Monthly Archives: March 2013

Science in the Kitchen

If you like to cook you probably go into your kitchen with the idea that you are going to produce a very delicious meal that everyone will like.  But did you realise that every time you enter the kitchen you are doing applied science?

Science is full of theories and formulas.  Did you know that you use lots of theories and formulas in the kitchen? Did you know that every recipe is a formula?  Let’s take a look at science in your kitchen:

The First Law of Thermodynamics – Every time you strike a match to light your gas stove, you are putting into play the First Law of Thermodynamics.  You are transferring one type of energy from the rough emery side of the match box to the match stick. How about that for a science experiment in the kitchen?

Types of Motion – Every physics student needs to know the types of motion.  Here are two types you will use in your kitchen.

Rotatory Motion – Rotary motion is when a circular kind of motion.  Put some ice cream, milk, a banana and some strawberries into the blender; turn on the blender and there you have it; a milk shake made from rotatory motion.

Vibratory Motion – Every time you use the rolling pin to roll out some dough, if you use a back and forth motion you are using vibratory motion plus rotatory motion.  Why do we call a rolling pin a rolling pin?

Properties of Material – Have you ever looked at the pots and pans and appliances you have in the kitchen as heat conductors and insulators?  Well that is exactly what they are.  For example, your metal pots are excellent heat conductors; they hold heat and get hot very quickly.  Other pots such as a glass Pyrex dishes, although they too are heat conductors, do not heat up so quickly so are poorer heat conductors.  The plastic or insulated pipe around the electric cord on the toaster is an insulator because it does not absorb heat quickly and keeps you from getting burned while making toast.

Latent heat of vaporization – When a liquid heats up to boiling point the temperature remains constant.  This heat is used to change the liquid to gas without any increase in its temperature.  This process takes place when you boil a pot of rice for dinner.  Once you put the lid on the pot of rice; the temperature in the boiling pot of rice remains constant but the liquid (water) turns to gas (steam) and that is what makes your rice swell and you will not have watery rice.

These are only a few examples of science in the kitchen.  Next time you go into the kitchen to cook; look at it as a science experiment.  See how many science theorems you can find in the kitchen.  You may be surprised that your time in the kitchen is one big science experience.

Try to think of other science facts you can find in your kitchen How many did you find?  I would like to hear back from you so you can share what you found on this page.

Douglas College in Canada – A Great Place to Study

Douglas College, one of the largest colleges in British Columbia, Canada, is one of the few colleges or universities that are still taking admission applications for the Fall, September 2013 start date.  Most colleges and universities in Canada have already closed their admission deadlines for September intake and students who have not applied yet may have to sit out until the January 2014 intake date.

But Douglas is still taking admission applications, although that deadline will soon be past too if students do not act now.

Douglas College, in beautiful BC, is a degree-offering college that is nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.  They offer internationally recognised degrees for less the price of a major university.  Douglas College not only offers degrees, but diplomas, certificates, some post-graduate certificates, university transfer credits and much more.  It only makes sense to study at Douglas College.

If you study in Canada at Douglas College you will save an approximate $ 4000 to $ 8000 dollars per annum by studying at Douglas as opposed to studying in Canada at a major university.  The savings are great and the quality of your degree is equivalent to any you would get at a university.  It only makes sense to study at Douglas College.

Douglas College, because it is a teaching focused institution and not research focused, provides smaller classrooms, more student-teacher interaction and tutoring support.  For those who want to include work experience with their academic study program, there are plenty of co-op work experience programs offered.  (BC is one of the richest provinces in Canada with lots of work opportunities.)  That means you get not only theory but practical experience in your studies.  It only makes sense to study at Douglas College.

Don’t procrastinate any longer.  Contact your Canadian International Student Representative in Pakistan now to find out more about applying to Douglas College in Canada.

Did You Know That Alberta Rose Education Centre is not in Alberta

If you are looking for an academy where dedicated teachers care about your academic progress then Alberta Rose Education Centre is the place you want to be. This DHA, Lahore based academy bases their success on your success.  Don’t procrastinate; get your act together and contact us – are teachers are qualified, experienced and give 100% to your learning experience.  Our Maths and Science teachers will coach, mentor and tutor you to get those marks you have always wanted.  Alberta Rose Education Centre is a tuition academy conveniently located in DHA Lahore.  Start your classes now at Alberta Rose Education Centre by contacting us.

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Studying Starts at Grant MacEwan University

Canada, the 2nd largest country in the world has one of the best education systems available.  The Canadian government spends a good portion of its GNP on education which means you get quality education every time and everywhere.  So where does one study if they plan on studying in Canada?

An ideal place to start your studies in Canada is at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.  Oil rich Alberta has a booming economy, excellent schools, colleges and universities and begs for people to come to this province in Western Canada.  Grant MacEwan University is the perfect institution to start your study abroad experience in Canada.

Outside of excellent programs in degrees, diplomas and certificates; it offers lower tuition rates and smaller classrooms than the major universities.  That means that if you study at Grant MacEwan, you save money and at the same time get a quality education.  Smaller classrooms where professors are more interested in teaching than research means you get more individual attention than if you were to study at a larger university with overpopulated classrooms.

So, if you have done your Intermediate, or are in the process of finishing and you are wondering where you want to do your studying, contact your Canadian International Student Representative in Pakistan.  Start now so you can join the September 2013 (Fall) session.

Canada Study Permits for Pakistani Students

There seems to be this general consensus that the Canadian government does not give Study Permits to Pakistani students so they can study in Canada.  But is this myth or truth?  While there are a good number of rejections, most students have their Study Permit for Canada accepted.  (Out of the students that I have helped place in Canadian colleges or universities, all of them got a Study Permit for Canada.

There are some very important factors one must know to increase their likelihood of being included in the numbers that get their Study Permit for Canada.  These are some of the most commonly seen reasons why a Study Permit application may be rejected:

Unsuitable program:  I have seen Study Permit refusals for students who chose a study program in Canada that was less than their current degree or level of studies.  For example, if you have an MBA you should not register for a 1 year diploma in hospitality management.  That is a downgrade to the credentials you currently have.  Secondly, I see refusals for students who register in a program that gives the student a very low employment opportunity back in their home country.  For example, a Pakistani student who plans on studying English as a Second Language in Canada will most likely not get a Canadian Study Permit.

Money/Income Problems:  A person needs to show a bank account balance of the amount of tuition plus $10,000.  Additionally there are other financial requirements to meet.  See the Canadian High Commission of Canada in Pakistan website on what is required.  Also, although not required, it is recommended that one should try to pay their 1st term fees upfront and have a receipt of that included with their application form.

Insufficient Ties in Home Country:  A student who files an application for a Study Permit must show that there are enough ties in the home country to bring them back home.  Parents, family, current employment status, and prospective employment opportunities available once the international degree is obtained; all of these are factors that will help your case.

Fraudulent Information:  If in any way, the Immigration officer suspects you are not going to Canada to study, then you will not get your Study Permit.

Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade states that Pakistani students make a significant contribution to the numbers and quality of international students who are studying in Canada.  Over a 10 year period, between 1998 to 2007, the number of Pakistani students studying in Canada put Pakistan as a major source country for international students studying in Canada.  Pakistan hovered between the 10th and 16th position.

Do not let what you hear determine your choice of where you want to study.  Like I shared earlier; all the students I have been able to place successfully in a Canadian institution got their Study Permit.  Apply to study in Canada; you will be glad you did.

Study in Canada Where Small is Good

Sometimes good things come in small packages and this adage is true even for small colleges and communities.

Georgian – a Small College

Georgian College is situated in a small satellite city; a one hour drive from greater Toronto, Canada.  The college offers university preparation courses, diplomas, certificates and degrees and joint agreements in some programs with larger universities like York.  This college is recognised by the province of Ontario, Canada so you know if you are planning on studying in Canada, taking one of Georgian’s programs is a viable option.

Some of the plus features offered at this college are:

  • Lower admission requirements than some major universities, yet quality education provided
  • High-tech equipment and a library with internet connection – great for studying
  • Smaller classes where students can get more individual attention
  • Many student services and career counselling for international students studying at the college
  • Three different kinds of accommodation; home stay ( a great option if you want to have a home away from home and improve your English), off campus and student housing
  • Airport pickup from Toronto’s international airport
  • Learning centres and peer tutoring so  your studying experience in Canada is a good one

One of the biggest pluses for Georgian College is the hands-on practical work experience programs.  Most of their programs have some variation of practical experience such as internships or co-op work experience.  This experience gives Georgian the privilege of being able to boast that:

  • Georgian is the largest co-op college in Canada
  • The graduate employment rate stands at 90% for the last 11 years
  • Over 6000 Canadian employers have taken on students studying at Georgian College
  • Over 60% of their programs are co-op which means more work experience to ensure better chances of employment
  • International students get the benefit of a co-op coordinator helping with resumes and cover letters
  • International student advisor helps with obtaining necessary work permits for your work terms

Barrie – a Small Community

Georgian College is located in Barrie Ontario which is a wonderful place to be.  It has many features that make it an attractive place for all students, but international students specifically.

  • It is safe, friendly, clean and attractive – has a very low crime rate
  • It is less than 1 hour from Toronto
  • It is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada which means lots of jobs, etc.
  • It has beautiful beaches, waterfront recreation, parks and ski hills

So, if you are planning on studying in Canada, you might want to consider Georgian College.  Contact their International Student Representative in Pakistan to find out more about this neat little college tucked away in a small community close to a metropolitan like Toronto.

Geometry in Fashion Design

Are you one of those students who would prefer to throw way your Math text book because you are into fashion design and dream of the day when you become a fashion designer?  Do you think that taking Math is a bummer and who needs it anyway?

Math is such a central part of our lives; we really can’t avoid it, even if we want to.  We use it in so many ways and don’t even call it Math.  I discovered this many years ago when I worked in the Math department at a major university in Canada.  One of the Math professors (male and PhD holders) had done an absolutely beautiful work in tapestry.  It was all based on an algebra formula, if you can believe it!  His wife got him to do all her quilting designs because he made every design in perfect symmetry.

So if you are planning a career in fashion design or textiles, don’t toss out the math book and definitely don’t garbage your geometry set; you will need them.  Let’s take a look at where that geometry set and the knowledge that goes along with it will come in handy:

Shapes – angles in design are important, for example; gored skirts, V-necklines, asymmetrical hems, etc.  In order to design aesthetically appealing outfits, geometry is used to make these appealing patterns.  Designers use geometry principles to create these new designs.

Prints – geometry in colour is fashionable and sophisticated.  An outfit that is more suitable for the office or the business world may well be in a geometrical print fabric.

Foundations of design – design, regardless of what you’re designing, it is based on geometry.  It is fundamental to designing fashion and many other things.  Without geometry the beautiful and alluring designs we see in the market would not exist.  We would just wear plain old sacks and even that is based on a rectangle.

There is no escaping it; we need math in our lives.  So prepare for that math test; do well in it because the geometry problems you get can be applied to real life matters in our careers and in our daily lives.

Accents

Adjusting to a new cultural setting can be difficult, even without a language barrier to overcome. Learning both a new culture, and a new language, can seem like a daunting task. This is especially true for adults. While children have a natural capacity for absorbing information and mimicking sounds, we progressively lose this innate ability to learn as we move into adulthood.

The older we get, the more difficult it is to acquire language skills, and most notably, the correct pronunciation. This means, that the older you are when you first learn a language, the more likely you are to retain a significant accent. An accent is not necessarily a bad thing. Variability in accents can make interaction with people more interesting and entertaining. Consistently poor pronunciation, however, can make you difficult to understand, lead to embarrassing situations or worst of all; make native speakers doubt your intellectual capacity.

My family moved to the United States when I was ten years old. My two sisters were six and two years old at the time. We stayed in the US for two and a half years, but it was long enough for us to pick up English in the most natural way – by interacting with English native speakers. Although all three of us speak English fluently, I, as the oldest, have had the most difficult time with correct intonation, accents, and pronunciation. Things that came naturally as breathing to my younger siblings, I have had to actively work on.

Many of the errors that permeated my early English were difficult to correct. I still speak with a light accent, but over the years I’ve slowly eliminated the majority of my most pervasive mistakes. The most difficult part of improving your speaking skills is the fact that hearing your own errors is a lot harder than hearing the errors of others. There is good news, however. With a continued effort you can learn to minimize or eliminate your worst language errors.

The best thing to do is to ask English-speaking friends to correct you when you make severe blunders. Friends and coworkers will often stay silent for fear of causing you embarrassment, but if you make it clear that you wish to improve and welcome critique, they can help you pinpoint your worst pronunciation problems. Once you know what the problem is, correcting it is only a matter of time, practice, and consistent effort. You and I will both likely retain some of our accents, but our spoken English skills can always improve!

By Magdalena Gill

Magdalena Gill – Born in Poland; she is now an accomplished Geologist with URS Corporation in the US.  She pursued her post-graduate degrees from the University of Wyoming and Alborn College in the USA.

What Do World Rankings Mean?

When choosing a university to attend in Canada, or anywhere else in the world, students want to study at a top ranked university or college.  Although it is important to study where you know that you will get the best education and have a degree that is worthwhile; one must not get too hung up on ranks.  It is first important to know the criteria on which a ranking is determined.

Canada has four universities that stand in the top 100 world rankings, depending on which ranking system you view; University of Toronto, McGill University, University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta.  Yet among OECD countries, Canada stands fourth in how much of their GDP they spend on education.  Canada is considered to have one of the best education systems in the world, even outranking the US on some points.  Could it be that rankings are not all that they are made out to be?

So what do the rankings mean?  You will want to know if you are planning on studying abroad in Canada or elsewhere.

There are two main ranking systems that students look to for guidance as to which university they want to attend;

  • Times Higher Education (THE)
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)

Each one of these systems uses different criteria to determine a university’s standing.

Times Higher Education (THE)

These scores are someone subjective because the ranking is partially based on reputation; what are students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments saying about the university.  The criteria used are:

Teaching – the learning environment makes up 30% of the overall ranking score.  Institutions that have a high percentage of undergraduates as opposed to graduates don’t score well.  In other words, the higher ratio of graduates is, the higher the rank.

Research – the amount of research, the income (due to grants and research funds, etc.) and reputation as a research institute are important factors in a university’s rank.

Citations – this refers to yearly publications; a university needs to publish a minimum of 200 papers per year to get any sort of score in this area.

Industry income – how much industry or revenue is generated as a result of the research?  Many universities have their spin-off companies that have evolved out of the research conducted at the university.

International outlook – Internationalisation aspects of national vs. International student rations; international instructors, collaborative research and agreements between universities makes up 7.5% of the score.  (Internationalisation is increased at a university where there is a strong graduate studies and research focus.)

A close examination of the above criteria shows that a university that focuses on graduates studies and research are the real leading factors in determining a university’s ranking on this scale.  If you are a graduate student looking for a good university, using THE might be worth your while, but for the undergraduate; while you want to study at a reputable educational institution, using THE rankings might not give you the best selection as to where to study.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)

Their ranking methodology is less subjective as they do not rely on reporting methods that might be highly askew if certain segments of the global population have an undue representation in the surveys.  ARWU relies heavily on statistics and facts.  Therefore their rankings might be considered more reliable; but again there is a heavy emphasises on research and graduate work.

The criteria used here are:

Quality of Education:

  • Numbers of alumni who hold Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals
  • Academics at the university who win Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals

Quality of Faculty:

  • How many of the universities researchers are highly cited in 21 subject categories
  • The number of papers published in Nature and Science

Research Outlook:

  • Papers indexed in Science Citation and Social Science Indexes

Per Capita Performance:

  • Per capital academic performance of an institution

If you are interested in studying at the Graduate level, you do want to consider the research factor of the university; but for the most part, either ranking system should not totally govern your decision as to what university or college you will attend.  If you are an undergraduate there are other factors you want to consider; such as smaller classrooms or closer relationships with professors and teaching staff.

If you are an international student who wants to study in Canada, there are many smaller institutions where you can get a quality degree or you can transfer to a top ranking university after your first couple of years studying in Canada.  This would be more suitable, less expensive and still provide you with a solid education from a reputable institution.  If you are interested in studying in Canada, then contact your International Student Representative in Pakistan for more information and details so you can find the best place to study in Canada.