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Recycling

One of the most fun and productive activities you can do with your children at home is to start an at-home recycling program. Chances are, even if you have never talked about it at home, your children have already encountered the idea of recycling at school or at day care. By bringing this practice into the home, you give your children an important and fun practice that they can use to be responsible citizens for the rest of their lives.

The first step in starting an at-home recycling program is to find out if there are recycling facilities in your area. Maybe your neighborhood has a recycling program and provides bins and materials for free. If not, there are private recycling companies that will collect and process your recyclables for a fee. Whichever option you choose, you want to ensure that the arrangement is convenient and realistic for your family.

And think broadly. Even if there is not a facility to process everything you want to recycle, you can find easy opportunities to recycle some of the products your family uses every day. For instance, TerraCycle provides cardboard boxes so that you can pack up and ship your plastic snack wrappers. For a fee, they recycle these small pieces of plastic that we all use every day, and can’t recycle through our normal neighborhood recycling programs. Companies like this make it possible to be creative about how you will structure your family recycling program. Perhaps you will only recycle glass. Or maybe your children can learn to recycle their cereal boxes when they are empty. Start small, teaching your children the importance of doing one good thing for the environment. As time goes on, you’ll find that most children are excited about participating and finding new things to recycle.

Another way to make recycling fun is to allow young children to sort recyclable goods themselves. If your town only recycles type 1 and type 2 plastics, you can allow your 4 year-old to check the plastic bottles in the recycle bin to sort them accordingly. By making this her job, you assign her an important task that tells her that you trust her to be responsible. You also allow her some freedom to use her growing number skills and to be responsible for something that feels like a “grown-up job.” Children love this.

However you decide to do it, starting and maintaining an at-home recycling program is an easy way to help raise engaged, aware children who make a positive contribution to the world.

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Lynne Featherstone Interrviewed about youth issues by Hornsey School Girl students

Photo Credit: Lynn Featherstone from Flickr

Oral history is the use of narratives, personal experiences, and storytelling from historical and everyday people to share about certain topics and time periods. These experiences are most often videotaped or audio recorded, but they can also be written down as a result of an interview or conversation. Many museums use this type of instruction to educate their visitors about all sorts of events and topics. It offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to learn from someone else’s point of view just by listening. But how can it be brought to life in the classroom?

Instead of reading about WWII in a book and doing a worksheet about it, oral histories allow students to personally connect with those who experienced it firsthand. They hear the emotion in the voices they listen to, see expressions on their faces, and are, therefore, far more moved. These stories and experiences let them feel as though they are part of the story somehow and, in turn, may put life into a different perspective.

More than just allowing students to hear about these experiences, many teachers have found that getting them to conduct their own oral history research forms a far greater connection to the subject. In the classroom, teachers can give each student a specific topic for which they must conduct research for. This research is gathered in the form of interviews and conversations with members of their family and community, as well as their peers, about experience or point of view based on that topic.

The key is to make the topic something that is interesting to the student, something that is important to them or that they know someone who has an opinion about it. This allows them to become even more interested and learn to care about other’s experiences.

Indian Youth

Photo Credit: David Brewer from Flickr

However, don’t limit this type of instruction to just history class. Oral history can be used in just about any type of classroom and for any age group. For example, in math class, a teacher could ask students to interview members of their family or community about how they use math on a daily basis. This can help those students relate to the subject a bit more, realizing its importance and its use in their lives now and in the future.

Younger children can also learn to participate in such projects, though on a much lesser scale of course. While second and third graders may not be up to the challenge of writing a paper about their oral history research, they can certainly be sent home with the homework to ask their family members or even close neighbors about certain experiences or topics. Even just one question or two could suffice. You would be surprised at how a child’s opinion or connection to learning could be influenced just by participating in oral histories.

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Ice Skaters

Photo Credit: Henry Hemming from Flickr

Winter can be a trying time for school-age children and parents alike. The weather is colder and there just doesn’t seem to be as many fun options for time or energy to be spent. We often find ourselves stuck in the same routines, and to be honest, they are boring. The winter blues are knocking on the door and so is cold and flu season. But don’t despair. There are ways to keep both away with these fun and healthy tips for your home and family besides just remembering to wash your hands.

Healthy breakfast

Breakfast has long been known as the most important meal of the day. And for kids in school, it's even more essential. However, just as important as eating is what they are eating. Sugar filled pop-tarts and cocoa puffs will not sustain them until lunchtime and are sure to create the wrong kind of energy need for their demanding day.

Instead, whip up some eggs or, for days when you are running a little late, make sure to have some hardboiled ones in the fridge already. Yogurt topped with fruit, or on the side, is another great source of vitamins and proteins. Add some whole grains or cottage cheese and they are good to go for a full day of learning.

Exercise

Just because its colder outside doesn’t mean your child has an excuse to sit in front of a screen for long hours. Exercise is still a crucial part of their health and well-being. Not only does it keep them physically healthy but, according to many studies, has a very positive outlook on their emotional well-being and brain development.

Don’t be afraid to let your little ones enjoy the cold air outdoors. Spending time in nature, as long as they are bundled up, helps to prevent sleep deprivation, allows them to de-stress, and keeps up their immune system. A quick pre-dinner walk, ice skating, sledding, or a short trip to the park are all fun and safe outdoor activities for kiddos who need a little natural daylight and exercise.

Change up the lunches

School Children Lunch Box

Photo Credit: Melissa from Flickr

At this point in the school year, it's common to find that your child is only eating about half of their lunches each day at school. This is most likely just because they are bored with their choices. If this is the case in your home, it may be time to switch some things up a bit. Instead of the normal PB&J, try some crackers with ham and cheese. Add in some healthy fruits and veggies and maybe a small treat for a well-rounded meal.

Kids also seem to love compartmentalized meals. This allows them to create their own sandwiches from choices you send or instead of being overwhelmed by one or two large objects, they are presented with five or six smaller items such as carrots, celery, yogurt, and even a cookie.

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Trivial Pursuit

Photo Credit: Letica Ayuso from Flickr

You know all that seemingly useless information in your head that never gets used or you think no one else cares about? Today is the day to finally use it. January 4th is Trivia Day. They may be silly insignificant facts, little-known oddities, or just random information but on Trivia day they can be used to impress your family and friends and possibly even cause a few laughs.

The History of Trivia Day

The history of Trivia Day begins with a few missing pieces to a scrabble board game. In Montreal, Canada in 1979, friends Scott Abbott and Chris Haney were getting frustrated with their scrabble game that had some missing pieces. However, it did not stop them from having a bit of fun.

These two fellows decided to create a new game with the pieces they had. The game became an instantaneous hit and its popularity is spread worldwide. The game is Trivial Pursuit and it is thought to have sparked a seemingly endless fascination with odd or little-known facts on a wide variety of topics.

Since that day, many more trivia inspired games have been dreamed up and made their way into homes throughout the world. This day was created to remember that day and the efforts of the two men determined to have some fun. It’s also a day to make use of that random information in your head that usually has no specific purpose.

Trivial Pursuit Game

Photo Credit: Paolo Soro from Flickr

How to Celebrate Trivia Day

Trivia Day is best spent playing trivia games with your favorite comrades and family. There are a great number of trivia games to choose from in this day and age. Some are comprised of large boards, many pieces, and quite a few complex rules, whiles others are much simpler and can be played on a computer or smartphone. The subjects these tidbits of knowledge come from span every concept imaginable from the shoes on your feet to the stars in the sky. If you can think of it, there is a question about it.

However, don’t assume that prior knowledge of these subjects is required. Half of the fun is not knowing and learning tons of new information and trivia along the way. These are games young kids and adults alike can really get into. And if you don’t have any trivia games at home or the place you will be spending most of today, try making up your own. Continue the legacy of this day by having some fun and using all that knowledge in your head to make the world a happier place.

Here are a few random trivia facts to get you in the mood:

  • On Venus, it snows metal.
  • Spain means “the land of rabbits.”
  • Only female mosquitoes bite.
  • Saudi Arabia has no rivers.
  • The only Caribbean island with a railroad is Cuba.

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Christopher Columbus

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” The catchy start to famous poem/song taught to many over the years serves as a reminder of just how renown this holiday is. Columbus Day remembers the day that Christopher Columbus, a famous Italian explorer, arrived in the Americas. This was recorded as being on October 12, 1492. However, the day is celebrated on the second Monday in October of every year.

Columbus Day History

Historically, Christopher Columbus is most portrayed as the first European to arrive in and discover the Americas. However, this is a controversial point for many people. Part of this is due to the fact that evidence suggests that Vikings were actually the first Europeans to explore and try to settle the land. Moreover, there is proof that indigenous peoples had lived there for thousands of years prior to that. This makes it unlikely that Columbus “discovered” the Americas, especially since he is only known to have traveled to a few islands of the Caribbean, never making it to the mainland.

Furthermore, the arrival of Columbus and his countrymen led to the demise of a great many native peoples. This may have been a result of sickness brought with the Europeans as well as direct action taken. Whatever the case, much of the history and culture of these peoples were lost. For this reason, many current day celebrations are held to honor those lost and those that still live on from those indigenous tribes. They seek to bring awareness to the issues that these people struggle with today as well as their history and cultural richness.

How Its Celebrated

This year Columbus Day will be celebrated, for the most part, on October 8th. In some states and local governments, it a public holiday in which most businesses and schools are closed. However, some areas treat it as a normal business day.

Americans do not all celebrate the day in the same way. For some it is a momentous affair, celebrating the day of their country’s discovery. Some towns and cities hold annual festivals, special church services, parades and large events. The Italian-American community, in particular, is known for such celebrations. Large cities such as New York City and San Francisco typically participate in such fan-fare as well.

In Hawaii, the day is known as Discoverer’s Day, however, it is not celebrated as state holiday. Many other states have begun to celebrate is as Native American’s Day or Indigenous People’s Day instead. This is due to the controversial nature of the holiday. In Latin America and some Latino communities, the day is referred to as the DÃa de la Raza or Day of the Race. Yet still others have re-named it or do not celebrate it at all for the same controversial reasons.

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International Teacher’s Day

The goal of this day is to create a time and place where teachers worldwide are celebrated for their achievements and teacher respect is encouraged by society as a whole. At the same time, as a society that encourages education and the qualification of its teachers, we need to be aware of and draw attention to those issues that distract from getting students the education they have the right to and need.

This Day’s History

International Teacher’s Day was established in 1994 to be held on October 5th annually. This day commemorates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.

This is meant to take notice of and address a variety of issues and situations that teachers deal with around the world. It strives to give guidance to teachers and teacher organizations on such issues as recruitment, education personnel policies, initial training, continuing education of teachers, their working conditions, and their employment.

How It is Celebrated

Each year UNESCO and Education International or EI partners with private organizations such as media companies to celebrate this day. Each year has a different theme, designed to bring awareness to the role that teachers play in society and student development.

This year’s theme is “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher.” It is meant to bring awareness to and remind us that only through trained and qualified teachers can the right to education be realized. It also serves to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was established in 1948.

Schools and students around the globe seek to celebrate this day in multiple ways, from classroom parties to town festivals. However, some places hold these festivities on different days. India, for example, has been celebrating teachers and their roles on September 5th every year. There are more than 100 countries that are known to revel in the positive outcomes of International Teachers’ Day.

As parents we have a responsibility to teach our youngsters about the importance of education and the teachers that fulfill that role. Teaching our kids to respect teachers and all that they do on a daily basis is essential for a great student/teacher and parent/teacher relationship, even when the subject is less than your child’s favorite.

It doesn’t have to be a grand celebration. Even doing something simple like any of the following is great way to show you care.

  • Get them a card or make them one,
  • Have your student write a positive and encouraging handwritten note,
  • Get them a small gift,
  • Paint or draw them a picture, or
  • Make them their favorite cookies or snack

Make sure not to let this year pass by without your teacher or child’s teacher being appreciated. You will be glad you did.

For more ideas and tips for educational success visit our blog.

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Lemon Sharks were first seen in the shallow subtropical waters on December of 2014. It was found that these species have been in existence for thousands of years and can live up to 400 years. Lemon sharks are the most predominant species with incredible survival mechanism. They have healing power like Wolverine, and their bodies are coved tough pore-like stainless steel.

This amazing discovery about the lemon sharks' ability to heal by themselves and their defense mechanism was noticed by Joanne Fraser during her regular shark feed dive in Florida. She noticed a lemon shark with a metal-like piece struck into its body. Having experience working with maritime experts in Florida, she quickly captured the unusual sight with her digital camera.

Fraser had so many encounters with the fish after that instance. She has documented every encounter with the fish with photographs and she found that the steel thing coming out from the lemon shark's body was a fish stringer. It is a steel device like a loop used by fishermen to hold the fish during their hunt.

During her last encounter with the shark, Fraser noticed that the shark had pushed the steel loop out from its body and healed itself with only proving a scar as an evidence of the incident.

Fraser sent her documentation and her experience with a lemon shark to Dr. Steven Kessel who is the Director of Maritime Exploration at Chicago Shedd Aquarium.

Dr. Kessel quickly started investigating the incident with the photographs and videos provided by Fraser, and published a report in the journal Marine and Freshwater Exploration on July 13, 2017. In his report, he said that there is no evidence of the entrance and no evidence that the shark has been stabbed on its outer body by a fisherman. Dr. Kessel also reported that the shark may have swallowed the fish stringer while consuming its prey. But he said the most astonishing thing was the size of the stringer it had swallowed. He said that the sharks have the ability to expel the foreign objects and undigested objects from their stomach.

The lemon shark expelling the fish stringer from its body shows the life sustaining ability of the wild oceans. With the documented evidence it was noticed that the lemon shark lived the stringer for 435 days. The shark was carrying a big stomach during the documentation indicating the destruction caused by the stringer has been pushed out from its body around February of 2016.

Marine scientists are positive about the regenerating damaged tissues in sharks. They think that microorganism may be playing a role during the shark's self-healing process.

However, the final document about the lemon shark was made on December 14, 2016. Showing the fish stringer was pushed out from the body and the wounds made by the metal were properly healed.

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galaxy's-smallest-star

The astronomers recently faltered upon a teeny star called 2MASS J0523-1403, and it was located just 40 light years away. As per them, it is not only the smallest star discovered so far, but it also represents the smallest possible star. By studying the stars; scientists are starting to be able to answer the questions — on where do the stars end and the brown dwarfs begin?

While the stars are the burning balls of gas held together by gravity that is powered by the fusion of hydrogen atoms to helium in their cores. They come in a variety of sizes; the smallest stars, are known as red dwarfs. These can possess as little as t% of the mass of our Sun, whereas the biggest stars or the hyper giants can be over 100 times as massive as the Sun. However, just how small can an object be and still be defined as a star? This has puzzled the astronomers for years. All that was formerly known is that objects below this limit don’t have sufficient mass to burn the fusion of hydrogen in their cores, and these objects are known as brown dwarfs. Brown dwarfs are intangible objects that are supposed to be the missing link between gas giants and low-mass stars such as red dwarfs. They’re usually around the size of Jupiter, but they don’t have enough mass to become a star. Unlike stars, brown dwarfs have no inner energy source.

However, there is another strange difference between brown dwarfs and stars; both of them have opposite relationships between mass and size. Though the more material you add to a star, in the form of hydrogen, the bigger the radius of the star. I.e. they increase their size as mass increases. Whereas, the brown dwarfs, on the other hand, actually shrink in size with increasing mass because of something called electron degeneracy pressure.

How do we find the limit that commands whether an object is a star or a brown dwarf?

To find this difference the astronomers scanned the skies and located objects that were supposed to lie around the stellar or the brown dwarf border. They then intended the light, temperatures, and radius of all of these objects and strategized them. The temperature is dependent on mass but it’s easier to measure; so they found that as temperature decreased, so did radius; this is the expected trend for stellar objects. But, they found that after temperatures of around 2100K there was a break till radius starts to increase with decreasing temperature; and this is the trend that would be expected for brown dwarfs.

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Finally, the scientists can now pinpoint the specific temperature, light, and radius at which the main classification ends. However, the main classification is a relationship between luminosity and temperature and luminosity and radius; which need to be obeyed by stars throughout the majority of their lives. 2MASS J0523-1403 is located around this boundary but towards the stellar side. This star actually has a temperature of 2074K, which is the lowest described temperature so far for a main sequence of the star. It’s also the smallest and the least massive; if it had less mass then it can be a brown dwarf. This star has therefore been identified as a representative of the smallest possible star. However, it is theoretically possible that a star with a slightly smaller mass than 2MASS J0523-1403 could exist, but they still need to discover one.

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national-fossil-day

National Fossil Day is created to bring scientific and educational awareness to people and is celebrated on the second Wednesday of October.

National Fossil Day is celebrated nationwide and was first held on October 13th, 2010, during Earth Science Week. Within this week National Park Service and over 270 partners, including scientific institutions, organizations, museums and other groups hosted events across the United States allowing the public prospects to learn more about the world’s fossil heritage. Many parks, universities and non-profit organizations also take part in the events.

A new National Fossil Day logo is created each year depicting a prehistoric organism. This logo helps to promote National Fossil Day and provide educational institutions an opportunity to share more information about fossils.   The original National Fossil Day logo was created in the year 2010 and presented a fossil mammal known as the Titan. But, in the year 2011, a marine reptile known as the mosasaur was used as the National Fossil Day logo. In the mammoth was featured in the annual logo. A Paleozoic invertebrate known as the eurypterid was highlighted in the annual logo for the year 2013.

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In 2015 the National Fossil Day's artwork features a prehistoric mammal known as a Chalicothere, portrayed in a Miocene prairie grassland. For the National Fossil Day's artwork in the year 2016 it featured a saber-toothed cat, long-horned bison, and a condor, all Pleistocene (ice age) animals, logos in the year 2016.

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How to celebrate this Day

Visit any local museum or gather your friends to do some research about fossils.

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