The Great Space debate – should space be privatized?

What are the implications of the privatization of space exploration?

Learn more about this debate by reading and learning using the following links:

Public Policy Initiative:   Penn State

Three Billionaires are racing to colonize space – who will win?

Bezos wants to build a colony on the moon. Musk is shooting for Mars. Who’s going to get there first? Will the tortoise beat the hare? Or will Branson pip them at the post?

Blue Origin – what is it? – why is it so secret?

USA Budget – 2019

Wines and Loses for NASA Space Exploration 2019

 

What to do with all the plastic straws?

Questioning the role of micro-recycling in pollution management – Please complete the following activity and include in your question portfolio 

If we all stopped using plastic straws then plastic pollution would be a thing of the past.

1) Evaluate the above hypothesis.

2) Answer the following question.  

Is it possible that to end plastic pollution by not using straws?

3)  Add a comment to express your opinion –

For example, “Just say no! – Wait, this sounds familiar.
Does the straw math make sense?”

 

Read more about the production of plastic using petrochemical feedstocks:

Happy Earth Day 2018 – Learn more about the #1 Threat to a healthy ecosystem


A campaign to End Plastic pollution is the theme of the 2018 Earth Day Celebrations. 

Learn more about health problems posed by plastic pollution.


 

“PLASTICS AND YOUR OWN HEALTH

After decades of producing trillions of oil-based plastic items, the negative consequences are star- tling. Plastic pollution is now recognized as a hazard to public health and the human body. Chemicals leached from some plastics used in food/beverage storage are harmful to human health. Correlations have been shown between levels of some of these chemicals, and an increased risk of problems such as chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy.

Many plastics contain phthalates (DEHP) and the chemical BPA. If food or drink is stored in these plastics, they can be contaminated with these chemicals. If food is heated inside these containers in the microwave or if the plastic is ingested as in the case of a small child, these chemicals make their way into our food and into our bodies. Both chemicals are potentially harmful to human hormones, reproductive systems, and early childhood development.”

Happy Birthday to Glen Seaborg – the discovers of the “transuranium” elements

Glen Seaborg is credited with the discovery of the “transuranium” elements. The transuranium elements are elements in the periodic table after uranium. 

Learn more about Seaborg, the “transuranium” elements, Plutonium, and the Bomb”.

Seaborg was lead discover for plutonium, americium, curium, and berkelium; he was co-discoverer of californium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium, nobelium, and seaborgium. Having seaborgium named after him made him the only person to have an element named after them while they were still alive until oganesson was named after Yuri Oganessian in 2016. Seaborg jointly won a Nobel Prize in 1951 for his work.

Nuclear fission of uranium produces a fission product, neptunium (element 93).

Nuclear fission occurs when uranium is bombarded with neutrons.  The neutrons in Seaborg’s lab were produced from deuterons using the small cyclotron at Berkeley.

Learn more about the history of how some of the elements on the Periodic Table were discovered.

Learn more about chemical reactions that take place in outer space

Time to take chemical reactions into outer space:

 

 

Nuclear Fission

 
Click to Run

 

They never told me my smartphone would make me stupid – learn more about how having a digital device in your vicinity diminishes thinking skills

Although limited in scope, emerging research shows that the mere presence of a smart phone can limit your thinking skills (AKA cognitive abilities) learn more

“These authors found that higher media-multitasking among a large adolescent sample was associated with poorer performance on one laboratory measure of executive function, the n-back working memory task, and also with lower scores on a standardized test of academic achievement in the classroom. Taken together, this body of work suggests that the degree to which one can exert executive control over behavior and maintain goal-related representations (in working memory) may explain individual differences in vulnerability to the “real life” consequences of mobile device habits.”

Plastic for Dinner – why are micro plastics a threat to our ocean environment?

Questions about the role that micro plastics are playing in marine ecosystems – learn more by reading, thinking and questioning. 

Scientists have measured the amount of micro plastic in the marine environment to be 3500 pieces per cubic metre.

Micro plastics are so small that they cannot be simply sieved out of the water.

Microplastics are not dissolved in ocean water.  Micro plastics are micrometer sized pieces of plastic debris from fabric, plastic overwrap and manufacturing processes.

“Aside from clogging up the digestive tracts of marine life, plastic also has a potentially more sinister side: it tends to adsorb pollutants like PCBs from the water column, thus acting as a potential vector to move pollutants from the water column into the food chain. Aside from potentially devastating effects on marine life, human health may also be compromised. For example, one study found that European consumers could be ingesting approximately 11,000 microplastic particles annually through shellfish consumption, with unknown impacts on human health. Tiny plastics are a huge problem because (1) their high surface-area-to-volume ratio and chemical makeup increases the likelihood of pollutant adsorption, (2) they are ubiquitous and creatures that eat particles in that size fraction tend not to be the brightest on the planet (thus lacking strong discriminatory powers), and (3) there is no known way to clean them up.”

“The small particle size of microplastics means that they can’t just be sieved out of the water without also sieving out all of the marine life (like the above planktonic snail or juvenile mussel) or other natural particles (like the above bit of pumice, on which marine life may be living). In addition, while many plastics float, many other plastic particles are neutrally or negatively buoyant and are found within the water column or on the ocean bottom.”

 

Learn more about the environmental threat to marine ecosystems.

 

Meet the 7 Base Units in the SI

 

In the System International method of measurement there are 7 base units that are used to measure natural phenomena.  Introducing the 7 base units – your new best friends.

SI base units

The above base quantities have SI base units. They include:

  • kilogram for mass
  • meter for length
  • second for time
  • Kelvin for temperature
  • Ampere for current
  • mole for amount of substance
  • candela for luminous intensity

Welcome Back – Learn more about how the sound of ice and star wars lasers are the same


 

Remember to stay curious in 2018 –

Norad Santa Tracker – Learn more about how technology can assist you on monitoring Santa’s progress

Does Santa exist?

Does Santa Like Rich-Kids Better?

All excellent questions; however, not sciency enough.  You might not yet believe but you can track the big guys progress.  

Install the app and enjoy the Winter Vacation.  There is no formal Science 10 vacation homework other than to stay curious and ask questions.

How are the International Space Station and Santa’s Sleigh the same?

Explore the North Pole while you wait for the Big Day