Saturday January 20, 2018

American Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons to children

The innovative feature about the school is that whole building turns into a teaching tool or open laboratory where kids can’t help but learn about science and its uses

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ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA— Discovery Elementary School is a school which truly understands the importance of the science. This elementary school based in America uses zero traditional energy and makes use of onsite renewable energy sources.

The innovative feature about the school is that whole building turns into a teaching tool or open laboratory where kids can’t help but learn about science and its uses. The school’s emphasis on science is so strong that kids learn about food waste management in cafeteria and in playground where they see renewable energy in action.

“Every single roof surface on the building is covered with the solar panels, the energy collected is then converted to alternating current which is put back into the grid” Said Greg Rusk, instructional technology coordinator.

An elementary school in US. Image source: Flicker
An elementary school in US. Image source: Flicker

More than three-fourth of the building has glass walls to increase the sun light coming into the building and maximise the use of day light. The use of solar tubes and highly efficient led has resulted in reduction of energy used as well for lighting the core areas of the building where sun light cannot reach.

The sealing also contain noise panels to reduce the overall noise level in the building.

Grey says “It a very open building, so there is large sound deflection and so the panels are in placed on the ceiling to absorb some of that sound to keep students  focused on learning.”

The school also has an inbuilt slide which can be used by the students to reach to different class with some fun. Every classroom has different type of seating to give students and teacher personal learning space.

“This kind of open building where it is highly configurable sort encourages students to work together and teachers are creating projects that help student understand the value of working together to solve bigger problems” explains Greg.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nJTRpgwcnQ

A student named Anna investigated the geothermal wells under the playground which captures energy from the Earth’s crust.

Anna says “I learned like where they were , how deep they were how they helped in that zero energy and how they played the part. If you are just reading science , you have pictures and examples but its also kind of cool to see them real life”

Erin Ruso, principle of the Discovery elementary says “ we are just beginning to learn about the building and to incorporate, how that can enhance student learning. So we always do say we are a work in progress.”

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Children should be taught basic science at a very early age. This helps them analyse simple tactics in daily life

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Yellowstone National Park: A magnificent place to explore

America’s first national park – Yellowstone. It's also the first national park in the world, established by Congress in 1872, even before the National Park Service was set up.

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Yellowstone National Park: A magnificent place to explore
More than half the world's geysers are in Yellowstone National Park. VOA

January 2, 2018: When you think about America’s national parks, what probably comes to mind first is America’s first national park – Yellowstone. It’s also the first national park in the world, established by Congress in 1872, even before the National Park Service was set up.

Yellowstone sits on an active volcano, the source of the more than 10,000 geothermal features in the park, including more than half the world’s geysers. National Parks traveler Mikah Meyer made sure he caught the eruption of the best-known of its 500 geysers – Old Faithful, which shoots a column of superheated water up to 42 meters into the air, every 60 to 110 minutes.

“They have geysers that range from Old Faithful to these geysers that are basically holes in the ground that give a glimpse into what the bubbling boiling earth underneath is like.”

And some of what bubbles up is mud. Mikah describes these ‘mudpots’ as a witch’s cauldron. “They look like some sort of witch’s concoction because you’re just walking along this boardwalk and suddenly to your left and your right you’ve got these giant mud pools that are bubbling up in random spots, and so it really is a place where you can see the earth’s underbelly.”

The thousands of steam vents in Yellowstone give off a powerful sulfur odor.
The thousands of steam vents in Yellowstone give off a powerful sulfur odor. VOA

He noted a constant feature of the park — steam. “Anywhere you are in the park it always seems like somewhere in your 360° view you’ll see some steam rising out of the ground.” These fumaroles, or steam vents, are the hottest hydrothermal features in the park, with temperatures as high as 138°Celsius.

Yellowstone is also home to thermophile microbes, which thrive in the hot springs. Trillions of these microorganisms are grouped together, so they appear as masses of color. Since different types of thermophiles live at different temperatures within a hot spring, they produce what looks like a rainbow in the water.

Grand Prismatic Spring is Yellowstone's largest hot spring. It's about 112.8 meters across and more than 37 meters deep.
Grand Prismatic Spring is Yellowstone’s largest hot spring. It’s about 112.8 meters across and more than 37 meters deep. VOA

And it’s not just hot water shooting up… Yellowstone also has 350 identified waterfalls that tumble down more than 4 1/2 meters. The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest cascade in the park. At 94 meters, it’s twice as high as Niagara Falls.

An abundance of wildlife

Many of the more than 4 million visitors to Yellowstone each year come to see one of the symbols of the American West. Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times, and the park’s herd of 4,000 to 5,000 animals represents the last-known wild bison population in the world.

Grand Prismatic Spring is Yellowstone's largest hot spring. It's about 112.8 meters across and more than 37 meters deep.
Grand Prismatic Spring is Yellowstone’s largest hot spring. It’s about 112.8 meters across and more than 37 meters deep. VOA

Mikah said they really catch visitors’ eyes. “I have this video of what I call a Yellowstone traffic jam which is basically anytime there’s any sort of animal on the side of the road, everyone seems to stop their car and take pictures or pull over and it’s an instant traffic jam!”

But bison aren’t the only iconic animals in the park. Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states, including predators like grey wolves and bears, and large herbivores, like big horn sheep, elk and moose.

Two decades ago, 41 wild gray wolves from Canada and northwest Montana were released in Yellowstone National Park to start a recovery effort. Today, the park is home to more than 100 animals in eleven packs. (NPS/Jim Peaco)
Two decades ago, 41 wild gray wolves from Canada and northwest Montana were released in Yellowstone National Park to start a recovery effort. Today, the park is home to more than 100 animals in eleven packs. (NPS/Jim Peaco). VOA

There are nearly 300 species of birds, 16 species of fish, five species of amphibians, and six species of reptiles.

But the main draw remains the regular eruption of Old Faithful. “If you’re on the hunt for geysers,” Mikah concludes, “you really can’t do much better than Yellowstone National Park.” (VOA)