TED-Ed and Periodic Videos

TED-Ed and Periodic Videos.

This specific link to TED-Ed shows a periodic table, where every single element has a video link! The videos are from the University of Nottingham and all subtitled, varying in length and type of content. Randomly, I watched the videos on Mercury, Molybdenum and Oxygen. Molybdenum’s was only about a minute long, Oxygen was 6 minutes. They were all very informative, with Mercury and Oxygen having some “fun” science being shown in them so obviously it will all depend on which elements can have more visual content.

But, if you ever need to start off a bit of research on an element, or to prepare a lesson on one (especially a rarer one), this is the perfect starting location. Where else would you learn the meaning behind Mad as a Hatter?

Balloon Greenhouse | Activity | Education.com

Growing Balloons

Balloon Greenhouse | Activity | Education.com.

I found this on pinterest and am so intrigued to see how well this works. Ellen, the author, suggests using radish seeds, but I’m wondering if in a STEM environment it might be more useful and cost effective to use cress seeds. We’ll have to try it out with that.

I love the fact that you tie off and make a contained “world” within the balloon. I can imagine asking a group what a plant needs to grow and then asking them if the seeds have all of that inside of the balloon.

I also love the idea of also growing the plant outside of the balloon, to see how the balloon affects the growth.

Could this also work on a larger scale to demo phototropism? Paint the balloon all over, or on one side. Or just use a dark coloured balloon.

I seriously cannot wait to try this!

And of course, this experiment is perfectly suited to be done at home – that’s what Ellen did. We’re just going to adapt it for inside of education. Or try to!

How to Make Magnetic Slime – Frugal Fun For Boys

Homemade Magnetic Slime

How to Make Magnetic Slime – Frugal Fun For Boys.

I’m sure that most science departments have a whole array of magnetic toys, we certainly have – we may even have some magnetic slime. However, to be able to make more of the stuff? Even use it as part of a STEM session or get prospective students to make it on a school Open Evening… I think it would be pretty fun.

The ingredients are even simpler to buy if you have access to the school ordering system (at least for the iron oxide!) and who doesn’t have some PVA glue?

I think I’d want to try it out myself before I considered doing it at home with children — the iron oxide and breathing aspect makes me hesitant. I also prefer the idea of the slime over putty as think it would be more visual. Especially on an Open Evening in the Physics room!

Friction, Archery and Maize Games

Heatherton! This little collection of games from Wales is kind of addictive! There are three games that appear to be free to play – Archery, Race Car Testing and the Maize Maze.

The Archery game involves some speedy maths to earn arrows which you then get to use on targets where it’s all about the angle and force you apply. Apparently you can move up a level, but I’m not sure if I managed that!

The Race Car Testing game involves choosing different surfaces or different gradient of slope to then have a race car test. Each surface/gradient has to have 3 test runs before an everage is calculated (or you can turn off the calculations so you have to measure the stopping distance and average yourself). Some of the surfaces are normal standard ones – sandpaper, tin foil, glass – and then there’s jelly!

For the maize maze, there’s a whole bunch of information you can read before then answering questions on, well, maize. I didn’t read the info, but still got a handful of questions right and I guess this game will only be useful if you’re studying maize.

All three games have printable results and they don’t require logging in. Definitely something there for physics and maths.