## Kites at Scotswood Garden

We have been making kites at the Blossom Day to celebrate Basant- a spring time kite flying festival in Pakistan.

Various kites flying on the blue sky in the kite festival

To make our kites we used this kite template and followed these instructions.

We thought you might be interested in the science behind flying your kites.

How do kites fly?

There are four forces of flight: lift, drag, weight and thrust.

What is lift?

Lift is the force that pushes the kite upwards. It is generated by differences in air pressure (the force of air pushing down on a surface). Kites are shaped so air moving over the top moves faster than air moving over the bottom. If the air pressure above the kite is less than the air pressure below it, then the kite is pushed up into the air.

What is weight?

Weight is the force that acts in the opposite direction to lift and is generated by gravity. This pulls the kite downwards towards the earth.

What is thrust?

Thrust propels the kite forwards. A kite creates thrust with the tension of the string and moving air created by the wind or the forward motion of the kite.

What is drag?

Drag is the force that acts in the opposite direction to thrust and is caused by the difference in air pressure between the front and back of the kite and the friction of air moving over the kite.

Balancing the forces

For a kite to fly, the force of lift must be greater than the force of weight.

To keep a kite flying, the forces must be in balance. Lift must be equal to weight and thrust must be equal to drag.

## Seed dispersal and catapults

Today we have been at Highfield House, investigating seed dispersal at two workshops. We made helicopters and catapults to help us see how some plants disperse their seeds.

The young people should have come home with an envelope containing 6 lolly sticks, 6 elastic bands and an instruction sheet. You can find more instructions, activities and information about the catapults here.

To may want to make this super seed spinner (RHS) which is similar to the helicopter you made today.

To investigate more flying things, you could try our fish tumblers activity or our paper aeroplane investigation.

If you want more activities involving seeds, why not try our seed bomb activity or investigate what happens when you grow seeds in plastic bags here.

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## Entomologists @ Denton Dene 28th October 2023

If you enjoyed making mini beasts and bug hotels in Denton Dene today, you may be interested in a career as an entomologist. Entomologists are patient and observant as they study insects and their relationships with other animals, environments and human beings. They are creative when finding new ways to use insects pollinate crops and to protect crops, trees, wildlife, and livestock from pests.

Rosie from Scotswood Community Garden has created some fantastic information pages here to tell you more about the mini beasts you may have found.

If you are interested in observing mini beasts at home, why not try our make a wormery activity? You just need an empty 2l bottle, some soil, leaves or vegetable scraps and of course some worms!

## Apple Day 7th October 2023

Today at Scotswood Community Garden Apple Day, NUSTEM have helped you to become nature conservationists!

What do I do with my seed bomb?

Hopefully your seed bombs made it home safely. They need to dry out for a few days before use. Luckily, Autumn is the best time for planting wild flower seeds. You can either throw your bombs onto a patch of bare soil, or follow these instructions from The Grass People.

Always wash your hands after touching soil.

What is a nature conservationist?

Nature conservationists manage and protect the environment. They educate others about the importance of sustainability and preserving the land and natural habitats.

They are passionate and committed communicators.

Today our focus has been on encouraging pollinators to our gardens and local areas. There has been a lot in the news recently about the decline in animal and plant species in the UK, and pollinators are amongst the groups that are reducing in numbers.

Why are pollinators important?

Birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, bees and small mammals are pollinators. They visit flowers to drink nectar or feed on pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from spot to spot. It is through pollination that plants are fertilised and able to produce the next generation of plants, including the fruit and crops we eat.

Pollinators pollinate over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops. That means that 1 out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators.  Pollinators also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilise soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.

You can attract pollinators to your garden by detonating the seed bombs you made at the Apple Day today.

Did you know that wasps were important pollinators too?

We often think of wasps as pests who sting us for no reason, disturb our picnics and make nests in our houses, but they actually useful pollinators, travelling from plant to plant as they look for food, spreading pollen.

And that isn’t all!

Wasps are really important for our ecosystems. Each summer, social wasps in the UK capture an estimated 14 million kilograms of insect prey, such as caterpillars and greenfly. Without them the world could be overrun with spiders and insects!

What else can I do?

You might want to try our related STEM at home activities:

Make a wormery using an empty pop bottle.

Grow some seeds in a plastic bag in your home.

## Entomology @ Denton Dene 25th June 2023

If you enjoyed observing mini beasts in Denton Dene today, you may be interested in a career as an entomologist. Entomologists are patient and observant as they study insects and their relationships with other animals, environments and human beings. They are creative when finding new ways to use insects pollinate crops and to protect crops, trees, wildlife, and livestock from pests.

Rosie from Scotswood Community Garden has created some fantastic information pages here to tell you more about the mini beasts you may have found.

If you are interested in observing mini beasts at home, why not try our make a wormery activity? You just need an empty 2l bottle, some soil, leaves or vegetable scraps and of course some worms!

## STEM Fair @ New York Primary School- 23rd June 2023

NUSTEM visited the STEM Fair at New York Primary School today. We brought along some mini beasts samples and identification sheets, then challenged visitors to create their own mini beasts.

Our friends from Scotswood Community Garden have created some fantastic information pages here to tell you more about the mini beasts you may have found.

If you are interested in observing mini beasts at home, why not try our make a wormery activity? You just need an empty 2l bottle, some soil, leaves or vegetable scraps and of course some worms!

If you are interested in working with mini beasts, here are some careers you could go into:

## Blossom Day – Saturday 13th May 2023

NUSTEM visited the Blossom Day at Scotswood Community Garden. We brought along some mini beasts samples and identification sheets, then challenged visitors to create their own mini beasts.

You might have completed the Scotswood Garden mini beast trail. Rosie from the garden has created some fantastic information pages here to tell you more about the mini beasts you may have found.

If you are interested in observing mini beasts at home, why not try our make a wormery activity? You just need an empty 2l bottle, some soil, leaves or vegetable scraps and of course some worms!

If you are interested in working with mini beasts, here are some careers you could go into:

## NUSTEM with IntoUniversity and Year 6 from Welbeck Academy

NUSTEM is an outreach group based at Northumbria University. We believe that STEM should be accessible to everyone, for study and for pleasure, from early years, through school, to employment, and beyond. We support children, families and teachers to feel more confident that a career in STEM is for ‘people like them’.

Today Year 6 became systems engineers. They used different people, components and actions together to solve a problem- building a marble run where the marble rolls for the longest amount of time! Visit our STEM at Home Marble Run page to use cardboard and tape to design, build, test and improve your own marble runs.

## NUSTEM Pop-Up Shop May half term 2022

This week the NUSTEM Pop-Up Shop visited Outer West Library on Tuesday and the Beacon Shopping Centre on Wednesday.

Out theme this half term is pollinators. Birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees are pollinators. They visit flowers to drink nectar or feed on pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from spot to spot. It is through pollination that plants are fertilised and able to produce the next generation of plants, including the fruit and crops we eat. Pollinators pollinate over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops. That means that 1 out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators.  Pollinators also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilise soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.

You can attract pollinators to your garden by planting the seeds in the packet you made at the Pop Up Shop.

The careers we have chosen that link to pollinators are:

Ecologist– scientists who study how people plants and animals interact with each other in an ecosystem. They are collaborative, organised, communicators.

Environmental Scientist– scientists interested in the world around us and how we are changing it. They are passionate, creative and committed.

Entomologist – scientists who study insects. They are  logical, hard working and tenacious.

Apiarist (bee keeper) – manage and maintain bee colonies. They are observant, self motivated and patient.

Behaviour Scientist– scientists who study the way insects behave. They are curious, collaborative and resilient.

You might want to try our related STEM at home activities:

Make a wormery using an empty pop bottle.

Grow some seeds in a plastic bag in your home.

Make floating paper flowers – the folded petals of your flowers will open up and your flower will bloom when placed in water.

## Friday 21st February Outer West Library Pop Up Shop

NUSTEM pop up shop half term tour!

Today we visited Outer West Library and had more families participating in activities based on STEM careers.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about the different featured careers and try some activities for yourself at home, click on the careers below.

Do you have the skills and attributes needed to do one of these jobs when you leave school?

The sound engineer (bagpipes) Attributes: passionate, collaborative, organised

The cryptographer (code breaking) Attributes: self-motivated, resilient, imaginative

The botanist (seeds) Attributes: curious, patient, observant

The structural engineer (bridges) Attributes: observant, committed, tenacious