June 14, 2013 | Leave a Comment
There seems to be a common belief amongst Americans that we don’t do science or math that well. Read many of the articles floating around on the internet and you’ll notice the majority of them make the point that our universities aren’t producing enough STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) graduates. The actual truth behind those beliefs is debatable. For every article about a shortage in American STEM workers, there is an article that pushes back, saying we have plenty of qualified people here, but corporations prefer to import their talent from overseas. That debate will continue. What isn’t up for debate is how much more STEM graduates make in comparison to their peers. Engineers make up seven of the top ten highest paying college majors.
Discerning readers who follow the news will no doubt feel themselves instantly compelled to defend humanities graduates. There are definitely jobs to be had for liberal arts majors, it’s just that it’s hard to refute that STEM graduates make much more money immediately following graduation (if they do end up employed). It’s rare to find the liberal arts major that gets picked up for a near six figure salary immediately upon finishing school. For engineers, this is fairly common. Now before anyone gets the impression that a STEM degree is a magic bullet, it’s important to point out that there are some things you should know before fantasizing about a future around laboratory supply equipment:
You’ll spend a lot of time in school
An education in the sciences is quite time-consuming and that’s not just counting the fact that you’ll be spending most of your time buried in books or trying to schedule time in the lab. The biggest benefits of STEM degrees only really present themselves after obtaining graduate degrees. Only earning a bachelor’s, while still beneficial to your career, often isn’t enough to get the highest paying jobs in scientific or technical fields. While you’ll be making over six figures, you’ll have to put the time in and maybe complete about eight years of post-high school education.
You’ll spend money to make money
We all know the truism “it takes money to make money.” In this case, you’re making an investment. Going to college for so many years and going to a ranked school is going to cost some serious bucks. If you’re like almost everyone else, that means taking out loans you’ll be repaying for years. While the idea is you’ll be making such a hefty salary that it’ll be worth it, it’s still important to point out that there is quite the debt burden involved when pursuing a STEM career. Between fees for lab equipment, time invested, and general college related expenses, you’ll need that big salary.
Kids just starting to think about college would be wise to give a STEM degree some serious consideration. They take a lot of work and discipline, but the financial rewards will be worth it. With so much uncertainty in the economy, it’s important to maximize your earning potential.
About the author: James Cash is professional writer with interests in the science and mathematics fields.
Image Licence: Royalty Free or iStock | Source
A microemulsion may be described as thermodynamically stable mixtures and water, oil and a surfactant. A surfactant is a compound that helps to lower the surface tension of a particular liquid. A surfactant might be a detergent, foaming agent, emulsifier or wetting agent, to name a few.
A microemulsion doesn’t require the same kind of mixing or high shearing conditions as an ordinary emulsion, which is one of its defining characteristics. A microemulsion has many different applications.
One place that microemulsions are used regularly is the cosmetics industry. These include products like mascara, lip stick, sunscreen, fragrances and various creams and skin treatments. The texture and appearance of cosmetics is of the utmost importance for quality control and customer satisfaction, so the added control that microemulsions provide goes a long way. Stability is another aspect of cosmetics that is important, as it extends shelf life and helps with cost effectiveness.
During situations where oil is trapped underground and much of it cannot be recovered, a micro emulsion can help make it possible. It has to do with trapping the oil with high interfacial tension in the reservoir between the reservoir brine and crude oil. The practice is known as enhanced oil recovery, and along with all the equipment and personnel, it is the microemulsion that makes it happen.
Not a particularly exciting product, but as any homeowner or janitorial worker knows, it certainly has its purpose. Floor polish needs to be the right consistency and the right texture to work properly, and aside from making the floor shine and look great, it can also reduce slippery conditions that may result in a fall.
Since pesticides have a very specific function, having the right mix of ingredients in the right consistency is quite important. The fact that it must keep insects away without damaging human skin and tissue makes the proper formula very important.
The pharmaceutical industry is one that uses the microemulsion concept on a regular basis. Many different drugs are manufactured using a microemulsion as part of the process. And as everyone knows, pharmaceuticals that aren’t made exactly to specifications can result in a terrible situation once they get into the hands and bodies of patients. Drugs that aren’t mixed and processed correctly can lead to serious health issues and even death.
About the author: Ken Torres, an avid blogger to the general masses specializing in up and coming happenings in the science industry.
Image source. License: Creative Commons.
April 9, 2013 | 1 Comment
When asked “Who is Michael Faraday?” Your likely response would be “Why he is the Father of electricity! A leading chemist and physicist. The founder of electromagnetic induction” and you’d be right of course, but there is much more to Michael Faraday. Read on for five facts about Faraday you may not have known.
Faraday invented the Toy Balloon
Prior to 1824 when Faraday invented the rubber balloon, toy balloons were made from pigs bladders and animal intestines. Faraday made his balloons by cutting around two sheets of rubber and pressing together the edges. The adjoining surfaces were dusted with flour to stop the insides fusing together. Michael Faraday filled these balloons with hydrogen as part of his research at the Royal Institute of London.
Faraday secured Einstein his first job
One of the most influential scientists of all time, Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on the wall of his study in Princeton, New Jersey. It was said to be Einstein’s knowledge of Michael Faraday (and the Scottish theoretical physicist James Maxwell) that secured Einstein his first job at the Swiss Patent Office.
The best bar none
The most southerly bar in the world, on Galindez Island in Antarctica, was named after Faraday. It is currently on the Ukrainian Research Station, but it was built and named when the place was on Britain’s Faraday Atmospheric Research Station. The bar came about when a consignment of wood sent by the British Government to replace a broken boat dock was commandeered by carpenters to build the Antarctic Peninsula’s only bar. It was built to replicate a tradition British tavern complete with pint pots and real ale.
Causing a stink!
Faraday was one of the first people to recognise the horrendous condition of the Thames waterway. At the time the Thames was being use both as a rubbish dumping ground and a main source of drinking water. Faraday conducted a number of experiments to test the quality of the water which confirmed his suspicion – the Thames was little more than a “fermenting Sewer”. Parliament largely ignored his finding until just 3 years later a usually hot summer caused the Thames to boil and fill the whole of London with a repugnant odour. The government could ignore him no longer and a completely new sewer system was soon implemented.
Standing on the shoulders of giants
Michael Faraday died in 1867 at the age of seventy-five. He had previously declined the offer of internment at Westminster Abbey and instead was buried in Highgate Cemetery North London. A plaque is dedicated to Faraday at Westminster and is placed beneath the grave of Sir Isaac Newton.
Author: Colin McDonald. An avid history lover who just loves to dig out the fun facts that encourage people to find out more about a subject. I am currently loving researching the beginnings of electricity and received a lot of help and advice from www.havenpower.com.