Why is the sky blue?


Why is the sky blue? ... and other tricky children's questions that parents can't answer.

It was found that 83 per cent of UK mums and dads have been unable to answer questions from their youngsters about science, technology, engineering or maths subjects. But not knowing the answer is only half the problem, as almost two thirds of parents also revealed that they had given an incorrect answer instead of admitting their ignorance on the topic.

Parents should know it is perfectly OK to say "I don't know. That is a good question. Let's see if we can find it out".

The top 20 children's questions, which baffle parents: How is electricity made? What are black holes? What is infinity? Why is the sky blue? Why do we have a leap year? How do birds fly? What is photosynthesis? Why does cutting onions make you cry? Where does the wind come from? Why is the sea salty? Why doesn't the moon fall down? How big is the world? What happens to us when we die? What is a prime number? Is God real? What makes thunder? Why do you blink? How do planes fly? What is time? How does Father Christmas get down the chimney?

And the answers to some of these ...

What is photosynthesis?
This is the process by which green plants use sunlight to make carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen, giving us life and energy.

Why doesn't the moon fall down?
It does. But it is also moving sideways very fast so it keeps missing us and falling past!

Why is the sky blue?
Because the molecules in the atmosphere scatter blue (short wavelength) sunlight more than red because they are very small - hence red sunsets too.

How can the universe be infinite?
We cannot know that it is because the light from the edge would take an infinite time to get to us. In fact, the edge we see is the Big Bang gas cloud.

beautiful sky

At its heart, we know that education is a simple thing.
Whoever we are, wherever we may be, we all need to experience the joy of achievement, our own and others
… and then we need great teachers.