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October Science Challenge

Get involved in our September Science Challenge, static electricity and material properties: Jumping fish.


  • Two plastic bottles with lids (one full of water, one empty)
  • Marker pen
  • Chalk/string to mark a target line
  • OPTIONAL: thick cards and books to make a ramp.


  1. With the full bottle of water, roll it past the target line (this is where the chalk/string comes in). Try this a few times and discuss how much force was used to roll the bottle.
  2. Transfer the water to the empty bottle and try to roll the empty bottle past the target line.

Do you need more, less or the same amount of force as the full bottle? What will happen if you use different amounts of water in the bottle?

*Challenge: Using books/thick cards you could set up a ramp, you could hold the bottle at the top and release it. You could then observe how far it travels from the bottom of the ramp.

The Science:

A force is a push or pull. Forces can make objects move or stop, speed them up or slow them down. A lighter object needs less force than a heavier object. For example, you could easily move an empty box, but it would be harder to move a box that is full because it would need more force to move. Air resistance is air pushing on a moving object which slows it down. Friction is the force between two objects when you rub them together.

Scientist of the Month

Our scientist of the month is Annie Easley.
Can you write some facts about this amazing Scientist?

Why is their work so important to us now?


Please send any entries via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please write in your email that your challenge entry is for the attention of the Science team.


You can also download our Science Challenge as a PDF.