Science Special How to Be Epic @ Everything


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Science Special

Experts demonstrate how to be rally driver, bake the perfect cake, use a red cabbage to make a pH indicator and make a rocket.


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Get ready to become Epic @ Science!

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Welcome to your scientific fix of epicness.

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In just 15 minutes, you will know how to think like an epic scientist.

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By the end of this show,

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you will ask questions about the world around you,

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perform simple tests,

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collect and analyse data,

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be accurate,

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look for patterns and this kid will show you why you shouldn't be

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afraid to make mistakes.

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So let's do this, it's time to start thinking scientifically.

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The first thing you need to do is start asking questions.

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We've got epic mathematician

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and science fan Rachel Riley to show you how it's done.

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What have you got for us, Rachel?

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I'm about to show you an experiment that will hopefully answer

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-this question - what is sound?

-Don't know, Rachel. Science us up.

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For this experiment you are going to need...

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But how is all that stuff going to tell us what sound is?

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First, take a good length of clingfilm.

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That ought to do it. Now stretch it over the bowl...

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really tightly, like the skin of a drum.

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Next, make an indent in the centre of the clingfilm

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and put a pinch of hundreds and thousands.

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Let's see what happens if I play the sprinkles a little bit of music.

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Probably nothing!

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MUSIC PLAYS

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Ahhhhh! They are dancing. But why?

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We can clearly see that the hundreds

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and thousands were moving around and that's because the sound was

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causing lots of tiny vibrations in the air called sound waves.

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It's these sound waves that travel to the hundreds

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and thousands, making them dance.

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So we asked the question and used an experiment to answer it.

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So let's Epic-icise things.

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I want to see if a really loud operatic voice can smash this glass.

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Now we're talking, Rachel.

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Every glass has something called a resonance frequency.

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That's the frequency that will make

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-that glass vibrate the most.

-I am with you.

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You can find the glass's resonant frequency by flicking it like this.

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PING! Careful.

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The note that rings back to you is

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-that glass's resonant frequency.

-Got you.

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So for this experiment Rachel has got some scientific equipment,

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an opera singer and a ping-pong ball.

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Obvs!

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As soon as Andrea hits the glass's resonant frequency,

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the glass will vibrate and make

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the ping-pong ball bounce, just like the hundreds and thousands.

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But will the glass vibrate enough to smash?

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SHE SINGS NOTE

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So, we asked the question and found out that sound is made up of lots

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of vibrations called sound waves and they can be pretty powerful.

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And that is why to be scientific you need to ask questions.

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Thanks, Rachie. That's the first lap of scientific epicness over.

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Next it's all about performing simple tests.

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We've got an epic scientist to show you how.

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Hi, I'm Jon and I'm going to show you a really simple test

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that you can do at home.

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How to make a pH indicator with a red cabbage.

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All right, John, what is a pH indicator?

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A pH indicator tells us whether something is acidic or alkaline.

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A red cabbage contains a purple pigment called anthocyanin.

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This changes colour when it is in the presence of an acid

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or an alkali.

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I'm in, how do you make it?

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Cut half of your cabbage into small chunks.

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This will make it easier to blend.

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Put your cabbage into the blender and add enough water to cover it.

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Let's get blending.

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Mmmmm, lovely cabbage!

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The coffee filter paper will help to remove some of the sediment.

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Now you've got your juice, it's time to let loose.

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The pH scale goes from 0 to 14.

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Solutions at a pH seven are neutral.

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Anything above seven is an alkaline and anything below seven is acidic.

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First up, I am going to try a bit of lemon juice. There we go.

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A reaction has occurred.

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-It's turned red!

-Next up, vinegar. Here we go.

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Vinegar is red too.

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Let's see what happens with the water. Not much.

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Average, as might be expected.

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-Bicarbonate of soda.

-It's turning blue.

-All-purpose cleaner.

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-Even more blue.

-Some of this cream cleaner.

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-It's like a bluey green.

-That's a beautiful colour.

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Let's try our bleach.

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Yeah, don't mess with bleach without a grown-up.

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It's kind of gone an orangey yellow.

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What does all this mean?

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Over here we have our acid and as we move over here,

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we get more alkaline, from blues, turquoise,

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greens and over to yellow for the bleach.

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And that's how to make a pH indicator using a red cabbage.

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Thanks, JC.

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Two films down and we now know

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to ask questions and perform simple tasks.

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The next tip for scientific epicness is to make mistakes. Confused?

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Watch and learn.

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Science has given us some of the best inventions ever.

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But did you know that not every brilliant invention came about

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on purpose?

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A lot of them came about completely by accident.

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And that is the next aspect of being an epic scientist. Don't believe me?

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Here are three epic scientific inventions discovered

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completely by mistake.

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At three, it is matches.

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In 1826, British scientist John Walker was mixing a healthy

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combo of antimony sulphide, potassium chlorate,

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starch and gum with a big stick.

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Annoyingly for him, his stick developed a lump on the end.

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When he tried to scrape the lump off, it created a spark

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and then a flame.

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Without realising, he had accidentally

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and pretty dangerously invented the match.

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At two, it's artificial sweeteners.

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In 1879, Russian scientist Constantin Fahlberg had been

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busy in an American lab handling a variety of different chemicals.

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At the end of the day

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he was so eager to eat his meal, he forgot to wash his hands. Tut-tut.

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He noticed that the bread of his sandwich was sweet tasting,

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even though no sugar had been used to make it.

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It turns out that the mix of chemicals on his hands had sweetened

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the food and he had accidentally invented food sweeteners.

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On a serious note, don't go licking chemicals, guys.

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And at one, it's ping, the microwave.

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In 1945, American scientist Percy Spencer was tinkering with

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the parts from a radar machine

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when he noticed a brown stain in the pocket of his trousers.

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Thankfully for him

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the stain turned out to be from a chocolate bar that had melted.

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Percy realised that microwaves could be used to cook food.

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His trousers' loss was our snacky gain.

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So, to be an epic scientist, don't be afraid to make mistakes.

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Thanks, chaps.

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We're halfway there.

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Three more films to go and the next is about being accurate.

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To show you how important it is we've got the epic baker,

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Nikki Lilly.

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I'm Nikki and I am going to show you how being accurate can make

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-the perfect cake.

-I love cake.

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What has that got to do with science?

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Baking is pretty much one really yummy science experiment.

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Too little or too much of one ingredient and your entire

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bake can be ruined.

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So how does a Junior Bake Off champion make the perfect

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sponge cake?

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Measure out your sugar and butter accurately, that's 125g each.

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Perfect. And the butter.

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Nearly there. Perfect.

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Now for a perfect whisk.

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Chuck in two eggs, another whisk, a teaspoon of baking powder.

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-In that goes.

-Flour in and fold.

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Perfect.

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Pop the mixture in your tin

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and bake 180 degrees Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes.

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That's how you make the perfect sponge,

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but Nikki also made three other cakes

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to show what happens when you are not accurate.

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Double the eggs.

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In this cake, it has too much protein in it

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and also sets rubbery like this.

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That's not all.

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It also smells pretty bad.

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Double the flour.

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The gluten set too quickly and it's gone super, super hard,

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as you can tell.

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Gluten is formed when flour mixes with liquid.

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Too much flour = too much gluten = hard cake.

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Eurgh. I do not like that.

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That is very, very dry and has lost all its flavour.

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Double the baking powder.

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It rises and then sinks in the middle, like a crater.

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Too much baking powder creates too much carbon dioxide which

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will make your cake rise too quickly and then collapse.

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It tastes very, very acidic because of the baking powder.

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PING! Oh! Perfect cake is ready.

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Time to see how it should be done.

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It's brown on the outside, fluffy on the inside and...

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Hm, it tastes amazing and that's why being accurate is so important.

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Thanks, Nikki.

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Lesson learned, be accurate if you want an epic cake.

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On to the next epic-ilicious science fact

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and this is all about collecting and analysing data.

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Hi, I'm Catie.

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I'm going to show you how to collect

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and analyse data to become an epic rally driver.

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Yes! Who doesn't want to be a rally driver?!

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And Catie is one of the best.

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Epic!

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What has the scientific principle of analysing

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and collecting data got to do with rallying?

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Rally roads can be pretty much anywhere in the world

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so it's really important before a rally that we

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can collect data and analyse every aspect of the course.

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Ah!

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Without analysing the data, you could crash.

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So how do we stop that from happening?

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In a rally, every driver needs a co-driver. Today mine is Hannah.

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-Hi, Hannah.

-It's Hannah's job in a race to tell me exactly what

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-the course is like up ahead.

-Let's get collecting data.

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Hannah and I are going to drive the course to collect

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all the information.

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We are then going to turn this into what rally drivers call pace notes.

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REVVING

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On the recce we can see the road and we can judge which angle

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the corner is and mark it in our pace notes.

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My preferred system is using 1-6, so one being really slow

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and six being really fast. Right, three.

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I would say that is more of a two myself.

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We also mark things like if it is a tarmac track or

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gravel on the road or if there is ice or water.

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Four, loose, over a small crest.

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TYRES SCREECH

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OK. Collect data and make pace notes, got it. What is next?

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Now you have collected all your data, it is time to analyse it.

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I do it by re-watching the footage and comparing it with what

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we've written down to make sure that our pace notes are 100% correct.

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When you analyse your data,

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you have to be willing to change it if necessary.

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Originally, I saw this corner as a four, but decided after

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watching this footage that I'm going to change it to a three.

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So, step one.

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-Go on a tour of the course and collect your data.

-Right, three.

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Next, analyse it, check that your data stacks up with the footage.

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When you are happy, it's race time!

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REVVING

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Left, five.

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Pace notes are allowing co-driver Hannah to tell Katie which

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-turns are coming up...

-Right, four.

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..well before they have even reached them.

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Flat right, five.

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Braking to left...

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Left, four, past the crest.

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Right, four.

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So, thanks to all that data, it means that they can go really,

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really fast.

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And that's why collecting and analysing data won't just make

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you an epic rally driver, it will make you an epic scientist too.

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Thanks, Catie.

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OK, it's time for our final scientific wedge of epic myths

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and this is all about looking for patterns.

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To show you how, we've got scientist Fran Scott.

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Hi, I'm Fran and I'm going to show you why in science

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looking for patterns is so important,

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but to do that I'm going to show you how to make an epic rocket.

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Blast off!

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You need a two litre drink bottle,

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a cork that fits in the end...

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But how does all that make a rocket?

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Vinegar is an acid and bicarbonate of soda is a base.

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When they mix together they create a gas called carbon dioxide

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and if you do this in a bottle with a cork,

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then this CO2 builds up and up until the bottle fires off into the sky.

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-OK, can we make rockets now?

-To make your rocket,

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you add your vinegar to the two litre bottle like this.

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Then you need to roll 50g of bicarbonate of soda in a paper

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towel, really tightly.

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When you have done that, add the bicarbonate of soda to the

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vinegar and then put the cork in as fast as you can.

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OK, it's launch time.

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Whoa! That's epic!

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That was pretty cool, but I do think we can do better.

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It's now time to look for patterns

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and Fran has got different containers of vinegar to see

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how much of it makes the most epic rocket. And they're off.

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250, good start.

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500, can't beat it.

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750 takes the lead. We come to 1,000 and it is massive.

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1,250, ah!

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1,500, that is really poor.

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So we have fired our rockets and we've had a look at the pattern

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and the pattern tells us that for our two litre bottle,

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it goes highest when it has one litre of vinegar in it,

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so when it's about half full.

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It's all about the amount of liquid in the bottle.

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Too little vinegar and there is not enough push to launch the rocket.

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Too much vinegar

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and the bottle is too heavy to be lifted off the ground.

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So let's see what happens when we do this on an epic scale.

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Please be a big rocket, please be a big rocket, please be a big rocket.

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It's a big rocket!

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Fran is using the same ratio of vinegar as in the little rocket.

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This should make it truly epic!

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-We have liftoff!

-Hoo, hoo!

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Did you see that? That is how you make an epic rocket.

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Thanks, Fran.

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Who knew that spotting patterns could be such fun?

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Sorry about your rocket.

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That's it. We're done.

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You can now think like an epic scientist and ask questions,

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perform simple tests, make mistakes,

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be accurate, analyse data

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and look for patterns.

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Now go forth and be an Epic Scientist!

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By the end of this episode you'll be able to think like an epic scientist by learning how to be rally driver, bake the perfect cake, use a red cabbage to make a pH indicator, make a rocket, see how sound waves can smash a glass, and see how mistakes are a good thing.