Science and Nature

Steel Don’t Float!

So here I am
On this great big boat,
But it’s made of steel …!
And steel don’t float!

Call the captain!
Tell the mate!
Before it’s too late!

No doubt about it,
This boat’s going down,
‘Cause steel don’t float.
We’re all gonna drown!

Those engineers,
They just don’t think.
A boat of steel
Is bound to sink.

Does a cannonball float?
Or a 50 pence?
Metals always sink,
It’s only sense.

So here I am
On this great big boat,
And it’s made of steel …
… So how does it float?

An object will float if it is lighter than water or, more correctly, if its density is less than that of water. Although steel is much heavier than water a steel boat, because of its shape, also contains air so that the ‘density’ of the boat, as it pushes down on the water, is less than that of water, and the boat will float.

The Sub-Atomic Particle Zoo

Please don’t give buns to the Boson,
When you visit the particle zoo.
And avoid feeding figs
To the one known as Higgs,
For the keepers hate sweeping up poo.

Avoid having lunch with the Lepton,
You might be leapt on if you do.
But the Tau, for some hay,
Will point out the way,
While the Muon will just stand and chew.

The Quarks in the duck pond are dabbling,
Bottoms up and tops down, two by two.
And the grumpy-faced Gluon
Is giving his view on
What’s right, and what’s wrong, and what’s new.

When you pass by the hadrons and mesons,
If you’ve time and there isn’t a queue.
Can you ask them, with tact,
How they all interact,
‘Cause I honestly haven’t a clue.

Sub-atomic particles are particles which are smaller than atoms. The elementary sub-atomic particles currently known include six types of Quark (called Up, Down, Bottom, Top, Strange and Charm), six types of Lepton (including the Electron, Muon and Tau), twelve types of Boson, including eight Gluons, plus the famous Higgs Boson. The elementary particles can combine to form composite sub-atomic particles such as protons, neutrons, hadrons, baryons and mesons.


Science Stinks

Science stinks

And that’s not all.

It fizzes, flashes, bubbles, bangs,
Grows, glows, pulls, pushes,
Moves, murmurs, hums, growls,
Crawls, creeps, bleeds, breeds,
Tries, tests, bends, breaks,
Makes, mends, clones, cures,
Probes, peers, seeks, finds,
Clears, steers, leads, links.

Don’t you love it?

Science stinks.

First published in ‘Read Me at School’, edited by Gaby Morgan, published by Macmillan, 2009