Can you name all five senses? Sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing! Have a think, which senses are you using right now? You might be using your sense of sight to read this, or your sense of hearing to listen to someone reading it, you might be able to smell something cooking or taste a drink you are drinking!
In your kit you should have:
Template with blocks on (they look a bit like Lego!)
A circle with 3 colours
Some red plastic
A decoder template
One red pen
Two cocktail sticks
Brain mapping template
You will need:
Scissors (ask a grown-up to help)
Glue or sticky tape
A pen that isn’t red
*OPTIONAL* Cocoa powder (hot chocolate would work)
Sense of Sight Part one
Take the red, blue and green circle and stare at it for 30 seconds – one minute. Make sure you keep focused on it and don’t look away!
After the time is up, look at a white surface (e.g paper or a white wall) and blink a few times. You should see the picture again but with opposite colours (cyan, magenta and yellow)! If you don’t, try it again.
Here’s Chemical Cress to explain what has happened –
Sense of Sight Part two
Take your decoder template (it looks like a magnifying glass) and cut it out, including the circle in the middle. *You may want to ask a grown-up to help*
Stick the red acetate over the hole using glue or sticky tape.
Take some white paper and write a message on it using a pen that isn’t red.
Write some different letters over the top of your message using the red pen so that it covers up your message. Your brain won’t be able to filter out the different letters very well so it will be difficult to read your message.
Put your decoder on top of your message. The red pen has gone!
Your sense of sight actually involves your brain as well as your eyes. When there were lots of letters all on top of each other, your brain couldn’t read your message properly. The red acetate in your decoder filters out the red pen so that it looks like it has disappeared. Your brain then only has one thing to focus on – your message – so it’s really easy to read!
Sense of Touch Part one
If someone loses one of their senses, they have to use their other senses to make up for it. For example, someone who is deaf uses their sense of sight to talk to people using sign language. Someone who is blind uses their sense of touch to read Braille!
Braille was invented by Louis Braille so that blind people could read and write. You are going to have a go at making some Braille now!
This is the Braille alphabet –
Take your Braille template. Think about what you are going to spell, it could be your name or something else.
Colour in the dots that match the letters you need from the alphabet using a pen.
Stick the sticky gems over the dots that you have marked.
Close your eyes and run your finger over the dots, from left to right. You are reading Braille!
*You will need a partner for this experiment* We feel things through the nerves on our body. There are nerves just under our skin and they pass messages up to our brain to tell us that we can feel something! Can you feel your foot on the floor right now? That is because of your sense of touch from your nerves and brain! You are going to do an experiment to find out which part of your body is the most sensitive. If you aren’t sure what to do, Chemical Cress will demonstrate after.
Take your cocktail sticks and your brain mapping template, it looks like this –
Where the dots are on the template, poke holes in the paper using your cocktail sticks.
Get a paper and pen to record your results.
Choose which body parts you are going to test. E.g arm, knee, foot, back, hand.
Put the cocktail sticks through the two widest apart holes. One person should close their eyes whilst the other person gently pokes them with both sticks (still poking through the paper) at the same time. Can they feel one stick or two? Tell them they have to be honest!
If they can feel two sticks, put the sticks through the holes with the next smallest distance between them.
Keep getting smaller, so the sticks are closer together each time, until they can only feel one stick, even though there are two or until you get down to the smallest distance.
When they can only feel one stick, write down the smallest distance apart that they could feel two sticks (far, medium or close).
Move on to the next body part and repeat.
Which body part is the most sensitive? It will be the body part which could feel two sticks at the smallest distance apart.
Here is Chemical Cress to demonstrate and tell you a little more about this experiment –
*EXTRA* Sense of Smell
If you don’t have any cocoa powder or cinnamon, you can still do this experiment. You just need two things that smell quite strongly and different to each other. Be careful that whatever you use won’t sting your eyes if you accidentally breath into the cup!
Put one/two a teaspoon of cocoa powder (or other smelly powder or liquid) into a cup.
Put one/two a teaspoon of cinnamon (or other smelly powder or liquid) into another cup.
Put a mix of both into a third cup.
Smell the cocoa powder for 30 seconds.
Now smell the mixed cup, you should just smell cinnamon.
This time, smell the cinnamon cup for 30 seconds.
Now smell the mixed up, you should just smell cocoa powder!
This is because your smell receptors got so used to the smell you were smelling, that when you smelt the mixed cup, you smelt the new smell more strongly because your brain wasn’t used to it! Why not try this on a friend or family member?