Thrilling Toy and Important Tool - microscope!

Posted by Guest Editor on Friday, June 5, 2015 In : Top 10 
Already in 1590, the first optical microscope - two lenses in a tube - was developed, although it is hard to identify the original inventors. Technical improvements during the following centuries made microscopy very popular among the scientists. In 1903, Richard Zsigmondy developed the ultra microscope that made it possible to study objects below the wavelength of light. He was awarded the 1925 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Another improvement was made by Fritz Zernike in the 1930s, when he invente...
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Hawaii Bans the Use of Plastic Bags

Posted by Guest Editor on Monday, April 7, 2014 In : News 

There are an insane amount of cons to the manufacturing and use of plastic bags. To name a few:

  •       They are made from raw components of oil, which is a limited resource.
  •       According to studies they take at least a few hundred years to decompose; therefore, they consume space in landfills.
  •       When disposed of in the oceans, they are often introduced to the sea creature food chains, which can ultimately lead to their deaths.

While these are only a few cons of plastic bags...


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MicroEmpowering DIY Lava Lamp Workshop

Posted by Guest Editor on Thursday, June 13, 2013

Come out and join the MicroEmpowering team in a STEM education and eco-art workshop at Socrates Sculpture Park on Saturday, June 15th from 12pm-3pm.


Through this interactive workshop participants will be taught how to create a lava lamp using 
everyday household items and recycled materials. These vibrant, mesmerizing lamps are a fun and exciting way to get children involved in math and science. All materials will be provided on site. This workshop is open to children and their families on a ...


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A Boon for Biofuels Research

Posted by Guest Editor on Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Researchers from the United Kingdom, the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the University of Kentucky have recently published a paper describing a novel cellulose-degrading enzyme from a marine wood borer Limnoria quadripunctata, commonly known as the gribble. 

Gribbles are biologically intriguing because they exhibit a relatively unique ability to produce their own enzymes instead of using symbiotic microbes to break down the biomass they eat. New biomass-de...


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MicroEmpowering Product Giveaway!

Posted by Guest Editor on Sunday, April 28, 2013
Microempowering would like to give a big thank you for all the support you have shown us.
 
We will be hosting a giveaway of more than 100 products.
 This product giveaway will start on May 1st and will end on June 1st. All you have to do for a chance to win is subscribe to our newsletter mailing list! You can do that right on our blog page.
 
The winners will be selected randomly but everyone has a high chance of winning! Once selected, the winners will be requested to provide us with their first...

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EARTH DAY LOBBY DAY 2013!

Posted by Guest Editor on Thursday, April 18, 2013


Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
9:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.New York State Capitol, Albany, NY

Can’t make it to Albany? Don’t fret! You can support this important day by pledging to call your legislator on the 23rd and provide back-up to the advocates pounding the halls of the capitol. 

If you’re signing up to call, we will give you all the information you need to easily make the call! 

This year's Earth Day Lobby Day will focus on critically important environmental issues such as expanding solar ener...


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NASA Seeks Academic Partners for Smallsat Technology Collaboration

Posted by Guest Editor on Thursday, April 4, 2013
RELEASE : 13-094
 
 
NASA Seeks Academic Partners for Smallsat Technology Collaboration
 
 
WASHINGTON -- NASA is seeking small spacecraft technology project proposals from U.S. colleges and universities that would like to collaborate with agency researchers. 

Small spacecraft, or smallsats, represent a growing field of space research and operations in which universities often have led the way in technology development. Smallsats, some of which are as small as a four-inch cube, are not expected to r...

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Quantum Dots that Assemble Themselves Could Bolster Quantum Photonics and Solar Cell Efficiency

Posted by Guest Editor, NREL newswire on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 In : News 
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other labs have demonstrated a process whereby quantum dots can self-assemble at optimal locations in nanowires, a breakthrough that could improve solar cells, quantum computing, and lighting devices.
 
A paper on the new technology, "Self-assembled Quantum Dots in a Nanowire System for Quantum Photonics," appears in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature Materials. 
 
Quantum dots are tiny cry...
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Report Advises Utilities on Unintentional Islanding Risk for Distributed Generation

Posted by Guest Editor on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 In : News 
A Sandia National Laboratories report details a procedure to quickly determine whether utilities need an additional unintentional islanding study when evaluating the proposed interconnection of new distributed generation (DG), which includes photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Islanding occurs when the DG continues to energize a load well after it is disconnected from the utility source, and when established accidentally, islanding can adversely affect personnel safety and equipment integrity. Followi...
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NASA Casts a Wide Net for STEM Education Partners

Posted by Guest Editor on Thursday, February 21, 2013
RELEASE : 13-056
 
 
NASA Casts a Wide Net for STEM Education Partners
 
 
WASHINGTON -- NASA is inviting potential partners to help the agency achieve its strategic goals for education. 

Using its unique missions, discoveries, and assets, NASA supports education inside and outside the formal classroom to inspire and motivate educators and learners of all ages in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The agency is seeking unfunded partnerships with organizations to engage new or b...

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Why upcycling is beneficial towards the environment?

Posted by Guest Editor on Friday, February 8, 2013 In : Guest Blogger 

Upcycling is a method in which old or discarded materials are converted into something reusable.

The difference between upcycling and recycling is simple. Recycling takes consumer materials such as plastic, paper, metal, and glass and breaks them down so that they can be made into a new consumer product (usually of lesser quality). When you upcycle an item you aren’t breaking down ant materials, just purely refashioning it.  Additionally the quality of the upcycled item has same or even ...


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Fossil Fuels and the Rising Sea Levels

Posted by Guest Editor on Thursday, January 31, 2013 In : Guest Blogger 

As stated in our “How Methane Heating Works” article, “Natural gas derives from animal and plant matter that was heated and pressurized in earth’s layers (hence why it is referred to as “fossil fuel”).” Within the last century, the burning of these fossil fuels combined with other human related activities, has released heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. In effect it has caused the Earth’s temperature and sea levels to rise.

This rise in sea level is linked to thermal ...


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Coral Reef Conservation

Posted by Guest Editor on Monday, January 21, 2013 In : Information gathered from the USA EPA 

Coral reefs are structures that have merged together into limestone. It consists of a collection of biological communities that make up one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Corals themselves are actually small immobile animals that belong to the group cnidaria. They sustain themselves by catching prey, such as small fish and planktonic animals, with their tentacles. Corals generally live in colonies. Together these colonies secrete a hard calcium carbonate skeleton, which is wha...


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Turning Coal Into Clean Power

Posted by Guest Editor on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 In : Bloomberg Markets 


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Geothermal Energy Part 2

Posted by Guest Editor on Thursday, December 27, 2012

Geothermal energy can also be captured from heat pumps. Heat pumps tap into the heat near the Earth’s surface. This type of energy capturing can be used to heat water supplies or heat/cool buildings. Geothermal heat pumps transfer heat by pumping water or a refrigerant through pipes (also known as heat exchangers) below the Earth’s surface. During the winter months the water and refrigerants absorb heat from the Earth and deliver it to buildings and such. During summer months pumps are ...


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Geothermal Energy Part 1

Posted by Guest Editor on Sunday, December 9, 2012

Geothermal energy is heat derived from the Earth. It is both clean and sustainable. It can be excavated from shallow ground, hot water, hot rocks, and magma. Geothermal energy can be extracted through power plants and heat pumps.

There are three types of geothermal power plants. The first type is called dry steam and uses heat from deep within the Earth to generate steam, which produces electricity. Wells drill into the Earth and pump hot water to the surface under high pressures. Once at...


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Learn About Food Waste

Posted by Guest Editor on Thursday, November 29, 2012

Food waste is categorized as food that has been discarded or gone uneaten. It can consist of raw, cooked, edible, and inedible (bones, etc.) materials. In the United States more than 34 million tons of food waste is generated and 1.3 billion tons globally.

Generating this type of food waste has both economical and environmental consequences. No matter who you are, a portion of your income goes to buying food. Therefore, you are throwing away money. By taking part in simple practices you ca...


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US energy infrastructure needs help and mitigation plans

Posted by External article from The Christian Science Monitor - Weekly Digital Edition on Sunday, November 11, 2012 In : News 
A Climate Central report from earlier this year highlighted the amount of energy infrastructure around the country that is close to sea level. Louisiana, of course, comes across as the clearest example of energy infrastructure at risk to rising seas, with 163 major energy facilities at five feet above sea level or less. Surprisingly, New Jersey and New York are ranked 5th and 6th in the country, respectively, for the amount of infrastructure that is within 5 feet of sea level.

Hurricane...
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NREL/DOE Launch New Alternative Transportation Web Tools

Posted by News Release NR-4212 on Friday, November 9, 2012 In : Guest Blogger 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched a new tool and redesigned DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center Web site to help fleet managers, municipalities and consumers choose from a wide variety of alternative fuels and energy efficiency strategies for reducing petroleum use, vehicle emissions, and operating costs.


The AFDC’s new Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool is an interactive Web application that allows fleet managers to evaluate th...


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Lights Out in the Rockaways...

Posted by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 In : News 
Video: Lights Out in the Rockaways by our dear friend Arianna La Penne  -  She recorded scenes from Rockaway Beach, Queens, where residents are increasingly cold and scared without heat, water, and electricity days after Hurricane Sandy devastated the community.

The resident's needs were quite basic and they raise questions such as:
Where is the FEMA team?  Where is the RED Cross?  Where is the all the help that has been promised on TV?
 
http://www.nytimes.com/video/2012/11/04/nyregion/100...
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Beyond Recycling - Go Green With Your Kids

Posted by Guest Author Donna DeForbes, http://eco-mothering.blogspot.com on Friday, October 26, 2012 In : Guest Blogger 
Have “power down” days. We humans are addicted to electricity and all its accompanying gadgets. There should be a few days each year (once per season is nice) where the family “powers down.” This means no TV, music, computer, electric lights, etc. (You can still eat, of course, but try using the more natural gas stove instead of microwave radiation.) My husband and I have powered down for many a Winter Solstice. It’s a way of slowing life down for a bit and reconnecting with each ot...
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Schools Raise the Roof on Solar Energy

Posted by Guest Editor news from NREL on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 In : Guest Blogger 
In one 50-minute period last month, the Intro to Engineering students at Chatfield High School in Jefferson County, Colorado, charted the strength of solar panels at their desks, then climbed through a trap door to examine the 100-kilowatt solar array on their school's flat roof.

"You see a couple of panels that have been shattered by last year's wind storm," teacher Joel Bertelsen told the 32 students, who were peering intently at the panels when not testing the springiness of the roof. "I...
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Destruction of habitats and the increase of invasive species

Posted by Guest Editor on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 In : Guest Blogger 
Change in climate, destruction of habitats, and the increase of invasive species are the chief drivers in the current biodiversity crisis. Brought on by insatiable consumption of resources by humans, the extinction rate of species annually has risen from 100 to 1000 times.

Currently conservation biologists are trying to estimate the time period during which a species begins to undergo perturbation and eventually extinction. They then take this estimation and apply it to the Brazilian rainfo...
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Bio Gas - Can You Use Poop to Power Your Car?

Posted by Guest Author Donna DeForbes, http://eco-mothering.blogspot.com on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 In : Must read 
Donna DeForbes a great writer and eco-mom, she is our new contributor!  Donna wrote a very cool post about bio gas and the multiple options out there for transforming solid waste into energy.  According to the article, under the gentler moniker of ‘bio-gas’, businesses around the globe are seeking ways to harness the power of human waste, which contains bacteria that releases methane gas (also known as Natural Gas and CH4).

Using solid waste from 70 homes, British company GENeco powered a ...
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Hybrid delivery vans show nearly 20 percent higher fuel economy

Posted by Guest Editor on Monday, October 1, 2012 In : Must read 
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)'s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently completed a performance evaluation report that showed significant fuel economy benefits of hybrid electric delivery vans compared to similar conventional vans. "During the on-road portion of our study, the hybrid vans demonstrated a 13 to 20 percent higher fuel economy than the conventional vans," said NREL Project Engineer Michael Lammert. "During dynamometer testing, three standard drive cycles were...
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Meet the Zero-Emission Bus (ZBus) Regulation

Posted by Guest Editor on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 In : Must read 
In 2000 the Zero-Emission Bus (ZBus) regulation was established. Its intentions were to develop a Californian transit system made up of 15% zero emission buses. This formation of this regulation would also meet California’s air quality, greenhouse gas, and energy security goals.



Source: Zero-Emission Bus Design

Zbus’ produce zero smog pollutants and when compared to diesel-fueled buses, is predicted to reduce greenhouse gases by 46 percent. They have centralized fueling that allows one s...
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What is a Fuel Cell? How does it Work?

Posted by Guest Editor on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 In : Must read 
Since the late 1830’s companies around the world have been striving to create a technology that can replace traditional batteries and generator technologies. They seek a technology that will help to overcome the pressing environmental concerns the world is facing. That is where the fuel cell comes in. Fuel cells are electrochemical energy devices that convert hydrogen and oxygen into water, which can then produce electricity and heat. They are most similar to the average household battery; ...
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New study: hybrid tractors demonstrated 13.7% higher fuel economy!

Posted by Guest Editor on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 In : News 
A performance evaluation of Class 8 hybrid electric tractor trailers compared with similar conventional vehicles by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows significant improvements in fuel economy.

For the "Coca-Cola Refreshments Class 8 Diesel Electric Hybrid Tractor Evaluation: 13-Month Final Report," the NREL team collected and analyzed fuel economy, maintenance, and other vehicle performance data on five hybrid and five conventional Class...
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Why Biodiversity Needs Conservation?

Posted by Guest Editor on Friday, August 31, 2012 In : News 
The natural Earth is made up of plants, animals, land, water, the atmosphere, and humans. Combined we form the planet’s ecosystem. This means that should there ever be a major biodiversity disaster, the wellbeing of humans could be at risk. For too long we have had the idea that the biodiversity that surrounds us responds to Earth’s physical changes rather than see that the existence of the Earth depends on biodiversity.

Presently we are consuming 25% more of natural resources than the p...
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Sustainability Initiatives That Pay Back!

Posted by Guest Editor, CFO data and article on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 In : Must read 
Sustainability is the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed. A question all companies ask themselves these days is: “Will investing in sustainability pay off within an acceptable amount of time?” Huge companies such as Henkel Corp. and Cybex are putting millions into the construction of eco-friendly factories and products, hoping that it all pays off in the end. 


 
Today many executives, some of whom used to be skeptical about this very matter, are trying to do more wit...
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