Dr Jo Blogs

Daily Science Activities during partial school closures – Week 10 and 11

As well as collating a collection of excellent websites, activities and resources for parents and teachers during the corona virus pandemic on the resources page of my website, I’m also posting a daily science or STEM activity on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. I’m posting ideas seven days a week, through the easter holiday too, because science fun is for every day 😀.

Here are the posts from weeks nine and ten all in one place! 

(You can find week one and two here , week 3 and 4 here , week 5 and 6 here and week 7, 8 and 9 here).

Day 64

Here’s the first in a series of #KitchenScience #ScienceFromHome today. Have a go at making sherbert. What happens when you put it on your tongue? What does it feel like? Can you find out what’s happening and why?
(You can buy citric acid from the pharmacy. It’s also useful if you fancy making elderflower cordial!).

Day 65

This half term, The Great Science Share for Schools have a special week of Science with Farmer Tom! You can watch videos, find out more and #AskAQuestion all this week on Twitter and at www.greatscienceshare.org 


Day 66

Keep your eyes peeled to spot as many different kinds of grasses as you can! 🌾
Find out more about them, including a fun strength test in this wild grasses blog post: https://drjosciencesolutions.co.uk/2020/05/26/grasses/

Day 67

Make a mini science comic! Inspired by Lifeology‘s May #SciCommchallenge “smaller than the naked eye”, I’ve created a mini comic on neurones and the brain 🧠. 
Have a go at explaining some science in comic form and tag me @DrJoScience #DrJoScience

Day 68

Explore surface tension and the effect of amphiphilic – partly hydrophilic (polar) and partly hydrophobic (non-polar) – detergent in this scared pepper investigation.
Watch what happens!

Day 69

Create a sound map, use your sense of hearing 👂and enjoy nature with this simple activity to mark the sounds around you https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/…/Activ…/Draw-a-Sound-Map

Day 70

Tomorrow sees the launch of another #30DaysWild extravaganza from @30DaysWild @WildlifeTrusts Check out this blog post looking at using an identification app at https://drjosciencesolutions.co.uk/2020/05/27/im-becoming-a-little-obsessed-with-the-seek-inaturalist-app/

and sign up to join in with 30 random acts of wildness at https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/57739/petition/1

Day 71

Here’s the second activity in the #Kitchen Science #ScienceFromHome series Following on from last Monday’s edible effervescence, today you’ll be making vinegar and bicarbonate ‘volcanoes’ to investigate acid-base chemical reactions #ChemistryInYourCupboard

Day 72

The Great Science Share for Schools theme this week is #WorldEnvironmentDay 🌍

Learn about the difference between weather and climate in this fab explanation from WWF ☁️☂️❄️🌪️☀️🛰️🌧️⛅ https://www.wwf.org.uk/sites/default/files/2019-12/WWF_KS2_Lesson1_Presentation.pdf

and discover what you can do to help.

Day 73

Invisible ink! In science club this week, we investigated UV, including revealing secret messages. You could have a go at one of these ways of making invsible ink https://www.wikihow.com/Make-an-Invisible-Ink-Pen

Take care as some of them need a responsible adult to help.

Find out more about:

Dr Jo Online Science Club

Day 74

Grow a bean! If you don’t have any seeds to plant, you could always try planting a slice a tomato in some some soil! Remember plants need light, water and the right temperature to grow.

I love these tube kits from @plantletculture from you can use any seeds you have, including apple pips or tomatoes. Plant directly in some soil or put in a glass or jar with some damp paper towel to watch germination as the roots and shoots sprout, then transfer to some soil to keep growing.

Day 75

It’s #WorldEnvironmentDay today.

Do some secondary research and find out about changing habitats and endangered species. Watch the remote video lesson & download the worksheet from @STEMLearningUK on Classification and Grouping https://www.stem.org.uk/remote-lessons/key-stage-2

Day 76

Have a go at creating and cracking secret codes!


3 secret codes to try with your kids.

#ScienceFromHome #cryptology #code #secretcode #STEMactivity

Day 77

It’s #OpenFarmSunday Online!

Visit a Farm virtually while we can’t get there in person 🚜🌾🐄🐖🌻🐑👩‍🌾🌱

LEAF Online Open Farm Sunday https://farmsunday.org/online-farm-sunday

#ScienceFromHome #Agriculture #AgriculturalScience #AnimalScience #CropScience #LOFS20 @OpenFarmSunday

#ScienceFromHome #HomeSchooling #HomeSchooling2020 #HomeLearning #RemoteLearning #BeCurious #DrJo #DrJoScience #DistanceLearning #LockdownLearning #SchoolClosuresUK #PrimaryScience #STEM #STEMclub #ScienceClub #STEMed #STEMeducation #ScienceEducation #EduTwitter #ChemistryInYourCupboard #KitchenScience #KitchenChemistry #Moon #Craters #Clangers #GreatSciShare #GlobalScienceShow #STEMfromHome #Nature #BugHunt #LeafID #ScavengerHunt #ScienceFromYourGarden 

Join in with more science fun to come. Follow me on social media or why not sign up to my weekly online science club?




I’m becoming a little obsessed with the Seek iNaturalist app!

I’m always casually identifying the plants and animals I pass when out and about. I don’t even mean to, it’s just like a mental tick list!

There are inevitably times when there’s something I’m not sure of or haven’t come across before and I need to look it up. I’m a collector of facts and I’m curious (some call it nosey!). I like to find things out and amass new knowledge. 

Whilst an app on my phone will never fully replace a classification key or identification book for me – the skills involved in being able to work out what you’ve found from the clues is a vital one which should be taught and practised! (This is also true of map reading over SatNav use!) – there are times when you just aren’t sure and can’t find what you’re looking for in a field guide.

There are many forums online, of course, where you can ask questions and even submit photos for identification, but I’m finding the free Seek iNaturalist app more and more useful. It works from an image captured in the app on your smart phone and is capable of narrowing down from order to family to genus and even species of a whole host of plant and animal life in nature. And it’s pretty instant! Ta-da! This is what you’re looking at.

Here’s the difference between that Norway Maple and Field Maple.

This is definitely a 7 spot ladybird.

These are all members of the Bromes grass family.

It will just give you this information (including Latin and common names, range, distribution, season and other details) if that’s all you want, but if you enable location settings in the app then it can record your sightings and save them for you, and let you know what else has been spotted nearby.

There are also a number of ‘challenges’ you can take part in, including the forests challenge, climate challenge, citizen science challenge or the current backyard challenge where you need to snap 5 plants, 2 insects, 1 arachnid and 2 birds in your garden or local area to earn a challenge badge.

Seek is created by the iNaturalist team – a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. Seek gets its data from iNaturalist – the largest community of naturalists in the world, working together to identify photos of living things uploaded around the world. These observations then help to train the model, so the more people who use it, the better it will get. 

There’s so much new wildlife about at this time of the year and this app speeds up spotting. I still love a reference book to thumb through, but the instantaneous response of Seek iNaturalist is very helpful. It will be a great tool for #30DaysWild this June and beyond. 

#NotSponsored #Wildlife #30DaysWild #365DaysWild #identification #plants #animals #minibeasts #invertebrates #Birds #BirdSpotting #SeekApp #iNaturalist #WildlifeTrusts #nature #WildlifePhotography #WildlifePhoto #NatureLover #Explore #BeCurious #DrJoScience 


There’s more to grass than just the green stuff beneath your feet!

There are so many different types of grasses and they’ve been popping up on roadsides and verges, pathways and edges of fields over the past couple of months, and taking a closer look on my daily walks has revealed some interesting variations:

Just as these different grasses started to emerge, my latest edition of Whizz Pop Bang magazine also popped through my letterbox! It’s packed full of fascinating facts and fun investigations all about grasses around the world.

Taking a closer look reveals how beautiful these grasses are and also shows just how similar these wild grasses are to our cultivated cereal crops.

Can you spot the ones that look like wheat, oats and barley?

I even had a closer look under a microscope to expose the intricate detail:

Whilst it appears delicate, grass is also tough stuff! What not spot some different types of grass and test the strength. How much weight will a blade of grass hold? Are some grasses tougher than others? Share your findings and tag me @DrJoScience, I’d love to see what you discover!

#ScienceInYourGarden #ScienceFromHome #Grasses #Plants #PlantScience #NotSponsored #NotGifted #365DaysWild #30DaysWild #BeCurious #DrJo #DrJoScience

Daily Science Activities during partial school closures – Week 7, 8 and 9

As well as collating a collection of excellent websites, activities and resources for parents and teachers during the corona virus pandemic on the resources page of my website, I’m also posting a daily science or STEM activity on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. I’m posting ideas seven days a week, through the half term holiday too, because science fun is for every day 😀.

Here are the posts from weeks seven, eight and nine all in one place! 

(You can find week one and two here , week 3 and 4 here and week 5 and 6 here).

Day 43

We’re going on a snail hunt!

When the weather’s been wet, there are often more snails about. Can you find any common garden snails? Or banded snails? What do you notice about their patterns? 

Day 44

Meet The Scientist! Every Tuesday the Primary Science Teaching Trust are releasing activities and videos relating to past and current scientists at work, and you can ask them questions! 


Day 45

One of my favourite types of kitchen chemistry! Bake a cake, biscuits or cookies! Weighing, measuring and mixing are important scientific skills (not to mention taste testing!), as well as investigating the irreversible changes that happen during cooking.

Day 46

Can you find any red dots are on sycamore leaves? Ever wondered what they are? These galls are caused by tiny mites. As they pierce individual cells to feed, the surrounding cells divide, enlarging and forming the gall. By mid-May the mites start to lay eggs within the galls.

Day 47

It’s #VEday too so let’s celebrate aviation with this #PaperPlane challenge activity from the MoD. Can you make a paper plane that flies the furthest? ✈️ What materials will you use? Paper, card, tin foil?!?

Then, once you’ve had a go at the #PaperPlane challenge, check out the Chemistry of the Battle Of Britain with this poster from @theSkyLabSTEM and @RoySocChem and @IWMDuxford 

Day 48

Can you explore your fingerprints? Everyone’s fingerprints are unique – Can you take a fingerprint and spot the arch, loop and whorl patterns in your fingerprints? 🔍
Just one activity from Dr Jo Science Club last week!

You can sign up to a 12 week rolling programme of Dr Jo Science Club at any time: Weekly interactive video and a bumper activity pack of further investigations to carry out for just £5 per week for as many children as you have at home!

Day 49

Today’s Science activity is all about looking for evidence of animals that they might have left behind. I saw these prehistoric looking prints in a puddle! (Spoiler: it was a bird!)
Can you spot any animal footprints while you’re out and about? Have a go at identifying the footprints in this quiz from @ASUatSWCHS too. 

Day 50

Explore the stars by carefully punching holes in the bottom of a paper cup or through a piece of paper with a pin and shine a torch or light through it to project the constellations onto a wall!
✨from stormthecastle.com

Keep looking up to the sky and thinking about the universe with this week’s #GreatSciShare theme to inspire you to explore and ask questions.
From 11-17 May it’s a focus on space with @RoyalAstroSoc #RAS200 🔭🌒🪐🛰️🚀☄️👩‍🚀🌠‍
Share your questions at greatscienceshare.org

Day 51

Discover the weird world of lichen! Strange composite organisms found on rocks, stones, walls and trees. Watch this video to find out more, then look up the lichens you can find using this ID guide.
📹 youtu.be/NH0Cq9pBiJw 

Day 52

Make a fizzing bath bomb and find out all about the science of this chemical reaction in this video from @RoySocChem 
📹 https://youtu.be/wieE0wSVXOQ

Day 53

Go cloud spotting! ☁️

Find out more about the different types of cloud from the Met Office.

Day 54

Find out about myriad STEM careers in this fun and fabulous free downloadable board game for all ages created by the team at Diamond Light Source synchrotron near Oxford. https://www.diamond.ac.uk/Public/DiamondTheGame

Day 55

A fun and only slightly messy activity (which you can bake into a tasty treat afterwards!) to investigate the formation of moon craters with the Clangers!

Day 56

Can you make a filter to clean dirty water? Mix soil, water, leaves and small stones. Experiment with different materials such as paper towel, sand and gravel to create a filter (NB It’s still not safe to drink!). Explore further with Practical Action Schools resources.

Day 57

It’s #NationalScavengerHuntDay 18-24 May (anyone else notice that’s a week?). 
Check out the resources at www.greatscienceshare.org to get involved and ask and answer questions about habitats and living things

Day 58

Explore optical illusions and how you can trick your brain! 
Make a thaumotrope – a spinning disc with different images on each side. Stick to a pencil and spin the disc to make it look like it’s a single image

Day 59

It’s #WorldBeeDay so a great excuse to find out about these amazing and important animals. Spot some bees, find out more info and use this comprehensive Bee ID guide.

Day 60

Do some leaf rubbing! Spot or collect some fallen leaves, identify the trees, observe the structure of a leaf and find out about its functions and create some art! 🌿🍁

Day 61

Today’s activity is part of an international science show! #GlobalScienceShow and I’m discussing your sense of smell in this video.
Watch the entire The Global Science Show all day and even consider joining in with the next one on 19th June as they’ve linked up with Great Science Share for Schools to link your curious science questions with science communication!

Day 62

The National Physical Laboratory (they don’t just do physics!) are running weekly #MeasurementAtHome challenges, including the latest: if you could invent a new unit of measurement, what would it be?
…sec, mol, metre, lumen… the Dr Jo unit of how excited you are about science?!?! Wow! That’s 1,000,000 Dr Jo units?

Day 63

This week’s theme for the Great Science Share for Schools is #WasteWarriorWeek
Find out about different types of plastic and how to reduce waste. What questions will you ask?
Can you sort through your recycling and find plastics which can be easily recycled (look for the symbols 1, 2, 4 and 5). 

#ScienceFromHome #HomeSchooling #HomeSchooling2020 #HomeLearning #RemoteLearning #BeCurious #DrJo #DrJoScience #DistanceLearning #LockdownLearning #SchoolClosuresUK #PrimaryScience #STEM #STEMclub #ScienceClub #STEMed #STEMeducation #ScienceEducation #EduTwitter #ChemistryInYourCupboard #KitchenScience #KitchenChemistry #Moon #Craters #Clangers #GreatSciShare #GlobalScienceShow #STEMfromHome #Nature #BugHunt #LeafID #ScavengerHunt #ScienceFromYourGarden #GardenSafari

Join in with more science fun to come. Follow me on social media or why not sign up to my weekly online science club?




Bank holiday weekend at the end of a fun and inspiring week

Happy Weekend Everyone! What a fun week it’s been: I’ve been busy developing, planning and recording video lessons for STEM Learning UK, hosting live Q&A chat sessions linked to the lessons, creating science activities to go in a literacy resource pack for a national organisation (more info coming soon!), posting daily science activities on social media, taking part in the Global Science Show, running a virtual science club on Zoom, creating content for my digital downloadable online science club, packaging up little home investigation science kits for children from one of my local schools, been interviewed for a #GirlsInSTEM magazine and written a guest blog piece on how I’ve been changing the way I’m working during lockdown for Science On A Postcard.

#StaySafe #StayWell #SocialDistance #StayAlert #StayHome where you can.

#stemlearning #stemeducation #science #STEM #scienceeducation #womeninstem #womeninscience #remotelearning #lockdownlearning #ScienceFromHome #GlobalScienceShow #GirlsInSTEM

Daily Science Activities during partial school closures – Week 5 and 6

As well as collating a collection of excellent websites, activities and resources for parents and teachers during the corona virus pandemic on the resources page of my website, I’m also posting a daily science or STEM activity on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. I’m posting ideas seven days a week, through the easter holiday too, because science fun is for every day 😀.

Here are the posts from weeks five and six all in one place! 

(You can find week one and two here and week 3 and 4 here)

Day 29

Have a go at this opening paper flowers activity 🌼🌸🌼🌸🌼🏵️

Use different size and different types of paper to see which one absorbs the water the quickest and opens up! Cut out flower shapes and then fold in the petals. Place in a bucket, bowl, sink or bath and watch them unfurl as the spaces between the paper fibres fill with water. Try tissue paper, printer paper and thin card. Which ones open up the quickest? Why do you think this is? What about if you try different sizes? Are small ones quicker than big ones? Why? 

Day 30

Can you see sound? Sound is caused by vibrations. Can you see the effects of a drum vibrating by putting some rice on a plastic film covered bowl? Find more sound activities in this sneak peek mini sample online science club at https://drjosciencesolutions.co.uk/online-science-club/

Day 31

Today is #EarthDay
Find out about the water cycle with this simple activity exploring evaporation and condensation. Place a small amount of water into a resealable bag and tape it to the window. You could add some blue food colouring if you like to make it easier to see. Leave in a sunny spot and observe what happens over time as the water warms up and evaporates, then cools and condenses, falling back down just like rain in the water cycle.

Day 32

Lots of new leaves are unfurling on trees. Can you identify what they are? 

Day 33

There are lots of dandelions about at the moment, but before you pull them up, they are a great source of food for bees! 
Can you take a picture every day to see how the dandelions change over time?

You could even try to set up a time-lapse film to watch the dandelion flowers close up at night time and open up in the day!

Day 34

Today I should have been at the Department of Zoology, Cambridge with my hero, David Attenborough, who once wrote to me! Do some secondary research and watch a natural history programme in his honour 🦧🦥

Today was also the second #GlobalScienceShow on twitter. Follow @GlobalSciShow to see a virtual science show from around the world. Here’s my small part all about woodlice: 📹 youtu.be/hA2rGJLeVmk

Day 35

This weekend is the City Nature Challenge big weekend
📷 Take pictures of what you find this weekend
🔎 then identify them next week

Day 36

Investigate the cohesive forces of surface tension by seeing how many drops of water you can fit on a penny – use a pipette, syringe or straw. Does it change with temperature? Why or Why not?

Day 37

Natural pH indicators – you’re probably familiar with red cabbage as an indicator (which I LOVE!) but I’ve been inspired by @CrocodileChemi1 and @UncleBo80053383 to have a go with tulip and bluebell anthocyanins and try some microscale diffusion too – bubbles of CO2 form where the acid and base react. The colours in the indicators intensified overnight too! Why not have a go, or just make some ‘potions’ with flower petals?

Day 38

Why not investigate the amount of sugar hidden in food! You might expect to find lots of sugar in sweets and cakes, but do you know how much is also hidden in things like tomato sauce and breakfast cereal? Use the information on the labels to do some secondary research and work it out!

Day 39

Inspired by the popularity of my post about surface tension of water drops on a penny earlier in the week (and the currently weather!), I though we could try it on some rain drop shapes – maybe you’ll have more luck if your table isn’t on a slope!

Could you try it on different surfaces too?

Day 40

Why not have a go at splitting the colour from felt tip pens using a technique called chromatography – you could use filter paper, blotting paper or kitchen roll. Just add a few dots of colour, dip the very end into water and watch it go!

Day 41

Let’s explore floating and sinking today. Find some items from around the house; use a bowl, bucket, sink or bath of water – can you predict which float and which sink? Why?

Day 42

Following on from yesterday’s floating and sinking investigation, could you find out if all fruit float? Why, or why not? Can you change it? 

What’s happening in this picture? Do you know why?

#ScienceFromHome #HomeSchooling #HomeSchooling2020 #HomeLearning #RemoteLearning #BeCurious #DrJo #DrJoScience #DistanceLearning #LockdownLearning #SchoolClosuresUK #PrimaryScience #STEM #STEMclub #ScienceClub #STEMed #STEMeducation #ScienceEducation #EduTwitter

Join in with more science fun to come. Follow me on social media or why not sign up to my weekly online science club?




Radio slot!

Over the Easter weekend, I had a brief slot on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire talking about all the lockdown science activities I’m providing, including:

Here’s the link to the Radio interview. Fast forward to 1:20:45 to hear me!

Daily Science Activities during school closures – Week 3 and 4

As well as collating a collection of excellent websites, activities and resources for parents and teachers during the corona virus pandemic on the resources page of my website, I’m also posting a daily science or STEM activity on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. I’m posting ideas seven days a week, through the easter holiday too, because science fun is for every day 😀.

Here are the posts from weeks three and four all in one place!

(You can find week one and two here)

Day 15

Have a rummage in the recycling box and make some rocket mice! How far can you launch them using a plastic bottle? Which variables you could change? Have a competition and record the results in a table.

Find instructions here: http://ow.ly/p0qC50z1Ypz

#ScienceFromHome #HomeSchooling2020 #RemoteLearning #BeCurious #DrJoScience

Day 16

Dissect a Flower, discover all the different parts and find out about pollination. 


#ScienceFromHome #ScienceInYourGarden #DistanceLearning #RemoteLearning #HomeSchooling #HomeLearning #HomeSchooling2020 #DrJo

Day 17

Find some different sized containers and head outside with a bucket of water to explore and investigate capacity, volume, measuring and pouring. Can you make an accurate measuring beaker?

#ScienceFromHome #ScienceInYourGarden #DistanceLearning #HomeSchool

Day 18

Why not go outside on a #PatioSafari or #Gardensafari and see what minibeasts you can find 🔎🐛🐜


#ScienceFromHome #ScienceInYourGarden #HomeSchooling2020 #DistanceLearning #RemoteLearning #BugHunt #BugSafari

Day 19

Make play dough! Observe what happens as you mix the ingredients together, ‘cook’ them and change states! Then use your dough to make model animals, nerve cells, electrical circuits and more!

Here’s my favourite playdough recipe: http://ow.ly/wpxR50z5lTo

#ScienceFromHome #KitchenScience #DrJo

Day 20

Why not have a go at coding with code club? http://ow.ly/9jrm50z5lXW

or computing champions https://computingchampions.co.uk/dailydose/

#ScienceFromHome #DistanceLearning #RemoteLearning #HomeSchooling #HomeSchooling2020 #Computing #Programming #Algorithm #ComputerScience #StayHome #WithMe

Day 21

Happy Easter! I hope the easter bunny has been 🐇.

Why not investigate some changing states of matter from solid to liquid and back again by melting chocolate and then timing how long it takes to set hard again🍫

Find out more in this Brian Cox video with the Royal Society https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04ts81t

#ScienceFromHome #EasterScience #HomeSchooling #HomeSchooling2020 #StayHome #WithMe #DoScience #ChangingStates #Chocolate

Day 22

Why not take part in the What’s Under Your feet? campaign?

Investigate the different minibeasts under the grass and help scientists to understand the impact of climate change on UK birds

#ScienceFromHome #ScienceInYourGarden #wuyf

Day 23

Physics meet Origami! Make a paper horse that really walks! 

#ScienceFromHome #DistanceLearning #RemoteLearning #HomeSchooling #HomeLearning #HomeSchooling2020 #Origami #Paper

Day 24

If the sun is out where you are, it’s a great opportunity to observe what happens to puddles! Measure the same amount of water (using a spoon, beaker, pipette or syringe) and place on different surfaces or different areas (sun, shade etc). Observe what happens over time.

You could time how long it takes to evaporate, and maybe draw around the puddle in chalk at different times of the day to measure the size.

#ScienceFromHome #DistanceLearning #StayHome #WithMe #DoScience #ObservationOverTime #EnquiryTypes #ComparativeTest #HomeLearning #HomeSchooling #HomeSchooling2020 #RemoteLearning #ScienceInYourGarden

Day 25

Discover some Geography today as we explore rivers in this Dr Jo video: https://youtu.be/FqsMPCrsN2k 

Then follow the course of the river Thames from source to mouth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-znrVgVyck to explore rivers from home!

#ScienceFromHome  #HomeSchooling #DrJo #DrJoScience #BeCurious#StayHome #StaySafe #LetsDoScience #WithMe #HomeSchooling2020 #DistanceLearning #RemoteLearning #HomeLearning #STEMed #GeographyEd

Day 26

Go on a wildflower wander or explore with me: can you spot nettles, dandelions, daisies, celandine, dead nettle, ground ivy, cow parsley, sticky weed, hawthorn and more?


#SciencefromHome #DistanceLearning #LetsDoScience #HomeSchool

Day 27

Measuring! Scientists have to be able to take and record accurate measurements. Practise this skill by measuring the length or width objects with a ruler, a tape measure or…something else! How many mangoes long is an elephant? How many iPhones long are the curtains? How many ants would stretch the length of your shoe? Estimate how big something is, then measure it. I’d love to see what you get up to!

#ScienceFromHome #DistanceLearning #HomeSchooling #HomeSchooling2020 #HomeLearning #RemoteLearning

Day 28

Find out about space, planets and stars! 
💫☄️🔭🪐🌌🌕 with this video from University of Cambridge Astronomy department

Could you take a photo of the moon or make a model of the solar system?

You could even join NASA kids club 
www.nasa.gov/kids club/index.html 

or sign up for live Astroscience challenge with Tim Peake starting on 27th April www.astrosciencechallenge.com

#LetsDoScience #DrJo #ScienceFromHome #LetsDoScience

Join in with more science fun to come. Follow me on social media or why not sign up to my weekly online science club?




Daily Science Activities during school closures – Week 1 and 2

As well as collating a collection of excellent websites, activities and resources for parents and teachers during the corona virus pandemic on the resources page of my website, I’m also posting a daily science or STEM activity on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’m posting ideas seven days a week, through the easter holiday too, because science fun is for every day 😀.

Here are the posts from weeks one and two all in one place!

Day 1

Follow the rainbows popping up in your local area and find out how rainbows are made at http://sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/weather/rainbows.html… and try and make your own! Can you split white light using a glass a a prism?


Day 2

Have a go at making a straw kazoo! You can feel the sound vibrations 🎺🎼
(paper straws work too, but maybe use up any old stocks of plastic straws and recycle when you’re done)

#ScienceFromHome #HaveAGo #DrJoScience #sound #year4

Day 3

Make a density jar-some liquids are less dense (less mass per volume) than others, and will float on top. Try pouring different kitchen cupboard liquids into a tall glass, bottle or jar and see what happens

#ScienceFromHome #HaveAGo #DrJoScience #density


Make a paper spinner out of paper and paperclips – can you make it Fast or Slow? Big or Small? What can you change?


#ScienceFromHome #HaveAGo #DrJoScience #forces #motion#comparativetest #variable #data #investigation


Something a bit more global 🌍 today! 

Today I took part in the Global Science Show on twitter as a presenter.
I was *signing* about chemical reactions in #BSL

Dr Jo Chemical reactions video

In this video (with captions in YouTube) I sign BSL and show the chemical reaction between an acid (vinegar) and an alkali (sodium bicarbonate), producing carbon dioxide gas. Mixing an acid (in liquid form) and an alkali (in solid form), the reaction produces water and a gas – causing the fizzing eruption popular in these pretend bicarb and vinegar’ volcano’ experiments.
I apologise for my poor signing; it’s been a really long time since I learned BSL but I wanted to try to make my video inclusive. I also forgot to use the sign for vinegar 🙈, but at least I can finger spell it! (Just spotted that I signed ‘what’ instead of ‘why’ as well!!)

I hope you’re enjoying some #ScienceFromHome
#SocialDistanceLearning #HomeSchooling #HomeLearning #BeCurious#DrJo #DrJoScience #inclusive #accessible #ScienceForAll#ScienceForEveryone

Why don’t you have a go at some science from home too? 🧪💫🧪💫🧪💫🧪💫


Set up an experiment to investigate the growth of microorganisms – use slices of bread to compare clean and dirty hands! Take care with disposal!


#ScienceFromHome #HaveAGo #DrJoScience #microorganisms #germs#mould

Image sourced from the experiment details at tinyurl.com/v3bcffn


Learn about the golden ratio and make some 3D model polyhedrons from @Qubits_Toy


#ScienceFromHome #HaveAGo #DrJoScience #STEM #maths #geometry#makerspace #architecture

Day 8

Find out about where food comes from and how it’s grown. Try looking at https://farmsunday.org/visit-a-farm/science-and-technology or you can ask a farmer a question!

#ScienceFromHome #HaveAGo #DrJoScience #FarmerTime#AskFarmerTom


Day 9

Go outside (whilst keeping a safe distance, and wash your hands👐🧼 ), or peek out of the window, and find signs of spring 🌱🐾🐣🌸www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/…/kids-nature-activities-self-iso…/

#ScienceFromHome #HaveAGo #DrJoScience #SocialDistanceLearning

Day 10

‪Have a go at exploring vibrations, resonance and pitch today by making water flutes. Watch this video and have a go!

#ScienceFromHome #RemoteLearning #HomeSchooling #HomeLearning#BeCurious #DrJo ‬

Day 11

The Great Bug Hunt is Open!
If you can, get outside, get in the garden, peek between the paving slabs and see what you can find.
@RoyEntSoc @insectweek #ScienceFromHome#HomeSchooling2020#RemoteLearning#BeCurious#DrJo#DrJoScience

Day 12

Why not find out about animals? Watch these videos about seals from Dr Jo http://ow.ly/B9CO50z1XXb

What else you can find out about animals today?

Day 13

With the sun shining in much of the UK this weekend, why not head outside to explore shadows! Draw around & measure your own shadow (or toys’) at various points during the day. Watch what happens!
#light #shadows #PrimaryScience #DrJoScience #ScienceFromHome#ScienceInYourGarden

Day 14

Can you build the tallest tower out of Lego? Think carefully about your design, how wide to make it, and where to join the blocks. 
#ScienceFromHome #HomeSchooling #HomeSchooling2020#HomeLearning #RemoteLearning #BeCurious #DrJo #DrJoScience

Join in with more science fun to come.

twitter.com/DrJoScience instagram.com/DrJoscience facebook.com/DrJoScience

Daffodil Dissection

Some recent windy weather had left some bent and broken, sad looking daffodils in my garden. So that they didn’t go to waste, I put a few in a vase inside and also thought it would be good to take a closer look. I normally use alstromerias for plant and flower dissections (lots of flowers per plant so plenty for a class), however, daffodils work well too. Just remember to wash your hands well afterwards, or wear gloves, as daffodils can irritate the skin and are poisonous, so keep away from your mouth.

Remember not to pick flowers when you are out and about and always ask a grown up if you can have one from the garden. You could also use tulips or lilies, but these are also poisonous so keep them well away from your mouth and wash your hands really well afterwards or wear gloves.

Taking a closer look

Now, let’s take a closer look at that flower. The daffodil has two layers of petals, including the modified inner corona (crown), or trumpet, which gives the daffodil it’s classic shape. At the base of the flower is a papery covering, called the spathe. this wraps up the bud before the flower is ready to open. You can carefully pick the spathe and the petals off and lay them out so that we can see the shape better. When I’m doing this with children in school, I usually have a piece of double-sided sticky tape across the page so that students can stick the flower parts directly onto it to keep them safe. If you’re doing this at home, you don’t need to stick them down as you are less likely to lose them when there aren’t 30 other children!

You can now see that the corona looks like a tube enclosing the inner part of the flower. Carefully cut or tear this to remove it and lay that out on the piece of paper too. We are left with the inside parts of the flower, the male and female parts, which are needed to make new daffodil plants. 

Arranged around the outside are six stamens, comprising the filament (the stalk-like bit) and the anther – the pollen-covered end. The pollen is needed to fertilise the female part of the plant, to make seeds to grow new plants*.

*As well as growing from seeds, plants such as daffodils, lillies and tulips also grow from bulbs. A bulb is a storage organ, allowing the plant to be dormant over winter and then grow again in spring.

The female part of the plant is called the pistil and comprises the style (the long tube) and the stigma at the top, as well as the ovary and ovules. The stigma is sticky and you might find some grains of pollen stuck here. The pollen then travels down the tube (style) to the ovules inside the ovary at the base of the flower.

The pollen fertilises the ovules to make seeds. 

As the flowers die, the ovary swells as the seeds develop.

You can see all the different parts of the flower laid out on your piece of paper. Can you label them?

As daffodils are insect-pollinated, they rely on insects travelling from flower to flower collecting nectar, picking up pollen from the anthers along the way and depositing it on the stigma of other flowers. Other types of plants might be wind-pollinated, or even use birds or bats (or other insects) to pollinate their flowers!

Another way to get a closer look at the parts of a flower is to carefully cut the flower in half. Ask a grown up to use a sharp knife to carefully cut down the middle, including the ovary and stem. You can see the different parts clearly:

Why don’t you have a go at investigating the different parts of a flower today? You could use a magnifying glass, take a photograph and label it, and have a go at some observational drawing, too.

#ScienceFromHome #ScienceInYourGarden #Daffodil #Dissection #Plants #Year 1 #Year2 #Year3 #Pollination #FloweringPlants #BeCurious #DrJo #DrJoScience #HomeSchooling #DistanceLearning #HomeLearning #HomeSchooling2020 #PrimaryScience #PlantScience #Botany