Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Leftovers

It's Boxing Day morning and we are already eating the Christmas day leftovers! Yummy!

We know exactly what to do with all the leftover food - but what about the hats from the crackers? Here's a fun experiment to try before you put them into the recycling bin.

1. Separate the hat so you have one long strip. All the pointy bits should be pointing up, 

2. Hold it at both ends nice and flat and turn one end over so it has a twist. One end should have pointy bits up and at the other end the pointy bit should be going down. 

3. Use a bit of sticky tape and join the two ends together

You now have something called a Möbius strip. This shape only has one surface. it is know as a non-orientable shape. This means your cannot put in on side A or side B like a coin for example.  Or you can't turn it inside out like a bag or a t-shirt.  It was discovered by the German mathematicians August Ferdinand Möbius and Johann Benedict Listing in 1858.

Now lets have some fun. Hold the strip between your two hands. get a friend to place a felt pen on the strip. Now move the strip so the pen draws a line. The pen should never leave the strip. At some point the pen should get back to were it started. Now tear the strip again and lay it flat.  You should notice the line is on both sides!  Do you remember turning over the paper???

Now re-form you your Möbius strip with sticky tap.  Cut along the line that you drew.  What do you end up with?

Try it again with a new crown. But at stage 2 twist it twice so both ends have pointy bits upwards.  What happen when you cut it?

Here's Emily's favourite joke of the season ... Two snowmen in field and one says to the other, "do you smell carrots"?

Here at Science In A Van we love Christmas. But we do have to keep a eye on Alan because, give him half a chance, he'll be experimenting with some candles. You'll need a candle and some matches. Check out the instructions here and have fun - but do be careful with naked flames. Keep away from wrapping paper and tinsel!

Do you teach in a Christian school?  Here's an amazing visual resource for next year's Christmas assemblies

We do hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Please enjoy your break and here's to a fabulous 2013!

Christmas Wishes from Alan and Emily


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