1st Edition

The Really Useful Book of Science Experiments 100 easy ideas for primary school teachers

By Tracy-ann Aston Copyright 2016
    222 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Really Useful Book of Science Experiments contains 100 simple-to-do science experiments that can be confidently carried out by any teacher in a primary school classroom with minimal (or no!) specialist equipment needed.

    The experiments in this book are broken down into easily manageable sections including:

    • It’s alive: experiments that explore our living world, including the human body, plants, ecology and disease
    • A material world: experiments that explore the materials that make up our world and their properties, including metals, acids and alkalis, water and elements
    • Let’s get physical: experiments that explore physics concepts and their applications in our world, including electricity, space, engineering and construction
    • Something a bit different: experiments that explore interesting and unusual science areas, including forensic science, marine biology and volcanology.

    Each experiment is accompanied by a ‘subject knowledge guide’, filling you in on the key science concepts behind the experiment. There are also suggestions for how to adapt each experiment to increase or decrease the challenge.  

    The text does not assume a scientific background, making it incredibly accessible, and links to the new National Curriculum programme of study allow easy connections to be made to relevant learning goals. This book is an essential text for any primary school teacher, training teacher or classroom assistant looking to bring the exciting world of science alive in the classroom.

    Introduction  How to use this book  1.Reaction times: Measure our reaction times  2. Decomposing: Investigate which materials decompose  3. Keeping warm: Which materials are best at keeping us warm?  4. Heart beats: How does our heart rate change when we exercise?  5. Big feet, big hands? The relationship between different parts of our body  6. Taste vs. smell: Using just our sense of taste  7. Catch the ball! The effects of having just one eye instead of two!  8. How sensitive are you? How sensitive is our skin to touch?  9. Time to get sweaty:Investigate how sweat helps us stay cool  10. Food testing: Which foods contain starch and fats?  11. All about yeast: What temperature of water does yeast prefer?  12. What do plants need to grow?  13. What’s growing where? The plants growing round our school  14. Brushing our teeth: What works best?  15. Design a seed! Understanding seed dispersal  16. Find the stomata: Observe the stomata on leaves  17. Chewing food: What effect does it have?  18. Green worms! Investigating camouflage  19. How varied are we? Investigating variation in our class  20. Colourful carnation: Investigating how water travels in plants  21. Moving water: How does water move in and out of vegetables?  22. Bird beaks: Investigating how birds are adapted to eat their food  23. Mouldy bread! What are the best conditions for mould to grow?  24. Germinating seeds: Which surface is best?  25. Fertilisers: The effects of fertilisers on plants  26. Making an indicator: Using red cabbage to make an indicator!  27. Smartie chromatography: Which dyes are used to colour m&ms?  28. Time to separate! How to separate different mixtures  29. Dissolving sugars: Which dissolves fastest?  30. Find the solvent! The right solvent for the right solute  31. Let’s get saturated! Investigate the saturation point of water  32. Cleaning water: Can we clean dirty water?  33. Diffusion rates: Invesitgating the diffusion rate of water  34. The best straw: Investigating capillary action  35. Let’s make an emulsion!  36. Salty water: Can we make objects float?  37. Observing melting: How do different substances melt?  38. Observing burning: Investigating what happens when different substances burn  39. A rusty problem: What are the conditions needed for rusting to happen?  40. Conductor or insulator? Testing electrical conductivity  41. The strongest thread: Investigating the strength of different fibres  42. Design a bag: What’s the best material?  43. Keep it dry! Investigating whether materials are waterproof  44. Drying the washing: What conditions are best?  45. Comparing soils: Investigating the characterstics of different soil samples  46. Testing rocks: Similarities and differences  47. Acid rain! Investigating the effects of acid rain  48. Ice cube challenge: Exploring melting  49. Where did the water go? Investigating evaporation  50. Make a fossil: How are organisms preserved?  51. How strong is your magnet?  52. Making an electromagnet: Make a simple electromagnet and investigate its strength  53. Let’s make a switch! Investigate the best design for a switch  54. Fruit circuits! Can we use fruits as batteries?  55. Brighter bulbs: Investigating bulbs in circuits  56. Floating and sinking: Which objects float and which sink?  57. Density, density: Investigating layers of liquids  58. Friction: Investigate how far a car travels along different surfaces  59. How much force? Lifting and moving different objects  60. Bouncy balls! Investigate how well different balls bounce  61. Speedy cars: Factors the affect the speed of a car  62. Let’s make a helicopter!Investigating gravity  63. Let’s make a parachute! Investigating friction  64. Taking the heat: Which material is best at conducting heat?  65. Swinging time! Investigating the swing of a pendulum  66. Stretching springs: Exploring the effect of weight on a spring  67. Making a rainbow: The colours of the spectrum  68. Colourful light: Using coloured filters  69. Designing curtains: Investigating the best materials for blocking out light  70. Mirror, mirror on the wall: How is light reflected?  71. In the shadows: Investigate changing the size of a shadow  72. Musical water: Making music with bottles of water  73. Making an ear trumpet: What’s the best design?  74. Soundproofing: Which materials soundproof best?  75. Build a steady-hand game:Investigating circuits  76. Testing urine! Analysing (fake!) urine for glucose and protein  77. Volcanic eruption! Create a volcano using baking soda and vinegar  78. Which is the best washing-up liquid? Investigating detergents  79. Making a hovercraft: Testing forces  80. Conker science: Investigating how to strengthen conkers  81. Protect an egg! Investigating forces and properties of materials  82. CSI: Crime scene investigation:Learn how to make fingerprints  83. Measuring Photosynthesis: Observing pondweed  84. Fussy woodlice: Investigating habitats  85. Gummy bear science: Examining different solutions  86. Making waves: Make a beach and see how waves are formed  87. Call the surgeon! Perform a simple heart dissection  88. Making a bouncy ball: Investigating properties of different materials  89. Make a mini-rocket: Design and make a rocket that takes off!  90. Extracting DNA: Exploring evolution  91 Making lemonade: Investigating substances that dissolve in water  92. Making a lava lamp: Investigating densities  93. Making slime: Non-Newtonian fluids  94. Extracting ‘plastic’ from milk: Investigating polymers  95. Cleaning pennies:Can we clean dirty pennies with vinegar and salt?  96. Colourful milk: Investigating surface tension  97. Homemade ice-cream: Make ice-cream without a freezer!  98. Eating iron for breakfast! Investigating which cereals contain iron  99. Compost in a cup: Investigating how plants grow  100. Growing crystals: Use Epsom salts to make your own crystals  Appendix 1: National Curriculum Grid: How the Really Useful Science Experiments link to the 2014  Appendix 2: Circuit symbols


    Tracy-ann Aston is Lecturer in Education and Teacher Training at the University of Bedfordshire, UK.