Whizz Pop Bang Seaside Special.

  • IMG_9046This month’s Whizz Pop Bang subject is one very dear to our hearts – the seaside!!  It has articles in it from creatures of the deep, to an interview with a marine biologist (looks like something I’d like to be doing!), being at the beach by a geologist and sand expert, and a feature on octopuses.  We have had a lot of fun doing the experiments today, but have saved the larger challenge of building a water powered boat for another day.


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Whilst on the beach this morning we tried panning the sand….not really that optimistic we’d find gold!!  We put sand into a little dinosaur sand mould, added a little water and gently swirled.  They were surprised how easily the heavier items/grains separated out from the smaller ones, and it was a very effective little experiment.

The first experiment we did when we returned home, was to place a selection of nuts and seeds into jam jars, and then shake them all up.  All three predicted that the little items would move to the top and were proved wrong by the larger nuts moving to the top and the smaller seeds to the bottom.  They learnt that this is called the “brazil nut effect” and is still not yet fully understood.  There is a little in the magazine about shape shifting of sand and the patterns and formations that are present.  Living next to a shingle beach, this is not something my three come across often.  So, they were able to see the effects of water movement on sand by the sand ripple experiment.  A glass of water was stood in the centre of a bowl which had a little sand and water in.  They then stirred a spoon round making asymmetrical ripple marks in the sand.  They loved the patterns they were making.  The gang was also taken aback at how strong sand was.  We filled a kitchen roll (blocked at the end) with sand, and then tried to push a wooden spoon handle to the bottom.  They couldn’t do it.  The experiment illustrated the grains of sand pushing outwards and locking themselves together.

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The final task we did was to make the ocean in a bottle.  We filled half a bottle with water containing blue food colouring.  We next added some sand, along with some small shells of various types and shapes we had collected that morning.  Then in went some mini plastic fish and starfish, and then the bottle was filled to the top with baby oil.  The children then had to tip the bottle back and forth watching the motion of the ocean 🙂  They all loved this and have kept their mini oceans.

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