Science – DNA

In January we had a special science lesson with a DNA expert.  She explained all about DNA, how many there are, where it is, what it looks like and how big it is (it’s tiny).

We then did a DNA extraction experiment. We were extracting DNA from a banana. Firstly we had to peel, chop and crush the banana.

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We then added some warm water and mushed the banana some more.

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We then filtered it into a beaker so we just had the liquid.

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When we had just the liquid, the lady added some pure alcohol to it.  This caused the DNA strands to separate from the liquid.

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The DNA strands floated on the top of the liquid.

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They separated instantly from the liquid once the alcohol was added.

This lesson was lots of fun.

Making Big Bubbles

While we were in Wales, we bought some big bubbles but we decided to see if we could make own mixture for when we ran out.

We found a recipe on a website called Steph’s two girls and decided to see if it would work for us.

This is the recipe we used.

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 a cup of cornflour
  • 1/2 a cup of washing up liquid
  • 1 tbsp. of glycerine
  • 1 tbsp. of baking powder

First we put 6 cups of water in a big bowl.

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Then we added cornflour  and stirred it well.

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Next we added baking powder, glycerine and washing up liquid.

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Then we stirred it gently and our spoons got caught together which made us giggle . 🙂

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While we left it for a hour to settle we used straws and string to make another big bubble blower. We slid the string through the straws.

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Then we pulled funny faces through the big bubble blower.

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We had fun, we managed to blow bubbles in all shapes and sizes.

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We made BIG BUBBLES which was fun.

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Some of our bubbles just floated about.

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WE LOVED IT!

Human Body – Our Insides

After completing our skeleton we next decided to do our insides, so Elsa drew around Anna (the keeping still part was pretty difficult) 🙂

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We had already ordered some information from the British Heart Foundation, which was brilliant and free (donation if you choose).

We discussed the different organs and what they did, then I asked the girls to put the internal organs where they thought they went.

Anna’s attempt was not bad, but I guess having your brain in your neck could cause a problem and maybe having the oesophagus that way round might make it difficult to eat. 🙂  Elsa’s was near on perfect with the placing of them, not the order though.  Well done girls.

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Next we drew the organs onto the life size drawing of Anna, which the girls had fun doing.

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We discussed the large and small intestines in a bit more in depth.  To give perspective, we measured out the actual lengths of them with wool.  The small intestine is 4 times as long as you are tall, and the large intestine is as long as you are tall,  The girls found it fascinating trying to fit it all in the little space in the body.  As you can see we did it perfectly 😉  We also watched a short video which shows the route of the digestive system, which was funny.

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Next job was talking more about the heart and what job it does (very important if you didn’t know) 😉 We did an experiment involving pulse rates, we took resting pulse, then did a minute each of star jumps, running, skipping and dancing to see what happened to our heart rates.  The girls enjoyed doing this and even made me do it.

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We talked about the respiratory system and how that works.  We drew and labelled the parts on our body drawing.

The final part of this topic was a discussion about muscles and tendons.  We talked about how they work in pairs, how many there are, what the tendons are there for and then we made a tendon hand which was fun, then Elsa wrote down what she remembered about what we had learned.

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Our completed drawings look great (and very busy) 🙂

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This has been a very interesting topic and we will come back to it in more depth in the future.

Human Body – Teeth

Our new topic is the human body which we will be starting after the Easter holidays, but as we had been to the dentist this week, I thought it might be a good idea to learn about teeth while the visit was still fresh in the girls minds.

We talked about the number of teeth we had and the girls counted each others teeth while using a torch to look at the different types of teeth.

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We talked about which foods were good for your teeth and which ones weren’t, then I printed off some pages of foods and drew some teeth for the girls to decide which foods should go where. Anna drew a happy tooth and a sad face on her teeth. 🙂

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Elsa designed her foods into sad and happy faces on her teeth. 🙂

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I asked Elsa to create a leaflet to help people to look after their teeth.  She decided to explain what were good and bad things to eat and then described how to brush your teeth properly.  She was really pleased with how it came out (and so was I), clever little thing. 🙂

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We chatted about the various adult teeth and the jobs they did.  Then I asked the girls to colour in the different teeth different colours.  Elsa had to write her own text about the teeth and we discussed the use (or not) of wisdom teeth.

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What an interesting start our Human Body topic. 🙂

 

Science – PH Indicators

For Christmas, one of the fantastic presents Elsa received was a kitchen chemistry set.  She has been nagging me to try it so this week we did the first experiment which was using a natural indicator to find out whether liquids and powders are acid, alkaline or neutral.

Firstly, to make the natural indicator we had to cut and boil up some red cabbage.  We strained it to keep the juice and left it to cool.

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Next, while that was cooling we discussed what we would like to test.  Then she wrote a chart which listed them, included a ‘my guess’ column and a results column.  We chatted about the principles of acids and alkalis so she was able to make a more educated guess.

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After collecting Anna from nursery, we started our tests.  Firstly the girls had to put a bit of the cabbage juice in some test tubes (indicator) and to each tube they added some of the item they wanted to test.

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Results

Vinegar

After adding a few drops of the vinegar to the tube the indicator went immediately pink.  This was a good one to start because the result was so quick and obvious, the girls got excited.

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Water

Anna added water to another tube of the indicator and it stayed purple, which meant it was a neutral liquid.

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Lemon Juice

A few drops of lemon juice to the indicator and it went pink.

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Results of the tubes in order vinegar, water then lemon juice.

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Dishwasher liquid

Adding a few drops of the dishwasher liquid and it went bright pink.

Hand Soap

Adding a bit of hand soap to the cabbage water and it went dark pink.

Baking Powder

Not only did adding baking powder to the indicator cause it to stay purple, it fizzed over the top which caused a few giggles.

In order of results – dishwasher liquid, hand soap and baking powder.

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Salt

Elsa added some salt to the indicator and it stayed purple,

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Sugar

Anna added some sugar to it and it also stayed purple.

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Flour

Adding flour to it changed the colour to light purple but still it stayed purple.

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Final three results salt, sugar and flour.

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We all enjoyed doing this even if we didn’t guess so well at the results. 🙂

Space Agent – Build a Rocket

The final mission and Elsa has been looking forward to this one the most 🙂

For the final time, we watched Jon’s introduction video. Apparently Little Jon is doing a secret mission.

Science

How does gravity work on earth?

We watched some videos about Isaac Newton, forces and gravity.  Then did an experiment using a jar and ball to see if we could cause enough pull to keep the ball in the jar.  Elsa wrote what was happening and why and spoke about it as we were doing it and we did a video of it to upload to makewaves.

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Mission 6 Part 1 complete

DT & Maths

This task needed us to design and launch our own rocket.  After looking at various different ways to do it, Elsa decided to use a bottle and make a cone to create hers.

Firstly she made a cone out of card and taped it up using parcel tape, she then taped it to the bottom of her bottle and decorated the whole thing.

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She then put a bit of playdough around the open end as a weight and taped it on.

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Tah Dah, all finished.

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To launch it she was going to use force from the pump and water.

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We used between 100ml and 400ml of water for the launches to see which one would work best.  Our results were the less water used, the higher and further the rocket went.  We uploaded a video to makewaves.

Mission 6 Part 2 complete

English

Write a letter of support to Tim?

Last task of the challenge was to write a letter in letter format, using full stops, commas and a variety of vocabulary to Tim and post it to him for his return.

Elsa wrote a bit about what she had learned and that she had watched the launch and docking of the Soyus rocket on the 15th December and that she thought the docking would be frightening for them all.  She wished him a good mission. 🙂

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Mission 6 Part 3 complete

She uploaded all of her work and was issued with not only the launch rocket badge,

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but she has also qualified as an Agent of UNSA

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This has been a brilliant, interesting project.

Space Cadet – Living in Space

Mission 5 and it’s the penultimate Mission.  This time it was split into Science, Maths and English again.

As always, we watched Jon’s video, this weeks was a little bit sadder as Mini Jon Space Cadet had gone missing.  🙁

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Science

How do we measure a day?

We watched several interesting videos which explained about how the sun affected days and nights on earth.

Elsa and I discussed this and then she drew a picture which showed how this happens and described about the earth revolving on it’s axis affected where it was night and day.

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Mission 5 Part 1 Complete

Maths

How does your day on Earth compare to an astronauts on the ISS?

Elsa know that on the ISS they see a sunrise and sunset every 45 minutes and that they need to sleep to regular time as opposed to following them.

We were given information about what the astronauts do in a 24 hour period and Elsa had to work out her own day, then compare the two. She chose to do a bar chart as it was easier to see the differences.  She then wrote about them on the makewaves website.

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Mission 5 Part 2 Complete

English

How can you support Tim?

To complete this task we were asked to do this is a blog so Elsa created a blog post on this website.

Tim’s Blog

I then tweeted the link to Tim and he ‘liked’ it 🙂

Mission 5 Part 3 Complete

Elsa uploaded all her work to the Makewaves website and has been awarded her badge.

Living in Space

 

Space Cadet – Astro Coding

Week 4, I can’t believe how fast it’s going, and to be honest, this week was the one I was most nervous about, to the point I completed the weeks tasks in case Elsa needed more input from me to help her.

I needn’t have worried, of course, children these days are so competent on computers aren’t they?

As normal, the girls watched the Space Shed video at the beginning of the week 🙂 these are a source of amusement, they just find Jon, so funny, with his biscuits and tea.

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This week instead of being separated into Maths, English and Science, it was all Science and Computing.

Mission 4 Part 1

What is HTML and CSS?

Firstly, Elsa looked at the relevant cards relating to HTML and CSS and then looked at the differences.  She concluded that HTMLputs bits on the page like headers, lists, paragraphs, pictures and links‘ and CSSmakes it look prettier by changing the font, colour, size, position, putting borders on it, and adding background colours‘.

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Next we had to print out a safe webpage (we did our Space Weather page) and she had to decide which parts of it were HTML and which parts of it were CSS.

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Mission 4 Part 2

How can I write with HTML and CSS?

Elsa realised that there are certain codes used to add the various different types of HTML and they all needed < > around them and that to add CSS it needed { } around it.  She wrote it down, but really couldn’t wait to do the next part.

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Mission 4 Part 3

How can I build a webpage for Tim Peake and edit it?

We created a CodePen account as suggested and were given the HTML and CSS to use to create Tim a webpage.  CodePen is great as you can see your edits as you make them which makes little people extremely happy.  First you see a boring black header, then after a bit of CSS you see an orange header in the middle of a blue bordered background.  🙂

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Tim’s Completed Webpage using HTML and CSS

Tim's webpage

After completing Tim’s webpage, Elsa decided that she would like to create an All About Me (her) page, which she thoroughly enjoyed doing as well as she could make it totally girly. 🙂

About Me

Elsa has worked really hard at this task and really enjoyed it.  She has completed it and been awarded with her badge.

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Space Cadet – Fit For Space

Week 3 of the UNSA missions and this week is about food and exercise on the ISS.

Firstly, as usual, it was watching the introduction video with Jon. We always find these funny in our house.

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Science

What would Tim need to eat before doing a spacewalk (EVA – Extra Vehicular Activity)

We looked at the table of food we needed to download and finally (again after a grumble to HE friends about not being able to make a 4000 kcal meal) worked out that you only needed to do an extra meal on top of 2500 kcal day for Tim if he was to do an EVA).

Elsa watched a video of Tim talking about his favourite foods and also a video of Samantha talking about snacks on board too. After watching these she chose a meal that she hoped Tim would like. (Loads of chocolate and tea) :).  She labelled it with the number of calories per item of food.

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Mission 3 Part 1 Complete

Maths

Using the table of food provided, work out how much Tim’s meal would cost:

  • per meal
  • once a week for 6 weeks
  • once a week for 6 months (24 weeks)

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Mission 3 Part 2 Complete

English

Persuade UNSA’s Head Chef to choose your meal.

Elsa had to decide why her meal was better than anyone else’s and to try and persuade the head chef to choose it.  She wrote her own text then did a talk to us about it.

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Elsa work has uploaded her work and she has been awarded with her badge.

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What was nice about after completing this mission, Elsa received an extra badge which was a surprise when she next logged into Makewaves. 🙂

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Space Cadet – Space Weather

Onto mission 2 of the space challenge which is about space weather.

Firstly, we watched Mission 2 introduction video from Jon.  Both girls are enjoying these videos 🙂

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Science

What is space weather?

We decided to do this as a document this time to make a change and to use the PC.  We used the suggested NASA space weather page for the information on this question. We found images to paste into the document and Elsa wrote in her own words about it.

Among other things, we found out:

  • what the sun is made of;
  • what causes the northern lights;
  • what a solar flare is;
  • how the space weather affects the earth and equipment here.

We watched a couple of interesting videos, one to do with the telescopes taking images of the weather in space and a brilliant National Geographic one on Aurora Borealis (northern lights).

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Mission 2 Part 1 Complete

Maths

Sunspots

We talked about what sunspots were and looked at some images online of what they look like. Then we looked at and chatted about the data for the mission.  I discussed with Elsa what she needed to do with it.

  • find the errors in the data.
  • choose 3 facts about the data (highest, lowest, total number over the 10 years she chose).
  • choose 10 years to study and create into a chart.
  • write 2 questions about her data for someone else to answer. 🙂

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Mission 2 Part 2 Complete

English

Present information about space weather and sunspots to your peers (dad).

Elsa decided that the best way to do this, (after a discussion with other HE children doing this challenge), was by creating a PowerPoint presentation.  I asked her to think about what she felt was important to tell him then suggested pictures and bullet points to remind her what to say.  I said that he may have questions to ask her during and after the talk, so she should be sure she had covered as much as she could initially, but I did say I would give her key words to remind her of the information if he asked her something she couldn’t answer.

She created 4 slides and searched for relevant pictures and remembered information from the previous 2 tasks.  When Daddy got back from work she asked him to sit down and started to talk about:

  • what space weather is.
  • how it affects those on earth and on the ISS.
  • what protection is available.
  • how we can predict it.
  • what sunspots are.

Dad asked her a few questions which she was able to answer without my help. 🙂

She did really well.

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Mission 2 Part 3 Complete

Elsa’s work has been uploaded and she has been awarded with her badge.

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