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Kristina's Captsone

How does it feel to be hungry on the streets of Philadelphia? I went into this 80 hour journey with a plan to just feed the homeless; expecting to see the superficial effects of street life through appearances. I expected everyone in need walking by to accept the offered water, take an extra napkin, welcome a warm meal. I never imagined pride becoming such a motivating factor behind who accepted the meal and who didn’t.

My capstone centered around homelessness; even those too prideful to admit they need a hand. I originally planned to open the SLA doors and host the “soup kitchen” in our cafe on a lonely Saturday morning. With some help, I budgeted how much money I would need in order to feed an estimated shelter. It wasn’t cheap; so I fundraised through the SLA community as much as I could before the big event.

That big event was unfortunately pushed back a while, leaving me room to explore more shelters and central ideas behind my capstone. I started to develop an outside mentor, one who has a heavy foot in the recovering addict community. He helped me acknowledge why some people end up on the streets, and why some people are hesitate in lending a hand.

We reached out to shelters in Kensington area, local to his rooming home for men and women suffering with substance abuse issues. We spread the word that there would be warm lunches available on Saturday. Spreading the word became easy; people in the rooming home started telling friends and the turnout was great.


"" Philadelphia Veterans House. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016

This source represents more than just a webpage. The philadelphia veteran house was one of the original shelters i reached out too; completely lost on how to bring my capstone to life. I originally thought I would have to scrap them as they have a volunteer application process and deadline, but they were still able to provide me plenty of information about veterans in our area.

Through their website and telephone communications, I was able to get an understanding of how volunteers begin their process. This source allowed me to keep in contact with them for questions, concerns and help spreading the word.

"Wish List." Philadelphia Veterans House. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

This section of the Philadelphia Veteran House was extremely helpful throughout this whole process. As simple as it sounds, by listing all the supplies they use and need donations of on a daily basis, I was able to gauge what supplies was really necessary for me to ask for. Having such a successful guide also helped me compile a “wish-list” of my own to pass along to the Community Involvement Club. There were many times google searches for supply lists needed for a soup kitchen stretched 4 pages long, while this one listed necessary and realistic supplies I should aim to buy.

Volz, Cat. "What Does It Feel like to Be Homeless and Poor in America?"What Does It Feel like to Be Homeless and Poor in America? Quora, n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

I stumbled upon this source miraculous, simply looking for more accurate supplies list. Not knowing what food is appropriate to serve and what is not, I searched for actual experiences. This source gave a tremendous first hand encounter on how it was to be on the streets- for the exact minute she was able to get off. This opened up a whole other door to my capstone leaving me to ask much bigger questions about who I was truly appealing too. Having this inside knowledge I was able to brainstorm ways to incorporate her feelings into how I both presented my capstone and spoke about it.

"Facts on Homelessness." Project HOME. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

This source was different than what I was used too, which helped me put some things into perspective. Majorly a statistics page, it offered insight into homelessness nationwide, even narrowing into veterans. By going in depth about the homelessness rates fluctuation, I was able to examine any outside factors effecting that change. The source also offered useful information about what population of our nation is homelessness, ie. their age and sex. It even discuss possible causes of homelessness, which in itself suggests ways to fix the system. This simple source also offers statistics specific to Philadelphia, and whether they are sheltered or unsheltered.

Leal, Daniel, Marc Galanter, Helen Dermatis, and Laurence Westreich. "Correlates of Protracted Homelessness in a Sample of Dually Diagnosed Psychiatric Inpatients." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 16.2 (1999): 143-47. National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 17 May 2016.

As my capstone shifted away from veterans, I developed a new focus area for homelessness. The addiction community is heavily scrutinized while also being heavily judged. My outside mentor is certified in the addiction field, but he dealt with recovering addicts. This source gives information about the substance abuse effects on homelessness and how it differs from the average homeless person. This source was very useful because it also paired with other coexisting issues besides substance abuse. Besides explaining how the addiction cycle could lead to homelessness very easily, the source gives background to how the state is involved in limiting addict homelessness.

"Overdose Deaths Among Homeless Persons." National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 May 2016.

This source discusses the effects of substance abuse in homelessness. This source specifically overviews the different substances that may be abused so much to the point of overdosage. This source made me do a double take because at first it seemed unreliable. Despite being a .gov and seemingly trusting website, I was hesitate to trust the information on this particular page; I had nothing to verify this data was accurate. But after researching more on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website I feel more confident that is is a trustworthy source. This source is helpful with understanding the effects of homelessness; even if that person is an addict.

Zalot, Morgan, and Vince Lattanzio. "Homeless Youth: A Silent Epidemic."NBC 10 Philadelphia. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

This source is extremely different from the previous ones my research has been based off of. This article was published by NBC 10 News, regarding the dangerous epidemic on homelessness in youth. After reading this article a few time I was not going to reference it because of the person nature the author wrote the article in to try and engage your sympathy and concern. It seemed forced, or like it was fitting into an image. But as I read the comments and reread the person accounts, I realized the author succeeds in using these youths to make a point.

Hughes, Ryan. "Kensington Sees Largest Increase of Homeless Individuals during 2015 Count." Philadelphia City Paper. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

This source gets very specific about homelessness in the Kensington Philadelphia area. This source discussing the dramatic rate increase that Kensington experienced for its homeless citizens and suggests people may not want to even go into a city shelter. Since this article is so short, I was not originally going to cite it. But the discussion on the homeless not wanting to go into city shelters sparked my interest for further research and became a very useful source. The personal accounts, and empathize on their polite attitude, became extremely useful in mentor conversations. It provoked conversations about living conditions for homeless; there is a major difference between shelters and housing.

Mago, Vijay K., Hilary K. Morden, Charles Fritz, Tiankuang Wu, Sara Namazi, Parastoo Geranmayeh, Rakhi Chattopadhyay, and Vahid Dabbaghian. "BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making." Analyzing the Impact of Social Factors on Homelessness: A Fuzzy Cognitive Map Approach. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

On first glance, this source seemed great. It had every analysis of societal impact on homelessness, and vice versa. As I read through this source, I realized a lot of the information was fluffed up. This source went in depth with the government's impacts on homelessness, whist including graphs to backup all data referenced. This gave me confidence in the source as each important statistic had another reference point to back it up. The source was also useful because of the explanatory graphs that connected to the text. At times there were some extremely statistic things, strictly formulas, but otherwise it the source was beneficial.

Sands, Jim, and Jill Atkey. "Homelessness." SpringerReference (n.d.): n. pag. Nov. 2009. Web. 17 May 2016.

This source is beneficial on almost every page. Instead of deeply analysing the societal effects of homelessness, this source depicts how homelessness affects everyone, not just the homeless. This has to do with mental illness, troubled/misunderstood youth, substance issues and many more important factors.  The source becomes extremely useful as they examine different forms of homelessness. This is the most relatable source I have found as it does not try and sugar coat the impacts of homelessness, rather simply explains how certain factors impact each other. This source also uses many visuals to back up their cited facts, giving me confidence in their reliability.

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Thinking In Color Capstone

Thinking in Color is my last big project at SLA before I graduate and move on to college. For my capstone I originally wanted to paint a mural outside the school, so people can really get a feel for what SLA is really about, because we’re more than a science school. Due to codes and rules it would have been easier if I painted inside the school. So with talking to my partner in crime we are doing a mini course for freshman and we will be painting a mural on the ceiling of our cafeteria.  For my capstone I ran a mini course with Britt A. and we thought freshman about the art of science. During the course we explained how famous artist used science to paint and use techniques like optical illusion, making even lines, how to make paint and colors look the way they do and in the end they painted murals. We had two sets of mini courses each one running for, four weeks. The first one was painted on ceiling tiles in the middle of the caffettiera and we learned from that, that it’s harder to paint because you have the take the tiles down and put them back up and that process took longer than expected. The second mini course we decided to paint a wall because people would be able to see it better and there wouldn’t be holes in the ceiling where the tiles would be. Throughout the capstone I learned that painting take more time than the other kids before me made it seem, especially because we were still teaching the kids, and we had designated painting times. The best part about the capstone is we donated all the paint we didn't use and extra paint brushes back to the school and the art program.

Annotated Bibliography can be found here
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Caitlin Keough Capstone

My Capstone was inspired by the internship I have had at my old elementary and middle school, Green Woods Charter School, for the past three years. Over the course of the past five years GWCS has changed a lot and collectively been in four very different school buildings. The school currently resides in it's permanent location that they built from the ground up. Not only is the school in a brand new building, but the GWCS community has more than doubled and there are a lot of families that aren't as familiar with what GWCS is all about. The adjusting process was difficult so for the first part of my Capstone I made a informational brochure for prospective families to use to get a glimpse at the school. 
The school's campus is unique and suits GWCS's mission to create a better and more eco-friendly world. They have a lot of new technology on the grounds of their school that a lot of people have never seen before. For the second part of my Capstone, I created signs that teach visitors about the technology and have code on them that links to a website with even more information on the environmental technology that GWCS uses. 

My website can be found here

My annotated bibliography can be found here

capstone (2)
capstone (1)
Capstone Signs
Capstone Signs (1)
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Jesse Shuter Capstone

​The process of going about my capstone was a unique one. It started out as one thing, but turned into another. I wanted for my capstone to grow our journalism program from the small online based class that it was, to more than that. I wanted to do this my own way. For my capstone I traveled to different sporting events as a reporter, recording certain games, taking pictures and also writing articles for journalism. This year I also became the sports editor for what is now the journalism club/class and I was able to use some of the work from my capstone on the website. I was also able to help other sports writers improve their content and become better writers. I wanted to create a lasting role that someone else could build off of when I am gone. Throughout this I learned a lot about how much editing and preparing and learning goes into using this technology for reporting. Even the simple technology that I used required a lot of editing and learning about how they worked and additional items to make them work better. There were a lot of struggles that accompanied my capstone. I had to miss classes to go to the games, I lost a lot of data throughout the process including all the video from one of the games and one of the articles crashed and had to be re-written. I enjoyed this process a lot and recommend it to future students. 

Here you will find one of my articles about the SLA Boys Baseball team. 

Annotated bibliography can be found here.

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How To Lie With Statistics Ep. 1

This is podcast 1 of a 3-podcast series that dissects the novel, "How To Lie With Statistics" by Darrell Huff. The book itself explores the various ways that statistics are altered and used outright incorrectly to project a certain image, convey a certain feeling, or produce a certain outcome within the masses. 
In this series, Stephanie Dyson, Dillon Hershey, Maggie Clampet-Lundquist and Sean Morris look into the various themes that comprise the book and dissect what this means, not only for their high school stats class, but for the world around them. 

In this first podcast:
The group explores the overarching themes, the author's writing style, the helpfulness of the illustrations and the specific ideas within the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2. We look at various questions that often take a more psychological turn. We questioned why people lie in statistical situations, looking at how stats turns people into numbers and tries to make sense of things on a macro-scale. We also did some personal reflection on how statistics makes us question nearly everything that we hear for the better(and had some fun towards the end trying to personify the subject itself).

Enjoy and stay tuned with the squad as we continue to go forth with our inquiry on the novel! 

Music is provided for free by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's debut album, "Surf", which dropped May 2015.
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Morgan Caswell Capstone

Astronomy is always something that has been important and interesting to me, and finding a way to do something with astronomy with only a high school education proved difficult initially. The thing about astronomy and astrophysics, is that to understand the details, you often have to be an academic. 

Science fiction has also been something that I have really enjoyed throughout high school. Naturally, combing science and science fiction seemed like a logical project. In my capstone, I created a text that explored astronomy and physics through popular works of TV sci-fi, namely Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The book is presented in an informal way that is meant to educate the reader both about science and the science fiction itself. 

The book can be found here. 

The process paper can be found here.
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Desmond O'Donovan Capstone

           For my Capstone I conducted a survey of birds in the two Wissahickon Valley Meadows (Houston and Andorra), during the fall and spring migrations. I posted the survey results on a blog so that people could see what birds were passing through the meadows. This served as scientific data, and a reference for bird enthusiasts. I went to the two meadows on a weekly basis to count individual birds. I recorded their specific locations in the meadow, as well age, sex and the size of their flocks. At the end of each migration, I created spreadsheets accounting for each species, and each individual bird seen. This data showed how common each species was, and when they were seen. I learned about what types of birds pass through the area, and how many. I also learned more about birding and surveying. I learned about diversifying my surveys, going in different types of weather and different times of day to get a broader range of data. I learned about the birds themselves, their habits and behaviors, as well as how to better identify them. I learned how to distinguish the sexes and ages of certain species. I hope that this data can benefit the Wissahickon, and the people that bird there. 
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Joseff Filamor Capstone

I have always loved making skate videos of me and my friends however I never had one that took more than a month to produce. Majority of my videos I made were short montages of random clips of me and my friends with little to no organization. Half way through Sophomore year I decided to make a "full length skate video." A full length video means that every skater that partakes in it will have their own individual part in the video to themselves. I have a lot of friends who skate but don't have a way to present their skating in the form of a video and I wanted to make something that we could all celebrate and be proud of. In addition, nearly everyone who had a part in the video was from a different part of Philly, so it was cool to have that connection through this video. Each person was able to choose their own song and have almost all creative control over their section of the video. A decent part should have a running time of  3-5 minutes and there were 7 parts in the video all together. After a little over 2 years of filming and editing almost everyday, the video was finished and had a running time of about 30 minutes. 

Click HERE for my bibliography.
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What is it?
-Performing tasks/walking while asleep
-Different Kind of REM Sleep (Takes place in 1-2)
-People Have done this for a long time.
-One case of nun charged for DUI
-Sleep Deprivation can increase Chances of Sleepwalking
-More Likely In twins
I have never experienced Sleepwalking but I have had dreams of normal everyday life tasks that seems like sleepwalking.
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Podcast #1 : Joie, Espi, Sydne and Cameron

During the this podcast we discussed chapter's 1-3. We discussed the topics from each chapter and related them back to real life situations. Esperanza also read out some discussion questions that she came up with herself while she did her reading which allowed us to get other different opinions and commonalities that we shared while reading on our own as well. It was very easy to have a conversation with 4 people because there was more opinions involved and ideas that were shared. Having a nice lay out of the conversation also helps because there's very few pausing moments which makes the podcast a much richer material. 

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Alex Wroblewski Capstone


Using openly available data provided by SEPTA, I developed a program in order to track buses and predict their arrival time at the next scheduled stop. This project was inspired by the lack of a solution to receive accurate data as to the actual headway (Time between arrivals) of the bus. How can SEPTA passengers receive more accurate information about their commute? How can they get a more dynamic schedule? In November 2016, an anonymous survey was put out, wherein the data gathered represented a need of tools for a more accessible commute. This inspired me to engineer a solution to improve commuting in Philadelphia Using provided discrete data points from the SEPTA TransitView API (Application Programming Interface), the average velocity of the vehicle over the tracked interval can be found and used to predict arrival time. A lack of 100% data coverage does not allow for this method to be completely accurate, an implementation of the Monte Carlo method for headways is discussed in order to potentially provide probability. The time difference between the arrival time and the actual time is calculated and a simulation from the data is run many times over in order to generate the probability for each possible arrival window. A simulation from the data is run many times over in order to generate the probability for each possible arrival window. Applications of this solution include a multi platform phone app, a prototype of which has been developed. While the final version of the program is not one hundred percent complete, the process to run such a simulation has been thoroughly researched and documented, and will be used to continue development through the coming summer.


Over the past year, I have learned how to develop multiplatform (iPhone, Android, and Web) compatible apps, as well as the basics of predictive data analytics. I have gained proficiency in the Python programming language, as well as its unique capacities for handling large amounts of data. - is where the code for my ever developing simulator, written in Python, lives. It is still non functional, because of ever evolving implementation ideas and research. The next actions for this project are to implement a system to load the SEPTA data with an SQL database, and to evolve the trip class to a point where it can track active trips (and disable those that are not active). - This is a multiplatform app I developed at the ExCITe Center at Drexel University during an internship. The primary goal was to investigate how I could make the information gained during data analysis useful to regular commuters. Currently, it is barebones, but it taught me how to to present information, make a multi platform app, and focus on simple, accessible design. (page will be updated with screenshots)  - This link shows documentation of the research and design I embarked on over the year.

`Cohen, G., and K. M. Crawford. "A Problem in Estimating Bus Stop Times." Applied Statistics 27.2 (1978): 139. JSTOR. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

This journal by The Royal Statistical Society demonstrates a linear regression for the time a bus spends at a stop, as dependent on the amount of passengers boarding and alighting. Other models provide algorithms to determine whether a boarding/alighting event is definite, improbable, or unlikely. The amount of time a bus would spend not actually moving isn’t something usually taken into account when models of tracking based on actual vehicle location are made, however the creation of such a linear regression based on typical SEPTA data, or gathered by users, would highly increase the accuracy of the tracking by adding another layer of adaptation to only getting new data every 3-5 minutes.

Forbes, M. A., J. N. Holt, P. J. Kilby, and A. M. Watts. "BUDI: A Software System for Bus Dispatching." J Oper Res Soc Journal of the Operational Research Society 45.5 (1994): 497-508. JSTOR. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

A software system known as BUDI is described for the dispatching of buses operated by a public transport organization in Austrailia. Organization of transit terminology is an early focus, defining routes and the difference between a route and a timetabled instance of one, for example. Definitions and rostering of the BCC depots mentioned will provide a theoretical model for database construction of similar data received from the aforecited SEPTA API. While BUDI’s focus is on sorting and dispatching, the concepts behind it’s design, especially in terms of the database it relies on, is universally applicable to any analysis of transit data.

Golshani, Forouzan. "System Regularity and Overtaking Rules in Bus Services." J Oper Res Soc Journal of the Operational Research Society 34.7 (1983): 591-97. JSTOR. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

To passengers, the most important part of a service is its reliability. The authors of this study analyzed average waiting time and under what circumstances would it be appropriate for one bus to overtake another. A simulation was run to determine the average headways and overtaking during a typical day of bus service. Though the original simulation is unavailable and outdated (written in fortran for a mainframe), the mathematics are available in this research journal. There are many different models used to simulate service, and each will have to be evaluated as to it’s potential accuracy. A theoretical application to Accusepta would be to create a new simulation for every time new data is received, allowing for more accurate estimates of headways over time.

Jansson, Jan Owen. "A Simple Bus Line Model for Optimisation of Service Frequency and Bus Size." Journal of Transport Economics and Policy 14.1 (1980): 53-80. JSTOR. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

This analysis of Swedish buses in the 1980’s shows a model of total trip time as dependent on the time taken to travel the distance plus the total time spent boarding and alighting. This algorithm was originally used for economical reasons, determining the most profitable optimized frequency of bus travel. However, this model is relevant as it can be used to provide a “larger picture” estimation of total travel time for a run of a SEPTA bus.

Jennings, Norman H., and Justin H. Dickins. "Computer Simulation of Peak Hour Operations in a Bus Terminal." Management Science 5.1 (1958): 106-20. JSTOR. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

The Monte Carlo method is a statistical simulation built upon the principle of thousands of random estimations within a set of constraints. This method is most often used to replace costly real world trial and error with a computer simulation. In 1958, Port Authority employees built a simulation to build a histogram of the distribution of the bus arrival times to be used when organizing dispatch for the day. This algorithm was used in the original Accusepta design, and is applicable to, say, estimating the probability of making a connection depending on the estimated travel time from the vehicle’s last known location.  

Mcleod, F. "Estimating Bus Passenger Waiting times from Incomplete Bus Arrivals Data." J Oper Res Soc Journal of the Operational Research Society 58.11 (2006): 1518-525. JSTOR. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

Operations Researchers in Southhampton UK have built a model to determine average waiting time based on bus headways, the time between busses at a stop using an AVL, an automatic vehicle location system akin to that used and provided by SEPTA. The main problem with using an AVL is that missing data is almost a guarantee. SEPTA only provides locations every three to five minutes, for example. A lack of total data coverage creates gaps that have to be worked with. The authors main goal is to contribute to the theory of estimating headway variance, the difference between the frequency of busses, with incomplete data. Various methods are tested on different data sets. Previous research on AVL based models is hard to find, and adapting to the gaps, where the bus could potentially make multiple stops or travel a significant distance, is hard to manage while striving for accuracy.

Pratelli, A., and F. Schoen. "A Mathematical Programming Model for the Bus Deviation Route Problem." J Oper Res Soc Journal of the Operational Research Society 52.5 (2001): 494-502. JSTOR. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

Researchers at The University of Piza and the University of Firanze in Italy have contributed to the creation of a mathematical model of a deviated bus route. While SEPTA does not operate on a deviated bus route. Such a route supports the main route along a corridor, while collecting and distributing passengers from neighboring blocks. The increased route flexibility causes an increase in both travel time and wait time. Despite the fact that SEPTA does not possess a deviated bus route system, the modeling is applicable in terms of analyzing theoretical inconvenience to passengers as well as tracking busses that do not follow their schedules due to traffic or other factors. Thus, this discrepancy between the schedules and the effects of real life can be equivalent to a deviated stop in terms of analyzing inconvenience to passengers. Pratelli. A, has proposed a mixed integer linear programming problem that highlights “many-to-many”, where it takes into account that passengers alight and board at every stop on the route. Other elements it proposes include the concept of net inconvenience for passengers, based off of travel time, waiting time, and any increases to that, alongside delay.

Pratelli. A and F. Schoen both created analytical models of the feasibility of a transit system based on deviation, and a core notation is the usage of arcs between two points. Arcs are used as an efficient and inclusionary way in Italy to capture most every location the bus could have passed in the interim between the last location signaled to central command, deviated stop or not.

"Public Transport, Walking and Cycling Directions - Citymapper." Citymapper. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <>.

Citymapper is a Web/iOS/Android app that implements transit data from cities all over the world, including Philadelphia and implements the SEPTA API, however does not provide real time tracking. Citymapper does provide a transit focused view that services such as, say, Google Maps, do not provide as clearly. This aggregation of all available transit services provides an interesting perspective on user interface. Citymapper also provides a directions and travel time interface capable of being used in one’s own applications.

"SEPTA API Documentation." SEPTA API. SEPTA DEV. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <>.

SEPTA provides documentation on their API (Application Programming Interface). SEPTA provides http links with the ability to make specific requests for data depending on route or location. Features include the TransitView API, a specific system to make requests as to the location of either a specific bus or all buses currently active in the SEPTA network. TransitView will be the crux of the ACCUSEPTA model, as it can provide active tracking of every bus on duty, sending data every 3-5 minutes. Other documentation focuses on interfacing with raw schedule data for other SEPTA services. This framework will be used to build custom route objects for every bus in Philadelphia.

"Septadev/SEPTA-Android." GitHub. SEPTA/Github. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <>.

SEPTA makes all source code for both their iOS and Android apps available online on Github. This allows for a resource as to the implementation of access to the SEPTA database, alongside typical ways it is accessed. The official SEPTA app offers some features that are useful, however the transitview is lackluster and only provides a general location as was last received. Not much analysis is done, as is the goal with Accusepta. However, the base of real time tracking is there for both buses and regional rail, thus providing a theoretical base on which to build up important Accusepta features based on the official SEPTA implementation of their API.

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The Gay Gene?

  • Science:

  • Science has been able to find some genetic differences between gay men and straight men.While their is not an exact "gay gene" that dominates ones disposition. However some of the differences that have been found include physical differences and sizes, 9 small genetic regions were found to have differences within the bloodstream and gay men share some similarities in a part of the X chromosome- Xq28.

However these are not definite ways to tell if someone is gay or not. Many factors from environment and family can all have ways of effecting whether someone is gay or not. Also sexuality is a fairly fluid thing, so its very difficult, if impossible to have an exact determination what makes someone gay or not. 

  • Society

There's a large societal misconception as to whether being gay is a choice or not, and the science shows that it clearly isn't. It is a genetic fact that we are born like this. However we want to be careful with this science with so many homophobic regions and households in the world we kinda don't want to have a single way to single out gay people, that could lead to some disastrous societal consequences.

  • Self
As a gay man, I have sometimes been asked if its a choice or not, and I always knew it wasn't but was curious to the scientific reasons for it.  I was pleased to see some of the science for it, I hope that scientists proceed with caution while pursuing this further so that the future can remain safe for myself and people like me.
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Anna Sugrue Capstone

students vote philly skyline

Millennials have the potential to be the largest voting bloc in the United States, but are voting at a fraction of their size. Only one young person votes for every three voters ages 65 and over. This has to change. So for for my capstone, I registered SLA seniors to vote and developed several ways to get as many seniors - SLA and otherwise - to the polls as possible. I began by developing an “organization” that I named Students Vote Philly. I started a Facebook page for Students Vote Philly that I used about twice a week to send out information about primary election news and voting information. As Students Vote Philly, I did a presentation to the senior class about the primary election and gave instructions on how to register. I helped fill out online forms and I mailed physical forms. I wrote a follow-up set of instructions for voter registration that I posted on Facebook (both as my page and as myself). I also wrote an email to all of the principals of Philadelphia School District High Schools with the instruction google doc linked. Next, I layed out my strategy for actually getting seniors to the polls. As my mentor, political consultant Jefrey Pollock, told me: anyone can get a bunch of people registered, getting people to the polls is the real challenge. Based on my research, I did two things to get high schoolers to the polls. 1, Information. I sent out emails, made posts, and gave instructions about when, where, and how to vote. 2. Incentive. On voting day, I ran a photo sweepstakes. Send a photo of yourself voting to the Students Vote Philly Facebook page, and you were entered to a win a weeks worth of pizza. It worked! I announced a winner, and I gave her her prize. I finished with an “exit poll” of the SLA senior class to assess how many students registered and voted, and what they found helpful. The results spreadsheet is linked below.

I will have another registration presentation before the end of the quarter to register new voters for the primary and advise students about how to vote in college.

Here links to my capstone materials:

Below, I have a screenshot of an example information email, a screenshot of the email I sent to the Philadelphia School District principals, and the winning election day photo.
Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 6.27.04 PM
Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 6.28.08 PM
jackie voting pic
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Super Freakonomics Podcast Part 1 - Ava Olsen and Michelle Friedman

This is our first installment of our Super Freakonomics podcast series. We intended for the podcast to be a lot shorter, but we couldn't help but get more in depth into the extremely interesting topics that this book has to offer. Although this is only the introduction segment that summarizes and discusses the introduction of the book, for our future podcasts, we plan on cutting down our speaking time if this poses a problem. This prologue chapter (introduction to the book) highlighted a plethora of issues involving statistics and a necessity for a deep understanding of math and how these situations relate to it. Each subject/category that was introduced is pretty much completely unrelated, but each is tied together with statistical comparisons and economics that make the topics alluring and hard to believe. We examined many of the key stories that we think were important to take apart and really understand. Our intended audience should be interested in math and how it relates to things happening over time and what they mean for the populations that are involved.

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Art in the Open Performances, 5/13/16

SLA 11th graders have been ​creating site specific dance pieces for the Art in the Open Festival. We began with an intro workshop with the Leah Stein Dance Company where students learned the process for creating this type of site specific work. Then student groups chose sites. Each day we begin class with a short meeting in the classroom to go over the tasks and goals for the day. Then students are on-site where dancers visit them to consult and see their progress. The process is scary, challenging, quirky, and so much fun!

Performances will be on Friday, 5/13/16 between 1:00-3:00. Here is a schedule with sites and times. Schedules also will be available at the front door of SLA. This is a link to the photo gallery of the project. This is a link to a short documentary on the process from 2012.
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Metabolic Syndrome

  • Name representing group of risk factors that raise a person's risk of various diseases
  • Also known as: 
  • Dysmetabolic Syndrome
  • Hypertriglyceridemic Waist
  • Insulin Resistance Syndrome
  • Syndrome X
  • Symptoms/Risk Factors
  • Large Waistline
  • High levels of Triglyceride
  • Low levels of HDL cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Sugar
  • Mainly occurs when a person has 3 or more of the risk factors
  • People who have Metabolic Syndrome have a greater risk of having cardiovascular diseases later on in life
  • Also can lead to diabetes, stroke(s), and/or diseases related to a buildup of fat
  • Very common
  • Around 3 million cases of people with Metabolic Syndrome every year
  • Around 32% of the US population has it
  • 85% of people with Type 2 Diabetes have it
  • 25% of all Adults in Europe or Latin American countries have it
  • 40% of people ages 60 and up have it
  • People who have Metabolic Syndrome can cure it with things like, losing weight, and/or change in diet
  • I don't have any of the diseases or suffer from Metabolic Syndrome
  • However, my Father suffered from Metabolic Syndrome when he was young and now has Diabetes
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Podcast 1 // Bella, Andrew, Kristina, Kevin

All of our group members were present for this podcast. During this podcast we discussed the first four chapters of the book and the introduction section. We just basically discussed each chapter and talked about the key points. We also talked about the writing style of this book and said that maybe we should of read this book in the first week of class. We did this by having a pre discussion and writing things a white board. By doing this we got all of our thoughts out and were able to have a smoother conversation. We didn't have any points of conflict or disagreement during this discussion. The only real question that came up was the question "is there a such thing as a good sample?" We hope you enjoy.

Stats Podcast 1
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E1U6 Mini Proyecto, Brendan

Person - ¡Hola! ¿Qué pasa?

Brendan - Yo vistar Malaga, Spain

Person - En serio? Qué tiempo hace en Málaga

Brendan - Tiempo es muy lluvioso

Person - Qué hiciste allí

Brendan - Yo fuimos la playa y yo cenamos en El Meson de Cervantes.

Image result for el meson de cervantes

Person - ¿Puedo ir la próxima vez

Brendan - Si, si tu tener el dinero, nosotros visitar Museo Picasso Málaga

Person - Yo amor meseo!

Brendan - Nosotros poder  jugamos golf en Costa del Sol.Image result for Costa del sol

Person - Yo no haga golf, but yo querer aprender cómo jugar.

Brendan - Golf es no el solamente cosa tu poder hacer.

Brendan - Tu puedo ir la playa, museo, turismo, bicicleta gira, y compras

De Verdad yo aun no ha ese tu puedo hacer todo lo que.

Person - Adiós, bonito hablando a tu.

Brendan - Vale

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E1U6 Mini-Proyecto: Andora, Leah, Turbo, and Ashton

Leah: ¡Hola!

Andora: ¡Hola!

Turbo: ¡Hola!

Leah: ¿De dónde esta?

Turbo: Esta en Madrid.

Andora: Esta en Trinidad.

Leah: ¿En serio? ¿Trinidad, Cuba? ¿Madrid? Esta en mi casa.

Andora: ¡Ay, díos mío! !Tú casa es muy aburrido!

Leah: Tú muy suerte Andora.

Turbo: ¿Que es especial en Trinidad?

Andora: ¿Què? Muy es especial en Trinidad.

Andora: Trinidad hay nueve centro comercials.

Leah: ¿¡Hay nueve?! *desmayos*

Andora: Sí.

Turbo: Ok. Madrid es todavía mayor

Andora: ¡Mentira! Trinidad hay cinco playas.

Turbo: ¿Así? Trinidad no hay supermercados.

Leah: ¿En serio? No hay supermercados.

Andora: Espera. Hay muy restaurantes almorzar y cenar.

Turbo: Trinidad no hay hoteles.

Andora: ¡Mentira! Hay dieciocho hoteles en Trinidad.

Leah: ¡No me digas!

Andora: Sí. Ven aquí por favor en pasear la calle.

Leah: ¡Qué chévere!

Turbo: ¿Cómo?

Leah: Me gusta pasear la calle y visitar a el teatro.

Andora: ¡Mira!

Turbo: Jajaja La casa menor.

Andora: Los edificios muy antiguo y intrigante.

Leah: Sí. Muy intrigante.

Ashton: ¡Hola! Y Cálmate Turbo. Trinidad es hermoso.

Turbo: ¿Por qué?

Ashton: Me gusta sacar fotos y probar la comida.

Leah: Espera. ¿Dónde estás?

Ashton: Estoy en Trinidad.

Andora: ¿En serio?

Leah: ¿En serio?

Turbo: ¿En serio?

Ashton: Sí. Jajajaja

Ashton: ¿Qué vas a hacer mañana?

Leah:  Voy a Trinidad.

Andora: Debes visitar nosotros.

Ashton: Sí.

Turbo: Ugf
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"How To Lie With Statistics" PODCAST #1

​Here is our first podcast discussing our observations and opinions on the first three chapters of Darrell Huff's How To Lie With Statistics. 

Speakers: Eamon Kelly and William Derry

The topics that we tackled in this first podcast include...
- Examples of lies with Statistics
- Reasons why people choose to deceive / history
- Structure of the text

No big arguments were started in the discussion, but we did ask for each other's opinions on the topics we were talking about. Two main questions came up toward the end of the podcast:

1) Are we or will we be guilty of using the same tactics used in the book for our personal careers?

2) How will Huff continue to keep us engaged for the rest of the book?

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Science Of Laughter

For my 5 minutes of science, I decided to focus on laughter. Laughter is commonly associated with the frontal lobe and other unspecified regions of the brain that control emotional, cognitive, and motor responses. Laughter unlike talking or breathing, causes the body to lose air instead of bringing it in at timed intervals, hence the praise, "Dying of Laughter." There are not a lot of studies done on laughter. It is known to be something that is common in most mammals such as primates, rats, and famously hyenas, and is thought of as primitive and mating call-like. In the social aspect of laughter, you are more likely to laugh in a group of friends than you are by yourself. This doesn't mean it is all good laughter. There are two kinds of laughter known as Posed and Real laughter. Posed laughter is known more in social situations as a sign of understanding and engagement, while real laughter, also known as "helpless" laughter, is commonly associated with the response from tickling. This brings us to the stress relief part of laughter. Tickling is one of the most stressful physical acts that can be exerted on the body by another person; laughter is the only way to cause the body to not go into complete panic mode. Robert Levenson did a study at Berkeley College that involved couples being asked stressful questions. It was found that couples who laughed more during the experiment controlled their stress levels more than the couples that did not. 
The reason I chose this topic is because I am someone who laughs way more than I should and I wanted to know why. I found that I do to tend to laugh more when I'm trying to rid myself of a stressful situation. Also as a kid I would have long fits of erratic laughter where I couldn't stop, and didn't know what I was particularly laughing at. Maybe I was a very stressed 7 year old or maybe my frontal lobe was very active, either way it would being a satisfying solution. 

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SLA Poetry Team Wins East Division!

By Otter Jung-Allen

​Congratulations to SLA's Slam League poetry team for winning the East Division this past Friday! After five weeks of competition, SLA has beaten teams such as Strawberry Mansion, Mastery Lenfest, and Cristo Rey. SLA has earned the right to skip semifinals and the first round of Championships! We are on our way to another citywide championship! Props to all of the poets who touched stage this season and have worked hard to create a safe space for all Philadelphia's youth writers.

Make sure to save the date for March 27, our final showcase before Slam League Championships. More details to come! 

And remember: you can't spell SLAY without S-L-A!
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