Children Participate In Worldwide Science Experiment

August 12, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. commemorate (v.) [kuh-mem-uh-reyt] – to keep alive the memory of somebody or something in a ceremony
Example: We are gathered here today to commemorate the 25th anniversary of our company.

2. intend (v.) [in-tend– designed or aimed (for someone or something)
Example: TOEIC is intended to test the English skills of an individual.  

3. indicator (n.) [in-di-key-ter] – something which shows conditions through observation and calculation
Example: Her good performance as a student is an indicator that she could go far in her future career.  

4. amphibian (n.) [am-fib-ee-uhn] – an animal which can live in both land and water
Example: Frogs are the most common amphibians found in our village.

5. endeavor (n.) [en-dev-er] – an effort to achieve something
Example: Our next endeavor is to establish our own consulting firm.

Read the text below.

Children from different countries worldwide participate in the biggest Chemistry experiment. Pupils in countries including the UK, Australia and India among others, are conducting tests on the acid level of rivers and lakes.

This project is part of the International Year of Chemistry 2011, which was organized to commemorate the day when chemist Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize for Chemistry exactly a hundred years ago (1911).

According to David Phillips, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), this endeavor shows that no one is too young to participate in Science.

There are already 430 teachers around the world who have registered and uploaded information on the RSC website. Though the project was intended for children aged 13 to 16, several pre-school students also took part in the experiment.  Diann Ross, a primary school head teacher in the UK, shared that her young students love to experience hands-on experiments while working with real scientists. 

Provided with test kits, students conduct the experiment by adding a fluid indicator to the water sample taken from rivers and lakes. The fluid then changes color based on the acidity of the water. By looking at a color chart included in the kit, the participants are able to know how much acid is present in the water.  

Scientists at RSC are saying that results from these experiments have huge impact on the environment. They believe that a decrease in amphibians is due to the increasing level of acid in rivers and lakes. Even a slight change in water acidity can drop the success of egg hatching in fishes and can harm aquatic animals, they added.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do we need to conserve our rivers and lakes? Explain your answer.
·         How do people in your country help in conserving rivers and lakes?

Discussion B

·         In what subjects have you experience hands-on activities when you were a student?
What do you think are the advantages or disadvantages of hands-on activities in schools?

August 12, 2011