Let's Dive In is back on RTÉjr Radio with a new series to answer all your science questions.

There are ten new episodes dropping every Thursday at 7pm on RTÉjr Radio starting today!

Your hosts Julie Gould and Phil Smyth will share scietific facts and try out some fun experiments. In this show we find out why tadpoles blow bubbles!?

Tune in to RTÉjr Radio or press play to listen right now!

Here, Julie tells us a bit about what is on the show and tells us what we need for our own science experiment looking at surface tension.

This episode talks about how Julie, in the UK, collected some frogspawn to study. The tadpoles and froglets were released back into the pond where they were found.

In Ireland you are not allowed to collect frogspawn, unless you're a teacher and this is being done for educational purposes.

Collie Ennis, friend of the show and member of the Herpetological Society of Ireland explains...

The Herpetological Society recommend that government guidelines regarding the protection of frogspawn are followed.
If everyone was to take even a small clump of spawn away from their local breeding pond that years entire population could be wiped out.

Julie explains more...

As the little tadpoles started swimming around my daughter Nova, age 5 and a half (the half is very important!) noticed little bubbles on the surface of the water by the walls of the tank.

After a bit more observation she thought she saw the tadpoles blowing bubbles, and of course, wondered why they do this.

Neither Phil, nor I, are tadpoles experts, but luckily we found one to speak to. Kurt Schwenk is a biologist at the University of Connecticut in the USA, and he told us all about the little swimmers.

It turns out that "tadpoles are so tiny that when they swim up to the surface of the water to take a breath, they literally cannot get to the air above the water. They can't get to it because water at the surface has something called surface tension".

Now breaking through the surface of the water is no problem for most big creatures like you and me. We don't even realise we’re pushing through a barrier.

And so, in this episode we Dive In to find out how the little tadpoles break the surface tension to take a breath, and how they actually use the different parts of their bodies to breathe!

Plus we’ve got a great surface tension experiment for you to try at home!

The experiment: Floaty Soapy Boaty!

What you’ll need


Washing up liquid

Baking tray

Scissors - always be careful and ask and adult for help!

A hole punch (optional)

Dropper or pipette of some form

A grown up for help

What you need to do:

Cut a piece of card that’s 2cm by 4cm

Use the hole punch to put a hole about ¾ along the length of the middle line of the card (if you don’t have a hole punch, just use the scissors and a grown up to help you).

Use the scissors to cut a channel from the far end of the card towards the hole you’ve made. It should be just thinner than the width of your hole. What you’ll have is something that looks like a keyhole

At the other end of the card (the bit closest to the hole), cut the corners to make a triangle. Then you’ve got your boat! (Although I think it looks more like a house with a keyhole in it!).

Now get your tray and pour water into it

Gently place your boat onto the surface of the water. It should float nicely.

Now take one drop of washing up liquid, and using the dropper, place it right into the hole of the boat.

Watch it goooooo!!!

Tune in to the episode to find out why this little boat zooms across the surface of the water!

So, this is how series 2 of Let’s Dive In begins! We’re so glad to be back for another season of ten episodes filled with fun, facts, games and experiments!

You can listen live on RTÉjr Radio at 7pm this evening.

Make sure to subscribe HERE or wherever you get your podcasts!

AND read all the articles from Series One HERE!