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Classroom Activities for the Busy Teacher: NXT

This sample of a teacher guide introduces basic robotics using Lego NXT hardware and software

The general nature as well as the origins of robotics are covered. NXT robots are then introduced, as well as some basic mathematical and other considerations for using robots in the classroom. The importance and...

The Cutting a Person in Half Trick

In the video Matt Parker presents the laziest cutting a person in half trick using a strip of paper. The strip of paper is used to create a Mobiüs loop which is then cut in half lengthways with surprising results. The ‘trick’ is then explained by exploring the properties of the Mobiüs loop. As a finalé Matt cuts...

Instant Freezing Water Trick

In this magic trick a container of water appears to freeze just by touching the surface of it.

The liquid is not water, but a super saturated solution of sodium acetate. Placing a few sodium acetate crystals on the tip of your finger and touching the liquid causes a chain crystallisation reaction. This...

The Baffling Knot Trick

In this magic trick, a volunteer has two ropes tied around them. When the ropes are pulled tight they cut right through the volunteer, who then walks away unharmed. The trick uses rare earth magnets to make it appear as though the rope is knotted.

The Disappearing Coin Trick

In this magic trick you take a coin and place it under a clear, empty drinking glass. The spectators can still see the coin clearly through the glass. Then you slowly pour normal water into the glass and as it fills up, the coin vanishes.

Curriculum links include light, refraction, total internal...

The Levitating Wheel Trick

In this magic trick you hold a large bike wheel up from both ends of its axle. Then you let go of one end and the wheel continues to be suspended in mid-air even though nothing is holding it up.

A spinning wheel has angular momentum as it rotates. For the wheel to tip, this angular momentum has to change...

The Smoking Flask Trick

In this magic trick, a large conical flask contains a light green liquid. When some pellets are dropped in, the solution changes to a yellow, or eventually red, colour while producing huge amounts of mysterious white fog, like something from an episode of Doctor Who. This fog will pour out of the flask and drift...

The Transitioning Beaker Trick

In this magic trick, a glass container filled with clear, colourless liquid is briefly covered and suddenly it has been swapped for a flask full of opaque dark-blue liquid. It can then be changed back without anyone noticing the swap. The trick uses the classic 'iodine clock' reaction.

The Vanishing Bowl of Water Trick

This magic trick uses the superabsorbent polymer sodium polyacrylate to make a bowl of water disappear. The crystals of sodium polyacrylate can absorb around 200 times their mass in water, turning the crystals into a gel, so it can easily soak up and hold all the water you pour in from your glass, even if the...

The Vanishing Head aka Ghost Drink Trick

In this magic trick, based on Pepper's ghost, any object placed in a box becomes transparent or sometimes even vanishes. By controlling the relative amounts of light transmitted and reflected through a piece of Perspex at a 45 degree angle, objects seem to appear or vanish.

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