Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Hidden miracles of the natural world

April 13, 2014

We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye.

The Science of Garbage

January 11, 2014

Do you ever think about where your trash goes? How long it takes to decompose? And whether your garbage can become … dangerous? You should!

Does Being Cold Make You Sick?

January 8, 2014

Science Superlatives of 2013

December 31, 2013

Casting a Fire Ant Colony with Molten Aluminum

December 18, 2013

An amazing sculpture is made by pouring molten aluminum into a fire ant colony.

Incredible Bacteria-Killing Surface

December 3, 2013

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you never had to worry about germs crawling around on your kitchen countertop? Well, thanks to a new discovery by Aussie scientists, that could soon be a reality. And it doesn’t require a drop of disinfectant.

It’s called black silicon. While the material itself was discovered back in the 1990s by some Harvard guys, scientists only recently stumbled across its antibacterial properties after studying the wings of cicadas and dragonflies. They discovered that nanostructures shaped like little pillars on the wings effectively shreds and kills any bacteria that tried to settle there. With spikes that are just 500 nanometers high, black silicon (pictured below) has the same property. Bacteria literally can’t land on the surface without being destroyed by the spikes.

black silicon

Now for the potential downside. While useful for camera sensors and solar cells, black silicon hasn’t really been commercialised, so we don’t know how expensive it would be to produce it on a large enough scale to replace kitchen countertops across the nation. Learn more here.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013

October 23, 2013

If you’re going to crouch all night in a sunken metal freight container, you’d want a good payoff. And so there was, for South African photographer Greg du Toit. Just after dawn, a herd of elephants arrived at the watering hole in front of his hideout at the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana, allowing him to snap the mysterious shot that has won him the title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 …

Essence of elephants

Learn more here or here.

Year 9 Science – A textbook for the price of an app!

October 17, 2013

A Science textbook for the price of an app is now available !!!

Year 9 Science’ and ‘Year 9 Science Gamified’ are both designed from the ground up for revolutionary interactive and engaging learning.

Yr9 Science Cover 140          Yr9 SciGame Cover

These hyper-interactive electronic books both contain:

- Over 100 included videos ranging from expert explanations, animations and movie clips adding up to hours and hours of learning material. (No Internet streaming required).

- Interactive quizzes with over 250 multiple choice questions giving immediate feedback to students at the end of each chapter.

- A flash card revision tool including over 350 built in terms that can be studied chapter by chapter.

- Over 100 exciting scientific experiments, projects and activities to do in class or at home.

- As well as more interactive material, podcasts and short answer questions contained in over 250 pages and eight chapters covering The Scientific Method, Body Systems, Chemistry, Disease, Sound and Light, Heat and Electricity, Ecology and Plate Tectonics.

A learning quest is also embedded within ‘Year 9 Science Gamified’. Collecting stars as they learn students are able to ‘level-up’ until they become a ‘Nobel Prize Winner’.

Check them out in the iBookstore now … ‘Year 9 Science’ and ‘Year 9 Science Gamified’.

The Effectiveness of Science Videos in Education

September 9, 2013

It is a common view that “if only someone could break this down and explain it clearly enough, more students would understand.” Khan Academy is a great example of this approach with its clear, concise videos on science. However it is debatable whether they really work. Research has shown that these types of videos may be positively received by students. They feel like they are learning and become more confident in their answers, but tests reveal they haven’t learned anything. The apparent reason for the discrepancy is misconceptions. Students have existing ideas about scientific phenomena before viewing a video. If the video presents scientific concepts in a clear, well illustrated way, students believe they are learning but they do not engage with the media on a deep enough level to realize that what was is presented differs from their prior knowledge. There is hope, however. Presenting students’ common misconceptions in a video alongside the scientific concepts has been shown to increase learning by increasing the amount of mental effort students expend while watching it.

Weird stuff about water

July 15, 2013


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