science

Showing 401 posts tagged science

From PBS’ Adventures in Learning, Jennifer Cooper hosts an Electric Dough playdate to make and test circuits. For this project, developed by engineering educator AnnMarie Thomas, you’ll need homemade conductive play dough and insulating play dough, a battery pack, batteries (we highly recommend these rechargeables), and light emitting diodes/LEDS. Click here for the how-to details.

Related hands-on projects: LED Origami and Sick Science! Build a Lightbulb. Bonus: Circuit Playground’s A is for Ampere.

We just tried this super easy Reversing Arrow Illusion, and it is, in fact, super easy. Draw two left-pointing arrows on a piece of paper and then put a clear, empty glass between you and those arrows. When you pour water into the glass, you’ll see something that you might not expect. How exactly did that happen? From Physics Central

No, you aren’t going crazy and you haven’t found yourself with Alice in Wonderland staring at arrows pointing in opposite directions.  In fact, you have just demonstrated a physics concept called refraction, the bending of light.

When the arrow is moved to a particular distance behind the glass, it looks like it reversed itself. When light passes from one material to another, it can bend or refract. In the experiment that you just completed, light traveled from the air, through the glass, through the water, through the back of the glass, and then back through the air, before hitting the arrow. Anytime that light passes from one medium, or material, into another, it refracts.

Just because light bends when it travels through different materials, doesn’t explain why the arrow reverses itself.  To explain this, you must think about the glass of water as if it is a magnifying glass. When light goes through a magnifying glass the light bends toward the center. Where the light all comes together is called the focal point, but beyond the focal point the image appears to reverse because the light rays that were bent pass each other and the light that was on the right side is now on the left and the left on the right, which makes the arrow appear to be reversed.

Related mind-benders: the amazing T-Rex illusiona basic demonstration of optical cloaking, and from ASAPscience, Can you trust your eyes?

via The Awesomer.

From the team at Kurzgesagt, let’s explore what we know about The Beginning of Everything — The Big Bang:

Has the universe a beginning or was it here since forever? Well, evidence suggests that there was indeed a starting point to this universe we are part of right now. But how can this be? How can something come from nothing? And what about time? We don’t have all the answers yet so let’s talk about what we know. 

Previously on this site: Take a trip through The Solar System — our home in space, plus more about The Big Bang, including Carl Sagan’s cosmic calendar and the last five minutes of How the Universe Works: Extreme Stars.

Thanks, Philipp.

Using 360-degree cameras to document the landscape and polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, teams at Google Maps, Earth Outreach, and Polar Bears International have made it possible for us to explore life on the tundra. This is behind the scenes of the Polar Bear Capital of the World:

This quiet town, set on the shores of western Hudson Bay, is a place where polar bears and humans coexist until the sea ice forms and the polar bears can travel on to the bay to hunt seals, their main prey.

During the warmer months, the polar bears are forced ashore by melting ice. While climate change may seem like a gradual process, often difficult to discern, the impact is real and evident in the polar bear capital. In Churchill, climate change has shortened the time that the bay remains frozen, reducing the polar bears’ hunting season by approximately four weeks…

In addition to this documentation, the team aims to educate about the polar bears’ quickly-changing habitat, and to inspire our reduction of carbon emissionsthe largest man-made contributor to warming the planet.

To learn more, check out these ways to reduce your carbon footprint. And then search for polar bears in Churchill.

In the archives: watch more polar bear stories, more conservation, and another video about how technology helps us understand our changing world: the Catlin Seaview Survey of the Great Barrier Reef.

via Inhabitat.

This information-packed video from It’s Okay to Be Smart explains How The Elements Got Their Names in rhyme! It’s a great introduction for looking further into the periodic table’s rich history and etymology, from Actinium (Greek for “ray”) to Zirconium (Persian “zargun” or “gold-colored”).

For a deeper dive, definitely get Theodore Gray’s kid (and adult) friendly book The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, and watch Gray introduce his massive collection in this video.

More: They Might Be Giants’ Meet the Elements and Tom Lehrer performs The Elements live — a must for any kid.

Via jtotheizzoe.