Make Yoghurt and Grow Yeast

When people think about bacteria and fungi, they usually think of not being well or food going sour or mouldy, but actually bacteria and fungi are essential for foods we eat every day. Making Yoghurt Yoghurt (also spelled yogurt) is fermented milk. The milk is mixed with a starter containing …

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Keep an Ant Colony (Formicarium)

Ants are insects and are from the order Hymenoptera, the same order as wasps and bees. They were first seen about 110 to 130 million years ago. Ants are 0.75 to 52 mm long, and are usually black or red, with a few species that are green. Ants make up …

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Map Your Sense of Touch

The body’s sense of touch is a combination of pressure, pain and temperature. Different parts of the body have different numbers of nerve endings, because it’s more important to be able to detect objects and their temperature using touch on fingertips, lips or tongue rather than the back of the …

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Do Plants Breathe?

Do plants breathe? Yes and no… Breathing and respiring are two different things. Mammals, including humans, breathe by using muscles to pull air into the lungs and push it out, which brings oxygen to the blood and gets rid of carbon dioxide. The blood takes the breathed-in oxygen round the …

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How Strong is an Eggshell?

Eggshells are fragile. Everyone knows that. Drop an egg on the floor, or knock it against a sharp edge (like a frying pan) and that is it – eggshell, white and yolk everywhere. But how can an eggshell possible protect a growing chick? Why do Eggshells Need to be Strong? …

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Water & Food: How Plants Eat and Drink

Plants need water. Water in the cells helps plants to grow and make food, makes leaves and stems firm (a plant that needs watering wilts), and carries minerals from the soil. Plants also need food. As plants cannot eat in the same way as animals, plants have to create sugars, …

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How Seeds Grow

A seed is a minute dormant plant that is waiting for the right conditions to grow (germinate). Seeds range from orchid seeds weighing a millionth of a gram to seeds from the coco-de-mer palm tree that weigh around 20 kg. Conditions for Growth All seeds need warmth and water, but …

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Knowing Which Way is Up & Finding the Light

Plants respond to gravity and to light, with roots growing downwards and away from the light, and shoots growing upwards and towards the light. The response to gravity is called geotropism, and the response to light is called phototropism. This makes roots grow into the ground towards nutrient and water …

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How Potatoes Begin: Grow Your Own Chips

Potatoes are tubers produced by the stems of the plant called Solanum tuberosum, which is part of the same family as tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. The plant produces tubers to store nutrients for itself, and to create new plants the next year. However, these tubers are also rather good to …

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