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Broad Topics > Applications > STEM - physical world

A Question of Scale

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Use your skill and knowledge to place various scientific lengths in order of size. Can you judge the length of objects with sizes ranging from 1 Angstrom to 1 million km with no wrong attempts?

Reaction Timer

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

This problem offers you two ways to test reactions - use them to investigate your ideas about speeds of reaction.

Temperature

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Is there a temperature at which Celsius and Fahrenheit readings are the same?

Far Horizon

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?

Troublesome Triangles

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .

Pinhole Camera

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Make your own pinhole camera for safe observation of the sun, and find out how it works.

Observing the Sun and the Moon

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

How does the time of dawn and dusk vary? What about the Moon, how does that change from night to night? Is the Sun always the same? Gather data to help you explore these questions.

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Making a scale model of the solar system

Helicopters

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Design and test a paper helicopter. What is the best design?

Electric Kettle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Explore the relationship between resistance and temperature

Avalanche!

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Investigate how avalanches occur and how they can be controlled

Big and Small Numbers in Chemistry

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Get some practice using big and small numbers in chemistry.

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Examine these estimates. Do they sound about right?

Alternative Record Book

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

In which Olympic event does a human travel fastest? Decide which events to include in your Alternative Record Book.

Speed-time Problems at the Olympics

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to race against Usain Bolt?

Big and Small Numbers in the Physical World

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Work with numbers big and small to estimate and calculate various quantities in physical contexts.

Stemnrich - the Physical World

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

PhysNRICH is the area of the StemNRICH site devoted to the mathematics underlying the study of physics

Construct the Solar System

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Make an accurate diagram of the solar system and explore the concept of a grand conjunction.

How Do You React?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

To investigate the relationship between the distance the ruler drops and the time taken, we need to do some mathematical modelling...

Guessing the Graph

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you suggest a curve to fit some experimental data? Can you work out where the data might have come from?

Perfect Eclipse

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Use trigonometry to determine whether solar eclipses on earth can be perfect.

Molecular Sequencer

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Investigate the molecular masses in this sequence of molecules and deduce which molecule has been analysed in the mass spectrometer.

Heavy Hydrocarbons

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Explore the distribution of molecular masses for various hydrocarbons

Constantly Changing

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Many physical constants are only known to a certain accuracy. Explore the numerical error bounds in the mass of water and its constituents.

Carbon Footprints

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Is it really greener to go on the bus, or to buy local?

Approximately Certain

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Estimate these curious quantities sufficiently accurately that you can rank them in order of size

Big and Small Numbers in Physics

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Work out the numerical values for these physical quantities.

Physnrich

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

PhysNRICH is the area of the StemNRICH site devoted to the mathematics underlying the study of physics

Chemnrich

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

chemNRICH is the area of the stemNRICH site devoted to the mathematics underlying the study of chemistry, designed to help develop the mathematics required to get the most from your study. . . .

Global Warming

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

How much energy has gone into warming the planet?

Investigating the Dilution Series

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Which dilutions can you make using only 10ml pipettes?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Which units would you choose best to fit these situations?

Bigger or Smaller?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

When you change the units, do the numbers get bigger or smaller?

Playground Snapshot

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?