Baker’s Half Dozen (31/01/14)

In this regular feature, I list my 6 favourite practical science links from the past fortnight. Only five really got me excited this fortnight! If you have used or seen a great practical resource, let me know by commenting or by tweeting me @TFScientist

A cheap and easy biology practical (Image courtesy of BioMed Central, CC-BY)

  • Subject: Biology (Orange Juice Challenge)
  • Log in?: No
  • Source: Twitter via BioMed Central (@BioMedCentral)
  • Author: BioMed Central Blog
  • Details: Cheap and easy biology practicals are surprisingly difficult to find. This is a great investigation into how our eyes can fool our taste buds. All you need is some juice, food colouring and the protocol from the bottom of the link.


  • Subject: Chemistry (Demonstrations only)
  • Log in?: No
  • Source: Twitter via National STEM Centre (@NtlSTEMCentre)
  • Author: Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Details: This is a real chemistry treasure trove! This site contains 100 demonstrations that GCSE pupils are not able to perform themselves. Remember that a demonstration should have a clear purpose, and not be included just to waste a few minutes of lesson time.

iPad screen-capture

  • Subject: Practical Science
  • Price?: Free (from iTunes or the Apple App store. Not on Android)
  • Source/author: Science House Foundation (@sciencehousefdn)
  • Details: Over 80 videos of science experiments and demonstrations. A great collection that even shows you how to make your own versions of expensive equipment, for a fraction of the cost. Well worth having on your iPhone or iPad.

Using pipe cleaners and pony beads to make DNA (Image courtesy of Hayley Thompson)

  • Subject: Biology (DNA Modelling and Replication)
  • Log in?: Yes (Free)
  • Source and Author: Twitter via Hayley Thompson (@HThompson1982)
  • Details:A simple way to model the structure of DNA. Even better, you then use these models to teach DNA replication – the students must figure out how this structure might replicate. A great independent learning idea that is simple and attractive. Perfect! Resource comes with a video, instructions on how to make the model and a fantastic accompanying powerpoint presentation.

  • Subject: Science Numeracy
  • Log in?: No
  • Author: Rob Butler (@cleverfiend)
  • Details: Not strictly a practical resource, but a resource useful for practicals. Last Monday, ASEchat (every monday from 8pm!) focussed on numeracy in science. Practical science is a great way of teaching numeracy, particularly with skills such as serial dilutions, graphing, lines of best fit and scaling. Rob provides his take on the chat, with a full transcript available at the bottom of the page

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