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Why is the sky blue? Weather science

By |2017-08-20T23:42:12+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

Blue sky with cirrus clouds This is an easy question to ask but the answer is pretty hard. The light that comes from the Sun to Earth looks white, but really it is made up of all different colors of light mixed together. You can see this by using a glass of water or a glass prism to break up [...]

How old is the Earth? – Astronomy

By |2018-05-31T11:49:20+00:00August 18th, 2017|Physics|

Earth from space Like Mercury and Venus and the other planets that go around the Sun, the Earth probably formed a little more than four and a half billion years ago. (That's about 4,600,000,000 years ago.) Like the other planets, Earth is made of molecules that were floating around in space. They made a nebula cloud of dust that was the leftovers when our [...]

What makes sound? Simple physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:26+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Playing a French horn makes sounds because you blow into it and that moves the air Like light, sound travels through the air in waves, but unlike light, sound is not made of lots of tiny particles. When something makes a sound, like you clapping your hands, it's because when you clapped your hands that shook the [...]

European science in the 1800s

By |2018-04-16T10:32:30+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

European boys at school in the 1800s In the first half of the 1800s AD, countries in northern Europe like France and Britain forced India, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, and other countries to give them food. That meant that many people in northern Europe could stop farming and get an education. Families sent more boys to school than girls, so most of the educated people were [...]

What is a hexagon? Simple geometry

By |2017-07-29T09:51:25+00:00July 29th, 2017|Math|

This is a hexagon. See, it has six sides. A hexagon is a flat shape, all in one plane, with six sides all of equal length. Each of the six angles measures 120 degrees, so the total interior angles of a hexagon measure 720 degrees (120 multiplied by 6). The hexagon can be cut into six equilateral [...]

What is plastic? Organic chemistry

By |2018-04-08T11:21:49+00:00June 2nd, 2017|History|

Plastic water bottles There are thousands of different kinds of plastic, from shopping bags to Fisher-Price toys to photographic film, CD's, and plumbing pipes. Some plastics, like chewing gum or rubber, grow as part of plants, but people make most of the different kinds of plastic. We call them "plastics" because they are [...]

What are amino acids? Organic chemistry

By |2017-06-02T23:31:28+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Biology, Chemistry|

A model of the amino acid molecule glycine (red is oxygen, black is carbon, yellow is hydrogen, and blue is nitrogen atoms) Amino acids are molecules made out of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen atoms (and a little sulphur). The earliest amino acids formed in space, about 14 billion years ago, before our solar [...]

What is water made of? Molecules and chemistry

By |2017-06-02T18:02:44+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

A big ocean wave The first molecules of water formed out in space, about 14 billion years ago, as part of the nebula left over after an early star exploded in a supernova. There were a lot of hydrogen and oxygen atoms floating around in these nebulae, and when they stuck together that [...]

Molecules – Simple science – Chemistry

By |2018-04-24T14:46:24+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Protein molecules - each dot is one molecule. What is a molecule? A molecule is a group of two or more atoms that stick together. Molecules (MOLL-uh-cyools) are so small that nobody can see them, except with an electron microscope. Pretty much everything on Earth and other planets is made of molecules, and [...]