Articles on Curious Kids

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Generally once a fortnight, someone at home will place the recycling bin out for a truck to drive past and empty your bin. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: Where do my recycled items go?

Magnets, air blowers, centrifuges, crushers: your recyclables go through a lot before they get turned into something else.
When a pain signal gets to the brain, it lets your brain know there’s a big problem so we can respond. AAP Image/DAN PELED

Curious Kids: How does pain medicine work in the body?

In short, pain medicine is able to block the processes that cause the feeling of pain. To understand why, you need to know a bit about how pain works.
Only clouds that are tall with big water drops can make rain, but they also stop most of the light, which makes them look grey. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: why does rain only come from grey clouds?

To answer this question from Fiona, age 6, we need to know some things about clouds and light.
We know that lots of animals, maybe all animals, sleep. Cats, dogs, even worms and jellyfish sleep. But we still don’t know exactly why they started sleeping. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: Do animals sleep like people? Do snails sleep in their shells?

Pond snails use things like rocks or the side of their aquarium as their bed, attaching themselves while they sleep. This might not seem very relaxing but their shells do hang away from their body.
Our bones grow and change over our whole life. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: Why do we have bones?

Bones protect our insides, help us to move and even help make our blood.
It turns out that the world is about 4,600,000,000 years old. That’s 4.6 billion years. That’s pretty old! Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: How do scientists work out how old the Earth is?

The world is made of tiny building blocks called 'elements'. Scientists have worked out how fast some elements change into other elements. That gives us a very big clue about how old the Earth is.
Glasses help people to see by focusing light onto the retina. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: How do glasses help you see?

Many people, from children to the elderly, wear glasses. Andy, age 5, wants to know how they work.
Cars are often warm and comfortable and we are usually feeling safe and relaxed. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

Curious Kids: Why do we always fall asleep in cars?

You might be trying to catch up on sleep. Sleep scientists say some children need only nine hours of sleep at night, while others need as much as 11 hours. It depends on the person.
The leaves of most plants are green because the leaves are full of green chemicals. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: Why are leaves green?

This is an article from Curious Kids, a series for children. The Conversation is asking kids to send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. All questions are welcome – serious, weird or wacky! Why…
X-rays are like light rays, but they can pass through more stuff. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: How do x-rays see inside you?

X-rays are like light rays, but they can pass through more stuff. Some of the x-ray's energy is blocked by bone, which is why you can see bones so clearly on x-ray scans.
Worms do have something in their mouth that they can poke out, like a tongue. It is called a stylet. Flickr/DJ SINGH

Curious Kids: Do worms have tongues?

The short answer is no. But worms can use different parts of their body to do some of the jobs that our tongues do - like tasting and crushing food.
Here’s a modern human skull on the left, and Neanderthal skull on the right. Darren Curnoe

Curious Kids: Where did the first person come from?

Maeve, age 8, has a question that has stumped many scientists over the years. And that’s because it’s a surprisingly tricky question to answer. It depends a bit on what you mean by 'person'.

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