GCSE Revision Videos – myGCSEscience



As recommended by my Year 11 GCSE Physics students – myGCSEscience.com is an excellent site that has video clips on all areas of GCSE science, sorted into modules for the AQA Core Science (B1 C1 P1), Additional Science  (B2 C2 P2) and Separate Sciences (B3 C3 P3).

Here is an example from P3 on Convex Lenses

Each video comes with a pdf you can print, with pictures of the slides and spaces for your  own notes – so you can build up your own revision guide.

Plus – since all videos are hosted by YouTube – you can use your mobile or tablet to watch them.

Mr G

Sources – myGCSEscience.com, YouTube




Energy Drinks – the effects on students…

I’ve not blogged for a while – so I’m starting again with something we as teachers are getting concerned about.

These last few years energy drinks are increasingly popular with youngsters. Advertising, sponsoring big events have made energy drinks a “Monster” of a problem in schools.

Red Bull was probably the first really popular energy drink. High in sugar and as much caffeine as a strong coffee, the 250ml cans perked you up and massive sales ensued (Red Bull now have enough money to sponsor a wide range of sports – including 2 F1 teams)

But the craze has spread and the cans have gotten bigger and so has the problem.

Members of the team would often complain of feeling dizzy, shaky and hyper during practice; sometimes they’d vomit in the middle of a workout. It was directly related to their consumption of energy drinks – Coach of Midlakes High School swimming team

Energy drinks are not the same as Sports Drinks – energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine. Energy drinks have “no therapeutic benefit” where as some sports drinks do. Most people would not guzzle several strong coffees in a quick succession – but that is the same as drinking a 500ml can of energy drink.

They may harm the health of children, especially those with diabetes, seizures, cardiac abnormalities or mood and behavior disorders. Energy drink overdoses in children as young as 5 have been reported both here and abroad and in some cases have resulted in seizures, stroke and even sudden death.

Whenever I see students drinking these drinks I point out the warning “Not suitable for children”. Teachers often see the effects of students drinking energy drinks between lessons – brought into school by the students. Partly to blame is the marketing.

More than half the market is under 25 years of age and 30-50 percent of adolescents and young adults consume energy drinks. A quick perusal of packaging, websites and marketing material for the beverages shows they are clearly aimed at the youth market.

We learned far too late the effects of smoking on addicted teenagers – is this the start of the next big health issue?

Children, or other people sensitive to caffeine, should only consume in moderation drinks with high levels of caffeine – UK Food Standards Agency

Mr G

Sources: ABC News, Medical News Today, The Daily Mail, NHS.

Free Fridge Magnets

The Open University has joined up with Bang Goes the Theory to offer free DNA fridge magnets.

You can get a set here.

Mr G

Have we saved the whales?

Since 1986 there has been a world wide ban on commercial whaling (apart from small groups – such as inuit tribes in northern Canada, etc) some countries do continue to hunt these mammals.

Countries like Japan use a loophole in the regulations, allowing for “scientific” experiments. Iceland and Norway just ignore the ban and hunt whales to sell the meat/products.

Even buying products on sale in the UK with nothing to do with whales can be supporting the whaling industry in Iceland.

Japan says it continues to hunt for scientific research, while not concealing the fact that much of the meat ends up on dinner plates.

Roland Buerk

BBC – Tokyo

Now conservationist have prevented ships from whaling, forcing them to move away from their usual hunting grounds

One of our boats has been blocking the main ship’s stern loading ramp, preventing any harpooned whales from being loaded on to the ship.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Now, since all that was a bit depressing… here are some Fun Facts

  • The blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth
  • The heart of a blue whale is about the size of a VW Beatle car
  • Blue whales are pregnant for almost 2 years!
  • The newborn calf is about 7.5 m long and weighs about 5.5 – 7.3 tonnes –nearly as much as 100 men
  • The sperm whale’s huge head, which is up to a third of its overall body length, houses the heaviest brain in the animal kingdom – up to 9kg
  • The southern right whale has the largest testes in the animal kingdom – each pair weighing around a tonne
  • An individual fin whale pees about 970 litres per day. That’s enough to fill up more than 3 bathtubs!
  • Bowhead whales spend their lives in cold Arctic waters. They may be the world’s oldest mammals and are the longest lived of all whales – possibly over 200 years!
  • In its lifetime – that’s about 40 years – a grey whale travels a distance that is equivalent to going to the moon and back!

See more here

Mr G

Source: BBC News, WCDS

Some Free Science Wallpaper

Here are some galleries of free desktop wallpaper from.


Mr G

MIT for Free!!

Anyone want to stretch their brains to the MAX????

MIT (Massachusets Institute of Technology – one of  THE best Universities) has put their past course materials online for FREE.

Even more useful – they have set aside a section for courses suitable for High School students (and teachers!!)

Have a look and give your brain a work out!

Mr G

Source: MITOpenCourseware

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organisation with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere.

Whilst drifting around the internet I found the Khan Academy website.

Although it’s in “American” – there are YouTube video clips of an American guy Salman Khan  teaching topics in Math(s), Science (Including Physics, Chemistry and Biology) and other subjects.

These are very useful for revision and self-study – particulary for 6th form classes.

Here is an example video – on 2D Projectile Motion – something AS Maths and Physics students often struggle with.

Hope it’s useful!

Mr G

Retina Microchips

Just seen on the news that new technology has enabled blind people to see, by inserting a microchip into the retina of the eye. At the moment, the person who tested it out could see shapes and recognise his name but it’s not perfect right at this moment in time, but this is just the start, hopefully in future the tech for this will improve and let them see even better. More info and a video here.

Alienferret 🙂

Will we lose 1/5 of all our plants?

It certainly seems possible, with 22 % of wild plants on the endangered list (along wiht 21% of mammals and 12% of birds).

A lot of the problem is down to the clearing of the rain forests.

If all the plants vanish, so will all animals and birds. – Eimear Nic Lughadha, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London

Mr G

Source: New Scientist

How Caveman are you?

How many Neanderthal genes do you have?

Humans have evolved and like many evolving organisms, we have a had a few less successful branches along the way.

This BBC article shows how in the distant past Human evolution  split into branches, one of which became us (Homo Sapiens) and another became Neanderthal man. But there is some evidence in our genes to say there was some interbreeding later on, after Homo Sapiens (us) started to migrate out of Africa.

[Neanderthals] are not totally extinct, in some of us they live on – a little bit
Professor Svante Paabo
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Apparently as much as 4% of your genes come from Neaderthal – remember that next time someone says you look like a caveman first thing in the morning!!

Mr G

(4% Caveman + 96% Physicist)