The BBC has been England’s (and the world’s) most reliable source of news for longer than any of us have been alive. One of the reasons it has stayed at the top is how the BBC updates itself over the ages. For the internet age, it dove into the world of interactive content.
It’s a stunning series of experiments. The idea is to take data and present it to people in entertaining new ways, such that they are interacting with it. From knowing your body better to interactive chemistry experiments, you’ll see it all here.
1. Biggest Bangs: Interactive Chemistry Experiments
This isn’t the first interactive YouTube video you’ll see, but it’s the best made one. Go into the BBC’s laboratories to create your own experiments, looking to make the biggest explosion.
Biggest Bangs gives you eight elements: hydrogen, sodium, sulfur, nitrogen, chlorine, oxygen, iodine, and aluminum. Select any two to mix them, and see the experiment on YouTube.
The narrator explains the science behind what’s happening, with the BBC’s typical dry sense of humor. Repeat the experiments with as many elements as you can, all in the quest to find which one makes the biggest bang!
Let’s imagine you got two new vehicles. One is a drilling machine, boring through anything the crust of the Earth has to offer, going all the way to its core. The other is a submarine capable of going to depths in our oceans that no one has ever been. What would you see?
Find out on this Journey to the Center of the Earth, which you can view in any desktop web browser. Scroll down to make the two vehicles travel downwards towards the “Earth’s center”, with each scroll taking you deeper. The site will show you fun facts along the way, like the deepest marine life recorded by humans, or the deepest water well dug by hand.
It’s a fascinating look at all the things that lie beneath us, but which we never pay much attention to. It’s also a wonderful way to teach your kids about everyday science.
After you scroll down into the depths of our planet, do the opposite to explore the vastness of space. This interactive site works the same way, but instead of two vehicles side-by-side, you’re propelling a rocket.
With each scroll, you’ll go further into space, watching the colors change as you go outward and outward. Find out how far Yuri Gagarin had to go to be the first man in space, or be amazed by the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
Can you make it to the heliosphere, otherwise known as the outer edges of our solar system? And if you can, find out how much more scrolling it would take to reach the edge of the universe as we know it.
The human body is an incredible, complex mechanism. If you stop and think about it, it’s a wonder that the number of things working in our body can function so efficiently. Want to find out what your body is actually made up of?
The “How Much of Your Body Is You” asks for your birth date, age, sex, height, and weight. It then spits out four data charts: body shop, body count, body size, and body builder.
In this, you will find things like how much of your body is oxygen, and even its value. BBC can estimate the total elemental value of your entire body right now. It will also show how much data is stored in your DNA, or how much of your body is water. It’s a fascinating glimpse into everything that makes you who you are right now.
You have never seen anything like this, folks. The BBC created the last resource you’ll ever need on World War I. And with it, you get this one interactive episodes, where you get to be a part of the action.
The interactive episode makes you take the role of a commanding officer in the middle of a firefight. You will make decisions that are life or death for your soldiers, and for you. And at every stage, you will get a small assessment of your skills. It’s kind of like playing a game, only a whole lot better because it’s based on real life. While the characters are fictional, the situations and the decisions come from true stories from military veterans.
Looking back on things now, we forget how tough times really were back then. But do you think you have it in you to survive World War I? Find out.
What’s Your Favorite BBC Project?
The BBC has 500 free audio documentaries online, and regularly makes some of the best content on the web available for free.
What’s your favorite BBC project? Do we have any Planet Earth fans here?