Cooking Up Chemistry in the Kitchen!

Hey kids, when most people hear the word “chemistry”, they think of creepy laboratories with bubbling beakers of toxic goo. But chemistry can happen any time two different things react together to make something new, and there are fun science experiments that you can do right in your kitchen!

Experiment 1: Magic Mud

All you need for this experiment is some cornstarch, water, and a little bit of food colouring to show it off.

1. Add 5 tablespoons of cornstarch to a bowl. Make sure you use something to scrape off the extra starch so you have a nice level spoonful.

2. Add 3 tablespoons of water to the bowl.

3. Add 3 drops of food colouring.

4. Stir the mixture.

This mixture should be hard to stir unless you stir very, very slowly. If it seems runny, add a few pinches more cornstarch. If it seems really dry, add a bit more water.

Now try squeezing a little bit of your magic mud between your fingers and rolling it into a ball. Then open your hand and watch what happens. Poke the top of your magic mud quickly, and your finger will bounce off. But if you sink your finger in slowly, the mud will swallow it up! It acts like a liquid and a solid!

For a real adventure, try using the same measurements (5 parts cornstarch, 3 parts water) to make up a really big batch in a large pan, or even a kids’ swimming pool! If you run fast enough, you can actually run across the top of the magic mud. Just don’t slow down, or you’ll find yourself sinking into the goo!

Experiment 2: The Incredible Giant Hand

For this experiment, you will need baking soda, vinegar, and a rubber glove. If you don’t have one, you could use a balloon to make The Incredible Giant Head.

1. Use a marker to draw hair on the rubber glove (or a face on the balloon).

2. Carefully add a few spoonfuls of baking soda to the glove.

3. Pour some vinegar into the glove.

4. Tie the glove closed, like you would a balloon. Shake it around a bit.

Now watch what happens. The hand (or head) will grow!

When the solid baking soda and the liquid vinegar meet, they react to form a gas called carbon dioxide.

They make so much of it that it will blow up your balloon for you.

Experiment 3: Acid or Alkali

For this experiment, you need some beetroot or red cabbage. It also provides you with a tasty snack.

1. Have an adult help you boil the cabbage or beetroot until the water changes colour.

2. Collect some of the coloured water.

Scientists use something called pH indicator to measure how acid or alkali something is. Different acids and alkalis will make the indicator change different colours.

You’ve just made pH indicator. Have an adult help you test small amounts of your coloured water with acids and alkalis around …

Millennium Education Development – Ways To Achieve

Dr. Tooley: His conclusions on Private Education and Entrepreneurship

Professor James Tooley criticized the United Nations' proposals to eliminate all fees in state primary schools globally to meet its goal of universal education by 2015. Dr. Tooley says the UN, which is placing particular emphasis on those regions doing worse at moving towards 'education for all' namely sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, is 'backing the wrong horse'.

On his extensive research in the world poorer countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, India, and China, Dr. Tooley found that private unaided schools in the slum areas outperform their public counterparts. A significant number of a large majority of school children came from unrecognized schools and children from such schools outperform similar students in government schools in key school subjects.2 Private schools for the poor are correspondents for private schools for the elite. While elite private schools cater the needs of the privileged classes, there come the non-elite private schools which, as the entrepreneurs claimed, were set up in a mixture of philanthropy and commerce, from scarce resources. These private sector aims to serve the poor by offering the best quality they could while charging affordable fees.3

Thus, Dr. Tooley concluded that private education could be made available for all. He suggested that the quality of private education especially the private unaided schools could be raised through the help of International Aid. If the World Bank and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) could find ways to invest in private schools, then genuine education could result. 4 Offering loans to help schools improve their infrastructure or worthwhile teacher training, or creating partial vouchers to help even more of the poor to gain access to private schools are other strategies to be considered. Dr. Tooley holds that since many poor parents use private and not state schools, then "Education for All is going to be much easier to achieve than is currently believed".

Hurdles in Achieving the MED

Teachers are the key factor in the learning phenomenon. They must now become the centerpiece of national efforts to achieve the dream that every child can have an education of good quality by 2015. Yet 18 million more teachers are needed if every child is to receive a quality education. 100 million children are still denied the opportunity of going to school. Millions are sitting in over-crowded classrooms for only a few hours a day.5 Too many excellent teachers who make learning exciting will change professors for higher paid opportunities while less productive teachers will retire on the job and coast towards their pension.6 How can we provide millions of more teachers?

Discrimination in girls access to education persists in many areas, owing to customary attitudes, early marriages and pregnancies, inadequate and gender-biased teaching and educational materials, sexual harassment and lack of adequate and physically and other wise accessible schooling facilities. 7

Child labor is common among the third world countries. Too many children undertake heavy domestic works at early age and are expected …