Equatorial Science

This week, P6/7 have been continuing with their South America topic, and Miss St Clair has been teaching us about science at the equator.

We learned that Ecuador (full name; The Republic of the Equator, when translated into English) in one of many countries through which the equator runs. In South America, the equator also passes through Brazil and Colombia. Many people travel to Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, because the equator is very nearby and there are museums that demonstrate to tourists a few tricks that are only possible on the equator.

One trick is that water appears to flow down a plughole in different directions either side of the equator, but straight down when it is on the equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, it swirls anti-clockwise, but in the Southern Hemisphere, it swirls clockwise. This is due to something called the Coriolis Effect, which explains how a part of an object nearer to the equator moves further and faster than the part nearest the North or South Pole. This effect is what causes weather systems, particularly hurricanes, to move in different directions in different hemispheres.  We watched this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDorTBEhEtk) and this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihv4f7VMeJw) to help us to understand this, and a few of us were able to see the effect in our classroom sink!

There is also an experiment which sees tourists balance an egg on a nail. Many people think that you can only balance an egg on a nail at the equator, and it is impossible anywhere else. They believe that this is due to The Coriolis Effect and there being stronger gravity at the equator because of its latitude.

We decided to test this theory with some eggs and some drawing pins in wood, and had great fun trying to prove that the egg balance is possible in Scotland as well as in Ecuador! Take a look at the photos of us, and our egg balancing skills!

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