Whizz Pop Bang Blog
little miss inventor

Little Miss Inventor Challenge!

LittleMissInventorChallenge

Eeek! Much excitement here in the office today, as we’ve just been told about this awesome competition for our younger fans…

A competition is being held to celebrate the launch of Little Miss Inventor and it’s offering children the chance to have their invention immortalised in the Mr. Men and Little Miss series! How cool would that be?!? 😎

The newest addition to the classic series, Little Miss Inventor uses her brainpower and creativity to think up inventions to help her friends. The competition’s winning invention will be drawn into an upcoming Mr. Men Little Miss Book. A shortlist of five inventions will also be displayed at the launch of Little Miss Inventor at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester on March 24th.

To enter, fans aged 3-7 just need to visit the website mentioned in the picture, download the drawing sheet and come up with an invention to help Mr. Bump avoid accidents. Once they have drawn and labelled their invention it just needs to be scanned or photographed and uploaded to the dedicated website.

The competition is open between 29th January and 25th February 2018, and entries will be evaluated based on imagination, usefulness and creativity.

The competition is run in partnership with Little Inventors, an organisation dedicated to helping bring the ideas of children to life.

So, come on! Get your thinking caps on and get inventing!!

😀😀

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Seraphinas kitchen_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

#LastStraw What do Whizz Pop Bang readers think?

Evening Standard Last Straw campaign

After reading about the London Evening Standard’s excellent #LastStraw campaign to encourage cafés and restaurants to stop giving out plastic straws, we thought it would be interesting to find out what children thought about receiving their drinks with straws.

Whizz Pop Bang is an awesome science magazine for inquisitive six to twelve-year-olds, so our readers and the children of our online fans were perfectly placed to answer a few questions about how they like to drink their drinks. This was obviously a subject that kids felt strongly about as we received over 1,600 responses. Here’s what we discovered…

Q1. Would you rather have a paper straw or no straw?

Would you rather have a paper straw or no straw?

The results are close with just over half (54%) of the children who answered our survey saying, yes, they would rather have a paper straw than no straw at all, showing that there’s still a fair amount of desire for paper straws over no straws.

Q2. If you like having a straw in your drink, please tell us why…

If you like having a straw in your drink please tell us why

What are the reasons people like having straws? There are many. Kids like to schlurp their drinks with a straw, blow bubbles and even make things with a straw (future engineers!). They’re certainly useful when you’re very young and the glass is too tall, or the ice is making the glass too cold to hold. Some just like sipping and stirring, and making their drink last longer. Any dentist will tell us it’s better for your teeth if you drink through a straw, and there are people who need to use a straw for medical or behavioural conditions such as autism. The overriding result however, with just over 30%, is that people like a straw because it’s a treat when they go out.

Q3. If you were given a drink without a straw, would you ask for one?

If you were given a drink without a straw would you ask for one

The results here are interesting, with only 27% of respondents saying that they would proactively ask for a straw if their drink didn’t come with one. This means that the majority of children wouldn’t mind if establishments simply changed their policies to stop routinely providing straws in drinks. This could cut down straw use by a whopping 73%. And the cost savings from that could be put towards purchasing more environmentally friendly straws for the children who would like them.

Straws: the statistics

The UK is easily the biggest user of plastic straws in Europe, with an estimated 8.5 billion thrown away each year, according to a study by Eunomia Research & Consulting. This compares with 4.8 billion in Germany, 3.2 billion in France, 2 billion in Italy and 1.1 billion in Denmark.

Several small towns and villages around Britain have declared themselves plastic straw-free, but an initiative in the capital could act as a catalyst for the whole nation.

Evening Standard, Monday 15th January

Time to act everyone! As parents, grandparents and carers who take children out for drinks, we are the ones who need to be making the decisions and paving the way. Together we need to educate our children and teach them to understand why we need to find alternatives to many types of plastic, not just straws. We also need to use our buying power and our voices to tell cafés and restaurants what we think – simply make a point of requesting no plastic straws when you place your drinks order and explain why.

What are the alternatives to plastic straws?

We’ve rounded up some environmentally friendly choices of straw to have at home or to whip out of your bag next time you’re out and about!

Bamboo strawsBambaw_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

These are reusable, biodegradable drinking straws, made from whole bamboo, which is an easy to grow, sustainable crop. These eco-friendly straws can be used in hot and cold drinks and they don’t taste of anything. Available from Bambaw in packs of 12, and every pack comes with a cleaning brush.

Metal strawsSenhai_metal_straws

Senhai sell a set of eight stainless steel metal straws (available with a bend for those who want an angle in their straws!). They come in different colours, with a two cleaning brushes in a cloth bag, and are dishwasher proof.

Glass strawsStrawGrace_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

 

 

 

 

 

StrawGrace sell handmade, incredibly hardy glass straws that come in packs of five. These cool straws are BPA free, eco-friendly, dishwasher safe and shatterproof. Each packet comes with a year’s guarantee – this is the same glass that’s used in labs all over the world and in Pyrex dishes so it’s safe and strong.

Silicon straws

Seraphinas kitchen_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

Seraphina’s Kitchen make reusable coloured straws from silicone in two different sizes; one for juices and a larger one for smoothies. They’re all BPA free, lead and phthalates free and you can clean them with the brush that comes with each pack, or put them in the dishwasher. A pack of 6 silicone straws is £12.47 from Buy Me Once

Paper straws

Kikkerland_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

Kikkerland make loads of fun coloured and patterned paper straws, which makes a cheap and planet-friendly alternative to plastic straws at a party. The inks are soy based and food safe, the paper is biodegradable and coated with beeswax.

Vegware PLA Straws

vegware-straws

How about a bioplastic alternative?  Vegware PLA Straws are made from corn that would otherwise go to waste. Its proper name is polylactic acid (PLA) and it’s used by Vegware to manufacture drinking straws, as well as other utensils and coffee cups. While plastic straws take between 100 and 1,000 years to break down in landfill, conventional enzyme action is enough to decompose PLA straws in under 12 weeks, so they can go in your bin with the rest of your food waste.

 

In summary

The results of our survey show that whilst the majority of children feel okay about not using straws at all, there’s still a desire for straws, and hence a need for alternatives to plastic straws. Whether it’s as a treat in a special drink or because of less frivolous reasons such as age or health, there is a demand for a way to drink a drink without having to lift or touch the cup or glass.

The good news is that far fewer straws are needed in the first place, because the vast majority of children wouldn’t request a straw if their drink didn’t have one. That means savings for cafés and restaurants and more importantly, savings for the environment.

Paper straws might make the most sense in cafés because they’re cheap and hygienic. Restaurants and bars might go for more durable straws such as glass or metal, depending on their budgets and style preference. Silicone, bamboo, metal and paper straws are ideal for home use, birthday parties and people who want to take them out and about as an alternative to plastic straws.

Thank you to everyone who answered the questions in our survey. We’re off to add some eco-friendly straws to our shopping list – slurp!

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Evening Standard Last Straw campaign

What do your kids think, straw or no straw?

The London Evening Standard are running a campaign called #LastStraw to get cafes, coffee shops, restaurants and bars to stop using plastic straws. We’d like to know what Whizz Pop Bang kids think about straws – replace them, or just get rid of them?

We’ll be sending the results of this poll to The Evening Standard, so please ask your kids to for their opinions – we’re aiming for over 1,000 responses so let’s get started! Quick click to answer the main question below, or click here to answer three more questions about straws 🍹

#CitizenScience #LastStraw #askthekids

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Whizz Pop Bang logo round

Plastic wrap – finding a solution

Thank you to all our concerned subscribers who have been in touch about the use of plastic wrap to package Whizz Pop Bang magazines.

Whilst plastic wrap has lots of advantages – it keeps the magazines dry, is lightweight and affordable and protects the magazines from the rigours of the postal system, we’re very aware that it’s not an eco-friendly solution. Although plastic wrap can be recycled along with plastic bags, that’s becoming harder to do since a lot of supermarkets have now sadly removed their plastic bag recycling facilities.

The team at Whizz Pop Bang are actively seeking a more environmentally friendly alternative, but sadly this is not as straightforward as it ought to be. We have to consider the logistics – the added weight and bulk of envelopes and therefore the extra fuel used to transport them. We also have to consider the chemicals used in production of any material, as well as the extra cost implications (we don’t charge for postage and packing, which helps to make the price of a subscription affordable).

This issue is a real concern and we’ll let our subscribers know as soon as we’ve found an eco-friendly solution. In the meantime, please recycle your plastic wrap or repurpose it as best you can. To find your nearest plastic wrap recycling point, use this online tool: https://www.recyclenow.com/local-recycling

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January’s book competition

The DNA Detectives: Catch a Thief

 

This month we have a slightly different book competition for kids to enter, to help launch a brand new storybook ‘The DNA Detectives: To Catch a Thief’ written by Dr Mandy Hartley. Whilst there are lots of excellent reviews for this book, they are written by parents and Mandy would love to hear what children think too. If your child loves reading and would like to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of The DNA Detectives: To Catch a Thief enter this competition by simply writing the words “me please” in the comment box below.

Dr Hartley is a new author and is looking for children to review her fun story all about a pet thief and the kids who try to find out who has stolen the missing dogs…

When Annabelle and Harry’s beloved pet dog Milly goes missing they believe the local pet thief has struck again. They have a list of suspects and plenty of evidence but how can they prove who the thief is? Their mum works as a DNA scientist and has a laboratory in the garden. The children realise they can become “DNA Detectives” and secretly use the laboratory to analyse the evidence just like real life forensic scientists. Join them on their thrilling journey where they collect clues, analyse evidence and learn about DNA to solve this case and bring Milly home safely.

“I create stories and communicate them to children in a multi-sensory way including elements to stimulate listening, smell, taste, sight and sounds as well as their as their imagination! Where possible I include scientific experiments in my stories finding entertaining ways to explain difficult scientific concepts such as natural selection, inheritance and evolution to children.”

Dr Mandy Hartley

https://www.thelittlestorytellingcompany.co.uk/the-dna-detectives-to-catch-a-thief 

DNA Detectives book reviews

Dr Mandy Hartley and two of the reviews written by parents on Amazon

This competition to win a signed copy of The DNA Detectives to review is open until midnight on 1st February. Only open to UK residents.

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Whizz Pop Bang logo round

Introducing Mr and Mrs Marie Kiwi!

 

Whizz Pop Bang mini scientist Camille

How adorable is this little scientist with her super cute Mr and Mrs Marie Kiwi, complete with phosphorescent test tube! 😁

“Hello, your piece on Marie Curie in Issue 27 inspired our daughter Camille, 7, to create an edible homage for a school assignment to dress up fruit and vegetables. The test tube is made from phosphorescent silicone putty.
Thanks for a fantastic magazine, and keep up the good work.”
Alan Irving

Sensational scientist Marie Curie was featured in SKELETONS (issue 27) of Whizz Pop Bang, click here to buy this magazine from our online shop for just £3.75 inc. postage.

Issue 27 Marie Curie spread

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Whizz Pop Bang logo round

Article on independent children’s magazines in The i Paper

Great article in The i Paper yesterday about the rise of independent children’s magazines, with a lovely write-up for Whizz Pop Bang, Dot, Scoop and Anorak 😊

It’s so good to see we all have a common goal; to let kids be kids and to learn about the world through reading, play and of course experimenting! Yes there’s a place for screens, but it’s important to get a healthy balance and we’re proud to say we’re providing that for children and their families around the world.

If you’d like to subscribe to Whizz Pop Bang for a Christmas present you’ve still got time! Order by midnight on Sunday 17th December: whizzpopbang.com/xmas

Whizz Pop Bang in The i Paper

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Christmas Gakk open on christmas day small

The big red envelope has arrived! And who’s most excited…?

Whizz Pop Bang reader with his big red Christmas envelope

The big red Christmas envelope has arrived!

“I decided to get Oliver a subscription to @whizzpopbangmag for Christmas. It arrived today packed in this lovely festive red envelope, it was addressed to him and even had a little note saying ‘Open on Christmas Day!’. Oliver is really excited to find out what it is. He loved the fact it was addressed to him personally. I am really excited for him to open it on Christmas Day and when he realises next here will be an issue being delivered EVERY MONTH • I am hoping this will inspire us to spend some time together reading and doing science stuff. I have always wanted to get magazine subscriptions for Christmas and I am really glad I have this year. I’ve also got the younger boys one too • Have you ever got a subscription for someone? Is it something you would consider? Also, this is cheaper (even with delivery) than buying the magazines from the local shop and the bonus is no plastic tat stuck on the front.” Cherie Lewis-Quinn

This independent review was posted on Instagram by @mymamamusings

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WIN Optical Illusions book 2!

Optical illusions 2 single book

Love science books? We do too! And we love helping kids to learn all about science, which is why we’re giving our readers the chance to win brand new, hot-off-the-press science books, cool hey?! We have TEN copies of OPTICAL ILLUSIONS 2 to give away!! To enter simply answer this question:

Q. Optical illusions are tricks of the what?

  1. Nose and mouth
  2. Eyes and brain
  3. Hands and feet

Write your answer in the comment box before midnight GMT on 10th January 2018. Good luck! Winners will be notified by email after 10th January 2018. Only open to UK residents.

Optical illusions 2 competition blog

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Royal Institution logo

Royal Institution Christmas lectures 2017

CHRISTMAS LECTURES 2017: The language of life

Later this month the amazing Professor Sophie Scott will deliver the 2017 CHRISTMAS LECTURES from the Royal Institution. Sophie’s a neuroscientist, stand-up comedian and an expert in laughter!  She’ll be unpacking all the amazing ways in which humans and animals communicate, and to celebrate we’re taking a peek at the most famous talking animals…

You can watch The Royal Institution Christmas lectures on BBC Four at 8.00pm on 26th, 27th and 28th December.

Royal Institute Christmas lectures Animal communicators

Royal Institute Christmas lectures famous animal communicators

 

Watch The Royal Institution Christmas lectures on BBC Four at 8.00pm on 26th, 27th and 28th December – let us know what you learnt from Sophie!

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