Sankey Diagrams – Science In A Nutshell – YouTube

Here’s a handy video showing how Sankey diagrams can be used in Science with regards to energy, power, efficiency, etc. There’s explanation as to how the diagram works (useful vs wasted energy) and about the energy involved. Very useful for AQA Energy and Efficiency.

Sankey Diagrams – Science In A Nutshell – YouTube.

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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!

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!