Activities Outside the Classroom

Soap Making

Some students have multiple hobbies outside of school hours such as music, video games, or even exercise. But what if you’re looking for a hobby that pertains to your major or future job interests? Well, here’s tip for a unique hobby if you are either a Science major, Art major, or even in some cases, a Business major: Soap Making.

Yes, Soap Making. What is so unique about it and how does it pertain to these three subjects? First, science plays a big part in the hobby of Soap Making because you are basically utilizing quite a few intricate chemicals and oils. It can be a bit hazardous, so parental supervision is required if you are underage; otherwise, you get a small taste of playing mad scientist by mixing up chemicals such as Sodium Hydroxide, countless base oils, and plenty of different colorant micas and fragrances. Sound like a fun science project right?

Soap Making

The images of these beautiful soaps speak for themselves in an art sense. There are not only countless color combinations for soaps, but you can use a wide variety of molds to give your personal creations a unique shape. Besides shape and color, other ways you can uniquely create these soapy masterpieces is my adding smaller soap inserts or even natural botanicals. The possibilities are really endless when it comes to soap designs.

Now how does this hobby pertain to Business majors? Speaking from personal experience as a Business student, I picked up the hobby of Soap Making about a year ago and created my own small business of selling soap and other bath products. This Soap business has helped me to experience all aspects of small businesses such as pricing, supply and demand, stock, selling, customer service, business management, and pretty much every other corner of the business life you can think of.

Having a unique hobby such as Soap Making can help you find what subjects you like (or don’t like). It can help you practice and improve your skills in the respective subjects. If you perhaps like more than one subject, this hobby also comes in hobby. You can let out your inner artistically scientific business self!

– SuzannaKnodemy tutor

Coding for Girls

Girls Who Code

Today we’re going to build upon what we started last week. Technology is everywhere. No matter what field you choose to be in, you will need to understand technology and connect with it closely. So, is there any question that learning to code today is much like learning Science or Math? We don’t think so.

Coding is a language. A tool set that allows you to bring ideas to the table, but moreover, turn those ideas into a reality.

Enter girls who code. Girls who are exposed to coding early on have a greater chance at innovating in the future. Trying to close the gender gap in tech also starts by nurturing the next generation of girls.

According to the U.S Department of Labor, women hold less than 25% of STEM jobs, and only 19% of students enrolled in AP Computer Science courses are female. In response to this, Knodemy has created a program especially for girls. Knodemy’s Girls Who Code initiative will extend beyond the typical coding class, and provide a stimulating environment for students seeking more hands-on involvement. Knodemy is eager to provide exposure to girls by creating a fun and collaborative environment because we believe the next generation of female entrepreneurs will be fearless, and will take technology to the next level.

So what’s in it for girls who code?

1. Empowerment – Encouraging girls to code gives them empowerment to put these skills to use for many reasons including economic opportunity, giving back to the community, and much more. Besides, the ability to communicate with computers and technology is probably one of the best super-powers one could have.

2. Employment – Web development jobs are growing by the second and programmers are high in demand; the skills needed for these positions are easily transferable and application to almost any other industry. In fact, if you possess a hot skill (like coding) that many of your peers lack, you instantly appear more desirable in the eyes of potential colleges and employers.

3. Child Development – As parents and/or educators of the next generation of students, we can positively influence the choices and options that young people have as they pursue further education and career opportunities.

4. Fun – While programming is logic-based, it’s also an extremely creative activity. If you know how to code, you can develop apps, video games, web sites, and more! Don’t be intimated by the stereotypes you hear about. Take this opportunity to prepare for the future, while achieving your dreams.

The Art of Cooking

food-art-breakfast-3

As much as some people may or may not love cooking, I’m sure we can all agree that we absolutely love food! We love how it tastes, we love how it looks (as you can see on Instagram), and we love how it makes our tummies warm after we finish eating. Cooking teaches us how to multi-task and appreciate foods from other cultures.

In some countries, food is an art form where presentation and appearance is just as important as how good it tastes. Take Japan for instance, the Japanese are well known for their very creative styles and designs of the infamous Bento box. It takes lots of time and patience to create such detailed pieces of food. Just as their are cook books to make simple meals, their are also books on how to create daily cute and creative bento box meals.

One form of cooking art known in the USA are the amazing food plates designed specifically for the Oscars awards show held in Hollywood, CA which has just recently past last week. Famous chefs that cook for the famed show have expressed that food has to be not only appealing to the palate but to the eyes as well because when you see a good looking plate, you already have the expectation that it will taste delicious as well.

It’s not hard at all to create such beautiful masterpieces for the average small kitchen cook. All it takes is a bit of patience and creatvity. Of course, Google helps a lot when you search for images for creative eye-catching dishes.

The Core Skill of the 21st Century: Coding

Coding

We’re going to start this article off by stating the obvious: learning code is one of the most crucial things you could do for yourself. Now let’s break it down and take it a step further.

According to Code.org, every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Additionally, the federal Bureau of Labor statistics project 4.2 million computer science jobs by 2020. Several business leaders and educators are now pushing for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) opportunities, as this fields yield a high number of positions in the work force, and can get you connected with educators that will vouch for your success in the Coding community.

Simply put, code is a tool that lets you write your story with the use of computer technology. For students today, coding is becoming an essential skill, similar to reading, writing, and math. You can literally step into any field with coding skills. You can help change the world by developing solutions for the nation’s biggest problems; you can help develop technologies that could save lives. Code touches every field from Fashion and Finance to Automotives and Farming.

Today, only about 10-12% of high schools offer Computer Science classes. If you think about the statistic, it isn’t much help at all. This is why Knodemy is dedicated to bringing computing education to every student around the country.

We at Knodemy believe that the use of technology is growing rapidly, and our students need to be ready for the future they are going to face. Learning to code isn’t just about learning a programming language, but stems further into training you to think logically and improve problem solving skills. Students need to fully understand the world we live in, where coding has revolutionized even the simplest of actions for everyone. Take Uber, for example, and note how simple technology has made it to allow you to hitch a ride by the touch of a button. What’s important is how all of the tech companies (large or small) are embracing new programming languages to further create a solution for the problem they set out to solve.

Another example is HouseFed, a community marketplace for food. Users share their homemade photos of dishes, similar to how Yelp allows for restaurants. Unlike review websites, HouseFed banks on reputation of the user who uploads the dish. The most exciting part about this is the founder, Emile Petrone quit his job, moved to a remote location, and taught himself to code in order to start up his dream venture.

As parents, teachers, coaches, advisors, and role models, we all have a huge role to play in helping to make coding relevant and exciting for students.

We will help you kick start your coding career with 3 different initiatives. The best part is you get to choose which initiative best fits your needs and goals. Stay tuned for program outlines in the next blog post!

Diet and Nutrition During School Season

Diet and Nutrition During School

One negative thing most students experience when they enter high school or college is the dreaded “Freshman 15″ where students may gain somewhere between 15 pounds or even more due to increase in stress and studying and lack of movement and healthy eating. This is especially true if a student lives away from home. So how can a student avoid those extra pounds that may be put on in the first college year?

It’s actually a lot more simple than many people think and has a lot to do more with will power than anything else! The first step is to motivate oneself into not falling into bad eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle.

The gaining of these extra pounds can be avoided by a simple eating schedule and almost daily exercise bursts of around 20-25 minutes, not long at all! Just as you schedule time daily for specific activities, eating is another activity that should be well planned out.

To avoid those daily pizza binges and late night unhealthy study snacks, it is recommended to choose a day where you can plan out and perhaps even prepare all meals you will eat for the next few days in advanced.

For all main meal times (breakfast, lunch, dinner) make sure to incorporate all the important food groups such as vegetables, proteins  (meats), and whole grains (oatmeal and wheat breads). All the groups are essential for a healthy studying brain. If you are following a regular 2,000 calorie diet, try to stay within the 450-500 calorie mark for each main meal.

As for snack, it is good to have one between regular meal times. Most students binge on candy or chips which is how those extra pounds slowly begin to creep up. You can cut up some fruits and put them in separate containers, eat a non-fat greek yogurt cup, eat a protein bar or shake, grab a handful of pretzels and a bit of hummus dip, there are many options for students who crave a sweet or savory snack! Just try to keep it at about 200 calories if you are trying to stay at the 2,000 calorie daily intake mark.

Of course, a healthy body not only needs healthy food, but some movement as well. So take a small break between studying and do a stretching video, a cardio video, or a yoga video, hit the gym, or even a walk or small jog around your local neighborhood. The easiest option is to search through the millions of workout videos on Youtube and pick one! It doesn’t take much, just 25-30 minutes should be sufficient, and you will feel refreshed and ready to continue studying once you finish.

Just in case you think you can replace your 450 calorie lunch for a 450 calorie ice cream sundae, think again! Quality of calories does count, 450 calories of lean chicken and brown rice will not have the same effect on your body as 450 calories of some greasy pizza. It’s ok to indulge every once in a while, but try not to make it a daily thing or else you will see more than just a few pounds creeping up.

So prepare yourself some easily cooked meals with healthy ingredients, keep them in the fridge so you can just heat them up when you are ready to eat. Keep some sliced fruits in a container for those late night snack urges. And get some daily activity for at least 25 minutes. If you make it a goal to stick to your healthy eating habits, you can be sure those freshman 15 pounds will pass right by you.

Suzanna, Knodemy tutor

The Pathway to Success Starts Here

highway road going up

Educators, teachers, tutors, counselors- all who transform the lives of students understand how children and teens mature into adulthood. They understand the outlook that is needed for learning, which is gaining knowledge to enrich your life. It’s normal and very common to want high grades, but if learning isn’t valued itself, then your tasks in the future will be of little value to you.

There are some key differences between many successful students and many struggling students in their attitudes toward life-long learning.  These include the following:

1. Have a vision. Many struggling students have no more foresight beyond exams. Often, they feel the need to cram, which results in losing all knowledge gained after the exam. This is one indication that shows education is not to be taken seriously. Successful students generally value learning for its own sake and do not feel it is something to be discarded after a specific event such as a test.
 Part of being a college student is learning to work within a timeline, a given system. In planning for the next semester, some students wait to be told by a counselor which courses to take; others take enough ownership of their education to map out the next semester.  Students who makes even a smal effort at planning a schedule are learning how to make decisions and plans within a complex system.

2. Be resourceful. Would an employer be interested in hiring you if it were known that you don’t know how to solve problems? Simple actions like having a dictionary nearby while reading or writing, or having a tutor nearby to help you understand a subject is key in the equation. Use your resources. Ask for help if you need it, because sometimes, that’s the best solution.

3. Resilience is key. Parents and teachers sometimes don’t demand that you overcome adversity, which means you’re not leveled with consequences to your behavior. Learn to become strong and overcome your hardships. Adapt to new situations as they come – adaptability and resilience are both priceless possessions that predict success far more than grades.

4. Emotional intelligence is greater than IQ. The age old thinking that the one with the highest IQ would do the best, and later become the most successful, is not the case today. Now, it appears to be more about emotional intelligence than IQ itself. This includes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, time and relationship management, and more. You’re more likely to graduate, excel, and become a forward thinking leader when you are emotionally aware in these cases. Today, it’s more about life skills and soft skills than memorizing lectures. The concept of emotional intelligence has proven to be so influential, that it’s now even a real topic amongst educators.

How To: Avoid Getting Sick Before Exams

sick woman

This semester’s round of midterms is fast approaching, and, as if you don’t already have enough on your plate, you’re starting to get sick. Did you know the time you spent over-working, stressing, and not sleeping was actually a recipe for disaster.

How can you perform your best if you aren’t feeling your best? Here’s a list of ways to avoid getting sick while amidst exams:

  1. Wash your hands. This may not directly have anything to do with your study habits, but you tend to get sick if you come into contact with germs. Germs are on all surfaces and the single most effective way of avoiding germs and getting sick is frequent handwashing. When you’re stressed, your immune system can’t fight off these germs, so you end up getting sick from bacteria or viruses that generally wouldn’t harm you.
  2. Get enough sleep. There’s so much to do, but so little time. We get it; but when you’re starting to get sick, getting sleep is the best way to fight it off. Be productive enough during the day time to guarantee your eight hours of sleep at night.Trust us, your body will thank you later.
  3. Get a head start. Plan out your important tasks for the week and complete them each day. Splitting up your workload will prevent you from having to cram. You do not want to be forced to cram on the same day that your body decides to give you an extra dose of sickness.
  4. Eat for energy, eat for fuelEat healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, and proteins to keep up your strength. Sugars and starches induce inflammation, so if you’re feeling sick, they may make it worse.

Remember that the most you can do for yourself in a “sicky” situation is to rest and relax. Worst comes to worst, tell your professor that you’re sick. Usually professors will have a make-up exam date for this exact reason. Our advice is it’s better to take the make-up if you already know you aren’t going to perform well on the day of the exam.

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