The talented 10-year-old Kathryn Gooden, a grade six student of the St. Hugh’s Preparatory School, who copped the top prize in the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) inaugural Heritage Essay Competition, is still beaming from her success. Kathryn says she is happy that she entered and she wants to encourage other children to participate in the competition. “I would encourage others to enter, because it was interesting and fun while researching and writing, and the prizes are cool,” she says. . The essay competition, which was held for the first time in 2011, now forms part of the JIS Heritage activities planned during the month of October. Open to registered students at the primary level who are between ages nine and 12, the entrants were asked to write an essay on the topic: ‘Who is your favourite National Hero or Heroine? Explain’. It was Kathryn’s exceptional essay, detailing her love and admiration for Jamaica’s sole heroine, Nanny of the Maroons, which placed her ahead of her competitors. Kathryn explains to JIS News that she chose Nanny as her favourite National Hero, because she was the only female among seven National Heroes and “she was very valorous.” In her essay, Kathryn wrote that, “if Nanny were still alive, I would want to meet her and commend her for all the things that she had done.” She further notes that a true hero is someone who “stands up, who fights for what you want and is honest and truthful.” Kathryn, who was nine years old at the time, walked away with theJIS first place trophy, a weekend for four at Franklyn D. Resort, Sangster’s Book Store voucher, an MP4 Player and $10,000 cash. The objective of the JIS Heritage Essay Competition is to stimulate the creativity and literary skills of children in the nine to 12 age group, as the agency continues to engage children in nationally relevant issues of history and governance, in an effort to engender a spirit of pride in the younger generation. The exposure that Kathryn gained from participating in the competition is immeasurable, says Sean Gooden, Kathryn’s father. There is no monetary value that can be put to it, he continues. “Furthermore, being the winner has boosted her confidence level a hundred fold and she also got the chance to meet the Governor-General. I encourage other parents to support their children who want to enter the competition. The benefits are tremendous – the opportunity to win prizes based on their own efforts, the boosting of their self esteem, and the chance to increase their knowledge on national and cultural issues” Mr. Gooden says. The competition, which is an annual event, is a continuation of a thrust the agency started four years ago, through its programming, to familiarise Jamaica’s children with the national heritage, showcase the children’s achievements and encourage them to participate in national life. The 2012 essay topic is: ‘Fifty years later…Do we still need National Heroes?’Chief Executive Officer of the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, notes that the topic, while challenging, is geared at engaging the children’s interest in national issues. “This year is our Golden Jubilee and we wanted the students to research and see just how far the nation has come since 1962 and to reflect on the role of a hero,” Mrs. Rowe explains. The 2012 competition is sponsored by FDR Resort, LIME, Sangster’s Bookstore, Royale Computers and Accessories, Innovative Corporate Solutions, Lasco, Jamaica National Building Society, the Cake Shop and WB Trophies Ltd.
40 per cent of the teachers at the secondary level are unqualified mathematics teachers Story Highlights Behind targets for Mathematics established in the National Education Strategic Plan An intensified Mathematics programme will be implemented to address the continued poor performance in the subject Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has announced that come the start of the new academic year in September, an intensified Mathematics programme will be implemented to address the continued poor performance in the subject.“The central objective of the programme is to ensure that persons engaging our children in the teaching and learning of the content are most effective,” the Minister said.Rev. Thwaites was delivering the keynote address at the Ministry of Education, Region 4 Stakeholders’ Back-to-School Conference 2013, at the Grand Palladium Hotel and Resort in Lucea, Hanover, on August 15.The Minister indicated that in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) examination results which were released earlier this week, there was an increase in passes in some 25 of 35 subject areas.“There has been nearly a 5 per cent increase in Mathematics passes over last year’s outcome, which indicates that 42.2 per cent of candidates who took the exam passed. This means that 1,100 more students passed than last year. The Ministry is however, not satisfied with the outcomes relating to these passes in Mathematics as well as similar results in English, as they are both important for economic growth and development,” the Minister said.He said Jamaica has much ground to cover, if the country is to attain the targets for Mathematics established in the National Education Strategic Plan, which outlines 85 per cent mastery at Grade 4; 80 per cent of students attaining 65 per cent or more in Mathematics on the Grade 6 Achievement Test and 100 per cent of the Grade 11 cohort sitting CSEC Mathematics by 2016.“We are behind in these targets and our students continue to register poor performance in Mathematics due to several factors. A significant cause is that many teachers at the primary and secondary levels of the education system are not fully equipped to effectively support the teaching and learning of the subject,” Rev. Thwaites said.“The results of the 2011 Ministry of Education census showed that only 9 per cent of teachers of mathematics at the secondary level are qualified to teach the subject to Grade 11, while some 40 per cent of the teachers at the secondary level are unqualified mathematics teachers, as they are trained in other areas of specialization; and 39 per cent of teachers at the primary level have no secondary mathematics certification,” the Minister noted.Rev. Thwaites said the National Mathematics Policy Guidelines, scheduled to be implemented in September, is central to the Ministry’s response to the critical status of Mathematics in Jamaica.More than 300 Principals and Board Chairmen attended the Back-to- School Conference, which was held under the theme: ‘Leadership with a mission: Developing a culture of performance’.
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benítez has revealed that injured defender Paul Dummett will not make a return at Goodison Park on Wednesday.Having sustained a hamstring injury on international duty with Wales, Dummett has missed Newcastle’s last two games.Ahead of their trip to Everton, manager Rafa Benitez gave an update on the condition of the 27-year-old, saying a return to action is way too early.“Dummett is still not ready – getting better, but not ready. (Isaac) Hayden also is not available, like (Karl) Darlow – they had the problem the last week,” Benitez told the club’s website.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“The other players are more or less – (Florian) Lejeune is training, (Jamie) Sterry is training, so everybody is training but we have two or three players who are not available and we have to make a decision later on about a couple of them.“We said before, we don’t have another specific left fullback so it’s more important for us. Paul is a great professional, he’s always doing well, but if he’s not there we have to manage.“We did well against Burnley but we have to manage these games and hopefully, the players that will play in his position will do well.”
New computational approaches speed up the exploration of the universe This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Journal information: Nature Chemistry Scientists have debated for years the various possibilities that could have led to life evolving on Earth, and the arguments have only grown more heated in recent years as many have suggested that it did not happen here it all, instead, it was brought to us from comets or some other celestial body. Most of the recent debate has found scientists in one of three chicken-or-the-egg first camps: RNA world advocates, metabolism-first supporters and those who believe that cell membranes must have developed first. The chemists with this new effort believe they have found a way to show that all three arguments are both right and wrong—they believe they have found a way to show that everything necessary for life to evolve could have done so from just hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen cyanide and ultraviolet light and that those building blocks could have all existed at the same time—in their paper, they report that using just those three basic ingredients they were able to produce more than 50 nucleic acids—precursors to DNA and RNA molecules. They note that early meteorites carried with them ingredients that would react with nitrogen already in the atmosphere, producing a lot of hydrogen cyanide. By dissolving in water, it could have very easily come into contact with hydrogen sulfide, while being exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. And that, they claim, would have been all that was needed to get things going.The findings by the team are sure to garner a great deal of interest in the scientific community and others will no doubt be testing and commenting on their findings. If what they claim passes muster, their work will likely be remembered as one of the great achievements of our time. © 2015 Phys.org More information: Common origins of RNA, protein and lipid precursors in a cyanosulfidic protometabolism, Nature Chemistry (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2202AbstractA minimal cell can be thought of as comprising informational, compartment-forming and metabolic subsystems. To imagine the abiotic assembly of such an overall system, however, places great demands on hypothetical prebiotic chemistry. The perceived differences and incompatibilities between these subsystems have led to the widely held assumption that one or other subsystem must have preceded the others. Here we experimentally investigate the validity of this assumption by examining the assembly of various biomolecular building blocks from prebiotically plausible intermediates and one-carbon feedstock molecules. We show that precursors of ribonucleotides, amino acids and lipids can all be derived by the reductive homologation of hydrogen cyanide and some of its derivatives, and thus that all the cellular subsystems could have arisen simultaneously through common chemistry. The key reaction steps are driven by ultraviolet light, use hydrogen sulfide as the reductant and can be accelerated by Cu(I)–Cu(II) photoredox cycling. Citation: Chemists claim to have solved riddle of how life began on Earth (2015, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-chemists-riddle-life-began-earth.html Chemistry in a post-meteoritic-impact scenario. A series of post-impact environmental events are shown along with the chemistry (boxed) proposed to occur as a consequence of these events. a, Dissolution of atmospherically produced hydrogen cyanide results in the conversion of vivianite (the anoxic corrosion product of the meteoritic inclusion schreibersite) into mixed ferrocyanide salts and phosphate salts, with counter cations being provided through neutralization and ion-exchange reactions with bedrock and other meteoritic oxides and salts. b, Partial evaporation results in the deposition of the least-soluble salts over a wide area, and further evaporation deposits the most-soluble salts in smaller, lower-lying areas. c, After complete evaporation, impact or geothermal heating results in thermal metamorphosis of the evaporite layer, and the generation of feedstock precursor salts (in bold). d, Rainfall on higher ground (left) leads to rivulets or streams that flow downhill, sequentially leaching feedstocks from the thermally metamorphosed evaporite layer. Solar irradiation drives photoredox chemistry in the streams. Convergent synthesis can result when streams with different reaction histories merge (right), as illustrated here for the potential synthesis of arabinose aminooxazoline at the confluence of two streams that contained glycolaldehyde, and leached different feedstocks before merging. Credit: (c) Nature Chemistry (2015) doi:10.1038/nchem.2202 (Phys.org)—A team of chemists working at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, at Cambridge in the UK believes they have solved the mystery of how it was possible for life to begin on Earth over four billion years ago. In their paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry, the team describes how they were able to map reactions that produced two and three-carbon sugars, amino acids, ribonucleotides and glycerol—the material necessary for metabolism and for creating the building blocks of proteins and ribonucleic acid molecules and also for allowing for the creation of lipids that form cell membranes.