Open Access Short Research Article

Developing a New Curriculum for STEM Education for Secondary Students

MAK, Kai-Long

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/CJAST/2018/45120

In Hong Kong, STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics Education) education was promoted since 2015. After proposed in the same year’s Policy Address, the Education Bureau (EDB) would renew and enrich the curricula and learning activities of the Science, Technology and Mathematics Key Learning Areas, and enhances the training of teachers, thereby allowing primary and secondary students to fully unleash their potential in innovation. STEM programme aims to better prepare Hong Kong students for the rapid economic, scientific and technological developments ahead, and STEM education is being promoted as a key emphasis in the ongoing renewal of the school curriculum that is essential for their lifelong learning and whole-person development. According to the information provided by the STEM Education service provider, each participant is charged around HK$600 to $3000 for the STEM workshop. As a result, we estimate that more than 50 million will be spent in the STEM Education-related business.

Through this study, the project team aims to a) review and summarise the current STEM curriculums in Hong Kong, b) design and implement a curriculum of STEM education for secondary school, c) conduct workshop for the new curriculum and invite students to take part, and d) measure the effectiveness of STEM by survey.


Open Access Short Research Article

Numerical Investigation of the Effects of Insulated Envelopes on Hygrothermal Comfort within Habitats of Southern Benin: Test of a Local Material

Henri Wilfried. Hounkpatin, Kounouhewa Basile, Chégnimonhan K. Victorin, Sèmassou Clarence, Vianou Antoine

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-19
DOI: 10.9734/CJAST/2018/45351

Aims: The objective of this work was to investigate the effect of the thermal insulation with polystyrene or local straw on the indoor comfort (time evolution of temperature and hygrometry, variation of thermal load). The study aimed also to determine the optimal thickness of the insulators, and to check the contribution of a controlled mechanical ventilation (CMV) to reach a better indoor comfort in humid tropical climates, along with ecological and low cost criteria.  

Methodology: The studies were conducted on a typical residential building in Benin located in Cotonou with the following geographic coordinates: Latitude 6°38 'North, Longitude 2°34' East. Dynamic thermal simulation series were conducted to analyse the thermal behaviour of the sample building. Mainly two insulators were examined: a manufactured one (polystyrene) and a local material (straw). The TRNSYS software was used to model the building and to realize the different simulations.

Results: The study showed that the thermal insulation by the inside of the walls and ceiling with polystyrene reduced on average the cooling requirement of 4°C. But an average increase of 25% was observed on the relative humidity. In the same way the complete insulation with straw   keeps the average indoor temperature at 27°C which is higher than that of polystyrene (24°C), but humidity with straw was lower for the same average insulation thickness. Moreover, the ecological footprints of manufactured insulation such as polystyrene are higher than those of natural products as straws.

The integration of the CMV has ensured good indoor air and correct humidity control between 67% and 76%. These values ​​are in line with the regulatory values ​​in Benin.

Conclusion: the study outlined the need to insulate building even in tropical areas in order to reduce the energy consumption linked with air conditioning.  Moreover it promotes the use of natural insulators as straw to improve carbon footprint of buildings in Benin. With a good building envelope insulation coupled with an appropriate ventilation, the need of artificial air conditioning becomes weak, and may even be unnecessary in some cases.


Open Access Original Research Article

Post Infectional Biochemical Changes Induced by Mealybug Paracoccus marginatus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Leaves of Superior Seedless Grapes

Sarah Murria, Nirmaljit Kaur, N. K. Arora

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/CJAST/2018/44028

Mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) belonging to the family Pseudococcideae, is a devastating pest of grapevine in different parts of the world including India. Due to its piercing sucking type feeding behaviour, it injures the vines mechanically and induces several physiological & biochemical alterations in the host. To evaluate reaction of Superior Seedless to this pathogen, this study was undertaken at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (Punjab) in 2017. The post infectional alterations were compared in healthy and mealybug infested leaves of grapevines under natural conditions in order to decipher the defense response of the plant. A substantial decrease of 3.38, 3.37, 3.36, 36.84, 10.34, 21.23 and 48.02 percent was recorded in chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, total chlorophyll, carotenoids, total soluble sugars, total soluble proteins and free amino acid content respectively in mealybug infested leaves compared to healthy ones, while total phenols, ortho-dihydroxy phenols, flavonoids, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activity increased by 31.84, 24.20, 21.60, 17.79 and 10.16 per cent, respectively. Hence, mealybug infestation led to sequence of physiological and biochemical alterations in the host plant.

Open Access Original Research Article

Spirometric Findings in Petrol Pump Attendants in Sagamu Southwest Nigeria

J. O. Ogunkoya, B. O. Adefuye, B. T. Osibowale

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/CJAST/2018/45437

Background: Petrol pump attendant is an occupation practised worldwide. It exposes these groups of workers to petrol fumes especially in sub-Saharan Africa where petrol pump attendants is still the norm.

Study Objective: To determine the effect of petrol fumes on ventilatory function among petrol pump attendants in Sagamu, Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria.

Study Design: Analytical cross sectional study.

Subjects, Materials and Methods: All 142 petrol pump attendants in Sagamu, Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria were recruited for the study but only 106 that met inclusion criteria were used with age, sex, weight and height matched controls. Relevant data were collected using the modified British Medical Research Council Questionnaire and the ventilatory function parameters of the subjects and controls were measured with an electronic spirometer.

Results: The mean values of ventilatory function parameters (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC and PEFR) of petrol pump attendants were lower than that of controls but only that for PEFR (p value, 0.03) was statistically significant. The mean ventilatory parameters by the work hour per week and by the number of vehicles filled per day were statistically significant for FEV1/FVC, PEFR (p values 0.01, 0.03) and FEV1, FEV1/FVC, PEFR (p values= 0.03, 0.02, 0.01) respectively. Abnormal ventilatory function was seen in a sizable number of petrol pump attendants 32(30.2%) which consisted of obstructive defects 20 (18.9%) and restrictive defects 12 (11.3%) compared to 14(13.2%) and 8(7.5%) in the control groups respectively. The difference was not statistically significant.

The mean ventilatory function parameters in petrol pump attendants who smoke was lower than in control groups who smoke. The difference was statistically significant for FEV1/FVC (p= 0.004). The mean ventilatory function parameters in non-smoking petrol pump attendants were significantly lower than in non-smoking controls with p values of 0.005, 0.025 and 0.004 for FEV1, FVC and PEFR respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean ventilatory function parameters of petrol pump attendants who smoke and those who do not smoke.

Conclusion: The study showed that exposure to petrol fumes among petrol pump attendants (who had worked as such for more than one year) had a significant effect on their ventilatory function.

The study also showed that abnormal ventilatory pattern was prevalent in petrol pump attendants. The predominant ventilatory dysfunction was obstructive.

Open Access Original Research Article

Perception and Advancement of Technology towards Academic Information Management System (AIMS)

K. Keerthi, P. Amala Kumari

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/CJAST/2018/45126

The present study aims to highlight the perception and advancement of technology towards Academic Information Management System (AIMS). The study was conducted in the College of Home Science, Professor Jayashanker Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), Telangana state, India. AIMS provide visibility to all areas of the institution - from student enrollment, curriculum planning, student allocation to resource assignment, financial information and staff benefits. AIMS also provide a single source of information to make timely and effective operational and financial decisions. With a comprehensive management system, the staff is free from mundane and repetitive administrative task to focus on more difficult issues.  The stake holders of the AIMs were administrative staff, faculty, advisors, students and parents. Ninety stakeholders i.e. teachers, students and parents @ 30 each were selected following the sequential sampling method to study the perception of the stakeholders on AIMS for three semesters. Thus a total of 270 stakeholders were selected to compute the perception. There were 34 positive statements and 12 negative statements. The weighted mean scores indicated a gradual change in perception in increasing order. The mean score was 4.33 in the first semester and gone down to 3.66 and 3.52 respectively in subsequent semesters. The highest mean score was 4.58 on statement 45, which was negative. But in subsequent semester the score got reduced than in the first semester. Overall, a change in perception could be inferred as there were differences in mean scores. The perception of the stakeholders towards the effectiveness of SARP was thus proved to be significant. The stake holders accepted the functioning of the academic information system to seek information.


Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Radiation Emission and Associated Health Hazards from Refuse Dumps in the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria

B. C. Eke, H. U. Emelue

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/CJAST/2018/45075

Aims: To determine the natural radionuclide concentrations and the associated health hazard implications in samples from refuse dumps in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Study Design: Forty (40) samples from refuse dump sites were collected at different locations inside the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria. Each prepared sample was placed symmetrically on top of a lead-shielded NaI (Tl) detector for analysis.

Materials and Methodology: A lead-shielded NaI (Tl) γ – ray spectrometry in the Radiation and Health Physics Research Laboratory, University of Ibadan, Nigeria was employed to carry out the radioactivity measurement of the forty (40) samples. The values of the activity concentrations were determined and used to compute the absorbed dose rate in air, annual effective dose equivalent, annual gonad dose equivalent, radium equivalent dose, excess lifetime cancer risk and radiological health hazards using standard analytical methods.

Results: The result shows that the mean activity concentrations of Potassium (40K), is 468.35 ±3.27 Bqkg-1which is slightly higher than the world permissible (UNSCEAR) value of 400.00 BqKg-1. However, the activity concentrations of Uranium (238U) 8.53 ±1.12 Bqkg-1 and Thorium (232Th) 6.78 ± 2.30 Bqkg-1 are much lower than the world permissible (UNSCEAR) values of 35.00 BqKg-1 and 25.00 BqKg-1 respectively. The value of the mean absorbed dose rate obtained in this research is 26.89 nGyh-1 compared to the world permissible (UNSCEAR) value of 60.00 nGyh-1. While the annual effective dose equivalent obtained is 32.98 mSvy-1, compared to the world permissible (UNSCEAR) value of 70.00 mSvy-1. The mean values of annual gonad dose equivalent and the radium equivalent are 202.09 BqKg-1 and 54.48 BqKg-1 respectively, compared to their world permissible (UNSCEAR) values of 300.00 BqKg-1 and 370.00 BqKg-1 respectively. While the mean values of health hazard implications and the lifetime risk of cancer risk are 0.15 and 0.114 respectively compared to their world permissible values of 1.0 and 0.290 respectively. 

Conclusion: All the parameters measured are much lower than their world permissible (UNSCEAR) values. Hence the risk of radiological health hazards due to the refuse dump sites in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria is very inconsequential.

Open Access Original Research Article

Fabrication and Performance Evaluation of Cowpea Thresher for Small Scale Cowpea Farm Holders in Nigeria

O. W. Muhammed-Bashir, K. O. Oriola, B. A. Ogundeji, M. A. Adesokan

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/cjast/2018/v31i629190

Aims: To develop and evaluate an affordable, accessible, easy-to-operate and functional small-scale thresher machine to make cowpea farming a profitable venture.

Study Design: Fabrication and performance evaluation.

Place and Duration of Study: Premises of DAF Technical Services, Ilorin, Nigeria, between June, 2017 and February, 2018.

Methodology: Construction of a cowpea thresher machine was carried out by sizing and marking out the plate with the aid of scriber and cutter. The shaft was smoothened and the various components were welded and assembled with the aid of fasteners. The thresher was made-up of the feeding unit, which provided an opening through which the cowpea was introduced into the machine for threshing. As the various components of the cowpea thresher (threshing drum, the lower concave (screen), the spikes and separating unit) were being assembled, dimension analysis was carried out on two varieties of cowpea grains. This was meant to determine the screen sieve size.

Results: Findings from this study indicated the mean cowpea grain threshing efficiencies of 71.40, 66.10, and 63.10% at a different speed of 472, 339, and 283 rpm respectively. The maximum throughput capacity (59.78 kg/hr) was obtained at threshing speed of 472 rpm. This revealed that as the speed decreased the threshing efficiency, the throughput capacity and grain loss also decreased, while damaged grains are negligible.

Conclusion: The fabricated cowpea thresher is therefore, a suitable machine with high efficiency to carry out necessary small scale post-harvest operations in cowpea production.