Doodle Science - February 2012

Circulated to schools, organisations and individuals - covering primary science and related bits and bobs.


It's not a wood louse. This is a trilobite, or to be more accurate a metaganthina. About 6cm long from Morocco and 500 million years old. Cute eh, and hasn't he/ she got a lovely look in his/hers/ its eye. I have quite a few fossils (what a surprise) but this is wonderfully preserved.

Great Dates in Sci and Tech for February

3rd 1966 - Unmanned Luna 9 lands on the Moon

5th 1924 - The Greenwich Time Signal or the "Pips" are broadcast for the first time.

6th 1959 - Kilby of Texas Instruments patents an integrated circuit.

7th 1979 - Pluto moves inside the orbit of Neptune, it still is.

10th 1996 - IBMs Deep Blue computer beats Garry Kasparov at chess

12th 1809 - Charles Darwin is born

15th 1564 - Galileo Galilei is born

18th Tombaugh discovers Pluto

28th 1953 Watson and Crick tell friends they have worked out the structure of DNA. They publish in April

Something to try

Build a tower of spaghetti.

Honestly this does work. Get some spaghetti, don't cook it just keep it raw. It is very strong if you compress it providing it does not bend. Notice that if you do bend a piece it does not break in to two pieces but into three. Strange. It seems to be because it flexes too far when it bends back after breaking. To join the girders of spaghetti you have a choice. Tape would probably be cheating but blu-tack works well, or if you fancy being a bit more of a culinary bent, you can use mini marshmallows. The aim is to build as tall a structure as possible. I have managed 2 metres. The key is to use the pieces to try and make groups of three as tripods. Go on Google Spaghetti towers images and you will be amazed at what is possible.

Health and safety
Take care with you eyes. Do not eat the spaghetti after use for towers, mind you it would have to go in boiling water for ten minutes and that should kill just about anything. Marshmallows are mainly made from left over pig parts so you might not want to eat them anyway.

Web site well worth a visit
is this Insect Photo site

and have a look at the Science Museum for useful free stuff.