Category Archives: Science Mini Spark

Science Mini-Spark # 3 Glue or Tape?

The oldest glue in the world is over 8,000 years old and comes from a cave near the Dead Sea. Today, we have enough types of tape and glue to build and repair almost anything. But what gives glue and tape their stickiness? And is one stronger than the other? Elizabeth Cox explores the world of adhesives.

Pick an activity or two and share what you have learned.

  • This is a vocabulary rich video. Create a mini dictionary to go along with the video.
  • Write a short speech from the point of view of tape or glue explaining why it is better than the other.
  • Who invented Scotch Tape? Do some research to answer this question.
  • Why would you want to use duct tape to hold a chain of bowling balls instead of glue?
  • Make a list of all of the the types of tapes and glues that you know about. Don’t forget those made by nature.




Science Mini-Spark #2 Shadow Science 

Shadow Science 

5-ESS1-2. Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.

At some point of time long ago children might have used their hands to make shadows of different animals like dogs, deer and peacocks on the wall in the light of a candle or torch. It is still one of the most favourite pastimes of the children who live in areas that experience frequent power cuts. Take a look around you, and you will find a number of things that have shadows. You will see that furniture, decoration pieces, trees, electrical appliances and many more things in your house have shadows. Let’s explore  how shadows are formed.

How are Shadows formed?

Shadows are formed when an opaque object is placed in the path of light rays. An object through which no light can pass is known as opaque. One such example is your body. Since light cannot pass through your body, it forms a dark region. This dark region where the light cannot reach is known as a shadow. Opaque objects form clear dark shadows. A transparent object does not make any shadow as light passes straight through it. Translucent objects create faint shadows as light is able to pass only partially through them.
While the presence or absence of light is responsible for forming shadows, there are other factors related to it that determine the shape and size of the shadows. If the angle of the light is smaller, then the shadow formed will be much longer than usual. If the object is very close to the light source, larger shadows are formed and if an object is moved away from the light source, the shadow becomes smaller in size. The size of the shadows is also determined by whether the object is in motion or not. The size of the shadow is always slightly longer and larger than the moving object.
The size of the light source also plays an important role in the formation of shadows. Bigger light sources form blurry shadows. If the light source originates from various directions and points, several shadows will be formed and some of them may even overlap. Depending on the color of the light, you will also see shadows of different shades. Colored shadows are formed when the multi-colored light sources produce white light.
Your turn
  1. Shadow puppetry is the art of using the shadows of puppets to entertain the audience. Research this art form at and make a infographic about its history.   Send this to the EY coordinator in your building.
  2. Your shadow is longest in the early morning and in the late afternoon. In the afternoon, when the sun is directly above you, your shadow leaves your side for a little while. The sun makes the longest shadows at the beginning and at the end of the day because at that time, the sun is lowest in the sky and aimed at the sides of the various things on the earth. When the sun is directly above you, there is little or no shadow because the light from the sun is falling upon you from all the sides and there is hardly any dark region. Make a teaching page for a younger child to understand this process.   Send this to the EY coordinator in your building.
  3. A long time ago, people observed the way shadows were formed by the sun and utilized this principle in making the world’s most primitive clocks, the sundials. Learn about sundials by watching this video. Make your own sundial and take pictures of it doing its job. Send a picture to the EY coordinator in your building.

Science Mini-Spark #1 How Glass is Made

How Glass is Made

5-PS1-4. Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.

This process is interesting and a more interesting question is how did humans begin this process in the first place? Watch a video about glass from Mystery Doug and take a few notes as you watch.


What materials are used to make glass?

Glass is made from a mixture of sand, lime and soda. When these ingredients are heated together, they form a liquid glass. This liquid glass is made into sheets by cooling and flattening. To make objects like vases, craftsmen blow into a glob of liquid glass with the help of a long tube.

Plate Glass made by Rolling:

  • Sand, lime and soda are heated together in a furnace to make liquid glass. Rollers are used to flatten glass into sheets, which are first cooled, then cut.

Plate Glass made by Floating:

  • Liquid glass from a furnace is floated and slowly cooled on the surface of liquid tin. After the glass has cooled down, it is cut into pieces.

Handmade Glassware:

  • Vases, ornaments and other intricate glass objects are made by a glass-blower. The glass-blower uses a metal blowpipe which has a glob of hot glass at the end of it. A glass blower then blows the soft glass into shape.

Glass has many uses:

  • Glasses, window panes, mirrors are few of the many things that are made from glass. Glass is not only useful, but can look beautiful too. Windows made of stained glass are works of art.

Additional Information:

  • Other glass-making ingredients can include alumina, lead oxide, salt-petre and zinc oxide which are used to make different types of glass. In the production of plate glass, waste glass from a previous melt is also added, making up 5 to 40 percent of the mixture. Melting takes place in giant furnaces, from where molten glass is floated or rolled into sheets.

Watch this animated step video about glass from Mocomi

Your turn

Draw a picture timeline/use pic collage showing several of the different glass making process. Include at least 3 science words in your visual.