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YATW post 2

Hi! Welcome to the second blog post regarding my You and the World project on green energy. Last time, I suggested that more attention need be payed to green energy, and gave facts why. They mostly were about how much of our country could be easily fueled by solar panels, or more surprisingly, cow farts (If you’re too lazy to click the link and see for yourself, I’ll just tell you that there’s a cute picture of cows and you’ll be missing out if you skip over my first YATW blog post). This time around, I produced some original research to see the public’s familiarity and open mindedness to the subject.

I sent out this form, and returned these results. To those of who who aren’t going to click on either link, the first page of the form sees how much responders know about solar panels (cost, savings per 20 years, savings per month, how quickly the investment pays itself back, etc.), and the second page gave the correct answers to the questions first page and asked this of the survey-takers: “Knowing the above info, would you invest in solar panels for your home?”

The results for the first page showed that most people didn’t know much about solar panels. Between the joke responses showing that people don’t really care and the incorrect answers showing that people are uneducated, it became clear that people need to know more about green energy. It seemed that after learning the information I had on the second page, however, most people decided that they would invest in solar panels, and I believe that that is the most important info I gathered: the world would gladly go solar if they knew anything about it.

Responses to “Knowing the above info, would you invest in solar panels for your home?”

This leads to the next part of the YATW project: Agent of Change. For that, I need to go and utilize the information I’ve gathered to put out an effective way of changing this situation. For me personally, I believe the best use of my time in that aspect would be to further educate the masses on green energy. I shall do this by putting information I’ve found to be important around my neighborhood.

Stay tuned for that!

Check out my annotated bibliography here.

YATW Blog #2 - Literacy In Philadelphia

Hey again! My name is Adlynn Gonzalez and this is my second blog about Literacy In Philadelphia. For my first blog, I introduced this topic and talked about how many kids in Philadelphia aren’t up to par when it comes to their reading scores. I just recently found out that in 2012 there was a decline in PSSA reading scores, and that Philadelphia’s NAEP scores lag far behind other cities. Just 19% of Philadelphia’s children scored proficient or above on the PSSA’s and that’s extremely low compared to other cities.

For our You And The World project we were required to do some original research. For my original research I did field observation. I went to Boy’s Latin Middle School (6th graders) and observed 4-5 English classes and interviewed a few of the students. Before interviewing a couple of the students, I just merely observed the class; and since it was a make-up work day in that English class, I observed the students that didn’t have to make up work. There was a TED talk video playing for the kids to watch, but others did not watch. I noticed that some of the ones that weren’t watching were reading books of their interest, others were goofing off. That’s when I decided to interview some of the kids. I asked them simple questions like “what’s your favorite book?”, “do you like to read?”, “on a scale of 1-10, how much do you like reading?”, etc. Then I asked them “what do they think of people who don’t care about reading”, “ when kids end up not liking to read, what do you think is the issue”, etc. The answers I got were surprising. One kid blamed kids not liking reading on technology, which is one factor I have not thought of before. While doing the field observation and interviewing the kids, it kind of opened up my eyes a bit to see what these kids are thinking. (Transcript below)

After meeting those kids and interviewing them, I now want to know more about what that one kid said about technology being a reason for kids not wanting to read. Also I want to know what else they think about PSSAs because most of them said that it wasn’t stressful, but they feel the need to exceed expectations. While doing some online research, I read about how students more male than female dropped out because they struggled with reading and felt inadequate in class, and that standardized tests were stressful, and not in a good way.  I also asked their teacher a few questions and he thought that PSSAs put good stress on the students. He is also really enthusiastic about reading.

Last but not least, I wanted to talk about my Agent of Change. In our You And The World project, we are required to be an Agent of Change and I wanted to possibly help out a reading organization. Like the Eagles Mobile club, or the Phillies Be  Phanatic About Reading program, or even the Reading Olympics (which I was a member of). All I want to do is promote why reading is important, how it can be fun, and lastly how it benefits you in the long run.

Well, that’s it for now, but make sure to stay tuned for Blog #3 where I actually talk about what I eventually did for my Agent of Change, and what other information I found out about this topic.


Philadelphia’s Test Scores

Philadelphia’s Scores Drop

Be A Phanatic About Reading


Annotated Bibliography

Blog Post #2

 Hello, again people. As, you may know my name is Husain Kegler. In my last blog I was talking about the basic point of animal abuse. And, how it may affect children in away. I hope that inspired some or most people to look into animal abuse and how they can help animals, helping others, even volunteering. For, my new blog I will be doing the same thing but this time I will be doing field observation. I will be doing this by calling an Operation AVA . I will be asking a associate or employee these questions: ( answers below questions )

1. How well do you like animals?

2. Has animals ever affected your life?

3. How safe do you feel around a animal that was abused?

4. Do you have a animal at home, if so how many hours do you spend with your animal?

5. Have you ever been a suspect of animal abuse?

6. Have you ever been a victim of abuse?

7. Have you ever been critically hurt by a animal?

8. If you could change the world for all animals how would you do so?

9. Have you ever thought about abusing an animal?

10. For future references about animal abuse, what advice to stop animal abuse would you like to give to the youth?

11. What kinds of brutality have u seen?

12. What was the most shocking/painful thing to see?

13. Out of cats and dogs which animal do u see more abused, cats or dogs?

14. Do you think it's likely for an animal that was already abused will get abused again when it gets adopted by a new owner?

15. How much time do you think you spend helping out animals?

1. I love animals! I grew up with all kinds of animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish, etc.) and love working with them.

2. Animals have always affected my life in a positive way - I think animals can have a positive influence on most people's lives.

3. Every animal is different, but interacting with one that has been abused is something that should be done carefully and slowly. If you're patient, careful, and willing to understand them, there isn't much reason to be afraid.

4. I have two cats at home - I spend most of my time at home when I'm not at work, so we hang out for hours and hours.

5. No.

6. No

7. A horse stepped on my foot and broke my little toe once, but that was an accident. Other than that, no.

8. I would like animal abuse to have more legal consequences than it currently does. There should also probably be restrictions on breeding animals - so many end up in shelters or on the street.

9. No.

10. If anyone ever witnesses animal abuse, they can call the Animal Cruelty Hotline,  1-866-601-7722 to report it to the SPCA.

11. I have been lucky enough not to have witnessed much animal cruelty.

12. We often get dogs in the shelter that have clearly not been treated right. Many come to us as strays but have clearly lived with humans before. They are often underweight, nervous, and sometimes have clearly been used for breeding.

13. Probably dogs, simply because we have more of them here at Operation Ava. Philadelphia has a serious stray cat problem, so often the cats I see have just come off of the streets - sometimes they have never lived in homes with people before.

14. No, definitely not. Especially with our adoption process we screen the applicants before they are allowed to take animals home. We check vet references, personal references, and talk extensively with potential adopters.

15. Since I work at Operation Ava full time, I spend at least 40 hours a week trying to help animals. Outside of work I also try to help anyone who comes across an animal that needs help and point them in the right direction.

I was happy to see the results of my questions and how quickly the employee responded back. This was a great field observation because I got to see or hear what happens in the Operation Ava animal center.

Annotated Bibliography
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YATW Blog #2 Gay Marriage

Hello, everyone! It is Miranda Abazoski and I am back to update you on the issue of Gay Marriage/Rights. In my first blog entry, I made sure to state the information given thus far. In just one year, the number of states that legalized gay marriage went from 6 to 16. It was also proven that if gay marriage is legalized, divorce rates would drop tremendously.

Since my last blog, New Mexico has also legalized gay marriage. It was decided upon by the Supreme Court Justice stating that the state must respect the marriages of all same-sex couples. Many celebrities have started to step up to the plate and support gay marriage including Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Adam Levine, etc. 

I have also done some original research by gathering two students who are for gay marriage from Science Leadership to ask some questions on their opinion of gay marriage. I asked questions such as why don't you think gay marriage is legalized yet and do you think anything could go wrong if gay marriage was legalized? They both had the same responses giving off that nothing would go bad except for the fact that religious zealots would be enraged. 

The next research I would like to conduct would be to interview people who oppose gay marriage to have different point-of-views on what different people would think on this issue. This would enrich the views of why Gay Marriage has not been legalized so far. I personally do not see a reason why gay marriage should be illegal. If gay marriage was legalized, most people won't be affected by it and gay couples could live happily being married.

My opinion is that religion and state are supposed to be separated. If a religion thinks being gay is a sin, that is a belief but it should still be separated by the state. If the decision was in my hands, gay marriage would have been legalized a long time ago. If the decision is held off any longer, people will die and it won't matter anymore.

Here is the link to my annotated bibliography!

Here is one of the interviews!

Here is the other interview!


Q3 Artículo #4

Will (Guillermo) Amari

Señorita Manuel


Once iconos del rock para celebrar el 60 aniversario de la Fender Stratocaster

En el año de deci nueve sesenta nueve la música de roca era muy fuerte y eléctrico. Gracias por la artistas como Jimi Hendrix por sus Fender Stratocaster de blanco. Gracias por el escena de Woodstock, el Stratocaster era muy popular. En el manos de Frank Zappa y Buddy Holly, por sesenta años el Fender Stratocaster era el instrumento mejor por música.

Cuando Roca y rol era nuevo, Buddy Holly hizo el guitarra icónico en el memorables Ed Sullivan Show en el año de 1957. Frank Zappa es más entonces y loco escritor una canción. Él y sus banda, La Madres de Invención son hizo famoso por ellos eléctrico sonido. ¡Y ellos juegue con un Strat! Escucha y entender, el sonido es excelente.

Más tarde  Kurt Cobain, el autor de Smells Like Teen Spirit y su banda Nirvana inventar Grunge o Seattle Sonido. Cuando él juegue el Fender Stratocaster, todos los mundo cambió. Grandes bandas practican su  roca con un Stratocaster. Otras personas que juegue el guitarra incluso Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Jeff Beck y Guillermo Amari.  

Para mí, el Stratocaster es el mejor guitarra. El Stratocaster tienes muchas colores, por ejemplo blanca, negro, rojo y azul. Es tiene bien tendencia. Yo leí este artículo porque yo jugué un stratocaster. Yo practica todos los noche.  

Palabras: 205

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What Is The Fur Industry?

What Is The Fur Industry?

In my previous post I talked about mostly statistics of the Fur Industry, but I never really said what it is. In this post I hope to give you a better explanation of what the Fur Industry is:

Fur Industry/Fur Trade/Fur Exchange:

The trade or selling of any kind of fur from any kind of animal.

The Fur Industry was originally called the Fur Trade which began about 300 years ago, in the early days of the country when it actually helped established the country. The Indians traded fur from animals such as beaver (which the Europeans made their hats out of) for tools and weapons. As the 1500’s came about, Europe began to develop a certain fondness for fur, this led to the Indians searching for other sources of fur which include fox, otter and mink. When Samuel de Champlain set up a fur post in Quebec, Canada, it became the “hub” for the fur trade in North America.

A recent survey that I set up was sent to my peers to measure the amount that people knew about the fur industry. The chart to the left shows that the majority of people I asked knew what the Fur Industry. But when I asked if anyone wanted of owned fur items, the responses became a little more mixed. This graph shows the responses when I asked if anyone owned fur items, as you can see more than half of the people weren't even aware if they owned something with fur.

This graph shows the responses when I asked if people wanted any kind of fur accessory or clothing item. Most of the people did not, although some didn't even know.

Since I interviewed teens, this helps show me how their thoughts on fur trade may evolve as they grow older and learn more about the topic. My understanding is that enough people aren’t aware of my topic and need to be informed about it. My opinion about the Fur Industry is that although it helped develop our country, has gone too far. Due to over-hunting many animals have been hunted to endangerment or even extinction. One of these was the Caspian Tiger (to the left.) They went extinct due to mass extermination by the Russian government when they wanted the land that the tigers lived on in the cotton fields, the last of the tigers were hunted for their fur by trophy hunters. On the right is a picture of Benjamin, the last Tasmanian Tiger who died in 1938 in a zoo. They were blamed and killed by many farmers for eating their livestock, which was actually encouraged, and Van Dieman’s Land Company (a textile company) helped destroy the rest of their population.

After all this I am still curious as to how the governments (of different places) decides when “enough is enough” when animals are becoming endangered due to the fur industry and even other problems like pollution, hunting, habitat destruction, etc. I also want to know what plans are being created and are already in motion to protect the animals facing all of these problems.

For my next blog post I am going to be informing my peers at school and through social media resources (Facebook, Twitter) about the Fur Trade.

Here is my bibliography.

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Synthetic Hope - Blog #2

Synthetic Hope

Welcome back!  As part of You and the World, we are working to become agents of change making the world a better place. As you may remember, we are exploring the protection and pollution of aquatic environments.  

We Are In A Bit of Trouble

In my last blog entry, I talked to you about our oceans, lakes, marshes, rivers and streams and how our waste was affecting them.

I was exploring if the future might be as dark as we once thought.  Can we reverse the damage done to our oceans, or are has the media given us false hope by providing an incomplete picture of the damage already done?

The media is the most common source of information about climate change to the general public. What happens when we are given false hope from our sources of information; specifically the media?

The media does it's best to convey the rapidity in which the aquatic systems of the world are falling apart but it lacks to convey the urgency of the need to change our ways. I'm not implying that the media is lying to us; in fact quite the opposite.  The media is giving us just the facts but a disconnect is created. They don't explain that the floods happening in Florida are directly linked with the melting ice caps. This being so they also seem to breath a false hope into the matter of climate change, as not to scare the public.  I will be not be delivering any false hope

A look at media coverage on Climate change

World Media Coverage

picture provided by CSTPR

Knowledge is Power

The more we know the better off we are. Today, I want to talk to you about what I have found through my original research.  Surprisingly, a survey that was administered to a peer group of twenty has shown that we may not be as naive as I may have suspected.

In Blog #1, the subject of how the by-products created by modern humans was discussed. Now we move to how much the average human knows about the damage they cause to the environment. For my research, I chose a survey because of its was a casual way to collect information with ease of administration.

To my surprise, my peers were actually much more informed about such subjects than once thought.  Keep in mind that I had very low expectations. I was hoping to find holes in the information that they held and to point out where they were oblivious and where they were well-informed.

The survey results show that most of my peers are fairly aware of their footprint on aquatic environments. Most questions regarded the amount of litter they produced and where it went.

The one area in which people were particularly misinformed was about where their trash goes. Most of the answers were expected: trash cans, landfills, dumpsters. Only one respondent regarded the ocean as a recipient of trash.   The rest were completely unaware of the 6,000 mile long Pacific Garbage Patch. For more information on the garbage patch, click here.

I was particularly interested in their knowledge about endangered animals. I wanted to know if they could name any marine animal on the endangered species list.  The most common response to this question was a member of the whale family. This does say something about which marine animals are favored by the public or at least well known. This also gives insight into why the blue whale is making a population comeback. Through the research I have done, I have been given insight into how knowing really is half the battle, but I am still left with the question, where do we go from here.  Knowledge isn't worth jack if not applied.

(To see survey information, click here.)

Even with the knowledge that my survey has given me, I'm still left with many questions.  One is since my survey was only administered to a small group of high school students, what would my results be if I could have accessed a larger group. I personally think that the results would be much less informed but I'm a bit of a pessimist. I also wonder if by asking the questions in my survey, if I changed the way that my peers look at their impactt on the environment?  I be curious to know if, after they finished the survey, any of them took the time to Google the endangered species list, or took a serious look at where trash ends up?

A Look at Endangered Species

For more information, click here.

I have an exciting way to help make a change in the condition of aquatic environment.  I have decided to organize a river walk along the Schyukill River.  During this walk, trash and recycling will be collected along the banks of the river and disposed of properly.  We will have games & prizes that will motivate and educate participants.


I will also be doing a number of presentations on how humans affect the water around us. Please contact me at, If you are interested.

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Minimum Wage Survey: Blog Post #2

Chloe Epstein



Blog #2

For my last blog post I talked about the facts of minimum wage and the different sides to the argument of whether we should raise it or not. This included basic information, the history of minimum wage, and conservative/liberal opinions. Since then, I have found a great deal of new information.  This information comes from fact related questions on my new survey. For example, I uncovered facts such as the average age or percentage of women in minimum wage jobs. I also tried to find more information on what people on minimum wage can and can't afford. I needed all of this information to make my survey.

I wanted to find an assortment of answers to see what people really know and think about minimum wage. I wanted to see different views on minimum wage from my own, even if I don't agree with them. What I found is that most people answer the basic fact questions correctly. For example, for Question 1, 87% answered correctly that the federal minimum wage is only $7.25. People answered Question 4, on the average age of workers, correctly 64% of the time.   And, on Question 5, on the amount of female workers on minimum wage,  72.73% answered the question correctly.  Most people know these basic facts, leaving only a few people who still need to be informed so they get a better understanding of the minimum wage. Although, for a multiple choice question on the average number of hours a person works,  48.98% of people answer incorrectly (20 hours) while 46.94% answered correctly (40 hours). These results showed the majority of people the got facts right, but need to be informed about a few misconceptions.

There were a number of yes/no questions that gave room for people to comment on their answers. For Question 6 -- have you ever worked for minimum wage -- the number of people who said 'no' was 24 out of 90. And the people who did say yes said they worked for minimum wage as a teenager or young adult to pay of college. But most of the people who took the survey were adults so their life with minimum wage was much different compared to today. Still, most people said they did not enjoy their Minimum wage job. For the Final question I asked for their opinion on whether there should be minimum wage. Only 6 out of 95 people said they do not support minimum wage. Their answers varied from it's destroying small business to people need to get an education to the minimum wage we have now is enough for a ¨low skilled job.¨ For the majority of people who agreed with raising the minimum wage, it was because they felt the minimum wage today is not a livable one. These open- ended question showed people's opinions and real-life experiences with the minimum wage. Specifically their answers show that most people agree that  it is essential to raise the minimum wage so people can live a better life.

Now that I'm done with my original research I have a better understanding of people's position on this issue. This is not just what I found on the internet, which could be completely biased. These were real collective perspectives and research I conducted on my own. After doing this research I feel people have a sense of what's going on with the minimum wage and in my opinion are on the right track when it comes to their feelings on raising the minimum wage. But, they're still facts people need be informed about to get a better understanding of a minimum wage earners life. I think after doing all this research I really want to inform people about it and be active to do my part in helping raise the minimum wage.

Even after seeing real people's opinion's, some who I know personally, there are still many things I wonder about the issue of minimum wage. For example, the group of people who did do the survey knew more about the topic and had a more liberal view on things. What would happen If I got some different people to look a this survey? For example, people with different types of occupations, incomes, political opinions, etc. How would that affect my results? I feel If I were to do this again I would try to seek out a more diverse group of people. I wanted to get a sense of the U.S. opinion of minimum wage, and although I think most people agree with raising it, there's so much more I can learn about what people think about this topic and why.

Click here to see my survey!

Click here to see blog post #1!

Click here to see my annotated bibliography!

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You and the World Part 2-Public Education

Hello again.  My name is Jason Greene and I am 9th grader at Science Leadership Academy.  In English class we are doing a project called You And The World.  During this project we have to find a issue we are passionate about then go into the world and try to fix it.  My issue is Public Education in the city of Philadelphia.  This is my second blog post.  To read my first blog post click here.  In my first blog post I introduced my issue and how it is one of the biggest problems facing the city today.  I also talked about how there was a lack of funding for public schools.

Science Leadership Academy-Public school

For my original research I decided to do make a online survey.  I wanted to find out if the people taking the survey had special classes while in middle-school.  I also wanted to find out if there were cuts while they were attending the school.  I got lots of good responses back.  Almost all the people who responded said that they went to middle-school in Philadelphia in the past few years.  Most if not all of them said while they were there that the school made cuts that hurt their learning and safety. Some of these positions were Teachers, Counselors, Secretaries and Lunchtime aids.  All of these positions are very important.  If you don't have enough teachers than you have to put more students in each class.  If you don't have any lunchtime aids there will be no one to watch the kids while at lunch.  The results I got really informed me on my issue because now I knew that the budget cuts of the school district just did not affect me but also my friends.

While most of the people who filled out my survey did have special classes like art and music…

Does/Did your middle-school offer...

Art               6  22%

Music/Band  5  19%

Computers   6   22%

Gym            5   19%

Health          5   19%

Over the past few years there have been lots of layoffs.

Over the past few years did your middle-school cut any of these positions?

Guidance counselor












Lunchtime Aids



Now that I got my results I believe even more that this has to change.  The change has to happen now.  It is not fair for kids not to be able to get the best education they can get.  They can not get that without simple things like teachers and counselors.  As I was doing my research I started to wonder how many schools in Philadelphia were shut down and how many students had to be relocated because of that?

The next part of this project is called Agent of Change.  This is when go out into the real world and I go volunteer somewhere and try to have an impact on my issue.  As I said in my last blog post I will be going to my old school, J.S Jenks.  J.S Jenks have been badly hurt by the recent budget cuts.  My sister still goes there and she told me that they don't even have an art teacher anymore, that a dad that used to be an artist now comes in 2 times a week and teacher classes.  When I volunteer at the school I want to help out in a 6th, or 8th grade classroom.  I think I will have a big impact when I come because I the school needs as much as it can get. When I am at the school volunteering I hope to help the teachers in anyway I can if that means making copies or help teach the lesson I will try my best.

Seal of J.S Jenks

Stay tuned for part 3!

My bibliography.


You and the World Project - Blog #2 - Teens and Technology

Hi! My name is Katarina Backo and I am a ninth grader at Science Leadership Academy. I am doing a project for my English class about an issue that concerns
me, and I have to write three blogs about it. Here is the
link to my first blog and this is my second blog in this series. My issue involves play time, and how technology impacts
children’s activity and therefore their lives. I am an artistic, athletic person connected with my family and happy about it. I wish that everybody could have the happiness I have, but I think that wrong use of technology prevents that. Hope you’ll enjoy reading my ideas.

In my previous blog my focus was on balance (“I love technology as well, but I think that everything should be balanced.”-Blog #1). My concern was that nowaday teens will choose to play with technology rather than going outside to play. In the meantime I continued with all my activities and still didn’t notice new teens making use of abundant free teen programs that exist in Philadelphia. Besides working on this project I have had the opportunity and luck to do a research on how technology affects people for my technology class. For my Science Fair Project I have decided to dig deeper into how teens tell time and that helped me understand how I could resolve my issue. Finally my original research opened new questions.

The movie "Digital Nation" I watched in technology class, in my eyes was about the balance I spoke about which is pushed to technology side, meaning that we are forgetting the real world we live in. It also brought a good argument about multitasking and why is it actually bad. People are so crazy about the virtual world that they are losing the sense to tell the difference between virtual and real. Even if you think that you are good at multitasking it is wrong because multitasking makes you lose your focus.

I have also studied the term "digital native" (CNN article defines this term more closely) - a person born when digital technology was around, so they can learn about technology at the age they learn how to speak. That is exactly what today's teens are, and that is where my issue starts, growing up as technology grows. This is not necessarily bad, technology is meant to enhance our lives, but yet again I see the need for balance.

Working on my Science Fair Project I have unexpectedly run into one possible, maybe obvious solution for my issue. For Science Fair Project I wanted to check the saying “time flies when you are having fun”. My experiment was to engage my classmates into activities and see how well they can tell time spent on their activities. I gave a Rubic’s Cube to my friend who is using technology all the time. He was focused on the cube for about 7 minutes and then I stopped him. He wanted to continue, because he was not even close to solving it. When I asked him if he liked solving it, he said he loved it, but he thought that he spent a whole hour trying. His focus was amazing, even though technology is said to ruin the ability to focus and strengthen the wish to multitask. I expected to hear that the time flew for him, but I got the total opposite. As usual, when you get too many results that you didn’t expect, new ideas are born. It might have been obvious from my current point of view, but I didn’t think before that in order to resolve my issue I just have to find the way to get my fellow teens interested in activities that do not include technology.

Having everything sorted out, I wanted to check what activities other teens are involved in. For my original research, I recently made a survey which you can access here. It asked people about technology they use and how much they use it. I also asked about extracurricular activities and sports.

20 people took my survey and 19 of them were teenagers. Everyone is using technology in some way:

Do you have an electronic device?

Every person that filled up my survey said that both, they and their families, have electronic devices. The two most common ones were cell phones and laptops. That is what I expected. However, I found out something that I did not expect and that made me revisit my original hypotheses. I expected to have more people say that they do not play sports and don’t engage in extracurricular activities. That was not the case. 95% of people said that they engage in activities not related to school and technology. Out of those 95%, 50% said that they play sports, while others said that they both play sports and engage in other activities.

Do you play any sports?

Then if people do all these activities, maybe our ways were not ruined with technology, just overwhelmed. Is my sample representative? If yes, is Philadelphia that big that I did not notice that most people play sports and do extracurricular activities? Or did I accidentally get all the people that play sports to take my survey, or maybe the activities I am involved in are not well advertised? I still have to search deeper to find the answer I am looking for.

I can conclude that technology is not something stopping us from being as active as other generations before us. It is only the way we use it to help our way of living. In terms of technology, right now we are stuck between the past and the future.

To read my Annotated Bibliography, please click here.   


Education for kids with autism #2


Welcome back to my second YATW blog. For those that don't know me my name is Daouda Njie. In our English class we were assigned to choose a cause we thought was important and write about it. For my cause I choose to write about if the school districts were doing everything they could to help kids with Autism prosper. In my first blog post I learned that kids with autism tend to not do so well since they have trouble socializing but classes are offered by the school district to help the children out.

Since my first blog post I have learned that Autism might be hereditary and that once you have had a child with Autism it is 5% more likely your other child will have Autism. Also that if a twin shows signs of autism its a 90% chance that the other twin also has autism. There are therapy sessions for kids with autism some like PRT, VB, DTT, and ABA which stands for applied behavioral analysis.  ABA helps with communication, academic, self care, and more. This is just one of the options but since every child is different the therapy sessions all differ.

Here are some of the recent websites I have looked at:

For my original research I interviewed a student at SLA that has Autism and also a special ed professor from Penn that studies people with autism. The SLA student said that Autism does affect him when it comes to socializing in school but he has gotten better. I also learned that here at SLA they offer him studies skills which allows him to stay focused and get his work done. He also stated that his family supports him by having him take therapy sessions that help him better understand facial expressions and tones.Screenshot 2014-03-03 at 8.07.26 AM.png

Here is some of the professor responses from my questions  I thought it was surprising when she told me that when communicating autistic kids speak literal. I can tell this might be a challenge in school because if they are interacting with anyone in school they may not understand how to respond to a person.This interview helped me in my research because she gave more of an image of how autistic kids act.

This research made me see how just because a child has autism doesn't mean they can't get the best of their education. The student I interviewed even said that his autism doesn't affect him that much anymore. It is because of the programs schools offer. The original research also helped me with the understanding of Autism because the interview with the student with autism allowed me to understand just what exactly it feels like to have autism and still communicate and interact with people. It gave me a better feel of some of the challenges they face.

Now that i'm am done my research I have realized that autism is occurring more often and that people need to become more aware so that even if a child is born with autism they can grow up and not be affected at all. I want to know what are other things people in an autistic child's life can do to help them fit in because even if the schools give the a good education it doesn't help if they are all by themselves.For my agent of change I think I would like to volunteer somewhere that works with kids with autism or if that is not possible present a slideshow about raising awareness of autism and how a person can help them just by talking to them.Thank you for reading and be sure to look out for my third blog post have a nice day.

To view my annotated bibliography click here

Here is my interview with Ian fay a student who has autism.

Daouda's video YATW interview

Syria: The Struggle Continues and the Hope Seems Lost

Hello, my name is Gabrielle Kreidie. I am a ninth grader at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If you had read my Blog Post #1, I am doing a project on refugees, focusing on Syria. For the past three years, there has been a conflict unfolding, a conflict that has killed nearly half a million people. This conflict is called the Syrian Civil War. The people of Syria have been rebelling against their government controlled by the brutal, President Bashar Al Assad. This has resolved in endless deaths, homes burnt to the ground, small supply of food and water, and a refugee crisis that is scaring everyone.

Since my last blog post, there has been a lot that has changed in Syria. There is now Cases of Polio becoming aware in a country where vaccinations are nearly impossible to receive. The refugee crisis in Syria is NOW the worst refugee crisis since World War Two. Out of all the genocides and wars in the past seventy years, Syria has now made the top of people having to leave their homes than any other. Not only have 2.5 million people become refugees in Syria but an additional six million have become refugees in their own country. This means six million Syrians who have left their homes, either from random attacks or destroyed homes, taking refuge in other places in Syria.


There have been many new articles I have found in the past three months since my last blog post. Check them out on my Annotated Bibliography. Stories have been pulling into the internet as the world starts to get the real sense of the struggle of the Syrian people. I wanted to go deeper though, than what the media portrays. I wanted the complete picture of the Syrian people. That is why I conducted two interviews. One Interview with Marwan Kreidie, a Middle Eastern studies professor at Villanova University and a Lebanese-American, who just so happens to be my father. The other Interview with Chukri Korchid, a Syrian-Ameircan businessman who is head of the Al-Aqsa school. The way these two men described the sickening details of the lives of refugees in Syria and in neighboring countries. The truth came out, and I must say it was not one to be proud of.


Al Assad is a horrible person. I think we can all put that behind us, he is killing his own people and no one from the international community is really stepping up to the plate and helping the horrified Syrians. Surely it does not help that Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the strongest ally of Bashar Al Assad’s Regime, which makes the US almost scared to strike Syria. This is what gets me damaged as a US citizen myself. Why is Obama and Congress not striking Syria? I do not know why these politicians believe that watching innocent people die is not our problem. Look I am no patriot, I do NOT believe that the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth- honestly we do horrible stuff all over the world. That’s not the point, however, we are the most powerful country in the world. We have the largest military compared to the next ten largest militaries combined. We have large allies that will stick by us all the time, England, France. We have the power and resources to strike Al Assad’s regime, yet we do not do it. We claim that we promote freedom to all yet we are one of reasons why twenty two million Syrians are in suffering. Just because we are scared doesn’t give us a reason to step out of the picture. As Mr. Korchid said: “We missed out on the opportunity to change it (to end the Civil War in the beginning of the fighting). In Libya we didn’t care if we threw in a missile.”  

As long as the US does not jump in and start helping, the CIA is projecting that this war will go on for another decade. That’s a very long time. I’m disappointed on how the international community is handling this. The United Nations tried to do a conference, in hopes of promoting peace for all sides. That did not turn out so well, and I’ll tell you why. Mr. Kreidie states, ”We (the United States of America) are too eager in playing our regional games there. To solve this conflict we need all people in, we had this peace talk that did not go well. Iran and Hezbollah should we brought in, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia- they are all involved. Iran is supporting AL Assad, Saudi Arabia rebels. This shouldn’t have to be on who is the US enemy or ally- the conflict is in Syria, everyone needs to be involved.” That’s just it, this is not a US issue, we are barely participating yet we want to take control of the conference. Every single person needs to get involved in this conflict. We need everyone to promote peace.


For my next step in this project I have to come up with a way to change this issue, one way or another. Since Syria is halfway across the world for me, I have to think small to help a crisis. I plan on making my own blog promoted in keeping a strong view on Syrian refugees and the Syrian people. As well as getting other humanitarian crisis on alert, including Congo, Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, etc. I will interview all sort of people to get their opinions, to get the truth on what the people are thinking.

I hope the end of this crisis approaches, I hope that people will return home. We need to act as people, we need to get our government completely involved in this crisis. We need our government to listen to us, the people who they should be listening to. We need their attention, before a whole generation of Syrians are ripped apart.  

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YATW: Blog #2 Sex-Trafficking in India

sex trafficking

Welcome readers back to my post! Back in my blog post #1 I spoke about an issue that  interested  me: sex trafficking in India. The definition of human trafficking was stated. Then I researched information on the enslavement of those women and how diseases are spread throughout the southern region of Asia.  Organizations that are involved in ending human trafficking were included at the end of the post.

After continuous months of research I have come across new information that affects the US. directly.  An article on CNN  based  in Savannah,Georgia. They have discovered a sex trafficking ring that has been going around in the city. As a result various people in custody. This horror has shown that sex trafficking occurs everywhere, not just in India. This event should us aware of the dangers and circumstances of our world today. Additionally, information on Ross Kemp -- British “actor-turned to-serious documentary-maker”-- and his journey on discovering the stories behind sex trafficking in different parts of the world. It was shocking to find out how the sex trafficking trade has grown  rapidly. It is estimated that about “100 million people - 10 per cent of the population - and sees girls as young as nine being sold into the sex trade.”

For  my original research I decided conduct an interview via email. I was able to interview someone from the Free the Slaves Foundation.  The results of the interview were successful. Through the interview it was possible for me to obtain updated information as of 2012. See email at the end of article. It is evident that many organizations and foundations are coming together to fight sex trafficking. While sending emails to different foundations it become clear that there were open lines of communication. Through this arduous process each organization that was contacted contributed to the quest to find the answers to my questions. After serious research and information gathered I have come to the conclusion that sex trafficking is a worldwide issue. Currently there are many institutions willing to fight with all legal tools within their reach. Their work is starting to becoming noticeably in all parts of the world, especially those that suffer from poverty.

Subsequently at the end of my research my personal interest on sex trafficking has increased for the better. Even though the research done has been focused on India, it is clear that the issue has international repercussions. The questions now are what about the rest of the southern region of Asia? What about other six continents that also affected? The real question is how can I do my part in bringing awareness to this issue. In conclusion for my ¨agent of change"I would like to present a slideshow on the information gathered about the issue so far and share it with my peers.

Annotated Bibliography here .

Screenshot 2014-03-03 at 8.16.54 AM
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Blog #2 Women in Engineering

Hello!  If you remember from blog #1 and by reading the title,  I’m talking about women in the engineering work field and the large difference between the genders.  If you have not read my first blog post, you can view it here.  When I started this project, I researched the reason behind why there aren’t many women in the engineering workfield.  One reason I found was that society puts it into our heads that certain jobs are for a certain gender.  That causes women to feel like jobs in the science work field(which are aimed towards men) aren’t available or offered to them.

“It wasn’t until I was a professional woman mentoring other girls in math and science that I learned that openly liking math and science is unusual for girls,” Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo.

For my original research, I made some open ended survey questions but really wanted to see peoples reactions when they answered.  So I asked 14 people my to answer my survey and wrote down their exact words.  Half of the questions were facts about women in the workfield that the people had to respond to with their opinion.  9 of the people surveyed were female and the other 5 were male.  The age range was from 10 to 55 and everyone gave similar answers for the questions/facts.  The first fact I had everyone respond to was, “ 13% of engineers worldwide are women.”  The answers were either something along the lines of “I expected it to be a higher amount” and “that’s not right.”  One person's response was “It’s sort of unfortunate because the sciences overall are not offered to women in a way that they can be involved.”  Another person said “I don’t think women are encouraged in anyway in that direction.”  That goes back to one of the possible reasons for the gender difference I talked about in my first blog post.  

What I’m still curious and confused about is if everyone agrees,  then why is their still biased?  Males and Females in my survey thought that the fact that women don’t get equal pay and are nowhere close to the amount of male engineers in the world is unfair.  “As a father of two daughters I know my girls can do as well as any guy.  To deny someone's full opportunity is wrong,”  was one of the answers.  

Part of my survey results

I’ve decided for my agent of change piece that I want to make this issue apparent to others, because I feel like the only way to change this problem is for people to know about it.  From my survey results, I saw that many people don’t know who Ada Lovelace is or that 13% of engineers worldwide are women.  Specifically, I’m going to present my project to my advisory.  I plan on making a slideshow that includes the most important details of my project and then seeing what they think about the subject.  I’m also going to find an activity that my class can do after, that allows everyone to be creative.  Be sure to look for my next blog post!


Video Game Violence #2

My name is Adam Cavalier, and I am a 9th grader a Science leadership Academy on 22nd and arch. For a project, we were given a choice to take on a problem in the world and post blogs about your opinions, facts etc. So, I am doing my project on violence in video games and how violent video games don't cause aggression differently than a non-violent game. This is my second blog post. In my first blog post, I introduced video game violence and what it was all about. I didn’t take the topic into a super deep thought because I wasn’t super advanced on the topic. Also, I talked about how competition in video games can lead to getting angry and the genre of a game sometimes does not matter. The game could still lead to anger! To see the blog, click here.

These websites are some that I were able to get some new information about…

For my original research, I decided to type up a survey and send it out for anyone to complete. A total of 33 people completed my survey. One of the questions I asked were “Would you enjoy a game better if the game had an easier difficulty and did not make you so angry?” I was very surprised when most of the responses said no. It seems to be that most of the hardcore gamers' said no. This may be because the hardcore gamers' like the competition and challenge whereas the casual gamers' sometimes do not.

Another one of my questions was “did a video game ever make you angry?” I was not surprised by the results at all. It turned out that more people got angry at a video game rather than not getting angry. My follow up question was “What games made you mad?” The most frequent response was "Flappy Bird" and some hardcore games (For ex. "Call of Duty", "Halo", "Gears of War" etc.).

This survey helped my understanding of my topic and what people thought about my topic. I was very surprised of my results. I figured that most people would like to have an easier difficulty on the side of games. but it seems that some actually do. I was curious of how many people would say yes considering there are more casual gamers' than hardcore gamers'. So this can be somewhat an issue to people and all video games around. Here are some of my survey results here.

Here are the rest of the survey results

My class is assigned to go out and to either tell people about the project, do community service etc. This is called the “Agent of Change” project. This project will be completed in the spring. For my idea of the “Agent of Change,”I am thinking to present to my advisory about the topic because I think a lot of the kids in my advisory class have gotten angry at a game. I want to explain to them why this happens and how they can resolve this problem they have with some games they play.

Here is my bibliography

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Global Hunger and Poverty: Part Two

Hello Everyone!

If you read my first blog post you know that my You and the World (YATW) project is about global hunger and poverty. I talked about two organizations who have been trying to reduce the number of families in hunger and poverty. They also encourage people from all around the world to join them in their journey. Although both organizations are using different strategies to accomplish their goal, they won’t give up until the amount of global poverty is decreased. If you’d like to learn more about these organizations, please click on the links below.

Heifer International

UN Millenium Goals

After writing my first blog post, I took a short trip to Ecuador. Every Christmas, my family in Ecuador go up to the mountains where there are lots of poor towns. They bring food, toys, and clothes to give to the families. My family believes that it is better to give people in need something they can use efficiently, something they know that will help them, instead of money. The reason for this is because we don’t know what they will do with the money, they could use the money for something they don’t need.

I went with my family for the first time this year, and the experience was like no other. We drove to five different towns. Toys were given out to the children, clothes were given out to adults and children, and this year we gave out candy and crackers to everyone. Some of the towns were big, and some of the towns were small. There were at least a hundred people in two towns, and there were 20-40 people in other towns. The houses were all hand made with stone or mud, and the schools were all just one room. Each town had a church, and the church in each town, was the largest building.

While researching this topic, I thought I knew everything there was to know about this issue, but nobody will ever know everything about anything. I learned so much from my trip and experience. I got to meet people who are struggling with poverty. People who try really hard to keep their families healthy. Mothers who would do anything to see a smile on their child's face. There were lots of kids who weren’t attending school when I was there, instead, they were working or taking care of their siblings.

When we arrived, every child in the town would run up to the car and peek inside. They saw the toys and jumped up and down in excitement. Each and every child waited patiently for their toy, and when they got one, they opened it; their patience getting weaker and weaker. And finally, they were able to open that toy, their expressions after that, are indescribable. I’ve never seen somebody so happy, it was amazing! Some parents cried, and others laughed, others just smiled, because their children were smiling. Candy and clothes were given out as well. We made goodie bags that had crackers and candy. The first thing that was eaten (by almost everyone) when the bag was opened, were the crackers, and the candy was saved for later. We made sure everyone got clothes and shoes. Some people didn’t have warm clothes for those unexpected cold days, or an extra pair of dry clothes for the days that rained. We also gave out shoes that could be worn in any weather, most people wore sandals, or worn out shoes.

I will never completely understand this issue, no matter how much I try to. I don’t know how it feels to be in their situation. As much as want to understand, I can’t, but that doesn’t stop me from helping. Poverty and hunger are global issues, which means people from all around the world should be helping to decrease it. Join an organization, or start your own organization, or even help out at a soup kitchen. Every little thing matters, every little step is one step closer to help decrease poverty. What really leaves me wondering though is, does there have to be a goal? For example the UN has a goal to decrease poverty by half from 1990 to 2015. Will they stop there though, or will they keep on going. Poverty and hunger can’t go away just like that. Awareness of this issue has to be brought to the attention, people have to keep on helping because there will always be something to do.

Not only will I keep on helping, but I will be sure to bring awareness to this issue. I am going to create a presentation for my classmates and explain to them what I’ve been doing these past couple weeks. I’m going to show them what I got to see during my trip, and I’m going to explain what I did, and what they can do to help.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

Fieldwork Photos

Annotated Bibliography

You and the world blog #2


Toby Mast

In the last blog post I wrote about malaria. I wrote about this deadly disease due to the  lack of knowledge about the disease in the general population.  There are  simple and inexpensive  treatments that people do not know about that could save lives and improve the world. I decided to make a survey to test people’s knowledge.  

They were asked to answer these questions in short sentences:

How is malaria spread?

How is malaria treated?

Where is malaria most common?

(About) How many people die from malaria each year?

Why is there so little malaria in the United States?

What are the symptoms of Malaria?

To conduct the survey, I gave out printed sheets to my peers, and rewarded  them each a piece of chocolate for their  time .

There were some constraints in the answers, but there also was a lack of knowledge. For example 17 out of the 20 people said that mosquitoes spread malaria. From this we can guess that they know what it is: a fatal disease spread by mosquitoes. Also  15 people said that malaria was most common in Africa. Then all except three mentioned some combination of Tropical areas  and 3rd world countries. So it appears  that the same people who basically did not know what malaria was that did not know where it is.

The answer to another telling question about symptoms was hard to record. People often listed multiple symptoms and  quite a few did not make any sense. One person thought that the only symptom was swelling and that a few hundred people died from it each year.  Someone said the symptom were similar to those flu such  fever.  Others simply said they did not know. About five mentioned itching. Another interesting answer mentioned “liquid blood”, hallucinations and coughing up blood. I asked this question which involves  more specific knowledge of malaria. Most people failed to get it right. Therefore we can conclude that most people just know what it is but not all the specifics.

Now this situation causes a problem. People do not know quite enough. To get more in depth we have to look at the second question, how is malaria treated?  Out of the 20, the answers looked like this.  

Looking at the graph, six out of the twenty said they did not know. Ttwo others said going to a doctor, which can I also infer that they did not know. The six people who answered question saying vaccines and the one who answered bug spray misunderstood the question. They thought it meant how do you prevent malaria. I feel like this is a big misinterpretations also. I am going to assume that the person who said,  “depends on the type of parasite”  meant medicine for all of them. The final one said blood transplants and I think they were guessing. chart_1 (1).png

Within  all the legitimate answers,  there was a theme. (I included vaccination because it was such a popular answer and still sensical.) They are all seemingly expensive solutions. Medications are generally expensive. Vaccinations are also very expensive. People therefore conclude that malaria treatments are expensive and that it is difficult to save each person. This is at a time where antimalarial foundations need money. According to the World Health Organization , there are an increasing number of cases where Plasmodium falciparum (the most deadly species) is showing resistance to multiple drugs known as artemisinins. The organization believes that this is mostly caused by failure to receive a second medication. With more medication available, this could change the growing resistance and turn the tide. If we fail to prevent this resistance, the organization estimates it will take 5 years to recover and change the drug. While all that time, cases are increasing, and progress is pushed back.

Here is basically what I believe:  if people don’t  know about the disease,  it could get worse. With funding, we could take big steps forward to eradication. So a simple solution is to teach people. As an agent of change,  I am going to teach a class about malaria and how it affects the world.

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The Stigma of Mental Illness Post #2

Hi. My name is Isabel Medlock. Earlier this school year our class started a project called You and the World. Each of us chose an issue, researched it and then wrote a blog post about it.  Here is the link to my first post.  The issue I chose is the stigma of mental illness, the negative way people perceive mental illness and those affected by it. In my first blog post I talked about people’s opinions on mental illness, the discrimination that those with affected by it face, and the fact that the mentally ill don’t seek the help they need because of the stigma.  Since then, I have researched my topic online further and also conducted an interview with a mental health professional.

Recently, I have learned about the Mental Health Parity, which requires health insurance providers to give the same benefits, financial requirements, and limitations as those that apply to physical health benefits. I also researched discrimination against people with a mental illness in other parts of the world. For example, in Lithuania people with mental health problems are not allowed to own a home. In some parts of Korea people with mental health problems are not allowed to enter a swimming pool. I also learned that about 75% of Americans and Europeans with a mental illness don’t receive treatment. 


This is an image that provides information about how different places in the world have rules that stigmatize people with mental illnesses.

For my original research I interviewed Dr. William Fox, a psychiatrist. One important thing I took away from the interview was how people are affected by the stigma. It limits their ability to get help because of “lack of awareness —often willful, lack of effective treatments/options, and lack of access.” Sometimes they are unaware of their condition and in other cases they don’t want to believe that they have a problem. Also people lose health insurance coverage, employment and relationships. I also learned about the Kübler-Ross 5 stages of grief and how it also relates to how people cope with mental illness. The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. When people find out that they have a mental illness they don’t want to believe so they are in denial. Next, they are angry about having a mental illness. Then they try bargaining with the doctor to get them to fix their problem. Next is depression which “is both a stage and diagnosis, but often people have " secondary depression" about having another psychiatric issue.” Last is acceptance, which is not the resolution of their illness but coming to terms with their situation. Stigma is causing people with mental illness to act so ashamed about having a mental issue. I think that it’s terrible that people get secondary depression just because they have a psychiatric issue. This interview helped me understand what people with mental illnesses go through, how the stigma affects them and what people can do to help.

After analyzing the information I've read online and conducting the interview I have gained some new insights on the many issues that people with mental illnesses face. Reading about the Mental Health Parity made me realize that some things are getting better for people with mental illnesses.  Although some things are getting better there is still a long way to go until the people with mental illness aren't stigmatized and don’t have to face prejudice and discrimination. I reviewed some more statistics that reaffirmed what I already knew about the stigma of mental illness and how it prevents people from getting help. For example, only 25% of Americans and Europeans get treatment for their mental illnesses. All the new information made me realize that this issue is worse than I imagined it to be when I began working on this project.


This image provides information about people with mental illnesses and whether or not they are violent.

Now that I’ve learned more about the stigma of mental illness I’ve realized that it is a much bigger issue than I originally thought. It is unfortunate that people aren’t able to receive the help they need because of society's negative view on mental illness. And because they can get help some people are driven to commit suicide. If there wasn’t so much stigma associated with mental illness there would be less people committing suicide and so many people would have better lives. It is also unfortunate that the mentally ill are so misunderstood, which the image above shows. People see the mentally ill as violent criminals when in fact they are usually the victims of crimes. This is another way stigma affects the mentally ill. I also feel ashamed of our society and of myself. Before I started this project I didn't know anything about mental health stigma and I believed the stereotypes about people with mental illness. I never considered how those with mental illness felt or were affected by those who didn't understand or even know what they were going through.  It’s extremely important that people start raising more awareness of this issue so there is no more stigma.

 YATW.jpg  Yatw.png

The image on the left is a poster that is meant to help fight stigma. The image on the right is from a magazine that wrote an article about how violent people with mental illnesses are.

Even after learning more about the stigma of mental illness I still have several more questions. When and why did people start feeling so negatively towards mental illness and those affected by it? How were those with mental illness treated in the past? What were the conditions in mental asylums in the past? What are the conditions in mental asylums now? As I keep on researching my topic I hope to find the answers to these questions and also to find ways I can help.

As part of our project we have to do something to help solve the issue and be an “Agent of Change”. Since I can’t really volunteer somewhere and do something meaningful, I’m going to spread awareness of the issue. One way I hope to do that is by discussing this issue with my advisory so they can learn about it and hopefully teach others about it.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to read my next blog post!

Annotated Bibliography

Here is the link to the entire interview.

Articles about this issue:

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Lack of Arts Education #2

Welcome back to my blog about my “You and the World” project addressing the lack of arts education in schools, especially here in the Philadelphia area. In my first blog post, I explained this year-long project that we have undertaken, in which we focus on an issue in our community and work to not only inform ourselves about it, but to inform others through blogs and take action to change it. I chose the issue of lack of arts education in schools, and found that when implemented, the arts have the power to motivate kids to do better, and that they provide a safe, healthy form of self-expression to help children deal with the problems they face. I concluded wondering about other organizations working towards changing this issue, as well as the other side of the story: what are the cons?

In the time since my last post, I have asked around about arts programs working with schools and was surprised to find two new organizations/programs that I had not heard about! Arts Link, a sub-program of the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP) from which I drew information for my first post, is a program that uses teaching artists to reinforce science and mathematics skills using artistic expression. At the same time, they educate teachers about how to effectively teach and reinforce skills using arts in the curriculum, while still meeting district standards. They have worked with multiple schools in Philadelphia, and as can be seen in the graph below displaying results of a survey taken at the end of the program, the value of the program was decided almost unanimously.

Screenshot 2014-03-02 at 2.13.33 PM.png

The other program is Arden For All, a program sponsored by the Arden Theatre located in Old City Philadelphia that provides schools with books related to two selected children’s plays a year, and sends teaching artists to run workshops with the children in their schools so that they learn about the theatre and how it works, while reading and understanding the story behind the play and how it connects to what they are learning in English class. I would love to learn more about how this program and Arts Link use the arts to enhance learning of core subjects, and if possible I would like to contact them so that they can explain in more detail what it is that they do, as well as contact some of the schools they have worked with, such as the Stephen Decatur School.

I did, however contact and interview another leading figure in arts education. As part of our project, we had to create “original research” (a survey, an interview, or field observations), and I chose to interview Carol Domb. She is the principal of GAMP (Girard Academic Music Program), a middle and high school in Philadelphia that is recognized for its rigorous music-based curriculum. Before that she was principal at McCall Elementary School, and worked with both Arts Link and Arden for All to bring the arts to the children there as well. In our interview, she explained to me how arts education was all about “making the connection” between the arts and other “core” standards such as mathematics and science.

“I believe it’s critical for students, and I believe we don’t serve the children if we don’t have the arts in our schools.” - Carol Domb

Principal Domb shared with me her experiences as a principal attempting to balance the state-wide budget cuts and the arts, which really answered my question about the other side. She said that they “work really hard to raise money to support our initiative” and that they have been hit hard by the budget crisis, especially since it costs so much money to run a music program. “It’s staff, and instruments, [we] ensure that, you know, students have the tools that they need to be successful.”

However, she also shared with me some of the rewards that she sees just by walking around the school at GAMP, and by watching classrooms in the Arts Link program at McCall Elementary. She described the involvement of both staff and students as “amazing”, she repeatedly called the arts a vehicle to improve learning, and explained how these programs had the power to “transform schools” such as at Decatur Elementary, where I will try and contact to further my research.

“It’s definitely something that even in free time. You see kids singing, or playing the piano, or practicing the violin. So, it does carry over to their social life and they do all have that same passion.” - Carol Domb

Interviewing Principal Domb has served to reinforce my belief that the arts in schools perform what is arguably the most important function in the classroom: motivating children to learn and reach their full potential. Without a reason to come to school and learn, knowledge is wasted and discarded, but when something such as the arts can inspire kids to learn and weave their own ideas into what they are learning, the knowledge that they are taught becomes a part of them. Only then does can it be applied to the real world and taught to others through the students themselves. The students of today are the teachers or the next generation, and what good are teachers who cannot apply and connect with what they teach?

“What a better way to get the kids to come to school when you’re teaching something that they really have a passion for?” -Carol Domb

The third and final part of this project is called “Agents of Change”, and this is what all of my research has been leading up to. We go out and take action to practice what we preach. I will be organizing a variety show of sorts at Science Leadership Academy, so that students can perform/showcase whatever form of art that they choose. It will offer them a healthy chance to express themselves creatively, and healthy self-expression is another key benefit of arts education. Without a constructive outlet, people, especially young people turn to harmful ways to deal with the problems that arise in their lives, and I want to change that by providing a safe outlet for creativity and self-expression.

I will make sure to contact other schools that are a part of the Arts Link and Arden for All programs, such as Decatur Elementary, and to contact the programs themselves. Be sure to watch for my next post about the results of my Agent of Change variety show.

For the link to my interview transcript, click here.

For the link to my (updated) annotated bibliography, click here.

The audio of my interview is below.

INTERVIEW w Principal Domb
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YATW Blog Post #2 Shortage of donors for African American, Hispanics, and mixed people

Hello it’s me again, Niah Lombo and I am back for round two of my YATW issue. In my blog post #1 , I talked about my issue which was the shortage of donors for African American, Hispanics, and mixed people. Since then I have found more stories of people with cancer looking for donors with one and a million chance of finding one. Lewis Dyche was diagnosed with leukaemia  and after a global search he finds his one in a million bone marrow donor. To read more about his story click here.  

Now it’s my turn to do my own original research and I wanted to learn more about Donors, and then I thought who would know more about donors? Doctors! So I schedule an interview with Dr.Carmen Febo. Dr. Carmen Febo is a primary care physician and even though she does not deal directly with Donors, etc. she was a great help with the questions and being able to let me interview her with with the short notice. The interview helped me have a better understanding of the importance of finding a donor, being a donor, and the effects of being a donor.


Me: What is your chance of living if you find a match donor?  

Dr. Carmen Febo: If you have deadly disease, like kidney failure, heart failure, or liver failure, your life would depend on finding a donor.  The chances of survival have many determinants that include weather this is a living donor, or a dead donor, how close a match it is, how many other conditions you have, how good a surgical candidate you are, etc.  Many of the conditions are better understood now and we have better medicines to combat infection for example, or rejection.  But, what is true is that without the transplant the patient do not have a chance.

That was one of my questions for Dr. Carmen Febo. This hit me hard as it made me realize that a persons life is in the hands of a stranger, and that stranger has no idea how important they are. Its not their fault if they didn't know but only if they could have gotten tested to see if they could save a life.

Margot was 17-months old when she was diagnosed with two of the rarest cancers. But since her parents are mixed she is having trouble finding a match donor. Click here to read her story.

Robin Roberts (left) is a breast cancer survivor and find her match from her sister.  She was aware that because of her race she would have a hard time finding a match donor. Read more about her story here.

That is it for now, the next time you guys will hear from me is when I do my agent of change. What can I do to make change happened? My plan is to host an event to help raise awareness for my issue and will be hosting fundraisers that will be donated to find the cure for cancer. Also I will be writing a letter to Robin Roberts about my cause and because ABC news is having opportunities for people who wants to make a difference to be featured on the show. I will submit my story and how I want to make a difference, and if anything does happened before my blog post #3 I will let you guys know on here.

Annotated Bibliography here
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You and the World #2: Continue to Buy American!

In my first post, I detailed why you should buy American made products. I explained that buying domestic will support fair labor practices, keep money in the American economy, and incentivise more companies moving manufacturing in the United States. You can find the entirety of my first blog post here.

Since that post, I was tasked with doing some independent research on the subject of buying American. I decided to put out a survey on my topic, because I thought my issue was not getting enough attention. I promoted my survey using Canvas, which is a program used by Science Leadership Academy’s teachers to organize our assignments. I sent all my fellow students a message through this program explaining what I was doing, with a link to the survey. You can find the results of the survey here. This is required reading for the next paragraph, where I will be analyzing and talking about the survey results. You can skip it if your mouse-using hand is overworked, or a series of small children claiming to be related to you have demanded food and money, or religious/political reasons.

Firstly, there’s a major flaw in my survey I’d like to point out for honesty’s sake. Since I used Canvas to distribute my survey, I am catering to a very small demographic. The results of my survey can only be used to determine the thoughts of high school students, male and female. Anyways, back to the analysis. I found that although the survey-takers seemed to know what they should do regarding the subject, they didn’t know why. As for Question 1, “Do you pay attention to where the things you buy are made?” the survey-takers were split 59%-41% in favor of not paying attention.

Why might this be?

Well, Mr. Theoretical Question Asker, there are a number of reasons why the survey-takers don’t pay attention to the origins of their products. First could be the demographic problem I outlined earlier. According to this study, 60 percent of teenagers do not pay attention to the news, compared to 23 percent of adults over 30. This could (in theory) lead to general ignorance about current issues. However, there is a more likely factor. This issue has only recently gained traction, which means it did not get much publicity, so people were not thinking about it. It’s significantly easier to think about an issue when you’re constantly being reminded.

Now that I have done my independent research, I have a better idea of what people already know about the subject, and can now tailor future posts so that I am not reiterating what everyone else is saying. I want to provide new information and make sure I’m not wasting your time.

Next up in the glorious trifecta of You and the World is the Agent of Change. Despite its new-agey name, this component is very interesting. For this part of the project, I need to do something in the (gasp) real world that applies to my project. For me, the decision was easy. I am only going to purchase American made products until further notice. My parents have been very receptive to this, and have agreed to join me. Stay tuned for my next installment!

If you're interested in checking my sources for this and Blog #1, click here.
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Back again! YATW Blog Post #2: Bullying; Depression & Suicide.

Hey! It’s Ebony again. In my last blog post, I talked about how bullying could lead into depression and suicide. If you have not read the blog yet, you should!

I actually have found a couple new information. One of them is statistics of kids being cyberbullied and bullied. However, they are not kids in my community, but kids across the world in the UK. This shows that it’s not only an issue with mine or your community, but it is a worldwide issue. That is another thing that I wanted to prove. Also, it is something that should alarm people of how dangerous and serious bullying is. These are high percentages of kids who have been both been bullied, physically and through social media such as Facebook, twitter, instagram and even through text messaging.

Another part of this research is to get original research. For my original research, I decided to do a survey of kids in 6-12 grade. The reason I chose a variety of grades is because today, most kids are going through it, no matter how young they are. The point I am trying to get is what is the grade that’s being targeted more. Honestly, my main target was younger kids, ranging between 11-14. The problem about doing this survey is that I was not able to get any information about 7th graders but the majority being 6th graders. Although I was not able to get some of the information I wanted, I did get the information that I needed.

Here are some examples of the most important ones:

YATW Survey  Bullying  Depression   Suicide    Google Drive (2).png'

YATW Survey  Bullying  Depression   Suicide    Google Drive (1).png
YATW Survey  Bullying  Depression   Suicide    Google Drive (5).pngYATW Survey  Bullying  Depression   Suicide    Google Drive (3).pngSome of these numbers are outstanding. Especially ‘Have you ever seen someone being physically or virtually bullied?’ The numbers are a 47 difference. That is huge. A majority of kids is being seen being bullied and hurt. 80% out of 100%,

The results that surprised me the most is the number of kids that do tell someone about being bullied. Even though more people have not told anyone about it, there’s only a 6% difference.

So far, this is goodbye, but I will be back soon to show you guys my agent of change part! I’m quite excited and hope everything goes well. Doing this part will give me a better understanding of what people go through. Thank you again for reading. If you went ahead and read this instead of the first blog, I suggest you read the other one too. It’ll help for a better understanding. So, click here! Thanks again.

For further information, check out this.

Click here for the bibliography.

YATW Blog #2: Passing Art Along One School At a Time

Hello everyone, it’s Pedro Castillo and I’m back on the lack of art in Philly schools topic. Like I said in my first blog, I am a huge fan of art and it really hurts me to see artless schools. In my first blog (for those who did not read it) I talked about the budget crisis of Philadelphia in general and how it has impacted Philly schools. This has impacted many Phila School District students and teachers too. I also talked about there was a ton of money going into the prison system that could have been going into the school district’s budget so they could at least kept some of their staff. I did not know how to feel about the money going into the prison system. I felt like it was selfish and didn’t care about the students having a full learning experience but then again it was a way to protect not just students but harmless civilians.

During my time away from this issue i came across an article from The New York Times. Here Jon Hurdle talks about how the school district of Philadelphia superintendent has faced the budget crises. He says that the superintendent laid off almost 40,000 workers to close a $304 million budget gap. Jon says that the chief of the Phila SD says that he wants to reverse the cuts and raise the educational standards for Philadelphia schools. I honestly believe this could happen if Philadelphia is willing to contribute.

Instead of just researching my topic; this time we were actually asked to go out in the world and conduct our own research. I chose to do interviews about art and why it is so important to people. I also asked if they thought that the city would be able to raise its budget up enough to give art back to the students. Here are some answers. I interviewed the principal from my middle school (Benjamin Franklin Elementary) and a student from SLA. I was going to interview more people but they just did not have the spare time for interviews which is perfectly okay. I thought that interviewing my former principal would give me a great amount of info because I would actually be hearing the opinion of this crisis from someone who works with students everyday. I wouldn’t be just hearing about the crisis but also the importance of art too. I asked her why she thought people were so connected to art and here is what she said: Well...some people like to just draw and sing and some people want to show the world what they can do. They want through express their feelings or emotions through paper or through the microphone. I know art is a really big thing and I know how it can impact people's lives because I have seen some of my students cry when they found out that we were not going to have art last year.

I thought this was very important and helped me a lot because it just shows how some students feel about art. Many students take this as a way of expressing themselves and getting away from the world. What good is it doing if we take it away from them and they cannot come in contact with the necessary supplies at home? It just hurts some students. Even to the point of bursting into tears like my former principal, Ms. Green, explained in one of her answers.  Art is a very serious subject for people and sometimes I wonder how this world would be without it. Art has shaped everything in this world from buildings, to writing, and even music.

That is why I want to create a newsletter. I want to be able to spread people’s art around the. For our third part of this major project we are asked to do something called “agent of change.” Which is where we actually do something to try and fight against our world issue. I want to create a newsletter where people could have their art submitted. For example drawings, painting, poems, etc. It is not much but I like I said before, I want to be able to spread art across the city of Philadelphia…one school at a time.
 (Pic 1: Finished; Pic 2: Unfinished)
Some of my personal artwork that will be featured in the newsletter. 

(Be sure to look out for my next blog post!)



Luke Watson-Sharer 3/1/14 YATW Blog Post #2 Childhood Obesity: Exactly What Is It?

Hello my name is Luke Watson-Sharer. Hopefully you have read my first blog post here First Blog post. I’m writing my second blog on my discovered research. As in the other blog post,  the purpose of You and the World is to make a difference through an issue.  I picked obesity which is a very significant issue in the U.S. and many other countries.  Obesity affects our physical and mental health and therefore our future. Blog 1 discussed the many issues related to obesity in the U.S. and the world.  I decided to do my own study by conducting a survey on my topic. I did two surveys:  one for people with knowledge on the topic and one for anyone. I wanted to know what experts or people with knowledge believed and what anonymous people think about the topic.

Survey 1 This is my first survey. It’s for anyone to answer and you share your opinions and basic things you do. I start by asking the responder if they believe they’re obese, Then I asked why they believe they are or are not obese.  Next, I ask if they made attempts to lose weight.  You can read the other question on the link “Survey 1.”  The responses were interesting.  What interested me was seeing that about 90% said they didn’t believe they were obese but about 70% said they eat sweets a lot. This is interesting because if you  eat a lot  of sugary things you may gain weight.  Many said eating sweets is a bad habit.  Since most said they are not obese, metabolism may be a factor.  Genetics could play a larger role; I will discuss  this later in the blog. Also almost everyone says they don’t workout or  try to  cut calories but of 90% do not believe they are  obese.  This makes me curious. Finally, after seeing my results for survey 1 it seems that obesity could be more genetic  than a result of bad habits. Responses To survey 1

Survey 2 This is my second survey. It’s made for experts or people with knowledge. I asked for only knowledgeable people reply. (I couldn’t control who replied.)  This is so I could learn more about obesity. My first question was probably the hardest question to ask. What do you believe obesity exists? This can be hard because I got many opinionated responses and because it’s a heated topic. Then I asked other questions on what to do to help children with obesity. I ask about helping kids and ways of recommending things to kids. Survey Responses: Responses Here you’ll see many of the responses to the questions I was hoping to answer.  Finally, I got good insight from knowledgeable people on childhood obesity.

These responses added to my knowledge of f the issue  and ideas for helping overweight kids.  I got a wide amount of responses that differed a lot; this is still helpful data.  Some of my personal opinions have changed on what obesity is and how to help kids with obesity because now I’m leaning towards obesity being more genetic. This will affect the recommendations to help kids;  losing weight isn’t as easy as saying “exercise.” I still wonder about what causes obesity. I got many answers between genetic and bad eating habits and I still am baffled. While I was going my survey, a new study found children from 2 - 5 years old are not as obese as 10 years ago.  This is great but all other age groups saw no major change.   I’m thinking of doing a program for schools without gym’s so that students can also get exercise even though they don’t have a school gym. I can maybe go back to my old middle and elementary school because we never had a gym.

My research has helped me a lot. It  left a question mark but has given me more views on the topic of childhood obesity. Maybe we will never have an exact definition to childhood obesity or if it’s genetic or from bad habits.  What we do know is that it’s a big issue in the U.S.  and worldwide.   I hope to be an  agent of change. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoy my next blog post.

Annotated Bibliography: Here

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