Why Practicing An Art Can Help Your Math Skills

Two key focuses of my blog are General Education and STEM. While education seems to be more so now favoring the hard sciences, there is still an important role played by the arts. Not only do the arts make us ‘whole’ in a way, but they can also help with our education in mathematics and the sciences. The following contributed post is entitled, Why Practicing An Art Can Help Your Math Skills.

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Image sourced from Pixabay. CC0 License

Most things in life are numbers. Paychecks, TV channels, passwords, and shopping are just a few of the times we are faced with numbers. Math is at the basis for most things including the arts. Using the creative part of your brain is just as important as using the more cerebral (no pun intended) part of your brain. When you exercise both, your brain is more healthy, but the bonus is that your math and even science skills can be greatly improved by doing things like drawing, playing an instrument, and even dancing.

Here are a few artistic outlets you can try to balance your brain and improve your numbers game.

Take Up an Instrument

As entertaining as it is to see a musician feel the music and rock out on stage, music is really math. Each note you hear has a numerical value, and just like any scientific equation, the values all come together to make a melodious sound that is music to your ears. Notes have values like quarter notes, whole notes, and half notes that change value according to the time signature the music is composed in changing the beats and equation of the music. You will need some great math skills to be a good musician and playing music is also a great creative break from all your normal thinking.

Draw a Picture

Any architect will tell you that drawing is all inches and centimeters. To draw a great picture is all about perception and shapes, which will not only help your numbers game, but it will also help your geometry game as well. Knowing shapes like parallelogram, rhombus, or decahedron will come in handy when putting together your next great piece of art. Drawing is total perception, so knowing angles will help your artwork look like it should be hanging in a museum. Go to the store and get some art supplies and start flexing your numbers, your angles, and shapes before they get weak.

Let’s Dance

Athletes have been known to take dance because it helps them with agility and stamina on the field or on the court. Dance not only helps stimulate your physical agility, but dance can also stimulate your mental agility as well, especially in the realm of mathematics. Dance, as beautiful as it is to watch and experience, is all math. Every dancer keeps count as they dance in order to keep to the rhythm. Without music, a dancer can still perform and create a beautiful piece of art simply by using counting. By taking a dance class, you can release from the tension and stress of the world while using math to stay on the beat and move your body. If you have a science background in human physiology, dance is one of the best ways to feel the movement and workings of the body.

It may seem that art is for the artists, but little do they know, as a mathematician, without you there would be no art.

My Experience Taking One Of The Covid-19 Vaccines

Openly Discussing Getting Vaccinated

As many of my readers and YouTube subscribers know, here on the Big Words Blog Site, most of the content published is now coming from collaborators and customers in the form of shorter informational pieces. With multiple YouTube channels and now another blog for more literary writing, I only have time to write and publish a few pieces of my own here. While others opted for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, I took the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine within the last month and as a scientist, I wanted to write something about it.

As described in my initial submission on the new ScoonTV publication, one of the videos on my science and technology YouTube channel was taken down for ‘violating community guidelines’. I have since been hesitant to talk about the vaccines in any way, but with this platform belonging to me, I can discuss whatever I want to. Whether or not the social media platforms allow it to be shared, remains to be seen.

As you know there was a lot of controversy surrounding the Covid-19 vaccines, in addition to the pandemic itself. When talking with a good friend, I pondered that the pandemic may have been the younger generations’ World War 2 or Vietnam, in addition to maybe the 911 attacks. That is no disrespect to anyone who lived through those wars and tragedies or participated in them, but none of the younger generations have lived through a crisis like this.

My Reasons For Getting Vaccinated

I decided to take one of the Covid-19 vaccines for a number for reasons. As described, for a period I uploaded several videos on the pandemic on my science and technology YouTube channel. In short, I honestly was not one of the individuals who was in a rush to get vaccinated. In my opinion there were some very peculiar circumstances surrounding the pandemic which I will not go into here, but to some degree, the need to vaccinate everyone did raise my antennae along with those of other people. In short, I wasn’t going to be one of the first to get vaccinated and took a “wait and see approach”.

In that regard, seeing my relatives get vaccinated with no adverse reactions helped allay some of my concerns. Other individuals who were close to me received their vaccinations was also another line of evidence for me. Ultimately, like most everyone else, I wanted to be able to move about freely without concern and get back to a level of normalcy.

Returning To Normalcy

On that same vein, the featured image for this story is from my trip to the Albany area for Father’s Day 2021. Prior to the pandemic, I made two to three trips a year to New York State’s Capital Region to visit my father via train. During the pandemic, I defaulted to making the five-hour drive to the Albany area and the eight-hour drive to Buffalo to see family. Needless to say, that driving is more work than simply closing one’s eyes, or looking out of the window and daydreaming on a train or an airplane.

Going back to the featured image, it was taken trackside next to my Northeast Regional Train in Alexandria, VA. Amtrak did not mandate its passengers to be vaccinated, though we did have to wear masks once boarded, a rule that was respected by some and not by others. The first leg of my trip from Washington, DC to the New York City area got a little more crowded than I was comfortable with. The second leg from New York City to Albany was relatively empty though. The same was true for the return trip.

What’s In The Three Vaccines?

Now in terms of the vaccines themselves, having backgrounds in Pharmacology and Toxicology, my focus was always on what was in the vaccines in terms of ingredients (active and inert). I wanted to get a feel for their “pharmacodynamics” and potential side effects. In today’s information age, there were lots and lots of rumors and theories floating around about nanotubes and microchips being injected into us. My mother told me that someone in her circle believed that the vaccines would ‘magnetize’ our bodies. It was like the hysteria surrounding 5G technology when people attempted to make it the cause of the pandemic.

While many people are skeptical about the work done of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), their mission from the regulatory context is to protect the health of the nation and to make sure that the foods and medications we take are safe. The vaccines thus had to go through the FDA for approval for “emergency” usage. To determine the safety of the vaccines, I pulled the memoranda for each of the three vaccines approved in the United States from the FDA’s website to ascertain what was in the vaccines.

The following are the ingredients contained in the vaccines. The verbiage and characterization were lifted directly from the FDA memoranda which are hyperlinked in case readers want to go and look for themselves. The “efficacy” and side effects are also characterized in each memorandum.

The Moderna Vaccine

The Moderna vaccine is an off-white, sterile, preservative-free frozen suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine contains a synthetic messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) encoding the pre-fusion stabilized spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine also contains the following ingredients: lipids (SM-102, 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero- 3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG], cholesterol, and 1, 2-distearoyl-sn-hocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.

The Pfizer Vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is a white to off-white, sterile, preservative-free, frozen suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine contains a nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine also includes the following ingredients: lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2- hexyldecanoate), 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-distearoyl-sn- glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

The Johnson And Johnson Vaccine

The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a colorless to slightly yellow, clear to very opalescent sterile suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine consists of a replication-incompetent recombinant adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) vector expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in a stabilized conformation. The vaccine also contains the following inactive ingredients: citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate 80, sodium chloride.

Getting My Shot

Assuming none of the ingredients were intentionally omitted, nothing I read personally in any of the vaccines alarmed me. I chose the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because I liked the mechanism of action more (a DNA Adenovirus vs micro RNA), and I just wanted to take one shot and be done with it. I was discouraged, though, after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was initially pulled for a rare side effect, blood clots, I believe. When I decided to get vaccinated, I could not find it initially and then one day when doing a random search online, I saw that the CVS pharmacy that I frequent at Pentagon City was, in fact, offering it. After making a reservation, I went and got it on a Friday around noon.

I was cautioned from the nurse or pharmacist that I might experience symptoms of some sort over the next 48 hours. There was the inevitable pinch/sting from the needle and then I felt a sensation in my shoulder which radiated up towards my neck. That went away quickly. I hung around in the pharmacy area for the next 15-20 minutes as instructed. I then took my complimentary 20% off coupon, purchased something and left the store. I did not expect any adverse reaction(s) as I keep myself healthy and have faithfully taken vitamins C, D, E and Magnesium since the pandemic started.

Abandoning Our Masks?

And that was my vaccine experience. I did not write this to sway anyone. Again, as a member of the science community, I just wanted to share my story. I am happy that I got the vaccine I wanted, though I saw an article on Yahoo that said that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has not rebounded from the initial pulling in terms of popularity. I do not know if this means that it will be abandoned altogether, but I hope not, especially if it has efficacy against the new “Delta Variant”.

I have not completely abandoned my masks. I honestly will have to get used to not using them again. As described earlier, Amtrak insisted on its passengers using them and at least initially and when I fly, I am certain the airlines will also err on the side of caution. For the type of mask I had, it was not that bad for the seven hour ride.

Some stores and proprietorships are still mandating mask. Interestingly, before making my Father’s Day trip, New York State, one of the most vigilant of all the states during the pandemic, lifted all its restrictions. I met up with some old friends at Latin Dance Night in Albany, and no one wore masks as they danced up a storm, respired all over the place and socialized that night.

Do you have a vaccine story? Please feel to leave some comments below this piece. Also please subscribe to my science and technology YouTube channel to hear more science-related discussions like this. I am about 225 subscribers away from the holy number of 1,000.

How To Get Set Up As An Aesthetic Practitioner

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and STEM. An avenue of medicine not often discusses that the of aesthetic practitioner. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Get Set Up As An Aesthetic Practitioner.

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If you’re considering an alternative career in medicine rather than being a traditional doctor, then you might be thinking about being an aesthetic practitioner. Making this change can be daunting, but if you follow these steps, you can get going on the right path.

Image – free for commercial use

Maintain your registration with the relevant industry body

Check what registration and qualifications you need to have in your area. In some places, you may need to have had a certain amount of years of general adult nursing or medical other experience before you can move into the aesthetics fields. This is to ensure that you have a solid foundation of transferable skills and experience to make you a safer, more skilled aesthetic practitioner. In a similar vein, dentists and doctors are also required to have a current, active registration with the relevant bodies in order to practice aesthetics. Membership of these professional bodies also gives you a support network for working in aesthetics and also gives any of your prospective patients a way to see that you are trustworthy and have the relevant insurance and training. You could look into training through IAPAM, which can provide you with the skills, knowledge, and information that you need.

Research your market

If you’re going to set yourself up as an aesthetic practitioner, it is important to research your industry and local market so that you are able to:
● Understand any factors outside of your business in the industry and the wider market
● Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competition
● Understand the interests and needs of potential customers to develop a detailed customer profile for you to target
Your market research can also help you to develop your business plan, which you will need to have ready if you are going to secure any funding to help you get your business launched.

Researching the industry and market environment

● Start your research with any legal, economic, social, and cultural issues or trends that could have an impact on your business, for example, any changes in the regulation of the aesthetics industry or changing attitudes towards cosmetic treatments like Botox
● Keep an eye out for new trends developing so you can identify any gaps or opportunities to take advantage of
● Go to events for the aesthetic industry, listen to live talks, and watch demonstrations to learn skills and build a network
● Network with industry colleagues at these events and on social media

Researching competitors

● Work out who your target customer is and create detailed buyer personas. These profiles will represent your ideal customers. These personas will let you tailor your marketing to better connect with your target audience so you can understand their attitudes towards your proposed products and services
● Make use of your existing networks through social media (e.g. Linkedin for professional contacts), carry out surveys, and offer incentives like discounts to engage with your target audience
● Invest time in building connections with potential customers and remember that word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to build on your customer base

Careers Of The Future

Three focuses of my blog are Career Discussions, STEM and Technology. No matter where you are in your life cycle, it’s important to know which careers will be in demand in the future, especially if you’re guiding younger people. The following contributed post is entitled, Careers Of The Future.

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With the development of modern technology more and more jobs and careers are being replaced or re-figured. Once stable jobs are no more and the career landscape looks a lot different than it did ten years ago. Here are some ‘future proof’ careers that are likely to expand and become increasingly lucrative as technology continues to develop.

Cyber Security

Crime as we know it is changing. As technology advances crime inevitably advances with it. Crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated with cybercrime rates mounting year on year. With so much personal and financial data stored in clouds and online, it is no wonder. Crime enforcement agencies worldwide house their own growing cybercrime departments and Governments and private firms across the globe are providing apprenticeships and pathways into cybercrime.

Javascript programmer

Javascript programming is used to develop desktop and mobile applications, big data processes, and so on. It is one of the most sophisticated and high regarded programming languages used worldwide and its usage is only set to grow. To train as a Java Programmer you typically need a Bachelors of Computer Science, Maths, Information Technology, or potentially even a master’s degree. That said, training is given in the workplace and if you have an aptitude for Java you may be able to find an entry-level role. Upon qualification, the possibilities and job roles are plentiful and lucrative. So if you know how to undertake char to string conversion in java or it interests you why not consider a career using it?

Photo credit; Markus Spiske from Pexels

Robotics Engineer

With more and more roles being replaced by AI job roles are shifting. While a robot may be able to perform and replace many human tasks there will always be a need for someone to make and maintain these robots. Engineers who are highly skilled in coding and software will find themselves in a desirable position, as hi-tech manufacturing such as driverless cars increase and the use of robotics in warehouses and logistics becomes commonplace.

Data Analyst

Every day vast amounts of data on anything and everything is collected and stored. This information can tell us about people, their behaviors, finances, medical requirements, and so on. It can monitor business performance, or lack of, or be used in logistics nationally or internationally. Data can be collected in just about any sector and put to any use. Someone is needed to monitor, collate and distribute this data so that it can be read, understood, and utilized.

Care Worker

A curveball perhaps? Technology may be the future and may hold the key to many career paths but, the good news is, there will still be roles that do not require a sophisticated level of technological knowledge. With populations aging and medical care advancing people are living longer and with more and more treatable illnesses. The need for care will only grow as technology and medicine develop. A career in care can be hugely rewarding and offer plenty of progression routes.

In fact, job roles that fall under the umbrella of social care will only continue to expand in the wake of the global pandemic, aging populations, and a higher demand for social services. If you are looking for a challenging but rewarding people-centered career then working within the social care and services sector can offer you this.

The Importance of Using Sustainable Materials for Any Construction Project

Two focuses of my blog are STEM and Technology. For any construction project, a key consideration is the materials used. You want to used the most sustainable materials possible. The following contributed post is entitled, The Importance of Using Sustainable Materials for Any Construction Project.

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The natural world is abundant with a seemingly endless supply of materials that are perfect for construction. So why not use those? As the world fights to achieve a greener and cleaner environment with fewer emissions, it’s everyone’s responsibility to use options that are sustainable, renewable, and of course, cleaner.

Image Credit

With the current awareness campaign, the move to greener and clean building materials is growing, not just for residential construction projects but in all industries. In addition, the commercial sector is moving towards sustainability, with many of America’s largest corporations investing heavily into these options. So what are the benefits of using sustainable materials?

They are More Durable

No one wants to start a project then have to repeat it after a few years. Also, some projects demand high-quality standards, such as when creating airport runway markings. Therefore, quality and durable materials must be used to create high-quality and long-lasting end products.

Furthermore, with durable materials, you save on costs because the end products last longer. This is because the materials used will not require replacements or frequent repairs.

Environmentally Friendly

Sustainable materials have fewer to zero carbon emissions, making them the best choice for a greener and cleaner environment. They are also fully biodegradable. As a result, governments are encouraging construction companies and individuals to choose more sustainable materials in a campaign to control carbon emissions. On the same note, raw materials with a high carbon footprint are discouraged or outlawed in some states.

Some of the benefits are obvious such as less pollution released to the environment, but others might be more difficult to see, like fewer toxins released into the water supply.

The most significant benefit is that sustainable materials create a better environment with healthier indoor and outdoor air quality. The materials used in construction projects contribute to the quality of air in and outside a building. Emissions can lead to the creation of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and other pollutants, leading to illnesses such as cancer.

Less Energy Consumption in Production Processes

Sustainable raw materials use fewer and less complicated production processes. This means that they use less energy and water throughout the production process. It means more savings of the global natural resources. Also, sustainable materials, because they are renewable, cannot be depleted. They also don’t cause an environmental imbalance or affect other vital natural resources.

They Boost the Global Efforts to Achieve a Greener World

As mentioned earlier, sustainable materials have fewer emissions and are eco-friendly. However, greenhouse emissions drastically affect climate conditions globally, and as the world fights to restore a greener world, the use of sustainable materials is a must.

With global warming and climate change becoming more severe by the year, sustainability becomes even more critical in construction projects. Using environmentally friendly practices will help ensure that human beings, animals, and plants can still live on this planet for many years to come. So it’s not just saving the environment but also all life from an uncertain future.

Additionally, by using renewable materials, less waste is created as most sustainable materials are recyclable.

Factors to Think About Before You Choose a STEM Degree

Two focuses of my blog are General Education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The career you choose is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. While STEM degrees are very valuable these days, consideration should be taken before choosing a field of study. The following guest post is entitled, Factors to Think About Before You Choose a STEM Degree.

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STEM degrees cover the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The demand for jobs belonging to STEM has relatively heightened across industries for the past few years. Along with the high demand for STEM graduates, the salary offered in these jobs lives up to its expectations.

That is why several students consider taking up a STEM degree when they enroll in colleges or online programs like Online Education (OEd). Though students may find STEM degree majors intimidating and formidable, graduates will most likely benefit from a higher job prospect compared to other degrees. Other than these major advantages, there are multiple reasons why a STEM career is an ideal path to take in the future. Nonetheless, it is crucial to consider a good deal of different factors before deciding on taking up the challenge to study for a STEM degree.

Factors to consider

Passion/Interest

88% of college students choose their degree based on their passion. Some students will prioritize choosing a degree that they are interested in to maintain a strong drive and desire to complete their studies after a few years. A STEM degree will be challenging to complete for plenty of individuals.

That is why succeeding in this field can be difficult if a student has no interest and desire to learn about the field. Individuals who consider choosing a STEM degree based on their passion and interest will more likely experience contentment and satisfaction in their jobs in the future. In addition, job burnout and stress can also be avoided in the future as long as they love what they do and find joy in their careers.

Security

On the other hand, some students will prefer to be more realistic when choosing a degree in STEM. Getting a college degree is already an investment in itself as students pay money to study and master their chosen degrees. For this reason, most students prioritize the amount of security they can get in a specific career path.

Not all STEM degrees offer equal earning potential. Some STEM careers like chemists, psychologists, computer programmers, and geographers get paid quite less compared to high-paying careers like surgeons, petroleum engineers, and IT managers. Even so, STEM degrees still earn comparatively higher than careers in other disciplines.

Flexibility

A STEM major can specialize in different areas. As the unpredictability of the future can be a problem, having a flexible STEM degree can be beneficial at the end of the day. For example, A degree in computer science can open up endless opportunities career-wise.

As technology is apparent in society today, many areas in the industry use computer science graduates in different ways. It covers programming languages, software, algorithm design, and so much more. Moreover, a degree in math can also proceed to a variety of jobs and occupations. Expanding fields like forensic accounting and finance offer graduates an abundance of chances to gain all kinds of experiences in the industry.

The impact of STEM on society

Getting an education in STEM allows students to obtain skills and traits that can greatly impact the development of modern society today. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have an immense contribution towards creating solutions for major challenges and issues present in the world. With the skill set acquired during STEM education, current labor demands can be met. The field of science can allow students to establish a deep understanding and relationship with the world and strengthen skills in research.

For technology, young adults have the opportunity to master and navigate today’s digital age and become exposed to technologically advanced ideas and inventions. Engineering heightens an individual’s problem-solving skills and develops the technical knowledge needed for future projects. Lastly, mathematics encourages students to have a critical mind and get used to analyzing information and formulas that can be applied to large-scale problems in the world.

Overall, the different areas and fields of STEM all have one thing in common. These disciplines have the power to shape and develop societies for generations to come. STEM education upheaves social and environmental awareness as it can convey global issues and possible solutions to society.

Students who have studied in areas like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are known to be outstanding innovators and critical thinkers. The knowledge, skills, and experiences they acquire during STEM education can sustain economies, eradicate world issues, promote globalization and developing economies. As the world continues to change and evolve, civilization must keep up with its changes, which can be achieved with the help of STEM careers and professions.

Robotics: A Powerful Educational Tool

Three focuses of my blog are General Education, STEM and Technology. As the world becomes more and more automated, there will be an increasing need for individuals to be trained in robotics and associated technologies. There are also benefits to robotics as an educational tool. The following guest post is entitled, Robotics: A Powerful Educational Tool.

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The field of robotics has numerous applications in various industries, usually in manufacturing different products in high volumes. Robots are ideal in these fast-paced environments as they can work for long hours without the risk of injury or exhaustion.

Robotics has also seen its impressive share of innovation through the years. Today, robots have the capability of sight. These robot vision systems increase precision and accuracy, helping improve the quality of products in many industries.

Aside from speeding up production processes, robots assist humans in other areas such as engineering and healthcare. Robotics also enriches the learning of students through their uses in the classroom setting. It provides a unique avenue of knowledge for learners of all kinds.

These are a few examples of how educators have adopted robotics as a tool for education.

Making Inclusive Education a Reality

Students in the STEM track are not the only ones who benefit from robotics. Students with special needs receive the necessary support for their different learning requirements.

An example of this is how robotics have been helping students in the autism spectrum develop their social skills. Some learners with autism can be uncomfortable in situations in which they have to interact with unfamiliar people.

Robotic solutions startup LuxAI responded to the need for innovative learning tools for children with neurodevelopmental disorders with the creation of QTRobot, an educational robot with play-based activities for social and cognitive development. These kinds of technologies make learning more encouraging and accessible for learners with disabilities.

Students with medical conditions that keep them from leaving home also benefit from having telepresence robots that enable them to do in-school activities. These robots are built to show a student’s presence in the classroom, with a tall vertical body with a screen on top to show the student’s face.

Simplifying Programming for Students

As robots increasingly play a larger role in daily living, students have much to gain from learning how to program. Robots are an interesting way to ease students into the art of programming, as these activities make learning about these technical and mechanical processes more enjoyable.

Of course, learning programming through the traditional classroom method is important. Bringing robotics in provides students with a practical application to help them put into practice what they learn in class.

Young learners can also more easily be introduced into the world of coding through robots. Many in the market teach kids aged three years old and above simple algorithms through puzzles and interactive storytelling. Robotics company Edison even has free lesson plans available online for use with their child-friendly robots, making coding education easier for many students.

Introducing robotics to children demystifies programming at an early age, thus encouraging more students to pursue STEM for higher education.

Sharpening and Broadening Students’ Skill Sets

More and more companies are automating to bolster their production and keep up with rising demands. However, industrial robots are complicated and often dangerous tools that trained professionals must only use. The rate at which organizations worldwide are adopting robots, and artificial intelligence necessitates more laborers who are knowledgeable in this field.

As robots take the place of humans in assembly lines, more human capital will be needed to operate and maintain these machines. Managing robots requires creativity and critical thinking skills, which are unique to humans, making humans an integral part of large-scale automation.

Giving Students Practical Experience Through Simulation

There are many ways in which students gain ample practical experience through educational simulators.

For example, students at the high school level often begin taking driving lessons. Driving simulators give driving students a realistic driving experience within a safe and controlled environment.

These simulators mimic the look and feel of driving an actual car, which helps students become better acquainted with the controls of a vehicle. The replication of real-life traffic situations also allows them to be prepared to face challenges that might come up on the road once they gain their driver’s licenses.

Simulators are also immensely helpful for medical students who will have to deal with various sensitive operations as doctors. These allow future doctors to gain training on how to perform surgeries safely and with precision. Simulations of different scenarios help them make proper decisions to ensure future patients’ safety while also preparing them for possible emergencies.

With its many applications in different fields, especially in education, robotics is a highly beneficial teaching tool for students of all levels. The sooner they are adopted in the classroom setting, the more enriched students’ learning will become.

Enjoy Science with the Kids and with STEM Activities

Two focuses of my blog are General Education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). While some students are going back to schools, many are still doing their schooling at home. In some instances, parents are challenged in terms of conducting science experiments at home with their students. The following guest post is entitled, Enjoy Science with the Kids and with STEM Activities.

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Everyone has had to adjust these days. Due to the extended quarantine measures against COVID-19, parents are working from home and so are the kids. It has been a year since the pandemic; by now, parents have somehow adjusted to holding school at home. But there are always new ways to liven up your kid’s in-home schooling experience.

To inspire creativity, parents are holding piano lesson instructions, scheduling reading time or coloring with the kids. But if you’re planning to hone their skills in science while tapping into their sense of wonder, integrate STEM into their program.

The integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities do more than hone the scientific and deductive skills of your child; it also promotes interactive and meaningful learning experiences for young children. STEM activities give your kids educational opportunities to solve problems, think creatively and discover the world on their own.

Make schooling more fun this year by incorporating the following STEM activities in their usual school day at home.

Build a Balance Scale

For this activity, you’ll need a plastic hanger, string and some cups. Create a hanging balance your children can use to experiment with weights. If you have older kids, have them build the balancing scale. Let the younger siblings watch.

To encourage interaction during the experiment, ask questions like “How many LEGOs does this doll weigh?” Add variety to the activity by sorting by materials or by shapes. If your children need to weigh items for their assignments, you can use this STEM project, too.

Create Craters

Take your child to space and still stay at home by making craters with flour, Play-Dough, weighted balls and rocks. Sphere up some Play-dough to represent the moon and add rocks to create craters. Explain that craters are the result of comets and asteroids. Invite your kids to make craters with the rocks and other materials on their moons.

For the younger kids, fill your sensory bin with flour and have them drop different sizes of balls into the bin to create craters. Compare the craters’ sizes.

Make Magnetic Slime

Children are all about slime. Also, homemade slime activities are staples for many teachers and parents looking a fun science experiment. This activity adds a dash of science by adding magnets and iron oxide power into the mix. To achieve the right slime consistency, you’ll have to add more liquid starch or glue. Once the starch is ready, you’ll need a strong magnet (preferably a neodymium magnet) to play with the slime.

This science experiment serves as a conversation starter for children who have questions about how magnets work.

Build Some Jellybeans

Introduce the kids to simple engineering with some jellybeans or large marshmallows and toothpicks. Connect the jelly beans and toothpicks and ask your child which of the shapes stack well, hold together or are more interesting to look at.

This activity serves as a simple introduction to the thought, technology and design behind structural engineering. Make it more interesting by challenging the kids to build a specific structure or their jellybean home.

Enjoy Explosions with a Lunar Volcano

Take kids to see some moon volcanoes by making your own. All you’ll need are baking soda, black paint, cookie sheets or trays, vinegar, and squeeze bottles. Mix the baking soda with black pain. You can also add some glitter. Spread the mixture on the cookie sheets or trays before filling the bottles with vinegar.

Next, have your child draw and make craters on the moon. During this experiment, explain to them how scientists believe that volcanoes erupted on the moon’s surface. Let the children create their eruptions by dropping vinegar into the craters. Discuss the chemical reaction with the kids after.

Pipe Cleaner Counting

For children who are just learning how to count, understanding the increase in numbers can be confusing. Simplify math with some help from beads and pipe cleaners. These items can help the kids learn how to count while visualizing how numbers increase in size.

Take small pieces of paper and label each pipe cleaner with a number. Next, have the kids arrange the pipe cleaners in order (from greatest to smallest or vice versa) while stringing the correct number of beads. To improve their memory, have them count aloud.

STEM Projects Liven Up School Days

Now that you have more ideas on simple STEM activities for children, you are well-equipped to help the kids explore science, technology, engineering and math. There are many other STEM activities available for all ages. So, have fun exploring with your kids at home!

3 Essential Practices To Stay Safe As A Laboratory Technician

Two focuses of my blog are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and Health/Wellness. While a lot of important work gets done in research labs, there are a lot of potential health hazards as well. A major component of science is thus laboratory safety. The following contributed post is entitled, 3 Essential Practices To Stay Safe As A Laboratory Technician.

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Safe lab practices are essential and shouldn’t be compromised on, as a lab is generally a hazardous place that requires utmost attention and a focus on protection. In 2019, 40% of lab researchers and technicians admitted to not wearing PPE at all times. The slightest error or lack of judgment can result in irreparable damage and even death. How can you ensure that your actions or inactions don’t put you or your colleagues at risk? Read further for details.

1. Proper storage containers

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Due to the varied composition of solvents and other compounds, every chemical in the lab must be kept in appropriate storage containers. For example, it’s not recommended to store organic solvents in plastic containers. Acids should also never be stored in metal containers; neither should HF be kept in glass because it reacts with sodium silicate (the main component in glass) and causes it to corrode.

The reason for proper storage of these compounds and chemicals is to eliminate a hazardous reaction in a close unit such as a lab. It’s a safety measure to protect the lab technicians and others who work within the same space.

Furthermore, flammable chemicals must be handled with extreme precautions. That explains why most labs keep large volumes of such combustible substances in fire-rated cabinets. Lab handlers must also do well to keep acids and caustics apart; they must be placed in isolated cabinets or cupboards with plastic lining. The plastic acts as a buffer against any escaped vapor that may react with any metal element within the cabinet.

2. Quality waste disposal systems

As discussed in the previous list item, proper chemical storage is critical, and that flows into how these chemicals are disposed of as well. The approved method of waste disposal is to have them stored in safe non-reactive bins. An alternative is to use waste bins with a non-reactive inner lining. More importantly, every lab must invest in a hazardous waste removal service to comply with the United States legislation on Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals.

3. Protective garment usage in the lab

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Known as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), these refer to goggles, lab coats, nose masks, gloves, and any other garment intended for self-protection in a laboratory. This includes long pants and footwear that completely covers the lower body and feet. Because of the likelihood of spills and splashes within the lab, you’re better off protecting yourself from biological and chemical agents.

Did you know that some chemical spills on the body can start a chain reaction to developing cancer in the long term? These are substances known to have delayed carcinogenic effects in humans. For instance, medical research indicates that asbestos inhalation can cause lung cancer in the long term. In other instances, chemical inhalation can travel into the bloodstream and cause Leukaemia many years after initial exposure.

The lab environment is a critical area that demands utmost caution at all times. Without these safety measures, it’ll be even more dangerous to choose an occupation requiring physical presence in a lab.

How To Identify A Good STEM Program For Your Child

Two focuses of my blog are General Education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). As the years go by, there will be steadily more STEM jobs and a corresponding need for the STEM professionals trained in those fields. The key though educationally, is the start. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Identify A Good STEM Program For Your Child.

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The world’s progress will depend mostly on advancements made in science, technology, engineering, and math. Already, the advent of the smartphone has propelled technological advances in just ten years! Unfortunately, a report by the National Assessment of Education Progress revealed that 66% and 60% of 4th Graders are not science and math proficient. So, how can you identify a good STEM program for your child? Find out below.

1. It has rigorous Math and Science content

Every good STEM program should have intensive Math and Science content to live up to its name. However, for young children, the fun component is needed to maintain interest and develop the urge for more. On the other hand, for older children, the focus should be more on using math, science, and basic engineering knowledge to create designs.

For instance, a STEM class assigned to design a lifeguard chair should use real-world questions to influence their creation. For example, questions such as, ‘how long should the lifeguard chair be?’ or ‘How does the guard get onto the chair?’ will compel the child to apply arithmetic and science to come up with the perfect object.

2. A good STEM program should have on-site and off-site labs

In many cases, especially when it’s a private school or academy, STEM is designed to funnel all other subjects into the program. In other instances, it is a part of the school’s primary curriculum. Another approach is when the school decides to make it an elective class. Regardless of the varied ways it is taught, the most significant factor is that the STEM course should have modern labs where students can experiment with what they learn.

Unfortunately, the pandemic season makes it imperative to build more labs within and outside the school. The objective is to minimize the number of students at any given time within the lab. For this reason, some schools have opted for safe off-site facilities to conduct STEM experiments. Therefore, if you run a school and are looking for an off-site location to rent or lease, you should try ball ventures Ahlquist. This commercial development company delivers excellent service to tenants, partners, and investors.

3. It helps your child to think outside the box?

The objective of STEM programs is to cause the young mind to think beyond the ordinary. It is a structured course that requires a high level of cognitive thinking to arrive at the desired result. Introduced over 120 years ago, STEM was created at the same time as electricity. The Committee of Ten at Harvard thought it would be the Launchpad to develop interest among members of the public.

STEM became a conduit through which teaching science-related subjects evolved since that time. As proof, today, there are professionals who capitalize on their strong STEM backgrounds to service cars, electric appliances, etc. Thinking outside the box is the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to its practical aspects. This is what is required of a STEM program. Besides, it is an excellent way to assess its positive effect on your child’s cognitive abilities.

STEM fosters critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and discipline. As the world continues to develop, there is no way science-based advancements can be left behind. Therefore, the best decision you can make is to get your young ones interested in their early years.