Category Archives: Education

The Best Science Fair Projects

Best Science Fair Project Ideas

DNA Extraction
Genetic study has been the subject of choice of many students and you can carry out the process of DNA extraction in many ways. DNA extraction projects are done for proving polymorphisms and for comparing various strands of DNA of different specimens. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of DNA is also a good topic for science fair project. Here we shall depict the quantitative analysis of DNA by the technique of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). First, extract the DNA sample from the selected specimen (leaves or animal parts) by the given protocol. Follow the process step by step and make sure the chemicals are mixed in accurate quantity. A specific time is also allotted for extracting DNA. Now the sample is set in a PCR machine where the strands get multiplied. After completion of PCR, the sample is run on an electrophoresis gel bed. A standard is used for recognition of the DNA bands on the gel bed when viewed under a UV spectrometer. Thus, quantity of DNA present in the specimen is analyzed by the number of bands produced. Note down the procedures while performing the experiment so that you do not lose the data. End your project with a logical conclusion and with a good presentation.

Dry Ice Experiment
Experiments with dry ice are interesting and easy to perform. When carbon dioxide is frozen and compressed, it transforms itself to a state known as dry ice. Dry ice is usually kept in laboratories for performing different types of experiments for detecting pressure and change in state of matter. First we shall explain the formation of smoky water with dry ice and then proceed with some more experiments. Boil water in a container and place dry ice in it with the help of tongs. When dry ice comes in contact with heat, it gradually starts to sublime and in the process, a lot of carbon dioxide is released. A smoky cloud hangs over water giving the impression that smoke is coming out from water. Thus, you can conclude that dry ice will continue to sublimate when exposed to heat. You will be amazed to know that dry ice could be used for inflating a balloon. Stretch the mouth of a flaccid balloon and insert a few cubes of dry ice in it. Rub the balloon with your palm or keep it under the sun. You will notice that the balloon gradually inflates due to evaporation of dry ice and generation of carbon dioxide in gaseous form.

Interesting Science Fair Ideas for 5th Graders

They say that curiosity killed the cat! But not in this case, where we are talking about science and its umpteen miracles and amazement! Moreover, in case of science, the more curious children are and if that quest for ‘knowing’ is nurtured at an early age, then they can develop an avid interest in the whole gamut of specializations under science.

Especially at this age, their minds are filled with numerous questions and seek answers to all of them. Schools do their bit by trying to create that awareness and interest in children in the form of science fairs. The process of thinking starts from conceptualizing the project idea itself. It can be a great learning experience for kids. In the sections given below, you will find some amazing ideas for projects that you can choose for your science fair.

Ideas for Science Fair Projects
These projects can sometimes be tricky, as you have to combine slightly challenging topics yet concepts that can be easily demonstrated and those that 5th grade students can relate to. The students at this age are on the threshold of growing up; however, they still have to develop their logic-related faculties are yet to develop completely.

Drive Safe!
Things which the kids are used to seeing and using daily can strike a cord with them and will help them understand things better. So something like a driveway, sidewalk can be incorporated in the project. The first idea, therefore, is to see how changes in the sidewalk can have an impact on the driving condition. The kids will need a matchbox car or even a barbie car would do for simulating the car drive.

Other things required would be sandpaper, a quilt, rocks, water, a flat surface, and foil. The children will first have to see how the car moves on a smooth surface provided by the foil. Then, see what happens when quilt and sandpaper is used. Check out what happens when you have rocks on the flat surface. Recording of the results is necessary in this and all other projects.

Heat and Evaporation
Heat and evaporation is another great science project. Yes, it may be a bit cliched, but for students at this age, it can be very interesting. For this experiment, a couple of electric bulbs of different wattage and a couple of dishes filled with water would be needed. The aim is to see which bulb evaporates the water first. That, in scientific terms, would mean how kinetic energy of heat moves the water molecules faster and causes evaporation. Make sure you systematically record the findings of these experiments so you can present them in the forms of charts, graphs, photographs, or even videos.

Check Student Loans

It is a common incidence that students have no credit at all, and if they do, the credit score is usually less. At any point of time, no credit or less credit is far better than a bad credit. Nevertheless, in such situations, getting qualified for student loans is very difficult. Every private financial institution checks credit prior to sanctioning educational loans. In fact, many students end up taking loans with very high interest rates. The good news is that there are student loans with no credit check. There are several types of student loans that do not require credit check. In most cases, no credit check student loans are federal loans. Going through federal routes for getting student loans is the best way, as they charge a very low-interest rate and are long-term. Some of the popular options for securing student loans with no credit check are as follows.

Federal Stafford Loan
Federal Stafford loan is one of the best options for these loans.
With Stafford loans, you have the flexibility to repay the loan amount within a grace period of six months after you earn your graduate degree.
For obtaining this loan, you need to fill up FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. All undergraduate and graduate students can apply for this loan.
There are two types of Stafford loans, namely, subsidized and unsubsidized.
The former is designed for financially needy students, whereas the latter can be applied for by students of any economical background.
Subsidized Stafford loan charges no interest until the completion of the grace period, while in the unsubsidized type, the student has to pay the interest charges.
Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Perkins are given to students who are in great need for financial help.
Apply for this loan by filling up the FAFSA form.
Perkins loan is offered in collaboration with the government and college funding.
It is provided on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Hence, for securing Perkins loan, you are required to fill up the necessary form as soon as you secure an admission in the college.
Student Loans Requiring Cosigner
Another option for no credit check student loans is to take help from a trustful cosigner.
It is a mandatory procedure for many of the institutions to have cosigners for securing student loans with no credit history or bad credit.
The cosigner is taking the responsibility of repaying money, if the actual borrower or student fails to repay the loan.
With such a condition, the student gets educational financing at a very low-interest rate.
Other Loans
Apart from the federal routes for getting educational financing, there are also private student loans with no credit check, either as secured loans or unsecured loans.
However, make sure that you check the annual percentage rates (APR) and the loan facilities prior to signing for the particular loan.
Do not fall prey to private lenders who provide loans with a higher interest rate or lesser features.

Students with Learning Disabilities

I totally agreed with Scott Hamilton when he said that the only disability in life is a wrong attitude. I strongly believe that disability is not a curse or punishment from God for some wrongdoings. No, I feel these people can live a normal life just like any normal person. In fact, people with disabilities are more determined to overcome this barrier and do not want to gain sympathy from people. I remember watching a video clip of a differently abled person who didn’t have hands but was writing with the pen held in his mouth. These people really inspire us to work harder and convert the weaknesses into strengths.

While choosing a college there are certain points which a differently abled person should evaluate before applying to the desired college.
Easily accessible campus and 24×7 buses available with special needs.
Offices having full-time staff for answering the queries of differently abled persons.
Help available in form of attendants or nurses for people with severe disabilities.
Course curriculum and extra tutoring for those who lag behind in class.
Extra curricular activities designed for people with disabilities and coaching for these people who are capable of entering into paralympic Olympics.
After considering these factors the next step is choosing from the list of best colleges which have great programs for differently abled persons.

University of Arizona,Tucson

The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center popularly known as SALT has been the oldest in rendering best programs for people suffering from ADHD and other learning disabilities. This institute offers world-class workshops with well equipped computer labs. The tutors in this program are well experienced and many hold doctorates in their respective fields. The tutors are CRLA (college reading and learning association) certified and render expert services in Maths, Science and other courses. The fee structure for undergraduate lower division and upper division varies from $1000 to $2500 per semester. The tutoring fees is extra $20-25 per hour.

Wayne State University, Detroit

This University located at Detroit offers best facilities in off campus programs, pre – enrollment counseling, ASL interpretors and volunteer note takers. The average tuition fee for undergraduate lower and upper division ranges from $450 to $6000. Known programs like business administration and fine arts are rendered through the campus. The institute also offers excellent placement opportunities and has efficient staff in tutoring and career counseling.

University of Connecticut, Storrs

One of the top ranked public university this institute offers world-class program B.O.L.D (Building Opportunities for students with Learning Disabilities). This program is specifically designed for psychiatric, ADHD and LD disabled students. Through this program students are encouraged to improve their skills in order to gain employment. The average tuition fees for first semester is $1600 and for rest of semesters it is around $1100. The tutoring fees are extra $45 to $51 for a course. The college also provides SEAD program specially designed for autistic students. Through this program the student is encouraged to make transition to college level courses and instill positive attitude among students to achieve their goals.

High School Diploma Online

There are various reasons why you might want to go for an online diploma. Perhaps you live too far away from the school area to make daily commuting possible, or it may be that you have certain health problems that make it difficult for you to attend classes on a regular basis. On the other hand, you may also be the type that does not flourish in a conventional educational setting and can learn better in your own environment, on your own terms.

Some people have special learning requirements and need individual attention that is not possible in a crowded classroom. Then there are others who have other major interests like art, music, acting, and so on, and so must have their lessons fitted around these commitments.

With the advances in e-learning technology, online education has become a very feasible and convenient option. Before you decide to go for an online diploma, however, it will be a good idea to consider the pros and cons of e-learning and check if it is suitable for you. There are many misconceptions and rather than getting into something under mistaken assumptions, try to have a clear idea about all that it involves. Here are some pluses –
You can study from the comfort of your own home.
There is no need to expend time and money in traveling to a distant school campus.
You can make your own study schedule and work whenever it is convenient for you.
With classes conducted entirely over the Internet and communication with teachers and peers carried out via email, text messages, chat, forums, and voice mail, you will learn how to purposefully navigate your way around the Internet and gain solid technological experience in using the latest computers and software. Since a major part of the communication is through the written medium, you will polish up your writing and spelling skills. Students participating in these programs come from all over the country and even from across the world. Working and communicating with them will teach you how to get along effectively with a wide spectrum of people. This will come pretty handy later, when embarking on a career in a globalized world.As long as the institution offering your diploma has a legitimate accreditation from a proper regional association, you will have no trouble in going for a regular university education later on. Actually, many of the major colleges, including the Ivy League ones, now offer online programs in addition to their regular courses.

Water Desalination Science Project

Shopping for Supplies

Now, make a list of the following when you go out as you will need to travel to different locations for the same. Some of the items can be also found in your garage or your backyard. Ready? So here we go:
First off, you will need 3-5 different magnifying glasses plus a discarded dish antenna, the ones that we use for our television sets. Also make sure that you get one with a stand so that it stands up on the ground.
Second you will need 3-5 stands or small tripods or you can also use camera tripods for the purpose. These are required to hold up the magnifying glasses.
Next, you will require some mirrors cut in a curve which fit the dish structure of the antenna. Now another alternative is to use three straight supported mirrors, if you cannot find the ones which go into the dish properly, however make sure that you get concave mirrors.
Next, visit a store that sells science experiment apparatus. Here you will need to find three important things. One, a beaker or a strong and thick petri dish, a tripod or stand, over which you can place the beaker and then a distillation apparatus. This apparatus is standard apparatus which consists of a plug or a covering that fits over the beaker, then, there is an angled (90/45 degrees) tube which is made up of glass and goes into the plug and lastly there is a proper stand or tripod which holds up the tube.
Lastly, you will need a cloth which is the size of the glass tube, plus some cold water, a small ink dropper, a mug and a pencil.
Gathering that stuff was the difficult part, now let’s set up the apparatus.

Setting it Up

It’s all about adjusting. Throughout the setting-up process, of the apparatus you will have to set it up in such a manner that, the rays of the sun are concentrated the best on the beaker. Also it’s going to take hours so be prepared with a sun cap and a pair of shades/goggles.
First place mirrors/dish facing the sun. If you are using mirrors, they should have an angle of about 80 to 85 degrees. Using a measuring tape, try to find out the mid-point of the mirror. This does not have to be very precise. However make sure that you get a round about idea. Mark it in a circle with a pencil.
Next off, place the tripod plus beaker and the distillation apparatus with salt water in front of the mirror. Cover the tube with the cloth, you can clip it on. Do not cover the remaining half which goes inside the plug or covering.

The Right Preschool Playground Equipment

A preschool is a lively place that is painted with vibrant colors and the playground is filled with cute and varied play equipment. Pupils who get admitted to the preschool need some distractions to take their minds off their parents. Hence, there has to be a wide variety of such equipment. It has to be joyful and engaging, so that the children remain engrossed in them all the time. Since this is the age for learning and development, the equipment set up should be designed such that they stimulate all their senses and through the senses, their thinking process.

Playground Equipment Specifications
Normally, they should include swings, slides, mazes, play panels, climbers, spinners, and play-structures. Nowadays, playground equipment play panels and play-structures are available, which reduce excess space usage. The playground can have different free-standing components or can have a play-structure. The difference between the two is that a play-structure has swings, slides, maze, etc., attached to each other. The whole thing poses as a single unit, to promote continuous play, whereas the free-standing plan includes all the components like slides, swings, etc., located away from each other. Play panels are the larger plastic-board version of the box cardboard games that are played in a group or individually. These are more beneficial for preschool children, as it minimizes the risk of them swallowing tiny play parts of the cardboard games. A playground should also employ equipment that renders good physical exercises to the children, while they are having fun. Playground climbing equipment, like, climbers should be essentially installed to exercise the upper bodies of children, effectively. There should be proper decks, roofs, and bridges installed for connecting these equipment to each other. This allows the children to move freely and effortlessly from one game to another.

Precautions and Tips
Equipment should be selected with extra care, as the individuals who handle them are innocent and carefree. The child safety tips to be kept in mind before selecting the equipment are:
The playground or playroom should be spacious and airy, but if enough space is not available, the layout should be planned to let in maximum fresh air and sunlight.
The equipment should not be very high, as the individuals handling them are ‘tiny’.
Care should be taken to avoid equipment with sharp edges. Any equipment that has sharp edges should be covered with some suitable material to avoid injuries to the children while playing.
A temporary awning should be provided to the playground area; it is required the most during the rainy season or during summers.

Table decorations for a graduation party

A graduation party is a fun way to celebrate the end of school/college and bringing together all your classmates under one roof, for perhaps the last time! To make the party a success, there are a number of things that need to be perfect, right from food, music, games and activities to the décor at the party venue. Speaking of party décor, if you are planning to have a sit-down formal affair, your table decorations should be very uniquely designed as they will remain right in front of your invitees, throughout the party!

Graduation Party Table Decoration Ideas

School Colors and Logo
When we talk of table decorations, it includes things like tablecloth, table skirting, plates, silverware, napkins, glasses and most importantly, table centerpieces. Since it’s a graduation party, in order to reaffirm your relationship with the institution that you are leaving, you can have its logo printed on the napkins and the tablecloth. Another idea is to choose tablecloths and napkins in your school colors! This is an interesting way to show your affinity to your school, at your graduation party!

Photographs
If you are the sentimental sorts, get hold of a few pictures in which you and your school friends are together or pictures which mark some special days and events in your school life. Get these photographs framed and put them on display at various tables. Your guests will have an interesting time finding themselves in the photographs and figuring out the occasions on which these photographs were taken!

Books
Although books are the last thing that will be on the mind of the invitees when they come for your graduation party, yet, if you think creatively, you can come up with many unique centerpiece ideas which includes them. For instance, you can stack up books of different sizes, one on top of another and finally, keep a vintage globe on them! Or, you can keep three large-sized books in a standing position, place two wine glasses in between them, with a bouquet on top to finish the look!

Inspirational Quotes
Since after graduation, everyone will take their own course in life i.e. some might study further, some will start working and some might take a break and go on a holiday, so, one of the tips is to write some inspirational quotes on placards and put them on tables for all the invitees to read. Some of the quotes that you can write are: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” by R.W. Emerson, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” by Henry David Thoreau and “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” by William Arthur Ward. If you search the Internet, you will find plenty of such inspirational quotes for graduating seniors.

Pros and Cons of Prayers in School

There is an ongoing debate about whether prayer should be a part of daily school or not. Some believe, there should be no religious dimension to education, while others argue in favor of prayers in school. Obviously, the idea of having prayer in school has pros and cons. While some think prayers can help maintain discipline and allow kids to follow their religion in school, others think they are unnecessary.
Pros

✦ Making prayers a part of daily schooling is beneficial because it fosters the importance of moral values in children. Prayers help instill qualities such as humility and discipline in the students. This helps the school children realize the essence of good values.

✦ Banning prayer in school could mean depriving the children of their freedom of religion. Banning prayers is a non-religious practice. Prayers give the students an opportunity to observe their religion.

✦ Those favoring the idea of having prayer in school think that a school should not only train its students academically but also cultivate their minds. Prayers can help with this.

✦ Proponents of allowing prayer in school believe that the practice has societal benefits. According to them, the increasing rate of violence and abuse in school can be curbed with the use of prayers, as introducing prayer in daily school may help the children remain away from bad practices.

Cons

✦ In a government-funded school, the religion followed by the government is unknowingly forced upon school children. Thus, prayer in school is a violation of the freedom of religion. Opponents of having prayer in school think that the provision for students to pray during their free time is sufficient to let them observe their religion.

✦ School is an educational institution. Why should religion be a part of it? Prayers can give rise to feelings of religious discrimination and inequality in the children’s minds. Students are exposed to religious differences because of prayers.

✦ The time that can be utilized for something educational, is used up in prayers. Children are free to observe their religion at home, and there is no real need to introduce it in school, through prayers.
If one is to focus on the moral aspect of prayers rather than their religious aspect, having them in school seems to be beneficial. However, if one takes the religious point of view, it does not seem right to have prayers as a part of daily schooling. The debate on the pros and cons of prayer in school can go on. It would be wise to introduce prayers at the right time (considering the students’ age) and given only a limited time of the day with the purpose of teaching students important values and not with the intention of giving them religious teachings.

Helpful Teaching Strategies for Reading

Effective Strategies
To start with, one must know the language relatively well. Phonics are very important, as they help you connect with the sounds of every letter or group of letters, hence, clubbing them together to produce the correct pronunciation of the unknown words. The instruction begins with phonics, and kids learn to read simple text even before they complete the phonological knowledge. Composition of sentences, phrases, pronunciation of words, spelling and punctuation follows the phonological study. Prefixes, suffixes, compound words, and other parts of speech come in next. You need not master the language, but at least get the basic crux of the language to make it interesting. The comprehending part is the most tough, because you cannot expect anyone to comprehend certain things in the way you comprehend them. Some people, or kids for that matter, read for the heck of it without proper comprehension. At a very early age, if students are given suitable tips and instructions, it is helpful for them to monitor their comprehension. The last being summarizing, that is remembering what is read and being able to connect to the main ideas and central plan.

Top-Down Method
A top-down approach is essentially very basic and for beginners. In this approach, you are supposed to break down the task into sections and sub-sections. These sections and sub-sections should then be given greater focus and concentration. This aims at reducing the entire process to absolutely specific and basic elements. For example, a chapter is cut down into smaller chapters and then focused upon. One can then monitor his comprehension and is able to review content. It makes it easier to know where lies the difficulty and when does he actually lose interest, hence, making it easy to fix these problems. It also makes them think and search. Reading small portions and identifying with the main idea does not tax them, and kids may find it interesting and would want to involve themselves more in the process.
Visual Representation Strategy
Kids are more fascinated with pictures in a book, therefore, a book with many pictures encourages them. Most of us must have seen the movie ‘Baby’s Day Out’. I know you must be wondering how is it even relevant, but remember the baby identifies every place he visits in the movie because of the book his nanny has read to him. Research shows that we remember things better in the pictorial form than data form. So encourage beginners to read books with pictures to keep them interested and glued to it. We all must have experienced that the ones with Venn-diagrams, storyboards, chain of events or distinction tables, make it further interesting and easy. To begin with, this idea is really good, and eventually, one can resort to heavy database books to improve vocabulary, fluency, and take up reading as a habit and not compulsion.