DIY Science

Science projects to try at home, especially if you can't get out and about

Three of the activity sheets


As most of our events were delivered online in 2020, and were very definitely not hands-on, we produced this series of activities to help you to get into some science at home or in a nearby park.

Download all backyard activities (7.1 MB, zip).

Other National Science Week contributors have DIY activities to try too - check out these ones from:

Daily activities

We added a new DIY Science activity to our news story feed each morning throughout National Science Week in 2020:

Saturday 15 August: Make your own sherbet fizz
Sunday 16 August: Calculate the speed of light
Monday 17 August: Mpemba effect
Tuesday 18 August: Pop rocket
Wednesday 19 August: Jelly lenses
Thursday 20 August: See your TV remote signal
Friday 21 August: Honeycomb
Saturday 22 August: Elephant's toothpaste
Sunday 23 August: Iron cereal

Backyard Science

Weather Station

"Lovely day for it!" Why do people talk about the weather so much? Why not spice up the conversation with some real weather science and build your own weather station.
Download now (315 kB, pdf).

Backyard Bioblitz

Animal Detective

There are animals around us everywhere and you can find traces of them if you know how and where to look. How many signs of animals can you find in your local environment?
Download now (455 kB, pdf).

Flower Dissection

Flowers might look pretty but take a closer look and you will see that flowers are packed with amazing structures to attract pollinators and to help them reproduce.
Download now (352 kB, pdf).

Insects at Night

Insects such as ants, dragonflies, butterflies, and grasshoppers are most active during the day but, apart from pesky mosquitoes, what insects are most active at night?
Download now (355 kB, pdf).

Backyard Astronomy

While you're outside catching insects, take the time to look up and do some astronomical observations. In August you should be able to see Jupiter, Saturn, the Southern Cross and maybe the ISS or other satellites. You can also do observations of the Sun and Moon in the daytime.

Satellites and Shooting Stars

Most things you see in the sky are far away from Earth, but some are a lot closer than you think.
Download now (1.3 MB, pdf).

Moon and Sun

They are the two brightest objects in the sky, and coincidentally they appear to be the same size when viewed from Earth.
Download now (1.1 MB, pdf).

Stars & Planets + plus August Star Charts

With just your eyes and some guidance you can see planets, many stars and constellations, nebulae, and nearby galaxies. And your phone can take good photos of them.
Download now (2.5 MB, pdf).

Astronomy When it's Cloudy

Sometimes objects in the sky won’t be visible. Cloudy conditions might be the perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep, but they’re also wonderful for exploring space from indoors.
Download now (1 MB, pdf).

Coding Playground

Delve into the world of coding apps with Swift Rockets, a Swift Playground Book for children, their families, and the young at heart to learn a little programming, and some fabulous facts about space, and space debris.

Cartoon of the International Space Station

The module uses the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad and MacOS.

Swift Rockets has been developed for by Secret Lab.