Upon getting information about an upcoming school science fair and the need to consider a topic of interest, many students will typically have no idea where to get started. While the science fair is typically a common occurrence in any school at any grade level, there are different types of topics that should be taken a look at depending on the age of the student. After first taking a look at the many different categories of science projects, you will be able to locate a suitable choice of topic to take to the next level.There is a wide variety of categories that fall under the types of science projects that can be chosen for a school science fair. These include biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, biochemistry, medicine, environmental, mathematics, engineering, and earth science. While you may not have yet learned very much in any of these categories, don’t be afraid to see what each one entails. Taking a good look at your interests will allow you to focus on the right direction to take.Many resources are also available for those who are unsure as to the topic they are wanting to use to create their science projects. If you take a look at the topics that fall under the biology category, you will likely notice that there are topics that deal with plants, animals, and humans. For those who are in 2nd grade or 3rd grade, an interesting topic may be to determine if ants are picky over what type of food they eat. While this topic might not be of interest to an 8th grader, it is certainly something in the biology category that an elementary school student would enjoy.Along with the biology category, a high school student may want to take a look at diffusion and osmosis in animal cells as this would be a more appropriate topic for the grade level. A student in 6th grade would be more advanced than an elementary school student, but not as advanced as a high school student. At this middle school grade level, a topic of how pH levels effect the lifespan of a tadpole may be of interest.Whichever resource is used to locate a topic for science projects, it is always a good idea to consider the grade level of the student prior to making a selection. It is always assumed to be best to have a project at an appropriate level in order to keep the attention of the student and provide a fun and enjoyable learning experience.
Many senior citizens or people with disabilities or injuries make use of assistive technology-tools, products, or kinds of equipment that help people perform tasks and activities. They can be as simple as a hearing aid, a walker, or a magnifying glass, or as complex as a computer or motor scooter.More specifically, assistive technology or adaptive devices are services or instruments that help senior citizens or people with disabilities perform the activities they used to perform but must now perform differently. Anything that helps the elderly continue to do daily activities in the context of in home care is considered assistive technology.Assistive Technology Options and DevicesMany kinds of disabilities exist, so many kinds of assistive technology have been created to help people overcome a great range of disabilities. Some kinds of assistive technology are described below:
Adaptive switches. These are modified switches that senior citizens can use to adjust devices like air conditioners, power wheelchairs, etc. by using the tongue or voice.
Communication equipment. This is anything that helps someone send and receive messages, such as a telephone amplifier.
Computer access. This is special software that helps senior citizens access the Internet or basic hardware like a modified mouse or keyboard to make the computer more user-friendly.
Education. This category includes audio books, Braille writing tools, and resources for people to get additional vocational training.
Home modifications. This can include some remodeling to overcome physical barriers and live more comfortably. An example is constructing a ramp to allow wheelchair access.
Tools for independent living. This is anything that allows senior citizens to enjoy daily life without additional assistance. An example is a handicapped-accessible bathroom with grab bars in the bathtub.
Job-related items. This is any process or device that facilitates your job. This could include a special type of chair or pillow if you work at a desk or a back brace if you perform physical labor.
Mobility aids. This is any device that allows a senior citizen to move around more easily, including a power wheelchair, a wheelchair lift, or a stair elevator.
Orthotic or prosthetic equipment. This is a tool that compensates for a missing or disabled body part. This could include shoe inserts for someone with fallen arches or an artificial arm for someone who has undergone an amputation.
Recreational assistance. This is a method or device that enables people with disabilities to enjoy fun activities. A couple examples are swimming lessons from recreational therapists and specially made skis for senior citizens who have lost a limb.
Seating aids. This is a modification to a chair, wheelchair, or motor scooter that helps someone remain upright, move up and down without assistance, or decrease the amount of pressure on the skin. This could be as simple as an extra pillow or as complex as a motorized seat.
Sensory enhancements. These are devices that help people who are partially blind or deaf to participate in more activities. This could include a caption option on a television for a senior citizen who is hard of hearing.
Therapy. This could include equipment or processes that encourage and work toward recovery after an illness or injury. This may involve both services and technology, like having a physical therapist use a specialized massage unit to restore a more complete range of motion in stiff muscles.
Transportation assistance. This category includes devices for senior citizens that facilitate getting into and out of vehicles and driving safely, including adjustable mirrors, seats, and steering wheels. Drive-up windows at the department of motor vehicles that allow the elderly to maintain and register their vehicles are also included.
Now that you know what falls into the category of assistive technology, you may be wondering what the benefits are. For starters, many senior citizens view assistive technology as a way to live independently without worrying about having long-term elder care or living in a nursing home. It allows in home care to be conducted in areas of living such as bathing and going to the bathroom.Studies show that the majority of senior citizens who use methods of assistive technology have reduced their dependence on others, including paid assistance. Families may need to make monthly payments for this kind of equipment, but the costs are generally less than those associated with in home care or nursing homes. This means that assistive technology can reduce the cost of elder care for senior citizens and their families.Assistive Technology Needs Assessment in the ElderlyIs assistive technology right for you? Planning and assessment are important parts of deciding whether to use assistive technology since it can interfere with your current services or the way in which those services are provided.This assessment is most thorough when it involves many people within your spectrum of support. For instance, if you have trouble communicating or are hard of hearing, you may wish to consult with your doctor, an audiology specialist, a speech-language therapist, or other elder care provider to identify your specific problem and determine the plan that will best address your needs. If assistive technology is a part of this plan, your team can help decide which devices are appropriate for you, choosing the most effective tools at the lowest cost. Training to use the devices chosen may also be included in your plan.A case study shows the benefits of conducting a needs assessment and working with a team in terms of improving the quality of life of an elderly woman:A team worked together to help Christina find and buy a hearing aid that allowed her to hear well again. She could watch television again with the help of special magnification equipment and a telecaption decoder. More assistive technology allowed her to talk on the phone and use the computer like she used to. When combined with her hearing aid, assistive technology improved the quality and ease of Christina’s life.When you’re considering assistive technology, it’s helpful to look at both simple and complex solutions to find the one that’s best for you over a range of time. Complex, high-tech solutions may be more expensive, but they’re usually more adaptable if your needs change over time. Simple, low-tech solutions may be cheaper in the short-run, but they aren’t as adaptable. Before purchasing any expensive assistive technology, make sure it can be upgraded to change with your needs and upgraded as improvements are designed. Here are some questions to ask when considering assistive technology:
Which tasks do you need help with, and how frequently do you need help?
Which types of assistive technology will enable you to be most independent?
Is there a more advanced device that addresses more than one of your needs?
Does the manufacturer have a preview policy so you can try out the equipment and return it for credit if it isn’t what you need?
How do you expect your needs to change over the next six months? the next six years or longer?
Is the equipment up-to-date? Will it likely be off the market in the near future?
Which kinds of assistive technology are available that meet your needs?
Which types of assistive technology have you used before, and how did those devices work?
Will you always need help with a certain task, and can the device be adjusted to fit your needs as your condition changes?
Costs and Payment Options for Assistive TechnologyAnother important aspect of deciding whether you’d like to use assistive technology is cost and financing. Currently, no single private insurance plan or public program will cover the entire cost of assistive technology under any circumstances, but Medicare Part B can cover up to 80 percent of the cost of equipment that falls under the category of “durable medical equipment.” This includes devices that are “primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, and generally are not useful to a person in the absence of illness or injury.”Some state-run Medicaid programs also cover some assistive technology. This may help you, but it will not cover the entire cost of buying an expensive device like a power wheelchair.If you’re a senior citizen who is eligible for veterans’ benefits, you may also want to explore the possibility of financial assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). This agency has an existing structure to pay for the large volume of devices it purchases, and it invests in training people to operate assistive technology.Other options to pay for assistive technology are private health insurance and paying with your own funds. Paying out-of-pocket is generally a viable option for simple items like modified eating utensils, but most senior citizens need assistance in paying for more complex devices. Another option is finding discounts, grants, or rebates from not-for-profit organizations or companies that want you to try a certain product that you might not otherwise consider. If you’re looking into this option, you may want to be careful-businesses with commercial interests have the potential to be fraudulent.Since private health insurance does not cover the entire cost of this equipment, you may want to look into subsidy programs, which can provide some kinds of assistive technology at a reduced cost or for free.
Aging bedevils us all and so many people, as they age, want to find a solution to looking older and feeling older. For this reason there is a massive market in anti aging products. Aging people, however, are usually unaware that many anti aging skin care products on the market today contain ingredients which may be damaging to their health. Fragrances are a good example.Estimates are that there are some around 4000 different fragrances used in so many of the personal products that we use today including anti aging skin products. After all everyone wants to smell nice and it’s well known that adding a fragrance to a personal product helps it sell. So what’s the problem with smelling nice when you’re applying the latest anti aging skin care product?The problem is that most fragrances are chemicals produced in the laboratory. There’s nothing inherently wrong with chemicals produced in the laboratory as long as they are safe for us to use however the reality is that studies have shown that many fragrances have potentially damaging health effects which might scare you if you were aware of them.That’s not to say that all fragrances are risky, for example there are some excellent essential oils that make nice fragrances and which are safe to use. However these are usually much more expensive than the chemical alternatives and so the chemical alternatives go into those skin care products that you will see on the shelves of your store.If you search the Cosmetic Safety Database you’ll see that fragrances are linked to cancer, immunotoxicity and neurotoxicity, allergies, disruption of the endocrine system, irritation to the eyes and skin and lungs and more.When you apply that latest moisturizer that smells so nice to your skin you are covering a reasonably large area of your skin with the chemical fragrance. Your skin absorbs the fragrance and it gets into your system just as if you ate it.Of course the same will apply to so many of our perfumes however at least when you apply a perfume you do so in only small amounts. Skin care products are applied over a quite large area of your skin.If this is news to you it may come as a shock. Unfortunately so many of the beauty, personal and anti aging products that so many of us take for granted contain a wide range of chemical ingredients which are potentially dangerous and which we are not warned about. Fragrances are only the start.Some small anti aging companies have seen an opportunity here. One in particular now commits to using no fragrances at all in its products for this very reason. And in fact they commit to making anti aging products that are safe enough to eat.The market for anti aging skin care products is worth billions of dollars and it’s a case of buyer beware. Though there may be studies showing the risks to so many ingredients in anti aging products the skin care companies are unlikely to warn you about them.Visit my website to learn more about dangerous ingredients in anti aging skin care products and about safe (and effective) alternatives.