Science, Nature and Tech

A Kid-Friendly Explanation of The Big Bang & An Amazing New Discovery by Scientists

kid-friendly explanation of Big Bang

Most scientists believe that the Universe began in a Big Bang around 14 billion years ago. The entire Universe was inside a bubble thousands of times smaller than a pinhead, and was hotter and denser than anything we can imagine.

When the explosion called the Big Bang happened, the Universe as we know it was born. In a fraction of a second, the Universe grew from smaller than a single atom to larger than a galaxy. It kept on growing, and is still expanding today.

Now researchers in America think they have found traces left in the sky that prove this that the Big Bang did really happen. It takes the form of a distinctive twist in the oldest light detectable with telescopes. These twists of light are called ‘gravitational waves’ – the effect is a little bit like how waves form on the surface when you drop a big stone in a pond. However, you also have to imagine that the Big Bang formed the pond itself.



The team leading the project, known as BICEP2, has been using a telescope at the South Pole to make detailed observations of a small patch of sky. The aim was to find evidence of ‘inflation’ – the idea that the cosmos grew rapidly in its first trillionth, or trillionth of a trillionth of a second – growing from something unimaginably small to something about the size of a marble.

The leader of the team, Prof John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said:


“This is opening a window on what we believe to be a new regime of physics – the physics of what happened in the first unbelievably tiny fraction of a second in the Universe.”


Over the coming years, scientists will work hard to investigate every aspect of this discovery. Other experiments will be carried out to see if they can replicate the findings of the American team. If this research is confirmed, it will be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time.


Dr Sarah Bearchell drew our attention to this video, which explains the concept of gravity and gravitational waves with the help of a towel, an apple and a ping pong ball. Check it out


School & Career

Vet Against The Odds

Hello! My name is Lauren, I’m 22 and I’m at university training to be a vet. Like most vet students I like science and animals, what makes me a bit different is that I am partially deaf in both ears. I wanted to write about what it’s like to go to university and move away from home when you can’t hear properly.

My parents found out I was deaf when I was 5 years old, just after I started school. My sister is also hearing impaired and Mum had inadvertently taught us both to speak properly, which meant that doctors didn’t realize there was anything wrong. When I got older mum told me that she was really worried at the time that being deaf would affect what I was able to do in life, but so far it hasn’t.


Language & Literature

Talking in Text

Text speak is very confusing for a lot of people, but it is one area in which children and teenagers are far more advanced than adults.  Mobile phones and the internet are recent inventions.
Imagine what it was like for your parents as children.  If your parents are 30 years old, the internet did not exist for them!  Mobile phones were only invented in 1973 but did not become common for 15 or 20 years.  The first ones cost thousands of pounds and were the size of house bricks!



Science, Nature and Tech

Awesome Science Resources for Kids

STEM resources
Where else can you find great Science Resources for Kids? You can browse our archives here on Jump! Mag or you can check out the following sites.
We will update this list in the coming months, and will concentrate on resources you can access online – lectures, TV Shows, YouTube channels, online archives, websites and blogs with science tutorials so that you can roll up your sleeves and get stuck into science. 
We will update this list regularly, so if you have something cool to add, let us know.


Sparxx is an initiative bought to you by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).
Their aim is to bring you all the latest news, views, events, opportunities, careers, interesting stuff, fun stuff and freebies to help girls find inspiration for future careers. Sign up for their newsletter here.

The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

RI christmas lecture


The CHRISTMAS LECTURES® are entertaining and informative science events for young people, broadcast on UK television every year. You can watch them online here. Prepare to be amazed


The Royal Institution have just launched Experimental, a series of YouTube videos with great and simple experiments for parents and children to try at home. Find their YouTube Channel here.








Real science, online – The Zooniverse is home to the internet’s largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. You can choose to help researchers characterize bat calls, or explore Mars, without leaving your house.

Crash Course


Six awesome courses in one awesome channel: John Green teaches you US History and Hank Green teaches you Chemistry. Check out the playlists for past courses in World HistoryBiologyLiterature, and Ecology

Bill Nye the Science Guy

Bill Nye is a scientist, engineer, comedian, author and inventor. His mission is to make science fun, and help people understand the science that makes our world work. Here are the Home Demos, the experiments you should try at home sometime. Keep clicking around and you’ll find the Episode Guides.




Edheads is an online educational resource that provides free science and math games and activities that promote critical thinking. You can design a mobile (cell) phone, repair a weakened aorta or learn about simple machines, and much more.

Science Projects for Kids



This is a site that links to lots of other sites – we loved the Amusement Park Physics – design your own roller-coaster but be careful because if you get the science wrong… DISASTER!

Silvia’s Show


Silvia is a young girl from California, USA and she’s been making Super-Awesome webshows on making cool stuff since 2010. She demonstrates science experiments, and great craft projects. You’ll never be bored, when Silvia is around!


The kids pages on Nasa are awesome, and that is before we get to the videos of ELMO at NASA. Science and Sesame Street. It doesn’t get much better than this.


Veritasium is a science video blog featuring experiments, expert interviews, cool demos, and discussions with the public about everything science – these are at times more advanced, but well worth a look.


We love the short and snappy servings of science from the SciShow team.

Minute Physics 

We just had to include this one, as the solar system explanation is so brilliant even our science dunce editor understood it!

Engineering is Elementary


Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the Museum of Science, Boston (MOS). They have fantastic resources for teachers and home-ed families, on a range of topics. Some of the content is free to use, and the teaching guides and stories can be purchased on the site

Further resources

The National Science Teachers Association has a great list of books about science 

National Geographic is a great website with a huge range of articles and fun stuff

Cool music and science from They May Be Giants and the Here Comes Science CD

Woodlands Resources Science for educational and fun activities

How Stuff Works – well, just that really

This is a bit of a niche Science subject, but really cool – Skateboarding Science

The same site (of the Exploratorium in San Francisco) has a great list of ‘snacks’ – little experiments to try at home

If you like computers and want to learn how to make your own programmes, BBC had this cool game toolkit so that you can make your own games and can teach you to code, as can Scratch

If your parents are on Twitter, get them to follow @realscientists – a rotational twitter account featuring real scientists, science writers, communicators and policy makers talking about their lives and their work. Tweeters from different fields of science and science-related fields.

How To Grow Your Own Geek is a podcast created to share a love of geeking and parenting, and to provide advice on how to combine the two.  Check out their Science and History Podcasts for Kids 

Coding Resources by DeVry Bootcamp has plenty of interesting resources for older or more advanced students.