The Science of Recycling

Recycling is important because it saves energy and resources and reduces pollution, as well as creating jobs and keeping things out of landfill. Paper Paper is made of wood fibres. Over their lifetime, a family of four will use the equivalent of six trees in paper. Recycling paper uses 70% …

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Desalination of Water

Desalination means taking the salt out of salty water (from lakes or the sea) to make fresh, drinkable water. How Does Desalination Work? The two main ways to remove the salt (and other impurities) from water are through distillation and osmosis. In distillation, the water is heated to form a …

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Condensation and Dew

Condensation, on the inside of the kitchen window on a chilly morning or on a cold glass of water, and dew on the grass on a cool autumn evening, is a familiar sight, but what is it and what causes it? About Water Water molecules can be a solid (ice), …

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Bottling a Tornado

A tornado is a violent storm, usually with a twisting funnel of wind extending from a cloud down to the ground. The wind in a tornado is usually 40-110 miles per hour, but can reach over 300 miles per hour. An average tornado moves about five miles, but a severe …

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Melting Ice and Rising Sea Levels

Everyone is talking about climate change. As global temperatures rise, this will lead to melting of glaciers and sea ice. If this causes a rise in sea levels, this will make communities that live near the coast or on low-lying islands very vulnerable to flooding. Melting Sea Ice Part fill …

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Make Your Own El Nino

El Niño, or the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation), is a pattern of weather changes that usually occur around Christmas. El Niño means ‘the little boy’ or ‘the Christ Child’. This natural weather phenomenon appears to have been happening for the last 15,000 years. Making a Model El Niño This …

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What Colour is the Sky?

White light is made up of a mixture of different colours (see ‘Making a Rainbow: Breaking Light Into Colour’). Light travels in waves, and different colours have different wavelengths. Things seem a particular colour because of the light they reflect or scatter – a leaf appears green because it reflects …

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Making a Rainbow: Breaking Light Into Colour

Sunlight isn’t just white – it’s actually made of a mixture of different colours. As light travels through water or glass, it changes speed, which makes it bend (see ‘Bending Light: Disappearing Glass Bowl and Bending Pencil’). Light travels in waves. Different colours in the light have different wavelengths, and …

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