Create a DNA Fingerprint

Source: Create a DNA Fingerprint

Found this really easy to use DNA fingerprinting “game” I guess you could call it. It directs you through each step to perform the DNA fingerprinting and then you do the matching up at the end to find out the culprit. Each step also tells you the science behind the step and it won’t let you do it wrong! It also doesn’t tell you when you’re wrong though!

This would be good fun as part of revision or during a lesson with a different pupil trying each step, discussing them and then seeing who guesses right with the culprit. Very easy for most levels to understand.

E is for Explore!: Red Bull and Milk Reaction

E is for Explore!: Red Bull and Milk Reaction.

What happens when you add Red Bull to milk in a 1:1 ratio?

What about vinegar and milk in the same ratio?

Change the type of milk from whole, to semi, to skimmed!

Why does any of this happen?

This simple, quick and clean demonstration is perfect for an introduction to States of Matter, to get brains thinking on an Open Evening or as a mini experiment for a STEM session.

Definitely one to try out! And easily performed and explained at home.

Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6 – Activity – www.TeachEngineering.org

Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6 – Activity – www.TeachEngineering.org.

This is a fantastic resource for designing a bio-dome, excellent for studying ecosystems, specific environments and engineering (there’s also a nice little bit of recycling of plastic bottles involved). The webpage also details how to approach a number of lessons teaching with regards to the bio-dome that students can build. There is also a Bio-dome workbook in pdf that can be downloaded from the page, a full list of materials needed, an introduction with extra vocab section and a simple to use instruction on how to build a simple model bio-dome.

The lesson plans given by Teach Engineering break down different things to look at/study within the bio-dome (energy flow, plants, animals and then decomposers), these could easily be adapted to fit what a teacher specifically wanted or to fit different timescales, you wouldn’t need to add plants, animals and decomposers over 3 weeks unless it helps to establish each one first. Maybe that’s what a school technician is for, hehe!

I think it would be fascinating for a class (or STEM group) to do this over perhaps a few weeks with maybe one built bio-dome for everyone, to see the effects of the bio-dome. The website recommends roughly 5 hours of “lesson” time, but however much of it could be done outside of a lesson to speed learning up.

13 Vegetables That Magically Regrow Themselves

Pineapple Growing

13 Vegetables That Magically Regrow Themselves.

I found this link on pinterest so long ago and I have been desperate to bring it to light and actually test each one! The 13 vegetables are divided into easily do-able (spring onions, garlic, romaine lettuce, carrots, basil), feasible (lemongrass, celery, onion and bok choy), feasible if you’re a plant magician (avocado, sweet potato, ginger roots and pineapple) – I think it’s these that I really want to try, including the 3 years for pineapple!

It’s Buzzfeed so each vegetable has it’s own link. The first two levels could be really good fun to do at home or with a STEM group, or a standard lesson, too. Perhaps the top level are only really for at home! Or school technicians over a summer holiday!

Circulatory System Lesson

Heart Pumping Model

Circulatory System Lesson. / How to Make a Human Heart

I found this a while ago, but still haven’t got around to trying it out. The picture looks like it should be a really good heart model, and if it means that we don’t have to use any of our budget to buy a working heart model, well it must be good. Right?

The equipment is all stuff that you can easily find at home (recyclable material, too) so also easy that you could save enough to get a whole class or STEM group to do. And, of course, there’s the option of doing it at home just for fun or extra credit work.

This is one we need to try in the summer!

Fun Science Experiment! – Learning how plants absorb water! –

Coloured Cabbage Leaves

Fun Science Experiment! – Learning how plants absorb water! –.

I want to bring this blog to note because I think it would be far more cost effective when we usually demonstrate how plants absorb water. Normally, we buy a bunch of flowers and either put them all in one vase of artificially coloured water, or separate them between two colours. Normally only blue and red. We might also do the same with a packet of celery. Celery is good because you can cut the stem and see the colour going all the way through.

However, I was drawn to this particular blog and the idea from a photo of cabbage leaves in different coloured water. With celery, only blue and red ever tend to really work, visibly. Well, Paging Fun Mums has clearly got red, blue, green and yellow to work amazingly well with cabbage leaves. I also think that it would be far easier to ensure a whole class could set up their own set as a cabbage would go further than a bunch of flowers. They were apparently only left overnight, which is probably what we would do.

I just really want to try the cabbage!

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!

Does Aspirin Help Plants Grow? | Education.com

Does Aspirin Help Plants Grow? | Education.com.

I found this on a random google search where I was actually looking for something else and I know that I have found a few plant growth topics, but this one is a bit different.

The standard practice in schools to test plant growth is to use nutrient deficient solutions on already grown plants, or on cress, and we often find that we don’t get amazing results. Through mainly pinterest, I have found “at home” versions where you use water, salt water, sugar water, vinegar, etc – common household liquids. Obviously, if you’re trying to teach the science behind the nutrients themselves that are needed, the “at home” versions won’t help.

If, however, you just want to introduce how plants grow rather than what they need nutrient-wise to grow, then this newly found solution can easily be added on: aspirin!

Apparently there is loads of research into how aspirin can help tomato plants, but this “science fair” topic is about testing aspirin to see if helps plants grow. This would be a lovely add on to the other household liquids that cress seeds could be grown with.

You just have to be careful with the aspirin when it comes to children. Definitely one to add on to the to-do list!

Scibermonkey

This is a pretty nifty, colourful little collection of resources.

Resources are separated into different age ranges: 5-7, 7-11, 11-14, 14-16 and teachers with all of the ranges having different topics to select.

Sciber Monkey

For example, using the teacher section, there are 3 drop down menus for age of student, theme and then topic. This is the same structure if you went on the 11-14 page, but far less colourful!

Scibermonkey itself is very colourful and fun looking, especially to entice those younger into having a look, but then all of the resources are links to elsewhere – games, animations, BBC Bitesize information, diagrams to label. They are all interesting and useful, but each resource could be from a different website that isn’t quite as fun and colourful as the Sciber Monkey site. It is very easily searchable by keywords though, which is always a good positive!