Daily activities 96-100: Famous Scientists

August 3, 2020

This week’s theme:

Mysterious People – Famous Scientists

This week’s colouring in sheet:

Download and print this week’s colouring sheet here. This week’s features scientist Ada Lovelace and her cat!


Activities for the week:


Monday 3rd Aug

Daily Activity 96: Marie Curie

Fact of the day:

Marie Curie was born in 1867 and is best known for her work in radioactivity.

Activity 1:

When World War I started Marie Curie learned that doctors could use X-rays to help determine what was wrong with an injured soldier. X-rays allow us to see ‘inside’ bodies to view organs such as bones, using a mild type of radiation. However, there weren’t enough X-ray machines for every hospital to have one. She came up with a mobile X-ray machines and helped to train people to run the machines. The mobile x ray trucks became known as petites Curies, meaning “little Curies” and are thought to have helped over 1 million soldiers during the war.

Can you learn about all of the bones in the body?

Try out a skeleton dance.

Place stickers/post it notes on your body where you think you’ll find these bones: skull, rib, pelvis, femur, tibia, humerus. Were you right – check here for the answers.

Can you create a rhyme or a song to remember the names of the bones – what is the largest? What is the smallest?

Activity 2:

Make a body full of bones art work or model. You could use cotton buds or toothpicks & Plasticine.

Activity 3:

Marie discovered radium and polonium. These two substances are radioactive. Marie named one of the elements polonium after her homeland Poland. She named the other radium, because it gave off such strong rays. Marie came up with the term “radioactivity” to describe elements that emitted strong rays.

For her discoveries, Marie won the Nobel prize for physics and for chemistry. The Nobel Prize is an award given to someone who does something clever and kind that helps other people. Could you make a medal for someone in your life who has helped you through Lockdown?



Tuesday 4th Aug

Daily Activity 97: Galileo Galilei

Fact of the day:

Italian scientist Galileo was best known for his study of the planets and stars and was known to some as the ‘Father of Astronomy’.

Activity 1:

Galileo made many discoveries using his telescope including finding the four large moons around Jupiter and learning that the Earth’s Moon was not smooth but was covered with craters.

Explore your house and find different textures of surfaces, can you find different smooth and rough surfaces.

Make some moon craters using flour, cocoa and rocks.

Activity 2:

Through his telescope, Galileo also discovered sunspots.

Make a telescope, you could either use a kitchen roll tube, or make one from paper. Draw 10 pictures of the sun to hide around your room – see how many of them you can spot through your telescope.

Activity 3:

Galileo famously conducted experiments that involved dropping heavy and light objects from the top of the leaning tower of Pisa to measure the speed of their fall. His experiments concluded that object fall at the same speed regardless of if they’re light or heavy.

Try making your own leaning towers. See how tall you can make a tower from lego/stacked books/stacked boxes/stacked cotton reels/stacked biscuits/etc before it starts to lean (and eventually fall).

Add on Activity:

For more outer space activities, look back at the Daily Activities #6-10 from when we looked at Mysterious Places: Stars & Planets.



Wednesday 5th Aug

Daily Activity 98: Archimedes

Fact of the day:

Archimedes was an ancient Greek scientist, inventor, astronomer, and mathematician!

Activity 1:

When Archimedes was at the public baths, he discovered that the more his body sank into the bath water, the more water splashed over the sides. This splashed, ‘displaced’ water was the exact measure of the volume of his body.

In a jug of water filled to the very top plop or push different sized and weighted items (you might want to do this inside a washing up bowl to catch the overspill!) – which items cause the most water to leave the cup? Does a ping pong ball displace more water than a tomato? Does a cup displace more water than an apple?

Archimedes supposedly shouted ‘Eureka’ upon discovering the science behind water displacement. Come up with your own scientific exclamation to show that you’re a genius too! You could write down your exclamation on catch phrase and decorate it.

Activity 2:

Have more fun with water experiments:

Make a tinfoil bowl of saucer shape to act as a boat – how much (what volume) of water can you fill the boat with before it sinks.

If you had the same volume of tin foil as you did with water, and you scrunched the tinfoil into a ball would that sink on the surface of the water?

Why not if they weigh the same?!

Activity 3:

Archimedes invented the Archimedes Screw, a simple machine for moving water uphill that is still used today.

Try and move like a corkscrew – spinning, twisting and rotating. Try doing your body, arm, or leg corkscrew actions in time to this or this song.



Thursday 6th August

Daily Activity 99: Alexander Graham Bell

Fact of the day:

In 1876, Scottish-born American inventor Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

Activity 1:

On 10 March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made history with the first ever words spoken on the telephone, when he said to his assistant Thomas Watson: “Mr Watson, come here—I want to see you”. What would you have said if you’d just invented the telephone?

Alexander Graham Bell proposed ‘ahoy’ as a standard phone greeting before Thomas Edison popularised the use of ‘hello’, which has stuck up to today. What other greetings could you use on the telephone? Do you know any greetings, or how to say ‘hello’ in other languages?

Act out your greetings in your best Scottish accents, or write your greetings down and decorate them.

Activity 2

As well as being an inventor, Alexander Graham Bell was taught students who were deaf. Come up with dance moves to these phone related songs; you could add in the Makaton/BSL sign for ‘phone’ every time you hear the word ‘phone’ or ‘telephone’ in the songs by ABBA, Blondie, Lady Gaga. Or, try out the Makaton signs to this song: One Call Away.

Activity 3

As well as it being Alexander’s surname, when people say “I’ll give you a bell” they mean “I’ll call you” on the phone. The bell refers to the bell sound old phones used to make to announce a call – similar to a doorbell or a school bell.

Watch this video by James and make your own bell sounds in time with him, alongside some pen drumming.



Friday 7th August

Daily Activity 100: Isaac Newton

Fact of the day:

Sir Isaac Newton was a British scientist who did lots of work on physics and gravity. Albert Einstein once said that Isaac Newton was the smartest person that ever lived.

Activity 1:

Isaac Newton is famous for discovering the theory of gravity. Legend has it that Newton got his inspiration for gravity when he saw an apple fall from a tree on his farm which bumped him on the head. Try balancing objects on your head and moving – you could try balancing an apple, or start with something easier like a paperback book! Try dancing to this song without dropping your apple or book!

Activity 2:

Try doing some gravity experiments – can you balance a craft stick on a chopstick or pencil like this?

Can you use gravity to make a line of wet paint dripple down a piece of paper if you hold up at a right angle? Can you use gravity to drip paint from a brush onto a piece of paper below you on the floor, like Jackson Pollock?

Activity 3:

Imagine there was no gravity, like in space. Try out some zero-gravity giant step moon walking or act out floating about in space (you could even make yourself a kitchen-foil space helmet or space boots) while dancing to this song.

Activity 4:

By looking at old paintings of him , Newton had incredible hair! Make yourself the best wig you can out of fabric, wool, etc, and dress up as Newton!



Add on activities this week:

Look back at Daily Activity 49 when we learned all about scientist Ada Lovelace.


Why not take a photo of any of the activities you’ve tied this week and share it with us? You can share it on our FacebookInstagram or Twitter or send it to melanie@purplepatcharts.org and we’ll put it online for you!