Ken (12) asked the following question – If there is more electrons than protons, it is an anion, right, but what if the electrons are positively charged, then what is it. Is it still an anion or now a cation, or there is different name for this type of situation?


Many thanks for your question. I can however sense some confusion in it.  Let us get one thing clear. We do not know what is a negative charge and a positive charge. The early scientists gave electrons a negative charge and protons a positive charge. They knew that they (electrons and protons) were different …and that they were attracted to each other. Work by early scientists had shown that you could create two different types of electrical charge and they were attracted to each other.  Thus the positive and negative nomenclature.

When the nucleus of  the  atomic particle was investigated they found that it contained particles that were  attracted to the smaller particles surrounding the nucleus and they became protons surrounded by electrons. They also found that these particles had opposite electrical charges. They designated the positive charge to protons and the negative charge to electrons.

In some cases the small particles (electrons) can be made to carry a positive charge and they become ‘cations’. You will not however find them near the positively charged nucleus of an atom …they would be repelled.

I hope this helps……


Cerrah (11) asks What is electrical energy?

Thank you for your question Cerrah. One of my team came up with the following thoughts.

Here are some quick thoughts on those questions. Firstly all materials are made of atoms and all atoms contain electrons. In some materials some of the electrons can be made to leave their atom and move to other atoms. This is what happens in metals. In metals an outermost electron can be persuaded to move from one metal atom to another. This can sometimes be by heating the atom, another way it attaching the metal to a battery. More later.

A little extra …….when an electron leaves an atom for the next atom this is followed by the atom that received the electron losing one of its own to the next atom ….eventually this line of moving elections meets a  piece of wire which is different, it is usually thinner or  made of a different metal which is more difficult for the electrons to move through …..the difficult movement causes a lot of heat…..the wire heats up and begins to glow ….. light is formed. Electrical energy is converted to light energy. Hope this helps.

Lotie(7) asks How does light travel?

Many thanks for the question Lotie. ‘Light’ is what scientists call a type of Energy. Other common types of Energy (there are quite a few of them) include Heat, Sound and  Electricity….see if you can think of more types of energy.

Let one of my team try to explain WHAT makes something a form of Energy.

The answer is they all can do work. They all can move, in some way. Electricity moves in a wave like motion along the wires that carry it. Light moves by using very, very small particles called Photons. Heat moves by transferring energy from one small particle of a material to another.

Nothing moves faster than a Photon. Sunlight and Light from the Stars is travelling photons.

Thanks again for the question Lotie

Dana(13) asks about the ‘carrying capacity’ of wolves

Dana was given the following information

Year wolves
2003 10
2004 20
2005 30
2006 15
2007 10
2008 11

A question which must come to most people (including me) is what is  ‘Carrying Capacity”.  A quick investigation indicates that this means the capacity of an environment to support a number of species.  Using the data above suggests that in 2004 an environment could support 20 wolves BUT  in the year 2007 something had happened to the environment and it could only support 10 wolves. Why?

The ‘Why’ introduces lots of questions.  Did the environment get smaller? Wolves survive on hunting smaller animals …did they find somewhere else to live? Was there a drought  in the environment which caused the smaller animals to decline in numbers?

To really find an answer to this question you need to find a lot about wolves, their diet, the, effects of weather on them, wolf predators, and others.

I hope this helps……to find the answer you will need to supply more information.


Fraser (12) asks. What are the important parts of aerodynamics?


Many thank for the question. To help you answer it I suggest you make your own paper aeroplane. Investigating the flight of the plane will be the beginning of your investigations of aerodynamics.

Below is a plan (Using a sheet of A$ paper) that you can use to make a plane and begin the investigation.

Once you have made the plane, try flying it. Think of the things that make it fly. How far, for example can you make your plane fly. Does it depend on how hard you throw it?  That is the THRUST that enables it to fly and is an important element of AERODYNAMICS.

I shall pass you over to my friends, who will no doubt ask you more questions. (They will need some time to answer so please come back a bit later)

Here is what they said.

Hello Aster.

I think a paper aeroplane is a good start to investigate aerodynamics. As the Science Master said … far the aeroplane flies with a simple push is a good way to investigate one of the main aerodynamic properties associated with any that flies. This is Thrust .

The other major aerodynamic considerations, in addition to Thrust are Gravity, Lift, Drag and Air Drag.


Piper Astra (10) asks Why do we have to die ?

Thank you for your question Piper. I shall ask my friends to contribute later.

Humans and animals die because our bodies stop reproducing cells – cells are the building blocks of our body. Amazingly about 40 billion of them die every day…and our body replaces them. However as we get older the replacement process is reduced and eventually it stops, so we die.

However for trees this does not happen, the replacement process continues and the tree keeps on living. Some trees that you might see around you are hundreds of years old.

These are my early thoughts on your interesting question. My friends will add to this when they are ready.

Hugo (7) asked – “Is the world magnetic?”

Hugo, a great question. I think the world is magnetic but I am not sure how we can find out if it is. Let me ask my friends. They should be able to give me an answer in a few hours time. I think it is something to do with compasses.

Hugo, I think you will need some equipment ……. a small bar magnet and a square of polystyrene or woo. This will mean that you can float the magnet on some water.


Clara (7) asked – How are all sorts of jewels made?

Clara, thank you for your question. I will ask you a question “What do you think jewels are made of?”  this would help in deciding how jewels are made.

Are jewels made from hard or soft things? Are jewels made of metal or some other material?

Wow…I used the word “material”. What do you think that means?

Material is a word to describe what things are made of. We recognise a material by its properties. Is it hard, soft, bendy, runny, smelly, strong, brittle?

I asked a friend about your question. Here are her thoughts.

Thanks for that.

Clara, it might be difficult for you to examine the properties of the diamond. It is made from a material that is very, very hard. Maybe you could investigate its hardness ….how do you think you could do that?

Is the diamond held in a metal. There are lots of different metals all of which have different properties. Can you find some metals that are different from the metal that the diamond might be held in.

Let me know in the comment box below.

Jose (10) asks –What is Plasma?

Jose, thanks for your question. I gave it to my team. Here is their answer…..


Thanks team, I liked your answer. Jose…can you understand. A gas, solid or liquid consists of small particles called molecules. A drop of water contains thousands of water molecules. Each molecule consists of two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom. Each atom consists of a core of a number of positively charged particles called ‘protons‘ which are surrounded by an equal number of negatively charged particles called ‘electrons‘. If we manage to remove an electron from the water molecule …it leaves the water molecule with one less negatively charged electron so it becomes positively charged. It forms a Plasma.

Cheyanne (11) asked “What is the total charge of 7 electrons”


I am a little confused  by your question. I asked my team for an answer……and here it was


Thanks team. I would like to add a little bit more to your answer

Firstly the electron is a very, very small particle, it has a radius of 0nly 2.8×1015 m.   It is very, very small. That is an unimaginable small size.  Associated with this very small particle is an actual , very small electrical charge of about  1.6x 1019 volt (V).

So in reality when you are talking about the total charge of seven electrons you are only talking about  7 x 1.6x 1019 volt (V).

Sorry for this answer. I think it complicates things …stick to what my team member says. In reality when you are talking about the charges on seven electrons as 7- you are talking about the total charge that about  7 x 1.6 x 1019 electrons will give you .