What is UNESCO?

UNESCO is part of the United Nations. Its full name is United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Its headquarters is in Paris, France and 195 countries are members.

unescologo

It’s main aim is to coordinate international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. It hopes that this will bring together nations and societies and wants to ensure that each child has access to quality education, can fully benefit from scientific advances, can enjoy freedom of expression and can grow and live in a cultural environment rich in diversity and dialogue.

One of the main things UNESCO is known for are ‘World Heritage Sites.’ These are areas or landmarks chosen because they important for cultural, historical or scientific reasons. Once chosen, these sites are then protected under international law.

There are UNESCO World Heritage Sites all around the World.

Click on this link for the full list of sites.

If you wanted to visit a site in the United Kingdom, you have plenty of choice.

Examples in England, Stonehenge…

Stonehenge

The City of Bath…

bathpic

The Palace of Westminster…

parliament

In Northern Ireland, you have the Giant’s Causeway…

Giants Causeway on Sunny Irish Day

In Scotland, you have the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh…

edinburgh1

In Wales you have the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd…

beaumaris

The country with the most World Heritage Sites in the World is Italy, closely followed by China.

Thank you to SJR Photography for the pictures.

For further reading on World Heritage Sites, please see the link below.

What is coffee and where is it grown?

Coffee is a drink made from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. The coffee plant originally grew in Africa, but is now grown around the world, usually in areas near the equator.

Girl in coffee plantations

Coffee is grown in over 70 countries around the world. The top three producing countries are Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. Coffee is grown near the equator because it needs certain weather conditions to grow well(plenty of warmth and rain).

The seeds are roasted and then ground according to the type of coffee you are making. It is then mixed with hot water to brew, although you can also soak it in cold water to make a different tasting drink.

Coffee is not recommended for children as it contains caffeine. This is something that helps adults feel more awake when they drink it!

For further reading from the Eden Project, please click this link.

For a quick video run through of the process, please see below.

For those that prefer to learn by doing, please see link below to try growing your own coffee plant. (links to Amazon)

What is a diamond?

A diamond is a precious stone and is the hardest naturally occurring material known. It is made from carbon which can come in different forms depending on how its atoms are arranged. A diamond has a lattice structure in which the atoms are bonded together very strongly.

Family in shopping mall looking at jewelry department

Diamonds are formed deep underground in the earth’s mantle, around a 100 miles down. They are formed under high pressure and temperatures and can take 1 to 3 billion years to form. They are brought closer to the surface by deep volcanic eruptions and are then mined by people.

For further reading and some fun facts on diamonds please click this link.

For a video explanation, please see below.

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

Why do bees make honey?

Bees make honey as a way of storing food for themselves. They need to do this for when their usual food sources are in short supply. Flowering plants are more abundant in spring and summer, so bees make honey during this time to see them through the winter, when there are much fewer flowers.

Grandpa beekeeper passes his experience little grandson.

Honey is an ideal way to store their food supply, as it doesn’t go bad. This is because it has a high sugar content, which also means it provides a lot of energy for the busy bees!

For further reading on bees, please click this link to the very informative buzzaboutbees.net

For a video explanation of why, as well as how, bees make honey, please see below.

For those that learn best by playing/doing please see the product below. (links to Amazon)

What/when is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is one of the world’s largest festivals and occurs in Munich, Germany every year. It is a beer festival and travelling funfair and is an important part of Bavarian culture. People attending often wear traditional Bavarian costume.

Two kids, boy and girl in traditional Bavarian costumes in wheat field

The festival begins in mid September each year and lasts for just over two weeks, ending in early October. Over six million people attend each year.

Although you may think it is aimed at adults, the Oktoberfest is also a great day out for families too. The Tuesdays during the festival period are designated ‘Family Days’ with discounted entry and rides. Children are allowed into the beer tents, but those under 6 years old must leave by 8pm.

Click here for a blog post of one family’s Oktoberfest experience.

For a video on the history of the festival, and an excellent showcase of German humour, please see below.

If your child has shown interest in the culture of Germany, please see below link for further reading. (Links to Amazon)

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 far is South East London from the Equator?

South East London is around 5700 kilometres, or 3540 miles, from the Equator.

Boy On Trip To Museum Looking At Map And Writing In Notebook

If you would like more information about how to calculate how far you are from the Equator, please see the following link:

City to Equator distance calculator from sciencing.com

A basic way to work it out is to take your latitude and to multiply this by 111.111. This will give you the answer in kilometres. To convert to miles, multiply by 0.621.

Please see below video explaining why the distance you are from the Equator affects the weather you experience.

Please see below book for further geography related reading(links to Amazon)