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Teaching ideas

These experiments are taken from Grossology by Sylvia Branzei, published by Planet Dexter (pound;12.99)

Experiment 1: MODEL A BURP

What you need (per group)

Vinegar, Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), Large balloon, Funnel, Spoon

What to do

This experiment is messy. Do it over a sink.

1. The balloon represents your stomach. Put some vinegar into the balloon to represent stomach acid.

2. Use the funnel to add baking soda. The reaction represents what happens when your stomach acids react with food to produce gas.

3. Pinch the balloon neck closed with your finger - this represents a sphincter in your oesophagus. Watch the "stomach" fill with gas.

4. Release the sphincter to let the gas go with a burp!


What you need

Petroleum jelly, Red food colouring, Toothpick, Bowl, White tissue, Powdered cocoa

What to do

1. In the bowl, place a fingerful of petroleum jelly, four drops of red food colouring and a pinch of cocoa. Stir with the toothpick.

2. Separate one layer of tissue and rip out a rectangle (6cm by 4cm).

3. Place the tissue at the "wound" site and cover it with petroleum jelly. Mould the goopy tissue to form a wound. The edge should be higher than the centre.

4. Smear the blood-coloured petroleum jelly in the centre of the wound. Sprinkle cocoa on the edges and rub it in to make the edges dark. You may want to add some to the centre as well.

Experiment 3: OILY SKIN TEST

What you need

Washcloth, Soap, Water, Rubbing alcohol, Cotton swab, Small square of tissue paper

What to do

1. Use the washcloth and soap to wash your forehead.

2. Use the cotton swab to clean the area with rubbing alcohol.

3. Wait four hours. Do not touch your forehead during this time.

4. After four hours, firmly smear the tissue across your forehead.

If more than half the paper has an oil mark, then you have oily skin. If there is a light oil smudge on the paper, your skin is normal. And if there is no oil smudge then you have dry skin.


What you need

A calculator

What to do

1. You breathe 12 times each minute. Calculate how many times you breathe in an hour.

2. Take this answer and work out the number of breaths you take a day.

3. Now calculate how many times you breathe each year.

4. Now you can work out how many breaths you have taken in your lifetime - remember to add in an extra day's worth for every leap year you have been alive.

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