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ARTICLE

Calculating rocket acceleration

How does the acceleration of a model rocket compare to the Space Shuttle? By using the resultant force and mass, acceleration can be calculated. Forces acting The two forces acting on rockets at ...

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ARTICLE

Plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes

The Earth rumbles and a hiss of steam issues from the top of Mt Ruapehu. Are these two events related? Is the earthquake caused by the volcano? Or is the steam caused by the earthquake? Tectonic ...

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ARTICLE

Causes of aerodynamic drag

Aerodynamics is the study of how air flows over objects and the forces that the air and objects exert on each other. Drag is the force of wind or air resistance pushing in the opposite direction ...

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ARTICLE

Types of chemical rocket engines

Chemical rocket engines use a fuel (something to burn) and an oxidiser (something to react with the fuel). Together, they are referred to as the propellant. As the propellant reacts inside a ...

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ARTICLE

Types of volcanoes

Everyone knows what a volcano looks like – isn’t it a steep-sided cone with wisps of ash coming from the top, just like Rangitoto, White Island, Mt Ngāuruhoe or Mt Ruapehu? But what about small ...

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ACTIVITY

Balloon car challenge

In this activity, students design and build a balloon-powered car to better understand the science ideas related to rocket propulsion. They use ideas of mass and force to work out ways to improve ...

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ARTICLE

Pedal power

Competitive cyclists have power meters to carefully monitor their training and race performance. Power is a measure of how much energy is being changed every second. For cyclists, the effort they ...

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ACTIVITY

Water bottle rockets

In this activity, students make a water bottle rocket. They investigate the variables that affect the height and distance travelled by the rocket. By the end of this activity, students should be ...

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ARTICLE

Auckland’s volcanoes

The city of Auckland is built on a volcanic field. There are 50 volcanoes within an area of 1,000 square kilometres, forming the hills, lakes and basins of the city. Rangitoto Island was formed ...

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ARTICLE

Magma on the move

The high temperatures (900°C) and extremely high pressures that occur in the mantle layer of the Earth are enough to melt rock. The high pressure changes the rock into a viscous semisolid called ...

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ARTICLE

The moving Earth

Isn’t it funny to think that the Earth is moving! If we stand perfectly still and look into the distance, the Earth appears to be perfectly still, too. But the Earth is actually moving in many ...

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ARTICLE

Rockets and thrust

What is a rocket pushing against to make it start moving? Is it pushing against the ground? The air? The flames? To make any object start moving, something needs to push against something else ...

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ARTICLE

Volcanology methods

Scientists use a range of different methods to learn more about volcanoes. A volcanologist may start by conducting fieldwork, collecting rocks and samples, and then move into the lab to undertake ...

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ARTICLE

Reading rock core samples

One important question that the scientists like Dr Phil Shane at The University of Auckland are asking is: “When did the volcanoes in Auckland last erupt?” Answering this question will help them ...

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ARTICLE

Investigating rockets – introduction

Rocket science includes ideas of forces and motion, how rockets work and some of the challenges for those wanting to make rockets go faster and higher.  In the last 60 years, rocket science and ...

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ACTIVITY

Introduction to rockets and space

In this activity, students view a PowerPoint presentation introducing some rockets, their purposes and distances travelled in space. By the end of this activity, students should be able to ...

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ARTICLE

Rolling resistance

Rolling resistance is one of the forces that act to oppose the motion of a cyclist. It is caused mainly because of deformation of the tyre and can be understood by thinking about: energy losses ...

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ARTICLE

Volcanoes – timeline

Uncovering our explosive past - a look at some of the historical aspects of volcanoes in New Zealand. 10 million BC - Mt Cargill erupts Mt Cargill near Dunedin erupts, forming the Organ Pipes. 6 ...

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