We hear bubbling potions which can only mean one thing… our science guy Steve Spangler is in the 9NEWS kitchen. It’s estimated that over 175 million Americans will participate in Halloween activities this year spending over $9 billion on all that fun. Every year our 9NEWS viewers turn to Steve Spangler to help add just the right science twist to their Halloween celebration. Continue reading
The following link provides a classroom activity that illustrates how a population can change to adapt to a changing food source. Students use utensils such as clothespins to model how animals obtain food. A variation of this activity was shared by David and David with their colleagues at UofT Faculty of Education. Continue reading
You probably know that voltaic batteries come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from tiny button batteries to car batteries to huge industrial heavy-weights. They turn chemical energy into the electrical energy that people use to power clocks, toys, cell phones, medical devices, tablets, cars, satellites… and an LED! These batteries seem pretty complicated but you can make a real voltaic battery right in your kitchen. Grab the ice tray and start the electrons moving. Continue reading
Measuring tiny volumes with precision and accuracy requires a micropipet. In the biology lab, micropipets are used for preparing and loading DNA samples, microscale experiments and the preparation of many types of samples. These applications rely on good technique to reduce error. This guide explains how to choose the proper micropipet for the application and techniques to help ensure that measurements are accurate and precise.
Hans Christian Oersted (1777–1851), a Danish physicist, was performing an experiment in 1820 when he noticed that whenever an electric current from a battery was switched on or off, a nearby compass needle was deflected. Through additional experiments, Oersted was able to demonstrate the link between electricity and magnetism. The following year, English scientist Michael Faraday (1791–1867) created a device that produced “electromagnetic rotation.” This device is known as a homopolar motor since the motor requires no commutator to reverse the current.
A motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. The simple motor in this activity changes the electrical energy output by the battery to mechanical energy as the copper wire is set into rotational motion. Any current-carrying wire produces an associated magnetic field. The electrons in the wire are subjected to a magnetic field and experience a force—referred to as the Lorentz force—that is perpendicular to both the magnetic field and the direction of movement. At some point along the length of the wire, the electrical current is not parallel to the magnetic field. The resulting Lorentz force is tangential and induces a torque on the copper wire. This torque causes the copper wire to spin.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the genetic material found inside the nucleus of eukaryotic organisms. The information coded by DNA determines the characteristics of an organism, including its size, shape and other unique features. How can this genetic material be isolated and identified? This activity describes one of the most common techniques used to examine DNA—electrophoresis. Continue reading