Exam season is in full swing, so we thought we’d help you out by mixing science with your favourite thing: YouTube videos!
…To help with revision, of course. Watching these videos won’t count as procrastination because they’ll expand your mind, and they’re topical! Science has never been so easily accessible to the wider world than it is today, nor has it ever been so cool, or hot, depending on your understanding of global warming. Funding, scholarships, and the ability to try some of these at home means science is out there, ready and waiting for you to have a go!
So, if you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be – if you aren’t, we’re clearly doing something wrong here), we give you Five of the Best: Summer of Science!
LIQUID NITROGEN VS DRINKS | Brothers Do Science: In the Lab | Oli White
Oli White is back with his brother James at the state-of-the-art University of Westminster to submerge drinks in liquid nitrogen. Now, this isn’t an experiment you can do at home (well, you could, but we highly recommend you don’t), so you’ll just have to enjoy watching with the comfort of knowing you’ll have nothing to clean up. Let’s hope science teachers are Oli fans, so that they can bring in this experiment and up the excitement of Friday afternoon classes!
The best part of this episode is the #BrothersFreezeThis fan submission, where Oli freezes flowers that James promptly (and gleefully) smashes. Because the flowers hold liquid, they freeze easily and crumble and shatter into thousands of pieces. Science has never looked so beautiful.
Wave Machine Demonstration | National STEM Centre
What do kebab sticks, Jelly Babies and duct tape have in common? A wave machine experiment, of course! The National STEM Centre is using the highest technology available for a last-minute physics cramming session. The graceful disturbance of the Jelly Babies is addicting to watch and we’re sure if you had one in your classroom that it’d be nudged by somebody in the class, much to the annoyance of your teacher.
If you need to learn about speed, amplitude, or the effect of mass on waves, this demonstration is clear, concise, and certainly memorable! We’re itching to have a go, so it looks like an after-work trip to the supermarket for us!
Tim Peake films UK from International Space Station – video timelapse | Guardian Science and Tech
Tim Peake, the first British Astronaut to complete a spacewalk, filmed this incredible time-lapse video from the International Space Station, and it’s absolutely mesmerising. Whilst the soundtrack isn’t credited, it sounds like something Sigur Ros would put together, and will send a tingle through your spine whilst you listen to it. Starting from Wales, the video pans up towards Scotland and Ireland, following the bight lights of the cities as it goes.
What’s cool is the yellow band around the earth, which just so happens to be the edge of the atmosphere. Whilst there aren’t any Northern Lights drifting over the edge, it’s pretty easy to imagine just how amazing it would look from space if there were. This video reminds us just how beautiful our Earth is, and if you aren’t working toward a career as an astronaut, this is one of the best ways for you to take a look at it for yourself.
How to Make Magnetic Slime – Science Experiment | DaveHax
So you’ve made slime before, right? Nearly everyone has. But Dave Hax is taking it to the next level with magnetic slime. This is a great trick to whip out when you’re babysitting the neighbour’s kids and want to show them a little magic (and preoccupy them for at least 30 minutes).
Even though the slime looks like delicious melted Oreo ice cream, it’s not, so please remember you shouldn’t be eating it! You could even add some glow-in-the-dark face paint to the mixture or some food colouring to create a galaxy or rainbow effect – the choice is yours!
Dancing on Ice: How do ice skaters spin? | At-Bristol Science Centre
The sun has been out in full force, so therefore we’ve been hiding from the sunburn by delving into the At-Bristol Science Centre channel. Growing up, we all watched the classic – and highly underrated – Ice Princess every winter. On repeat. So our choice to end this Five of the Best is all about ice skaters and their grace on the ice.
Using angular momentum and the moment of inertia, you can find out just how easy it is for an ice skater to remain balanced and still look dignified whilst spinning again and again and again (and again). Hey, maybe if you apply this science, you’ll be able to spin with grace when the ice rinks return in a couple of months!
So there you have it…
Five of the Best: Summer of Science! Hopefully, we’ve shown you just how diverse science is! Find something intriguing about one of the videos above? Go watch another! Educate yourself, then others around you. You live on this planet, so why not go learn a little more about how or why it works the way it does? Or just borrow some liquid nitrogen from the lab and smash chocolate bars. Either works.
Want more Five of the Best? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:
- Five of the Best: Let’s Talk About Sex
- Five of the Best: #PowertoDecide Videos
- Five More of the Best: Anthems by YouTubers