My capstone, as stated above, entailed the
use of dredged material, or excavated soil from the bottom of rivers/lakes that
has mineral/organic properties, to better the environment. Dredged material is
seen to be a very dirty, useless substance that is contaminated and is
inefficient. That is why so much dredged material is dumped in landfills and
other areas to just sit there, and that hurts the environment. The truth is
dredged material is actually very beneficial for many things such as
aquaculture, wetland restoration, planting, and much more. It even has research
studies to prove it to be so. Since I have ties with the EPA, I wanted to get
this dredged material that is being ignored and neglected and put it to good
use by using the material to plant trees in my Northeast Area and to better the
community garden of SLA. Throughout the process, it gave me amazing insight on
dredged material and also the process of actually getting an initiative like
this one to happen.
The question I had inquired for my Capstone was “Are you able to experience culture, simply throughout food?’ In future plans, I want to become a baker therefore making me want to take this aspect of cooking and add it to my Capstone. I’ve researched the seven continents looking for recipes that would best fit and it turned out that I had successfully found cookies/biscuits for each continent that also held history to each continent as well. With each continent some how, and someway I was able to finance the supply to make each from scratch. I have learned that you actually can experience culture throughout food and I’ve been able to do this just by making cookies/biscuits originated from each of the seven continents.
Lehmann supporting my Capstone!
Me explaining my Capstone to Mr. Miles.
For my Quarter 4 benchmark, I chose to report on abandoned buildings in Philadelphia and the process of building restoration in the same. The most challenging part about this project was figuring out where I was going to find my information. I knew what I wanted to touch on in my project; I wanted to address different historic buildings and I wanted explain the process of getting an abandoned house demolished, but I didn’t know where to look for this information. Despite my confusion, I kept working and came across many online newspaper blog posts concerning the themes that I wanted to include in my Benchmark. When I started to look at these posts, I found this information. I also went to government websites to verify that the information that I found in the articles was true.
I had already begun a project similar to this one my Junior year of high school when I was asked to do a project about a historic building in my neighborhood. This was when I first gained full awareness of the Old Edison across the street from my grandmother’s house. As I dug into its history, I only became more and more fascinated with this neglected building. This had to have been one of the greatest projects that I completed during my high school career, therefore, I decided to piggy back its idea in this benchmark. Moreover, I have always held a fascination towards abandoned historic houses in Philadelphia, but they never seemed to be given much attention. I also wanted to address the problem that we have with abandoned buildings and neighborhoods in general. In my articles, I wanted to raise these issues which not many people pay attention to. Restoration and preservation of not only historic houses in Philadelphia, but also Philadelphia neighborhood houses could increase its attraction factor and build the character of communities.
I feel like many times this issue goes disregarded because most people feel like it does not immediately affect Philadelphia communities. They think that jobs and economy are priority issues that we must handle in order to get us back on a good foot. What they fail to recognize is that all of these things are interlaced. The more houses that we fix, the more jobs we will have, and the more income we will receive because of the increased attraction factor that our sites and homes hold. Restoration of buildings will in fact push us to fix issues that hold priority in our city. I do think that this issue will get more attention in the future because more and more people are beginning to realize that not only do abandoned buildings pose a threat to surrounding houses, but they also hurting our economy.
Through this project I learned that there are laws that protect certain historic buildings at state level and at a national level. I also learned why abandoned houses in Philadelphia aren’t just knocked down. There is a whole process that the Philadelphia Department of License and Registration must follow in order to give permission for the house to be destroyed. I also learned of alternative methods that we could adopt to increase house restoration in Philadelphia.To see my articles, click here.
Giving Hope To Children (GHTC) is an organization dedicated to helping children in Sierra Leone with their educational and everyday needs. This organization was founded by two students who believed that giving back to their community is very important to humanity.
children that have either lost their parents or live with single parent, who
just have families that are too poor to fund their educational needs like
paying for their school fees, buying their uniforms, school supplies or
sometimes even have enough to eat.
· What did you find most challenging about this
One thing that I found challenging about the project is finding different organizations in Philadelphia that do the same work GHTC is doing.
· How did you go about finding this story?
This story was easy because the founders of GHTC are my sisters. I have been looking at them step by stem and I fell like this project was a good way to applaud them of what they are doing and hopefully get them noticed by people around the world.
· Why do you think this story does not receive
The only reason I can think of is that, the organization is not well known. Sierra Leone itself does not get noticed as much, so a project that is still rising will be hard to get noticed.
· Do you think this story will get more
attention over the next
few months? Why? Why not?
Yes, because my goal and dream is that from this project, GHTC will get noticed and broadcasted to a bigger, diverse and broader audience.
· What did you learn?
I learned that in order to make change in a nation or country, you have to take a step that will make a different regardless if you get help or not. I want this project to be my first but not last step that I take to create change and better my country and others.
The topic that I did for my capstone is Web Development. This project will enabled me to not only prepare a digital portfolio for my intended major in college but also give me work experience by designing multiple websites for several organizations and I produced a career related project in order to achieve my goal.
This process has been a long journey that started well before this year but I’m very proud I was able to create such a masterpiece and share it with everyone. The name of my company is called Starks Incorporated; it is a web design company specializing in WordPress, Flash, and multimedia as well as social networking. Over the past year I have been able to build a small list of clientele, which include different non-profit organizations as well as privately owned businesses as well.
Early in 2011, I was informed about a non-profit in need of a digital makeover and I was chosen to redesign the site. The end result was great and I enjoyed making it. Other non-profits include SLA’s very own RoughCut Productions, Global Youth United, MpazaK, and Secret.org. I learned a lot more about web design in terms of different languages, improved my knowledge of different applications such as Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator, and read really interesting reference books for my work.
Overall I had a great time designing and creating this project and if I could do it all over again I would get the word out maybe a little more about my company but for the most part I’d keep things the same.
For my Capstone I would like to base my project on two questions, “How much do people know, and care about animal extinction, and world conservation?” and “What are the best ways to give information about these topics so that the listener would be interested in what is being mentioned?” The reason why I chose this topic is because I have a big interest in animals, and their life. Also since over the years I have been working at important animal organizations such as PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) , The Philadelphia Zoo, and The Academy of Natural Sciences. At each of these organizations I have obtained different skills that deal with animals, and people. Mainly these places try to focus on the topic of world conservation, and animal rescue.
What I found challenging about this project was trying to find the right pictures to relate to globalization and having to explain it. 2 of the images that I found in my project wasn’t straight forward of how it related to globalization so I had to use the knowledge or information from what I know which was challenging. The two images were a security camera and the Philabundance hunger relief center.
When going about or collecting the images I was trying to find things that was relevant and had a strong history relating back to globalization. I just didn’t want to go use any random pictures. As previously stated I was just trying to find things that were relevant and showed a lot of history.
I really don’t have a favorite image. Looking back it is really challenging to choose because each of these images represent something different and unique about each one. With the images representing something and teaching something new about the history it is difficult to choose a favorite image.
I would say Philadelphia is really prevalent is the evidence of globalization. Philadelphia is very diverse city. Other Cities along with Philadelphia is very diverse. People from other countries are sometimes forced to leave their countries to go find opportunities. In finding the opportunities people go to the US and spread out within every state.
What I learned was that I had to remain patient with trying and figuring out what images I had to use and gather. Once I was able to stay patient and calm with things I was able to get through things. I’ve really learned that it takes many websites to find the best information about each of the images and that how some things are not straightforward.
• What will be your topic of conversation be?
Sports, deportees, in other countries.
• What are 5 questions related to your conversation goal that you can think of ahead of time to ask your partner?
- ¿Te gusta deportes?
- ¿Qué deportes juegas?
- ¿Qué deportes se puede ver en la televisión?
- ¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito?
- ¿Tiene usted un atleta profesional favorito?
• What are you looking forward to about this conversation?
It will be interesting to see what sports are popular there versus the US.
• What are you nervous about?
Not everyone likes/plays sports so it may be difficult to have a good conversation about it.
• Who did I speak with and why did I choose that person?
I spoke to Luiz, 16, from Brazil. I chose to speak to him because he was around my age and I thought the conversation would be easier and simple.
• What did you learn about them?
I learned that he likes soccer and basketball. He also told me that people knowing about American football is rare in Brazil. He's only seen one American football game.
• How did this interaction help you move towards achieving your personal goal?
It helped me get a better idea of what life is like for a south American teenager. In many ways it's very similar to my own but there are definitely some differences.
• What specifically did you do well according to your goals/expectations?
I learned about sports in Brazil.
• What specifically do you need to improve on? (Quote specific things you said or did and what you would have done or said if you could do it again)
I wish I could have continued the conversation for longer and get more information.
Bell peppers are probably one of the easiest vegetables to collect seeds from. Mainly for the fact that all their seeds are found on the core of the pepper, and the process of removing them is really simple. You first cut the pepper but try to avoid the core, basically cut around the core, that way it’s easy to remove the core and seeds. Once you cut the pepper, you remove the core. Once the core is removed, you then take a knife and carefully scrape the seeds off it. You then take the seeds and place them into a bowl and let it dry for about 3 days. You will know it is dry when you can snap them in half. Once they are dry you can just put them in a container and or envelope, label them, and BAM! You got yourself bell pepper seeds for the springtime. One of the cool parts about these seeds is you can actually store the seeds up to 3 years. So you have some time to plant them.