Monthly Archives: March 2010

Science Projects ~ Science Fun & Science Fair Success

Science is a core subject, whether you are in charge of a homeschool science class or are teaching science in a public or private school, you are most likely looking for fun, exciting things to do to get kids involved in and excited about science. The great thing about science is that there are so many different areas to cover that you can really mix it up and find something to spark the interest of almost any child.

Science projects for a science fair or show are probably one of the best ways to make science fun and memorable for children and teens. However this can also be a cause of teen stress and even stress for parents if the child/teen does not have a natural love and curiosity for science. The first place to start is to choose a specific area of science for your project; life science, earth and space, physical science, science and technology, or some other science area that you find interesting. Then you can start looking for science project ideas. We have a great list of science projects here, or we have also found a fabulous resource in this Homeschool Science Activity Manual and Video Guide. These are simple projects that will be fun and also very informative. When you actually do something and see the process, you are much more likely to be interested in it and remember it.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to always put safety first, make sure kids have appropriate tools and equipment, and someone to supervise all their projects. This may be easier in homeschool science but try and get parents involved in the schools to make it possible there as well. Then keep a good attitude and make it fun. We all have different learning styles but nobody enjoys a long boring lecture about the history of science. However, most people love actually seeing and understanding how science history has created so many of the incredible things we take for granted everyday like electricity, running water, and microwaves. Science is all around us. Whether or not we enjoy learning about it is all determined by the way it is presented.

Benefits of College – Junior College

As high school students near graduation, there are some important decisions to be made about their post secondary education. Where to attend college is one of them. While many are attracted to large, reputable, and expensive universities, others will seek the advantages of a junior college for the first two years. Junior colleges provide some benefits that a university may lack. Plus, if a student starts at a junior college and later transfers to graduate from a notable university, they receive the same degree as if they had attended all 4 years at the university.

If one thing is certain, it is that gaining a degree can be extremely expensive. Many people attend a junior college for the sole purpose of saving money. Generally, it is less than $3,000 to complete a year of junior college, while universities may charge $30,000. Both schools will offer the same classes, so why not take advantage of the lower Junior college tuition, since the first 2 years are only general education requirements anyway.

Additionally, if you did not score the grades needed to attend your ideal university in high school, junior college offers a fresh start to produce a new transcript. A student who may not have been accepted before junior college, could possibly get in two years later with a scholarship. Plus, with smaller class sizes and more individualized attention, it may be easier to acquire better grades in junior college.

Finally, junior colleges are often local, allowing the student to remain at or near home. Not all students are emotionally prepared to go away to school. Many get homesick and may not perform well academically as a result. Some will fail out due to a number of other stressors for which they have not yet developed coping skills Junior college may help in providing ample time to for students to grow into maturity.

University Rankings

Often, parents and prospective students consult university ranking when choosing a facility for pursuing educational needs. They commonly see Ivy League Schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford on the tops of these ranking lists. However, there are over 4,000 degree-granting institutions in the United States and many of them provide outstanding education, research, and resources. University ranking will vary from one assessment to the next, this is because there are numerous factors to consider when making comparisons.

The first thing to consider about university rankings is that many of them are based entirely on subjective information. Often the perceived quality of a school provides it with its status, as opposed to anything that can be measured. It goes without saying, that people don’t always perceive things the same. However, other rankings are a result of some actual research.

A combination of statistics and the range and number of undergraduate majors, master’s, and doctoral programs can be assessed when ranking universities. Additionally, the amount of research that is conducted by a university and the quality of their studies might be a determining factor. Other factors that may be taken into consideration include popularity, surveys of the instructors, peer assessments, financial resources, the standardized test results of selected students, and the graduation rate performance. Also, faculty degree level and salary, student retention, class size, and student-to-faculty ratio are often assessed when comparing schools for placement in a ranking system.

When referencing a ranking lists for the best universities, make sure the ranking criteria is consistent with the factors that are important to you. Other things to consider include individual program and department rankings.