Roger Frost's Technology for teaching science Blog

latent heat – salty ice

When it is icy they put salt onto the roads to melt the ice. What the salt does is to depress, or reduce, the freezing point of water. The result is that the ice...

characteristics of a thermistor

A thermistor is an electronic component whose resistance changes with temperature. The voltage and current of a thermistor can be measured as the temperature changes. Sensors allow you to take the many readings necessary...

magnetic field in a coil

You can ‘see’ magnetic fields using iron filings. You can measure the strength of magnetic fields using a magnetic field sensor connected to a computer. How, for example, does that field vary as you...

current-voltage relationships

In this experiment the resistance of a lamp, resistor or diode is measured as the current is varied. Voltage and current sensors make the measurements while the software plots the results in real-time. After...

capacitor discharge

The voltage and current in a circuit change when a capacitor charges and discharges. Computer sensors can measure these changes and software can plot a graph as fast as this happens. Also, the effect...

types of battery 2

Batteries or electrical cells are made using a range of different substances. There are zinc dry-cells, alkaline cells and lead-acid accumulators. When you use them, they become exhausted at different rates. So choosing the...

types of battery

Batteries are a handy source of power. Just think of all the things that use them – calculators, cassette players, even computers will run on batteries. You’ll know that there are different kinds of...

pendulum & simple harmonic motion

A position sensor can be used to study this. The sensor is attached to a weight and spring assembly as shown. This can also be used to study the effects of changing the mass...

pressure & temperature

The pressure in a sealed container changes with temperature. These changes can be monitored using sensors attached to the computer. A graph of pressure against temperature can be plotted as the changes occur. After...

radioactive half-life

Radioactive materials decay, or lose their radioactivity, in a predictable way. If you have a fast decaying source, such as Protactinium with a half life of just 72 seconds, you can take a series...

heat conduction through a window

Get two temperature sensors to measure the temperature inside and outside a window. You may find that over a long period of time it is best to record your data remotely. This means that...

heat conduction

You can use a temperature sensor to study the conduction of heat through materials. Two temperature sensors allow you to compare different materials at the same time. In this example, you heat strips of...

insulation of stacked cups

Three plastic cups are stacked inside each other and a temperature probe placed between each cup. Before stacking the final cup hot water (take care) is poured into the middle cup. Quickly stack the...

insulation

You can use a temperature sensor to study the insulating properties of materials. Two temperature sensors allow you to compare different materials at the same time. In this example two beakers of hot water...

aerobic and anaerobic respiration

When a living thing, such as yeast, respires it produces heat. It may do this in the presence or absence of oxygen. These processes are called aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration. How would the...

photosynthesis

How are plants affected by light? During photosynthesis oxygen is produced. How much photosynthesis occurs depends on how much light there is. You can measure the amount of oxygen produced using sensors connected to...

warm germinating seeds

When seeds germinate they use energy and give off heat. To test this, you can use temperature sensors which will continuously monitor any heat produced. You will set up some seeds in an insulated...

when do plants grow

when do plants grow

It’s not easy to measure how fast a plant grows. You would probably not be too keen to take measurements every few hours – and especially not overnight. There are ways, however, of seeing...

energy in food

As food burns it releases energy. This energy can be used to heat up water. If you know how much water you used, and how hot it gets, you can calculate the food’s energy...

fermentation

In the manufacture of yoghurt, bacteria turn lactose into lactic acid. The acid denatures or spoils the milk protein and sets it solid. In the process, the milk starts to taste sour and its...

how the pulse changes

The speed of your pulse changes as you go about your day. It changes as you sit, walk or exercise. Photo by Fred Pixlab on UnsplashIt is quite easy to record your pulse using the computer. You...

monitor breathing

Is your breathing steady while you sit restfully? How does it change when you talk? How does it change when you exercise? How quickly do you recover after exercise? To find out you can...

changes in an aquarium

Life in any aquatic habitat has to be supported by oxygen. We are all too familiar with rivers and streams where the oxygen supply has been exhausted and the river dies. The production and...

investigating the enzyme amylase

Amylase catalyses the breakdown of starch into sugar. How is the activity of this enzyme affected by temperature? You can start to find out by monitoring the activity at different temperatures. You use Iodine...

media work by Roger Frost

I wrote hundreds of items of copy for publishers and big companies and other print for education. I’ve put samples here more to remind me than anyone else. The main customers were Times Educational...

books by Roger Frost

My series of IT books could be found in many UK schools from 1994 – 2004. They are now public domain so remind me if I fail to link to copies from this site....

instructional animation by Roger Frost

my animation projects included Roger Frost’s Organic Chemistry (250 animation screens)Malaysia 6th form chemistry (200+ animations)Learning & Teaching Scotland Higher (50 animations)Nelson e-science (30 animations + 200 e-activities)

measuring visible change in liquids

Measuring the appearance of cloudy sulfur when we mix acid and sodium thiosulfate is a popular science teaching activity. We can change the temperature or concentration of the reagents, and see whether the mixture...