The summer heat may be scorching and school is out but it does not mean you give learning a break. In fact, knowing more about the environment has just been made more fun by nine new interactive exhibits sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology (DOST-PCIEERD).
Set up at the Science Centrum in Marikina City, said interactive exhibits explain the effect of wastes, how to minimize waste and maximize the use of energy to protect the environment.
Which is the best choice? From left: Compact fluorescent (CFL), halogen, light-emitting diode (LED), and incandescent lamps.
Battle of the Bulbs. Incandescent, halogen, compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs were installed in respective compartments to compare their efficiency in terms of brightness, life span, electric consumption, and amount of heat generated. The LED bulb appears as best choice for those who want to maximize resources as it had the brightest light, longest life span, and least power consumption.
Let’s recycle! Just turn the knob to see what new products can be produced from steel cans, plastic containers, and paper.
Recycling. Some materials in the garbage, considered as waste, can actually be processed back into their original, raw form and used in making the same material or other products.
E-Waste. Recycling electronic wastes are best left to the pros because backyard recyclers are exposed to health risks when they extract valuable materials from electronic devices.
Biogas. This exhibit shows how biodegradable wastes produce methane gas that can be used as fuel for the kitchen stove. A digester tank is filled with biodegradable wastes, and produces bubbles on the other tank which is filled with water. Methane, produced by microorganisms breaking down the wastes, causes the bubbling.
Phantom Power. Putting appliances on standby mode does not really turn them off, as they continue to use electricity. A television set, for example, consumes 8.2 watts in stand by mode. Chargers and extension cords do consume electricity when plugged in, even if they are not connected to gadgets or appliances. To save power, experts advise to pull the plug off the wall socket.
Trash Timeline. Garbage matters do not decompose at the same rate, or may not decompose at all. Newspapers, for example, decompose within a year, plywood in eight years, tin cans in more than 50 years, while glass bottles and styrofoams may not decompose at all (undetermined).
Dual Flush Toilet. This kind of toilet is now commonly used, with the half button for liquid waste and the full button for solid waste. But do you know how much liters of water are used in flushing your waste? Three liters of water are actually used to flush down liquid wastes, and six liters for the solid ones. Thus, using dual flush will help bring down our monthly water bill.
Left mountain has no vegetation while the one on the right has plenty. Pressing the button infront of the exhibit lets go of the “rain”, and viewer can actually see runoff cascading from the barren mountain, flooding the valley below.
Surface Runoff. Lowlands at the foot of bare mountains get easily flooded during a heavy rainfall compared with lowlands at the foot of mountains full of trees and vegetation. It is because water is absorbed by the trees and vegetation, preventing floods and other risks.
Water… Every Drop Counts! This exhibit shows how much water you use in some activities and how you can save water by trying other alternatives. For example, car washing using a garden hose makes you spend 122 liters of water but when you use a pail, you only spend 35 liters. Taking a bath under the shower uses up 148 liters but the Filipino way of using pail and dipper (“tabo”) is much more economic at 30 liters.
All of the said exhibits have button controls such that even young kids can enjoy the experience of viewing and using them. So while schools are not yet back, add fun to summer by visiting these exhibits at the Science Centrum, open Mondays to Saturdays, 8am to 5pm at the Riverbanks Center in Marikina City. (S&T Media Service)