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Vietnam launches first scientific exploration tour

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A scientific exploration tour called ExploraScience Quy Nhon has just been unveiled in the south-central province of Binh Dinh, marking the first of its kind in Vietnam.

The experimental tour began its pilot operation in early 2019 which is expected to be completed in 2021, according to Nguyen Van Dung, director of the Binh Dinh Department of Tourism.

The scientific exploration tour has seven showcase rooms with different themes including exploration, learning about the universe, the solar system, the earth and natural resources, and laws of nature.
There are 94 scientific models, most of which were created by the experts of ExploraScience Quy Nhon following an exact ratio with real objects.
“Among tools of scientific dissemination is a 1.5m-diameter globe simulating the planet that is worth nearly VND3 billion [US$129,690] and imported from Germany,” said Hoang Thi Hang, a staff member from the Center for Scientific Discovery in Binh Dinh Province.

“Many phenomena are simulated on the globe’s surface like climate change, volcanoes, earthquakes, and seasons.

“Visitors can interact directly with the globe through its touch screen.”
Most of the tourists, especially students, showed their joy while listening to the scientific knowledge delivered by the staff at the center.
“I find it interesting here,” Nguyen Van Thong, a visitor from Ho Chi Minh City, said.

“This is a useful space to discover, especially for children and students, who are both able to play and learn new things.”
Currently, ExploraScience Quy Nhơn offers a scientific exploration tour with three sections: paying visits to showcase space, taking part in a scientific show, and playing games indoors and outdoors.

Two children look at a telescope in the Center for Scientific Discovery. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

Two children look through a telescope in the Center for Scientific Discovery in Binh Dinh Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

Children sit around to see a robot performance at the Center for Scientific Discovery - Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

Children sit around to see a robot performance at the Center for Scientific Discovery in Binh Dinh Province. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

A student learns about a hydraulic system while playing a game called hydraulic arm. - Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

A student learns about a hydraulic system while playing a game called hydraulic arm. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

A student learns about a hydraulic system while playing a game called hydraulic arm. - Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

A student learns about a hydraulic system while playing a game called hydraulic arm. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

Students play a game with a water pump outside at the Center for Scientific Discovery in Binh Dinh Province - Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

Students play a game with a water pump outside at the Center for Scientific Discovery in Binh Dinh Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

A staff from the Center for Scientific Discovery introduces a globe model containing planets in the solar system to a group children - Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

A staff member from the Center for Scientific Discovery introduces a globe model containing planets in the solar system to a group of children. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

A female visitor enjoys an experience with electronic science. Her hairs ‘stands’ vertically after she touches her hand on a globe. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

A female visitor enjoys an experience with electronic science. Her hairs ‘stand’ vertically after she touches a globe. Photo: Dung Nhan / Tuoi Tre

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210105/vietnam-launches-first-scientific-exploration-tour/58633.html

Education

Vietnamese schools allow students to stay home during cold weather

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Tens of thousands of students in many northern and north-central Vietnamese provinces were allowed to stay home on Monday as temperatures dropped below 10 degrees Celsius due to the effects of a strong cold spell.

In the north-central province of Nghe An, the provincial Department of Education and Training issued a document requesting students of kindergarten and elementary schools to let students stay home if the temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius, and seven degrees Celsius for middle and high schools.

In addition, schools have to inform the students and their parents of the school break as soon as possible.

Accordingly, all kindergarten students in the province’s Ky Son District were asked to stay home to protect their health as temperatures ranged between 4-7 degrees Celsius, with frost forming in many places on Monday afternoon, according to Phan Van Thiet, head of the district’s bureau of education and training.

Besides, 41 elementary and middle schools along Vietnam-Lao borders and in mountainous areas, where many students of Mong ethnic people are living, were also closed.

As a majority of those schools provide semi-boarding services with the students living far away and having opted to stay at their campuses over the past few days, local authorities directed them to strengthen measures to combat the cold for students, including using firewood, Thiet said.

In northern Son La Province, 401 out of 527 kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools and 16 out of 44 high schools urged students to stay home on Monday, according to the provincial education and training department.

Schools at all levels in the three districts of Yen Chau, Thuan Chau, and Van Ho were shuttered.

In northern Dien Bien Province, nearly 55,000 students of 130 schools were given leave to avoid the cold on Monday morning.

Likewise, 98,175 students from 256 schools in Nghia Lo Town, Yen Binh, Van Chan, Luc Yen, Tram Tau, and Mu Cang Chai Districts in northern Yen Bai Province, stayed home.

Meanwhile, their peers in Yen Bai City and Tran Yen District still went to school.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210112/vietnamese-schools-allow-students-to-stay-home-during-cold-weather/58739.html

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Student casualties from making handmade firecrackers sound alarm in Vietnam

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Traumatic consequences from cases where teenage students created and played with handmade firecrackers from online videos, especially when Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) nears, have been worrying people in north-central Vietnamese localities.

Authorities in north-central Nghe An and Ha Tinh Provinces have continuously handled cases related to creating or playing with handmade firecrackers among local students in recent days.

In Ha Tinh, the authorities have discovered five cases, involving ten students, of homemade firecrackers, seizing 9.2kg of flash powder and 20 firecrackers from November 15 to date, according to the provincial police.

For the latest case, police in Ha Tinh’s Duc Tho District found T.Q.L., 16, hailing from Tan Dan Commune storing 300 grams of flash powder — the main ingredient of a firecracker — in Tung Anh Commune on December 20. 

The authorities also seized 100 more grams of flash powder and handmade firecrackers at L.’s residence.

L. admitted that he had purchased the aforementioned amount of explosive compound from V.D.P., 16, living in the same commune.

A raid on P.’s house uncovered 400 grams of flash powder, 300 grams of sulfur, and dozens of firecrackers already wrapped in paper, which he had bought online.

P. said he sold parts of the handmade firecrackers for money and kept the remaining for Tet celebration, according to Nguyen Thanh Chung, team leader of the Duc Tho District police bureau.

According to Chung, the firecrackers created by P. are dangerous as they explode with loud bangs and high damage.

On the same day, police in Thach Chau Commune, located in Ha Tinh’s Loc Ha District, found four middle-school students illegally using firecrackers.

They also confiscated 1.5kg of sulfur, 1.14kg of potassium chloride salt, flash powder, and 24 homemade firecrackers at these students’ houses.

The students said they had purchased these ingredients and aped the way of making the firecrackers online.

They seem to have learned no lesson from serious accidents in Ha Tinh and Nghe An Provinces, where several teenage students created and played with homemade firecrackers.

On the afternoon of January 29, 2019, six people were injured and D.V.L., a ninth-grade student, died in Duc Tho District’s Bui La Nhan Commune after L. tried to make handmade firecrackers from chemicals he had bought online.

On January 19, 2020, L.T.S., 15, was severely burnt in an attempt to create firecrackers.

Most recently, C.T.Tr., 14, and C.T.H., 15, were badly injured while the two brothers were playing with firecrackers at their grandmother’s house in Vinh City, Nghe An Province at about 2:00 pm on January 3.

H. had his left hand completely damaged while Tr.’s lips, cheeks, and eyes were burned after the explosion. 

“In addition to the responsibility of the schools, parents need to join hands to control and supervise their children’s use of the Internet, advising them on the harm of making firecrackers, in order to avoid undue consequences for themselves and family,” said Tran Trong Khiem, principal of Cuong Gian Middle School in Nghi Xuan District, Ha Tinh.

Vietnamese law prohibits all of activities related to the production, trading, transportation, import, export, storage, and use of firecrackers and fireworks and materials thereof, except for some specific cases.

The government recently amended a decree, which will take effect on January 11, allowing all Vietnamese light up fireworks for some special events such as Lunar New Year festivals, birthdays, wedding ceremonies, conferences, grand openings, anniversaries, and cultural activities.

However, the fireworks allowed are the kind that will not explode.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210108/student-casualties-from-making-handmade-firecrackers-sound-alarm-in-vietnam/58696.html

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Ho Chi Minh City students make paper bags, organic fertilizers from banana trunks

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A group of university students in Ho Chi Minh City have come up with an initiative to turn banana trunks that would otherwise go to waste into eco-friendly paper bags and organic fertilizers.

The four-member team, all majoring in biotechnology at Van Lang University, are proud they are part of the initiative, launched to wondrously transform banana trunks into objects both environmentally sustainable and eye-catching.

A thing that matters to the students is how their environment-friendly ideas have supported local farmers through upcycling the trunks after each banana harvest.

Use of banana trunks is traditionally limited to animal feed as they are cut up into small pieces to feed poultry in rural areas.

After one year of development, the biodegradable, low-cost product is expected to make a splash for its simplicity, environment-friendliness, and safety.

It typically takes nearly one week to make a paper bag manually.

With the pseudostem – the part of the banana plant that looks like a trunk – hand-picked and leaf sheaths split, the group members move on to batter and dry the sheaths before cutting them into small pieces and soaking them in a sodium hydroxide solution. 

Next come boiling, grinding the mixture into a smooth paste, and pouring it into molds before the bags can be crafted.

The items come in different sizes, with prices varying from VND6,000 (US$0.3) to VND21,000 ($0.9) apiece.

Bearing in mind that nothing would go to waste, the students ingeniously transform the inside of the trunk into organic manure, priced at VND2,500 ($0.1) per kilogram.  

According to Huynh Anh Bao, the group leader, while all the production phases are performed manually for now, their next steps are to make technical advancement so that the items will soon make their way onto market shelves at an affordable price.

He added his team will also try their hands at packaging from banana leaves as an eco-friendly alternative soon.

The banana pseudostem – the part of the banana plant that looks like a trunk – is cubed for easier processing. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The banana pseudostem – the part of the banana plant that looks like a trunk – is cubed for easier processing. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

After being brewed, the banana cubes are boiled. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

After being brewed, the banana cubes are boiled. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The mixture is rinsed carefully and only the residue will be used. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The mixture is rinsed carefully and only the residue will be used. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Tuyet Ngan, one of the research team members, blends the mixture into a fine paste. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Tuyet Ngan, one of the research team members, blends the mixture into a fine paste. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

It takes up to 600 milliliters of banana paste to produce pulp before it is crafted into bags. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

It takes up to 600 milliliters of banana paste to produce pulp before it is crafted into bags. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Lan Anh (right) notes that as banana is rich in cellulose content, paper bags made from banana trunks will be a lot suppler and tougher than their traditional counterparts. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Lan Anh (right) notes that as banana is rich in cellulose content, paper bags made from banana trunks will be a lot suppler and tougher than their traditional counterparts. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The banana remains are the first to be made into paper. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The banana remains are the first to be made into paper. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

It takes three days for the remains to dry out on their own and one week for an eco-friendly bag to take shape. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

It takes three days for the remains to dry out on their own and one week for an eco-friendly bag to take shape. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The final products are the biodegradable, low-priced paper bags. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The final products are the biodegradable, low-priced paper bags. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Organic manure, priced at VND2,500 ($0.1) per kilogram, is made from the banana core, leaves, and barks. Photo: Ngoc Phuong/ Tuoi Tre

Organic manure, priced at VND2,500 ($0.1) per kilogram, is made from the banana core, leaves, and barks. Photo: Ngoc Phuong/ Tuoi Tre

Prices of the biodegradable paper bags vary from VND6,000 ($0.3) to VND21,000 ($0.9) apiece depending on their size. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Prices of the biodegradable paper bags vary from VND6,000 ($0.3) to VND21,000 ($0.9) apiece depending on their size. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/education/20210103/ho-chi-minh-city-students-make-paper-bags-organic-fertilizers-from-banana-trunks/58604.html

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