Whizz Pop Bang Blog
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School Gate SET: Giving scientists and engineers the opportunity to get back to work after a career break

Introducing the School Gate SET

For parents with a background in Science & Technology, talking to our children about how the world works; taking them to science museums; even doing a few backyard & kitchen experiments, all comes very naturally. Many primary school children, though, don’t get these experiences. Primary school teachers need to have a broad knowledge base, but often don’t have a STEM background and can find these subjects more challenging to teach. Even teachers with an interest in and enthusiasm for science and technology, find that the demands of the curriculum, with its focus on literacy and numeracy, leave little time for other subjects.

This is an area where schools can really benefit from parental expertise. We know of instances where parent governors have been given a responsibility for improving science provision across the school or are running after-school STEM/code clubs. We would like it to be much more common for parents with a STEM background to get involved in even more hands-on ways. To this end, we have founded the School Gate SET, an online community for parents who want to help with STEM in their children’s schools: sharing ideas and inspiring other to get involved.

The project is the brainchild of Kate Bellingham, STEM ambassador, former Tomorrow’s World presenter, and long-time champion for women’s opportunities in engineering. When her children were young and she was working part-time, she began to help out at their school in the usual ways: listening to readers and chaperoning school trips. Soon, though, she began to wonder if her skills could be put to better use. She began helping in maths lessons and, eventually, running an after-school STEM club. She really enjoyed seeing how excited and inspired the children were and, upon hearing one of the girls exclaim “That’s Emily’s Mum, she’s an Engineer!”, felt that she was also challenging some stereotypes along the way.

More recently, School Gate SET parents got involved with British Science Week: you can read about one of the activity days here. Our next “call to action” is for “Tomorrow’s Engineers Week” (November 2016) and we will be running some free training workshops for parent volunteers who would like to deliver a supporting activity. Please get in touch (or see here) for more information.

So, if you have a passion for STEM and would like to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, have a chat with the Headteacher or Science co-ordinator at your children’s school about how you could begin to contribute. For activity ideas, check out our blog and Facebook page. If you have questions about how to get started, tweet or e-mail us and we’ll be happy to share our experiences. If you are a teacher who would like to encourage parental involvement, get in touch and we can provide a flier to send out to parents.

We look forward to hearing from you!
Helen

email: schoolgateset@gmail.com

Twitter: @SchoolGateSET

website: https://schoolgateset.blogspot.co.uk/

Notes about the funding for School Gate SET initiative:
The funding is from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s “Ingenious” program which supports novel ways of getting engineers involved in outreach activities. We are looking for engineers who are on a career break after having children (so, mostly women) and are in danger of being lost from the profession altogether. The funding is to run workshops on how to deliver an engineering activity to school-children, to (re)build confidence and to help engineers think about what they want to do next in their careers. We hope that this will help with the STEM “pipeline problem”, both by showing primary school children some “non-stereotypical” scientists and engineers as well as showing women they can get back into a STEM career after a break.
Our over-arching goal for the School Gate SET is to get more parents and carers from all STEM backgrounds helping out in schools and contributing ideas, advice and support to our online network.
Poster inviting kids to try cricket pasta at Nord Anglia School Dubai

Cricket pasta tasting with kids and teachers in Dubai

Did you know Whizz Pop Bang whizzes around the world to kids in many different countries? Yep, we have readers in Australia, America, Germany, New Zealand, Holland and Dubai (please let us know if you read it in another country and we’ve missed you out!). Kids learning English as a second language love reading Whizz Pop Bang because it’s fun and easy to read. Expat kids love reading it because it’s not easy to get hold of English magazines in some countries.

Now what’s all this about crickets in pasta? Well here at Whizz Pop Bang we actively encourage kids to be open-minded and to try new things, and with the need to find more sustainable sources of protein to feed our growing population, we’ve been giving kids the opportunity to try eating insects. Check out these super mini scientists at a school in Dubai trying a food of the future – cricket pasta!

Made by Bugsolutely in Thailand, cricket pasta is a genius way to include sustainable protein in a quick and easy meal. Cook it and serve with pesto, with a tomato sauce or a creamy sauce and you have a nutritious meal and one that doesn’t require any additional protein.

Were your kids involved in a Whizz Pop Bang cricket pasta tasting? Let us know what they thought in the comments box below, or email hello@whizzpopbang.com. If you’d like to subscribe to Whizz Pop Bang THE awesome science magazine for kids just click here.

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What’s On in September: THE BRITISH SCIENCE FESTIVAL, SWANSEA

British Science Festival, Swansea

What’s On in September: THE BRITISH SCIENCE FESTIVAL

Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea. 

Now this sounds like loads of fun; 2 days of Roald Dahl-themed hands-on science fun for all the family, what could be better?! Events include an Astronaut Bootcamp, 3D Space Show, Marine explorers, Splendiferous Science Show, Sealife Safari and LOADS more! They’ve even got a whizzpopping Roald Dahl science show with CBBC’s science communicator Jon Chase, pretty awesome huh?

All tickets are free, but booking is recommended at www.britishsciencefestival.org

Here’s what they say on the website:
“We’re celebrating Roald Dahl’s centenary with a scientific take on his books. CBBC’s Jon Chase reveals the Splendiferous Science in Dahl’s tales and we’ve left a trail of golden tickets for you to follow and claim a prize… keep your gogglers peeled for everything from frightswiping Gremlins to scrumdiddlyumptious chocolate!

We’ve also teamed up with the Marina Market to talk about food. You can take a taste test, learn how to keep yourself healthy, and explore the chemistry in your kitchen. There are even some insects for you to eat… if you’re brave enough!

‘Marine Explorers’ venture out and investigate everything that lives in the sea. Get onto Swansea University’s research boat ‘Noctiluca’, which is moored on the quay at the Waterfront Museum. You can control an underwater robot, explore scientific survey equipment, observe underwater video footage and be captain of the ship.”

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on Facebook or Instagram and tell us all about the best bits! #BSF16

10th and 11th September
National Waterfront Museum and surrounding venues including Swansea Museum and the Dylan Thomas Theatre
Open 11am-4pm
FREE!

https://www.britishsciencefestival.org/family-weekend/

British Science Festival supporters

Whizz Pop bang Dinosaur head

The ultimate treat for Dinosaur-mad kids…

Are your kids totally and utterly obsessed by dinosaurs? Do they dream about dinosaurs? Well at The Natural History Museum in London there are plenty of dinosaurs and they do attract some interesting fellow snorers at night… Yes every month instead of closing all the doors and saying goodnight to the dinosaurs, sleep tight and […]

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Win a John Adams Forensic Science Kit PLUS a copy of Home Lab Science: Exciting Experiments for Budding Scientists by Robert Winston

This month we have not one but two competitions for your budding scientists to enter! Up for grabs we have three copies of Robert Winston’s HOME LAB EXPERIMENTS BOOK and five John Adams Trading Co FORENSIC SCIENCE KITS!!!

What are you waiting for kids, open issue 13 of Whizz Pop Bang and get cracking. Enter before 5th September.

John Adams Forensic Science Kit Whizz Pop Bang Science Magazine for kids Home Lab book

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids Shooting star

Looking for a cheap and easy kids science party? Host a stargazing party!

September is the ideal time of year for a stargazing party; it’s cheap, easy to host and the kids get to stay up ‘late’ which is always deemed to be fun in itself!

Inside issue 13 is the ultimate guide to the night sky, along with a pull-out stargazing map to help the kids decipher the constellations and find out how to spot Mars, and depending on the conditions, maybe Saturn too!

We’ve put together a party planner for your science party with a difference, including the recipe for planet cake pops to impress all your party guests. And don’t forget to order copies of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for really cool goodie bags, order single issues here.

Whizz Pop Bang Science magazine for kids pull-out star map

Whizz Pop Bang science party ideas

For your stargazing party you will need:

  • Blankets to lie on in the garden
  • Binoculars (and a telescope if you have one or can borrow one)
  • Flasks/cups of hot chocolate and marshmallows
  • Jam jars and tea lights to decorate the garden, and lead the way to the stargazing blankets
  • Planet cake pops already made and ready to eat
  • Glow in the dark stickers or glow sticks to play with together
  • Tell your guests to bring a jumper and a wooly hat so they don’t get too cold!

The ultimate evening to hold your stargazing party will be on Saturday 10th September as the Moon will be visible in the evening sky and it will be dark by around 8pm.

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Competition time for Mum and Dad! And maybe Grandpa too…

Sand by Michael Welland

We have a copy of this fascinating book to give-away as a prize for one our awesome Whizz Pop Bang grown-ups; whether that’s Mum, Dad or maybe a grandparent who likes playing in the sand!  SAND: A journey through science and the imagination is written by Michael Welland.

How to enter: simply send a photo of yourself buried in the sand! Yes it has to be you (a grown-up), and it could be just your feet or your whole body, we’re not too fussy on that detail. The winner will be the funniest photo so get creative! You can also send in an old photo, we love a relic 😉

Post, send or tweet your photos by 5th September. We will contact you if you photo is a winner for your address.

Synopsis for SAND on Amazon:

‘This book is all about sand – sand in individual grains, each one a little different; sand in piles; sand in shoals and dunes; the science of sand but also, shot through the book, sand and imagination – the art and the music of sand. Did you know that the Sand Mountain in Nevada emits a low C, while dunes in Chile sound an F, and those in Morocco a G#?  
For all its ubiquity, sand is an extraordinary substance. For scientists, it is important in many ways: it represents the crushed remains of past rock, and builds up into layers in lake and ocean beds, layers of sandstone from which we can extract the history of deep time; its erosion creates complex landscapes of mounds and dunes which move in characteristic ways; its grains are remarkable individually and in their behaviour together as a granular material. And to travellers, poets and artists, the deserts it forms are full of grandeur and pathos. Michael Welland is a geologist who has a passion for sand. He shows that truly, one can see a world, both in space and time, in a grain of sand.’

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Mission Impossible? 53 Science experiment for kids for the summer holidays!

Bundle of six Whizz Pop Bang science magazines

KIDS: STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN!!
Your inner curiosity and brain cells are calling you…

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to groom yourself like a cat, to drain the rain, to feel the force and to alter your sense of touch. Taking it to the next level, your mission is to make your own fake blood, loop the loop and snore louder than your Dad without going to sleep. Then it gets tricky: could you grow your own stalactites and stalagmites? Could you lift your Mum off the ground? Could you move water with fire? 

How is this possible? For 6-11 year olds across the globe it is possible with science magazine WHIZZ POP BANG!

Buy now and put your child to the test – can they become world class mini scientists? Six copies for £20, free delivery and not a screen in sight: https://whizzpopbang.com/shop/all/

Children's author Nick Arnold joins Whizz Pop Bang team

Horrible Science author Nick Arnold joins the Whizz Pop Bang team!

Nick Arnold joins the WPB team

 

Errrrr gross! Slime, goo, rotting fish and the unimaginably disgusting are what you think of when you hear Nick Arnold’s name mentioned. Yes, the Horrible Science author is joining the Whizz Pop Bang team so watch out everyone, Nick’s armed and ready to saw off some legs 🙂

We’re head-to-toe excited about having Nick on board – what more does a children’s science magazine need than a brilliant science writer who gets everyone into the weird and wonderful world of science!

Children's author Isabel Thomas joins Whizz Pop Bang team

Children’s author Isabel Thomas joins the Whizz Pop Bang team!

Isabel Thomas joins the WPB team

We’re excited and proud to announce we have children’s author and science writer Isabel Thomas joining the Whizz Pop Bang team! Author of shortlisted book ‘How to Change the World’ and ‘Self-Destructing Science’ Isabel will be writing features on science topics in Whizz Pop Bang.

A big warm welcome to Isabel, we’re thrilled to have you as part of the editorial team and can’t wait to get cracking (btw that’s a clue for the next issue which features Isabel’s first article) and you’ll be needing one of these… can you guess the topics we’re uncovering in issue 13?

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Happy experimenting everyone 🙂