What is a hurricane?

A hurricane is a large storm characterised by very strong winds. If a tropical cyclone has winds over 74mph(119km/h) and it forms in the Atlantic Ocean, it is known as a hurricane. There are 5 categories of hurricane numbered 1 to 5. The most severe category 5 hurricanes can have winds up to 200mph(320km/h). The hurricane develops around an area of low pressure(the eye) and the winds rotate in an anti clockwise direction around this point. This is what they look like from space.

Extremely detailed and realistic high resolution 3D illustration of a Hurricane approaching Texas. Shot from Space. Elements of this image are furnished by Nasa.

A hurricane is specific to the area around the USA. A tropical storm formed in the Indian Ocean is called a cyclone, and one formed in the Western Pacific Ocean is called a typhoon.

For more in depth information on hurricanes, please see the following link:

An excellent page from Weather Wiz Kids

For a video on hurricanes, please see below.

If your children have shown an interest in the weather, please see the book below(links to Amazon).

For those that prefer to learn through play, please see the following product(links to Amazon).

How do you make metal?

Metals are chemical elements which means they are part of the basic building blocks of our universe and cannot be broken down into anything simpler.

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When we talk about metals we usually mean things like iron, tin or lead. These are found in rocks which are called an ore.

To make the metal you have to break down the ore to separate the metal from the rock. There are a few ways to do this, you can use heat, electricity or other chemicals, depending on the type of ore.

stones with orange and yellow texture

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Once the metal is separated it can be formed into moulds, sheets, wires etc.

For more information on metals from Science Kids.

For a video on the steel making process, please see below:

For those who like to learn through play(links to Amazon).

How do people predict the weather?

The science of weather prediction or forecasting is called meteorology. A person who predicts the weather is a meteorologist.

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A meteorologist will collect data from a range of sources to show what the current weather conditions are. They then predict what will happen based on what has happened in the past, when the conditions were the same or similar.

Among the type of data collected is air pressure, temperature, wind speed and direction. This data is collected by weather stations which are dotted around the country.

A more in depth answer from Weather Wiz Kids

A video explanation:

If you would like to try forecasting the weather yourself, please see the product below(links to Amazon).

Where can you find quicksand?

You can find quicksand in many different places. Quicksand is sand that has been mixed with so much water it forms a mixture that is in between a liquid and a solid. It does not actually suck you down, it is just so soft that it can’t support your weight, so you sink into it.

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Learn how to make your own quicksand with this link

For those that like to learn through play, please click below(links to Amazon).

How do ships float?

Ships float due to the relationship between two competing forces. Gravity pulls the ship down due to its weight. Buoyancy is an upward force acting on the ship when it is put into water.

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Whether something floats or not is due to its density, which is how much it weights in relation to its volume. Materials less dense than water will usually float.

Ships are usually made from steel, which is denser than water. They work due to something called displacement. When you get into the bath, the water level rises. This is because it has to make room for you. This is called displacement. A ship’s hull is shaped a certain way to displace enough water to support its own weight.

For a more in depth answer, please visit the following link:

An answer from explainthatstuff.com

For those that like to learn through play

How do birds fly?

A bird’s body is specially adapted to help it fly. The most important body parts are the wings, but there are other features of a bird’s body that helps it fly.

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A bird has hollow bones to make them light. They also have powerful flight muscles and a strong heart and lungs to provide the oxygen needed to power these muscles.

A bird’s wing works in similar way to an aircraft’s wing. They are a particular shape which is called an aerofoil. Because of the shape of the aerofoil, air flows over and under the wing at different speeds. Slower air flowing under the wing produces lift. While the faster air flowing over the wing produces drag.

When a bird flaps its wings the rotation of the wing with the lift propels the bird forward in flight. This is called thrust.

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Why is the sky sometimes red at dusk or in the morning?

You might have heard the ancient rhyme ‘red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; Red sky at morning, shepherd’s warning.’ So why does the sky sometimes go red in the morning or at night?

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White light from the sun is made up of lots of different colours of light, all shining at once.

When the sun rises each morning, it shines through the atmosphere to the east of where you are. In Britain, Europe and the USA, our bad weather tends to move from west to east. So, when the sun shines through the atmosphere in the morning and there are clouds on the horizon to the west, they get lit up from underneath by the sun. However, the sun has shone through the atmosphere for a long distance before it reaches those clouds. This means that some of the colours of sunlight are scattered by the atmosphere, so you only see the red, orange and yellow light, making the sky look red. As those clouds are probably heading towards you, that means you might get bad weather later that day. That’s why red sky in the morning is called a shepherd’s warning.

When the sun sets each evening, the sun shines through the atmosphere to the west of where you are. If there are lots of clouds to the west, you will lose sight of the sun when it drops behind the clouds. However, if skies are clear to the west, then sunlight will travel a long way to get to you, meaning it will again look red, orange and yellow. Because skies are clear to the west, then weather the next day will probably be good and shepherds will be delighted.
 

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