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Science Club (Spring 2017)

Terrific Scientific

For the next two terms, Science Club will be taking part in the BBC Terrific Scientific Project which is an exciting new Science project aimed at 7-11 year olds, encouraging them to take part in a series of investigations at schools across the UK.

 

We encourage you and your child to explore the Terrific Scientific website: www.bbc.co.uk/terrificscientific where you will find extension activities for this investigation.

 

Over the course of this year we are hoping to participate in the following investigations:

  • Investigation 1: Taste (January - February)
  • Investigation 2: Water (February - March)
  • Investigation 3: Time (March - April)
  • Investigation 4: Trees (April - May)
  • Investigation 5: Forces (May to July)

 

January 2017

 

Investigation 1 – The Super Taste Test.

The first investigation is planned for January 2017 around the topic of Animals including Humans / My Body. We are going to be finding out if children are Supertasters! It is thought that 1 in 4 people are Supertasters, meaning they have a more intense reaction to bitter tastes. Some more information about Supertasting can be found here: www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zsc2xsg.

 

To find out if your child is a Supertaster, we will be smearing a drop of natural blue food dye on the end of their tongue and counting the bumps in an area the size of a hole punch. These are called fungiform papillae, and hold their taste buds. A detailed description of the method can be found on the Terrific Scientific website in the classroom resources: www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z97fb82 .

The Super Taste Test - Investigation

February / March 2017

 

Investigation 2 – Investigating the Mpemba Effect - Water Investigation

Some scientists have discovered that water doesn’t always freeze how you would expect. Erasto Bartholomeo Mpemba was a young student of 11 or 12 years of age at school in Tanzania when he observed a phenomenon which today carries his name, all because he was in a rush to freeze hot cream. We are going to investigated the following: If we wanted to make ice cubes or ice lollies quickly, would it be better to use cold water or warm water? Which would freeze faster? The children will be investigating whether starting water temperature affects the time it takes for water to freeze. Children will compare differences in freezing times of hot/warm water and cooled tap water to investigate what is commonly known as ‘The Mpemba Effect’.

 

As well as completing this, we are going to testing the water hardness using some water testing strips. These will change colour when you dip them into your tap water. The colour indicates whether your tap water has lots of dissolved minerals; what we consider to be hard water, or few dissolved minerals: we call this soft water.

Test 1: Water Hardness

Test 2 - Cold or Hot - Which Freezes First?

March / April 2017

 

Investigation 3 - Time Investigation - Do I change when the clocks change? 

 

This investigation has been designed to see if the change in clocks in the Spring and the Autumn has an impact on our bodies. Our bodies have their own body clock (known as a circadian rhythm) and this helps control our sleep and wake cycle. The hypothalamus (part of our brains) controls our body clocks and responds to like and dark signals.

 

There is anecdotal evidence that suggests that our circadian rhythms are affected by the clock changes -  so The University of Oxford is carrying out an investigation to see whether children's sleep and alertness are affected by the clock change. 

Investigation 3 - Time (Part 2) Reaction Tests

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