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Modelling Climate Change

This booklet is part of the ‘Innovations in Practical Work’ series published by the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme (SEP) and produced in partnership with the Walker Institute for Climate System Research. Climate scientists do not have a ‘climate in a test tube’ to try out their ideas, so to understand the...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Shadow illusion

This video shows how cards with different shaped holes circle, square, triangle), held to the sun, produce circular points of light, because what is seen is the image of the sun (this is how a pinhole camera works).

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Publication date:
2010 to date

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Silver award: how steady is your hand?

In this independent research project students investigate the properties of materials, electric circuits and electronic devices in order to design, build and test a device to measure the steadiness of someone’s hand and the factors that affect it.   Students will need to consider:

  • What materials will ...
Publication date:
2010 to date

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Silver award: design and build a disco light

How do the lights and sound at a nightclub coordinate together? The lights appear to flash in time to the beat, and change colour with the pattern of the sound. How is the signal from a sound source such as a CD player or DJ deck converted into a pattern of lights? In this project, students will design and build ...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Beaker ball balance problem

This video introduces an interesting problem of two balls placed in beakers of water.  A ping pong ball is fixed to the bottom of one beaker of water and an acrylic ball suspended into another beaker of water.  Both beakers contain the same amount of water and both balls displace equal amounts of water (they have...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Can you solve this?

This video demonstrates how a theory cannot be proved.  Theories at best allow observations to be explained at that time, but there may be other explanations still to be discovered. The scientific method is rigorous in attempting to disprove a theory. Only when we fail to disprove our theories do we say we have...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Physics on Earth and Mars

This resource, devised by Anu Ojha, uses the context of the planet Mars to investigate pressure, magnetic fields and meteorites. There is also a demonstration of how to cook up a comet.

The presentation contains information that relates to both the pressure and TVs and magnets activities.

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Publication date:
2010 to date

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Mini-whoosh bottle (teach with space)

In this practical investigation, students will perform a combustion reaction using a mixture of alcohol and air in a plastic water bottle. The students will observe a rapid reaction accompanied by a dramatic ‘whoosh’ sound, simulating what happens when fuels are lit during a real rocket...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Whoosh bottle (teach with space)

In this activity, alcohol and air are mixed in a large plastic water bottle before being ignited, to simulate the physics principles of chemical rocket engines. The students will observe a rapid reaction accompanied by a dramatic “whoosh” sound and flames. They will discuss the...

Publication date:
2010 to date

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Extra Resources

A variety of resources, from the Association for Science Education (ASE): a model spreadsheet exploring sound waves, two articles from Catalyst magazine, Hunt the Transmitter activity and Reading Rain Radars.

Sound Waves is a good example building spreadsheet models that students can...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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