Friday, 21 September 2007

Socks attraction

Why do socks stick together?

Although they are much too small to see, atoms make up everything around us. And atoms are made of protons (positive charge) and electrons (negative charge). In the dryer, as your socks rub together, electrons move from the atoms of one sock onto the atoms of the other. As one sock becomes more loaded with electrons than the other, an attraction is created, causing one sock to stick to the other. As they say, opposites attract!

Popcorn anyone?

Why does popcorn pop?

Popcorn is a kind of corn. A kernel pops when it is heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, causing water inside each kernel to change to steam. Popcorn's hard cover keeps the steam from escaping, causing pressure to build up and, finally, pop goes the kernel!

Fire or flame?

What is a flame?

As a candle burns, it gives off molecules in the form of gases. Those molecules are in a very excited state, causing a breakdown of the chemical bonds that bind them together. This releases energy which you see as both light and heat from the flame. In other words, the flame is simply a column of very excited gases.

Science Myths

Science Education Myths

The Top Ten Myths of Science Education

MYTH #1: Kids hate taking science in school these days.
REALITY: Not! Half--50 percent--of 10-17 year olds put science... at the top or near the top of their list...of favorite subjects.

MYTH #2: Kids think that science is dull and boring.
REALITY: Not! 42 percent of 10-17 year olds say science is the subject (they) are most curious about. Science was ranked as boring by only 14 percent of the students.

MYTH #3: Kids think science class doesn't relate to the real world.
REALITY: Not! 94 percent of 10-17 year olds say that science isn't just in the classroom; it's part of everyday life in the world around you.

MYTH #4: Kids think learning science is mostly about memorizing facts.
REALITY: Not! 89 percent of 10-17 year olds say science lets (them) be very creative. And 89 percent also say the best way they can learn science is to observe things and do experiments (themselves).

MYTH #5: Kids grow up believing that science is more for boys and not for girls.
REALITY: Not! 89 percent of all 10-17 year olds say no to Science is more for boys than girls.

MYTH #6: Kids think science is for nerds.
REALITY: Not! 93 percent of all 10-17 year olds say no to Science is for nerds. And, of all subjects, science ranked the coolest.

MYTH #7: Most kids are turned off to science in school.
REALITY: Not! When 10-17 year olds were asked for positive and negative things about science, things they like best about science won hands down (91 percent) over things they don't like about science (32 percent).

MYTH #8: Most kids don't have access to computers at home.
REALITY: Not! 68 percent of 10-17 year olds say they have a computer in (their) home.

MYTH #9: All kids do with computers is play games.
REALITY: Not! Of those 10-17 year olds who have and use computers, 75 percent do school work, 64 percent learn things on their own, and 41 percent get information on science topics on their computers.

MYTH #10: Minority kids don't have access to computers at home
REALITY: Partly not! While slightly more than half of African American and Hispanic 10-17 year olds don't, 46 percent of African Americans and Hispanic kids say they have a computer in (their) home.

*Source: "The Bayer Facts of Science Education



Negative inflation
Fill a plastic (PET) bottle with hot water (NOT boiling water -- see if you can work out why I said that!) and fill a bowl with cold water. Let them sit for one minute, then empty the bottle quickly. Stretch a balloon over the open end of the bottle and push the bottle down into the cold water. What happens? Why?

Why does the balloon inflate into the bottle?
The warm water heats the bottle which, in turn, heats the air inside the bottle after the water is poured out. When the bottle is placed in the cold water, the air inside cools and contracts, causing outside air to be drawn in, pulling the balloon in and inflating it inside the bottle.

Try sitting the bottle back in the hot water again.

Another way to try this uses a balloon, a plastic drink bottle, some plastic tubing, rubber glue, a bicycle pump with the valve of the piston reversed (to suck instead of blow), and a drill.

You will have to drill a hole in the side of the bottle near the bottom, choosing a size which will just take the plastic tubing, and then glue the tubing in place. Hook this up to the pump, or use the connector from an old inner tube, but with the valve removed. Then push the balloon down through the neck of the bottle, and reverse the neck of the balloon down over the outside of the bottle neck. When air is drawn from the bottle, atmospheric pressure is greater, and the balloon "blows up" inside the bottle.

The main problem will be finding a bicycle pump which allows the valve to be reversed. The modern plastic variety does not allow this, so look for and old relic, with a metal barrel which can be unscrewed.

Yet another variation: Try shaking a small amount of very hot water in a bottle to heat the air inside, then quickly fit a balloon to the neck. Then wait a few minutes for things to cool down before you sit the bottle in an ice bath. Some of the pressure inside the bottle will have been a result of water vapour, which now condenses.

The Young and Angry

Teenage hostility is upsetting, and dealing with angry teens is the most difficult part of a parent’s job. The aggression can be nerve-wracking, and parents, and even teachers, can get exhausted trying to cope with adolescent anger.
Angry teens defy rules and argue back. The effects of teen anger may be seen in failing grades, involvement with the wrong crowd, or adopting dressing styles and hairstyles that infuriate parents and educators.
The more severe problems associated with anger include alcohol and drug abuse, and criminal behaviour. Teenage depression is another consequence and can lead to suicide. Unfortunately, problems such as these have increased over the last 25 years.
Marked changes in mood or behaviour should be taken as possible signs of a more significant underlying problem. So, how can you know if your teen needs help?
Sometimes, there is a grey area between normal and abnormal behaviour in t he case of adolescents. But the following five steps can be used to denote unhealthy anger:
A frequent loss of temper at the slightest provocation
Brooding, isolation from family and friends
Damage to one’s body or property
A need to exact revenge on others;
Decreased involvement in social activity
Children direct their anger either outwardly or inwardly. The “acting out” child often exhibits problems that raise the concerns of others outside of the family. If professionals from your child’s school express concerns, this is certainly a red flag. Behaviour to watch out for at home include violent behaviour towards self or others and destruction of property.
The “acting in” children tend to direct their anger inwardly by withdrawing, by being quietly moody and sullen, or by oversleeping. Depression may be also a way of internalizing the angry feelings rather than dealing with them directly. The teen who stays in bed all weekend may look very different from the kid who’s screaming and shrieking in the family room, but both of them may actually be struggling with feelings of anger and frustration.
Dr.Henry A Paul , author of When Kids are Mad, not Bad says that kids whose anger is continually mishandled may receive the message that anger is an unacceptable feeling, rather than a normal and natural emotion. This sets in motion a complex psychological process he calls the “anger metamorphosis”.
Initially, the teen verbalizes anger in a desperate attempt to express feelings of frustration. When this is not successful, the anger compounds, and eventually
the child begins acting out in negative ways. There may be behavioural manifestation such as skipping school or experimentation with drugs and alcohol, and signs of psychological disturbance such as extreme moodiness, anxiety, or changes in eating or sleeping habits.
Eventually, because they have learned that their anger is not acceptable, the anger becomes buried until the teen doesn’t sense his/her own anger but sees everyone else as being angry, with the world feeling like a dangerous and out-control place.
In the final stage of this cycle, the repressed anger surfaces again, manifested as direct hostility and rage, which can ultimately lead to chronic feelings of anger, depression and even suicide, as well as tendencies toward aggressive behaviour / violence.
It is also important to realize that not all adolescent anger is fueled by internal conflicts.
Parents even the most well-meaning ones, actually do many things that make kids angry. These include creating no-win situations, breaking problems, making disparaging comments and comparisons, negative feelings, humiliating one’s child in front of peers, and arbitrarily exercising one’s power.
To prevent things from getting to this point, experts suggest that you listen carefully to your child’s complaints and support healthy and respectful verbalizations of anger.
Parents should examine the ways in which they express their own anger, and begin to model appropriate ways of conflict resolution.
The most significant way children learn is to model after the most important adults in their lives – their parents. Children learn primarily by what they see you do, not so much by what you tell them to do.Parents who yell or get physical when they are angry are likely to have children who do the same. Conversely, parents who model healthy anger management techniques are likely to have children with fewer anger management problems.
If you are unsure whether your child’s anger is being expressed appropriately and within normal limits, seek outside help. Talk to other parents who have a child the same age and compare notes.
Discuss your child’s situation with the school counselors or professionals. If the feedback you get confirms your concerns, seek professional help.

As a reminder, this column is being written to draw attention to the issues concerning parenting and should not be relied upon as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s physician.

The Next Step, New Straits Times
Your Education Guide
Wednesday February 27

13 Signs of Burnout and How To Help You Avoid It

By Henry Neils

In some ways it was a typical breakfast meeting. The waitress was pleasant, the eggs were average, and the restaurant was full of busy people. We shared a cup of black, coffee-like substance, and the first few times my client took a sip he managed to spill quite a bit of it. His trembling hand was just one of the symptoms of his burnout. That’s why we were meeting. He wanted to know if I could help him.

I picked up a fork and explained that as long as I used it for eating, the fork would last indefinitely. However, if I began to use it to drive nails or dig trenches, it would soon break. The key was to use it for what it was designed to do.

The look in his eyes told me he got it, but I still went on to say that people are like the fork. When they do what they are not designed to do, they eventually break.

Sure enough, his MAPP showed that he was designed to work on projects where there was a definite goal. He derived immense satisfaction from reaching goals. He also needed to work by himself about half the time. He was a scientist and enjoyed lab time, doing calculations, and interpreting test results.

What his job required on a day-to-day basis was another story. His primary task was to supervise a dozen people and maintain operations. No goals. No projects. No time alone. Consequently, his job was sucking the life out of him.

Much credit for his recovery goes to his boss who was willing to change the job content to fit the design of a valuable employee.

So how do you know if you, a loved one, or someone who reports to you is suffering from burnout? Here are the early warning signs.

1. Chronic fatigue - exhaustion, tiredness, a sense of being physically run down
2. Anger at those making demands
3. Self-criticism for putting up with the demands
4. Cynicism, negativity, and irritability
5. A sense of being besieged
6. Exploding easily at seemingly inconsequential things
7. Frequent headaches and gastrointestinal disturbances
8. Weight loss or gain
9. Sleeplessness and depression
10. Shortness of breath
11. Suspiciousness
12. Feelings of helplessness
13. Increased degree of risk taking

Fight burnout. Do what you were designed to do. If you (or you know someone who does) fit this description have him/her take the MAPP Assessment.

Take a close look at what is said about you in your MAPP, and what you are naturally motivated toward with regard to your work. Sometimes a simple change at work can help you avoid many (if not all) of the early warning signs of Burnout.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

My Ideal School


Some people may argue that school is a place to learn skills such as socialising,but this is not how I perceive it. For me,school is an education institution that increases your intellectual powers,not to fraternise with others. School time is precious, as only 5 hours the whole day are spent there and the rest of the time is to enjoy and to be free . No one can afford to waste it with petty conversations such as ‘do you want to have a party tonight?’ or ‘did you hear about what happened with Britney Spears?’. You can guarantee that the high expectations placed upon the students will never fail to be met or else. An ideal school should be based on interest and satisfaction which publically confirming the students talents and intelligence.
One of my cardinal aims in life is to personify a progressive school which focuses on developing a passion for living,science knowledge,medication knowledge,engineering knowledge and self knowledge in students. School nowadays,have a rote,one-size-fits-all curriculum,which is conducive to learning for only a small percentage of students. My ideal school would be communication-based,blending aspects of social work,conflict resolution,team building,high quality on technology and traditional learning. Classes would be limited to twenty students,a medium size enough to allow individual attention but large enough to furnish the feeling of belonging to a group.
Creative projects would be the cornerstone of the curriculum,incorporating all the life skills that make this method of education unique. The class would be presented with some brilliant ideas at the beginning or each project,and would also have the option of coming up with their ideas too. Some examples are raising money to donate to a charity, make a magazine every year about school, starting a website for easier to know about school, writing and recording an original song and make a special medium book to write about each student of the school. So, they would inevitably spring up along the way, giving the students a meaningful experience of what it is like to work on a real-world project. The teacher would have an important role,psychologically coaching the students through the highs and lows of the project and faciliting discussions to make them work better together and motivate themselves.
In my ideal school, each school day would begin with 45 minutes of discussions of the project that the class is currently pursuing. At 8 o’clock, the class will begin and over at 1 o’clock . Along the time, the classes would be divided between various subjects. For low standard class,first hour would be on developing a passion for living. The second hour, the class will possess science knowledge. Then the third hour will be on medication class. Then, engineering knowledge and the last hours will be self knowledge in students. Those are for low standard class. For high standard class are a little bit differents time table. The first hour will be studying on self knowledge in students and the second hour is science knowledge. The third hour is on developing a passion for living and the last hour is on engineering knowledge.
Before that, each of the students must sit for a diagnostic test to decidewhether they are in ‘low standard’ or ‘high standard’ class. The students who stay in high standard class, will be given a special air- conditioned class. My ideal school should have 3 floors,so,it is equipped with some lifts. Each floor have 2 classes. So, the low standard have 3 classes and high standard have 3 classes too. It will be easier for students,they do not have to climb stairs. At my ideal school, each of the students have one lap top. So, they can surf the internet,collecting data and save information anytime. It will be easier for them.
Everyday, at 3 o’clock till 5 o’clock in evening, curriculum activities wiil be held such as badminton, volleyball, football for boys, futsal for girls, netball, basketball, softball, hockey and tennis or indoor games like chess, puzzle, scrabble and others.It will be enjoying. Once per week, students would spend the entire afternoon in “Talking Time,” where they openly discuss their feelings about any issue, personal or school-related. These sessions would help to build relationships, foster the discussion of difficult issues, and congeal the class as a team. In the larger picture, Talking Time would help students to become communicative rather than sharing their issues, helping them to become happier adults in next generations. At 6 o’clock, all students will go back their home.
If these ideas could be successfully implemented, the learning environment in my school would be a fascinating self-journey, as useful for building emotional and physically knowledge as it would be for sharpening academic skills. Learning would be a fulfilling, exciting experience, and students wouldn’t have to dread school, as they do now. Foremost, when they are graduated, they would have firmly-instated sense of purpose that would make them ready to face the life in university. This is all my hope about my ideal school.

Written by EIDA 06

(818 words)

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