Do you have any devices that contain lithium batteries? The chances are that you do. Lithium ion batteries are very common in the technology industry and are used in cameras, watches and smartphones, so it’s very likely that you come into contact with them on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
However, they are also known for being hazardous and in the most extreme cases, explosive. One frequently reported example is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7: there have been 35 confirmed cases of the battery catching fire. Yet, in defence of the lithium battery, only 1 in 10 million lithium-ion batteries are likely to malfunction. In fact, you are more likely to die in a car crash (a 1 in 10,000 chance ) than get injured by a malfunctioning ion battery.
It was reported just last week that a woman who was wearing headphones powered by lithium batteries was injured when travelling on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne. As she was listening to music, her headphones started sparking and caught fire. She was left with a blackened face and blisters on her hand.
But why do lithium batteries explode? A lithium-ion battery is made up of power-generating compartments called cells. The cells are made of three components which are a positive electrode, made of lithium-cobalt oxide; a negative electrode, which is made of carbon; and a chemical called an electrolyte. As the battery is charging up, the positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions. This moves through the electrolyte to the negative electrode, where it stays. The battery takes the energy in and stores it during this process. When the battery is not charging, the lithium ions move back to the positive electrode from the negative. This produces the energy that powers the battery.
Problems occur when the batteries are charged too quickly. This can create lots of heat and, eventually, a fire. Lithium batteries have built in electronic controllers which control the speed of charging to try to prevent this problem – but clearly this is not always effective.
Several students at Colchester County High for Girls said they were worried that their phone or charger could explode. Gimhani, 14, said, “My parents always tell me not to leave my phone charging for too long as it might catch fire”. Bridget, 14, said, “If my phone overheats, then there is a small chance that it will explode.”
Whether or not you decide lithium batteries are too dangerous for use, it would be hard to stop using them. Lithium batteries are in all types of phones, not just Samsungs. But students should be reassured that, while there is a small chance that their phone battery could catch fire, it is extremely unlikely.
Dame Vera Lynn is to release a new album to mark her 100th birthday, which she will celebrate on 10th March.
“Vera Lynn 100” is the title of the album which feature Dame Vera’s original vocals with “full orchestra and choir.” Also included is the unreleased cover of ’Sailing’, the song made famous by Sir Rod Stewart. Additionally, other well-known British singers such as Alfie Boe, Alexander Armstrong and Aled Jones will cover Vera Lynn’s war time hits.
By Justina and Katie
L-R: Miss Murison, Miss Morgan and Miss Jones ran 13.1 miles on Sunday (photo courtesy of Miss Murison)
Last week, three teachers from Colchester County High School for Girls tackled the gruelling Colchester Half Marathon. On Sunday 12th March, science teachers Miss Murison, Miss Jones and Miss Morgan completed the 21km route, running through Colchester on a challenging course that began at Colchester United’s Western Homes stadium. After several months of practice and training, the three heroic teachers completed the task with flying colours, collectively raising over £700 for their respective charities: Mind, Cat Rescue and the Catherine Bullen Foundation.
By Priyanka and Molly
Year 9 student Emily just wants to be happy (photo Molly)
The Department of Education has proposed an idea to introduce an hour of “happiness” into all UK schools, with the aim of improving the self-esteem, confidence and overall happiness of children of all ages.
The idea, referred to as “happiness lessons”, campaigns to improve the mental health of Britain’s youth, especially adolescents.
By Hetty and Mia
Students from 9H perform an Irish dance (photo by Mia)
At lunchtime today, 9H held a bake sale in aid of their form’s charities. It was a roaring success.
At CCHSG, students take pride in raising money for charities of their choice. It has become school tradition to raise money by hosting a bake sale, selecting a particular theme be it Halloween, Christmas – or Oreos. It is always exciting to see what students will come up with next.
By Katie and Izzi
The luxury British cruise ship Caledonian Sky crashed into the Indonesian coral reef in Raja Ampat on March 5th. The ship was carrying 102 passengers and 79 crew members at the time but there were no reported casualties.
By Amelia and Emma
Artist Emma’s impression of how the housing development may look
Although Colchester is proud to have been named by the Essex Property Network as one of the fastest developing towns in the UK, in February 2017 disputed plans for a new development of 122 homes on Bakers Lane were revealed. However, despite the fact that these plans are yet to be confirmed, residents of the area are infuriated and strongly oppose the idea of this proposal.
By Holly and Milla
We asked Mr O’Reilly for his thoughts on Ireland’s future (photo by Mrs Thornton)
It’s been nine months since the UK made the decision to leave the European Union (EU) and with Prime Minister Theresa May insisting that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of the month, one question is remaining: Could Brexit really result in the breakup of the United Kingdom?
By Lucy and Abby
Photo 1: Year 7 students at drama club (photo by Lucy)
It is a widely regarded principle that students who participate in extracurricular and out of school activities are generally far more successful, skilled and resilient than those who instead spend their time in a less positive manner. But to what extent does the attendance of these clubs and the associated activities benefit the students who attend them, and how do they influence young people in Britain and help them to develop stronger mental wellbeing?
In a world where women are still openly shamed and criticised, are role models the answer?
By Susannah and Emilia
Year 8 student Lottie: ‘what makes a good role model depends on what qualities you value most’ (photo by Emilia)
The issue of inspirational role models came back into the headlines last week when Emma Watson, who wore a revealing top in her latest Vanity Fair photo shoot, was accused of being anti-feminist,. Many people took to social media to criticise her actions and claimed that she was being an irresponsible role model because she was sending the wrong message to her fans. This censure is in stark contrast to her status as a UN Goodwill Ambassador and affirmed feminist.
So what does it take to be a good role model in 2017? Do we still need role models in our society?
By Hetty and Mia
Year 9 student Emily in 'Guys & Dolls' (photo by Mrs Elder)
Across the country, schools maintain the view that education should develop the ‘whole child’, which means that clubs and excursions are particularly important in a well-rounded education.
Grammar schools are, stereotypically, the home of studious pupils. The demands of homework can leave students with little time to engage with extra-curricular activities; Colchester County High School for Girls has broken that scholarly stigma.
By Justina and Katie
Caption: Year 9 students at Colchester County High School for Girls (photo by Justina)
Since 1998, the grammar school conundrum has been highly divisive, without so much as a glint at the end of the tunnel for the country’s selective schools. However, the UK’s 19-year-long ban on grammar school expansion could be coming to an end. Prime Minister Theresa May has expressed a wish to lift the ban and to direct more funding towards existing grammar schools.
This has sparked much debate, as many still argue that selective schools, which divide eleven-year-olds by their academic ability, are not the most effective means by which to educate the population as a whole. Ex-Chief Inspector of Schools, Michael Wilshaw, told BBC Radio 4, “We have got to get many more children achieving well. My fear is that if we divide children at 11 and create grammars and secondary moderns – because that is what we will do – then we won’t be able to achieve that ambition.”
By Emily and Siya
In case you slept through it, Monday 13th March was International Napping Day. Whether or not you love getting a bit of shut-eye part way through the day or would rather fiesta than siesta, we all seem to have strong opinions on the good old nap. But should it just be the very young and the very old getting forty winks during the daytime?
By Molly and Priyanka
Is it right to ban headscarves in the workplace? (Photo by Molly)
In a controversial ruling earlier this week, the European High Court in Luxembourg allowed companies’ dress policies to exclude religious symbols such as headscarves, crosses and turbans.
According to the court, banning religious images in the workplace does not classify as ‘direct discrimination’ if it is an order applied to all employees who have been asked to dress ‘neutrally’. Nonetheless, this ruling has sparked a backlash from religious groups over claims that it is prejudiced against certain faiths. The main group affected are thought to be Muslim women.