Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Research Title

Our research title that we have agreed upon would be the topic of the education for tomorrow

Currently, our research comprises of the following sub-topics:

  • Subjects offered
  • How students learn
  • Areas of learning
  • Teaching, learning and testing techniques/distribution
We chose to pursue this area of research as we shared common controversial thoughts on the current education system that have yet to be resolved and we want to find out what is really going on. Also, we want to try to find out ways that the education system of today can be improved and what effects it will have on the students. 

Monday, 13 January 2014

IRS lesson (T01_W02)

Alternative Energy
Research title:
An investigation of ___ on ___.
Development of ___.
The effects of ___ on ___.

There are many subtopics for Alternative Energy (whatever your chosen topic is):

  • Solar
    - Solar Panels
    - Solar Rays
  • Wind
  • Wave
  • Nuclear
  • Geothermal 
^ You can make tabs for them on the blog :)

What we summarised

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

4th 21st Century Problem - Alternative Energy

Alternative energy is an energy source that is eco-friendly and renewable. Unlike fossil fuels (e.g Coal and petroleum), they do not produce carbon emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide. Examples of alternative energy sources include solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, biofuels, etc.

By using alternative energy, global warming can be greatly reduced. We can also reduce water usage as burning coal for energy requires a great amount of water. Coal mining can pollute nearby water sources whereas alternative energy does not or inflicts very little impact the environment.

Water pollution is reduced too as there would be much lesser oil spills. Petroleum is deadly to the marine ecosystem and can kill marine life easily. Also, if we consume fishes polluted with petroleum, it could cause cancer and other illnesses

Fossil fuels also produce a lot of toxic waste materials. Incomplete combustion of petroleum can create methanol, carbon monoxide and also fine particulates which can blacken human and animal lungs and cause heart problems or even death. These toxic materials are dangerous to both living organisms and the environment. Thus, we should consider alternative energy as a new means of obtaining power.

3rd 21st century problem - Education for Tomorrow

Does education need to change in the next 20 years?

"Education has to change, because in theory education needs to reflect the challenges of the society into which young people are entering."-Richard Gerver-


The problem: 

Who said that education now is perfect? I feel that there are many flaws in today's education system.

Firstly, I'd like to address how education as of now is focusing too much on getting good grades. 

Think about it. Students may be studying hard, but for what? Examinations. There should be a better reason for students to be doing their best in school, shouldn't there?

I strongly believe that the education system now is biased. It makes certain people's lives "more difficult" in a way. I'll now explain why. Everyone is different, as they all say. We all have our own unique talents and qualities. There certainly are people who have talents that allow them to get good grades, but what about the others who have talents totally unrelated to that at all (sports etc.)? Wouldn't it be unfair to them? Those people will then have to work extra hard for them to score well for examinations.

The extra fact that society is very judgemental makes things worse. Get amazing grades and top the class, you're a genius, you're smart. Fail your subjects and you "fail in life", are "stupid", etc. This might potentially lead to discrimination among students.

There are many other flaws in today's education system, but I felt that the above mentioned was a must. 

From this, I imagine the future's education system to be:

  • A system that allows student's talents/potential in different aspects to be realised and acknowledged, like how good students that excel in examinations get awards from the school/government.
  • A system that doesn't focus solely on getting good grades. 
Many may speculate that education of the future will be more "technology-based", like what SST is doing for an example. But this won't change the fact that education today is unfair, it will merely improve efficiency of learning. It isn't about what we use to learn, it is about what we learn, and if the system of judging people is fair. Thus, I think that a greater change has to be made.

Overall, it will be a system that's more "fair", where everyone will have the same rate of chances to succeed in life.

2nd 21st Century Problem: Razing of Rainforests

Rainforests are burnt almost annually due to lack of space for farming, enormous challenges for palm oil,  timber trade, green colonialism and biofuels.

This issue can lead to the loss of habitats for animals and may disrupt the ecosystem of other habitats as the animals have nowhere else to seek food and shelter.

Apart from that, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air will be higher as there are not enough vegetation to absorb impurities in the air, thus leading to more air pollution and a poorer quality in the air around the area of the burning and this might eventually spread, causing acid clouds to form as there will not be as many trees left to maintain the atmosphere around the area to remove sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide.

Also the razing of rainforests will loosen the soil as the roots of the trees were holding them together. As the soil is loosened, it may erode and be washed into nearby rivers or lakes during heavy rainfall, thus also polluting the waterways.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

1st 21st Century Problem- Global Warming

Global warming will lead to severe climate change. Unless stopped, it will upset the basic control mechanisms of planet Earth. Here are some various examples as to why global warming will affect Earth tremendously.

1. The amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans may decline, with adverse consequences for ocean life.

2. There is strong evidence that global sea level rose gradually over the 20th century.There are two main factors that have contributed to observed sea level rise. The first is thermal expansion: as ocean water warms, it expands. The second is from the contribution of land-based ice due to increased melting.

3. Climate change will impact agriculture and food production around the world due to: the effects of elevated CO2 in the atmosphere, higher temperatures, altered precipitation and transpiration regimes, increased frequency of extreme events, and modified weed, pest, and pathogen pressure. In general, low-latitude areas are at most risk of having decreased crop yields.

4. Droughts have been occurring more frequently because of global warming and they are expected to become more frequent and intense in Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, most of the Americas, Australia, and Southeast Asia.