In order for water to be safe for humans to drink, and to be pleasing to drink in terms of odour, colour and taste, it needs to be purified. Many types of scientists including civil, chemical and environmental engineers, chemists, health scientists and biologists work together to make existing water treatment systems better and to develop new water treatment systems. The design of the Water Purification Learning Experience, is based on the 5E’s instructional model, to illustrate to teachers the different levels of inquiry possible in laboratory investigations and how these levels can be increased within a learning sequence to facilitate students accessing higher levels of inquiry.
You probably know that electrical energy is required to operate an electrical appliance when you are using it. But is electrical energy still consumed even when you are not using it? Many household appliances have features such as remote control, pre-set memory, clock display, instant on etc. Do these appliances still use electricity even when you are not using them? Let’s investigate!
Learning about forces can be a lot of fun when looking at rollercoasters. Not only are these engineering marvels absolutely thrilling, they are also an impressive display of balanced and unbalanced forces and energy transfers and transformations. This investigation is safe and inexpensive, and it covers content in the Year 7 to 10 Physical sciences. This investigation can be extended to include an excursion to the local amusement park or fair. Students will be allowed to utilise their creativity in order to design their own rollercoaster track. Before they make their design, students will be required to compare the efficiency of three simple tracks. From this initial activity, students will gather data that they can then apply to their own unique track design. This will give students the impetus to understand the scientific theory underpinning this investigation, such as gravity, friction and conservation of energy, in order to make an optimal design.
Have you ever wondered how to make the perfect pass? At what angle you should hit a ball to reach the furthest? What kind of material would make the best cricket bat? Sport scientists use the scientific method to answer these questions every day! Sport is a key area of interest for Australian researchers. Using everything from biology to engineering, Aussie universities, the Australian Institute of Sport, and companies like Nike use STEM principles to bring out the best in our athletes. By optimising strategies, monitoring athlete health and performance, and developing cutting-edge new gear, they bring sports into the future.
Have you ever heard that plastic can be made out of milk? If this sounds far-fetched, you may be surprised to learn that from the early 1900s until about 1945, milk was commonly used to make many different plastic ornaments. This included buttons, decorative buckles, beads and other jewellery, fountain pens, the backings for hand-held mirrors, and fancy comb and brush sets. Milk plastic (usually called casein plastic) was even used to make jewellery for Queen Mary of England! In this activity, you will make your own casein plastic out of hot milk and vinegar.
There are two main types of batteries based on the type of electrolyte that is used. There is what we call the wet cell, which makes use of liquid electrolytes in the form of a solution, and there is also what we call dry cell, which makes use of electrolytes in the form of paste. There are many more types of batteries available on the market now, like carbon-zinc cell, alkaline cell, nickel-cadmium cell, Edison cell and mercury cell. In this simple experiment, we will be creating our own battery with the use of citrus fruits, with a power that is strong enough to make a small bulb light up.
Batteries – Open (PDF)
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. In normal motoring mode, most electric motors operate through the interaction between an electric motor’s magnetic field and winding currents to generate force within the motor. Found in applications as diverse as industrial fans, blowers and pumps, machine tools, household appliances, power tools, and disk drives, electric motors can be powered by direct current (DC) sources, such as from batteries, motor vehicles or rectifiers, or by alternating current (AC) sources, such as from the power grid, inverters or generators. Small motors may be found in electric watches. Electric motors are used to produce linear or rotary force (torque), and should be distinguished from devices such as magnetic solenoids and loudspeakers that convert electricity into motion but do not generate usable mechanical power, which are respectively referred to as actuators and transducers.
Playing with Pressure
Every living organism on Planet Earth, at sea level, experiences an atmospheric pressure of 101.325kPa which is equivalent to approximately a mass of air of 10,339 kg/m2. Our bodies are designed to cope with this pressure. The pressure inside our lungs and ears is the same as the atmospheric pressure surrounding us. This guarantees that we will not crush under the atmospheric pressure. Thankfully, our bodies are flexible enough to adapt to variations in the external pressures, of course within limits. At higher altitudes such as in an aeroplane, our ears pop during take-off or during landing, this is due to the difference in air pressure on either side of our ear drums. In this experiment, students will have a chance to investigate situations involving pressure and how pressure acts in different scenarios.