One important quality that all scientists share is a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world we live in and the universe beyond it.
Though we often associate scientists with activities that are outside of the realm of ordinary experience, in fact, some of the most important work in science is much closer to the everyday than it is to the exotic. Indeed, scientists tend to be people who don’t take the everyday for granted: people who can find lots of interesting questions to ask about even simple principles, experiences, and objects, and who recognise that even the most commonplace items you can find around your home— a paperclip, an egg whisk, an elastic band — are packed with really interesting physics, chemistry, and materials science.
This is a science challenge that takes its inspiration from the wonder of the everyday: The Catalogue of Everyday Science is your opportunity to contribute your own original work to a book documenting the science we use in our day-to-day lives.
What do you have to do?
What we’re asking you to do is choose an everyday object — something you have at home or at school — and then produce a single A4-size page covering the following points:
- What is your object? You should describe carefully what your object is and draw us a picture.
- How is your object made, and what materials is it made from?
- What science is involved in making your object work? Tell us about the scientific principles that underpin how it functions.
- Finally, why did you choose it? What inspired you?
As far as possible you should produce your page by hand rather than on the computer. Try to make it eye-catching and informative for the reader.
You can choose any object you like but take some time to decide and try to be original! We recommend you make a plan of your page before you put pen to paper and try to think carefully about the key messages you would like to get across to the reader.