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Lutetia (Rosetta)Lutetia is a large main-belt asteroid about 100 kilometers in diameter (120 km along its major axis). It’s named after Lutetia, the Latin name of the city that stood where Paris now stands. Lutetia has an irregular shape and is heavily cratered. The largest impact crater is around 45 km in diameter. It has a high average density, meaning that it is made of metal-rich rock.

This picture was taken by the Rosetta spacecraft when it passed within 3,162 km  of the asteroid in July, 2010. Lutetia was the largest asteroid visited by a spacecraft until the Dawn spacecraft arrived at Vesta a year later.

Image Credit: ESA

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The day my son went viral

Put the book back on the shelf

UntitledA couple of months ago my son, who is six years old, performed a solo routine at his school talent competition. I couldn’t attend but my wife filmed it on her mobile phone so I could watch it later. She also put it on Facebook for friends and relatives to see. Unfortunately, we hadn’t given any thought to the privacy settings and it was ‘shared’ amongst people we didn’t know. When we became aware of this we quickly changed the permissions and forgot all about it.

However, one morning, a few days later, we received a text from a friend telling us that the video was ‘trending’ on Buzzfeed and, as we hastily conducted some Google searches, it became apparent that we had a problem. There were bizarre stories about it on sites such as Huffington Post and Mail Online and these were being replicated around the world. Additionally, the…

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Flickr Astronomy: milky way


Sound of galaxies by Michal Sleczek on Flickr.

Just follow this link to see and comment on this photo:

Using Microscopes in the Classroom


This website talks about the use of microscopes in classrooms and how important they are in any science classroom. Students usually have a difficult time using microscopes for the first time. It is important to educate students on the proper use because it is an important skill needed to study microorganisms. Without knowing how to handle a microscope, the students can actually cause damage to the microscope or whatever they are using  it to study.


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We were learning about uses of Satellites this week.

We started with a powerpoint that I pinched from TES (why reinvent the wheel!) and then had some support to work out what satellites were used for.

The class enjoyed using Google Maps to see the school from space and it prompted a lot of discussion.

sorry, wordpress won’t let me upload CiP!

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The Digestion Process



Imagine your favorite food on a plate right in front of you. Imagine the taste of it once you put it in your mouth. You begin chewing it bite by bite and you swallow it so it can go into your stomach. Being able to feel that sensation of satisfaction once it´s in your tummy is like going to the moon and coming back.

Have you ever asked yourself what happens to that food once you´ve swallowed it? You´re probably thinking on the process called poop. Yet, what really happens to it before getting there? Digestion is the process of changing food into a substance that the body can absorb and use as energy. It is a process that is half mechanical, and half chemical.

In the mechanical process, you teeth tear and grind the food in order to swallow it, and the muscular walls of your esophagus, stomach, and…

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Phonics By Spelling's Blog


Objective: Children explore the properties of magnets and experiment with magnetic fields.


  • magnets
  • iron shavings in a clear sealed container
  • steel marbles or BB’s
  • paint
  • construction paper
  • shallow box or tray large enough for a piece of construction paper
  • magnetic and nonmagnetic items
  • two large containers for sorting magnetic and nonmagnetic items.



  • Magnets attract objects made with iron, and they have two poles, a north pole and a south pole.
  • The opposite poles of magnets will attract each other, while the like poles will repel. Demonstrate this concept with two magnets
  • Magnets can pull through air, but some can also pull through solids and liquids. Demonstrate this concept by having a magnetic item be attracted through a piece of paper.
  • A magnetic field is the area around the magnet where it can attract or repel things. A magnet will affect a magnetic object only…

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Potatoes are the alternative fuel of the future

Bustin' the Blogosphere

If this were the 16th century, hoards of middle school students would be beheaded by the Church for witchcraft.

Building a potato clock is basically a prerequisite to graduating the fifth grade. It’s as cliche as building a volcano for the science fair you forgot about until the night before.

I’ll go on record and say I never believed this was actually possible. I don’t think it’ll work. I think this has been a giant conspiracy perpetrated by the Idaho farming industry to trick people into buying more spuds. Potatoes are not fuel sources and running electrical appliances should not be possible.

And if it does work, I’ll take a page out of the medieval Church’s playbook and just conclude that it must be some form of dark magic.

For the project, I used instructions from wikihow‘s article on building a potato clock.

  • 2 large clean potatoes, or 2…

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Second solar storm hits Earth, auroras expected


A second of two major solar storms has hit the Earth, creating ideal conditions for colourful night skies over polar regions, but also creating the risk of disruption to communications and power networks.

Tasmania may be one place to enjoy the view, according to the Aurora Australis Tasmania Facebook page.

The Space Prediction Centre of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) said the storm had “entered its main phase and it has strengthened to the expected G3 (strong) level,”  in a statement posted on its website at 9.35 am,(AEST).

An Aurora Borealis in all its glory.

An Aurora Borealis in all its glory. Photo: NASA file pic.

“Solar wind conditions suggest that this activity will continue for many hours and aurora watchers should be in for a good treat,” the centre said, adding t would issue warnings if more “intense storming” occurs.

The second of two solar storms…

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