The 'Ever Wondered Why?' Roadshow

The ‘Ever Wondered Why?’ Roadshow was a great stage show run by David Richardson, Institute of Physics Teaching and Learning Coach, in a number of schools in England. The purpose of this collection is to bring together all the short clips that make up the show for use in the classroom. The collection also includes teaching resources that could be used to consolidate the concepts explained by David in the video clips.

Trailer and How to Guide

Watch these two videos to see David Richardson introduce the show and give some top tips for those who want to try a stage presentation in their school.

Part One - Introduction


  • In this short video, David explains how amazing it is to swallow a mouthful of water.

Amount of substance quiz

  • A great quiz that covers many aspects of ‘amount of substance’ for AS chemistry students

Part Two – Counting Stars

Counting stars

  • In this video, David describes the dazzling vastness of the universe by challenging the audience to count all the stars.

The space debate

  • Excellent activity on ‘How Science Works’ that encourages discussion and debate about the usefulness of funding space exploration.

Part Three – Our Sun and Planet

Milky Way

  • David describes the sizes and distances of the Sun and planets and the uniqueness of our home, planet Earth.

Planet facts

  • This resource goes really well with the issues explained in the video.

What’s needed for life?

  • A lovely resource to develop literacy and numeracy skills. The PowerPoint might need a little editing.

Part Four – Eye Experiments

Eye experiments

  • In this part of the show, David shows some great optical illusions and explains them beautifully.

Light dominoes

  • A useful and fun plenary game on light.

Light and sight

  • Great booklet with notes and experiments on light and sight, including optical illusions.

Part Five – Combustion and Rockets

Asking questions

  • David shows how combustion of different fuels can be used in a variety of applications, from the flame test to rockets.

Measuring the speed of a rocket

  • Use this activity inspired by IoP Netword Coordinator, Alli Davies, to get your learners to make their own motion sensors and analyse their results.

Photons and energy levels

  • Very useful resource on photons and emission spectra for your post-16 learners.

Part Six – Flaming Tornado

Flaming tornado

  • In this short clip David demonstrates how small changes in the conditions of a system, like a burning fuel, can cause quite significant effects, such as forming a small scale tornado.

Conduction, convection and radiation

  • This is a useful video from BBC Class Clips explaining heat transfers by conduction, convection and ratiation.

Modelling Convection Currents

  • Try this visual demonstration of how you can model particles of water moving in a convection current.

Part Seven - Hydrogen Balloons

Hydrogen Balloon

  • In this short clip, David talks about fuel cells and inevitably ends up exploding a hydrogen balloon.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

  • Short and simple to understand video on fuel cells by BBC Class Clips.

Part Eight – Liquid Nitrogen

Liquid Nitrogen

  • David demonstrates experiments that can be done with liquid Nitrogen and explores how the best ice cream can be made by using this liquefied gas.

Liquid Nitrogen Show

  • A great video rap showing an exciting demonstration with liquid Nitrogen in a bottle. The visual model made by learners moving like particles is particularly good!

Part Nine – Airzooka


  • David ends the show by generating smoke rings with airzookas of different sizes. He uses these demonstrations to encourage learners to think like scientists and ask scientific questions.

Talking Science

  • This resource will encourage your learners to ask scientific questions and discuss what they observe in the combustion of a candle.