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Q. 30. Describe the construction of a travelling belt for coal picking and

conveying. Explain how the belt is driven, and what arrangements are made for taking up any slack on the belt. (Sketch

required.) All sections of this question are well answered, but in a few cases there is a little confusion as to the terms "conveying” and “slack” used in the question. Some few descriptions are given of the conveyor recently introduced for use underground at the long wall face, and in some instances taking up “slack” is misunderstood to mean small coal.

BRANCH B.

Comparatively few candidates entered in this Branch, and as usual several of these evidently should have entered in Branch A. Q. 31. Describe any one important deposit of ore, or of slate, or of rock

salt with which you are acquainted. This question is rarely attempted and there are only a few good descriptions given. Q. 32. What are “gossans”? How are they formed, and what indications

are afforded by them? There are some good answers to this question from Cornish candidates. Q. 33. Describe an arrangement for automatically rotating the drill in a

compressed-air percussive rock-drill. (Sketch required.) When attempted, this question is well answered with good descriptions and sketches of the rifled bar and rack mechanism. Q. 34. Describe the method of “spilling” or “forepoling” for driving

through loose, watery, or running ground. (Sketch required.) This question is well answered, notably by candidates from an ironmining district. Q. 35. What is meant by the term "self-acting incline”? State the

conditions under which such "inclines” may be used, and the precautions to be adopted for the safety of persons employed

in connection with them. (Sketch required.) This question is well answered by the metal-mining candidates. Q. 36. Describe an aerial rope-way. In what circumstances is this

method of haulage most suitable? (Sketch required.) One would have expected all the candidates in Branch B to have attempted this question, as this method of transport is in very many cases specially adapted for metal-mining districts. There are, however, but few good answers. Q. 39. What effect has “splitting” the air on the ventilation of mines,

and what benefits are to be gained by increasing the size of air

ways? This question is not so well answered as it was by candidates in Branch A. Metal-mining candidates appear to be imperfectly acquainted with the practice, and simply refer to air-sollars and brattices used to divert and direct air currents. The virtues of larger air-ways are, however, fully realised. Q. 40. Describe the construction of any form of gyratory rock- and ore

breaker. (Sketch required.) This question is rarely attempted. The answers are very poor. The gyratory rock-breaker appears to be but little known, candidates usually describing jaw-crushers only.

STAGE 3.

Results : 1st Class, 88 ; 2nd Class, 178; Failed, 218 ; Total, 484.

Compared with 1905 there is a remarkable increase in the number of the candidates, and, although the proportion of first class papers is slightly below that of last year, a general improvement is noticeable. A number of candidates, however, entered who should properly have contented themselves with Stage 2. Such candidates do not realise that in this Stage a high standard of knowledge is expected.

The great majority of the candidates select the coal mining Branch A. The instruments for ascertaining the inclination and direction of bore holes (Q. 41) are well described. Q. 42, on blasting in a dusty mine where gas is sometimes found, is well answered in very many cases, but in others there is a surprising ignorance of the requirements of the Coal Mines Regulation Act. There is remarkable variety in the explosives recommended, the most popular being ammonite, carbonite, saxonite, roburite, westphalite, electronite, and be!lite. Failure to read Q. 44 carefully has led to the introduction of superfluous details regarding the Kind-Chaudron method of sinking. Q. 45 is a favourite one, and there are some excellent detailed answers. The answers to Q. 46 shew that recent Continental progress has been carefully followed. In answering, Q. 47, on winding with an endless rope, some candidates describe methods of haulage, but there are good descriptions of the Koepe and Craven systems of winding. Q. 48, on electric pumps, is not a very popular one, but when attempted is well answered. The problem (Q. 49) on ventilation is usually accurately solved, the correct answer being 62-36 per cent. Q. 50, on precautions in using electricity, is not answered as fully as might reasonably have been expected. The special rules established under the Coal Mines Regulation Act regarding the use of electricity in mines do not appear to have been adequately studied.

In the metal-mining Branch B. the papers are few but of excellent quality. Q. 52 has elicited some good descriptions of the operation of shot. firing and of the precautions for obviating the evil effects of dust and smoke. There are, however, some very vague ideas as to the composition of blasting gelatine. Q. 55, on working thick beds of ore, is well answered, and some excellent sketches are given. Q. 56, on magnetic separators, is well answered by Cornish candidates, who appear to have studied such machines in operation. In answer to Q. 57 there are some good descriptions of the Whiting hoist.

HONOURS.

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Results ; 1st Class, 23 ; 2nd Class, 47 ; Failed, 58 ; Total, 128. From the fact that there are 54 more candidates in Honours than in the previous year, it is evident that the attention devoted to higher technical education in the mining centres continues to increase. There is a notable absence of candidates from metalliferous mining districts. The majority of candidates appear to have had the practical experience required by the Act of 1903 of students presenting themselves at examinations for colliery managers' certificates. Certainly the candidates generally give clear proof of extensive practical experience ; whilst a gratifying feature in the examination is the fulness and intelligence with which the questions based on recent investigations are answered. Important papers read before the various mining institutes and the reports of H.M. Inspectors of Mines have obviously been diligently studied. Compared with the previous year the general improvement is marked. There are fewer candidates of exceptional brilliancy, but more of average merit ; and even among the unsuccessful there is a complete absence of the utterly unfit.

Report on the Examinations in Physiography,

EVENING EXAMINATION.

WHOLE OF STAGE 1.

Results : 1st Class, 163 ; 2nd Class, 139 ; Failed, 49 ; Total, 351. Although there is a great decrease in the number of candidates sent in for the examination the numbers shew no falling off from the high standard of last year. We find that the percentage of Failures is about the same as in 1905, and the proportion of First to Second Classes similar to that of

last year.

It is evident that, under existing conditions, very weak candidates are not now sent in for the examination, as was the case in former years, and that those who sit have been really well taught. Quite a large proportion have obtained very high marks, and a few have even reached the maximum. The answers to the questions in the First Series shew that the experiments and illustrations suggested in the Syllabus have been employed by the teachers and understood uy the students. In the replies given to all the questions there is an absence of the kind of language, so prevalent formerly, which indicated that the students had been "crammed from text books. On the contrary, we now find clear evidence of much intelligent and patient teaching, and the results are given in terms which show that the candidates are not

repeating statements learned by rote, but have learned to think for themselves.

The following remarks apply to the way in which the several questions are answered :Q. 21. Water, in a Florence Aask, is warmed over a spirit lamp,

coloured particles being thrown into it from time to time. State

what is seen and the explanation of the phenomena. The answers to this question are, on the whole, very satisfactory. Many candidates give intelligible diagrams, and the descriptions are usually correct, the most prevalent error being a reversal of the direction of the currents at the sides and the middle of the flask. A few candidates misunderstood the object of the question, and describe the downward movement seen on the application of heat to a task with a narrow tube attached (due to the expansion of the glass before the liquid). Of course, such an effect would be scarcely perceptible in a vessel with so wide a neck as an ordinary Florence flask. On the other hand, some students show great intelligence in describing everything that is seen, such as the collection and rising, first of air-bubbles and then of steam-bubbles in the liquid as it is warmed.

Q. 22. Explain what happens when a piece of potassium is thrown into

a vessel of water. This question was selected by a much smaller proportion of the candidates than the preceding one, and the answers are, on the whole, less satisfactory. In very few cases is the whole sequence of the phenomena-the rapid movements of the fragment, the assumption of the globular form, the bursting into flame of marked colour, the gradual diminution in size and final disappearance of the fragment, and the alkaline character given to the water-correctly and fully described. The causes of the movement and the production of flame are very seldom well understood.

Q. 23. Describe and illustrate by diagram two different forms of lever.

More than half the candidates selected this question, and the great majority of these give clear and correct answers. The examples are well selected, and intelligently described, and the diagrams are, as a rule, satisfactory.

Q. 24. What chemical element is common to air and water ? State the

chief properties of this element. A very large majority of the candidates selected this question, and, as a rule, the answers are very good. All the principal properties of the gas (oxygen) are fairly described, the chief ones not noticed being the specific gravity, absence of acid characters, and solubility. Q. 25. On a cloudless evening after a hot summer's day, a mist is found

covering the surface of the grass at nightfall. Explain the

reason of this The answers to this question are not quite so full and satisfactory as could be wished. A great many candidates altogether miss the import. ance of the “hot day” in promoting evaporation, and of the “cloudless evening.” in permitting radiation from the grass. In the explanation of what takes place there is the same confusion of ideas and language, though to a less extent, that we have remarked upon in former years with questions on similar subjects. The air is said to be condensed into dew, which is said to be formed by cold air rising and mixing with warm air, and generally the fact of the absorption and separation of water in the air is missed by the candidates. Q. 26. Explain, by the aid of a diagram, the formation of a spring.

Why is spring-water generally “harder” than river-water ? The answers from some schools include intelligent diagrams showing the mode of formation of springs at the junction of pervious and impervious strata, but in other cases the drawings are very imperfect or quite impossible. While the cause of the “hardness" of water is very generally understood, there is a great want of appreciation of the fact that river-water is a mixture of the hard spring-water with the “ softer” water which, falling as rain, has merely flowed over the surface and has not therefore dissolved much mineral matter. The subject is evidently one in which there is need for more careful and exact teaching. Q. 27. State what is likely to happen if an empty bottle is tightly corked

and let down to a great depth in the sea, and give the reason. Many of the candidates have taken "tightly corked” as meaning not simply securely corked, but having the cork arranged so that it could not possibly move. Under these conditions they have correctly stated that the bottle would be crushed. As a rule the effects of pressure at great depths in the ocean are very well understood. Some candidates have taken let down to a great depth” not as being carried down by sounding apparatus, but as being merely thrown overboard, in which case they state correctly that it would float. It is gratifying to find that even where the object of the question has been misunderstood, a considerable amount of intelligence is shown in grappling with it. Q. 28. Why have volcanic mountains a conical form? What are volcanic

craters and how are they formed ? As is so often the case with questions connected with volcanic phenomena, the loose and unscientific language so frequently employed, even in textbooks, leads to vague and inexact answers. The first part of the question is usually answered much better than the second part, but even in the first part there is a want of clear understanding how materials thrown up from a central point must, in falling and rolling over one another, give rise to the characteristic volcanic cone. The relation of the crater to the explosive action is by no means well grasped. Q. 29. What is the age of the moon when seen (a) in the south-western

direction at sunset, (6) in the eastern direction at sunset ? This question was selected only by a minority of the candidates. The answer to the first part is more often correct than that to the second part, but there is some confusion of ideas between the actual (invisible) new moon, and the young crescent moon. In some cases diagrams (more or less erroneous) are reproduced to illustrate the phases of the moon, and it is

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clear that the positions of the moon at different ages had not been learnt by actual observation. The fact that so few selected this very simple question, and that in many cases reliance was placed upon statements made in books, rather than upon observation, is disappointing. Q. 30. How is the position of a place on the earth's surface defined ?

State the datum lines from which the measures are reckoned. This question was selected by about two-thirds of the candidates, and the answers are almost uniformily correct and clearly expressed. Q. 31. Describe the principle on which the distance of the moon is

determined. Name two observatories chosen to make the

measurement, and state why they were chosen. Very few (less than one-eighth) of the candidates selected this question, but some of these give very excellent answers. In certain cases there is a want of understanding of the principles involved, this being shown by ignorance of the importance of selecting observing stations as far apart as possible. It is clear that this part of the subject has not been so well taught as that dealt with in the preceding question. Q. 32. Describe, or illustrate by diagram, the arrangement taken up by

iron filings if sprinkled on a glass plate under which a bar

magnet is placed horizontally in contact. This was a very favourite question, and is answered by nearly all the candidates. As a rule, the answers are correct, but when a diagram is given, this in many cases is drawn in a very slovenly manner and gives only a very imperfect idea of the real distribution of the lines of force. It would appear that, in many cases, the drawings and descriptions are the result of more or less imperfect recollections of drawings seen in books, rather than of a careful study of what is witnessed when the experiment is actually tried.

STAGE 2. Results : 1st Class, 169; 2nd Class, 144 ; Failed, 118 ; Total, 431. The number of papers sent in for this Stage also shows a great decline (from 751 for 1905 to 431 for 1906). But it is gratifying to be able to state that the quality of the answers shows a very marked inprovement. There is, indeed, an actual increase in the number of First Class awards, in spite of the great diminution in the total number of papers, while the decrease in numbers falls upon the Second Classes and Failures. Not only would there appear to be a withdrawal of imperfectly instructed candidates, but we find evidence of, what has been lacking in former years, thorough teaching, in conformity with the Syllabus for this stage, and in advance of that required for Stage 1. Many of the candidates now give good answers, both to the Astronomical and to the Meteorological and other questions. On the whole, however, the candidates show a greater acquaintance with the Astronomical than with the other questions, and there is still a tendency apparently among teachers to confine their instruction to Astronomical subjects, under the belief that other questions are sufficiently provided for by the teaching in Stage 1, Q. 41. Explain the conditions which are favourable to the formation of

Hoar-frost. What is meant by “Dew-point”? The answers to this question are, as a rule, very good, and show a great advance in knowledge as compared with the answers given to similar questions in former years. The chief mistakes made are as follows:

Some candidates describe the formation of dew, and add that when the dew drops are frozen they become hoar-frost. There is a failure to recognize that the minute water particles are frozen while they are being deposited. The local cooling of the air near the ground by the contact with good radiators is often missed. Confusion sometimes follows from the idea that radiators in giving off their heat must so warm the air that a layer of heated air covers the ground, the importance of the contact of vapour-laden air with the cooled ground being overlooked. Dew-point is

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