack includes:

  • An A3 reading spread for you to print
  • A reading comprehension question sheet
  • An answer sheet including the objective for each question, which is taken from the reading national curriculum

Inside this eye-poppingly exciting edition of Whizz Pop Bang you’ll find all sorts of ways to trick your eyes!

You’ll meet a cheetah – they’re spotted, speedy and have super-sharp sight – and learn how creatures who live in the dark sense their surroundings.

You can also discover how microscopes work and have a go at making some fantastic 3D glasses.

Not yet a subscriber to our downloadable teaching resources?

Teacher’s reviews for Whizz Pop Bang!

The Whizz Pop Bang Pee Power issue is proving a big hit! We’re loving this review posted by a teacher on facebook…

“I told one of my classes of girls that following the very popular issue all about pooh the latest issue is all about wee. They were very excited. Where but in a science lesson can children talk about wee and pooh? A few months ago we were testing acids and alkalis using pH paper and I mentioned that a couple of years ago one girl tested her urine. Quite a few hands went up to volunteer to do the same, so of course I let a couple of girls go off to the loo with plastic cups. And instructions not to spill them on the way back! My girls love WPB; they can read them if they finish their science early or if we have a few minutes. Most popular with 6 year olds for some reason!”

Madeleine Holmes

Looking for ways to build girls’ confidence in science?

“The positive work that Whizz Pop Bang does to challenge and break down gender stereotypes has really hit a chord with the girls in our school. They love everything about the magazine, from its gender balanced covers to the articles and practical ideas that appeal to them and especially the features on contemporary and historical female scientists and engineers.

Every issue features female scientists discussing their jobs, and there’s rarely a month goes by without girls in my class asking about how you get in to engineering, or become a fossil hunter. The content and the presentation are really helping to open primary school-aged girls’ eyes to the huge variety of careers they could follow and helping them realise that there is no such thing as a job women can’t do!

The focus on historical scientific figures such as Agnes Arber, Florence Nightingale and Rachel Carson has encouraged girls in my class to engage in independent research into significant female scientists of the past and their contributions. It’s also sparked debates in class about why, historically, there are so few prominent women in scientific fields and, most importantly, what they want to do to change this. Whizz Pop Bang has inspired many of the girls in our school to think about and consider careers that they would never have been aware of otherwise. We have seen a marked increase in girl’s interest in, and engagement with, STEM subjects. This year our science club was 70% girls and 8 out of 12 of our Science Lab Technicians were girls.”

Paul Tyler, Mearns Primary School, Glasgow

Supporting upper KS2 with SATS…

“Using Whizz Pop Bang has revitalized our science teaching. The quality of the resources are first class and particularly support cross curricular links through the reading comprehension activities. We have found these to be particularly useful at the upper end of KS2 where science can be used as a vehicle to support SATs, making use of skills of inference and deduction based on relevant scientific topics. In addition the planning offers exciting practical ideas, particularly useful to teachers who are not scientific specialists. The children absolutely love carrying out the real-life experiments.”
Sally Cowell, Head teacher at Shaw Ridge Primary school, Swindon

Science ideas for gifted and talented groups

“I originally ordered Whizz Pop Bang for my then 7 year old. At the time, I was a microbiologist with a real passion for science and wanted my children to have the same passion and natural curiosity. Following the birth of my second child, I retrained as a primary school teacher, specifically Early Years. My passion for science never left me and I like to use science investigations with my class of 4 and 5 year olds to promote cross curricular learning and natural curiosity. I also run the Gifted and Talented group for which I also use ideas and investigations from Whizz Pop Bang. Recently we made the straw DNA model. The children loved it. The investigations can be tailored to any age group from 4 – 12. I absolutely love it.”

Mrs Sara Thomas, Holy Rosary Catholic Primary School, Burton upon Trent


Find out how Whizz Pop Bang can transform science in your school with our monthly magazines, and new downloadable science and reading resources! Visit our schools page for more info and to download a free sample pack.

Physicist Dr Jess Wade awarded OBE for services to gender diversity in science

Congratulations to award winning physicist and #STEM ambassador Dr. Jess Wade has been awarded a medal of the Order of the British Empire for services to gender diversity in science.

Dr. Jess Wade is a physicist and an incredible advocate for women in science and engineering. During 2018, she’s embarked upon a challenge: to write one Wikipedia page per day about an “awesome underrepresented group working in science and engineering.”

Dr Wade researches polymer-based LEDs in the Blackett Lab at Imperial College London. As part of her outreach work she has led public engagement initiatives to promote women in STEM, including schools outreach work in physics and coordinating international women in physics academic conferences. She’s leading the way as an inspirational woman in science helping to break down barriers, and give girls the confidence to see themselves as scientists.

Read an interview with Jess about her Wikipedia page per day here.

Jess is also a proud STEMette and STEM ambassador, helping to promote fellow STEMettes such as author Angela Saini who wrote Inferior and Superior.

Follow Jess on Twitter to and join the world of science girl power!

Dr Jess Wade is a Whizz Pop Bang science adviser; a member of our behind-the-scenes team who help to ensure that our content is up-to-date and accurate.

In every issue of Whizz Pop Bang magazine we have a mix of female and male scientists to inspire girls and boys, and particularly showcase women in STEM roles. Breaking down gender stereotypes is an important part of Whizz Pop Bang magazine as we strive for a future of equality. Find out more here.

We also feature famous historical scientists, focusing just as much on the female scientists as the male scientists. Find out which historical scientists we’ve featured so far in Whizz Pop Bang, and if you’re a teacher looking for science and reading resources we’ve got reading comprehensions ready to download and go with our schools subscriptions!

#WomenInSTEM

#WomenInScience

QueensBirthdayHonours

FREE primary science lesson pack on electricity!

Looking for fun and engaging science resources about electricity?

This lesson pack saves you valuable planning time as everything is ready to download and go! We’re giving teachers a FREE suite of Whizz Pop Bang STEM activities to try, combining creativity with fun science experiments to teach your class about circuits.

What’s inside the lesson pack?

Download this free lesson pack!

Whizz Pop Bang’s Electric Art pack contains everything you need to teach a full lesson on electricity and circuits for year 6 (P7 for Scottish schools) including:

  • Three non-fiction reading comprehension texts, with question and answer sheets:
  1. Non-chronological report text – How Stuff Works: Plugs
  2. An interview text with Electrical Engineer Nikita Hari
  3. A biographical text about the ‘Father of electricity’ Michael Faraday
  • A PowerPoint presentation all about electricity, including how to draw circuits
  • A game – ‘Complete the Circuit’
  • A worksheet explaining circuit symbols
  • A PowerPoint presentation to prompt a ten-minute discussion about solar power

Create a buzz in your classroom!

Prepare to inspire your scientists-in-training! There’s a simple recipe for conductive salt dough, which pupils can use to make a working circuit to light a bulb or buzz a buzzer, a game, engaging presentations and lots more. It’s minimal preparation for you but maximum learning potential for your pupils. 

If you found the BBC Bitesize science learner guides on electricity, conductors and circuits useful, these engaging STEM activities are a fantastic way to continue your pupils’ learning adventure.

Looking for a quick electricity activity?

This downloadable lesson pack includes a PowerPoint discussion topic, designed to make your aspiring scientists wonder about solar energy. Show your class the impressive photo of solar panels and use the prompts included to spark a lively debate, designed to fill ten minutes.

Electric art lesson plans linked to the English National Curriculum for science and the Scottish National Curriculum for science

Free science club activities!

The Electric Art activity is a perfect after-school activity for science clubs, Scout or Guide groups, or even as a home science experiment. It’s the perfect easy science experiment for kids – you don’t need lots of special kit or expertise to get some enlightening (or buzzy!) results!

Written by teachers and science experts, for teachers and STEM educators

We’ve poured a lot of expertise into these resources, but don’t just take our word for how valuable they are:

“The new teachers’ 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. Whizz Pop Bang have linked them to the Curriculum for Excellence so it’s easy to see where they fit into your science planning. A brilliant new resource for teachers to use and enjoy.”

Paul Tyler, Teacher at Mearns Primary School

Click here to download your resource pack!

EYE SPY! A close-up look at the science of sight


Inside this issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine you’ll find all sorts of ways to trick your eyes, learn how microscopes work and you can even have a go at making some fantastic 3D glasses.

LEARN HOW TO WRITE YOUR NAME IN BRAILLE: Ever wondered how blind people read braille? In this issue we teach you the braille alphabet so you can learn how to write your name. How long will it take you to remember the pattern of dots that create the letters in your name?

YOU WON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES! Learn how eyes work, then play some tricks on your peepers with our speedy science activities.

SILLY SCIENCE: How do creatures who live in the dark sense their surroundings? Find out about six creatures who live in the dark and have developed some amazing ways to sense their environments, find food and avoid danger.

HOW STUFF WORKS: Take a close look inside a microscope, and enter the competition to win a pocket microscope!

SENSATIONAL SCIENTISTS: Read all about Patricia Bath’s medical inventions and how they’ve restored sight to thousands of people.

Loads of awesome eye-deas to keep your budding young scientists entertained! Visit our online shop to buy this issue for just £3.99 with FREE UK delivery. Got a question about Whizz Pop Bang or subscribing? Check out our FAQs or get in touch by emailing our friendly customer services team: hello@whizzpopbang.com

Cool science gifts for kids!

Are your kids obsessed with space and the wonder of black holes? This intriguing 50p coin was recently released by the Royal Mint to commemorate the life and achievements of physicist and cosmologist, Professor Stephen Hawking. It’s the perfect gift for science lovers (of
any age!).

A little piece of genius 

Who’d have thought it was possible to fit a black hole onto a 50p piece?! Professor Hawking is renowned for his incredible discoveries about space, including the Bekenstein-Hawking theory, which relates to black hole entropy. This complex formula features alongside a brilliant graphic of a black hole on one side of the coin.    

Image: Zero Gravity Corp

A clever celebration 

Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, says, “It is a great privilege to be featured on a coin and I hope my father would be pleased to be alongside Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin as scientists who have made it on to money.” It’s a fitting way to honor a lifetime of incredible contributions to science. 

Build a collection 

Unfortunately, this little beauty isn’t going to turn up in your supermarket change as it’s not being put into general circulation, but if you know a Hawking-in-the-making who would love to add this to their science kit, head to the Royal Mint’s online shop 

It’s available in to buy in a commemorative pack – what a perfect present for a science or space fan!  

And there’s more… 

Image credit royalmint.com

The Royal Mint have announced that this is the first in a series of four 50p coins celebrating innovators in science, but are keeping the specific subjects of the next three under wraps. A complete set would make amazing science gifts for girls and boys. Which famous scientists would you like to see on future 50p coins? Let us know in the comments! 

Images and quotes from www.royalmint.com 

Whizz Pop Bang reader Elsa supports Annabelle’s Challenge charity with magic envelopes

We often receive requests for prizes, and we love to help where we can. Last week we received a handwritten letter from Whizz Pop Bang reader Elsa, who is nearly 8, asking for help supporting her event to raise money for the charity Annabelle’s Challenge.

We’re super impressed with Elsa’s letter and determination to support this charity. She’s even included a plan of how magic envelopes work, top job Elsa!

And we’re delighted to be helping Elsa with her magic envelopes campaign… we look forward to hearing from the lucky Whizz Pop Bang winner. Good luck to Elsa and her friends, doing a fantastic job helping to raise money for people with vascular EDS.

Annabelle’s Challenge is the UK charity for Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (vascular EDS), a rare life limiting genetic disorder. The charity raise funds for research, awareness campaigns and offer support and advice for people living with the condition. To find out more visit https://www.annabelleschallenge.org