Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Teaching Earth Science - Its Challenges and Rewards

Knowledge in earth science is very vital in nation building. Almost everything we do each day is connected in some way to Earth: to its land, oceans, atmosphere, plants, and animals. The food we eat, the water we drink, our homes and offices, the clothes we wear, the energy we use, and the air we breathe are all grown in, taken from, surround, or move through the planet. According to American Geological Institute (AGI) Foundation, by 2025, eight billion people will live on Earth. This number of people will undoubtedly continue extracting resources to maintain a high quality of life. As we benefit from all the resources we get from the Earth, then we, as individuals and citizens, need to know more about our planet - its processes, its resources, and its environment. And only through Earth Science education can students understand and appreciate our complex planet. In this present time, the old and the young must join hands and help one another in the serious task of nation-building, the young to learn from the wisdom and experience of the elders, the elders to recognize the impatience of the youth. In contrast, not all young students are willing to cooperate in order to acquire the needed knowledge, attitudes and skills essential for a secure future. It is then a burgeoning task for the teacher to facilitate learning so that quality education will be acquired by the students. This paper will discuss the different challenges faced by the teacher in imparting knowledge about Earth Science in public secondary school, likewise it will also discuss the positive aspects in learning the subject.
My first experience in teaching earth science was on September 2005 in one of the public secondary schools in Davao Oriental, specifically in District 1. I can still remember the first day when I entered the class of more than fifty (50) students crowded in a classroom. Some of them were busy chatting with their classmates, some were busy doing different tasks in their seats, etc. The first question that popped into my mind during that moment was: how can I get the attention of the students? As I introduced myself to them as their new science teacher, I saw different emotions reflecting on their faces. There were emotions of excitement, worries, anxieties, happiness, etc. I am not really sure if they were prepared to take new lessons in earth science. What I did was to let them get a piece of paper and let them write in there: their names, favorite subject, subject they hate most and why they love/hate a certain subject, and their expectation/s of the subject. I did this just to know whether they have interest in the subject or to know what subjects they liked best and the reasons why they love the subject. From that, I learned that out of more than fifty (50) students, only four (4) said that they like science subject. When I asked them why they do not like science as a subject, the common answer was: "Science is a difficult subject". From that experience alone, I got an insight that students will have difficulty in learning a subject if they do not like the subject. Indeed, teaching Earth Science to undergraduates or high school students could be difficult "if the students are not motivated or if they are not interested in the subject".
There are several ways of motivating the students to be interested in Earth Science. In my own experience, I used songs as part of my lessons - songs which are easy to learn and frequently heard by the students. I used the tune of a particular song and changed the lyrics so that it will fit with the topic I am discussing. There are also songs introduced to us during seminars that are very helpful because students would find it easier to memorize certain science concepts by just singing the songs over and over again. Example of these songs are: "We're the Scientist" - in the tune of "Ako'y Isang Pinoy"; "Sistemang Harana" - in the tune of "Harana" as popularized by Parokya ni Edgar, this emphasizes the importance of scientific method in solving problem; "Super Science" - in the tune of "Superman", stressed on the contributions of science in enhancing our lives; and a jolly song - "Youngsters Love Science". After introducing these songs, I found them useful in memorizing scientific terms, concepts, and processes. With this, I feel happy when I heard some of my students singing those songs and sharing them with their friends.
There are different ways of motivating students to learn Earth Science. Teachers should bear in their mind that flexible approaches and connections to other subjects is the key to success in a classroom for motivating student interest. It was proven true with my personal teaching experiences. One should not stick to one option if it doesn't work. Here are the motivating techniques which have been proven to work well with most students:
1. Relate local or national or international news items to some aspect of Earth Science. One may choose from a variety of items from the news. Some of the older news items and their impact on social/political life may also be of interest to students. Any news items relating to the following are generally welcomed by most students for class discussion: Earthquakes; Volcanoes; Tsunamis; Floods; Meteor Showers; and news items related to disasters - present or from past.
2. Pick a topic of common interest to most of the students, such as social or political problem that they are familiar with: nuclear power plants, illegal logging, global warming, consequences of urbanization; and mining. In my case, I used illegal logging, illegal fishing and mining as my point of focus because these issues are really happening in our locality.
3. Historical or biblical or religious locations and the geology associated with it: the Chasm at Delphi and the Apollo Temple in Greece and the vapors that emanates from the location; the geology of biblical areas such as the ones in Middle East; the Taj Mahal in India; the Pyramids in Egypt; the Great Wall of China; Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon in USA; Stories of Precious stones and gems; and any other similar ones.
4. Anecdotes from the scientific discoveries/contributions of great men/women of the past and present: Aristotle; Eratosthenes (measurement of the circumference of the earth); Ptolemy; Copernicus; Tycho Brahe; Johannes Kepler; Archimedes; Newton; Einstein; James Hutton; Charles Lyell; N. L. Bowen; Alfred Wegener; Harry Hess; and many more names that are worth mentioning in Earth Sciences.
5. Space exploration always fascinates students: anecdotes of Lunar exploration; Mars missions and life on Mars; Jupiter and its clouds and moons; discovery of new stars and other galaxies outside our own; and other similar explorations.
6. There are several facts that intrigue and fascinate most Earth Science students: a. Deepest mine in the world b. Deepest bore hole in the world c. Comparison of the above numbers with the radius of the Earth This can show them how little we know about the earth through direct observation. d. Compare these distances with the distance to the Moon These numbers can raise questions like "how come we did not go too far down inside the earth" and "how come we went almost quarter of a million miles to the moon". e. Latitude and longitude and their use in navigation and the time zones f. Deep sea drilling and the mid-fifties project to drill past Moho into the mantle g. The election of President John F. Kennedy and his pledge to land a man on the moon h. The theory of continental drift and the evidence for it i. The fascinating new theory of Plate Tectonics and its development
I used some of the items stated above and they worked for me in classrooms. Good general knowledge coupled with interest and knowledge of a variety of items in Earth Sciences "can help the teacher in getting the students enthused in the subject". As teacher, we should always bear in mind that Earth Science poses questions that are exciting as well as practical to children and adults alike.
Comprehension of the English Language
Provided that the students are well motivated in learning the subject, another problem comes in - how they will understand the instruction with the use of English language? It is an inevitable fact that most of my freshmen (first year) students do not understand spoken or written English. Those that can fairly understand belong to the first section but there are also students in the first section that cannot speak or write in English language correctly. This is really a problem because teaching Earth Science should be in English and all the references are written or published in English. It is also a known fact that English is the "Universal language of Science". Therefore, in imparting knowledge to students, teachers should use English as a medium of instruction. I must also admit that I am not perfect in terms of elaborating concepts with the use of English so what I did was use the vernacular in some part of my discussion. To maximize understanding of a certain concept, I translated some scientific terms into the students' vernacular so that they can fully understand what am I talking or explaining about.
In our school it was really noted that non-readers or readers with poor comprehension pull down the performance of the school during achievement test (Division, Regional or National). To partly solve the problem, if not totally eradicate, an Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) was conducted. This will gauge the reading level of the First Year students so that the school, especially the teachers can identify who among the students are non-readers or has poor reading comprehension. After the inventory it was found out that there are students with reading ability that is of Grade I level and there are really non-readers. So another burden is given to English teachers because aside from teaching their usual subject loads, they will do remedial classes for those students identified as non-readers or with poor reading comprehension. It is not only a burden for the English teachers but for other teachers as well who taught subjects with English as a medium of instruction. It should also be noted that poor or substantive English background slows down the process of scientific development because it is hard to understand scientific concepts while at the same time learning English language - this is learning two things simultaneously.
Discipline Inside the Classroom
In a classroom of more than fifty students or in some classroom sixty students, it is really important that discipline should always reign for maximum learning. In my first year of teaching, classroom discipline is really an issue for me. I easily got irritated by students who were noisy, always going outside the classroom without valid reasons, and students yelling or fighting with each other. But through reading books and attending seminars about classroom discipline, this problem was slowly been elucidated.
A well managed classroom will give the students rich opportunities for mental growth and development. Good classroom discipline produces favorable working conditions conducive to good learning and makes school work enjoyable and interesting. One aspect of the teacher's role under the concept of discipline is to help students practice self-control and to develop standards of individual values and activities that will be carried on regardless of whether the teacher or parent or someone else in authority is around or not.
The concept of discipline when I was still in my elementary years is really different as compared with modern concept of discipline which is based on democratic principles. A good discipline is one that develops self-direction and self-discipline rather than discipline based on compulsion and obedience. In addition, he laid emphasis on becoming familiar with the cause of violation of discipline in order that such causes may be minimized, if not prevented, and offenses may be more satisfactorily diagnosed and treated.
As facilitator of students' learning in Earth Science I should always bear in mind that classroom discipline is really one of the vital tools so that learning could be attained. It is an inevitable fact that the teacher can be an effective facilitator of learning only when there is discipline and proper classroom management in teaching-learning.
Making Use of Technology
The use of textbooks alone in imparting science concepts and processes is not enough. Any ordinary classroom on Earth is not the best place to observe interactions ranging in scale from solar system to the components of a cell. With just pure lectures, often learners are forced to create their own mental images to understand situations they cannot view directly. In many instances the result has been a misconception that takes on a reality of its own inside the students mind. Standard textbooks have been ineffective in changing these deeply rooted misconceptions. Students remain confused about topics involving basic spatial relationships such as the reason for the seasons. To solve this problem, there is persistent call for a teacher to be creative in his teaching and maximize the technology present.
To keep pace with the advancement of Science and Technology, teachers need to have creative and inquiring minds. Such thoughts and ideas "conceived by the inquiring minds" inspire and challenge the teacher to be creative. In connection with the call of being creative and to equate myself with the evolving technology, I constantly visit the World Wide Web so that I can make my lessons updated. This was not easy for me because the place where I've been teaching has no internet connection and only during weekends that I can browse the Internet for topics that need further elaboration through videos or flash animations. In addition, I used PowerPoint in order to make my lessons interactive to the students and I've found out that their interest in my lessons was elevated with the use of computers. Moreover, I was happy because our Principal really encouraged the use of PowerPoint in classroom instruction. In fact he proposed and spearheaded the implementation of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) in the Division of Davao Oriental.
Students' Achievement
The first person that would feel happy in the achievement of students in terms of learning Earth Science is the teacher. I personally beam with pride when my students perform well during exams or on the top rank during contest related to Earth Science. It was remarkable for me when my two contestants for the 2008 Division Science Quiz held in San Isidro National High School ranked second and third respectively. I felt that this is my reward for exerting effort in reviewing students about science concepts not only through books but also from the information retrieved from the internet and by helping and teaching them how to use the computer in exploring the Encarta Encyclopedia. I also felt fulfilled when I see my students embraced positive attitudes in learning the subject. With this, I established in students' heart the love for Earth Science that could be very helpful in learning other sciences like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. A course in earth sciences can provide to students an introduction to subject matter in all other sciences that illustrates their relevance and connections. With a strong foundation in Earth Science, students will no longer find difficulty in learning other sciences.
My Contribution in Nation-Building and for the Future
As a teacher in Earth Science, I can say that I have a great role in building a nation -- a nation that maximizes its resources but does not sacrifice the future. Our lives and civilization depend upon how we understand and manage our planet. Earth processes affect us all. Weather patterns influence the availability of water resources and the potential for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, and floods can kill large numbers of people and cause millions or even billions of pesos in property damage. If our students are well informed about those processes affecting our lives then they would be cautious in every actions they will do like cutting trees, burning too much fossil fuels, the use of aerosol sprays, etc. Every lesson in Earth science will somehow connect students to the past, as well as challenging them to think about the future.
Teaching Earth science in sdcondary school is not an easy task. A lot of challenges must be surmounted so that teaching-learning could be a pleasant experience for both the teachers and students. My first three years experiences in teaching the subject have really shaped my knowledge and attitudes towards the subject. Since my elementary years as a student, I still bring the passion and love in understanding the complex world of science. And now that I'm in the field, then it is my turn to permeate my enthusiasm in learning science subjects to my students especially during their first science subject in secondary education which is the earth science.
The earth sciences provide the best all-around introduction to science. The earth sciences integrate concepts from all other major disciplines of science, including biology, chemistry and physics. Thus, teaching of earth sciences throughout the elementary and secondary schools will promote scientific literacy in general.

Education 101 - Putting the Focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

If you've never seen the acronym STEM before, you will from now on and quite often. The letters stand in for science, technology, engineering, and math, four subject areas that have become a top educational concern and priority from the federal government on down to the preschool level.
And with good reason.
The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) tested one-half million students from 41 countries. On the science portion, American fourth graders came in third, but slipped to 17th place in grade 8 and sixth from the bottom in grade 12. In advanced science, our kids came in last.
In math, our fourth graders placed 12th, our 8th graders placed 17th, and our 12th graders scored sixth from the bottom.
It is for such reasons that the Obama administration has launched its "Educate to Innovate" campaign, focusing on improving America's performance in these STEM subjects and gaining the support of major corporations, foundations and non-profits--even Discovery Communications and Sesame Street.
Their aim: every child. Yes, even your preschooler. It's coming, of that you can be sure. Reassuringly, though, Temple University's Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pacek says, "Efforts to expand preschool science teaching need not necessarily conflict with young children's need for playtime. Science can be taught in the context of play."
And you can support those efforts at home by doing simple experiments right there in your kitchen, starting with your toddlers and then continuing as they get older. Such activities serve to pique curiosity and engage youngsters in seeking answers, as they learn more and more about how the world works. And that's crucial.
As President Obama has said, "Reaffirming and strengthening America's role as the world's engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation is essential to meeting the challenges of this century."
As you know, science has been included in the No Child Left Behind testing mandate since the 2007-08 school year. And now with "Educate to Innovate," there's an even stronger push to engage all of our students in thinking deeply and critically in STEM subjects, boosting our international standing and informing our kids about careers in related fields--opening up possibilities for girls, as well as boys.
According to the National Science Foundation, while women make up 46% of the American workforce, they hold only 25% of the jobs in engineering, technology, and science.
Helping to change those numbers is the stated purpose of the non-profit organization Expanding Your Horizons, which says it is "encouraging young women to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers." To that end, EYH coordinates 85 hands-on math and science conferences annually-and one is sure to come your way.
For instancee, open to middle school girls, an Expanding Your Horizons conference will be held on March 20th at Swarthmore College. "All workshops are led by female role models who not only have a deep knowledge of the topics they teach, but also serve as positive examples of successful women in technical fields... Our conference is perfect for girls who have already discovered a passion for math or science, but it is also a great opportunity to reach those who may be beginning to lose interest in these typically male-dominated fields. We hope you or the special young women in your life will consider spending a day learning and discovering with us." Average cost to participants: only $10.65.
Meanwhile, Wilkes University has received a $2.9 million Pennsylvania Department of Education grant to train middle-level teachers from five counties in math and science, including those in Montgomery County's Springford, Upper Perkiomen, and Perkiomen Valley school districts. This specialized program integrates content with teaching skills, thus enhancing our students' classroom experience in these core subjects--and the timing couldn't be better.

Getting Kids Interested in Science - 40 Years of Bringing Science to Life in The Classroom

In 1961, John F. Kennedy famously beckoned the American people to journey into space and reach the moon by decade's end. Both challenged and encouraged by our young president's infectious and visionary attitude - the country heeded his call.
It was a monumental accomplishment that galvanized the nation's fascination with science and technology and inspired the creation of an educational video series known as the Science Screen Report.
Developed to enhance curriculums throughout our nation's schools by stimulating students curiosity in science, it's no coincidence that as it approaches its 40th anniversary, the Science Screen Report is more relevant than ever.
"Students are far more immersed in their studies when they can experience the world beyond the written pages of their textbooks and see it live, in full color and in three dimensions," says Cleveland Middle School Librarian, Grace M. Dyrek.
Apparently many educators across the nation agree. When the Science Screen Report made its debut in 1970, less than 100 schools nationally were utilizing its services. Today nearly four decades later, more than 10,000 school districts use the series as an essential tool to help promote science as an invaluable subject.
"We cannot do enough to engage students in science. The sciences have never been more important to society than they are now," says Scott Forman, President of Allegro Productions whose company produces the series from Palm Beach County, Florida. That advocacy is also shared by President Obama who stated, "Today more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our prosperity as a nation." These are high stakes that will require a much deeper commitment to science than previously shown by U.S. schools, students and parents.
According to the Washington Post, science scores from the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment - a test given every three years - showed that U.S. 15 year-olds trailed their peers from many industrialized countries. It's a trend that's mirrored in American middle schools as well.
To help close and overcome that gap, Science Screen Report and its companion series, Science Screen Report For Kids, is designed to get students engrossed in science as early as possible - science is not a subject to simply just pass. "We're trying to get kids interested in careers in science; show them it can be challenging, rewarding and full of opportunity," adds Forman whose company produces eight programs per school year for each series.
Roughly 15 minutes in length and produced to directly address National Science Standards and Science Literacy Benchmarks, both series cover a variety of topics ranging from chemistry to the environment to physics, biology, medicine, ecology, engineering, space science, energy and oceanography.
Visually captivating to capture the attention and imagination of today's technologically advanced kids, each Science Screen Report is accompanied by a thoroughly researched teacher guide. Prepared by a committee of educators, the guides provide background information, suggestions for critical thought, a glossary, career possibilities, resource and reference material, and tend to provoke lively classrooms discussions regarding the featured subjects.
Having worked for decades with the National Science Foundation's Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Science Screen Report continues to receive accolades. Series materials have also been used in the Smithsonian Institute's Teacher Resource Center, and are listed in the resource guides of the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Education, and many other state and local agencies.
Although delivered to schools using the latest technology such as video streaming, supporters of the Science Screen Report face an age-old problem - funding. The series which augments an existing school's curriculum is often subject to budget cuts. Currently it's sponsored by hundreds of companies that enable thousands of school districts around the country to receive the program for free. Program sponsors receive a PBS type opening and closing message that appears at the beginning and end of every program that is viewed in the classroom.
Yet in this turbulent economy where cutbacks are the norm, Forman is optimistic that corporations will continue to see the value that Science Screen Report brings to the classroom. It's an ideal situation; schools receive the award winning content at no cost, and corporations have an appropriate method for reaching their future employees and customers. It's a logical way for these companies to invest in their own communities.

IT Schools - Top 5 IT Schools in the Nation

Information technology is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. The industry is expected to grow well within the next decade. It is constantly changing and is deeply embedded in our everyday lives.
If you are thinking about entering into a career in the IT sector, attaining a top education is necessary to break into the field. To help you in your research of online information technology (IT) schools, I will discuss the top five IT schools in the nation.
1. Pennsylvania State University
Penn State University offers an Associate of Science in Information Sciences and Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology, and a Master of Professional Studies in Information Sciences. All courses are offered in a fully online format with small class sizes to promote discussion.
2. Northeastern University
Northeastern University offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology that is designed to prepare students to pursue a variety of careers in this fast growing field. They also offer online master's degree programs, including a Master of Science in Information Assurance and a Master of Professional Studies in Geographic Information Technology.
3. Walden University
Walden University offers a large variety of associate degrees, bachelor degrees, master degrees, and doctoral degrees in different IT areas such as health care informatics, information systems management, and data security. Walden University offers both on campus and online programs, so they are a good choice for someone who requires flexible scheduling.
4. Drexel University
Drexel University offers fully online bachelor's degrees in Computing and Security Technology, Information Technology, and Information Systems. They also offer a Master of Science in Information Systems with a Master of Science in Health Informatics coming soon.
5. University of Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts offers an Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. They also offer online programs awarding a number of IT related undergraduate and graduate certificates for students who just need to spice up their resume or gain knowledge in a specialized IT field.
The information technology field is constantly evolving which means that the demand for highly skilled professionals with up to date knowledge in the field is on the rise. Whether you choose to specialize in systems engineering, networking, or database administration, the number of careers open to highly trained information technology professionals is on the rise. With the right education, a career in this exciting field is well within your reach.

Science Teachers Use New Technology to Make Science Fun

A special hands on Science and Technology workshop is coming to San Antonio, Texas. This workshop is for science teachers and designed for them to learn more about the new technologies that have came out that make science more hands on. Currently, Science programs have labs once and a while, but mostly consist of bookwork. By introducing science teachers to these new technologies, they are able to create more fun and interactive science lessons.
Science is supposed to be a hands on subject. The fact that schools are creating lesson plans ore around bookwork doesn't help students fully understand the capabilities that science careers have to offer. When the teachers go to this Science and Technology workshop, this will give them more information to pass onto their students about the exciting things science careers have to offer. When teachers offer more labs and more hands on science training, it helps the students to learn better. Anything hands on is always better than bookwork. Of course, bookwork combined with labs is best. By adding technology to the labs, students are able to track data more efficiently and analyze it better.
When the teachers integrate the technology into the labs, students are amazing at how much more they can learn and track by having access to the science technology. The technology is said to enhance learning in chemistry, biology, physics, math, middle school science, physical science and earth science. It is so important for teachers to attend outside of school triaging and this Science and Technology Workshop is a great way to start.
Effective teachers are teachers that are constantly going out of their way to go above and beyond for their students. They are constantly attending trainings and seeking outside education to enhance their careers and give them tools to better their students and help learning be easier for them. No teacher likes to fail a student. They want their students to pay attention to what they are teaching, learn from them and score well on tests. Happy students in class create a healthy and thriving learning environment. Schools now a day lack the presence of effective teachers and it is so important for schools to hire great teachers. The union currently protects all the teachers who once were effective but have gotten lazy and are not anymore. How is this fair for the students?
A teacher that seeks outside education to better him or herself so they can be a better educator is great. Sadly it's rare for the United States schools to have a majority of effective teachers. By creating free workshops such as these, it give the teachers access to great tools that can better their teaching and create thriving learning environments for their students. Technology has come a long way and even since the teachers have graduated from college technology is ever changing! Its so important for these workshops to be readily available and also for schools to create workshops showing off the new technologies that have been invented to better their schools rating and their students test scores.

How A "Stupid Orphan Boy" Became The Father Of Science And What It Means For Your Online Business!

He was often heralded as "the most brilliant man that ever lived." He and Albert Einstein ranked #1 and #2 as history's leading world physicists.
He discovered the law of universal gravitation. He defined the law of planetary motion. He co-founded the principles and study of calculus. He discovered that white light is composed of all the colors of the spectrum.
More than any other, he is responsible for laying the foundation of our modern-day study of mathematics, astronomy, and physics. Yet this slow, awkward, and fatherless boy was abandoned by his widowed mother at the age of two and left to the care and keeping of his grandmother. As a young boy he did very poorly in grade school, was often teased about his stupidity, and was considered by his instructors very "unpromising." He became engaged at 19 but the romance with his sweetheart quickly cooled as she left him to marry someone else.
Then something miraculous happened.
The young man became engrossed in his studies and through diligence, persistence, and hard work he became the top student in his school. Surprisingly, his most important discoveries were made during a two-year period when the university he was attending was closed due to an epidemic of the plague. He was forced to retire to his home where he continued his self-tutoring.
So what miraculous change came over this young man? How did he rise above the challenges and dire circumstances forced upon him early in life? What lesson can you learn from his life about turning failure into success?
Here are his own words: "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." - Sir Isaac Newton
Newton was quick to give credit to and magnify or enlarge upon the contributions of those who had gone before him. His vision and perspective were greater than the masses because he continually built upon and perfected the knowledge, ideas, and work of his predecessors.
Small and home based business owners should do the same.
Today's online business environment at Internet speed is mind boggling! Change happens at a dizzying pace, new ideas and profitable selling models pop up constantly, emerging technologies appear on the scene like waves crashing on the beach one after another.
You don't have time to re-invent the principles of business success. You can't afford to wait upon perfection as you create a new business, web site or product. You can't continue personal learning at the expense of doing - both must happen continually together.

The Future of Agriculture and Technology

When considering jobs in agriculture, you must think both large and small. Large is agribusiness, big corporations developing new crops, fertilizers, pesticides and other products to produce high yield crops. Small, on the other hand, is the move toward local, organic foods, and small farms with hand raised crops and animals.
Agribusiness and large scale farming continues to be the primary source of food in the United States and many other nations. While traditional agricultural jobs of raising crops and animals remain important, agribusiness also encompasses numerous career paths in research and development as well as sales, marketing, and education. Jobs in agriculture are not the first thing one thinks of when studying biochemistry, engineering, biotechnology, or even computer sciences, but any of those degrees can open a path to lucrative employment in the agribusiness sector. As more and more functions become computerized, and as demand for food rises with population growth worldwide, high tech jobs in agriculture will continue to expand. Workers with both high tech and agricultural knowledge will be in demand.
On the other end of the scale, interest in organic and locally produced food has exploded in the last decade. Concern for health and the environment has led many people to begin choosing local and organic foods, even if they cost more. Farmer's markets have boomed, and even traditional grocery stores have expanded their organic food offerings.
What does this mean in terms of agricultural jobs? It means that large scale agriculture is not the only way to go. For the first time in decades there is an increase in people wanting to take up small farming on either a part time or full time basis. Many are approaching this as a second career or an entirely new career path and did not grow up in farming communities or working on farms. This means an increased demand for people with agricultural knowledge to teach school courses, write books, and consult with people setting up a new farm or perhaps transitioning to organic farming. Experts in farming and animal husbandry will find their expertise in demand as more people decide to grow food for themselves and their local community.

Word and Wisdom

Word and wisdom, God's Word and human interpretation. When the bible speaks about visible and invisible things, then we may consider them the material and the immaterial. However, one must be aware that formulas such as s=v × t, that people employ in applied science, are not to be found in the bible. The bible is not a human manual, but a divine one. According to Paul we now see through a dim glass into an enigma, then we will know as we have been known. Therefore all our thinking and actions remain limited, human efforts. But that does not mean that they are not conducive to understanding or unnecessary.
We must make good distinction between the following matters: in the bible there is mention of cooking, but the bible does not teach you to cook; also there are no recipes in it. But the Lord Jesus wants to help us and give us strength to live lives to His glory and each other's benefit. If you wish to learn cooking, you must not look for directions in the bible, but you must consult the practical wisdom that the Lord has laid in nature. Some accordingly state that He not only has given us the bible as a book, but also creation as a kind of book! So Paul argues: 'Does not nature teach you that it is an honor for a woman to have long hair, etc.'
Now, as far as my own anthropology and ethical theology is concerned: of course I endeavor to base them as much as possible on the bible. But I also attempt to learn from creation and partly from what others have to say on the subject. As long as things are not in contradiction with Scripture and of course they must have been inspired as much as possible by that.
Although nature teaches us many things that, built up over thousands of years, form the contemporary cultures of this World--from cookery to space technology--for them that love Him and His coming again, it is so that Scripture takes the most important place. Nature for us, in the end, is but a broken and fallen and even accursed creation that not only has lost its primary glory; but of which it is said that satan is the god of this age and the ruler of this world (cosmos in Greek and universe in Latin). So you see that the most modern technologies of the Romans only served to please their god, the devil. The Colosseum for instance in Rome is an example for arenas up till today, so perfect was that invention. But it served such a lewd pleasure for the masses that one could argue that it was the Romans themselves who were the barbarians and not the peoples that withstood them, such as the Germanic tribes. Our predecessors in the faith, the brothers and sisters of the Smyrna time period (see the second epistle of John in Revelation), were sacrificed there to the entertainment of the citizens of that metropolis. Therefore also we await a new heaven and a new earth.
As far as technologies from cooking to space travel are concerned, these things belong to the things of the world (again cosmos or universe) and they that are married are called upon to occupy themselves with them (1 Cor. 7) to please your partner. But we are also admonished to think on the things that are above, where our Lord is seated and not, in the first place, the things of this earth.
Consider therefore, in your studies, that human knowledge, based on nature, is part of the old, fallen creation and that universities are in the power of the adversary most of the time, in the sphere of influence of the prince of darkness. Also christian schools and universities do not escape his influence. His thoughts are not unknown to us, says Paul. He does not want us to love one another in all peacefulness, or, as the bible wants us to also, that we consider the good for everybody ahead of time; let alone that we come to worship the Father and the Son, or grow in that. Therefore he causes unrest under brothers and sisters and tries to shoot all his fiery darts at us. But we can stop those with the shield of the panoply of Ephesians 6 and extinguish them.
That God mocks the wisdom of the world, that Paul says in 1 Corinthians. 'He catches the wise in their own wisdom.' We would say, He beats them with their own weapons! And so you can see and hear that the great theories and philosophies follow each other up, while each philosopher considers himself the best, only to end literally in the grave of oblivion. Thinkers tend too much to absolute claims. 'The pattern or schema of this world passes by,' but 'he that lives for Him remains unto eternity.'

If You Are Good at Science and Want Good Money Consider a Patent Law Degree

What is Patent Law - Intellectual Property Law?
There are four main types of intellectual property: patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. The patent system exists in most industrialized countries and is designed to reward inventors and authors. Patents are granted by the US patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), where patents are carefully examined and protection granted for those that meet legal standards.
Copyright protection is governed by federal law and applies to literary, musical and dramatic works, to name a few. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute copies of their work. Limited use of the copyright work is allowed for education and research purposes without the permission of the copyright owner.
Trademarks can be a single word, or a group of words or a logo that is used for sale of goods. The owner of a trademark can exclude others from using it in the sales of their goods. It not only protects the trademark owner but the public as well as it minimizes confusion, and buying something that is in fact something else.
Required Education and Coursework
Patent law is a specialized field within the practice of law. To enter into this profession, you will need to accomplish a number of things. First you will have to obtain a college degree. Then you will have to enter and finish law school as well as pass the bar exam. Once you pass the bar exam, you then become licensed to practice law.
If you are thinking about specializing in patent law, it is best if you obtain a college degree in engineering, physics or natural sciences such as chemistry and biochemistry. To succeed in this profession a general knowledge, understanding and liking of science is a must.
Patent law degree programs cover courses such as intellectual property, copyright law, patent law and policy, trademark law and unfair competition, antitrust, bioethics, genetics and the law, international intellectual property, international trade law as well as patent claim drafting. This list is in no way exhaustive but it does give you an idea of the curriculum and skills targeted and developed within this profession.
Careers with Patent Law Degree
Patent lawyers work in a variety of settings, from corporations and law firms to universities and government agencies. In corporations, you would work as an in-house counsel. You would have expertise in the technology of your corporations and your main task would be driven by the business of the corporation. In law firms, you would have a wide variety of clients and would practice patent law across a wide spectrum of technologies. At universities, you could work as a law professor. In these types of positions, you would not only teach but have the time to do research and write articles and presentations on intellectual property law. The federal government employs a large number of patent lawyers. In this role you would represent the government and litigate on behalf of government agencies.
A Day in the Life of a Patent Lawyer
Patent lawyers spend most of their time in procurement and licensing of patents. Procurement of a patent begins with the inventor describing his/her invention to the lawyer. You would then have to evaluate your client's description and think about its utility, novelty and obviousness of invention. Your job at this stage is to evaluate if your client's idea can be labeled a valuable patent and if a patent application should be filed. In order to accomplish this task successfully you will have to have great mastery of law but also the technical field involved.
Let's say a decision is based to apply for a patent. Your job then is to draft a patent application and file it with USPTO. The application is rather elaborate and includes a detailed description of the patent, how it is made and how it will be used. A significant portion of the application defines the inventor's patent rights. Once filed, the application is assigned to an examiner. As a patent lawyer, you would be the main contact person for the examiner and would need to spend many hours in correspondents with the goal of getting a favorable final action for your client.
If the patent application is not approve, you would be responsible for filling appeals to the decision to the USPTO's Board of Appeals or even to the US Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit. However, if the patent application is approved, you will then develop and investigate licensing and filing corresponding patent applications in other countries.
Patent Lawyer Salary - How much could you make?
If you like what you read about patent law so far, you are going to love what comes next! According to, in 2005 the average patent lawyer salary was $115,000. The American Intellectual Property Law Association reports the average salary to be over $180,000. If this surprises you, it should not. Keep in mind that you must have a strong science or engineering background in order to become a patent attorney. Due to such high education demands, this specialization of law is more in-demand that other legal areas of practice. As a result, salaries are high.

Top Computer Schools

There are a number of computer schools in the United States that offer computer courses and have sprung up due to the increasing demand for trained Information Technology (IT) professionals. With so many schools and institutes to choose from, it is difficult to decide on the computer school that is best. In the decision process for the top computer schools, consider the reputation of the institute offering the computer courses, the type of courses offered, whether the latest courses are available, the faculty that is engaged and the success rate of the computer school. Most of this information is readily available in the computer school's prospectus, brochure, or their website.
For an individual, it is practically impossible to find out all the information pertaining to all the relevant computer schools and compare them and arrive at the results for the top computer schools. Certain companies carry out yearly surveys about the various schools, colleges and universities and compile them based on the courses offered. The US News and World report had surveyed more than 2000 traditional colleges and virtual universities in the year 2006 and compiled a directory of the undergraduate and graduate level courses, certificates and degrees.
Based on their survey, The University of California, Berkeley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University (PA), Stanford University, Cornell University (NY), University of Washington, Princeton University (NJ), Rice University (TX), University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University (MA), University of California-Los Angeles, and the Columbia University (NY) are some of the top ranking schools in the United States of America, in the computers field. There are some online computer schools as well that offer certificate, associate and graduate level courses in computers, to name a few, DeVry University, ITT Technical Institute and the University of Phoenix.

A Guide To Computer Schools

The world of business and professional expertise has experienced a boom in the field of IT (Information Technology). The IT job market has taken long strides in the past decade and has risen to one of the most sought after professions around. This phenomenon has led to the corresponding proliferation of computer schools. These schools churn out trained professionals for the IT sector to cater to the rising demand for IT professionals in the job market.
Computer schools have been established in many of the renowned educational institutions in the USA, and some institutions also provide online training and certification facilities. They provide training in a wide range of IT and its allied subjects to create experts in the field. The core IT skills involve a knowledge of A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) and CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). The database Design and administration field involves training in MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator), and OCA (Oracle Certificate Authority). For Software development training, one needs knowledge of MCAD (Microsoft Certified Application Developer), MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer), MCSD.NET and SCJP (Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform).
Students are trained in office applications in MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist). In the IT engineering field, training is provided for MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Developer), and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer). In the field of Network Design and Network Engineering, students are trained in CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate) and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional). For the web design and Internet area of expertise, students are trained as Certified Internet Webmaster Associate, Master Certified Internet Webmaster Designer, and Master Certified Internet Webmaster Website Manager.
There are some other allied fields for computer training such as a Computer Repair School, Computer Animation Schools, Computer Graphics School, Computer Training School, Computer programming schools, and Computer Science Schools.

Computer Science Schools Then And Now

Most, if not all, students who attend computer science schools are probably subjected to writing a program to print the infamous Hello World. Programming languages may have changed over the generations, yet there is a clear and apparent need to clear this hurdle. Others may attest to countless hours of tuning the movements of the bouncing ball against time and gravity. Although it may not be as torturous as it sounds, it certainly presents itself as an archaic version of computer games. Since all work and no play make a dull individual, this is possibly the initial effort to stimulating creativity and innovation.
If one is interested in pursuing this line of profession or satiate interest in the subject, countless options for formal education in computer are available. Since the internet is the mode of communication for the technologically apt, many turn to the web. As one is bound to be hit by millions of results by the friendly search engine, the better method is perhaps to first ascertain one's interest.
If one has no inkling on where and how to start, perhaps some introductory courses offered by local computer science schools are feasible options. Normally offered on a short duration at a reasonable cost, it acquaints the interested novice with the basics. At end of course, it is hopeful that he or she finds his compass pointing in the right direction. Interest established can then be further honed by enrolling in relevant courses.
One focused on getting formal education in computers is recommended to review the curriculum offered by the various institutions. Some schools often design their programs in accordance to their faculty staff's expertise. Since not all courses are created the same way, it is worth the extra effort to ascertain the program meets one's expectations. Enrolling in a reputed school also propels one's chances of better placement upon graduation.

Cheap Computer Programming Schools

Computer programming courses deal with teaching computer-programming language to students. Languages such as C++, C, Visual Basic, COBOL, PERL, HTML, JAVA, JAVA SCRIPT, ORACLE and many more l are used for coding purposes.
Advanced courses may focus on topics about using a specific computer language or on implementing a particular type of application (such as web programming). Computer Science programs that lead to a Bachelor Degree usually begin with a serious emphasis on computer programming. This foundation is basically for learning more theoretical aspects of computer technology.
There are a number of certificate courses available, focused on developing computer applications using particular technologies. Microsoft offers MCSD, which focuses on developing applications using Visual Basic, Visual C++ and other Microsoft technologies. Many programming schools offer certification courses in Java programming language. CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) offers tracks directed on web development.
Most Computer programming schools are equipped vith up-to-date software and hardware tools for students, enabling them to join the computer industry. Many students enroll for various types of computer courses during their vacations to upgrade their computer knowledge. Such vacation courses often offer discounted fees. Computer programmers typically work in jobs like building commercial software applications, web development, building custom applications for use within a company, database development, computer game programming and many others. Companies requiring their staff to be proficient in such skills may offer to subsidize fees for their employees.
There are cheap computer programming schools available in every city. However, students must keep in mind the quality of service that is provided by these schools. Many schools may offer computer courses for a very low fee, but these schools may not be recognized and companies may not employ people from these schools. It is advisable to opt for a package that suits the specific needs of a person instead of going for a detailed course.
Generally, when schools offer cheap education, they normally compromise on quality. A number of online sites are available that provide detailed information of schools available specifically for programming. It is advisable for students to first visit these schools and then make a rational decision before enrolling.

Food Science Schools - Career Training Options

Food science career training programs are available to those who are looking to receive the education needed to pursue a career in this field. Accredited food science schools offer career training options that allow students to prepare for the culinary career they desire. Students can receive the training and education needed to enter a career that meets their personal and educational career goals. With an education in this field students will have the skills to find the employment they desire in the specialized area they choose.
Students looking to obtain an education in this field can choose from a variety of specialized areas. These areas include:

  • Dietetics
  • Nutrition
  • Food science

With a number of accredited schools and colleges available students have the option to train for:

  • Certificates
  • Associates degrees
  • Bachelors degrees
  • Masters degrees
  • Doctorates degrees

With an accredited degree or certificate program students will have the opportunity to gain the education they need to pursue the career they desire.
Students can enroll in an undergraduate degree training program through a number of schools and colleges. Undergraduate degrees in food science consist of an associates and a bachelor's degree. With an accredited associates degree program students can obtain a degree in as little as two years. A bachelor's level of study can take up to four years to complete. With an associates or bachelors program students will be able to study courses such as:

  • Dietary
  • Nutrition
  • Safety and sanitation
  • Food technology
  • Organic chemistry

Study at these degree levels will provide students with the opportunity to pursue careers working as:

  • Dieticians
  • Food service managers
  • Nutritionists

With an accredited associates or bachelors degree in food science students will gain the knowledge to enter the workforce prepared.
Graduate level degree training programs are also available from a number of accredited educational facilities. Students can pursue degrees at a masters and doctorates level in food science. Degree training at these levels can take anywhere from two to four years depending on the degree level and desired career. Students looking to earn a masters or doctorates degree can expect to enter careers working in places such as:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Bars
  • Food retail companies
  • Food processing plants

With a degree at either of these levels students may be required to study a variety of coursework including training in agriculture, food microbiology, and food production. Students can also study in fitness, nutrition, ingredient technology, food regulations, and more. A graduate degree can open a world of opportunities for those looking to enter the workforce with an education in food science.
Students can also enroll in continuing education courses to enhance their skills in a specific area. Food science educational programs train students to pursue their desired career in the field. With educational opportunities available from a variety of programs students can gain the skills and knowledge needed to enter into the career of their dreams.

Florida Schools Get Great AP Grades

The national College Board's 2007Advanced Placement Report to the Nation brought good news to Florida Schools. Findings from the organization reported overall improvements for high schools students achieving high rated Advanced Placement test scores. Nationally, 14.8% of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams scored a 3 or higher in 2006, up 14.1% from 2005.
Educators in the Florida Schools viewed this report with interest for a couple of reasons. First of all, Florida Schools are interested in the accompanying study that reports a strong correlation between students who take AP courses in high school and experience academic success in college. Secondly, Florida Schools ranked well in most areas of the report.
Florida Schools ranked 7th in the nation for states with the largest percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or better on their AP exams. 19.8% of AP students in the Florida Schools achieved this goal. Top scorer New York State had 22.7% of its AP students in this upper echelon.
Florida Schools also were in the top five states to show the most improvement in AP scores between 2000 and 2006. Finally, the College Board recognized Florida Schools as one of the top achievers in eliminating equity gaps of Latino students. This means that the percentage of Latino students represented in Florida Schools has increased in relation to their overall percentage of attendance. According to College Board President Gaston Caperton, "Florida is one state that has dramatically expanded AP participation and improved performance among Latino students. In Florida, the percentage of AP students who are Latino actually exceeds the percentage of students that are Latino in the population."
State funding is used to give Florida Schools professional teacher development. And the Florida Schools use PSAT/NSMQT scores to identify potentially successful AP students. Finally, Florida Schools awards educators for high student achievement on the AP exams.
Along with California, New York, and Texas, the Florida Schools have more schools cited in the report than any other states. Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia received the most mentions of all high schools in the nation. Despite on-going challenges to meet the needs of a state full of diversity and challenges, Florida Schools are clearly making strides towards their goals.
Florida Schools participate in the College Board's Advanced Placement Program® which allows high students to take college level courses. Administrators in Florida Schools say that those students participating the AP courses not only do better in college, but also end up taking more credit hours in their major course of study. In addition to Sunshine State standards and the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), Florida Schools are trying to increase the number of its students attending four-year college and completing the degree in that timeframe.

Should We Treat Military Acquisition Contracting As a Science and Use Algorithmic Decision Making?

Now then, even though I am an advocate for research technology, I don't know if I believe that everything in our society, and all the decisions we make at every level, in every business, every agency, and even in our academic and military institutions ought to be done by an artificially intelligent computer rather than a human. Whereas it is true that humans make mistakes, I would submit to you that computers can also, especially because they were programmed by a human, and because things change and there are different future parameters than there were at the time the software or algorithms were written. Let's go ahead and talk about this for second shall we?
Not long ago, I read an interesting paper by David V. Lamm from the Naval Postgraduate School "Contracting as a Science" and he discussed amongst many other things the question; "Why a Contracting Science?" He suggests that there are many ways to tackle the challenge of creating decision-making software for the military when determining which weapon system acquisitions to make, and that a decision tree could be created to pick the winners of the defense contractor bidders on every single contract - and do so more efficiently with a guarantee of no corruption, mistakes, and fewer challenges or protests of the winning bidder, as such things take time, delay projects, and cause political firestorms.
Interestingly enough, I've always been one who believes that in the future the eRepublic will be how our government is run. That we will have decision-making artificially intelligent computers managing our government, military, and academic institutions - the reason I believe this is because when a human being is given too many parameters, their ability to make the best decision starts to fall down. For an artificial intelligent computer, often the opposite is true, the more parameters given help it make the best statistical choice.
Perhaps a good example of this was when Watson, IBM's supercomputer beat the very best human Jeopardy players, and each time it gave its own best guess statistically of the prospects of that answer being correct. If you added more parameters, the statistical chance of it being right go up dramatically, as in 99.999%. Wouldn't it be nice if our government made all the right decisions? What if our military choices in the acquisitions it made for its weapons systems were always the best choice, to tackle any future adversary.

If You Love Science And Solving Mysteries, Consider Going To School To Become A Crime Lab Technician

You might think the only thing a biology degree is good for is being a biologist; that is not the case. Majoring in this field provides a solid foundation that can help students prepare for a number of fascinating careers. One profession such a degree can be used for is a crime laboratory technician.
Crime lab technicians (CLT) search for and collect photographs and preserve evidence. CLTs have the capability (and technology) to link almost every kind of criminal to the scene of the crime or to the victim. They work with fingerprints, blood, clothing, and even teeth marks to help piece together the crime scene. Everything that they do helps to determine if a crime has been committed.
Crime lab technicians not only find evidence for the purpose of the incriminating the suspect, they also find evidence that helps protect an innocent person from possible misinterpretation of evidence. In other words, the CLT works the crime scene to possibly implicate or exonerate an individual. Consequently, one must be objective and without bias. Of course, these are traits scientists are renowned for.
You have probably seen scenes in television cop shows when the detective comes on the scene; there is a mass of people moving, gather items, and taking photos. They are representative of the crime lab technician. When in the field, the technician's job is to reconstruct the crime, look for evidence, and take photographs of the setting. This individual also preserve tire tread prints, footprints, and other marks by making plaster casts.
The CLT works in the laboratory as well as at the crime scene. In the lab, the technician uses his or her scientific skills by analyzing evidence using instruments like microscopes, spectroscopes, and infrared and ultraviolet light. Substances that may have been digested or injected into the victim such as poisons, alcohol, and narcotics are examined in the lab, and the results are carefully documented for report purposes.
Good communications skills, oral and written, are essential for being a crime laboratory technician. These professionals must be able to prepare detailed reports of all of their findings. They also must be orally proficient, as they are often times required to testify in court as expert witnesses on evidence or laboratory techniques used. Crime laboratory technicians should be naturally curious, conscientious, and responsible and have a good sense of judgment.
There are programs in crime laboratory technology at some colleges; it may be listed as "forensic science." There also are programs at two-year colleges that offer Associate's degree programs in "forensic technician." Both of these programs require similar courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, zoology, and physiology, to name a few. Advanced degrees and specialization in a given area like ballistics, medicine, or drugs qualify a person as a criminologist. This professional supervises crime lab technicians.

Helping the Heart: Cardiovascular Technology and Cardiac Sonography

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." These words were spoken by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, twenty-five hundred years ago, but they remain today as true as ever. But the heart is so much more than the metaphor for the individual's emotional life. As we have come to understand the science of the body, this muscular organ at the centre of the circulatory system has been given great significance in the healthcare industry.

You don't have to become a doctor to specialize in helping others have healthy hearts. There are many qualified assistant careers that are taught that can put you in a position to work with doctors in treating various conditions of the heart, for example, the cardiovascular technologist and cardiac sonographer.

Cardiovascular technology is an assistant to physicians dealing with diagnosis and treatment of cardiac and peripheral vascular problems. In order to become a cardiovascular technologist, one has to complete a two-year program that has accredited status (for example, by the Canadian Medical Association). These programs prepare the future professional to perform a variety of tests, such as:

    Electrocardiography traces impulses from the heart with electrodes.
    Holter ambulatory monitoring observes electrical activity of the cardiovascular system over extended periods of time.
    Exercise training, for example stress tests conducted on a treadmill for blood pressure information.
    Pacemaker follow-up involves regular checkups of the functioning of an internal electrical heart regulator.
    Ambulatory BP monitoring involves the intermittent monitoring of blood pressure.

After completing these various health courses, many graduates continue their education to get training in diagnostic cardiac sonography. Also known as an echo-cardiographer, or cardiac ultrasound technologist, these specialists use ultrasound to examine and monitor the heart and its various components and functions, for example blood flow, valve and muscle functions, and chamber sizes. While cardiac sonographers are not responsible for making diagnoses and deciding upon treatments themselves, they work closely with the doctors to whom they present their findings and results to make further analyses and treat the patients.

Pursuing health and technology training in these fields is hard work but with rewarding results. Programs for cardio-medical assistants take the student through thorough theoretical education and clinical practice. They give the student extensive laboratory experience, with simulated and real situations using state-of-the-art equipment. An excellent cardio program should also offer the student real clinical training with affiliated clinical agencies.

SMART Grants - Educational Grants For The Student Of Math, Science And Languages

National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants assist those undergraduate post-secondary students that major in other languages or certain designated technical fields. Financial grant assistance is provided on need-basis to help these students meet their educational expenses.
National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants are overseen by way of the Department of Education and fall under the Federal Student Aid Information Center. To become entitled to a this, students need to be signed up for eligible schools that might be public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education. These can include but are not limited to universities, colleges, hospital schools of nursing, vocational-technical schools and for- profit institutions.
Only specific majors meet the requirements to be considered for a this grant. These are Science (including life sciences, physical science and computer science), Technology, Engineering, Critical foreign language studies, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mathematics, and certain natural resource conservation and multidisciplinary programs.
National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants are not accessible for graduate students or those students who have already completed a bachelor's degree without any exceptions possible. The student should be enrolled in a four-year degree program, be in either their third or the fourth year of said program and be allowed to receive a Pell Grant in the same year that they want to be considered for a SMART Grant. Students must also maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Students really need to sign a statement of educational purpose, are not allowed to owe a refund on another a Title IV grant, and cannot currently have a Title IV loan that is defaulted.
While the program itself is overseen by the Department of Education, the institution that the student is enrolled in will act as the disbursing agent. The institution calculates and pays the SMART Grants. This can be done using a payment schedule put together by the Department of Education. The Department of Education will then calculate if the student is eligible for assistance and the office the student sent the original application sent to will send the student a notification whether or not they were eligible for assistance. The student then delivers this received notification to the institution and will have their grant calculated from there. The funding available and the selection of recipients that the institution estimates will determine this payment schedule.
The total grants were $230,000,000 in 2007; approximately $260,000,000 in 2008; and approximately $270,000,000 in 2009. Depending on the need of the student and how much they are assigned, the grant received through the program can range upwards of $4000. SMART Grants assistance cannot exceed the student's actual price of education. The normal reward for students was around $3,291.

Online School For a Veterinary Technician

Advances in technology and science have created a promising niche for those looking to enter the veterinary and animal care industry. The position of veterinary technician, or vet tech for short, is one of the promising careers on the rise. Individuals specialized in this area assist vets and manage many other aspects of pet and animal care in zoos, labs, and vet clinics. But before a person can obtain such a position, he or she must first pass an accredited program and exam.
Enrolling in an online school for veterinary technician is a convenient and effective way of pursuing this goal, and it is a growing form of distance learning in the veterinary field. Because of this growing popularity, there are now a number of colleges and institutions which offer veterinary science and animal care degrees online.
Penn Foster schools is a nation wide institution which offers students a chance to receive either a veterinary technician or veterinary assistant diploma. This institution specializes in distance and and correspondence educations and takes students from across the country. Coursework for this program consists of nine instruction sets which cover all necessary training points. Exams and supplemental components also comprise programs from Penn Foster.
Ashworth College is a another distance learning institution which has an online school for veterinary technician studies, and its courses are centered around veterinary assistant tasks. Semesters are open ended, and program enrollment can begin at any given time. The program itself consists of 22 parts or lessons, and it comprises the prevention and care of injuries and illnesses for domesticated and undomesticated animals. All texts and materials are paid for in Ashworth's tuition, and the time needed for the completion of this program depends upon the commitment and time constraints of the student.
A third online veterinary technician school is Excelsior College based in New York. This school promises to instruct students on both the medical and administrative principles needed to become a successful veterinary technologist or assistant. Additionally, information regarding the process of pursuing and obtaining a career in the field is also given.
All in all, enrolling in an online school for veterinary technician studies is a wise choice for anyone passionate about the care and treatment of animals as well as dedicated to continuing education. The fact that these courses can be completed online, often largely at your own pace and convenience, also means that they can be worked into most schedules without excessive conflicts.

$250 Million Effort Illustrates Need For Better Science Education

Recently, the President announced several new public-private collaborations that would make investments of more than $250 million to help train more than 10,000 new math and science instructors and provide additional training to more than 100,000 existing teachers. There is a determined push to employ teachers who can assertively and enthusiastically educate in the area of science.

"Passionate educators with deep content expertise can make all the difference," President Obama stated in a prepared speech, "enabling hands-on learning that truly engages students -- including girls and underrepresented minorities -- and preparing them to tackle the 'grand challenges' of the 21st century such as increasing energy independence, improving people's health, protecting the environment and strengthening national security."

American students' rankings in science continue to plummet compared to various other nations, which does not bode well for our ability to innovate and compete in the future. All of this points out that our educational institutions are still failing to properly educate kids in the science and math they will need to be successful in their adult professions. There is a need to use engaging science materials at an early age, particularly for those who educate privately or at home.

The administration's crusade is called "Educate to Innovate" and is pursuing numerous avenues to increase U.S. students' rank in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (See the full White House press release for information on how colleges and private companies are working on the issue.)

Home schoolers and private educators of all backgrounds must feel confident in being able to present science lessons and make them exciting for the student - just like the national effort to train professional teachers. What about President Obama singling out the need to engage girls? Here's just one sign that points out that problem: Barely 17% of undergraduate engineering degrees are awarded to women.

Biology, Science and Nature Books

Astronomy and Cosmology
Cosmology is the name given to a range of natural sciences, including both physics and astronomy that intends to provide an explanation for how the universe works as an integrated entity. Over the centuries, since the Pythagoreans in Greece during the 6th century BC considered the possibility that Earth was spherical, cosmology has come a long way and has integrated a variety of different fields of science.
Cosmology evolved from the observation of these Greeks who interpreted the natural laws of the heavenly bodies from which, eventually, the Ptolemaic model developed during the second century AD. Centuries later, during the 16th century, the Copernican system further developed the theories surrounding astronomy and cosmology - followed, in the 20th century, by the theories of special relativity and Albert Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Overall, however, the case for cosmology states that the laws of physics work the same everywhere and that there is homogeneity throughout the universe.
'The Holographic Universe', written by Michael Talbot, tells its story in two parts: the first part devotes 55 pages to discussing David Bohm's holographic model of the universe - simplified into everyday language by Talbot. The second part of the book delves into events of the paranormal while, at the same time, attempting to rationalise the holographic model. Talbot introduces the rdader to Karl Pribram as well as the philosophies of David Bohm.
Chemistry and biochemistry often go hand-in-hand, existing in parallel with other scientific disciplines such as dietetics [the science of food]. McCance and Widdowson, who produce 'The Composition of Foods' summarises food composition tables and updates much in the way of nutrition as a science. The foreword to the 6th edition has been written by Sir John Krebs while the actual volume itself provides an invaluable source of reference to dieticians and nutritionists the world over.
Meanwhile,'Principles of Biochemistry' by Nelson D has been described as a 'modern approach to biochemistry'. Personally, one of the best biochemistry books I have ever encountered was that written by Patterson - now, sadly, long since out of print. I attribute my successful pass in the biochemistry exams to the presence of Patterson which, by the time I had finished with it, was particularly dog-eared! Nelson D's 'Principles of Biochemistry' really is the next best thing to Patterson and a worthy successor.
Earth Sciences and Geography
Earth sciences are a catch-all term covering a different range of natural sciences from those mentioned above. These relate to the study of the earth and how different parts of it are interlinked to produce that homogenous whole that is the classic feature of the scientific world. If you are interested in the world around you then you may be interested in a lovely book by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. This book 'The Cloud Collector's Handbook' is full of charming pictures, below which you will find a short description of each cloud and space for you to record your own sightings. It certainly gives a new connotation to having your head in the clouds!
If you think about it, there is all the difference in the world between someone who loves school and somebody who loves to learn: it doesn't necessarily follow that, if you love to learn, then you must enjoy school. Education, however, is all about learning for the sheer pleasure of gaining new information. This learning may or may not be associated with school: it can even cover any subject. Evidence of this can be seen in Richard Dawkins' book 'The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution'.
Dawkins goes about educating his readers, explaining to them how fossils can be dated accurately, all about plate tectonics etc, before going into the details of how these may be linked with the global distribution of plants and animals and the effects changes in these physical elements can have on them. Dawkins, whilst making it clear that he is aware [and who could not be?] of the great debate on creation v evolution, doesn't get drawn into the minutiae surrounding this eternal dispute.
Engineering and Technology
One book that I simply have to recommend is a fantastic book written by Jo Marchant. You will find it in our Science and Nature section under the heading of Engineering and Technology. The first thing to say is that this is not some dry and boring technical tome. This book relates the story behind a particularly ancient Greek artefact and what it took to decode its hidden mysteries. The book is called 'Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer'. I wish Jo Marchant had found a more intriguing title for her book because this title really doesn't do this book justice.
The book relates the story of the Antikythera Mechanism which has been shown to have amazing capabilities as an astronomical calculator: scientists believe its complexity was at least 1500 years before its time. The Antikythera Mechanism artifact is a good 2,000 years old and was found during a dive in 1901. Scientists have been attempting to unravel its secrets ever since. So, if it's a true-life mystery you are interested, or a book that's a bit different I would strongly recommend this well-written and interesting book of Jo Marchant's.

Pursuing an Accredited Education in Computer Science

Do you enjoy working with computers? Would you like to pursue a career in computer science? If so then there are numerous educational options available for you to gain an accredited education in this exciting field. Training for a career in computer science can be completed at numerous levels, allowing you to choose the educational path that fits your needs and goals. You can prepare by researching available programs, choosing the one that's right for you, and enrolling today.
Undergraduate Degree
When looking to gain an education in computer science, you can pursue an undergraduate degree. There are two degrees offered at this level including the associate and bachelor degree. Training can take two years to obtain an accredited associate level degree, and four years for a bachelor degree in the field. Coursework and other required training will vary by degree but will cover various topics relating to the desired profession. Studies may consist of learning about:
  • Data Structures
  • Computer Programming
  • Database Systems
  • Operating Systems
  • Software Engineering
  • Website Design
  • Systems Analysis
  • Interface Design
...and much more. When you choose to gain an accredited undergraduate education in computer science you will be preparing for a number of exciting careers. You will have the chance to seek employment as a computer scientist, database administrator, systems analyst, computer programmer, software publisher, IT worker, and many other professions. You can also choose to obtain an accredited graduate level degree in order to further your education.
Graduate Degree
Training in the field of computer science can also be done at the graduate level, allowing you to earn an accredited master or doctoral level degree. Training typically takes and additional two to four years for completion and will prepare you for the workforce. You will be able to study topics that relate to the career you desire as well as the level of education being pursued. Coursework may include the study of subjects like:
  • Computer Hardware Design
  • Operating Systems
  • Web Development
  • Computability Theory
  • C++ Programming
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Java Programming
  • Numeric Hydrodynamics
...and other relative courses. Gaining an education in areas like these will give you the needed skills and knowledge to seek employment. You can enter into the workforce as a professional IT manager, systems manager, computer consultant, database manager, computer programmer, and more working in computer graphics design, network administration, teaching, and many other areas. Start the path to a new career by enrolling in an accredited program today.

Computer Science Degree and Learning Options

By gaining an accredited education in computer science students will have the opportunity to enter into a number of exciting career positions. There are a variety of accredited schools and colleges to choose from that allow students to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the field of computer education. Students can enroll in the program that best fits their individual career goals to obtain the degree of their choice. There are four possible degrees to choose from including an associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorates level degree.
1. Associate Degree
Obtaining an accredited associates degree in computer science can be done by enrolling in a two year program. Students will be able to train in areas specific to their desired career. Coursework may differ based on the program of attendance but may involve:
  • Data Structures
  • Database Systems
  • Math
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems Analysis

With the skills acquired through these types of courses students will have the necessary preparation to seek employment after graduation. Possible careers with an accredited associate's degree in computer science may include computer scientist, systems analyst, database administrator, and many other related professions. With an associates degree students have the choice of furthering their training with a bachelor's degree program.
2. Bachelor Degree
Students can earn an accredited bachelors degree in computer science by gaining a four year education from a number of schools and colleges. Bachelor's degree coursework in this field may vary but typically includes the study of subjects like:
  • Computer Programming
  • Operating Systems
  • Website Design
  • Multi-media Systems
  • Interface Design

By gaining the skills and knowledge provided by a bachelors degree program students can pursue the career that best fits their individual needs and goals. Students can pursue a variety of careers in a number of fields by gaining an accredited education at this level. Possible professions include computer consultant, computer programmer, IT worker, software publisher, and more. A bachelor's degree will prepare students for work or a master's degree program.
3. Master Degree
Master degree career training programs are available to those looking to obtain an additional two years of education. Curriculum for a master's degree will vary depending on the program of enrollment and career desired, but may consist of studying:
  • Computer Hardware Design
  • Web Development
  • Operating Systems
  • C++ Programming
  • Java Programming

The knowledge obtained through an accredited master's degree program will allow students to enter into a number of careers in the field. IT manager, corporate information systems manager, database manager, computer consultant, and computer programmer, are all available careers with a masters degree in computer science. With an accredited masters degree students will be prepared to enter the workforce or further education at a doctoral or PhD level.
4. Doctoral Degree/PhD
Students have the opportunity to earn a doctoral degree or PhD in computer science. This can be done with an additional four years of training. Course subjects of study will vary but may include the study of:
  • Operating Systems
  • Computability Theory
  • Natural language Processing
  • Numeric Hydrodynamics
  • Networks and distributes Systems

With knowledge and skill in these areas students will be prepared for careers working in computer graphics design, website development, network administration, research, help desk operation, teaching, and much more. By earning an accredited doctoral degree in computer science students can start the career of their dreams.

The School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences Is A Qualified Program Within The School Of Harvard

Harvard University, a private Ivy League College, is located in Cambridge Massachusetts. Harvard is the oldest university in the United States and was first established back hn 1636. Harvard has campuses in and around Boston, with its main campus encompassing 210 acres just three and a half miles outside of downtown Boston. The University has over 2,000 faculty members on staff to teach the nearly 22,000 students who make up the school.
One popular choice for undergraduate students who attend Harvard is to pursue a Bachelors Degree at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This school has worked with researchers in order to bring together an engineering and applied science program that utilizes discovery and innovation to improve society and life in the 21st century. The school uses a multidisciplinary approach in order to fully educate their students in science, art, and humanities within the application of engineering principles. The school's goal is to create a place where students can use engineering and applied science to address and face the challenges facing society today.
One Bachelors Degree Program within Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is Applied Mathematics. This concentration is made for students who wish to combine their interest in mathematics and mathematical reasoning along with an interest in another specific field of intellectual doings. An example of this is Einstein's invention of the theory of relativity. Einstein used mathematical methods from differential geometry and applied them to the structure of space and time. Students who choose this concentration can apply mathematics to a number of different fields including science, economics, and even sociology and history.
The Biomedical Engineering concentration is a new program at Harvard and was first put into place in the fall of 2010. This concentration educates engineers who want to become prominent leaders within the emerging field of Biomedical Engineering. Students who enroll in this program will combine physics and chemistry principles to the operation of living systems in a highly quantitative approach. Students will work to transform abstract hypothesis and scientific knowledge into working systems, such as prosthetic devices and imaging systems.
Another concentration area that is a part of Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is Computer Science. The Computer Science concentration allows students to partake in research about software, graphics, artificial intelligence, networks, systems, algorithms, and theory. At Harvard the Computer Science concentration allows its students to link to a myriad of other fields including electrical engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and business. Harvard is able to offer students interested in Computer Science the chance to work in small classes with a student/faculty ration of 5:1, as well as giving students the opportunity and ability to work hands on with the latest tools and technologies.
The Engineering Sciences concentration allows for students to work on a variety of different topics within five tracks. The five tracks available in the Engineering Sciences are Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering Physics, Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and Mechanical Materials Sciences and Engineering. These five tracks allow students to narrow in on a particular field that best suits their interests.
The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard allows students the opportunity to take part in different research projects during the course of their undergraduate program. Students have participated in such research as bioengineering, cryptography, and environmental engineering. Harvard also has twelve separate clubs that students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences can join in order to further their knowledge base and connect with other students in their field.

Renaissance Science and Education's Cult of Fear

Maria Montessori, the molecular biologist Sir C P Snow and the engineer Buckminster Fuller, warned that modern science must be reunited with the Classical Greek life science Humanities in order to prevent the destruction of civilization. They stressed that the obstacle preventing this was an inadequate understanding of the second law of thermodynamics. Fuller balanced that law with his synergetic biological energy derived from the Classical Greek world view. Fullerene fractal logic has now been used to establish a new life science in defiance of the present fixed world view. Fuller considered that the catalyst for avoiding oblivion would be via the Arts. It can be argued that the Western educational system is actually preventing the new balanced understanding of the second law, which Montessori referred to as the greed energy law, by employing a culture of fear, in particular concerning the second law of thermodynamics.
Firstly, the existence of a more general culture of fear within the Australian educational system is now a common knowledge concept. Leading up to the June, 2010, removal of the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, allegations of organized greed within the educational system concerning billions of dollars allocated for the construction of school buildings were continually reported by the national newspaper, The Australian. On June 30th a front page story reported that a 14 million dollar task force established to investigate the issue was unlikely to hear complaints about the schools stimulus program from 110 NSW principals. The investigation team could not offer those principals "anonymity" and they were consequently silenced by a "culture of fear", emanating from the NSW Education department.
Secondly, a far more serious aspect of coercion within the Australian educational system was alluded to within a Higher Education article published by The Australian on March 8th 2006, entitled 'Muzzling of Science', written by Professor Julian Cribb, Editor of the R&D REVIEW at the University of Technology in Sydney. Professor Cribb wrote "Publish or perish used to be the mantra by which the researcher lived or died. Today, according to an increasing number of eminent scientists in unpopular fields, Australian researchers can do both". He defined 'unpopular' as "any of those fields of science liable to produce evidence unsettling to the fixed world-view held by governments, business, special interest lobbies or that most anonymous and unaccountable of research controllers, the stakeholders". Professor Cribb explained how reprisals were being enforced, noting that once enacted, it is hard in science to find another job that isn't in a taxi.
The second complaint about a culture of fear within the Australian educational system is directly relevant to the second law of thermodynamics because that law entirely governs the fixed world view controlling university education in Australia. In 1996 the Australian government was taken to task in an Open Letter to the United Nations Secretariat for committing crimes against humanity because of that fact. A several year peer review investigation by the United Nations University Millennium Project, Australasian Node, resulted in a official endorsement of that complaint on September 5th, 2006.
The expenditure of 14 million dollars in Australia to investigate general greed allegations within the educational system is a paltry figure compared to the tens of millions of pounds sterling spent in England attempting to discover new technologies from Sir Isaac Newton's unpublished more profound physics principles to balance the mechanical description of the universe. Newton's balanced world view was in defiance of the present fixed world view. Classification of the balancing physics principles as a criminal heresy by some people can be considered as part of the fear culture that will not tolerate challenges to the present fixed world view, which is governed by what Montessori called the greed energy law.
The growing unsettling evidence supporting numerous challenges to the fixed world view's understanding of the second law of thermodynamics can be considered to represent an attempt to bridge Sir C P Snow's widening culture gap between modern entropic science and the negentropic life science of the Classical Greek Humanities. From the evidence presented within this article we might well consider Buckminster Fuller's consideration justifiable, that it will be up to the artistic creative thinkers of the world to prevent
the unbalanced second law bringing about the destruction of civilization.