Everyone has heard of the classic volcano science project using vinegar, baking soda, and a little bit of red food coloring. This little experiment, however, is a little more extreme, and a little more realistic (do not worry, it is not actually dangerous!). This guide will teach you how to create a volcano project that really erupts with some force.
Unfortunately, the fake lava is not going to be quite so realistically red, but sometimes compromise means sacrifices! Here we go:
Gather your building supplies. For this project, you are going to need to start with a volcano. A prepackaged paper mache kit is recommended. Next, you need a two-liter bottle of diet cola. Use your paper mache kit to build a mountainous, volcanic structure around the bottle, leaving a hole at the top large enough to facilitate opening the soda bottle. Give your paper mache plenty of time to dry before you attempt the next step, or else you will end up with a sticky mess on your hands.
Paint your volcano. This is where you can get pretty creative, even though most volcanic mountains look pretty much the same. You can go for the standard black and brown color of rocks and dirt, or you can get a little artsy. Why not make a tie-dye themed volcano? It is just a science experiment, and science should be fun! After applying your paint, make sure that it is completely dry before you begin the next stage: Explosion!
Now it is time to add the trigger to the equation. Go to your local convenience store and buy a roll of mint Mentos. It is very important that you buy these in particular, as nothing else will work correctly.
Ready your presentation in a clear, outdoor space (trust me; you do not want this volcano erupting indoors!). Carefully take the cap off your diet cola, which, if you have followed directions, should be housed securely in your paper mache volcano. Commence with a dramatic countdown, and at its conclusion, drop a couple of the Mentos into the cola.
ERUPTION!
This is a fun experiment to do at school or at home, but if you are planning to attempt it, there are a few safety precautions to take. The reaction of the cola to the mints is very strong, and you definitely do not want to put your face near the opening of the soda bottle for the initial eruption. It is recommended that you wear goggles or some type of protective eyewear if you are going to be the one tossing the mints in the soda. Other than that, enjoy the spectacle!

Is there anything more annoying than that person standing ni front of you in a grocery store or checkout line babbling away on a cell phone while a kind salesperson is trying to help them? The cell phone person nods and points directions at the clerk while enjoying a riveting conversation over nothing. There is nothing more annoying and we won’t even discuss people who miss green lights because of their nonsensical cell phone ramblings.

Turn off the cell phone and turn off the laptop and any other portable device you may be carrying with you. There is a certain amount of excitement and adventure in being inaccessible. It can be a little bit scary at first, not being on the grid, not being in constant communication with everyone on the outside world, but it is necessary to do once in a while to regain your sanity.

People have become so reliant on today’s new technology that personal communication has dwindled to nothing. How many times are you on vacation and someone has to dart back to the hotel room to check on the laptop to make sure no important messages were received on the e-mail? There’s a reason to take vacation, but now the new term is “working vacation.”

If you can just stay away from the cell phone for a few minutes, take a walk around the mall and you will see how many mindless drones are babbling away on their cell phones or texting their friends who are likely in the same mall at the same time. It gets to look ridiculous. If you invite friends with kids over to your house, place a ban on use of your computer or they will just sit there avoiding family time to message their friends.

Everybody needs some time to themselves and nothing short of an emergency is worth so much that it can’t wait a few hours. If you check your Facebook pages, chances are that 99 percent of the messages are just gibberish being written by people with nothing better to do. Take some time away from technology and enjoy life.

The topic of your science fair project is critical to its success. If you select a topic that you are not interested in you will find the process of completing a science fair project boring and tedious. However, you can overcome this problem by focusing on something that either interests you or that impacts your life directly. Here is a topic for this year’s science fair project “why are teens so stressed?”

Background Research

“Why are teens so stress?” This is the topic for your science fair project this year. So now that you have a topic your next step is to conduct research on this subject. This research will need to begin with a general search of teen stress. The results from this search will provide you with leads on what is stressing out teens and what research has already been done.

Develop a Hypothesis

Now that you know a little bit about your topic your next step is to develop a hypothesis. Your hypothesis will predict what is stressing out teens. For example, your hypothesis may be that teen stress rates are impacted directly by the stricter entrance requirements for college.

Develop an Experiment

After you have a hypothesis you will need to find a way to test that hypothesis. If your hypothesis is that teens are stressed by the increase in acceptance standards of colleges then you will need to design an experiment that tests how these higher standards are impacting student stress levels. You can do this by collecting data on college entrance requirements from the 70s and comparing them to those of today, and you can also conduct interviews with teens to figure out how stricter college entrance requirements are impacting their stress levels.

Collect Data

Data collection for this type of science fair project will involve collecting data and information from government and nonprofit sources, as well as collecting data directly from your own test subjects. When you are collecting data from your test subjects make sure your test conditions remain constant for each experiment. This will help to ensure your data is reliable and valid.

Elizabeth Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) posted a great entry on ACSHs Health Facts and Fears blog on the growing attempts by activist groups to convince the EPA to ban atrazine due to cancer claims and other health concerns.

Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. It helps farmers fight weeds on corn, sugar cane and other crops, leading to dramatic increases in crop yields. Without it, our food supply would be in jeopardy. Activists want the public to believe that atrazine causes cancer and birth defects, but its simply not true. Whelan writes:

“Atrazines health and safety record is stellar. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires monitoring for a multitude of chemicals, including atrazine. Levels of atrazine in U.S. waters are well within the federal lifetime drinking water standard a level containing a 1,000-fold safety buffer. The Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 completed a 12-year review involving 60,000 different studies and concluded that the current use of atrazine poses “no harm” to the general population infants, children and adults. According to this same regulatory agency (which oversees pesticide use) atrazine is “one of the most closely examined pesticides in the marketplace.”

Whelan points out that many activists are not willing to accept this assessment and were able to cast doubts upon the issue with the EPA. As a result, last fall the EPA announced it would initiate a re-re-re-evaluation of atrazine and health. These activists will not be happy until the EPA bans this herbicide, which would then open the door for activists to attack more chemicals, claiming they are unsafe.

Finally, Whelan points to the media for “scaring” the public into thinking that these “chemicals” are unsafe and that the manner in which they are evaluated should be changed:

“Many of the recent media chemical scares, like the two hour “toxic” presentation on CNN, argue that a) there are tens of thousands of “chemicals” out there; and b) the current government policy, assuming these chemicals are safe until contrary evidence was presented, must be reversed so that a chemical is considered hazardous until it is “proven safe.” But how do you prove something to be safe? Its like trying to prove a negative it cant be done. The example of atrazine with decades of safe use, thousands of studies that found no harm to humans and years of getting a green light from EPA (which is not known for understating chemical risks) leaves us with the question: After all these evaluations and years of use, if atrazine doesnt meet the criteria for “safety,” what chemical possibly could?”

The phrase Go Green means different things to different people. Some people have taken this idea and recycle everything they possibly can in order to keep trash out of the landfills. They also realize that not recycling is wasting products that can be reused. Other have taken the phrase and changed all their light bulbs to compact fluorescents in order to save energy. There are other people who have purchases hybrid cars or starting riding bikes to school and work in order to cut down on carbon emissions. There are literally hundreds of different ways to Go Green in our every day lives, and people are finally getting on board with it. Students have even taken up the challenge with their water science fair projects. Some of the latest submissions to these events are water science fair projects with a focus on the philosophy of Go Green.

Water science fair projects are particularly well suited to the environmental movements occurring today. Much of the concern for the environment by governmental and private eco groups is for the health of our water supply. Water science fair projects can focus on many different aspects of this concern. One area is the need for potable water in many areas of the world. What we take for granted that just comes out of the pipes in our homes is a rare commodity in many parts of the world. In developing nations the lack of clean drinking water is on the top of the list, and for good reason. Nothing survives without water. A students water science fair project just may have the answers for this critical life-threatening problem.

Another area the students focus on with their water science fair projects is the negative effect of pollution. This is particularly suited for demonstration purposes at science fairs. While all are familiar with the disastrous effects of ecological tragedies such as oil spills, less is known about the long-term effects of other types of pollution. This is one area a student may explore with their water science fair project. An additional area of concern lately is the health of the fresh water rivers of the world. Students are also taking these larger issues, researching them, and presenting their findings for their water science fair projects.

The plethora of sites dedicated to the Usenet system reveal that it is still very much alive. In fact, with the growing popularity of P2Ppeer to peerfile sharing, Usenet has proven that its long-standing model of transferring files is still viable.

This method is preferable to torrenting and other technologies in several regards. There is no place where the debate between one technology and another is engaged with such passion as it is on the Internet, and Usenet has been the subject of a great many conversations of late.

Many of these conversations have to do with speed. Torrent protocols have proven that they can deliver large downloads at impressive speeds. However, it is not only the torrent protocol that can make this boast. Usenet manages the same high speeds via a very different protocol.

While the adherents of one protocol or another continue to take swipes at each others pet technology, most users find themselves using the Usenet system as a part of their entire Internet technology use. The debaters, in many cases, fail to see the forest for the trees, as every technology has its use, whether its old or new.

Usenet offers users a different way of using the web to interact with others, which has also made it part of the conversation where social networking is concerned. Though its proponents like to refer to social networking technologies as Web 2.0, the Usenet system has roots that extend far before there was even a Web 1.0.

This system has some of the best features of bulletin boardstext posts, fast downloads and very specific interest groupsand some of the best features of new technologies. Its users are just not going to give it up, and for many good reasons.

There are literally thousands of subjects among the Usenet newsgroups. Contrast this to the relatively few interests found on any given forum. A Usenet user can surf newsgroups very quickly, whereas a forum user has to create a separate account for every different forum. Social networking sites also come and go very quickly.

Usenet has been around for a very long time and the work that one puts into forging relationships via the newsgroups oftentimes pays off for many years. Oddly, much of the debate surrounding Usenet concerns whether this venerable technology still outdoes its modern peers. It does, in many cases.

Near Field Communications, or NFC, is a new technology with unlimited applications.

NFC uses RFID technology built in to the latest generation of mobile phones to scan or swipe small RFID tags, which can be placed just about anywhere. Tags can be programmed to trigger different actions when they are swiped by phones.

Many businesses or organisations have field based operations that need managing in real time. NFC technology gives these businesses leading edge management capability.

NFC can be used in a diverse array of industries with mobile staff, mobile assets, or multiple sites and locations. Because NFC technology uses readily available NFC enabled mobile phones and inexpensive tags, it can be applied anywhere, and by any type of field personnel.

The key benefits of NFC technology for businesses with a field based operation include:

1. NFC is Easy to Use

Using NFC technology is so simple, it’s accessible to just about anyone.

All that’s needed to run NFC operations in the field are RFID tags which can be situated in key locations, and NFC-enabled mobile phones.

For field operations staff, using Over-C NFC technology is simplicity itself. Just tough a tag with a phone, and that’s it. An automated NFC management system then does the rest, recording the time and location of staff, and sending them any special information or data they may need on their NFC enabled mobile phone.

2. NFC Improves Communication

NFC is an extremely effective way of improving two way communications between managers and their staff in the field.

Whenever a field operative touches an NFC tag with their mobile phone the operational management team receive an instant and verifiable confirmation of the location of field staff. Field staff can benefit from automated reporting, which saves time and improves accuracy.

3. NFC Enables Real Time Management

NFC technology lets businesses operate and respond in real time.

When an NFC tag is touched by a mobile phone, notification is in seconds, so operations managers always know exactly where their field personnel are, and what they are doing.

NFC allows businesses to streamline the way people work at, and report from, remote locations. It also allows field based personnel to focus on what they do best, whilst managers benefit from greater visibility in field operations.

4. NFC Improves Customer Service

NFC technology actively helps businesses to deliver enhanced customer service.

Data reporting by field operations staff becomes faster, more efficient and more accurate.

Field operations managers can use this real time data to generate customer reports and measure results faster than ever before – and faster than their competitors.

In fact, using NFC technology in a business can give it a commercial edge to help it gain and retain high value clients.

Quick Science Fair Projects

Students in high school participate in science fairs in order to demonstrate their advanced understanding of a biological or physical sciences concept. These students are required to present a project that indicates higher order thinking and analysis. The standards for evaluating projects for these grade levels can be quite high and the competition can be fierce. The events for young students are based on different principles. Often younger students in the earlier grades participate in quick science fair projects. These quick science fair projects are not based on the level of knowledge or application principles of the high school students projects. The quick science fair projects in the earlier grades are based more on demonstrating an understanding of the facts related to a particular topic of science.

Quick science fair projects for the younger students are often completed in a matter of days, where the high school age students can spend weeks or even months on their projects. The quick science fair projects designed for younger students are tailored for the learning styles and abilities of this age of student. Thinking abstractly is not skills that younger students have developed so quick science fair projects are perfectly suited for their abilities. The characteristics of quick science fair projects include the use of every day items that can be found easily in the home or classroom. The teacher will often provide the necessary materials so that these younger students can experience the successful completion of their quick science fair projects.

While there are processes and the need to record data while completing quick science fair projects, the steps involved will be clearly explained to the students. For the earlier grades it is more important to carefully instruct them throughout the process of completing their projects. Older students can generate some of their own questions and testable theories, but younger students fare better with a set list of materials and how to use those materials to achieve the results. When deciding which quick science fair projects to use in the classroom it is important for these reasons to choose projects that are age appropriate. This way you ensure that the experience of bringing science to life is rewarding and enjoyable for your students.

The Union Ministry of Human Resource and CBSE India are leaving no stone unturned to make lives easy for school students across the various boards in India! The latest stride towards this endeavor is the introduction of a common syllabus for Maths and Science for the students of classes XI and XII across all the educational boards. Therefore, from the academic year starting 2011-12, students from all the boards in the country can look forward to a uniform syllabus!

An initiative like this by CBSE India will ensure a level playing field for all the students while they prepare for their engineering and medical entrance examinations. Hence, while all you students studying in classes XI & XII, preparing for your national level engineering and medical entrance exams from the year 2012, need no longer worry about the extensive syllabi covered by your friend in CBSE or other national/ state board.

A common syllabus is just the first step by the Human Resource Ministry and CBSE India towards a flexible pattern of education that is comparable to the education systems existing in the West. CBSE India also has plans in the pipeline to conduct a common entrance exam for Medical and Engineering courses in India by 2013. If such a plan by CBSE India gains acceptance from all the academic corners in the country, life after class XII is only set to get easier for students.

However, implementation of a common syllabus by CBSE India has also garnered a lot of criticism by NCERT. NCERT is of the view that Council of School Board of Education (COBSE) has no right to push the common syllabus agenda. NCERT believes that the decision to undertake any curriculum revision exercise should rightfully rest with itself as NCERT has been instrumental in all such changes over the past years. It also believes that COBSE is just a coordinating body between the various school boards in the country.

Amidst all this controversy, major stakes are now on successful implementation of this common syllabus scheme for Maths and Science. Success of a common syllabus like this could also spread cheer in the lives of students studying in the Commerce and Humanities streams. Talks are around for a uniform syllabus for various subjects in these streams as well. What more could have students asked for to ensure a smooth and stress-free studying experience!

There are various websites that provide CBSE-aligned learning resources for students studying in classes V-XII. A common syllabus for Maths and Science will also ensure that more students can now seek help from such websites and reap benefits of quality and extensive learning resources.

All students studying under CBSE India can expect a lot of good news in the near future as well.

All the best for the future!

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