Category Archives: Baker’s Half-Dozen


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

In this regular feature, I list my 6 favourite practical science links from the past fortnight

Image courtesy of

Chip pan fire, as demonstrated on the ScienceDemo website (© Gatsby Charitable Foundation 2013; CC-BY License).

  • Subject: Chemistry (Chip Pan Fire Demo)
  • Log in?: No
  • Source: Twitter via Royal Institution (@RIScience) and Jonathon Sanderson (@jjsanderson)
  • Author:
  • Details: A video (and cautionary description) demonstrating the chip-pan fire. Scroll down the page to see some Biology and Physics demos too! Made as part of the British Science Association’s  Get Set Demonstrate Project.

Demo Day 2014: 20th March 2014

Not really a resource but definitely one of the most exciting practical-related links I’ve seen in a while. I’ll follow up with more details later, but for now, check out their website!

image of laptop showing The OpenScience laboratory application website

Another resource that warrants further investigation and a future post! This website is for any and all interested in practical science.

  • Subject: Practical Science
  • Log in?: Full access to registered users only. Several resources available to all.
  • Source: Twitter via Lee Page (@LeeWPage)
  • Author: Open University (@OpenScienceLab
  • Details: They offer remote experiments, citizen science and interactive screen experiments. Great for the casually interested and schools wishing to broaden their practical horizons

  • Subject: Chemistry
  • Log in?: Yes (Free Registration)
  • Source: Science Enhancement Programme, on the National Stem Centre website
  • Details: Demonstrations and practical activities which explore states of matter and particle theory. I love the idea of pouring a gas!

A Jelly baby wave machine?
  • Subject: Physics (Teaching Waves)
  • Log in?: No
  • Author: Neil Atkin (@natkin)
  • Details: A comprehensive guide to teaching waves. From how to introduce terminology, to demonstrations (using slinky’s and the Queen), to how to make a jelly baby wave machine! Lots of videos too

  • Subject: Geology – the rock cycle
  • Log in?: Yes (free registration)
  • Author: ItsJustNathan (TES Resources)
  • Details: A lesson plan and accompanying PowerPoint to guide KS3 learners through the Rock Cycle. The pupils role play their way through the rock cycle in game. Excellent detail in lesson plan too!