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iceman
22-11-2010, 05:02 AM
Hi all

I've been contacted by a couple of groups of school kids who have an assignment where they need to ask an 'astronomer' or 'amateur astronomer' some questions about a topic, like an interview.

Rather than look up the answers myself (I don't know them all off the top of my head :)) I would rather put it out there to the community, and the answers can be from the IceInSpace Community!

----------
Group 1
The Questions are....

1. What is Dark Matter?

2. How is Dark Matter formed?

3. How was Dark Matter discovered?

4. Where other than space can Dark Matter be found? (If there is no other places, leave blank.)

5. How has science made an impact on Dark Matter?
----------


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Group 2
1. What are solar storms and what affect can they do to Earth?

2. What is Dark Matter made of? (Is it nothing or a certain substance)

3. What is the most likely cause of the end of the world and why?

4. Is our Solar System large?

5. How long should Earth last?

6. Where would be our next home after Mars and Europa?

----------

Thanks for any help you can give these kids!

Cheers

CraigS
22-11-2010, 06:24 AM
Eeeek !!

:eek:

I don't know that we can get sufficient agreement, at least internally at IIS, on these topics, in order to give these kids an honest answer !

This requires a true diplomat !! I'm not sure that's me … anyone else up to this onerous challenge ??

:eek::eek::eek:

:)

Cheers

CraigS
22-11-2010, 10:41 AM
Mike;
Despite my response below .. I'm havin' a go at it !
:)

It'll take a while to put the words together.
I'm working on one at the moment. Can you let us know what age group we're talking to here ? High School, etc …??...

Anyone else is welcome to have a go, also.

(Perhaps mine could be a fallback response - I'm not too good at answering questions … my answers seem to result in arguments, here). ;)

:)

Cheers

higginsdj
22-11-2010, 10:49 AM
How old are the kid?

iceman
22-11-2010, 11:22 AM
I believe they're primary school.

CraigS
22-11-2010, 11:35 AM
.. And they're asking about dark matter !!!????
:eyepop:

Sheesh …. they wouldn't even understand what an atom, or gravity is, yet !!

Kids are being pushed to ridiculous levels these days !!

I doubt that they'd even have the fundamentals to understand the questions let alone the answers !!

Oh well … I guess its a challenge !!

Cheers

noswonky
22-11-2010, 12:02 PM
I suspect that the teacher's intent is to teach the kids how to research a topic by going to an 'expert' source rather than just googling. The questions are probably designed to provoke a range of conflicting answers from different sources. This teaches them not to rely on any one source when doing research.

It seems like a good plan. It would be even better without the grammar mistakes ("if there is no other places"). Did a teacher really write this?

iceman
22-11-2010, 12:15 PM
I think you're probably right.
It was the kids who chose the topic, though.

CraigS
22-11-2010, 12:16 PM
Hey Peter;
If that's the case, we should just give 'em all a login ID here and let 'em watch what happens in this Forum when we start talking about 'darkness' !!

:lol::)

There ya go Mike !! - Problem solved !!
:lol:
:)
Cheers

Steffen
22-11-2010, 05:09 PM
I disagree, and am frequently disheartened to see how little kids learn in high school these days (esp maths and natural science), compared to when I went to school.

Since these appear to be questions asked by kids the answers should be correct but simple rather than profound, and wrong answers shouldn't lead to loss of IIS membership :) With that in mind, I give it a crack, please feel free to correct and complete:

Group 1

1. What is Dark Matter?

Dark matter is hypothetical stuff that we believe to be there, otherwise our understanding of the mechanics of the universe doesn't work out. In order to function the way it appears to do the universe needs to be heavier than all the matter we can see. There must be matter we can't see, and that's what we call Dark Matter.

2. How is Dark Matter formed?

We don't know. In fact, we don't know how any of the matter in the universe was formed. Dark Matter, if it exists, was most likely "born" during the Big Bang, like all other matter.

3. How was Dark Matter discovered?

It wasn't. We have yet to discover Dark Matter, and experiments and observations have been proposed or are underway to achieve this. So far Dark Matter is a hypothetical construct we need to consolidate our understanding of the universe with what we can observe.

4. Where other than space can Dark Matter be found? (If there is no other places, leave blank.)

Dark Matter was invented to explain phenomena in our own universe (which is all we can observe and extend our scientific exploration to). If there are other universes they may or may not contain Dark Matter.

5. How has science made an impact on Dark Matter?

Science (and human activity in general) can only make an impact on matter if we interact with it. Since we have no way of seeing or detecting Dark Matter so far we cannot know whether and how we interact with it. Dark Matter has made an impact on science, however, both physics and philosophy, and created some controversy. There are attempts by a minority of scientists at explaining the universe without resorting to Dark Matter.

Group 2

1. What are solar storms and what affect can they do to Earth?

Solar storms are huge explosions in the Sun's atmosphere. They can sometimes cause large amounts of charged particles to be ejected into space. When those travel towards and hit the Earth they can cause deformations in the Earth's magnetic field and increased ionisation of the Earth's upper atmosphere. This can affect space craft, radio communication and in extreme cases induce voltage spikes in the power grid. It also causes increased auroral activity that can extend further from the Earth's poles than usual.

2. What is Dark Matter made of? (Is it nothing or a certain substance)

Dark Matter is unlike any substance we know, and unique in that we're unable to detect it, other than by the presumed effect of its gravity. We don't know what it's made of.

3. What is the most likely cause of the end of the world and why?

There is not likely an end to the universe, it just keeps changing. The Earth will most likely cease to exist as the Sun dies and turns into a red giant. The Sun's diameter will probably consume the Earth's orbit when that happens.

4. Is our Solar System large?

It is large from our point of view but tiny if seen as part of our galaxy or the universe. Our Earth is about 150,000,000km away from the centre (the Sun), light takes about 8 minutes to travel this far. The distance from the Sun to the outermost planet (Neptune) is 30 times that, and there are objects orbiting the Sun at 50 times our distance. The diameter of our galaxy is 3 billion times the diameter of the Earth's orbit around the Sun.

5. How long should Earth last?

Earth will probably be consumed by the Sun turning red giant in about 5 billion years.

6. Where would be our next home after Mars and Europa?

Interesting choice for our first two next homes :) I have no idea.



Cheers
Steffen.

CraigS
22-11-2010, 05:25 PM
Here's my effort ..


Group 1
The Questions are....

1. What is Dark Matter?

From measurements of the mass of the Universe, we are led to the conclusion that most of the matter in the universe is dark. That is, most of the matter cannot be detected from the light which it emits, or doesn’t emit.

This is “stuff” which we think cannot be seen directly. Its presence is believed, (or theorized), to explain the rotation of stars, galaxies, and galaxy clusters/superclusters. If the theory is correct, as a consequence, dark matter can generally only make its presence known through its gravitational effects on known matter (ie: ‘normal stuff’).

It is also required to explain how the matter in the very early stages of the Universe, clumped together and became more dense, eventually forming the really big Universe objects mentioned above, that we see in the universe today.

2. How is Dark Matter formed?

So far, we only have dark matter ‘candidates’. As such, we can only explain the formation of matter we understand, and matter we have directly observed.

‘Neutrino particles’ are one of the dark matter candidates (for example).

In general, neutrinos are formed as a result of certain types of radioactive decay or nuclear reactions such as those that take place in the Sun, in nuclear reactors, or when cosmic rays hit atoms.

Neutrinos were first produced in a nuclear reactor in a 1956 experiment, by the radioactive decay process called ‘beta decay’.

Dark matter candidates are usually split into two broad categories, with the second category being split into two other categories:

Baryonic Dark Matter: matter made up of neutrons, protons and electrons … just like any of the known ‘normal’ matter chemical elements;

Non-Baryonic Dark Matter:matter not made up of neutrons, protons and electrons, and thus unlike any of the known chemical elements.

Of these ‘non-baryonic’ types, there are two main sub-types:

-Hot dark matter: These particles would move at fast speeds, and have higher pressure. The foremost hot dark matter candidate particle is the "neutrino."

Neutrinos travel close to the speed of light, are electrically neutral, and are able to pass through ordinary matter almost undisturbed. This makes neutrinos extremely difficult to detect. Neutrinos have a very small mass (weight).

- Cold dark matter: These particles would move at slow speeds and thus, would have little pressure. We know very little about this category of dark matter. It is however, the most likely candidate for the majority of what forms our universe.

3. How was Dark Matter discovered?

Dark matter was made up, (theorised), by scientists, in order to explain other observations, (see the answer to question 1 above).

Because dark matter can only make its presence known through its gravitational attraction on known matter, we can see its influence on things like the rotation of galaxies etc. Another way of discovering it is examine how light is bent due to the gravity, caused by dark matter’s influence. Evidence for this exists in observations of galaxies (especially elliptical galaxies) which distort the light from other objects behind them, in our line of sight.

4. Where other than space can Dark Matter be found? (If there is no other places, leave blank.)

Nuclear reactors: for the ‘neutrinos’ type candidate.

In space, dark matter can explain the bending of light, (as discussed in the answer to question 3 above), and the constant rotation of galaxies.

5. How has science made an impact on Dark Matter?

Scientific theory effectively invented dark matter as a candidate to explain other observed phenomena in the Universe.
There is much research going on at the moment to identify other candidates. Particle colliders such as that at CERN in Switzerland, may uncover some more candidates. Other research includes observations of the timings of light signals emitted by objects in space and comparing them with what we’d expect to see. If the measurements aren’t as expected, this could provide more clues.
----------


----------
Group 2
1. What are solar storms and what affect can they do to Earth?

Solar storms are caused by massive ‘flare-ups’ in the Sun’s atmosphere. Generally speaking, there are three main types:

Solar flares: a large explosion in the Sun's atmosphere;

Coronal Mass Ejections: a massive burst of solar wind, associated with solar flares;

Geomagnetic Storms: the interaction of the Sun's outbursts with Earth's magnetic field, causing Auroras, (coloured lights usually only seen at night, close to the Earth’s North and South Poles).

2. What is Dark Matter made of? (Is it nothing or a certain substance)

Dark matter candidates are usually split into two broad categories, with the second category being split into two other categories:

Baryonic Dark Matter: matter made up of neutrons, protons and electrons … just like any of the known ‘normal’ matter chemical elements;

Non-Baryonic Dark Matter:matter not made up of neutrons, protons and electrons, and thus unlike any of the known chemical elements.

Of these ‘non-baryonic’ types, there are two main sub-types:

-Hot dark matter: These particles would move at fast speeds, and have higher pressure. The foremost hot dark matter candidate particle is the "neutrino."

Neutrinos travel close to the speed of light, are electrically neutral, and are able to pass through ordinary matter almost undisturbed. This makes neutrinos extremely difficult to detect. Neutrinos have a very small mass (weight).

- Cold dark matter: These particles would move at slow speeds and thus, would have little pressure. We know very little about this category of dark matter. It is however, the most likely candidate for the majority of what forms our universe.

3. What is the most likely cause of the end of the world and why?

There are several possibilities. Here are some of the more likely:

(i) The Sun’s expansion at the end of its Hydrogen burning stage, will eventually engulf the Earth, heating it up to the point where the oceans will evaporate off into space. (This won’t start happening for about another about 5 billion years, though .. so don’t worry too much about it at the moment .. there’s plenty of time left to save ourselves !)

(ii) Collision with Andromeda Galaxy (In about 4.5 billion years). This may not necessarily cause the end of the Earth’s existence however. We may just get pushed to another location in the Galaxy, or we may not move anywhere. The outcome is not yet clearly known;

(iii) Being zapped by a huge ‘Gamma Ray Burst’ from a source we can’t see yet. (This also, could happen anytime, or it may not happen at all). It hasn’t happened over the Earth’s 5 billion years of existence.

Overall, the most likely ‘end’ is likely to be item (i) above. This is because it is a scientifically predictable outcome.

4. Is our Solar System large?
A good way to think of the size of our Solar System is to think about how long it might take to get to the outer edge of it. For example, how long does it take to get to Pluto ?
The answer is: It takes a long time for a probe to get to Pluto. The ‘New Horizons’ spacecraft, headed for Pluto, was launched on the 19th January, 2006. It had an velocity of about 16 km per second (59,000 km per hour), after its last engine shut down. Thus, it left Earth at the fastest launch speed ever recorded for a man-made object. It flew by Jupiter on the 28th February, 2007, and Saturn's orbit on the 8th June, 2008. It will arrive at Pluto on the 14th July, 2015, and then will continue into the Kuiper belt.

So, that’s about 8 years travel time just to get to Pluto, for the fastest spacecraft ever launched ! (Pluto is about 6 billion kilometres from the Sun).

The Kuiper belt is about the farthest distance at which solid objects exist in our solar system, and is about 6.3 billion kilometres from the Sun.

The Solar Wind however, goes out even further is about 24 billion kilometres from the Sun. The Sun’s gravity is thought to dominate objects out to 6,000 billion kms, although scientists are not exactly certain of this.

The Solar System is just a dot compared with the Milky Way Galaxy. (Try this link to get a feeling for the size of it all
http://htwins.net/scale/).

5. How long should Earth last?

The Earth should last for about another 5 to 6 billion years until the outer parts of the Sun expands close to the Earths orbit. The Sun’s expansion at the end of its Hydrogen burning stage, will eventually engulf the Earth, heating it up to the point where the oceans will evaporate off into space. (This won’t start happening for about another about 5 billion years, though .. so don’t worry too much about it at the moment .. there’s plenty of time left to save ourselves !)

6. Where would be our next home after Mars and Europa?

Other candidate places where life might be able to exist are Enceledus or Titan, both of which are moons of Saturn.

Enceledus might work because it is thought to have water oceans below a layer of thick ice. Life needs water and there may be usuable water under the ice. We know there’s water there, though because it has been detected in ‘geysers’, by the Cassini probe, which is patrolling out there at the moment.

Titan may also be another candidate, because it is has an atmosphere thought to resemble Earth’s very early atmosphere. It also has ‘land’ and ‘lakes’ (of a chemicals called ‘methane’ or ‘ethane’). Life evolved here on Earth, when we had a similar atmosphere, so it may also evolve on Titan.

Cheers

CraigS
22-11-2010, 05:42 PM
I get where you're coming from Steffen.
However, I also see lots of the time where kids are being introduced to concepts that are way too advanced before they've been taught (and have learned), the basics. Dark matter is far from a 'basic' !

Its a bit like an adult trying to understand String Theory before he/she has understood quantum mechanics.

Advising them on dark matter will simply skip them over all that there is to learn in between ! I am also disheartened when I see kids jumping to the trendy topics before they even understand the implications of them. Science is about building upon foundations. So too, should be the teaching/learning of it !



I agree. Mine may be too long winded. I'm happy to yield to simplicity.

I'll leave the correction up to someone else !! I've spent enough time on this today.

Also, my 'Eeeks !' are for Science Forum historical reasons.
Hang around here a bit more … and you'll understand where I'm coming from.
:)
Cheers

avandonk
22-11-2010, 06:16 PM
I was always told when I got older I would understand. I am now sixty one and I still do not understand!

dark matter. bits of gravity due to fictitious matter only detected by their effect on real matter

dark energy. bits of a force that seems to push things apart only detected by anomalous SN intensities. Alex be very quiet!

when they have mastered simple quadratic equations we may let them know that the rest is even more elusive

I think their teacher is asking for a hell of a lot as they do not know the basics yet

crawl before you walk

just tell them learn the hard mathematics and physics and one day you may understand the more esoteric questions


bert

CraigS
22-11-2010, 06:41 PM
Here, here Bert !

I wholeheartedly agree !

Look at Steffen's and my answers, eh ?

What are the kids going to get ?

'Badly mixed up', I reckon … and it won't be because of the answers … its because of the questions!

And good Science is about asking good questions, eh ?

And I spent a fair chunk of time giving it my best shot, today. (Rats !).

Cheers

Jarvamundo
22-11-2010, 07:42 PM
These kids are spot on, and their inquisition demands an answer describing reality they experience.

1. What is Dark Matter?
An idea.

2. How is Dark Matter formed?
By Mathematicians on a chalkboard.

3. How was Dark Matter discovered?
It hasn't been.

4. Where other than space can Dark Matter be found? (If there is no other places, leave blank.)
It's never been found.

5. How has science made an impact on Dark Matter?
'Science' has detected absolutely no Dark Matter with exceptional accuracy.

CraigS
22-11-2010, 07:52 PM
So much thought .. so well considered ...

So much insight !!

Thanks for your contribution, Alex.

Love to see you get that one thru the science teachers !
:)
Cheers

Jarvamundo
22-11-2010, 07:56 PM
The sad thing is... i can't be corrected on any of the above points.

Ahh the abysmal state of modern cosmology....

*sigh*,
Yours Truely
ignorant tax payer

avandonk
22-11-2010, 09:01 PM
I would put it this way.

Dark Matter
Any Galaxies rotation can be measured by doppler methods. What is curious is that instead of the centre rotating much quicker than the outer arms the whole galaxy seems as if it is on a solid plate. By the laws of kinematics there must be mass that is not visible that has a influence on the whole galaxy. This is called dark matter. We cannot see it but it has a gravitational effect on a whole galaxy! It lies within and far outside the galaxy to have this gravitational effect.
The very distant galaxies we can see by gravitational lensing gives us a measure of this so called missing mass. The latest Hubble pictures show this. The lensing effect is far larger than the apparent lensing galaxies mass due to mass by brightness measurements.

Dark Energy
This is far more tricky. The detection method relies on a careful survey of SN's that seem to imply the Universe's expansion is accelerating. Eistein first postulated this as the Cosmological Constant to fit at that time was a static Universe. It is most probable that the Universe's expansion is accelerating. Only time and more careful measurment will tell.

Final thoughts

In a Universe now with exotic objects such as neutron stars, black holes, magnetars and giant black holes we are indeed gifted with such riches as to our understanding.

I would bet that we are only scratching the surface!

Bert

that_guy
22-11-2010, 10:03 PM
I concur... ::question::question::screwy::screw y::screwy:

Steffen
22-11-2010, 10:13 PM
Yes, but…

I don't know whether a teacher told the kids what questions to ask, I'm assuming not. Terms like dark matter are bandied around quite frequently in the science section of the media, usually surrounded by an aura of "cutting edge" and "final frontier". Kids (those that don't let themselves be stupefied by TV series and computer games) pick up on those vibes and want to know more.

I don't think a fair answer to a "way out there" question would be "learn the basics first!", instead we should try to put in simple terms what the buzz is all about. It's not about them understanding the physics of dark matter (who does?) but about keeping them interested and asking questions.

When I was a teen (past primary school age obviously) I devoured all manner of physics book and thought I had the world of particle physics basically figured out. Then I lost sleep over the assertion that there is something like weak symmetry. It just didn't fit my gut feel about how nature should be organised and felt to me like a crutch invented to make the maths come out. I didn't understand the maths at the time and thus had no way of truly understanding what was being postulated. However, I don't believe thinking about things that were way over my head hurt me or my development. I also don't believe learning has to happen in sequential order. In fact, I reckon learning by jumping ahead and going back to revisit an earlier understanding is far more effective and rewarding.

Cheers
Steffen.

CraigS
23-11-2010, 06:20 AM
We're off topic a bit here (sorry Mike) but I reckon I've paid a few dues on this thread so ..
Hi Steffen;

Very interesting. I fully admit I learnt, and continue to learn, in the same way as you have. I don't believe my learning preference is necessarily the same as other folk, however.

There are definitely others who don't backtrack in an attempt try to understand why something doesn't make sense and this can lead to major flaws in understanding and ultimately, a complete disrespect for the rational thinking which (mainsteam) Science is really all about.

The education system should also cater for these types of folk and in my view, should be emphasising that there's always more to learn (hence for example, my dumping in terms like 'Baryonic', and lensing concepts .. as a leader for those to research further). This maybe what's happening in the background behind this question and, as other folk have pointed out, the real investigation is probably not 'darkness' at all … perhaps its more about how to do research.

The problem I have though is that the question will ultimately portray Science as shonky and full of 'made up' stories. Its a bit like the creationist journalist questions put to Richard Dawkins about Evolution. A view of mainstream Science being shonky may result if they don't understand yet, what the scientific process/philosophical basis is all about, (and I do doubt they understand this at this educational stage). Its a bit like the creationist journalist questions put to Richard Dawkins about Evolution.

If the teacher understood the basis of scientific principles, the nature of the question would have demonstrated some form of moderation. I see no evidence of this by focusing on dark matter. As a matter of fact, I rarely see any form of moderation of this nature coming from either the Dept of Education, (via the curriculum), or primary school teachers.

Good conversation. Thank you for your views … I really do respect them and its good to have more comments about it all (sorry Mike .. perhaps a separate thread in General Chat ??).

Ultimately, there's no one answer for all this.

Cheers and Regards.
PS: I really like Bert's explanation of DM and lensing too !! Good one, Bert !

higginsdj
23-11-2010, 07:26 AM
The important point is that the answers need to be aimed at the Primary School level - ie at the age of the kids. Giving answers at the current scientific knowledge level is just a waste of time - it will soar miles over the kids heads and what will they have learned (or is it learnt?)

Cheers

marki
23-11-2010, 10:43 PM
Oh dear are you guys for real??????? I tried to teach my year 12 physics kids about the partical zoo and all I got was blank stares and a new name for each one e.g. a muon became a munnnn LOL. Good luck trying to get it across to primary aged students but if you explain it as below they will curl up in the foetal position and probably start crying. I think I like the explanation Alex (java) gave best :P:D.

Mark

avandonk
24-11-2010, 09:22 AM
Young people have a knack of knowing fluff from reality. I think that communication by a teacher that really knows his or her stuff is far more important than any gap in the knowledge levels. Nearly everyone I worked with was inspired by a gifted teacher at a very young age. I include myself in this and I am still awed by people who are seeing further and thinking better than me. An education should be about giving anyone the ability to critically evaluate claims made by scientists and charletans alike.
Too much of our modern society is more aware of the dross and drivel that passes as information because of the crass commercialism to see the reality of our place in the Universe.
I used to have problems with educating PhD students in my lab. It was because I was a lousy teacher. Just because you understand a difficult concept does not mean you can automatically teach it.
I slowly got better by feedback from my students.
They most probably still think I am a stale old fart.

Bert

marki
24-11-2010, 07:09 PM
Bert critical thinking is a very big part of the learning process and strongly underpins any valid pedagogy you care to examine. I have taught kids from primary age through to universty students and the only trick to getting the message across to those able to understand is to deliver it in real terms of their level of developement. Primary aged kids are concrete in their understandings and in general have very poor ability at grasping abstract concepts. Idea's must be introduced into "their world" in a form they can link to their own experience of living then gently expanded on. It takes a lot of patience even to attain the smallest goals. I was not having a go at you but rather at some of the more enthusiastic posts below. When I first started teaching 15 odd years ago I was arrogant enough to think those who did not achieve or understand were just lazy and did not work hard enough. I have had to eat my words and in my experience it is only 10 - 15% of any cohort that have their brains wired correctly to understand mathematics and physical science. How could you discuss dark matter with primary aged children who do not even have a basic grasp of the particle model??? Pretty much as Alex posted below minus the sarcasm but overall apply the kiss principle. Remember these kids think dark matter is something Bender and Fry shovel into a fire on the planet express spaceship to make it go.

1. What is Dark Matter?

We don't really know. We believe it sticks galaxies together as they should just fall apart. (link to glue they know about glue).

2. How is Dark Matter formed?

Again we don't really know but observation tells us it must be really heavy. (link to futurama).

3. How was Dark Matter discovered?

Dark matter has not yet been discovered visually but we can see the effect it has by pulling large objects together in the universe just like the Earth pulls you down to its surface. (They will know basic concepts about gravity)

4. Where other than space can Dark Matter be found? (If there is no other places, leave blank.)

We don't really know but do suspect it is everywhere just like the normal stuff. (comfort in familar ideas).

5. How has science made an impact on Dark Matter?

Science has made no impact on dark matter but rather dark matter has fired the imaginations of scientists and led to lots of new and exciting experiments being designed and carried out. The very thought of it's presence has changed the way we view our universe. (a challenge to go and find out more for themselves).

That is my reasoning and how I would answer anyway.



Mark

higginsdj
25-11-2010, 06:27 AM
I agree with Mark and like his answers.

ghsmith45
30-11-2010, 11:58 AM
So these kids are after the Nobel Prize are they?

Julianv
05-12-2010, 01:07 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am actually one of the students that requested these questions from group 2.

I was looking at everyone's comments and I couldnt help myself to signing up because I feel like I had to write something.

Space has always been a great passion of mine and I actually understand quite alot about it from research and the help of Mike. :)

Thanks for your help everyone and it has helped me greatly in my research.

Cheers.

Julianv
05-12-2010, 01:13 PM
This was also our own choice and we decided to do this topic so the teachers havent really had a say in it. All those questions we made up ourselves not the teachers.

ZeroID
06-12-2010, 01:06 PM
Hey, Mark, good answers, relating it back to known ideas always helps understanding. I've been a technology tutor and getting people over the hurdle to new ideas is never easy.

And to Julianv, welcome along. Glad to hear you've enjoyed and learned from the discussion. Feel free to ask more or clarify things so that this clever lot can give more answers. ( I excuse myself from the 'clever' bit, I am still learning too )