Monthly Archives: June 2014

How to Improve the Way We Teach Chemistry

There is no denying that chemistry is one of the most important subjects that budding scientists should learn. Chemistry is all about the building blocks of life and how things are created and survive. That being said, there is also no denying the fact that chemistry is one of the more difficult and confusing subjects in the scientific field and that many potential chemistry students are turned off by how confusing and difficult it is. The topic of chemical bonding is vitally important but is also usually where students first get turned off of the subject. Recent research shows that this is where most students lose interest because the way that bonding is taught is both unsustainable and difficult grasp.

The recent paper written by Harkirat Dhindsa and David Treagust attempts to figure out how the current way we teach chemical bonding and chemistry as a whole is losing the interest of the current generation of students. They focus on the fact that the current chemistry curriculum is relatively stale and out-of-date and that there needs to be a greater emphasis on both grabbing the attention of the students as well as teaching them in a manner that is both easier to grasp and will lead to further learning. This is definitely a concept that should be accepted by all institutions because as the US falls behind in international science scores, we need to figure out why our students are losing interest and how we can reverse the worrisome trend.

If you’d like to read more, the link is below:

from Scott Houghton and Chemistry

UMass Lowell Announces New Lacrosse Assistant Head Coach

On Tuesday afternoon, the head coach of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell’s lacrosse team announced the hiring of a new assistant head coach, Scott Dalgliesh. Mr. Dalgliesh has a strong background in both coaching as well as mentoring players and there is no doubt that his hiring will strengthen the UMass Lowell team in terms of both skill and morale. He was the head coach at Marywood University for the past three years and mentored 30 All-Academic CSAC student athletes and 23 All-CSAC players while also improving the teams retention rate by eight percent. This all bodes well for the future of the UMass team, especially the fact that their gaining a coach who has a record of producing CSAC players.

Along with his skill in mentoring and creating CSAC players, Mr. Dalgliesh also comes with an impressive record from when he was a head coach. He had a 25-28 record (.472) as a head coach and his conference record stands at 15-4 (.789). He also had two 10-win season during his 3-year tenure as head coach. Dalgliesh was also an accomplished player during university and will bring that attitude and the knowledge of what it’s actually like to be on the field to his position. With a number of program and conference records from his playing days under his belt and his track record as a coach as well, Scott is going to help make the UMass team a force to be reckoned with.

If you’d like to read more, the link is below:

from Scott Houghton and Lacrosse

Montana’s Health Department Computer Server Has Been Hacked

It seems as though there’s a new story every week about how something in our countries healthcare system is either failing it’s patients, being stonewalled in congress, or simply not working up to the standards we expect. However, this weeks news has taken a much darker turn for the state of Montana. On Tuesday, Montana health officials admitted that the states healthcare computer server had been hacked and that up to 1.3 million people may have had their data compromised. While there’s no evidence that anything was stolen, the department is still sending out letters to every person who may have been compromised so that they are aware of potential medical fraud and identity theft. The fact that this is coming at a time when the healthcare debate is raging and has already shut-down our government once means that there are potential ramifications that are yet to be seen, especially in the political sphere.

While officials are denying any information was stolen, they are already taking precautionary measures just in case. Montana is offering free credit monitoring and identity-fraud insurance for a full year to all 1.3 million people who may have been affected by the breach. While this is definitely a good start, the fact remains that up to 1.3 million social security numbers, addresses, and other aspects of personal information were open for the snatching. Hopefully other states will learn from what happened to Montana and make sure that something like this never happens again.

If you’d like to read more, the link is below:

from Scott Houghton and Healthcare Consulting

The Dangers of Student Debt

Not many people, other than the banks themselves, see student debt as a good thing. There’s no denying the fact that as recent years have passed, there have been more and more students finding themselves in debt for  simply for going to college. While this is bad for reasons that include the need to immediately pay off said debt upon graduation, there is also a worrisome trend that is starting to appear and that no one had though about before. The decisions taken by these students with up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt not only affect their personal lives, but they are affecting our economy and in a bad way. This country of ours was founded with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the belief that everyone would have a fair chance to make their way in the world. Sadly, the current truth is pointing the other way.

Recent studies have shown that students who graduate with student debt are much more unlikely to start their own business, take financial and commercial risks, or even buy or rent houses and apartments. With 60% of jobs being created and supported by small businesses, the fact that people aren’t willing to create new ones means that we’re going to start seeing negative ramifications in the economy sooner rather than later. Something needs to be done to prevent this from continuing or we will see more and more issues cropping up for recent grads. Resources need to be allocated so that the entrepreneurial spirit of our students and graduates isn’t tempered and crushed by the weight of student debt.

If you’d like to read more, the link is below:

from Scott Houghton and entrepreneurship