Make Math Learning Enjoyable and Effective

Three out of ten students find mathematics to be a tough subject

Three out of ten students find mathematics to be a tough subject. It’s a nightmare for large percentage of kids. Maths exams are seen as a dreadful event by both kids and parents. Many children who happily show off their counting skills in early school years later consider math class the most despicable hour of the school day.

Is Maths that dreadful?

“math is no harder than other subjects, but it is different. You will succeed by taking those differences into account.” – Stan Brown 

Maths is like making a big house with building blocks. Only if the base is strong building will be able stand towering above others. If the concept about numbers and the value it carries is not understood, then addition and subtraction will become difficult. Multiplication and Division will make it more harder and by the time they approach Trigonometry and Geometry the only thing they have in mind will be hatred and fear towards the subject. This is not because some kids are good with math’s and some are not, but some kids have the ability to grasp it faster than others and the class proceeds at the pace of fastest ones.

Understand how Math’s is different from rest of the subjects and give it a special treatment, it no longer will be dreadful

Look at some comparisons Stan Brown uses to highlight ‘How Maths is different from Other subjects’

Math is like sports

Math is like sports

Have you learned a sport by just reading books and understanding it’s facts…NO….To learn a sport one need to do it and practice it umpteen times. It’s the same with math’s. One can’t just read the book, but have to practice problems.

Math is like foreign languages

The first step towards learning a new language is to learn all its alphabets and grammar. Same is true with math’s.

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Blow up Balloon: This time with Baking soda and Vinegar

Blow up Balloon: This time with Baking soda and Vinegar

Science is Boring when it’s read, but it’s completely fun when you do the experiments with your own hands !

The best way to get your child interested in science is by doing SCIENCE stuff with them……

A lot of science stuff can be done with stuff in our own kitchen. Only thing needed is time and little bit of excitement……

Here I am starting a series called ‘Fun with Science’ and this is my First experiment post for you…..

Blowing Balloons are always fun, but this time let’s give a break to blowing by mouth and give a chance to Vinegar and Baking soda to do the job……..

Materials needed:

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Genetically Modified Mustard coming soon in India

Genetically modified

India’s central biotech regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), cleared the genetically modified (GM) Mustard for commercial cultivation and recommended its approval to the environment ministry.

The mustard hybrid was developed with transgenic technologies by a team led by Deepak Pental, professor of Genetics at Delhi University.

Only the second food crop to get clearance from the central regulator

All eyes on Environment minister Anil Madhav Dave

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Help your children enjoy science: Parents buckle up

Help your children enjoy science

There is considerable concern regarding a future where industries around the world will face shortage of high quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers to meet the demands of the labor market. This is definitely a point of concern, especially since robots, AIs and chips would be running the future generation.

Leaving aside getting a job, even for a student of today, citizen of tomorrow to even comment on issues around them like what kind of robots should be employed at their office or home or what would be the impact of carbon foodprint or what technology should be applied to make their work done most efficiently, they must be aware of science and technology.

 It is important to invest in STEM education to ensure a future talent pipeline, it’s just as important to have a scientifically-literate population to understand why we need to do so. – Ron Mobed, CEO Elseveir

One day we’re going to look back and whatever this era will get called, it’s going to put a premium on math and science. We should prepare our future workforce differently. – Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

Why is this happening ?

Currently Science learning is more of mugging up and boring with less focus on understanding it with appropriate reasoning and facts.

Would like to share a small story from Einstein’s life…..

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Leading ‘Direct to Consumer’ genetic testing companies

Direct to Consumer Genetic testing

From allergy to alzheimers, cancer to coeliac disease,  we can blame everything on our ‘Genes’.  These genes spread across our 23 pair of chromosomes and remains more or less the same throughout our life (leaving aside environment induced changes).

So it would mean if we are able to understand our problematic Genes well before, we would be able to combat our disease better or even prevent it from expressing by making lifestyle changes or even going under the knife (preventive double mastectomy done by Angelina Jolie)

We never heard of it in earlier days

2003 was a landmark year for geneticists. The very first human genome was completed in 2003 as part of the Human Genome Project, which was formally started in 1990. This costed a whopping $2.7 billion. This gave scientist new hope and with time and coming in of newer technologies the whole procedure became simpler. Now it’s possible to sequence entire human genome in a couple of days with less than $10,000. This does not mean everybody has to shell out so much. It’s possible to analyze a small stretch of genes (already mapped to diseases through research studies) to predict the possibility of developing disease like cancer or cardiovascular problems.

 Define Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. There are mainly seven types of genetic test and over 2000 tests are available.

Can a simple medical test tell whether my child or myself will develop chronic illness?

Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe

Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe ran a swab across the inside of her baby boy’s cheek, and tested her daughter’s amniotic cells. She did this to get a glimpse of her children’s genes and determine whether they contain certain kinks that increase the risk of developing anything from gallstones to multiple sclerosis. “As a parent,” says Wojcicki, “the most responsible thing I can do is get as much information about my children as possible so I can then think through how I can make them as healthy as possible.”

Should I go to my Physician

Sequencing, or “reading,” a person’s genome has grown into an industry by itself.  Now one can even order these tests online from the comfort of their home, without any prescription from healthcare professional. This new age companies are called ‘Direct-to-Consumer’ genetic testing companies. They just need blood sample, cheek swab or saliva (based on the test selected) to perform the tests. The results are then send across through email or uploaded to personal account. The tests either confirm or rule out a person’s chance of developing a disease, or indicate a person as a carrier for a particular disease. The result often include dietary advice to prevent the onset of the disease, which is very valuable.

Define Direct-to-Consumer genetic testing companies

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing refers to genetic tests that are marketed directly to consumers via television, print advertisements, or the Internet.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing refers to genetic tests that are marketed directly to consumers via television, print advertisements, or the Internet. This form of testing, which is also known as at-home genetic testing, provides access to a person’s genetic information without necessarily involving a doctor or insurance company in the process.

In total there are around 250 plus companies which offer genetic testing services. Click here for complete list

Trusted direct to consumer genetic testing companies

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Predictive Genetic Testing : Angelina Jolie, Anne Wojcicki, Anu Acharya

Predictive Genetic Testing

 

Angelina Jolie hit the news headlines in early 2013 by announcing her decision to go for elective double mastectomy after testing positive for mutated BRCA1. People from around the world suddenly came to know about ‘ Predictive Genetic  Testing’. The impact was really big. A retrospective study performed at a Toronto hospital in 2014, for example, reported that the number of women referred for genetic counseling skyrocketed by 90 percent in the six months after Jolie’s announcement. The number of women at the hospital identified as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers during that period jumped by 110 percent.

Why Predictive Genetic Testing is important

 “Error” in our genes (called “mutations”) can cause disease and predictive genetic tests help to confirm the disease probability in advance.

“Error” in our genes (called “mutations”) can cause disease and predictive genetic tests help to confirm the disease probability in advance. image
  • Determine whether you would get Cancer or other chronic illness in future
  • Determine whether your unborn child is prone to genetic disorders like Downs’Syndrome
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can prevent a couple from having a sick child
  • For couples who worry about passing along hereditary illnesses 
  • For children with diseases like autism, genetic testing can inform their pediatrician of specific contributing genetic factors influencing the severity of their illness. 
  • From infants to teens, parents can use genetic testing to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis
  • Help in avoiding unnecessary clinical investigations
  • Help in taking preventive measures to reduce the risk and severity of the disease in the future

Finally, Preventative care is the best solution for successfully treating or avoiding future illness

Angelina jolie effect

Predictive Genetic Testing ?

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Do you Remember Dolly ?. Not Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton 

Dolly the sheep, made from breast cells, was famously named after Dolly Parton, the American singer known for her large chest as well as her voice.  Dolly was the first example of successful cloning of a mammal from an adult cell.

Life of Dolly:

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Biotechnology: is this a field of Hope or field of Disappointment for Biotech aspirants

Biotechnology: A success or failure in India

Biotechnology is globally recognized as a rapidly emerging and far-reaching technology. It is aptly described as the “technology of hope” . But in Indian scenario, this field has failed in delivering what it promised in terms of employment. Way back from 2000, the word ‘Biotech’ has been used and been projected as technology of future, but looking at 2017 we have not reached any big milestones leaving aside some top names like Biocon, Dr Reddys, Bharat Biotech, Shantha Biotech. The employment opportunities are still desolate.

Revenue and growth but says a different story. As per recent records Biotechnology industry contributes 10-12% to the growth of the country every year.  India is among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region. India has the second-highest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)–approved plants, after the USA and is the largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine. The industry is projected to touch a target of 100$ billion by 2025 according to Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE). At this stage we have over 600 companies with Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)pitched at 20%.

The first two paragraphs contradicts. The first one is the voice of thousands of students who took up Biotechnology as their course of study and second paragraph gives the numbers from Biotech industry. It’s very much needed to understand why two groups assess the same situation differently. My effort here is to bring attention to those points.

Biotechnology Industry is a Blanket term

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Food we eat can contribute towards Climate Change

carbon ‘Foodprint’

Food’s carbon footprint, or Foodprint, is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat. How the food is grown or raised and how the food is cooked –both contribute to the carbon footprint.

How Carbon emission is mapped to food?

To understand how carbon emissions is linked to food production, we have to look into all those processes that help in bringing  food from the field to our plates:

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Chikungunya ‘bit’ India in 2016: over 58,000 cases across country

Chikungunya is caused by Alphavirus and transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes

Chikangunya continued its menace across states in India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.  2016, June – September months reported maximum number of cases across India, especially in Delhi and Karnataka.  As per data from National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, as of 31st Dec 2016, across country there have been a total of 58136 cases (actual numbers should be way more) .

Key findings:

  • Karnataka topped the chart with 13,506 cases
  • Delhi recorded a total of 12,221 cases. This definitely is a matter of concern keeping in mind the size of the state

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