Upon getting information about an upcoming school science fair and the need to consider a topic of interest, many students will typically have no idea where to get started. While the science fair is typically a common occurrence in any school at any grade level, there are different types of topics that should be taken a look at depending on the age of the student. After first taking a look at the many different categories of science projects, you will be able to locate a suitable choice of topic to take to the next level.There is a wide variety of categories that fall under the types of science projects that can be chosen for a school science fair. These include biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, biochemistry, medicine, environmental, mathematics, engineering, and earth science. While you may not have yet learned very much in any of these categories, don’t be afraid to see what each one entails. Taking a good look at your interests will allow you to focus on the right direction to take.Many resources are also available for those who are unsure as to the topic they are wanting to use to create their science projects. If you take a look at the topics that fall under the biology category, you will likely notice that there are topics that deal with plants, animals, and humans. For those who are in 2nd grade or 3rd grade, an interesting topic may be to determine if ants are picky over what type of food they eat. While this topic might not be of interest to an 8th grader, it is certainly something in the biology category that an elementary school student would enjoy.Along with the biology category, a high school student may want to take a look at diffusion and osmosis in animal cells as this would be a more appropriate topic for the grade level. A student in 6th grade would be more advanced than an elementary school student, but not as advanced as a high school student. At this middle school grade level, a topic of how pH levels effect the lifespan of a tadpole may be of interest.Whichever resource is used to locate a topic for science projects, it is always a good idea to consider the grade level of the student prior to making a selection. It is always assumed to be best to have a project at an appropriate level in order to keep the attention of the student and provide a fun and enjoyable learning experience.
I love that I can find thousands of art images on the Internet. What a wonderful resource for those hungry for an education in art. I know that I take advantage of this opportunity each day. However, I wonder if this easy access to art can also lead to fewer patrons at art museums and art galleries. Everything is so quick and instant these days. Browsers of art on the web may not think it is necessary to actually go and see a piece of art in person. That would be a shame if people don’t take the time to view a piece of art in its natural state. It is important to see the physical display of art. Think of how much your appreciation deepens when looking at actual brushstrokes jumping off the canvas of a Van Gogh piece. Think of the artist’s use of color and perspective when allowing the genius of a Rembrandt or Picasso sink in. I truly believe that walking through a museum or gallery is not only educational and inspiring, but also can be cathartic and spiritual. I do hope that today’s techno-centric generation does not fall into the trap of thinking that all they need to do is surf the web to view art.I know that I really feel more “connected” to the piece when I can study it directly. As a parent, I want my kids to go to museums and slow down for a minute to take in a truly inspired “creation” that was not digitized. Technology is an amazing way to share great art. However, we all must continue to support and patronize museums and art galleries to ensure that future generations step away from the digitized world long enough to really “see” a masterpiece.We can’t rely on a “drive through” approach to art appreciation.Art feeds the soul.
OK, let’s just get it out there – distance running has a higher injury rate than almost any other sport. In fact, a recent Dutch study, in which more than 700 marathon participants were surveyed about injuries suffered during the process of training for the event and within the marathon, found that nearly 55% of respondents reported suffering at least one running-related leg injury within the preceding year, and 18% developed an injury during the event itself.Now, the Rotterdam Marathon is not run through hot coals with wild dogs chasing you. These same results have been found in various other similar studies. So, why is running so hard on the body, and what can be done to prevent you from becoming a statistic?Probably the single greatest factor in running injuries is repetition. Think about the number of strides per run, per week, and then throw in a few biomechanical inefficiencies, and you have a recipe for overuse injuries. “But wait”, you might say, “swimmers and cyclists seem to have the same predisposition to overuse injuries – why are my swimming buddies not hurting as much as I am?” It all comes down to impact forces, and impact forces do not affect all tissues of your lower body equally. As you can probably guess, the areas of greatest susceptibility to injury are the tibia (shins), Achilles tendon, and the knee.So, given the statistical likelihood that you will suffer some form of lower extremity injury this year, what can you do to save yourself? The simplest solution would be to run less and run on softer surfaces, but if I told that to my runner patients I would be out of a job. Here is the recipe for pain-free running: run with the most efficient gait possible, and train your running muscles. While there are a million tips for better running, most experts agree that you should run with a high cadence and strike on your midfoot. This is how I train my runners, and it’s more efficient and safer, period. Shoot for a cadence of around 90 per foot strike per minute. This will force you to take shorter steps, and will result in you striking on the midfoot instead of the heel. Training the running muscles will take more work, and probably some time in the gym. The key will be to focus on the hip muscles (gluteus medius in particular), which will help prevent excessive dipping of your hips, which has been linked to most running injuries of the lower extremity. (See my Shin Splints article for some great exercises for the hips).Understanding that we are each unique in our running technique, mileage, and intensity, paying attention to your running cadence and training your running muscles in the gym can help decrease your risk for injury and make for a better running season.