Blog | Disgusting science – Lesson 2: Farting

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Delve into the icky side of science with your younger Scouts and help them discover a whole world of revolting fun facts!

 

The science

Something in the air

Farts are basically air that’s trapped inside your body. Some of this is air we might have swallowed while chewing or drinking, though air can also sneak into our intestines from our blood. Chemical reactions or bacteria in our stomachs cause some trapped air also.

Passing gas

A tiny amount of hydrogen sulphide gas and mercaptans make up a typical fart, which contain sulphur – this is what makes farts stink!

Farts also make a funny sound when they escape due to the vibrations in our bottoms and the more pressure behind the gas escaping, the louder the trump!

Interesting fact

An average bottom burp is composed mostly of nitrogen (60%) together with a little hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, oxygen and smelly sulphur.

Top tip – don’t eat too many beans

The more sulphur-rich your diet is the smellier your farts will be. Foods containing lots of sulphur include beans, cabbage, cheese, fizzy drinks and eggs.

 

Activity

Whoever smelt it, dealt it

Try this quick, five-minute game for a fun, interactive way to teach your young Scouts about food and flatulence – it’s super easy! 

You’ll need:

  • Post-it notes/pieces of card
  • Pen/pencil

What to do:

1. Write or draw some common foods on some post-it notes or pieces of card. Include foods high in sulphur like beans, cabbage, cheese, fizzy drinks and eggs. Also include foods that aren’t so gassy, like bread, water, apples etc.

2. Choose a Scout to be your main farter. Ask them to stand at the front of the room with the other Scouts opposite.

3. Pick a food at random and hold it up to the Scouts and explain this is what the main farter has had for tea. Based on the food, ask them to take as many steps back from the farter as they see fit to avoid the smelly gas. For example, if it’s beans, they should run to the other side of the room as the farter's gas will be pretty strong and powerful! If it’s bread, they should stay put. Let them know when they’re right and wrong.

4. Explain the science above again during the game to remind them why gas might happen and why certain foods should be eaten in moderation!

 

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