dinosaur-tracks-scotland

How does it feel to find a giant dino footprint? We talk to paleontologist Steve Brusatte to find out!

Did you hear about the huge dinosaur footprints discovered on the Scottish coast this week? We ask Steve Brusatte some very important questions about this awesome discovery…

Paleontologist Dr Steve Brusatte at the dinosaur footprint site on the Isle of Skye

Paleontologist Dr Steve Brusatte at the dinosaur footprint site on the Isle of Skye 

We’re lucky to have Steve on the Whizz Pop Bang boffin team (our panel of expert scientists who advise us on the latest scientific developments), so we asked him a few questions about the latest dinosaur print to be discovered on the Isle of Skye.

1. Are there words to describe just how exciting it feels to discover these tracks?

 It was a fantabulotastic feeling. I think that’s the best way I can try to put it into words! Because the moment of discovery is magical. When you find something that no human has ever seen before, something from hundreds of millions of years ago. It was actually one of my students who discovered these tracks. Davide Foffa is his name; he’s a PhD student, from Italy. I was very proud that my student found something so amazing!
davide foffa at footprint site

Davide Foffa, one of my students who actually discovered these tracks

2. Do you have a special dino discovery high five with your team?!
No! Although maybe I should invent one. Any ideas?
3.  If people want to go and visit the Isle of Skye can they see the foot print? Can they put their own foot inside the print?
Yes they can, although the tracks are located at a protected site, so they can’t be tampered with. If you go and see them, be careful not to damage them. They’ve lasted for 170 million years and we want them to last for a long time more. It is an amazing thing to put your foot inside a dinosaur track. It gives you a sense of just how big these dinosaurs were! The biggest tracks are 70 centimeters across, so about the size of a car tyre!

Want to know more about discovering dinosaurs? Order the Fossil Frenzy issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine and read all about how to find a dinosaur with Steve Brusatte! Visit our online shop to buy this issue for just £3.75 (free UK postage).

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids Fossil Frenzy cover
Whizz Pop Bang science magazine Issue 14 dinosaur hunting with paleontologist Steve Brusatte

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine issue 14: Fossil Frenzy

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Whizz POp Bang science magazine for kids edible poo_5

Blurghhh it’s edible poo!

We’ve been inundated with your photos of edible poo!!!! The PLOP-TASTIC poo issue has been the most popular issue of Whizz Pop Bang, proving (as if any parent or teacher needed proof) that kids really do love talking about poo!

WARNING! DO NOT look at these photos whilst eating, or if you’re easily offended by the sight of very realistic poo on a plate…

Intrigued about the ingredients for edible poo? Buy the PLOP-TASTIC poo issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine from our back issues shop and let the poo-themed fun begin!

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine poo issue

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Michael Rosen

Celebrating World Poetry Day 2018 with Michael Rosen’s science poems!

‘Some Thoughts about Eggs: Changes 3’ from ‘Centrally Heated Knickers’ by Michael Rosen (©Michael Rosen, 2000)

‘Some Thoughts about Eggs: Changes 3’ from ‘Centrally Heated Knickers’ by Michael Rosen (©Michael Rosen, 2000)

What is World Poetry Day?

World Poetry Day is a time to appreciate and support poets and poetry around the world. It is held on March 21 each year and is an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Many people around the world celebrate World Poetry Day on or around March 21 each year. Government agencies, educators, community groups and individuals get involved in promoting or participating in the day. World Poetry Day is an opportunity for children to be introduced to poetry in classrooms. It is a time when classrooms are busy with lessons related to poetry, in which students examine poets and learn about different types of poetry.

Who is Michael Rosen?

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen is a poet, a very funny poet who has been writing poems about all sorts of things for as long as we can remember (that’s at least 35 years!). His poems are really quirky, always amusing and particularly good at taking a sideways look at everyday things in life. This poem about eggs is taken from ‘Centrally Heated Knickers’ a book of poems about science and technology. You can follow Michael on Twitter and find out what he’s up to. He does school visits too!

Centrally heated knickers by Michael Rosen

Discover the weird and wonderful world of martians, woolly saucepans and centrally heated knickers in 100 poems about science and technology from the delightfully irreverent, Michael Rosen.

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Stephen Hawking celebrates 50th year as Cambridge fellow

Stephen Hawking: a super scientist, spaceman and a Dad

Stephen Hawking floating in a zero-gravity jet undertaking parabolic dips to simulate space conditions over the Atlantic.

Stephen Hawking floating in a zero-gravity jet undertaking parabolic dips to simulate space conditions over the Atlantic

Who was Stephen Hawking, and why was he famous? As budding scientists themselves, your children are bound to ask questions about the man in the wheelchair with the strange voice. And rightly so, for this is a man to be talked about and remembered for so many ground-breaking discoveries in science.

On the way to school yesterday morning, as we heard the news of Stephen Hawking’s death, my children asked why he died. This is a perfectly reasonable question, and one I answered with suggestions as I didn’t know exactly why he had died. We listened to the news reader and tried to make sense of a man who defied the doctors’ words and went on to live for an ‘extra’ 53 years.

“Although there was a cloud hanging over my future, I found, to my surprise, that I was enjoying life in the present more than before. I began to make progress with my research,” Stephen said.

 

“My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”

 

Alok Jha explains why black holes are doomed to shrink into nothingness then explode with the energy of a million nuclear bombs, and rewinds to the big bang and the origin of the universe. From The Guardian.

A brief timeline of Stephen’s life and career

  • Stephen Hawking is a British theoretical physicist, he was born on January the 8th, 1942.
  • Hawking has made many important contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity. He is also well known for his bestselling book ‘A Brief History of Time’.
  • Helped by the success of his book ‘A Brief History of Time’, Hawking has released other books aimed at making his work accessible to a wide range of people, these include ‘The Universe in a Nutshell’, ‘A Briefer History of Time’ and ‘George’s Secret Key to the Universe’, a children’s book with a strong focus on science.
  • Hawking has worked extensively on the subject of black holes, providing theories for their behaviour, including the idea that they emit radiation.
  • Hawking suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a type of motor neuron disease that has left him almost completely paralysed.
  • Some of the awards Hawking has received for his work include the 1979 Albert Einstein Medal, the Order of the British Empire (Commander) in 1982 and the 1988 Wolf Prize in Physics.

Famous Stephen Hawking quotes include:

  • “There ought to be something very special about the boundary conditions of the universe and what can be more special than that there is no boundary?”
  • “I don’t believe that the ultimate theory will come by steady work along existing lines. We need something new. We can’t predict what that will be or when we will find it because if we knew that, we would have found it already!”
  • “For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen.”
  • “It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven’t done badly. People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”
  • “I don’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I’m an optimist. We will reach out to the stars.”

What was it like having Stephen Hawking as your Dad?

Lucy Hawking describes the moment her famous scientist father, Doctor Stephen Hawking, was asked by a child – what happens if you fall into a black hole?

“As a child you could ask any question you wanted – and get a reply,” she said.

Lucy Hawking talking about her father Stephen Hawking

Lucy Hawking talking about her father Stephen Hawking, and where the idea for a children’s story book originated from

One of the many books written by Lucy and Stephen Hawking:

George’s pet pig breaks through the fence into the garden next door – introducing him to his new neighbours: the scientist, Eric, his daughter, Annie, and a super-intelligent computer called Cosmos. And from that moment George’s life will never be the same again, for Cosmos can open a portal to any point in outer space . . .

Written by science educator Lucy Hawking and her father – the most famous scientist in the world – and illustrated by Garry Parsons, George’s Secret Key to the Universe will take you on a rollercoaster ride through space to discover the mysteries of our universe.

Stephen Hawking quotes your kids will like…

On the universe: “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.”

 On persistence: “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” – at an Oxford University Union speech in 2016.

On curiosity: “So remember, look at the stars and not at your feet.” – at the Sydney Opera House in 2015.

 On space: “May you keep flying like superman in microgravity.” – to NASA astronauts in 2014.

Stephen Hawking celebrates 50th year as Cambridge fellow

Photo credit: Dan White/Gonville & Caius/PA Wire

 

 

‘Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.’ Stephen Hawking’s words are an inspiration to us all regardless of our age, abilities or dreams.

Stephen Hawking, 1942- 2018

 

 

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British Science Week 2018

How to celebrate British Science Week 2018!

British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for kids, families and schools everywhere. Get inspired and join millions of mini scientists experimenting and having fun learning about the awesome world of science.

This year British Science week is 9th to 18th March, so it’s time to get organized with your science activities!

We’ve got loads of ideas to bring science week to life in your school, so let’s get started. You will need your Whizz Pop Bang magazines (not a subscriber? Order back issues here at £3.75 per mag including delivery) and access to a colour photocopier.

Whizz Pop Bang scrapbook

Whizz Pop Bang share homework sheet

This idea came from primary science teachers Kathryn Horan and Toby Tyler. Every week a couple of the children in the class take home a Whizz Pop Bang magazine to share with their families.

For this you will need a scrapbook and a plastic wallet for each magazine. Prepare an instruction sheet to go with each one:

Welcome to our Whizz Pop Bang scrapbook!

There are no specific rules about what you should do with the magazine, you could…

  • Write about what you found particularly interesting
  • Draw or stick in photos of any experiments you did
  • Write in any additional research you have done
  • Write a review of the magazine
  • Read it together with older or younger siblings
  • Try out some of the experiments
  • Enter any competitions
  • Tweet what you have done to the magazine’s Twitter account, @whizzpopbangmag
  • Write and send a letter in to the letters page
  • Carry out some more research around the topics in the magazines

Whatever you do, we’d love to hear about it at school, so be sure to let us know or add something into the scrapbook. Have fun!

 

Inspirational scientists posters

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids Ibn al Haytham

Cover the classroom in posters of inspirational, sensational scientists! In every issue of Whizz Pop Bang there’s a double-page spread focusing on famous scientists who made history with their discoveries and inventions. Photocopy the spreads and pin up to inspire your pupils!

 

Interview with a real scientist…

Whizz Pop Bang interview with a nanotechnologist

Find out what real scientists do in their everyday jobs on our interview pages. We’ve interviewed over 30 scientists ready to inspire girls and boys to be our scientists of the future! To buy a back issue visit our back issues shop.

Issue 1: Becky Smith, Chocolate scientist

Issue 2: Karen Ladenheim, Robotics scientist, Stanford University

Issue 3: Lynn Whitfield, Bat ecologist

Issue 4: Dr Steve Brusatte, Palaeontologist, Edinburgh University

Issue 5: Rob Lambert, Antarctic explorer and polar scientist

Issue 6: Tim Peake, Astronaut

Issue 7: Susan Cheyne, Conservation biologist (orangutans)

Issue 8: Misha Lotto, young scientist, Blackawton Bees Project

Issue 9: Josie Campbell, Vet

Issue 10: Shane Cronin, Volcanologist (New Zealand)

Issue 11: Jennifer Andon, Entomologist

Issue 12: Dr Maddalena Bearsi, Marine biologist

Issue 13: Prof Robert Winston, Medical scientist, Imperial College

Issue 14: Sarah Shelley, Fossil hunter

Issue 15: Helen Czerski, Bubble scientist

Issue 16: Abbie Hutty, Mars Rover engineer

Issue 17: Lara Aknin, Psychology professor (gift-giving)

Issue 18: Emma Burke, Penguin aquarist

Issue 19: Ian Gilby, Primatologist, Tanzania

Issue 20: Caoimhe Doyle, Foley Artist, sound effect engineer

Issue 21: Amy Dejong, Food scientist, University of Wisconsin

Issue 22: Payton Barnwell, Nanotechnologist, Florida Polytechnic Uni

Issue 23: Dave Goulson, Bumblebee biologist

Issue 24: Huw James, Science adventurer

Issue 25: Alex Hildred, Maritime archaeologist

Issue 26: Cierra Martin, Seed guardian

Issue 27: Toby Gemmill, Orthopaedic vet

Issue 28: Dr Sheyna, Martian (sort of)

Issue 29: Richard Stammers, Visual effects artist

Issue 30: Andres Ruzo, Geothermal Scientist

Issue 31: Lisa Elser, Gem cutter

To buy a back issue (for just £3.75 inc delivery) visit our back issues shop.

10 Awesomely Amazing…

Whizz Pop Bang 10 Awesomely Amazing Unusual Harvests

Every issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine looks at 10 awesomely amazing things on that month’s topic. Looking at engineering as part of the year of engineering? Take a look at ENGINEERING EXTRAVAGANZA (issue 16) with 10 Awesomely Amazing bizarre buildings, including a toilet-shaped building in Korea! Studying the human body? Check out SPECTACULAR SKELETONS (issue 27) and the 10 Awesomely Amazing bionic body parts, from 3D printed prosthetic hands to ancient Egyptian artificial toes. Is your topic plants this term? Kids love reading about the 10 Awesomely Amazing harvests from around the world in our SUPER SEEDS (issue 26), did you know there are chillies that melt latex gloves?

 

Quiz Pop Bang

Whizz Pop Bang science quiz

All Whizz Pop Bang magazines are packed full of science puzzles and a quiz to test your pupil’s science knowledge. There are also word searches, jokes, riddles and brain teasers for every age and ability. Turn wet play into a festival of science fun and games!

Experiments!

There are hundreds of simple hands-on science experiments and activities in Whizz Pop Bang magazine, and for each one we outline what you need, what to do, and you will find making it ideal for primary school teachers who may not have a science background. Perfect for curious kids and teachers looking for simple science ideas! Check out our bulk discounts for schools here and celebrate British Science Week 2018 with a Whizz, Pop and a Bang!

 

GSS-logo-final-04

What is The Great Science Share?

Following on from British Science Week there are several events going on around the UK. Use these ideas for your Great Science Share; a national campaign to engage young people in sharing science with new audiences. 

PIONEERED IN MANCHESTER – MAKING A DIFFERENCE UK-WIDE

You can get involved as a School, STEM Educator, STEM Organisation and Business.

Features include:

The Great Science Teachmeet

The Business of Science Conference

The Great Science Share for Schools Campaign

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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 this icon

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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StarFinder for Beginners jacket

Star Finder book winners

Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE with Star finder for beginners book

In conjunction with our Planetary Adventures edition (issue 28) we ran a competition to win Star Finder for Beginners, signed by Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE! Maggie is a presenter on BBC Four show Sky at Night, and is passionate about inspiring kids, especially girls, into science.

To enter the competition Whizz Pop Bang readers answered the following question:

What are stars made of?

A) Hot gas

B) Shiny aliens

c) Sparling Moon dust

The correct answer is of course hot gas! Well done to everyone who entered 🌟

Here our the five winners, who will each receive a signed copy of Star Finder for Beginners. Happy star-gazing! Thank you to DK Books for supplying the prizes, and asking Maggie to sign them for our lucky mini scientists.

  1. Isla Mackwell
  2. Benjamin Porter
  3. Thomas Perry
  4. Clair Saunders
  5. Danielle Vipond

We’ve also got some top tips from Maggie for star-gazing, including using a red torch if you need light as this has less effect on your eyes as they get used to the dark.

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Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids day of the dead skulls

The Whizz Pop Bang Halloween issue is out!

SPECTACULAR SKELETONS

The brilliant science of bones. Did you know that, weight for weight, bone is stronger than steel? Yes, your skeleton is made up of some spookily awesome stuff! Get stuck straight into the bare bones of this issue by crafting a scary skull mask, experimenting with some brilliant bendy bones and building your own model skeleton.

Buy this issue here and get crafting some seriously spooky stuff ready for Halloween ?

Activities included in this issue: make a ball and socket joint, bend a real bone, make a bendy back bone, make a moveable skeleton, craft an x-ray machine and make a Halloween skull mask. Loads of awesome science fun for kids!

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