New science activities to do at home, free tech support and phone befriending service from Imperial College

Please see below for another round of simple science activities you can do at home with the kids, the latest news on COVID-19 from Imperial and information on our free phone tech and befriending support service for older residents.

 What the Tech Poster

Simple Science Activities at Home

We have sourced and handpicked our favourite science activities for you to do at home during the lockdown. Each week we bring new ideas for you to do together at home as a family. Some of these will be activities that we’ve created especially for you, or from organisations that we think are great.

When trying these activities, the most important thing is to be safe, ask questions and have fun! Other than that, it really doesn’t matter if an experiment works or not. Science is about trying something out and seeing what happens, not about always getting it right.

This week we’ve got lots of things to make, some experiments to do using home-made dyes, and we are making a big deal about nothing as we explore the number zero.

As ever, don’t forget to share your creations and experiments with us on social media by tagging us on Twitter – @InventionRooms

  • Make a T-Rex (9 + years)

This activity from the Natural History Museum uses paper to make a dinosaur model. Why not colour it in? You can even make it a glittery dinosaur if you like! You will need two pieces of square paper. If you don’t have square paper this video shows you how to make a paper square really easily.  Origami often uses square paper, so once you know how to make a square you can do lots of other projects too.

·       Make a mind-bending mask (5 + years)

In this activity from our friends at the Royal Institute you get to make a mind-bending hollow mask. This activity will need a balloon, newspaper and some glue. As well as making a mask you’ll learn more about how our brain understands shapes and faces.

In this example the mask is painted on the inside. You could always paint on the outside too, so you have two masks in one.

·       Kitchen dye experiments (12 + years)

Two weeks ago, we shared a video on how to make a rainbow using food dye. If you can’t get any dye you can use foods and other items around the house to make dye using the instructions here. Make sure an adult is helping at all times for this experiment.

·       Thirteen quick ideas (5 + years)

Science and making doesn’t always need lots of special equipment. Here are thirteen quick ideas that you can do which use things around the house that you may already have, like cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes.

  • Something about nothing (10 + years)

After all that making and experimenting put your feet up and watch this video from the Royal Institute exploring everything about the number zero, which has a really interesting history, and didn’t always exist! It’s only a few minutes long and well worth a watch.

What the Tech?! Phone Tech Support and Befriending Service for Elderly Residents

In response to COVID-19, we have turned What the Tech?! our weekly drop-in gadget workshop for older residents, into a phone tech support and befriending scheme for those who are isolated.

In a time when we have to distance ourselves physically, it’s important that we utilise technology to keep in touch. Residents will be matched with a staff or student volunteer from Imperial College London for weekly befriending social calls to share stories, tech advice and good company.

If you would like to be matched with an Imperial befriender, please contact Keisha on or her directly 07708 326 342.

Alternatively, if you are aware of an older friend, family member or neighbour who is on their own and would benefit from a befriender/tech support, please do share information on the programme and ask them to contact me via phone or email.

Please find attached a poster, any support sharing this across your networks would be greatly appreciated.

Latest News COVID-19

Read the latest news on Imperial’s work on COVID-19.

·       Home testing for coronavirus to track levels of infection in the community

·       Being male or overweight can lead to more serious COVID-19 hospital admissions

·       New handwashing solution could help halt spread of COVID-19 in developing world