Celebrate summer with some seaside science!
From Fossils to Fantastic Fluids
Ahhh summer holidays, the perfect time to get the bucket and spade out and head to the beach!
Do you like looking for treasures in rock pools? Splashing in the surf? Building sandcastles? Slurping up cooling ice cream? Or all of the above! Here are some top ideas for adding some science to your summer, and don’t worry if you aren’t heading to the beach, there are ideas for you to bring the seaside to your kitchen table!
1: Find a fossil – beaches are the perfect place to look for fossils. With a bit of help you can see fossils in lots of other places too! Learn how and where to look with the help of the UK fossil network
2: Chill ouuuuuttttt with weird ice cream – There’s more than one way to make ice cream – some methods need liquid nitrogen! Our Seaside Science Jumbo Box includes a low tech, foolproof activity where you can make your own! (evidence below!)
If you’re feeling creative, you can also get novel with your flavours too! In fact, curious foodie, Heston Blumenthal had a go at making chicken curry ice cream!
We’ll stick to mint choc chip thanks HB
3: Get up close and SANDY – Sand is amazing stuff! With our DIYnamic Sand activity, you can make your own slithery sand and learn about how Isaac Newton can help us answer the question Why is my sand slithery? While we won’t give everything away here, it has a lot to do with Non-Newtonian Fluids, which crop up every day in life and explain why your ketchup can be so tricky to get out of the bottle!
Sticking with sand, you can take a look at Dr Greenberg’s microscopic photographs of sand from all over the world. This video shows you his 3D microscopic images in spectacular detail
4: Make UV Art – Summer is the perfect time to study the sun and sunlight, and one our UV Keyring activity explores photochromism i.e. things that change colour when exposed to UV light (specifically sunlight, although certain kinds of lamps can do this). Certain materials and chemicals react permanently to sunlight. Once unexpected example is beetroot! Beetroot is photosensitive and can be used to create solar powered art like in this video!
Why not have a go at home? We’d love to see your results!
5: Look for Strawberry Anemones – A common and fascinating creature in rock pools around the UK, strawberry anemones are bright red and shiny. Find out more about them with the Wildlife Trusts. Did you know that they also provide Rockpool Safaris!?