Science Leadership Academy Learn · Create · Lead

Blog Feed

The Human/Nature Complex

The Human/Nature Complex
 In my 3rd quater American History Bm, I chose to do a performance to create my own interpretation of the reform in American society that came about from Charles Darwin's ideas of naturalism, through portraying a fictitious Realist writer transitioning into the mindset of Naturalist writer in 1890. I wanted to show what could have possibly been one of the ways that the literary style of Naturalism could have came into existence; branching off from the Realist style. Here is the link to my process paper, which goes into detail of how I went about this project.
Be the first to comment

NHD 3rd Quarter Benchmark

​For our 3rd Quarter Benchmark we needed to have a topic of choice and combine the themes of NHD into our choice of topic and create a documentary, website, or performance. I chose Revolutionary Science as my topic along with making a documentary between Newton and Einstein.
Excerpt of my research:

"There have been many physicists that changed people’s point of views of the Earth. Isaac Newton discovered his three laws of motion that have been taught using the language of forces and pulls. He enlightened people’s questions about how and why physical objects behave the way they do on Earth. The atomic bomb’s equation, also known as Einstein’s “E=mc^2” was a profound discovery of the 20th century. Although that discovery was both great and destructive he has made  the theory of relativity, which changed the way people think about time and space drastically."

Click here to view my Process Paper and Annotated Bibliography. 

Be the first to comment

Drive - Film Review

Shelby Harcher

Film Review 


Drive isn't your typical "cops and robbers" film. The film bases its story around a guy and his car. Ryan Gosling is the driver for a getaway car which is evident in the opening scene. The opening sequence (the first 10 mins of the movie) gives you a first hand view on what it's like to be in "The Driver's" world. Showing close inside shots from the vehicle and no dialogue, you are on the edge of your seat while Gosling goes through obstacles to get away from the police. 

The opening sequence is a very important part of the film. Little to no dialogue shows exactly what kind of person The Driver is. It's clear that he has done this before based on the silence and calmness he creates. This scene gives us a view of Gosling's character without directly telling us who and what he does. Throughout the movie, Gosling's character is referred to "The Driver" showing his separation from the real world. 

Even though the opening scene portrays The Driver as a badass, of course the film creates some sort of love interest for this character. The Driver is asked to be the getaway driver for his neighbor who needs to pay back someone money, which he steals. In this important scene, the neighbor, Oscar Issac, conveniently gets killed during the robbery and conveniently leaves behind a wife. Of course this gives Gosling's character a chance to build a relationship with this woman. What kind of movie would it be if there wasn't a love story involved, especially one where she's in danger? 

The lighting in this movie was always dark and colors were bland and solid, giving you the felling of lack of liveliness and of course, danger. The Driver lives a dangerous life, which gets even more dangerous when he becomes on the bad side of the mob. Gosling's character spends the second half of the movie defending himself from the mob and of course protecting Irene's life, even if it means ruining their relationship from stomping a man's head off in an elevator. 

As the film's main storyline got more dramatic through the second half, so did the music. One particular scene where the musical score fit well was when Gosling goes to meet with the mob but ends up killing one of the members. As Gosling approaches the restaurant, which the gangsters own, a soft kind of creepy musical number plays while a woman softly sings. It gives you the vibe that something bad is going to happen, but without giving away how intense the next scene is. 

The overall story of Drive was a good one; a man, his car and danger. However, the love story was typical and unoriginal if I may say. Gosling's character made no character development and the "love story" seemed to just be there to catch the attention of a more diverse audience. 

Be the first to comment

Drive Film Review

Imagine taking the odd mystery and dark filming tone of "Fight Club" and combining it with the fast pace action and dynamic characters of "Transporter", Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" is the outcome. Given the two films' reputation, one could infer that a similar combination of the two could result in an action packed, jaw dropping film, which "Drive" certainly provided; but one could also expect an original storyline and in depth characterization within the plot of the film, which it significantly lacked.

Ryan Gosling's "driver" or "the kid" or whoever his name really was, was an over-exaggerated an uncomfortably sporadic character. The opening scene set up what appeared to be a thrilling scene with a getaway driver who was skilled at what he was doing, but slowly faded into a boring conclusion as driver casually parked a car in a packed sports complex and walked out suspiciously, but with no confrontation from the police.

The one piece of positive feedback I will provide for this opening is the use of music and rhythm. The camera angles were very close up  but often focused on the background of the shot as the police helicopter searched for the suspects. The synchronization of the final seconds of the basketball game complimented the urgency of driver to get away from the cops. However, the only table setting that this scene was successful for, was introducing the lack of good dialogue and dull characterization of the protagonist.

In addition, there was a huge overuse of gore in this film. I'm sure that all action movie watchers enjoy seeing some nauseating murder scenes or destructive montages, but there was absolutely no build up to the action in this film. As a viewer, it was difficult for me to appreciate the girl getting her head blown off or  Driver's graphic stomping of the guy's face in the elevator, when there was no set up in the dialogue. The elevator scene could have easily shifted this movie from a forgotten piece of cinema to a work of art, if there were some compelling dialogue prior to it, or at least some deeper description of driver's character. Imagine trying to bring this scene up in a conversation to a friend 20 years from now:

"Hey, remember that bloody scene in the elevator… with that driver kid… yea I don't know his name, and there was no dialogue in the scene for me to jot your memory… oh well".

Cinematically this was a great movie, and a compelling scene. But the writing was horrible. The subplots were non suspensful. The characters had no depth, and worst of all, the protagonist didn't have a name. If your a future film maker, and are looking for examples of character development, plot structure, and diverse scene elements, "Drive" will successfully set you up for failure.

-Jason M. Davis
Be the first to comment

Candace Blocker And Jakobi Howard NHD

Candace Blocker and Jakobi Howard
Topic: Women In The Navy

We chose this topic because we wanted to know how women got involved in the arm forces and what they had to go through to become involved. We conducted out research by going on google and asking people we knew that were apart of the movement and organizations that were taking place. We knew we wanted to do a video because it would be the best way to get our information across and clear with the topic we had. This project related to the NHD theme because we had to focus on the revolution that the women started when they wanted to join the navy, the reaction of America as a whole, and the reform of American when they finally decided to let the women join the arm forces.

1) . Women in the Navy. Navy Recruiting Command, 2011. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

This was one of the best ones because it got straight to the point about everything that had to do with women and them being in the Navy.

2) . "Women in the navy." Naval History & Heritage command. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. < highlights/women/women-index.htm>.  ("Naval History & Heritage command")

This is another website that links off to other websites that have to do with our topic which was extremely helpful.

3) Wilson, B.. "Military Women "Firsts"." Military women "firsts". AUG LINK Communications, 1996. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

This website shows the history and "firsts" of women in the navy

4) . "Highlights in the History of Military Women." Womens memorial. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

This website shows highlights and important moments from women in the military and navy.

5) . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <;.

6) NavyGirl, Women in the navy. N.p., 2002. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.


8) , . "Early Women Soldiers." Women in the US Army. U.S. Army, 1996. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

9)  America's Navy, . "Ferquently Asked Questions." America. United States Navy, n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

Requirements for joining the Navy.

10) . "Women in the Navy." A HALF CENTURY CHRONOLOGY. WGBH, n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

11) . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

12) . "Yahoo Search." Treatment Of Women. N.p., 2012. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

13) Gerd W. Rodel, . "A VALIDITY STUDY OF WOMEN IN THE NAVY." . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

14) . All navy women. N.p., 2009. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.

15) . "Women In The Navy." . N.p., 2008. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <>.






Be the first to comment

Keiasha Lumpkins: Black Panther Party:Who Were they For real?

To view my process paper, annotated bibliography and title page ​Click here

This topic that I chose focuses on the movement of the Black Panther Party that was started in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seal. This was a movement to stop the police brutality in California against African-American. It eventually spread across the the country and eventually across the world. 


Thank you too

Dwele for the instrumentals

The Black Panther Party 

Bobby Seal 




And all the other youtube post

Black Panther Party1
Be the first to comment

Cheyenne Pagan Spies: The Cold War NHD Q3

Please click here to enjoy the Spies:The Cold War website that includes: the title page, the bibliography and a fascinating journey through the Cold War. 

The reason I chose this topic is because during the time of choosing the topic we were covering the topic of the Cold War and what was defined as war in class. The topic stuck with me and as I starte doing research I found out there was a lot of things people didn't know or realize about the Cold War, I being one of those people. I thought the representation of spies in Hollywood deserved to be corrected when in fact the actual lives of spies revolved much more about gossip. To begin my research I began searching information about the Cold War, to briefly understand the topic before I started mashing that in with spies, and then, of course, started researching the most famous spies and even autobiographies. I chose a website because I felt as though it could create many more opportunities to present the topic of spies. A webpage aloud the freedom to put different types of media and information in a collective space that was available to everyone. To create this webpage I used a popular website creator, Weebly, and kept the thought "If it interacts like a pamphlet than it's not good enough." in my head. I wanted to really use a lot of the tools the internet has to offer and make the presentation different and unique each time while still being informative. I didn't want the viewer to get bored with the same time type of presentation. I think the best way to describe how my project relates to the NHD topic is to basically summarize, similar to how I did in my actual project. War was viewed as combat, a battle, some type of event where weapons are used or people get. The revolution of war began with spies, it was completely different than how war had been conducted in the past, especially if we look at World War II which ended right around the time that the Cold War began. In reaction the the Soviets we reformed our war tactics to benefit the national security. 
Be the first to comment

Save Our Species: Cyndi Lynn Sheridan & Shamarlon Yates

Screen Shot 2012-03-09 at 11.55.33 AM
​For this project, we focused on the Endangered Species Act and how it related to the theme "Reform and Reaction." We choose this topic in order to bring light to an issue that is relatively unknown to most people in the United States. It is crucial that the public becomes aware on this crisis because without their help, the extinction of species can not be prevented.

Here is a link of our website that includes: the Title Page, Process Paper, and the Annotated Bibliography.

Be the first to comment

Malik Tlili, Symone Smith NHD Presentation

​Our final Product revolves around the Declaration of Independence. The events taking place during this time period involving the separation from Britain were Revolutionary. Therefore we chose this topic to Connect to the NHD theme. The Declaration also needed many revisions and alterations. This Leads to the theme of reformation. Symone and I found these reformations interesting for there must be reasons behing the revisions. We therefore Created this site containing the Analysis of these revisions as well as other key information pertaining the Declaration. 

Click here to view the website. The annotated bibliography, process paper and title page can be found in the "More tab"
Screen Shot 2012-03-09 at 11.35.15 AM
Be the first to comment

The Universal Box: Television in America, J.Pullins

Screen Shot 2012-03-09 at 11.42.55 AM

Click above to watch the documentary in full.

The topic in which I chose to explore with my National History Day project was both the American television industry, and television itself. I chose this topic as it is one that both excites and interests me immensely. Also, I believe that since its inception to now, television, like no other invention, as went from simply a social fad enjoyed by the rich to an essential and necessary part of life, capable of providing vital facets in daily life. Since its invention and rise to popularity, television has paralleled the trajectory of American history itself.

With the the sources and tools available, I believed that the greatest way of presenting this to an audience was using a documentary. I believe that not only will it allow me to utilize my sources, but also providing an interesting parallel to television itself, as the art form of documentaries, just like television, is a visual medium. The greatest challenge was creating a piece that not only did justice to the original work, but was also not a mere republication of the original work either. It was very important to me that this documentary was a cinematic adaption of the original paper, and not simply the original paper in visual form.

If you would like to see my process paper in full, as well as my annotated bibliography, click here.

Be the first to comment