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Using lightning to charge cell phones

Researchers Nokia and the University of Southampton have charged a cell phone with simulated lightning, providing a sneak peek into the future of wireless charging.

“This discovery proves that the device can be charged with a current that passes through the air, and is a huge step towards understanding a natural power like lightning and harnessing its energy,” said University of Southampton scientist Neil Palmer in a statement, adding that the lighting was able to fully charge the phone in a matter of seconds.

The research is in its early stages, so it’s not known how the technology will be used, or when it will be available to a mass market.
Check out the video to learn more about the experiment.

The above experiment was conducted in a controlled environment under the supervision of experts – so don’t try this at home.


The Learning Never Stops!

PASCO 2013 training

AYVA employees traveled to PASCO Scientifics’ Head Office in Sacramento California early in August to attend a week long training workshop.

In partnership with PASCO, AYVA employees are constantly exploring new technologies and looking for ways to make teaching more interactive. This workshop was designed to do just that. Our employees went back to the classroom to learn all of PASCO’s new product releases, updated software versions and refresher courses on popular products and experiments.

The workshops were interactive and hands on. PASCO product experts were on hand to answer any inquiries they had about the experiments.

Our recent back-to-school training has prepared us to help educators tackle the challenges presented in today’s teaching labs.

AYVA travels to the Bahamas


The AYVA team traveled to sunny Bahamas last week. Members enthusiastically participated in team building exercises. Some exercises were completed with ease, while others posed more of a challenge both mentally and physically!

Strategies were reviewed and new ideas generated for the upcoming months. It was difficult to leave the warm weather to head home, however most were excited to get back and implement the ideas learned over the four days.

AYVA travels to Uruguay


Recently AYVA’s president, Dianne Beveridge and Account Manager Mahima Gyawali traveled to Uruguay to attend PASCO’s Selling Partner’s Conference for the Americas.

There was a great deal of networking and professional development… old friendships renewed and new ones made. PASCO detailed their business plan and introduced a number of new products which we are anxious to share with our customers!

AYVA proudly accepted the 2013 Sales Award as one of PASCO’s top Selling Partners. We thank you, our Canadian educators for this award. It is because of your continued trust in our company and the quality products we represent that we are able to earn this award for the fourth year in a row.

Life on Mars?


NASA scientists have found evidence of life on Mars, thanks to the Curiosity rover.

Powder extracted from rocks near the red planet’s Gale crater contains sulfur, nitrogen, and hydrogen – among other things – suggesting the terrain could have once been home to ancient microbes.

“A fundamental question for [Curiosity’s] mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment,” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, in a statement.

“From what we know now, the answer is yes.”

Curiosity also found clay minerals from an ancient river which may have contained other types of microbes.

“Curiosity is on a mission of discovery and exploration, and as a team we feel there are many more exciting discoveries ahead of us in the months and years to come.”

This is exciting news!

We can’t wait to see what other exciting things Curiosity will find.

Click here to read more about the recent discovery.

Felix Baumgartner’s fall from space: The Canadian Connection

Photograph by Luke Aikins, c/o Redbull 

On October 14, daredevil Felix Baumgartner rose more than 128,000 feet in the air, and then shattered a long list of records when he jumped — breaking the sound barrier and completing a successful free-fall from the edge of space.

While Red Bull, a U.S.-based company, sponsored the stunt, Felix owes at least some credit to the work of one Canadian engineer.

Shane Jacobs, who hails from Calgary, played a key role in the creation of Baumgartner’s high-tech suit.

Designed to keep Felix safe during an array of temperature and pressure changes, this suit literally saved his life. Jacobs’ design allowed Felix to breathe without restraint during his fall and kept his blood from expanding.

Hats off to you, Mr. Jacobs, for your engineering accomplishment!

What Curiosity Means for Science

From our friends at CERN to our colleagues at NASA, it’s been a big summer for science.

All eyes were on the sky during the early morning hours of August 6th, as NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down on Mars.

It was yet another giant leap forward for science and engineering, made possible through years of hard work.

But now that Curiosity has landed on the red planet, what’s next?

For the next two years, the rover will investigate Mars, sending back information that was previously inaccessible to us here on Earth.

Its primary goals will be to study the Martian climate and geology, in hopes of determining whether Mars could have ever supported life.

Curiosity will also help pave the way for human exploration of the planet.

While the rover will cease to operate in twenty-four months’ time, its legacy will live on. Curiosity represents a stunning accomplishment for the countless men and women who contributed to its creation, and serves as an analogy for what we can achieve when we work hard and dream big.

The Niagara Regional Science and Engineering Fair — YSIDC

The goal of the Youth Science Inquiry Development Camp (YSIDC) is to develop independent inquiry and problem solving skills in Niagara’s youth as well as increase the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) talent pool in Niagara by creating a community of STEM learners.

The YSIDC is a week-long day camp held at Brock University for students entering grades 4-9 in September. Forty-nine talented young people from across Niagara took part this year’s camps that ran the weeks of July 9th and 16th. These participants engaged in design challenges and inquiry experiences that were designed to challenge their current views about science and increase their abilities to conduct their own research. Groups of two or three collaborated on the final culminating task of designing, conducting and reporting an open inquiry using probeware. Participants directed their own research, but were supported by two qualified elementary science teachers and six secondary students. The high school students had all previously completed exemplary science fair projects. Two of them won gold medals and one silver at the latest Canada-Wide Science Fair in Charlottetown P.E.I..

Specifically students learned how to gather, organize and analyze their data to draw conclusions. Participants were also allowed to fail and encouraged to solve their own problems. Moreover, they reported (exit questionnaire at the end of the YSIDC) that they learned the non-linear nature of research and the necessity to reflect on their work and adapt methodologies to solve unforseen challenges. Through collaboration, participants also created new friendships. These connections will be supported with additional programming in the Fall and an on-line space devoted to nurturing the STEM community in Niagara.

This was the second year of the program. Last year, the N iagara REgion Science and Engineering Fair noticed the benefit of the program by seeing the highest level of science fair projects in its history. The Niagara Region also had its most successful showing at the Canada-Wide Fair by winning two gold medals, a silver and three bronzes.Youth Science Inquiry Development Camp

AYVA visits Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

Sasan Momeni (Western Canada Account Manager, AYVA Educational Solutions) and Regis Rodrigues (Sales Engineer, PIGNAT) with Fou Pon and Gobin Ramprasad, instructors at SAIT in their new Chemical Engineering Technology (CET) building.

The McPhail School of Energy at SAIT is expanding their teaching labs and AYVA is pleased to be a part of this new and exciting initiative. AYVA will be equipping the labs with training systems from both PIGNAT and TecQuipment.

The AYVA team as well as a PIGNAT representative from France donned their safety boots and hats to visit the construction site last month. AYVA and PIGNAT worked with CET’s instructors to custom design PIGNAT’s Distillation and Absorption towers according to SAIT’s needs and budget. CET will also be home to TQ’s Reciprocating Compressor.

Chemical Engineering Technology prepares graduates to work as chemical engineering technologists in production, process development and environmental control for the expanding industries of petroleum, chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper. Chemical Engineering technologists work closely with chemical engineers in designing calculations, unit operations, process simulation and control, industry safety and environment.

AYVA looks forward to showcasing the installs from PIGNAT and TQ at SAIT’s new state-of-the-art chemical engineering lab.


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