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Created by award-winning Dr Colin Mably, Peter Morley OBE and Dr Ann Benbow
MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Seeing : How Do Eyes Work

MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Seeing : How Do Eyes Work

Light travels into the eyes. It gets into the eye through a hole at the front. The size of the hole changes to let in more or less light. When light hits the back of the eye, the brain interprets what the eyes see. Light enters through the pupil. The iris controls the size of the pupil. The retina at the back of the eye contains nerve ends which send messages to the brain. Light shining on the eye triggers the reflex of the pupil to constrict. Darkness, in turn, causes the pupil to open up so that it can let in more light. The function of the pupil is to let in no more light than the eye can tolerate, but enough to let the eye work. The size of the pupil is controlled by a ring of muscles around the iris (the colored part of the eye). The inside of the eye is filled with a thick, jelly-like material that helps to make the eyeball round, and transmits images through the eye.
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MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Machines :  Making Work Easier

MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Machines : Making Work Easier

A plank and a block of wood can become a lever system which makes it easier to lift heavy objects. Pulleys help with lifting things too. Levers make lifting easier. The length of the lever and the position of the turning point, or ‘pivot’ are important. Pulleys convert downward ‘pull’ into upward ‘lift’. Pulleys reduce the effort needed to lift a load. Levers and pulleys belong to that class of items known as simple machines. Simple machines are able to multiply a force and control the direction and strength of the force to make moving objects easier. They are able to concentrate the moving force to where it is needed.
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MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Seeing : An Animal’s Eye View

MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Seeing : An Animal’s Eye View

Animals’ eyes may work differently from ours, but they may see the same as we see. It is what the brain makes of what the eye sees that is important. An animal’s eyes are particularly suited to its life-style and the environment in which it lives. The position of an animal’s eyes and the type of lens the eye has give clues as to how it may view the world. Birds, whose eyes assist them in hunting, navigating and avoiding predators, have some of the sharpest eyesight in the animal kingdom. Their eyes are very large, sometimes weighing more than their brains. Some hawks and eagles have eyes which are about the same size as an adult human’s. Lands snails have eyes at the tips of long tentacles which they use to explore terrain. There is a great variety of eye types in the animal kingdom.
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MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Hearing : How The Ear Works

MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Hearing : How The Ear Works

The ear is divided into three parts: the outer ear; the middle ear; and the inner ear. The outer part of the ear funnels sound down the ear canal (a tube about three centimeters long) towards the middle ear where the eardrum is locate. The eardrum vibrates when sound vibrations hit it. The vibrations are then transmitted through three tiny bones in the middle ear known (because of their shapes) as the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup. The stirrup bone pushes directly against the inner ear with is filled with fluid. In the inner ear, the vibrations move through the fluid and cause tine hair-like cells to move. These, in turn, are connected to other nerve cells which send messages to the brain.
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MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Structures : Arch Bridges

MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Structures : Arch Bridges

Arches are strong shapes. The keystone at the center of the arch holds the arch in place. Structural strength may be due to the construction material used and/or the structural design. In an arch, all the forces are pushing on the base, the sides, between the stones and onto the keystone area. These forces all balance out so the arch does not move. There are many different designs of arch bridges and they can be constructed out of many different materials. The use of an ‘arch’ as a strong building structure has a long history dating back to at least Greek and Roman times.
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MIST : SCIENCE : AIR AND WATER : Storing and Cleaning Water : Cleaning Dirty Water

MIST : SCIENCE : AIR AND WATER : Storing and Cleaning Water : Cleaning Dirty Water

Cleaning dirty water can be investigated with simple equipment. Some materials clean muddy water better than others. Fine materials let the water pass through more slowly than coarse materials. Various materials can be used to filter out particles present in water. Some of these filtering materials include rocks, charcoal, sand, cotton-wool and cloth. The closer together the filtering material is packed, the finer the particles that can be filtered out of it. Looser materials remove large impurities; finer materials remove tiny impurities. The slower the ‘filtration’ speed, the cleaner the water becomes. Sand does not make the water absolutely clean.
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MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Machines : THe Human Machine

MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Machines : THe Human Machine

Animal bodies are held in shape by their skeletons. Skeletons are made from lots of bones. Bones do not bend. Movement in skeletons happens at joints. Muscles control movement of joints. Muscles can only work by pulling on bones. The muscles contract (shorten) as they pull. Muscles usually operate as opposing pairs. Like machines, our bodies consist of a framework with moving parts. Joints are like turning points (or pivots) of levers. One muscle, or a set of muscles, contracts and pulls on the bones to cause movement. This muscle cannot push the bone back again, but another muscle, or a set of muscles, is used for this.
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MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Smelling and Tasting : Which Colors Taste Good

MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Smelling and Tasting : Which Colors Taste Good

The choice of food may be affected by its color. People may have different preferences of color for certain types of food. Most foods have natural color. The color of food can be changed artificially with food coloring. In this sort of test, the results may not be the same every time. Taste buds are the receptors which determine our sense of taste. These are nerve endings (about 10,000 of them) found on the tip, sides and back of the upper surface of the tongue. Most experts use 4 taste receptors: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Each kind of taste bud is grouped in a specific location on the tongue. For example, our ‘sweet’ taste buds are on the tip of our tongue, ‘salty’ on the side, ‘sour’ further back on the side, and ‘bitter’ right at the back of our tongue.
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MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Hearing : Protecting Your Hearing

MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Hearing : Protecting Your Hearing

Loud sounds can damage the hearing ability of ears. Ear-defenders protect ears by cutting down the intensity of sound that reaches them. Ears are sensitive organs and have limits to the amount of sound they can safely handle. Exceeding these limits can damage the ears, in some cases permanently. Ears need to be protected from these risks where sustained and excessive sound is present. The longer the exposure to excessive sound the greater the risk of ear damage. The eardrum or tympanic membrane), which vibrates as sound is carried to it, is very thin. It is only able to tolerate vibrations to a set limit. Sound that is too loud causes the eardrum to vibrate beyond its endurance and can make it rupture.
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MIST : SCIENCE : AIR AND WATER : Storing and Cleaning Water : Cleaning Water

MIST : SCIENCE : AIR AND WATER : Storing and Cleaning Water : Cleaning Water

The cleaning of dirty water can be investigated with simple equipment. Passing dirty water through materials are better at cleaning than others. Different materials can be used as ‘filters’ and can include rocks, charcoal, sand, cotton-wool, and cloth. The closer together the filtering material is packed, the finer the particles that can be filtered out of it. Looser materials remove large impurities; finer materials remove tiny impurities. Testing materials and comparing results enables good filters to be identified. Tests need to be ‘fair’ to ensure reliable results.
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MIST : SCIENCE : AIR AND WATER : Using Air : Parachutes

MIST : SCIENCE : AIR AND WATER : Using Air : Parachutes

Objects fall to Earth. Parachutes are designed to allow the human body and other objects to fall to the Earth slowly. Jumping without a parachute from an aeroplane would be a disaster. Parachutes are very unstreamlined. They increase air resistance and decrease the rate of fall. Making model parachutes and dropping them is a good way of experimenting with air resistance. Objects fall through air to the ground by the force of gravity acting on them. At the same time that gravity is pulling the falling object downwards, the air through which the object is falling is pushing upwards. The more air that can be captured by the falling object, the slower will be its fall toward the Earth.
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MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Machines : Levers

MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Machines : Levers

Levers can make it easier to move things. With some levers, the object to be moved is at one end of the lever and push or pull is exerted on the other end. There are different kinds of lever but all levers need a point about which the lever can turn (the pivot). Where the pivot is positioned is important. Some types of lever convert a small force at one end into a larger force at the other. The strength of the levering force is affected by the position of the pivot. With some levers, eg. A nutcracker, the pivot (or fulcrum) is at the end and there are two lever arms which work together to get the job done.
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MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Machines : The Animal Machine

MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Machines : The Animal Machine

Most animals drive themselves along with powerful hind legs. Different animals use their legs in different ways. Force from the muscle power is needed to make animals move. This force is transmitted to the ground by an animal’s legs. The animal pushes, then they walk or run. The force of the animal pushing on the ground is met by the opposing force of the ground pushing back. Animals’ skeletons and muscles work just like our own human skeletons and muscles, although the way in which the skeleton structure is arranged has evolved in a way that suits each animal’s lie style and the environment in which it lives.
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MIST : Maths : Getting Ready for Number 07 : How Big Is Small

MIST : Maths : Getting Ready for Number 07 : How Big Is Small

How Big? How Small? is a video and lesson plan. There are three areas of focus for the child: to help children to realise that size involves comparisons to help children to appreciate the importance of comparisons in measurement to help children to realise that measurement includes things such as distance, length, width, breadth, height, thickness, depth, weight/mass, surface area, volume, capacity, time, temperature, angle, speed etc ie a wide variety of types of measurements
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MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Structures : Play Safe

MIST : SCIENCE : Forces, Machines and Structures : Structures : Play Safe

Playground equipment needs to be strong. Strength depends on both the design and the material. The design has to take into account the way in which the equipment will be used. Playground equipment has to be fun, as well as safe. It must also withstand the effects of weather. In recent years a great deal of design thinking has been applied to playground equipment. Some of the structures used are very imaginative, combining strength (and safety) with enterprise so that children will get enjoyment out of them. Playgrounds also provide good, and safe, opportunities for children’s physical development. They engage in many strength building activities, develop motor skills, body awareness and physical confidence.
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MIST : SCIENCE : AIR AND WATER : The Surface Of Water : Clinging Water (Surface Tension)

MIST : SCIENCE : AIR AND WATER : The Surface Of Water : Clinging Water (Surface Tension)

Water behaves as if it has a ‘skin’ around it. Water clings to itself and to some objects and surfaces. This ‘skin-like’ quality in the water’s surface is called ‘surface-tension’. Surface tension operates in the surface of water. It holds the surface together. Water has a clinging effect both to itself and to some surfaces. Because of the clinging effect, objects can be used to make water run in a particular direction. Window ledges and other parts of buildings are often designed to make use of water’s surface tension, for drainage.
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MIST : Maths : Getting Ready for Number 11 : What Counts

MIST : Maths : Getting Ready for Number 11 : What Counts

What Counts? is a video and lesson plan. There are three areas of focus for the child: To explore how numbers can be used to find out how many of something there is (Cardinal Number) To explore how numbers can also be used simply for their order (Ordinal Number), labelling each object in turn To help children to see that when they are using numbers to find out “how many”, the numbers they say represent all objects counted so far, not just the one they are pointing to at that moment
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MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Seeing : Rainbows

MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Seeing : Rainbows

Rainbows are caused by the effect of sunlight on water drops. White light (sunlight) is a combination of all colors (the colors of the rainbow). Triangular blocks of glass can split white light into this different colors, giving the same effect. Prisms and raindrops bend sunlight as it enters. This splits the white light into its component colors. These different colors are reflected off the back of the raindrop and out again towards the viewer. This is what the viewer sees. The viewer needs to between the sun and the water droplet. The old magical belief that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow can never be so. As you move, so does the vantage point from which you are seeing the rainbow, and the rainbow itself will either move too, or disappear altogether.
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MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Hearing : Hunting By Ear

MIST : SCIENCE : The Senses : Hearing : Hunting By Ear

Owls use their ears as well as their eyes to locate their prey. Some owls have ears which are slightly different from each other. This enables them to locate pre with greater precision that if the ears were identical. Such owls have evolved a hearing system which suits their life-style and the environment in which they live. Owls that have asymmetrical ear openings, which are s paced widely apart, are able to determine the direction of a sound because it reaches each ear at a slightly different time. This allows them to pinpoint a sound by a process of triangulation. This can make an owl’s ear sensitive enough to detect the slight noise a mouse makes when running over twigs and leaves on the ground.
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