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Latest Post: Creative science ideas for your classroom

The video below has a 'Slime' recipe you can make in class with PVA glue and a Borax and water solution. You can also substitute PVA glue with Guar Gum or another starch. I'd also add some colour to the slime. What's interesting is the addition of iron filings at the end to make the slime magnetic. This provides both a great slime recipe and a means of introducing the use of predicting outcomes with the iron filings. The students can also vary the amount of iron filings and measure the different levels of magnetism. And it's fun!

See How to Make Magnetic Slime Video


Post: Poetry in Motion

With a belly full of mudflat crabs and a side serving of ants, the bar-tailed Godwit can fly 11,000 kms in nine days. It's the longest non-stop animal flight on earth. Australia is lucky enough to have flocks of them land on our shores during winter.

The magic is conveyed in the  Circle exhibition of Jeannie Baker's newest book which is being travelled around the world by Newcastle Museum – exploring the Godwit's magical flight around the world. You should check it out.

Alongside Circle it is  'Poetry in Motion' – a new show by Museum Express about MiniME the Lego man who tries to control the four forces of flight to fly like Akiak (an Inuit name for 'across the sea') the Godwit.

It's a tough gig. Flying is a trial-and-error experiment and MiniME has a lot to learn. To this day, engineers aren't really sure if a newly designed plane will fly as it's supposed to. It's why test pilots get paid so much.

The Poetry in Motion show explores the science of flight with helium balloons, ethanol and little explosions, but the same can be done in classrooms with simpler stuff.

Ballooncopters and rocket-balloons demonstrate the power of lift and thrust, and the ageless science of paper planes was being showcased this Spring with Australia's Biggest Paper Plane Competition held in conjunction with the Science Teachers Association of NSW (STANSW) every year. ABC Splash has a bunch of resources for interested teachers, including tips on making the best-ever-paper-planes.

If you're keen to take flight to the next level, add thrust with a 2L coke bottle and a bike-pump rocket. They provide an explosive base for a massive range of physics/ engineering experiments: optimum angle and water volume, pressure achieved, distance achieved – it's a delectable degustation of concepts to test and measure and explore...

But the STEM feast doesn't stop there – Akiak links with the Australian and BOSTES curriculum across most of the overarching ideas. Patterns of movement across the earth, life-cycles of living things, adaptation to the environment are all themes that are told through the Godwit story.

Once you've finished soaring the curriculum you can always serve up your science with some crunchy ants and boiled crabs – it's the 5 and 9 diet – guaranteed to get your class flying through the term.
Poetry in Motion, right here in Newcastle.

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