COMPETITION CLOSED: WIN Swarm Rising by Steve Cole and Tim Peake!

Astronaut Tim Peake travelled to the International Space Station in 2015 and spent 186 days orbiting the Earth and has shared some tales from this epic adventure with Whizz Pop Bang magazine in this brilliant blog post: Tim Peake spills the beans on life in space!

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. We’ve got SIX COPIES to give away!

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.

To win one of SIX copies, answer this question in the comments:

What does ESA stand for?

A Egyptian Space Association
B Earth Seen Above
C European Space Agency

This competition closes at midnight on 31st October 2021. For full terms and conditions visit whizzpopbang.com/terms-and-conditions


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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


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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!


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Cheltenham Science Festival goes virtual!

The Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home runs from 2-7 June and you can watch it all online!

Have you read about AIDA, the world’s first AI festival curator, in Whizz Pop Bang: Playground Science? Here’s where you can watch the live talks:

https://www.youtube.com/user/cheltenhamfestivals

Find out about the entire programme, including links to events being held on other platforms, here:

https://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science-home/whats-on/grid

Read on for our highlights of the festival!

Whizz Pop Bang: Playground Science is available here for just £3.99!

Our highlights:

Family Show: The Quantum Mechanical Chocolate Factory on Tuesday 2nd Jun 2020 10:00am – 11:00am

Stefan Gates‘ Wonka-esque, snack-based science show is packed with the chemistry of sweets, the engineering of chocolate fountains, the biology of flatulence and the quantum mechanics of glowing spaghetti. Loads of demos you can try at home, plus a few you really can’t!”


Colourful Science on Tuesday 2nd Jun 2020 10:00am – 11:00am

“Why is grass green? And why do butterfly wings shimmer different colours? Join mathematician Katie Steckles, chemist Jamie Gallagher and biophysicist Nate Adams as they explore what colour means to them and how colours can even help us understand the universe.”


Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour Of The Solar System on Thursday 4th June 2020 10:00am – 11:00am

“Join space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock on an epic adventure through the Solar System. Visit the most magnificent sights and discover all the spectacles that outer space has to offer, from planets and moons to asteroids, comets and satellites. Hold on to your helmet and get set for a cosmic roller coaster ride.”


Sound of Science on Friday 5th June 2020 at 10:00am – 11:00am

“Join Nate Adams for an extravaganza of fiery, colourful and explosive science demonstrations. Featuring original electropop with incredible visuals from the Sound of Science band. Explore what the universe is made of, why you stick to the ground and how you can eat light!”


Shape & Symmetry: Mathematical Art Workshop on Saturday 6th June 2020 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm

“Many beautiful designs and patterns are based on underlying mathematical principles of shape and symmetry. Using a ruler and compass, shapes can be constructed on paper which can form the basis of geometric patterns. In this workshop mathematician Katie Steckles and illustrator Hana Ayoob will talk you through the process and give you time – and inspiration – to design your own artwork, incorporating design ideas from traditional mandala shapes and patterns.”


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Whizz Pop Bang’s top science books for children

Putting together a super-exciting science magazine for children (and with some of us being parents of some scientists-in-training ourselves) means that Team Whizz Pop Bang read rather a lot of science books. Looking for science gift ideas for children, science books for kids or Christmas present ideas for young scientists? You’ve come to the right place!

Here’s our list of our top curiosity-awakening, fact-packed, inspiring science reads…

Moth: An Evolution Story by Isabel Thomas

“This is a story of light and dark…
Against a lush backdrop of lichen-covered trees, the peppered moth lies hidden.
Until the world begins to change.
Along come people with their magnificent machines which stain the land with soot.
In a beautiful landscape changed by humans, how will the little moth survive?”

Moth: An Evolution Story by Isabel Thomas

OK, so we’re a little bit biased, but Isabel Thomas (writer of many of Whizz Pop Bang’s features) is just brilliant at communicating complicated ideas to children. Moth is a beautifully-illustrated picture book that explains evolution through the story of the peppered moth. It has recently been shortlisted on the Children’s Science Picture Book Award and included on the New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2019 list!


The Professor Astro Cat series

Meet Professor Astro Cat: “the world’s smartest and bravest feline scientific explorer and he wants to recruit you! Together with Felicity (also a cat) and Astro Mouse, they are always ready to take you on mind bogglingly brilliant adventures into the incredible world of science.” With books covering Space, the Human Body, Physics and more, our Editor Tammy says “We love them!”


The Whizz Pop Bang Science Joke Book by Tara Pardo

Did you hear the joke about the germ?
Never mind, I don’t want to spread it around!

How does the Moon cut his hair?
E-clipse it!

What’s a scientist’s favourite dog?
A lab!

The Whizz Pop Bang Science Joke Book by Tara Pardo

Packed with super-silly science giggles and fantastic facts, the Whizz Pop Bang Science Joke Book is not only a team favourite – Assistant Editor, Tara, wrote it! We can honestly say that every single one of our children love it, too.


Owling: Enter the World of the Mysterious Birds of the Night by Mark Wilson

“My daughter is a very big owl lover so she absolutely adores it,” says Editor-in-chief, Jenny. “It contains loads of information about an assortment of owls, as well as general owl info – pellets, behaviour, abilities and so on. It’s a shame that it’s based on the common owls in North America, rather than in the UK (no tawny owls), but that still includes barn owls and it also includes Emily’s favourite, snowy owls!”


On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

This is another of Editor Tammy’s family’s favourite science stories. “A boy rides a bicycle down a dusty road. But in his mind, he envisions himself traveling at a speed beyond imagining, on a beam of light. This brilliant mind will one day offer up some of the most revolutionary ideas ever conceived. From a boy endlessly fascinated by the wonders around him, Albert Einstein ultimately grows into a man of genius recognized the world over for profoundly illuminating our understanding of the universe,” says Chronicle Books, publisher of this beautiful book.


Audrey the Amazing Inventor by Rachel Valentine

“Audrey was the most inquisitive girl you could hope to meet…”

Audrey the Amazing Inventor by Rachel Valentine

begins this tale of questions, fiddling and fixing, suitable for curious children aged 3+ “My daughter adores this book and often reaches for it at bedtime,” says Whizz Pop Bang’s Schools co-ordinator, Libby.


Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

Celebrate some incredible women in STEM with this beautiful book. Rachel Ignotofsky’s gorgeous illustrations bring the stories of 50 inspirational women in science to life. It’s another one that our Editor, Tammy, recommends for people looking for great science books for kids.


The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day by Christopher Edge

Editor-in-Chief, Jenny, says that this is one of her daughter’s favourites: “It’s about a girl genius who is studying science and maths and whose world gets turned upside down when she wakes on her birthday to find herself in a weird and scary world. It’s full of intriguing and challenging scientific concepts, like infinity, relativity and entropy, and it gets you thinking about the possibility of parallel universes. Probably best for ages 9+”


You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey

“If you were a planet, you’d be a lot like the Earth. Rainforests on land and ale in the oceans are the Earth’s lungs,”

You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey

This intriguing book draws connections between people and the natural world – and it’s another of Editor Tammy’s top science books.


Look Inside How Things Work by Rob Lloyd Jones

“This was very popular with my boys!” says our Customer Service Advisor, Hennie.

“Have you ever wondered how cars roar along roads, or planes soar into the sky? Discover how all sorts of amazing things work, from fire engines and submarines to dishwashers and vacuum cleaners, in this exciting introduction to engineering for young children, with over 70 flaps to lift.”


Explanatorium of Nature by DK

Editor Tammy’s son loves the Explanatorium books (which includes an edition about Science by Robert Winston) and the DK Knowledge Encyclopedias, but the Explanatorium of Nature is his favourite.


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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 


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What age is Whizz Pop Bang for?

What age range is Whizz Pop Bang magazine for? We’re often asked this question, and the answer is it really depends on the child. As a guide we say our magazines are written and designed for 6 to 12-year-olds, however the best way to see if it’s suitable for your child is to have a browse before you buy! It’s also worth having a read of some of the reviews from parents and grandparents who tell us the ages of the children they subscribe for.

Have a flick through our Planetary Adventures issue here 👇🏾

If you have any questions about Whizz Pop Bang visit our FAQ page, send us an email or call us on 0330 2233790. We’re always happy to hear from our customers!


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