WIN family tickets to WWT centres and wildlife games!

WWT (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) is a leading wildlife conservation charity dedicated to saving wetlands. Visit a WWT Wetland Centre to discover award-winning worlds where you can see amazing wildlife (including otters and flamingos), take exciting boat safaris through water meadows and reeds, hand-feed exotic birds and see some of the world’s most dramatic and rare birds all in one place.  You’ll also find exhilarating adventure playgrounds, special events, waterside cafes serving delicious homemade food and shops with unique gifts!

We’re exploring watery worlds in the new edition of Whizz Pop Bang: SPLASH! It’s all about the science of ponds and, to celebrate, we’re giving away tickets to visit your local WWT Centre! Scroll down to find out how to enter.

SPLASH! Leap into the science of ponds is available in our shop now!

Asian short clawed otters at WWT Washington

Click here to find your nearest centre!

A canoe safari at WWT Slimbridge

Want to win a family ticket to a WWT centre? Two lucky winners will each win one family ticket* to a WWT centre and a Guess Who? Wetland Wildlife edition game!

To enter, simply answer this question in the comments:

What colour are flamingos’ feathers when they’re born?
a. Pink
b. Grey
c. Yellow

If you can’t see the ‘Leave a reply’ box below, click here to see the full version of this blog post.

* A family ticket allows two adults and two children to visit a WWT centre for one day (choose from Slimbridge, Martin Mere, London, Arundel, Castle Espie, Caerlaverock, Washington, Llanelli or Welney). Travel and other expenses are not included in this prize.
* Competition closes at midnight on 2 April 2020. Whizz Pop Bang’s competition terms and conditions are here.

WIN books to celebrate World Book Day!

The world’s biggest celebration of children’s books and reading is back on 5 March 2020 – it’s World Book Day!

Every year, publishers (with the support of National Book Tokens) create a list of books by best-selling authors and illustrators that are available to buy for just £1 each.


Wondering what free books are on offer for World Book Day 2020?

Check out this amazing selection!

World Book Day 2020’s £1 books!

How can I get a World Book Day token?

If you’re a Whizz Pop Bang subscriber, one will pop through your letterbox! There’s one printed on page 33 of Whizz Pop Bang: Splash! Leap into the Science of Ponds. Not a subscriber? Sign up here.

SPLASH! Leap into the Science of Ponds will be delivered to subscribers between 2nd – 12th March 2020

More than 15 million World Book Day vouchers will be distributed to children in the UK and Ireland, so your child may get one from school, nursery or a youth group, too.


Where can I spend World Book Day vouchers?

Take your voucher to a participating book shop (you can find a list here) and exchange it for a FREE £1 World Book Day book, or £1 or €1.50 off any full-priced book or audiobook costing at least £2.99 or €3.99.


WIN a bundle of books by World Book Day authors!

Our friends at World Book Day have given us some brilliant books by World Book Day authors, Greg James, Matthew Syed and Matt Haig to give away! Two winners will each win all three books.

Just answer this question in the comments to be in with a chance of winning:

What kind of micro-animals are also known as moss piglets or water bears?

a. Nematodes
b. Spider mites
c. Tardigrades

If you can’t see the ‘Leave a reply’ box below, click here to see the full version of this blog post.

This competition closes at midnight on Tuesday 31st March 2020. Whizz Pop Bang competition terms and conditions are here and World Book Day terms and conditions are here.

Watch a water spider in action!

If you’re wondering how arachnids breathe underwater, you won’t believe this spider’s amazing trick!

Perhaps you’ve been reading about this smart insect in Whizz Pop Bang: Splash! Want to find out more? It’s on sale in our shop!

Tiny water spiders spend their lives underwater, even though they need to breathe air! They collect large air bubbles from the surface and carry them underwater. The bubbles absorb oxygen from the water, meaning each can last more than a day! If you catch one pond dipping, look for a silvery air bubble clinging to its hairy body.

This water spider, or diving bell spider, has a nifty trick for breathing underwater!

Watch a ball bounce in slow motion

Whizz Pop Bang reader Patrick, aged 7, asked a brilliant question: Why do bouncy balls bounce and don’t just stick on the ground like a rock?

Y the robot has the answer!
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. BOING!

Now watch a ball bounce in slow motion!

Find the answers to loads of science questions like this in every single issue of Whizz Pop Bang magazine!

Mummy’s voice brought to life

Have you ever wondered what an ancient Egyptian mummy sounds like?

Scientists have brought the voice of an Egyptian mummy back from the dead with the help of a 3D printer. Nesyamun was an Egyptian priest whose mummified remains were scanned in a hospital CT scanner to measure the dimensions of his vocal tract. A team of researchers then made a 3D-printed copy of the vocal tract and used it with an artificial larynx to recreate the sound of Nesyamun’s voice. So far, they’ve only made one vowel sound but, with the help of computer models, the researchers hope to one day recreate full sentences.

This fascinating news story was featured in Whizz Pop Bang: Splash! Leap into the Science of Ponds which is on sale in our shop.

Ancient Egypt edition

Want to know more about the science of Ancient Egypt? Then you’ll love issue 55, which is packed with the hidden science of mummies and pyramids!

Are you looking for science news for kids? Whizz Pop Bang features the latest science news, presented for children aged 6 – 11, every issue. Sign up here!

Share a Million Stories with World Book Day 2020

It’s World Book Day on 5 March 2020 and this year, it’s all about Sharing a Million Stories! Joining in is simple: just sign up and pledge to share 10-minutes of storytelling (which includes reading aloud, audiobooks, comics or lots more) as many times as you can throughout World Book Month (27 February – 29 March 2020).

You could win £1,000 of stories to share with your nursery or school during each week of the campaign, simply by sharing stories! Find out more here.

Find out more about World Book Day 2020 (including a chance to win a bundle of books!) right here!

Stormy science

Looking for rainy day science activities? With Storm Dennis on his way, these wet weather science experiments will keep your scientists-in-training entertained and curious. What a great way to make the most of the weather, however wet and windy it gets!

Wondering how to entertain your family over rainy weekend and holidays? Whizz Pop Bang magazine is packed with super-exciting experiments and investigations every month. Sign up now!


Make a Robinson anemometer (wind speed measuring device)

Use paper cups, wooden dowels, a plastic bottle and other household items to make a device that measures wind speed. Click here for instructions.


Make a weather vane

Image: pbs.org

Find out which way the wind is blowing with this simple weather vane activity. Will it stand up to Storm Dennis-strength winds? There’s only one way to find out! Click here for instructions.


Make rain in a jar

If all this rain is prompting lots of wonderful questions, this activity could help you answer a big one: how does it rain? Use a glass jar, paper bowl, ice cubes and boiling water to investigate how rain is formed. Click here for instructions.


Make a rain gauge

The Met Office’s DIY rain gauge project uses an unexpected material to ensure that it takes accurate reading: jelly! Click here for instructions.


Make a tornado in a jar

OK, so we’re really hoping there won’t be any real tornados this weekend – making a mini tornado in a jar is much more fun, and a great demonstration of this swirling extreme weather phenomenon. Click here for instructions.


Women in Science day!

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is on 11th February 2020, and it exists to defy gender stereotypes and show that women and girls are a vital part of the science community!

Whizz Pop Bang is a monthly, gender-neutral science magazine that aims to encourage all children to develop a love of science. Our readers are tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and innovators who will shape our world, and we inspire them with amazing female and male role models every issue. Sign up to receive amazing science rocketing through your letterbox every month here!

To celebrate The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, meet an amazing female scientist we featured in Whizz Pop Bang’s Space Travel issue

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids SPACE TRAVEL on night sky

Meet Katherine Johnson

Katherine was part of a team of women carrying out complicated calculations for engineers, but she didn’t act like a computer – she never stopped asking questions! Her curiosity got her noticed, and Katherine was invited to join a team carrying out exciting research into space flight. 

She worked with a team at NASA doing the maths to get America’s first astronaut safely into space in 1961. She went on to calculate the flight paths for many other spacecraft.

Katherine isn’t only famous for her brilliant brain. Rocket science was simple compared to the challenges she faced as an African American woman in the mid-1900s. Until 1964, black Americans faced discrimination at school and work, and were often kept apart from their white co-workers. Katherine helped to break down barriers all through her life, starting when she became one of the first three African Americans to begin a graduate degree at West Virginia University.

Read more in Whizz Pop Bang: Space Travel, available in our shop for £3.99

COMPETITION CLOSED – WIN Unlocking the Universe by Stephen and Lucy Hawking – signed by Lucy!

Have you ever wondered how the universe began? Or what it takes to put humans on the moon – or even on Mars? What would you do if you could travel through space and time?

The brilliant Lucy Hawking and her father, Professor Stephen Hawking discuss these questions (and many more) in this fantastic new book. We’ve got three copies, signed by Lucy, to give away!

This collection of essays explores the creation of the universe, dark matter, life in space, AI, the climate emergency and more written by the Hawking family and other leading experts. Packed with mind-blowing facts and photos, this beautiful collection is sure to get young minds whirring.

Find out more about Unlocking the Universe by Stephen and Lucy Hawking here!

To win a copy, just answer this question in the comments:

How long is a gigayear?

a. Ten thousand (10,000) years
b. A billion (1,000,000,000) years
c. A quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) years

This competition closes at midnight on 9th February 2019. For full terms and conditions see: https://www.whizzpopbang.com/terms-and-conditions/

Meet an Antarctic explorer: Major Nics Wetherill

Nics is an army GP doctor who planned and led a 61-day polar expedition for a team of six women (called the Ice Maidens). Here, she shares what inspired her to begin her adventures in science.

Major Nics Wetherill.
Photo: Crown copyright

Read a full interview with her in Whizz Pop Bang: Polar Science – out now

What first inspired you to become a scientist?

My father was a doctor in the army, and I used to hear about his travels all around the world looking after soldiers and fixing them. I am very similar to him so it was no surprise that I wanted to join, too. I needed to make sure I would enjoy it so I looked into it a lot. It is not for everyone, but as soon as I started doing some army work, I knew this was the perfect job for me.

What advice do you have for young scientists?

My top 3 pieces of advice:

“Always do what interests you.”

Nics Wetherill

Always do what interests you, don’t do it because you think it is the right thing to do.  I wasn’t very clever at school and didn’t get the straight A’s that most medical students are used to getting,  (infact I had to re-take my Spanish A level to get into medical school) but I did really well at the sciences and at medical school because I was so interested in it that I found it really easy. 

“You don’t have to be just one type of anything – you can do lots more.”

Nics Wetherill

Don’t carve a path too early – despite knowing I wanted to be a doctor, I had no idea what kind of doctor I wanted to be, I still don’t really know and keep changing my mind.  I let life and events and experience guide me to my current career, but even then that might change as I am really interested in emergency medicine – you don’t have to just be one type of anything, you can do lots more.

“Present with a solution, rather than a problem.”

Nics Wetherill

Don’t wait for an opportunity to come to you.  If you have an idea, or a vague thought about doing something, don’t wait for someone to offer it to you, go ahead and do your own research and get planning on it yourself.  You won’t get it you don’t ask! If you need the support of people higher up, then provide them with the reason why they should support you in your idea – present with a solution rather than a problem.

Want to find out more about Nics’s amazing Antarctic adventure? Read the Ice Maidens’s blogs here.