Crowdrise Holiday Challenge:…Teach a Man to Fish…

The NGO I am one of the Directors at is running a fundraising campaign. Here are the details:

Establishing a Social Business for Education project to provide sustainable free, quality education in rural Nepal.

Coming from a low socioeconomic background in Nepal, even as a primary school student in Kathmandu, I  dreamt of making a difference, through education, both to myself and to others in Nepal.

what your contribution will pay for

Ever since realising the first part of my of my dream–beating the odds to graduate from secondary school, getting  degrees from tertiary education institutions abroad and pursuing a professional career as an international teacher around the world–I have been acutely aware of not having realised the second part of my dream.

After over two decades abroad, I had finally decided to return home to work towards fulfilling the second part of my dream. However, following an incident in the school cafeteria, not only was I fired from my job, losing thousands of dollars in the process, I was also jailed for allegedly insulting Islam.

Luckily, my friends around the world launched a massive campaign, and after only four days of initiating it, I was freed.

Following the ordeal, I was more determined than ever to see through the second part of my dream.

During my time in Qatar, I came to see, hear and read about the exploitationabuse and sufferings of hundreds of thousands of Nepalese (and other Asian) migrant labourers in Qatar. I met a number of them languishing in jail as well.

I discovered that the main reason for their ending up in Qatar and being exploited was their lack of education. They came from low socio-economic background, just like myself, but unlike me, they had lacked opportunities for education. Lack of education combined with poverty and lack of employment opportunities at home had driven them to Qatar. I realised that to enable nepalese children to have the freedom to dream and chart their own destinies we must provide high quality education at home.

Returning to Nepal, I ran a successful fundraising campaign and raised over thirty thousand dollars.

Following the campaign, my friend Jayjeev and I have been running COMMITTED, an NGO dedicated to implementing holistic development works through education-related projects, project that improve infrastructure, resources and quality of education at Raithane School in Thangpalkot village, Sindupalchowk.

To make sure that the education program is sustainable, COMMITTED has initiated a Social Business for Education  project: a Fishery, with funds (totalling about US$20,000) raised through other means. But, we need an additional US$45,000!

Once fully set up, a significant part of the profits from the business will cover all the expenses of the school. The remaining profits will be used for community development projects as per the Community Development Plan (CDP) the community devises with help from COMMITTED.

In the mean time, additional funds are required for resources, teacher training, infrastructure upgrades and other expenses, funds we were not able to raise in June’s campaign.

An additional US$15,000 is required to upgrade the school library and provide library management skills training to the school staff, to provide enhanced support for Science, English and Arts curriculum. A further US$28000 to complete the new school building, to upgrade the classrooms, to set-up rainwater harvesting system and to address WASH (Water Sanitation and Health) issues. And finally, not unlike all other government schools in Nepal, Raithane struggles to pay teachers’ salaries. In order to pay a decent wage to four school-employed teachers for the next two years an additional US$12000 is necessary.

join our team image

COMMITTED therefore is aiming to raise a total of US$100,000 to provide free, quality and sustainable education to the children of Raithane School in Thangpalkot, Sindhupalchok, Nepal. These funds will support the education of 350+ students attending Raithane School in Thangpalkot VDC, a community with a population of over 3000–education that will give them the freedom to dream and chart their own destinies, just as it did for me!

We are looking for interested individuals to help us raise these funds by being a team member in this campaign. If you are interested, click here or on the image to the right for instructions on how to join.

Fundraising Websites – Crowdrise

Why Discrepant Events?

I have described elsewhere why I use discrepant events, or, what in my own classes, I call Magic Show. Here are some more links on the subject and some discrepant events.

  1. Motivational Power of Science Discrepant Events: A University professor’s take on the role of discrepant event in Science Education. The page also includes a number of physics discrepant events.
  2. Teaching Science using Discrepant events to engage students: Another educator’s description of why and how he used discrepant events when teaching science.
  3. Science Discrepant Events: Over two dozen short YouTube videos of discrepant events performed and captured on video by a group of middle school students.
  4. Discrepant Events: Another page with a number of discrepant events.
  5. PhenamenaScience: Another set of short YouTube videos of discrepant events performed by the same group of middle school students responsible for #3.

Intro & Contents: IBDP Chemistry Discrepant Events

While what I do with my students is described below, any IBDP chemistry student may find these discrepant events useful.

Often at the beginning of a topic, students will either observe a demonstration or watch a video or be given a description of a discrepant event. After sufficient materials have been covered, they are challenged to explain it.

However, unlike in MYP science, their write-ups aren’t always graded. Some times the discrepant event write-up may be graded and contribute towards their final grade just as a quiz would. Some times, it may be graded according to one or more of the IA criteria. And some other times, it may lead to a design investigation.

What a given Discrepant Event requires is made clear at the time it is demonstrated. Regardless, the Discrepant Events published on this blog contain guiding questions to help you.

IB Diploma Chemistry discrepant events are labeled with either the prefix DP1 or DP2 which refer to first year and second year respectively.

IBDP year 1 Chemistry Discrepant Events

  1. Gunpowder: Ideal Mixture
  2. Magical Candle
  3. Plastic Bottle Cannons
  4. Gaseous Behavior
  5. Hair Brain Chemistry
  6. Magical Crystals
  7. Flares

IBDP year 2 Chemistry Discrepant Events

  1. Magical Beakers
  2. Sugar Daddy…with Flare

Appropriate for both year 1 and year 2

  1. Fun with Liquid Nitrogen
  2. Water Bottle Explosion
  3. Cracking Crackers

Enjoy!

Intro & Contents: MYP 4-5 Discrepant Events

While what I do with my students is described below, any science student may find these discrepant events useful.

Often at the beginning of a topic, students will either observe a demonstration or watch a video or be given a description of a discrepant event. These Discrepant Events are thought provoking and based on either real-life situations I, or others, have come across, or they come from puzzler-type books or web pages  collected over the years. So, don’t be surprised if you find these or  similar problems elsewhere, in a book or another website. After sufficient materials have been covered, they are challenged to explain it.

My own students would have from a few days to about a week to struggle with it. Within that period, they should be able to explain the discrepant event on their own using the materials covered and/or the resources provided in the class or with a little bit of research. They are free to talk to members of their family, other folks, and even other sources, like the Internet. Should they consult other sources, they MUST both reference and document them.

Every discrepant event will test their ability to communicate using scientific language and to apply their knowledge and understanding of MYP science course content to explain real-world phenomenon. In other words, their ability to think critically, the very attribute we expect of scientists. The write-up, therefore, cannot just be a rehash of what someone else has told them or what they found elsewhere; it must display their understanding of all three aspects of the exercise: concepts involved, the problem and the solution. As such, these write-ups will be assessed on Criterion B (Communication) and Criteria C (Knowledge and Understanding). Check the task-specific rubrics for details.

The write-ups would be in the appropriate format.

sample discrepant event and write up has been included in this blog to guide students.

MYP Year 4 Chemistry Discrepant Events

  1. Magical Candle: About gaseous behavior.
  2. Hair Brain Chemistry: An observation and deduction exercise on the patterns of reactivity.
  3. Water Bottle Explosion: About state of matter, energy and pressure.
  4. Dancing Coin: About state of matter.
  5. Uncanny Can: About state of matter.
  6. Plastic Bottle Canons: An observation and deduction exercise about elements in the periodic table.
  7. Rubbery Egg: About state of matter.
  8. Fun with Liquid Nitrogen: About energy and state of matter.
  9. Blow Hot Blow Cold: About energy.

 MYP Year 4 Physics Discrepant Events

  1. Light Entertainment I: About refraction but the simplest of the four.
  2. Light Entertainment II: About refraction but considerably more challenging than I.
  3. Light Entertainment III: About refraction but a little different from the above two.
  4. Light Entertainment IV: About refraction but the most challenging of the four.
  5. Hot Day: About energy and energy transfers.
  6. Accident in Space: About Newton’s Laws of Motion.
  7. Propelling the Boat: About Newton’s Laws of Motion

MYP Year 5 Chemistry Discrepant Events

  1. Plastic bottle Canons: An observation and deduction exercise about elements in the periodic table and Stoichiometry (Quantitative Chemistry).
  2. Magical Beakers: About acid-base chemistry.
  3. Magical Crystals: About ion-exchange/precipitation/double displacement reaction.
  4. Cracking Crackers: About redox reactions.
  5. Sugar Daddy…with Flare: About Redox Reactions and Stoichiometry (Quantitative Chemistry)
  6. Gunpowder: Ideal Mixture: About Stoichiometry (Quantitative Chemistry)

MYP Year 5 Physics Discrepant Events

  1. Bottle and Coin: About inertia.
  2. Gravity and the Moon: About gravity…as the title says.
  3. The Pendulum: About falling bodies.
  4. The Chicken Truck: About mass, gravity and weight.
  5. The Falling Elevator: About weight and gravity.
  6. Frozen Over: About energy and energy transfer.
  7. From Fermi to the Frying Pan: About boiling point and cooking.
  8. Don’t lick that tray: About energy and energy transfer.

Enjoy!

Intro & Contents: MYP 2-3 Puzzlers

For students, The Puzzler is a weekly challenging, critical thinking skills question that should keep you on your toes and thinking. They are thought provoking and based on either real-life situations I, or others, have come across, or they come from puzzler-type books or web pages  collected over the years. So, don’t be surprised if you find these or  similar problems elsewhere, in a book or another website.

Since mathematics is the language of science, some Puzzlers will have a mathematics slant, however all will involve problem solving and the ability to think critically, the very attributes we expect of scientists.

My own students would have about a week to struggle with the question, to talk with their parents and other folks, research as necessary then to write-up the answer in the proper Puzzler format. The write-up cannot just be a rehash of what someone else has told them or what they found elsewhere; it must display their understanding of the concepts involved, as well as both the problem and solution.

Their write-ups would then be assessed using Criterion B (Communication) and Criterion C (Scientific Knowledge and Understanding). Check the task-specific rubrics for details.

sample Puzzler and write up has been included in this blog.

Term 1 Puzzlers

  1. Hot Day
  2. Rotation Counter
  3. Two Cannon Balls
  4. Propelling the Boat
  5. Card Stack
  6. Salad Dressing
  7. Shut Door

Term 2 Puzzlers

  1. The Chicken Truck
  2. The Brick and The Dinghy
  3. The Pendulum
  4. Winter Puzzler
  5. Don’t Lick That Tray
  6. Bottle and Coin
  7. From Fermi to the Frying Pan

Term 3 Puzzlers

  1. Hole in Tea Pot
  2. Accident in Space
  3. A Touch of Chill
  4. Space Travel
  5. Woof, It’s Cold
  6. Frozen Over
  7. Falling Elevator

Enjoy!

Intro & Contents: IGCSE Chemistry Discrepant Events

Often at the beginning of a topic, students either observe a demonstration or watch a video or are given a description of a discrepant event.  After sufficient materials have been covered, they are challenged to explain it.

However, unlike in MYP science, their write-ups aren’t graded according to any specific criteria. Some times the discrepant event write-up may be graded and contribute towards their final grade just as a quiz would. Some times, it may lead to a design investigation. What a given Discrepant Event requires is made clear at the time it is demonstrated.

Regardless, Discrepant Events on this blog contain questions to guide the students arrive at a solution.

IGCSE year 1 (Form 4) Discrepant Events are labeled F4 and year 2 (Form 5) F5.

Expectations for discrepant events that are common to both forms are different, as will be evident from the accompanying questions.

Form 4 Discrepant Events

  1. Magical Candle: About gaseous behavior.
  2. Plastic Bottle Canons: An observation and deduction exercise about elements in the periodic table.
  3. Water Bottle Explosion: About state of matter, energy and pressure.
  4. Uncanny Can: About state of matter.
  5. Dancing Coin: About state of matter.
  6. Rubbery Egg: About state of matter.
  7. Hair Brain Chemistry: An observation and deduction exercise on the patterns of reactivity.
  8. Fun with Liquid Nitrogen: About energy and state of matter.

Form 5 Discrepant Events

  1. Plastic bottle Canons: An observation and deduction exercise about elements in the periodic table and Stoichiometry (Quantitative Chemistry).
  2. Magical Beakers: About acid-base chemistry.
  3. Magical Crystals: About ion-exchange/precipitation/double displacement reaction.
  4. Gunpowder: Ideal Mixture: About Stoichiometry (Quantitative Chemistry)
  5. Sugar Daddy…with Flare: About Redox Reactions and Stoichiometry (Quantitative Chemistry)
  6. Cracking Crackers: About redox reactions.

Enjoy!

Update on Progress

I changed the theme the other day and thought it might be a good idea at this point to provide some more information on the content. The static contents of the blog are almost complete.

Education Philosophy describes just that.

About This Blog contains detailed description of the content and purpose of this blog.

The IGCSE Chemistry discrepant events are divided into two: Form 4 and Form 5.

MYP Years 2-3 puzzlers are divided into terms, each term containing seven puzzlers. Yes, both the years get the same puzzlers. I may change that in the future.

As for MYP Years 4-5 discrepant events, there are dedicated discrepant events for each year in both Physics and Chemistry.

And finally, IB Diploma Chemistry discrepant events are divided into year 1, year 2 and both–these are ones that are appropriate for both years as they cover topics from both years.

The next few things I’ll be doing is to complete the background information and resources section for each problem. I hope to also add worksheets–to go with the PowerPoint slide resources–and online forms for private submission of the write-ups, which would be useful really only to my students.

Enjoy!

Science Blog…Here I Come!

This blog supplements resources on my own homepage.

The materials here are really resources for IGCSE Chemistry, MYP Science and IB Diploma Chemistry students. However, they could be useful to others as well.

These resources are essentially enrichment problems. They consist of videos of Discrepant Events either I myself performed or found elsewhere, or their descriptions, followed by challenging questions.

Explore this blog using the above menu. I would however recommended you start with about this blog. Should you want to know a bit about why I do science and chemistry the way I do, check out my education philosophy.

Enjoy!