We’re not usually in the habit of reviewing books but when an email landed in the hello inbox asking if we’d like to review ‘Crisp Packet Fireworks – Maverick Science to try at home’ we jumped at the chance. We took some time out to try some of the educational experiments put together by Chris Smith and Dave Ansell - The Naked Scientists
Measure the speed of light with margarine.
We got ourselves some cheap sliced bread and a tub of margarine and prepared to measure the speed of light, getting a little over excited at the transformation of our office into a science lab, we almost forgot to follow the instructions.
A thick layer of margarine is one of the most important first steps.
You pop the plate in the microwave making sure the turntable has been removed. Cook on full power for 15-20 seconds. This is when we thought it hadn’t worked.
Actually it had - we just needed to measure the distance in centimetres between the melted patches and multiply by two. Then it was time for some serious maths. Buy a copy of the book to see exactly how it’s done. We will tell you that it works a treat.
Here is a little time lapse showing how we made a toaster-powered hot-air balloon:
In short this book is loads of fun. It includes how to make homemade fibre optics, extract DNA from a kiwifruit, and explains why slugs and salt don’t mix. We found the instructions easy to understand and showed the book to anyone who come in to the office. The most common reaction has been ‘COOL!’
Crisp Packet Fireworks is available from New Holland Publishers, price £9.99. Enter the discount code Sch of Everything at the checkout for 20% off. Get your grubby little bits on a copy. Cool indeed.