Category Archives: Science and Nature

Find out more about the nature, science and inventions from the Garth and Bev episodes.

Are You A Drain Detective?


Have you ever been to the Southern Hemisphere? Maybe you’ve visited relatives in Australia or been on holidays in Thailand?

Did you see that the water spins down the drain differently to home?


Well it does! In the Northern Hemisphere water goes down the drain counter clockwise, but in the Southern Hemisphere water washes down clockwise. Next time you’re near a sink watch the water swirl down the drain hole and see if you can tell which direction the water is going!

Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere toilets!

Why Does it Do This?

It is because of the Coriolis Effect, an effect French scientist Gaspard Gustav de Coriolis discovered. He found out that the earth’s rotation around the sun will make water go in different directions

Did you know?

It’s not just water that goes in opposite directions! If you were in outer space and looked at the earth from the Northern Hemisphere the world would be spinning counter clockwise, but if you looked at the world from the Southern Hemisphere it would be spinning clockwise! Wow!

Chinese Lanterns!

chinese lighting of lanterns

Have you ever seen a chinese lantern?

Chinese lanterns are made of paper and are used to decorate a home during Chinese New Year.

What’s Chinese New Year?

Chinese new year celebrates the end of the lunar cycle. The lunar cycle is the oldest calender in the world but it’s not too reliable because the day for Chinese New Year changes every year!

Why do people light lanterns?

People light lanterns on Chinese New Year as a way to celebrate family members coming home for the lunar festival. It is believed that lighting the lanterns will help people know how to get home, because if it was dark they could get lost!

The lanterns are lit when the first full moon occurs, this makes sure everyone knows the new year has begun!

Did you know?

That the Chinese lanterns are a symbol of harmony and unity, a value the Chinese hope will stay in the hearts of everyone for the whole year ahead!

How is cheese made?


Little miss muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey

mmm yummy cheese

Then along came a spider, who sat down beside her

and frightened miss muffet away!

Did you know that curds are what we need to make yummy cheese?

How is cheese made?

It all starts with milking a cow.

The milk is then sent to the dairy factory where it is loaded into big containers. The cheese makers add rennet to the milk to make it curdle.

Afterwards the milk is heated up to get any nasty bacteria out of the cheese. Afterwards the cheese maker separates the curds and whey. The curd is then pressed into cheese. Finally it’s weighed, wrapped and put on a truck.

That’s how it ends up in the supermarket and finally in your tummy!

Did you know?

If you want to be healthy and strong you should eat three servings of dairy a day? All it takes is a piece of cheese, a glass of milk and a tub of yoghurt, then you’ll be the strongest kid in school!

Who invented the pencil?


Everyday we use pencils.

We use lead pencils for our school work and coloured pencils for drawing awesome pictures!

But who invented the pencil?

Well the truth is no-one really knows. What they think happened is in 1500′s England, there was a big storm that blew over a tree. When the storm cleared, the villagers inspected the tree to discover a black substance known as graphite.

The graphite was perfect for marking everything, including sheep!

Pencils have come along way since then and now are made in factories.

The pencils begin as a big block of wood that is cut into lots of smaller lengths. The graphite is then inserted into the wood and the pencil ends up in your pencil case!

Did you know?

That the lead pencil isn’t made of lead? Before graphite was discovered people would use lead to mark different objects and the name has stuck to this day!

How does a Jet engine work?


Have you been in an aeroplane?

Did you know that if  the jet engine wasn’t invented we’d be keeping our feet on the ground?

Jet engines move the aeroplane forward with a force that is produced by a tremendous thrust!

What is a Thrust?

Thrust is the force that pushes the aeroplane engine forward.

Sir Isaac Newton discovered that for “every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Check out the air flow!

An engine does this by taking in a large amount of air, the air is then heated, compressed and slowed down.

The air is then forced through spinning blades and mixes with jet fuel, making the temperature of the air as hot as three thousand degrees!

This hot air powers the turbine (a part of the engine). Finally, when the air leaves, it pushes backwards out of the engine, making the plane fly!

Did you know?

That the cry of a blue whale is louder then the sound of a jet engine? It can be heard hundreds of kilometers away! Looks like nature got there first!

Animals that glow!


There are some pretty amazing animals out there! Do you remember when Garth and Bev had fireflies help them light the cave so that everyone in Ballybeg could see the cave drawings?

Well fireflies are not the only animals that can glow in the dark there’s also the angler fish and the flashlight fish, plus many more!

Why do these animals glow?



The firefly glows as a way to attract a mate (a boyfriend or girlfriend). Usually they’ll glow yellow, red or green, so when there are lots of fireflies around it looks like Christmas!

angler fish

angler fish

The angler fish isn’t as nice as the firefly, they have a rod coming out of their head with a light at the end that attracts other animals, so that they can eat them! Have you seen ‘Finding Nemo’? an angler fish in that movie tries to eat Nemo and Dory!

flashlight fish

flashlight fish

The flashlight fish is a lot nicer then the angler fish. Flashlight fish are very small, with light organs by their eyes that act like torches. That way the fish can see where he’s going in the dark ocean!

Did you know?

Fireflies are not flies at all, they come from the beetle family!

Magic ice cubes


Can you get an ice cube out of water without getting your hands wet?


- Salt

- Drinking glass

- Water

- Length of string

- Ice cubes

The experiment steps:

1) Fill the glass with water

2) Place an ice cube in the glass

3) Dangle the end of the string on the ice cube

4) Keeping the string still sprinkle some salt on the ice cube and wait a few minutes

5) Now lift the string and watch as the ice cube comes with it!

You’ve gotten the ice cube out without getting wet!

Why did it happen?

So why did the ice cube magically stick to the string? Well its not magic at all, salt freezes to ice helping to make objects stick to it.

That’s why in winter it’s always a good idea to sprinkle salt on icey steps because it will stop you from slipping when you walk.

How do eagles learn to fly?


Baby eagles need to learn how to survive in the wild, but they don’t go to school like you. Baby eagles learn from watching their parents.  This is a special animal behaviour called imprinting.

When a baby eagle is only 2 months old he will start watching how his Mummy hunts for food and also how she flies. To help the baby eagle, the Mummy will fly round and round the nest, with food in her claws. This makes the baby eagle curious (and also very hungry!) so he will jump out of the nest and start trying to fly! When the baby eagle is 6 months old he will be an expert flyer.

Do you remember how Enda the eagle couldn’t fly very well so Garth and Bev showed him?

This is how you fly Enda!

Enda figures it out!

Well eagles are funny creatures; because Enda was so young he thought Garth and Bev were his parents!

Go Enda!

Eagles aren’t the only birds that copy what their parents do. Ducks and geese think the first animal they see when they are born is their Mum!  Watch the movie ‘Fly Away Home’ to see how a whole flock of geese thought a kid, just like you, was their Mum!

Did you know?

 A baby eagle in captivity needs to be fed by an eagle hand puppet!  Otherwise the baby eagle gets confused and won’t be able to learn how to fly from real eagles, because he thinks he’s human!

Ducks – how do they stay dry?


Ducks are birds that can fly and swim. Look at the duck’s feet. They look different to other birds feet don’t they? Their special feet are called webbed feet and the shape of them helps the duck to swim very well in water. Now watch the baby duck in the video below. See how she is swimming in the pool and yet her feathers still look dry. When you are in the shower or going for a swim your hair gets wet and it takes a while to dry. But when a duck is swimming her feathers stay dry and don’t get wet. I wonder why that is?

How do Ducks Stay Dry?

If you can watch some ducks for a while you might notice that they spend a lot of time nibbling their feathers with their beaks. This is called preening. While the duck is preening she is spreading oil all over her top layer of feathers. The oil comes from a special place near her tail called a gland and when she spreads the oil over her feathers it makes her feathers waterproof. The water can’t get through the first layer of oily feathers and so all of her feathers underneath stay dry and fluffy and keep her warm all over.

What a great idea! It’s like Ducks have their own raincoats that never come off so they can spend all day in the water and not feel cold and wet.

Why Do Some Seeds Stick to you?


Have you ever been out walking out in the forest or in a park and find that your socks and shoelaces and even your t-shirt have little seeds stuck to them. It can be kind of annoying to have to spend ages picking them off! But why do they stick to you? Why are the seeds made this way?

Burdock bush with sticky seed pods (they stick to your socks!)Plants grow from seeds don’t they? Almost all plants, including trees use flowers to make seeds. The seeds need to get from the seed pod into the soil so that they can grow. Some seeds just fall from the plant or tree onto the ground and they can begin to grow there. Other seeds, like the ones you find in strawberries and blackberries are eaten up by passing animals and then get pooed out in a different place! And some seeds are covered in tiny barbs so that they can grab onto your clothes or shoes as you brush past the plant. These kind of seeds can also stick onto a passing animal’s fur. Eventually the seeds fall off or are picked off and hopefully fall down into some soil. Then if all goes well this little travelling seed will begin to grow into a plant or a tree and the cycle starts over again!

So next time you are picking off seeds from your shoes you might throw them into your garden and give them a chance to grow into plants!

For older kids you might want to check out this great idea – planting your old socks!!