Team Russia launches

Relaunching the blog from Moscow, Russia.

de Ferrers (and West Park) are here taking part in the Space Master Class.

Each day a student will be writing about their experiences.

Mr G.

Our first day began with our space cadets experiencing a wide ranging breakfast of burgers, pizzas and pancakes. Though, after a long day of travelling, some of our students did not quite make the 8.00am start time!

Split into two groups, we embarked on a walking tour of Moscow city. First, however, we had to catch the metro into the city centre, which plunged us right into the daily lives of Russian citizens whilst experiencing the diverse culture that the stations had to offer. Most prominent of which were bronze statues lining the walls of the station depicting Russian workers of many professions. The stunning art pays tribute to Russia’s citizens and rich history.

Whilst above ground today, we were exposed to unique sights such as: the eternal flame, the changing of the guards and the resting place of Lenin. However, the students found most amazement in the beauty of St Basil’s cathedral and the famous Kremlin. Today saw our students experience the immense landmarks that Moscow had to offer, and were not left disappointed. We finished the day with a meal at our hotel and an exclusive presentation given by Alexander Martynov with a special guest… Alexander Volkov, the Ukrainian cosmonaut! This was a fantastic opportunity for the whole team to ask him some pressing questions and even have a photo taken with the national hero.



The 9 BEST Study Tips (backed up with Science)

Welcome back to another academic year.

Our friends over at ASAPScience have a new video – with the BEST ways to plan and manage your studying. Take a look…

Mr G

Sources – ASAPScience YouTube


P1 Revision – Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

A quick video clip covering the origin and meaning of the Cosmic (Microwave) Background Radiation

Minute Physics have many more very useful clips… Go have a look-see…

Mr G

Source: YouTube – Minute Physics

P2 Chapter 7 Revision – The Life Cycle of Stars

Here is a clip on the Life Cycle of Stars put together by the Institute of Physics

Mr G


P2 Chapter 7 Revision – Black Holes

Another BBC YouTube clip from Wonders of the Universe – which covers GCSE Physics 2!! – This time on Black Holes.

Mr G

P2 Chapter 7 Revision – Where do the elements come from?

Professor Brian Cox – teaching you GCSE Physics 2…

The Big Bang made hydrogen – but where did the other 91 natural chemical elements come from? These clips from the BBC’s Wonders of the Universe by Brian Cox answer the questions…

How do we know there are only 92 elements – even out in deep space?

All atoms give out only certain colours – a spectrum – based on how their electrons behave. They also absorb only those colours too. You might have seen this by doing flame tests or looking at gas discharge tubes using a spectroscope.

How did all these elements get made?

Every element in nature was made in stars, during their “life and death” by a process of nuclear fusion which gives out energy up to Iron (so these are made as stars live and die) but needs energy for heavier elements (which means these are made when a star explodes)

Not little stars like ours – but HUGE stars!!

Mr G

Sources: BBC Wonders of the Universe

The beginning of the end???

The International Energy Agency reckons it just might be!!

Oil – the fuel everything we do runs on – hit peak production in 2006 they think. This means with an every increasing popluation (most of whom at the moment don’t use oil anywhere near as much as we do in Europe/America) the amount of oil to go around will stay the same, or even start to drop, sending prices upwards.

In this chart we can see what they expect over the next 25 years. The darkest blue is the oil we are currently pumping – that’s on a downwards trend.

Above that is oil we know about, but are not pumping yet – also on a downwards trend. To stay level we have to hope we find new reserves – oil we don’t even know about yet.

To top up the levels we need more Liquified Natural Gas and BioOil (oil from plants).

So – is this the end of Fossil Fuel Oil as we know it?

Mr G

Source: Yale University Environment 360

The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe?

On the 31st of March (at 4pm) the IoP (Institute of Physics) are running another free online lecture – this time by Paul Davies (Director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University, US)

For 50 years, astronomers have been sweeping the skies with radio telescopes in the hope of stumbling across a message from an alien civilization. So far, they have been greeted by an eerie silence. So are we alone in the universe after all, or might the scientists be looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time? Paul Davies calls for the search to be widened to include any signatures of intelligence, and examines several ways in which alien technology might have left subtle footprints in the universe.

Register using this link and you can win copies of his book.

While I’m mentioning the IoP – Students (including A-Level) can sign up for FREE membership and recieve the IoP e-magazines

Mr G

Module Exams – WEDNESDAY!!

Just a reminder of the Module Exams for GCSE Science (Module 1’s) that are happening next Wednesday (3rd of March 2010)

We have loads of resources on the Science Website that might help…

  • Revision Websites – that can be part of your revision
  • Past Papers – with Markschemes and Grade Boundaries
  • Revision Lists – that tell you what you’re expected to know and need to revise
  • Podcasts – from the BBC – so you can listen to your revision on your mp3 player

Remember we also have access to the Taecanet website.

Revision shouldn’t be just doing one thing. You didn’t learn to walk, talk or ride a bike by “reading a revision book” –

Make it ACTIVE! Do DIFFERENT things.

  • make note cards
  • make up mnemonics – memory words – reminder songs – etc
  • work with a “study buddy”
  • get people to quiz you
  • play revision “games”
  • try questions/exam papers
  • etc

Finally – give yourself a life. Stress is the enemy of revision. Plan out blocks of time – with a planned break in each (e.g. 1 Hour blocks – 45 mins working 15 mins resting – or 30 mins blocks – 20 mins working 10 mins resting) and split the working blocks into different activities – 20 mins max on each. You need to keep your brain energy up – do too much and your brain will “shut down”.

Remember – if you need help ask your teachers – it’s what we’re here for! Good luck!

Mr G


CERNland – A section of the CERN website with games and info at a level for younger Physicists…

I particularly like the Super Bob game, the Powers of Ten interactive  and the CERN in 3 minutes video.

The section “Learn about CERN” explains it all in bitesize chunks without the big scary words!

Don’t worry – I’m not going to go on about CERN forever…

Mr G