Fun Free Learning In Science
Time N/A

Difficulty Beginner
Prerequisites Thinking Like A Scientist
Departments Science
Authors Hannah Tang
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None


Fun free learning in science. 11 questions of fun!


This work is shared under the following license: Public Domain


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1: Can you make a hole in water?

Water is essential for life as we know it and water has many special properties singling it out from other substances, making it of interest to all scientists.

Using the magic of chemistry, Earth sciences and physics, try to explain why water is exciting. Can we make a hole in it?

2: How do you know what is alive?

Focus on the biological functions which are used to define 'life'. Explain the diversity of living things, and what living organisms are made up of. Explain the basic functions of life; growth, reproduction, metabolism, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment. 

3: Is there life on Mars?

Life can be found all over the Earth, with a huge range of diversity and abundance. Some organisms have developed ways to live and thrive in extreme environments such as hot deserts or deep oceans. Explain how knowing how these organisms survive enables us to consider whether life might exist on Mars.

Do you think there is life out there? Explain.

4: Why does it snow in winter?

Try to gain a basic understanding of what makes the weather on Earth, and its seasonal cycle. How do forces effect this? Can you investigate the role of gravity, and the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, and the Moon around the Earth.

Look at how these forces combine together to give the Earth its distinctive climatic zones.

5: Why do metals corrode?

Explore the main characteristic properties of metals. Look at the chemical interactions of metals with different surrounding environments (in air, soil and water) and how the reactivity of different metals varies greatly. Easy ways of preventing metal deterioration can also be discussed. How might you build a battery using galvanized nails and copper wire and carry out simple chemistry experiments with copper coins and iron nails. 

6: How similar am I to a plant?

The diverse array of organisms that exist on Earth seem to have very little in common, apart from being ‘alive’. Discus the principles of inheritance and genetics and consider how different humans are from each other and to investigate this yourself.  

7: Does the Earth move under your feet?

The Earth is very diverse, yet we do see similarities between separate parts of world in the geology, and the species living there. How has this come about? Is it the result of moving plants and animals or a moving Earth? Discusses the different mechanisms underlying the movement and distribution of organisms around the world, including ocean and wind currents, continental drift and sea-level change, as well as the role of humans and the influence of evolution. 

8: Are waves everywhere?

What are waves and how do they form?  What is the conservation of energy and restoring forces. Are there waves you can see as well as waves you cannot see? Develop an understanding of what waves are, and why and how they happen, as well as how we as humans can exploit some of their properties.

9: Can we lead a chemical-free life?

Examine some common misconceptions, responsible for turning the word chemical into a shorthand for “unpleasant additive". Are synthetic chemicals dangerous? Are natural chemicals better for us? Look at chemicals within the Earth and their use as ‘natural resources’; at chemicals in our diet and inside our homes; and at chemicals as treatments for disease. Discuss the use of a lab experiment on toxicity.

10: Why does the Sun shine?

The Sun provides the energy necessary for life on Earth but how does it work? Look at the physical properties of our own star and the physical processes that power it.  Examine the Sun in a wider astronomical context, relating it to other stars, examining its evolution and death in the far future and the  intimate role played by the death of stars in the birth of life.

11: What is ‘Bad Science’?

Look at the ethics of scientific experimentation; discuss good practice in experimentation to ensure results are unbiased and scientifically sound.

Finishing Up
  • As evidence of your thinking, record thoughts and ideas for half of the questions posed in this unit, and present them in the form of a hand drawn mind map.
  • Make your mind map as detailed, neat, interesting and artistic as you can.
  • Once your mind map is ready digitise it (use the scanner in C108 or a mobile phone), and submit it to this unit.
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