The Spark magazine

The Spark magazine

Welcome to The Spark - an exciting magazine from Glasgow Science Centre!

The Spark was initially conceived to reach the communities our CLD team work with who have been hardest hit by the pandemic and lockdown. More than 7.500 hard copies are distributed across Glasgow four times a year, with soft copies provided to many more of our community partners. Thanks to its popularity we've now also made it available to all online.

Each issue features exciting experiments for you to try at home, fascinating facts to ponder over, and puzzles and quizzes to challenge your family.

And don't forget to follow our two-minute podcast, A Spark of Science on your favourite streaming channel. Each week, our team explore a different science concept and inspiring stories in science.

Issue 21

Meet a scientist who is working with satellites to help figure out how much plant life there is in the oceans. Plus, discover some of the weird objects people have launched into space, and find out how you can experience Pluto here on Earth.

Issue 20

The summer 2023 issue of The Spark magazine is crammed full of creative and curious activities, puzzles, quizzes and facts.

We’re going back in time to look at how standing stones were built, what the ancients did to help them navigate and have a go at making some marvellous mechanical machines for transportation.

We’ll meet a scientist who works to protect historic buildings and objects, and you can find out if you have what it takes to be a conservation detective!

Or maybe you’d rather design your own piece of science-inspired public art, or join us for our brand new summer science show: Castles Rock!

Issue 19

In this issue we are exploring biodiversity and the natural world. Learn about the vast collection of plants and animals you can find in all sorts of places, and find out how they benefit our planet. We will be going on a lichen hunt, discovering amazing ecosystems in our back gardens, as well as seeing photosynthesis in action with an easy experiment you can do in your kitchen. We will also meet Niall, an engineer who is working to create a robot to help save our ocean plants!

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Issue 18

Grab a woolly jumper, and a mug of hot chocolate and join us for the winter edition of The Spark magazine!

Dive into freezing waters to discover how animals stay warm in extremely cold conditions. Discover the popping power of citrus, and look through a kaleidoscope to explore the properties of light.

Plus, we ask the question: 'what do you want to be when you grow up' as we explore different jobs in science.

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Issue 17

In Issue 17, we are exploring all things electric. What is electricity and how does it work? We're also finding out how plants and humans get energy, and discovering animals who use electricity to hunt down their prey!

Try your hand at some shocking static science and design your own renewable form of transport in this electrifying edition of The Spark magazine!

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Issue 16

In Issue 16, take a look at the climate, not just on our planet, but the climate of the other planets in our solar system. Explore the differences between weather and climate, and how these can change due to greenhouse gases and climate change. You’ll also find some experiments inside that will show you how greenhouse gases can affect the temperature of Earth.

Glasgow Science Centre turns 21 this year! To celebrate we have shared our favourite facts that we have learned while working at the science centre. What is your favourite memory or fact that you have learned while visiting?

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Issue 15

In this Spring 2022 issue we are looking at single-use plastics, their effect on the environment and how we can help look after the wildlife impacted by discarded litter. We are also taking a trip out to our local parks and forests to learn how to identify trees by their leaves and seeds. We'll investigate the leaf litter and see what we can uncover as we go on a Bug Hunt!

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Issue 14

In this winter edition, we will be learning about our seasons, how holidays are celebrated in space and what cool tricks animals use to stay camouflaged. On top of that, this issue is packed with fun puzzles and quizzes to enjoy. Plus, there's some experiments and crafts to keep you busy on a cold winter's day.

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Issue 13

Get your climate edition of The Spark magazine packed with experiments to help us understand our planet. Investigate Arctic and Antarctic ice and its effect on the rising sea levels. Meet a weather expert and learn all about the wonderful world of clouds. Find out about the world's biggest climate conference, COP26, taking place in Glasgow this November. Plus, we’ll be making our own weather instruments, plant maze and cloud in a jar.

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Issue 12

Get your Summer 2021 edition of The Spark magazine!

In this summer edition, we’ll be tricking our eyes and brains with weird and wacky illusions, helping scientists search for ticks and meeting some of the birds and animals of the Scottish coast. Plus, we’ll be making our own pinhole cameras, radiant rainbows and balancing birds.

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Issue 11

The Spring 2021 edition of The Spark magazine is here!

It’s choc-full of activities, games and puzzles to amaze your family and friends. In this cracking edition, we’ll be getting cryptic with Caesar Ciphers, geometric with Tangrams, curious with Chromatography, and explore beautiful bubbles! Plus, use your recycling to play the Zero Waste Scotland Board Game, meet a Software Engineer, and discover the science of chocolate.

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Issue 10

A bumper edition of The Spark, where we will be looking at the science of Christmas. It’s jam-packed with festive activities, games and puzzles to amaze your family and friends. In this festive edition, we'll discover how snowflakes are formed and why they are hexagonal in shape. Plus, follow along as we make our very own festive wreath and gingerbread house.

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Issue 9

In this edition, our activities are linked to the natural environment. Our planet is constantly undergoing transformation, with the changing seasons, with the weather, but also through the actions of humans. What changes do you see in your natural environment? We’ll be making a miniature garden in a jar and finding out how Earth recycles water through our land, oceans and skies. We’re also collecting colourful autumn leaves to make beautiful pieces of art, and we meet Heather Stewart, who studies changes in the Earth at the bottom of the sea.

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Issue 8

Celebrate World Space Week with this special issue of The Spark magazine focused on space exploration! Learn about the new technologies that allow us to explore our world and beyond - from space! Meet a satellite technician, find out about the James Webb Space Telescope and investigate how rovers search for signs of life on Mars.

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Issue 7

Energy is the focus for Issue 7 of The Spark magazine! You can build a wind turbine, meet an apprentice oil and as technician, and design your future mode of transport!

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Issue 6

Issue 6 of The Spark features an interview with Scotland's Chief Scientific Advisor, takes you on a spiral scavenger hunt, and challenges you to design the ultimate dinosaur!

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Issue 5

In this edition of The Spark, follow the journey of food through our bodies and make your own stomach. Make a spectroscope to investigate light and colour, and take a planetary tour of Jupiter, the biggest planet of them all.

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Issue 4

In issue four of The Spark, we're making water tornados, investigating buoyancy and taking a tour of the Earth. Buckle up as we set off to explore some of the forces and features of our watery world!

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Issue 3

This edition of The Spark is out of this world! This week we’re making wind-powered cars, sundials, and growing our own tiny icicle-like cave formations - stalactites. Plus, we find out what it’s like to be in mission control for the International Space Station!

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Issue 2

Ready for more family fun this summer? Inside second issue of The Spark, find out about cress monsters, make your own glorious goo, meet an immunologist, and learn how to create your own secret messages. Plus, there's more quizzes and puzzles to challenge and entertain.

Get 'The Spark' - Issue 2

Issue 1

In the first issue of The Spark, we are looking at Space, Volcanoes and Minibeasts. So from the very big, to the very small. Do you think there are any minibeasts in space? Download your free PDF copy today!

Get 'The Spark' - Issue 1

Download the Bug Count Tally Tables Template.

A Spark of Science

Alongside The Spark, we've have a two-minute podcast that explores a different scientific concept each week called, A Spark of Science. Did you know that a Scottish mountain helped measure the weight of the Earth, or that octopuses are amazing escape artists? Discover what it was like for cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin to be the first to launch into space and listen to some inspiring stories from people working in science today. What else will you discover with A Spark of Science?

Share The Spark

Tried any of our activities? We'd love to see how they turned out. Send your favourite pictures to [email protected] or share with us on our social media channels with the hashtag #GSCAtHome.

For even more fun experiments to try at home for all the family, head over to our #GSCAtHome webpages packed with videos.

Thanks to our supporters!

The Spark and A Spark of Science are produced by Glasgow Science Centre with support from the Inspiring Science Fund provided by BEIS, UKRI and Wellcome.


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