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Science News for Children

Science features for kids brings to you exciting discoveries and inventions across the world, from path-breaking to the unusual, written with the objective of making science accessible to children. We carry news about research on weather, animals, science, environment, earth, health, living beings, astronomy, and more. From roads of jute to new moons and mobile phone bugs. Fun science for children at its best.

Posted by in Science News for Kids, World News for Kids

Dolphin in the Mirror

Dolphin in the Mirror

May 3: Dolphins are much more intelligent than humans previously thought. Scientists have recently discovered that bottle-nosed dolphins can recognise themselves in the mirror – much like you and I can! When you see a zit on your face, what do you do? Go to the mirror time and again, and wonder what it is still doing there. Well, this is exactly what two male bottle-nosed dolphins, Presley and Tab, do as well. So, these lovable aquatic animals are not just seafarers’ friends, but they are also aware of their bodies – almost like humans! A

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Jupiter’s New Moon

Jupiter’s New Moon

Does Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, have a 17th moon? Astronomers seem to think it does. Last year, astronomers at the University of Arizona and a Massachusets Observatory discovered what looked like a new moon around Jupiter. They had been scanning the skies for comets and asteroids as part of a spacewatch programme. In fact, when they saw the new moon, they thought it might be a comet or an asteroid. A comet is a small body of ice and dust that orbits the Sun. When it approaches the Sun, the ice in it vaporises and forms a head and a tail. This object around Jupiter looked nothing like one, though it moved in an elongated orbit like a comet. It looked even less like an asteroid, which is a small rocky body that orbits the Sun. In the solar system, asteroids exist in a wide belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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How Lizards Defy Gravity

How Lizards Defy Gravity

Lizards slithering up walls or dangling precariously from overhead lights are a common sight in tropical countries. These slimy creatures zipping up walls are called geckos. They are the only lizard species that make any sound, other than hissing — in fact they make a loud clicking noise that sounds like “gecko”, hence the name. Recent studies show that the gecko’s ability to cling on to surfaces could well lead to the creation of the world’s first non-sticky, self-cleaning adhesive! According to scientists at the University of California, gecko feet function a bit like the tape we use for sticking. Of course a gecko’s tenacious hold is far, far stronger than any earthly tape.

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The Scent of an Enemy

The Scent of an Enemy

It seems the fish were always a smart lot. Only, humans took some time to realise the fact. Some years ago, scientists had discovered that they identify family members with their smell. Now, scientists in Glasgow University, have discovered something new, according to a report in the journal ‘New Scientist’. They have discovered that the salmon fish go a step further. They actually keep a nose out for fish that smell like outsiders and not like family. Then they get tough with them. The reason may be that they use smell to mark out their territory, the scientists feel. And so, when they get a very strong smell of outsiders, they feel threatened.

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Scientists Find More on the Eureka Man

Scientists Find More on the Eureka Man

Why do ships float on water when in fact they should sink? Why does paper float on water and a paperweight sink? The answer to these questions was accidentally discovered 2200 years ago by the Greek inventor and mathematician, Archimedes. One day, while getting into his bath he noticed water spilling over the sides. In a flash, Archimedes realised the relation between the water that had fallen out and the weight of his body – in other words he discovered why some objects float and some sink! Archimedes was so excited with his discovery that he hopped out of the bath, and rushed naked into the street yelling triumphantly, ‘Eureka!’ ‘Eureka!’ (Greek word for ‘I have found it!).

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Planets! Planets! and more Planets!

Planets! Planets! and more Planets!

Astronomers working at Berkeley and Geneva have found nine new planets circling nearby stars. With this discovery, we now know of 50 extra-solar planets, also called exoplanets. That is a big increase from 41 planets last known five years ago. All these individual planets move in an orbit around a star, which is called their parent star. The astronomers estimate that the Beta Pictoris star has a planet ten times the mass of Earth. It orbits at a distance of about 10.5 billion kilometers, more than ten times the distance of the earth from the sun. And Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky appears to have a planet twice the mass of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. This planet is 8 billion kilometers from its parent star. In comparison, our solar system seems almost tiny. The distance between Pluto, the farthest planet in our solar system and the sun is “just” 5.9 billion kilometers!

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And Now, Schoolbags Online

Who wants to carry a bulky bag to school? Not children. Nobody wants one shoulder to be lower than the other, and paining too. In India, most of us would look at the reduction of textbooks as a way out. But in a country like America, there are always more options. A company called goReader has created a “school bag” which is the size of a laptop computer, weighing about 2.5 kg. The goReader has a colour screen and can “hold” all the textbooks that a student may need, says a report in ‘The Asian Age’ newspaper.

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The Cool and Cunning Lark

The very mention of summer and heat makes us think of desert land. Countless films have shown thirsty travellers lost in the desert, uttering the words, ‘Water! Wa-a-ter, waaa…” But then what do you do if the temperature even in the desert shade is as high as 50 degree centigrade, hot winds almost cut you up into pieces, and there is no water, or even saliva in your mouth? If you are smart like the desert animals, you would probably sleep during the day and move about at night. And, like these animals, you would make a hole in the ground and wait till the sun goes down.

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