What's this about?

This is a collection of things to make you think. There's maths games, writing challenges, science investigations and questions from all over the place.

Well, there will be. We're just getting started now.

How you use it is up to you. Play some games. Answer some questions. Go away and have a good think about stuff. Pester someone with your new ideas. Show off your new skills to your friends. It's up to you.

Off you go then...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Rocks, vinegar and maps

I actually love rocks. I love the ones that are made when volcanoes erupt. I love the ones with fossils in and I especially love weird shiny spiky crystals. Where to find out more about rocks though? The study of all things rocky is called geology. The British Geological Society has a great website with lots of information. 

All about how rocks are formed

  This bit will show you all about the three types of rock - igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. You can also see a map of Britain showing the types of rocks you find in each area. Which type of rock is your house built on? 

 The type of rock in your area will affect the water that comes out of your tap too! Soft water comes from igneous rock areas and is lovely and clear and pure. Hard water is full of minerals, like calcium carbonate, basically dissolved bits of rock. 

Have a look inside your kettle (not when it is full of boiling water...) and see if the inside is covered with white grainy stuff. That's called limescale and it's made of dissolved rocks in hard water. When the kettle boils, the calcium carbonate comes out of the water and sticks to the kettle. You might hear people complaining about scum on top of their tea - that's bits of dissolved rocks too! You can get rid of limescale in kettles using vinegar. Have a go - but ask an adult first... no one will thank you for making their tea taste of vinegar. Yuk! 

 Extra: Watch out for adverts on TV that talk about hard water. What other appliances like the kettle could be covered in limescale from dissolved rocks?

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