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Our education staff publish regular articles, tips and tutorials to help students with their homeworkThu, 16 Feb 2017 03:10:16 +0000en-UShourly1https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.375589453Science Review of Storms on the Sun
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Sun, 12 Feb 2017 23:52:15 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=9096Overview
Eruptions of light and other forms of radiation from the sun affect conditions on and near Planet Earth, causing geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms, and radio blackouts. Some types of “storms on the sun” include solar flares, coronal mass ejections, high-speed solar wind, and solar energetic particles.

Solar Flare

Solar flares come from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. We observe them as bright areas on the sun that can last anywhere from minutes to hours. A solar flare releases energy from visible light throughout the spectrum, including x-rays and ultraviolet light. They impact Earth when they occur on the side of the sun that faces us, because the energy-carrying photons travel in straight lines.

Coronal Mass Ejections

The outermost atmosphere of the sun is called the corona, shaped by strong magnetic fields. If the fields are closed rather than open, parts of the confined solar atmosphere can suddenly erupt, releasing bubbles of gas and solar material in a violent explosion. Tons of matter violently burst through space at millions of miles an hour, impacting anything in its path. The cloud has to be facing Earth to affect the planet.

High-Speed Solar Wind

The solar wind is formed along magnetic fields that travel through the Solar system, from large, dark areas in the sun’s corona called “coronal holes.” Open lines in the sun’s magnetic field allow particles to be more accelerated, creating a high-speed solar wind. If the high-speed solar wind is formed near the equator of the sun, it is more likely to create shock waves that release more energetic particles.

Effects on the Earth

If the magnetosphere of the Earth is impacted by energy from any type of storm on the sun, it undergoes sudden and repeated change. For the most part, the magnetosphere protects us from most particles the sun emits. However, if that stream of magnetic particles is unusually strong or hits the magnetosphere southward, it can enter the atmosphere at the poles and weaken the magnetic field of the Earth (or any other planet it encounters). Although the magnetic field goes back to its normal strength in a number of hours, during the time the magnetic field is interrupted, electrical and radio communications can be brought down. For example, the electrical blackout that affected 6 million people in 1989 was caused by a geomagnetic storm, and radio disruptions often affect aircraft communications.
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Sun, 29 Jan 2017 04:25:28 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=9091Overview
The five senses of vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell are familiar. However, people have three more senses that are critical to everyday life –vestibular, or sense of balance; proprioceptive, or sense of where one is in space; and interoceptive, or the body’s sense of what is going on internally. Although those senses are not as familiar, they are necessary to optimal functioning.

Vision and Hearing

The visual system includes the eyes and the occipital lobe of the brain. The eyes process stimuli from light in a complex relationship between special cells and nerves. Connections between the eyes and the brain allow people and animals to make sense of the landscape, to recognize what is being seen, and to detect features and movement. The auditory or hearing system includes the ears and parts of the brain that are critical to hearing, such as the primary auditory cortex in the temporal lobe of the brain. Just as light can be perceived in hue, brightness, and saturation, sound can be perceived as pitch, loudness, and timbre (the type of the sound).

Taste, Smell, and Touch

There are only four qualities of taste; bitter, sour, salty, and sweet. Taste buds in the tongue are most sensitive to those separate qualities, which depend on chemicals in the food substances. People and animals learn to distinguish between them. Areas of the brain responsible for processing taste information include specific parts of the medulla. Smell is also a chemical sense, and the primary organ of smell is within the nose. Specific areas within the brain include the amygdala, neocortex, and hippocampus in the base of the brain. Taste and smell are closely related, which is why food tastes so bland when the nose is stopped up with a cold. Touch, in contrast, involves the body’s largest organ, the skin. Elements of touch include touch, pressure, temperature, and pain. The brain and spinal cord process tactile, or touch, information from many different places, including the parietal lobe, the thalamus, and multiple locations along the spinal cord and cranial nerves.

Vestibular

The vestibular system includes systems that control balance, keeping the head upright, and adjustment of eye movement to compensate for head movements. (Think of the eye movements of a dancer pirouetting across the stage. She keeps her eyes focused on the same point to prevent becoming dizzy as she turns.) It consists of the semicircular canals and the vestibular sacs. Those systems connect with specific cranial nerves and parts of the brain, such as the cerebellum, medulla, and spinal cord.

Proprioceptive and Interoceptive

The proprioceptive sense is the way the body senses the position, location, orientation, and movement of muscles and joints. Sensory information comes from connections between the inner ear with special receptors in every muscle and joint in the body. That sensory input travels to areas in both the cerebrum and cerebellum. Interoceptive senses involve the way that processes are coordinated within the body, such as hunger, thirst, and many other feelings necessary to life. Scientists have identified many other senses which are not as well-known as these eight, and some have suggested that people may have as many as 39 separate senses.
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Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:39:51 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=9083Overview
Besides solving systems of equations by graphing and substitution, systems of equations can also be solved by addition. Math students can choose the best method for the problem at hand. Sometimes this process is called “solving systems of equations by elimination”.

Using Addition

Although some systems of equations can be solved by substitution, other systems can be solved by adding both equations. Both equations must be written in standard form as Ax +By =C. For example, suppose the equations in the system are x +y = 5 and 2x –y = 4. They can be expressed as x +2x +y –y = 5 +4. Now x +2x equals 3x, y-y = 0, and 5 +4 = 9. The new equation is 3x +0 = 9, or x =3. If 3 +y = 5, then y equals 2. Checking the solution in the second equation, 2x or 6 -2 does equal 4. The addition method can be used because the addition property for equations states that we can add the same number to both sides of the equation, and the equations are still equivalent expressions, and make a true statement.

Using Multiplication, Then Addition

The multiplication property of equations is an extension of the addition property, since multiplication is repeated addition. Therefore, we can multiply each side of the equation by the same number or expression. This is especially useful to eliminate a variable, before using the addition method. For example, suppose the equations in a system were 5x +3y = 17 and 5x-2y =-3. If they were to be added without multiplying, the new equation would be 5x +5x +3y – 2y = 17-3, or 10x-y =14. That is not closer to a solution, as there are still 2 variables in the system. Suppose both sides of the second equation are multiplied by -1, so that the new equation is -1(5x -2y) = -1(-3), or -5x +2y = 3. Using the addition method, 5x – 5x +3y +2y = 17 +3, or 5y =20, or y =4. If 5x +12 = 17, then 5x = 5, or x =1. Using the second equation to check, 5-8 = -3.

Using Multiplication More than Once

Sometimes the multiplication property needs to be used more than once in order to use the addition method. Suppose the system of equations is 5x +3y = 2 and 3x +5y =-2. Using the multiplication property once, 5(5x +3y) = 5(2) = 25x +15y = 10. The second equation can be multiplied by -3, so that -3(3x +5y) = -3(-2), or -9x -15y =6. Then the addition method can be used, so that 25x -9x +15y -15y = 10+6 or 16x = 16, or x =1. Solving for y, 3y = 2-5, or -3, so y= -1. Checking the second equation, 3 (1) + 5 (-1) = -2. The solution is (1, -1).

Problem-Solving Using the Addition Method

Suppose that the problem were to translate a word problem to a system of equations, then solve. The sum of two numbers is 115, and their difference is 21. Understanding the problem, the first equation is x +y = 115, and the second equation is x-y = 21. Using the addition method, x + x +y-y = 115 +21, or 2x =136, or x = 68. Substituting for x, 68 +y = 115, or y = 47. Checking with the second equation, 68-47 = 21.
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]]>9083Math Review of Solving Systems by Substitution
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Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:12:39 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=9076Overview
One of the ways to solve systems of equations is by graphing the equations. However, graphing the equations is not always the most accurate method to solve them. If one variable in a system is represented in terms of the other variable in the system, the systems can be solved by substitution.

Using Substitution

Suppose one of the equations in the system is x + y = 5 and the other equation is x = y +1. The expression y +1 can be substituted for x, so that y +1 +y =5. Then, there is just one variable so that 2y +1 =5, 2y +1 -1 = 5-1, or 2y = 4, or y =2. In order to check, substitute the value of y to solve for x, such that x +2 = 5, or x +2-2 = 5-2, or x = 3. Check the second equation also, so that 3 =2 +1. That is the way to use substitution to solve a system of equations.

Isolating the Variables

Sometimes, the variables cannot be isolated as easily in a system of equations, but the system of substitution can still be used. Suppose the equations were x-2y = 8 and 2x +y = 8. The first equation can be rearranged such that x = 8 +2y. Using substitution, the second equation then becomes 2(8 +2y) +y =8, or 16 +4y +y =8. As before, there is only one variable, such that 5y = 8-16 or 5y=-8, or y = -8/5. Again, check the value of x, so that x – (2)(-8/5) =8, or x +16/5 =8. (Notice how the sign changes when two negative values are multiplied.) Then multiply both sides by 5, so that 5x +16 = 40, or 5x =24 or x = 24/5. To check the first equation, 24/5 – 2[-8/5] equals 24/5 +16/5 = 40/5, or 8. To check the second equation 2 (24/5) – (8/5) = 48/5 – 8/5) = 40/5 = 8.

Understanding the Problem and Developing a Plan

Math problems that are written in words can often be translated into systems of equations, then solved by using substitution. Suppose the statement were “The sum of two numbers is 82. One number is 12 more than the other. What is the larger number?” The first sentence can be represented by the equation x +y = 82. The second sentence can be represented by the equation x=12 +y.

Problem-Solving: Solving the Problem and Checking the Answer

To solve the problem, take the system of equations and use substitution, so that 12 +y +y = 82, then 2y = 82-12, or 2y = 70, then y = 70/2, or 35. Using the second equation to solve for x, 12 +35 = 47, and using the first equation, 47 +35 = 82.
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Thu, 27 Oct 2016 23:43:51 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=8239Overview
The SAT consists mostly of multiple-choice questions, except for the essay and some mathematics questions that require an answer grid. Each multiple-choice question has 5 alternative answers. Four of them are distractors, and one alternative is the correct answer.

Following Directions

It is very important to follow directions exactly when taking the SAT or any other standardized test. Study the directions for each type of test as part of preparation before taking the SAT. Bring several Number 2 pencils and erasers on the day of the test, and remember to fill in the bubbles on the answer sheet completely, so that the machine will read the answers that are chosen. Use the approved calculator for the math portion, and practice with it before the test so that it is familiar. The essay portion must be written legibly in pencil, so that it can be scanned.

Multiple-Choice Format

Most of the questions are in multiple-choice format, with 5 possible answers for each question. All the math questions in multiple-choice format range from easy to hard. The multiple-choice questions on the critical reading portions refer to that reading portion alone. The advantage for students using the multiple-choice format is that the correct answer is already one of the alternatives.

Eliminating Alternatives

Raw scores on the SAT are calculated so that each correct answer receives a full point, each incorrect answer subtracts ¼ of a point, and each unanswered question receives no points. That formula is supposed to discourage students from random guessing. However, students can narrow the field by eliminating distractors that are clearly incorrect. Suppose a student can confidently state that 2 of the 5 possible alternatives on a question are incorrect. The probability of getting any one of the three alternatives correct is 33%, which is already higher than the 25% incorrect-answer penalty. If 3 alternatives can be eliminated, the probability is 50%. Skillful preparation for the SAT ensures students can eliminate alternatives, and thus raise their SAT scores.

Choosing the Best Answer

Students can use their answer books as scratch paper during the test, and are encouraged to do so. That way, they can draw diagrams for geometry problems, cross out incorrect alternatives, underline key words in sentences; and do anything to help choose the best answer for every question. Students can also circle questions in the answer book that stump them, as a reminder to go back and try again if there is extra time. During SAT preparation, individual students can learn the methods and strategies to help them achieve the best scores possible on the SAT, and get into the colleges of their choice.
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Tue, 18 Oct 2016 01:17:53 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=8204Overview
Curling and bobsled are winter sports that rely on friction against an icy track or surface. In curling, a special stone is moved by a combination of momentum and friction against a sheet of ice. Team players use a variety of strategies to determine which of their stones will score the highest. In bobsledding and related sports, two and 4 person teams gain maximum velocity at the start, steering their sleds to minimize the effects of gravity, wind resistance, and drag.

Curling

The sport of curling probably originated in Scotland in medieval times. Weavers used their large granite stones from warp beams to skim across the ice. They built special shallow ponds and used frozen rivers. The object of the game is to move the stone down the pond to a target, called “home.” Once the team member pushes off the block to give momentum to the stone, it is not kicked or thrown. The team captain, or “skip”, guides the stone with one broom, while two other players sweep the ice back and forth in front of the stone with special brooms, generating enough heat from friction to melt a thin film of water for the stone to glide upon. If stones collide, they exchange momentum.

Equipment for Curling

The stones weigh around 45 pounds, and are made from a type of granite that resists water, so any melting ice becomes the glide path. Absorbed water would slow the stone’s movement. At one time, curling brooms were made of corn husks, but curling brooms used today are made from synthetic materials to stand up to the rapid sweeping action across the ice.

Bobsledding

The winter sport of bobsledding calls for two or four person teams. They push an aerodynamically-designed sled down a 50 meter start course, jump into the sled, keeping it steady and straight, and careen down the course against the force of gravity. The force of gravity can reach as much as 5G, similar to the forces on fighter pilots.

Minimizing Drag and Air Resistance

After the bobsled team pushes off the sled, no further acceleration is possible, as the vehicles are not motorized. The smooth design of the bobsled, as well as the rubber surface of the suits competitors wear, are designed to minimize the amount of drag and air resistance that would slow them down.
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Mon, 15 Aug 2016 21:55:49 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=8183Overview
Three-dimensional solid figures can be represented by the two-dimensional pattern of polygons that create them. The pattern, called a net, is a visual representation that illustrates the formula for the surface area of the three-dimensional figure. If the net were folded, it would produce that figure.

Representation of Cylinders

The net for a cylinder consists of two circles adjoining a rectangle. This relates to the formula for the surface area of a cylinder; 2 πr^{2}+ 2πrh. The 2 πr^{2} is the formula for the area of the two circles. In order for the rectangle to fit around the circumference of the circle, the width of the rectangle is 2πr. The height of the rectangle is the height of the cylinder. Since the formula for the area of a rectangle is length multiplied by width, the area of the rectangle will have the measurement 2πrh.
Representation of Rectangular Prisms
The net for a cube consists of the six square faces that make up the cube. A square has the same length, width, and height. It is a special type of a rectangular prism, also known as a rectangular cuboid. A rectangular prism also has 6 faces, in three parallel pairs that meet at right angles. The top and bottom faces are congruent, as are the two other pairs of opposite sides. The formula for the surface area of a rectangular prism is 2(lw +wh +lh), which the net illustrates perfectly.

Representations of Pyramids

Pyramids are solid figures with triangular faces that meet at a single point called an apex, and a polygon base. A tetrahedron is a special type of pyramid with 4 triangular faces, and a regular tetrahedron, with all triangles equilateral and congruent, is a Platonic solid. Another type of pyramid has a square or rectangular base and three triangular sides. The net that illustrates the pyramids has the base bounded by triangles on each side. A regular tetrahedron has a net with all four triangles inside a larger triangle.

Representations of Other Figures

Many other solid figures can be represented by their nets. For example, a cone with a circular base is represented by the circular base adjoined by a quarter circle. Solid figures have been extrapolated into more than three dimensions. A tesseract is a four-dimensional figure with three-dimensional faces. It has been used in surreal art, science fiction, music, and popular culture.
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Sun, 24 Jul 2016 21:03:33 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=9048Overview
Writers use basic structures to put their ideas in order and present them. Some of those basic structures include chronological, sequential, comparative, causal (or cause-and-effect), categorical, and evaluative.
Chronological and Sequential
The simplest way to order ideas is to present them as they happen in time, with a beginning, middle, and end. Most stories and novels follow this sequence, with early events followed by later events. For example, an essay on the growth of industry may discuss developments in the 1700s, followed by events in the 1800s, and events in the 1900s. Another related structure is sequential, where items are discussed from step to step (or sometimes in reverse). Suppose a writer is discussing how to play Pokemon Go as a beginner to the game. First, he or she might talk about signing up for the game; then, choosing and customizing the avatar; next, entering the animated map; then traveling to stops in the real world in order to capture each Pokemon. Writers will give transition clues in this structure with words such as first, second, third, next, and finally.

Comparative

Comparative structure is used to compare and contrast ideas, and often the most relevant ideas are discussed first, with the others discussed afterwards. This structure may be used when answering a “compare and contrast” essay. Suppose the writer were asked to compare and contrast igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. He or she might discuss the ways they are similar in composition and structure, before describing differences in the way each type of rock is formed. Writers also use comparative structure when comparing and contrasting ideas for a debate, to explain why their side of the argument is stronger than that of the opposing side.

Casual

Writers develop this structure to describe causes and effects. For example, a writer may develop an essay on air pollution by discussing the different chemicals that cause air pollution, as well as how those chemicals are produced, before discussing the health and environmental effects of air pollution. Causes are discussed before effects, and writers may also discuss the solutions to the problem.

Categorical and Evaluative

In categorical writing, the order of ideas is less important than in the other types. For example, a writer is writing about different types of trucks. They may choose to write about GMC trucks, then Ford trucks, or Ford trucks, then GMC trucks. Similarly, in evaluative writing, writers may choose to present arguments for a particular position, against a particular position, and neutral to that position, or in any other order.

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Sun, 17 Jul 2016 19:44:31 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=9043Overview
One of the ways to help the reader understand the points made or the direction the argument is going is by the use of transitions. Transition words and phrases signal illustration, contrast, continuation, or conclusion.

Illustration

One of the ways to develop an idea is by illustrating examples. They add more information about a thesis, reinforcing it, agreeing with material that has gone before. For example, many people say that summer is their favorite season. First, the weather is pleasant, so that people can get outdoors and enjoy favorite activities. Second, some people have vacations during the summer, so they can travel to other places like the beach. In addition, people can dress more casually and comfortably. Words and phrases such as first, second, for instance, and for example, signal to the reader that the illustrations continue the previous idea.

Contrast

However, another way to develop an idea is by using contrasting examples. Contrast shows that there is another way of looking at an idea by pointing out alternatives, changing direction. On the other hand, other people prefer winter, because they can take part in winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating. In contrast, winter vacations can be less expensive and destinations less crowded. Unlike the heat of summer, the cool of winter brings the beauty of blanketing snow. Words and phrases such as on the other hand, in contrast, unlike, otherwise, and however signal contrast to the reader.

Continuation

Writers can also continue with earlier points made in the essay. Transition words such as especially, furthermore, and moreover allow the reader to stop and consider further points. Some people especially like summer because of the long, sunny days, allowing them more time to spend outdoors. The warm weather allows many crops, such as corn, peas, strawberries, and raspberries to grow and ripen.

Conclusion

During the conclusion, the writer summarizes and restates the points made in the essay. Transition words and phrases such as in conclusion, finally, as aresult, and after all signal the reader that the argument is coming to a close. In conclusion, people prefer a particular season of the year because that season contains their preferred weather and activities.
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Tue, 12 Jul 2016 03:10:44 +0000http://schooltutoring.com/help/?p=9039Overview
Metalloids are elements that have some properties of metals and some of nonmetals. They are on the periodic table along the dividing line between metals and nonmetals. The most commonly recognized metalloids include the elements boron (B), silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), and tellurium (Te).

Metalloids

Elements are commonly classified as either metals, nonmetals, or metalloids. Most metalloids are brittle (a non-metallic property), act as semiconductors of electricity, and have a metallic luster (also a metallic property). They are solid at room temperature. In chemical reactions, they often act more like nonmetals, but they form alloys like metals. Whether elements are classified as metalloids or not depend upon the chemist’s decision. For example, polonium (Po), and astatine (At) are sometimes included in the list of metalloids, because of their chemical properties and their location on the periodic table.

Semiconductor Properties

Metalloids are good semiconductors, which mean that they are between the electrical conductivity of metals and materials used for insulation. Semiconductors can conduct electricity under some conditions, so electrical current can be controlled. Semiconductor chips, transistors, and other electronic parts form integrated circuits for everything from computers to cell phones. The metalloids, especially silicon, boron, germanium, and compounds of arsenic and antimony, are natural semiconductors. Silicon and germanium revolutionized the electronics and computer industries.

Alloys

The metalloids are often too brittle to be used as pure substances, but form many useful alloys. For example, boron is used in alloys with steel and with nickel for welding components. Germanium is alloyed with silver to make tarnish-resistant sterling silver. Pewter is an alloy of tin and antimony.

Other Uses of Metalloids

Many compounds of metalloids are highly toxic, such as those containing arsenic and antimony. However, other compounds can be used as disinfectants and antiviral agents. Compounds of boron are used as catalysts in many chemical reactions. Many compounds are used to form glassware, especially in chemical and industrial uses, such as optical fibers. Silicon and boron compounds are also used in fireworks, as they are less toxic than some other compounds.

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