Blog Post #2: Finding a Cure for Cancer

Hi again! As you may have read in my first blog post, my name is Gabrielle Cromley and I am doing a project called You and the World for my English class at Science Leadership Academy. I chose to write about finding a cure for cancer and how the lack of government funding is preventing researchers from saving lives. Since my last post, I have looked into the emotional and financial burden that cancer brings upon people.

Cancer brings just as much if not more emotional pain than physical. It causes depression, anxiety, distress, and fear in the patients and their loved ones. Below is an excerpt from a pamphlet about how cancer affects your emotional health by the American Cancer Society. Click here to read more.

“In people with cancer, these feelings may be caused by many things, including changes in how they are able to fill family or work roles. A person with cancer might feel the loss of control over life events, and have to deal with changes in body image. They might feel grief at the losses and changes in their lives that cancer brings. They might fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. Family members and caregivers may have these feelings, too. They are often afraid of losing their loved one. They may also feel angry because someone they love has cancer, frustrated that they “can’t do enough,” or stressed because they have to do more at home.”

As for the financial effects of cancer, it does not only have an impact on patients and their families but on our entire nation”s economy. For patients, their medical bills depend on their method of treatment and the severity of their illness. Cancer is a very expensive illness to treat and research. Research is so expensive since there are so many types of cancer and there is a lot of needed equipment and supplies that go into it. This is also a global issue since, “More people (in the world) die from cancer every year around the world than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined,” as stated in The Global Burden of Cancer by the Livestrong Foundation. If we could globally fight cancer, we would probably be on the edge of finding a cure. This is not currently possible, because world peace does not seem to be achievable yet. Till then, we should fight against cancer as much as we can internationally by researching with other countries that we are at peace with.

As part of my own research, I created a survey which I sent throughout my school and posted all over my social networks. The point of my survey was to learn how much people are informed on this subject and what their opinions are about this issue. Also, adults and kids my age responded to this survey. The results of my survey revealed that people are not informed on how much the government funds to cancer research, the effects of medical malpractice, and that they only had pretty vague understandings of what cancer is. Most of the responses to the question, “What is your understanding of cancer?”, said that it is a deadly and terrible disease that is caused by abnormal cell growth and reproduction. They did not state the emotional, mental, physical, and financial toll that it has on its victims, their families, and our world as a whole. Also, 83% of the people who filled out the survey know someone who has been affected by cancer. The results from the question, “Do you think there is enough federal funding for cancer research,” were that 53% of the people did not know how much the government funds cancer research, 37% said that there should be more funding towards finding a cure, and only 3 people answered that there is enough funding. To view the rest of the results of my survey, click here.


Part of Survey Results

The outcome of my research supports my claim that people are uneducated on funding and the repercussions that cancer has on people. I also learned that people know little about infections within cancer patients, but that they are somewhat familiar of what medical malpractice is. The results indicate that many people care about this cause and they want to make a change, but the negligence of the government to fund toward this issue is restraining our potential. I learned that my topic is important to many people and that cancer is more common than it is thought to be. People are willing to support, but they are going to begin to give up if there isn’t a change in the governments priorities. Not even just cancer, scientific research itself should be more of a priority to United States and to the world, because science and technology is the gateway to the future.

There is already a lot of awareness about finding a cure for cancer, but there is not a lot of pressure on the government to put the people’s ideas into action. In order to bring the government’s attention to this subject there needs to be an effort by people everywhere to contact their representatives, join groups that support cancer/scientific research to take part in their activities, and stand up to make a difference instead of sitting back and waiting for others to take charge. There should also be more awareness to aiding cancer patients and their loved ones with the effects of cancer that I spoke about previously. Anybody can help by volunteering, donating to families suffering from the financial struggle or to hospitals that do not charge families for their medical needs like St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital. There needs to be a lot of people to fight to make these changes which is why we all must take a stand.

Even after my research, I still wonder about other people’s points of view. I want to know what doctors who are affected by funding and people who work for the government or are in Congress think. This would allow me to hear arguments that oppose and support this problem. I would also like to learn more about how research funding is spent.

For our You and the World project, each student must put their ideas into action so that they can make a change for their cause. This part of the project is called the Agent of Change. To make a change in cancer research, I am planning on creating my own team for the Race for the Cure Walk in Philadelphia. I will set a goal for my fundraising, get sponsors, and donate to finding a cure. This will also allow me to meet cancer survivors and interact with people who are also fighting for this cause. I hope to be able to fulfill this goal, but setting up a team requires a lot of support and hard work which I am willing to put forth.

Annotated Bibliography

YATW: eating disorder #2

Blog #2:

In the first blog i focused more on what happens to the body when a teenager goes through an eating disorder. After doing an interview and new research I inquired a few new things.  Some girls that suffer from eating disorders do it because they would rather deal with physical pain or put emotion into something else rather than deal with emotional pain. Its such a common misconception that girls just don't eat to lose weight and they can start eating whenever they want. But that is completely not true, not eating is also very similar to self mutilation its a way to hide behind what is really wrong.  

For my second blog post I had to conduct our own personal research. The options were fieldwork, surveys, or lastly the one that I choose to do an interview. My subject was a PHD student at PECOM. I felt like this would have been the most effective choice for me because she has spoken to many teens with eating disorders; and could really understand the mental state of somebody suffer with the disorder. Since i did an interview i did not really receive any statistical information. While i did inquire a lot of useful information. First I found out a lot about triggers and why it can be more common in a teen than an adult. Being in school surrounded people that are all different body types. Can pose a physical threat which makes a young person question themselves.  Being in a social environment daily can cause pressure to fit in or pressure to be the best at whatever you do; and sometimes that can be out of a students hand. So not eating is a thing that they can control. Something that no nobody can take away from them. To conclude that school itself and everything that comes along with it can be a main trigger.

Finding out this information really helped me with my YATW project, because most parents in particular look at school as a place for children to learn and be with friends. Which for a lot of kids it is, but in some cases it can be a place of fear and sadness in many young teens. Another reason the information as well as the interview process was helpful is because i was really able to get a deeper level of understanding what really effects tennagers with eating dissorders. And i needed to get that perspective so i would be able to help as effectively as possible when i go on and do field work.

As said in the previous paragraph this information really helps me with my issue, because sure a lot of people don’t really realize why. The issue is so much deeper, learing more about what trigger the appetite suppression can really help stop a lot of the problems early on. A person can be doing really well in the recovery process but at any given moment  it can be set off if the patient does not have the proper outlet. I also learned that girls in particular when it comes to triggers can really never let that particular thing but the thing that people need to recognize is that its how we can better understand how to hekp with ways to try and forget what made us unhappy.

After doing additional research I was able to form more of my own opinions about teen eating disorders.  I realize that there really are really not a lot of places or people that really understand the mental hurt in a patient. I feel that there needs to be more attention payed to high school children that maybe are not the happiest. That why these teenagers are able to get so out of control with their disorders because people are just so blind. I always knew that eating disorders were more than just wanting to lose weight but my eyes were opened to so many more reasons behind the disorder.

There are still a lot of things that I would like to learn. For example I would like to talk to a treatment facility center and learn different treatment methods out of the very few that exist. I also want to venture more into how eating disorders can cause other issues like anxiety and depression. And if so how, is it more likely for a teenager to suffer with other issues while going through remission? I am also left wandering in not eating is encouraged by society is i really unavoidable to have these sort of issues?

For blog number three i would like to take the idea of some of the dove commercials but apply it in a school setting. By doing some activities as well as i quick lesson. My goal is to help kids my age understand that we all have worth, as corny as that sounds. I want people to understand that we all struggle with presser being the way we look or even academically. So i will be taking these ideas to my advisory and have us all talk about what we fear and dislike about ourselves as well as others.  And take that a connect it to eating disorders and how they all relate.

To access the interview: Original research

YATW Blog Post #2: Animal Nelgection

​Hello everybody I am back and here to inform you more on Animal Neglect. So in my previous blog post I mentioned Kitten neglection here in Philadelphia and how it affects the city. I have posted stories on examples of how they were neglected and how awful it is to look at this. Now I would like to discuss the topic on Animal neglect in general and I have been doing a bit of research and decided to make a survey about this topic. They are based on basic knowledge to appeal on others opinions. The first question included a ratio in which the viewer would think what a homeless person to a homeless animal is, 14% thought it was 1:1, surprisingly 0% was for 1:2, a solid 43% thought it was 1:3, another 14% thought it was 1:4, and the remaining 29% thought it was 1:5. The results for this was very surprising, I expected a good percentage to pick 1:2, but no one appeared to choose it. Many of this answers were a good shots at trying to get the correct answer, although the correct answer is 1:5, that 29% got it correct without even knowing so congrats! I believe that this answer would be correct because although there are many many homeless people there are also a lot of stray animals. There are more stray animals then you actually think, although you see many people out there asking for money that also don't have a home or food or maybe even family, there are also much more stray animals out there that also ask for comfort and food and the slightest bit of attention so that they actually know that there are people that care for them. I think that this is very wrong and something that can be fixed. Although there are animal shelters that are full and can't accept animals into theŕ hold you can also give an animal to people who would need the company. THere are plenty of homeless people out there why not give them a companion they can be with, they both know that they are secure with someone they would wanna be with. Doing this would be killing two birds with one stone (not promoting animal violence), you get to help the community doing two things. Although this seems like a good idea, there are plenty of other ideas that can help out in the community with issues like these. Just helping out would make a big difference.

Many of the animals that will be helped would be of the biggest population there is, cats. Now on my survey I asked  a agree disagree question to get the opinions of those taking my survey. Screenshot 2014-03-03 at 7.00.07 PM.png

As seen here I wanted to know if it was true for them if cats in particular were abused more than dogs and dogs in particular were used just to make profits off of. Here were the responses of the viewers. I hate the fact that their are people who say that dogs would be more abused than cats reason being that it is not true, they are either equally or less abused than dogs. I believe this as my own opinion because I have seen many of the stray cats that have walked around on my block and I have never once seen a stray dog in all of the states I have ever been to. Here in Philadelphia on my street I have seen with my own eyes that cats have been mistreated very badly and have been messed around with like a toy, this is unfair and discrimination towards them. ¨A dog is a man's best friend¨ is a saying commonly used and is true because a dog is most likely to find a home than a cat would. It is upsetting to think that animals in general are treated differently between one another and can be thought of ways through merely  little stereotypes between animals. This is like your common types in human diversity, it similar in animals. I wanna be able to help trying to shut out these stereotypes. So, to make a difference I will be doing field work on my block by creating a bake sale at my school to help raise money to provide stray animals on my block with shelter and food to keep safe in the harsh moments of the seasons. This is something that would be rare to find someone to do. Something your normal person would do is volunteer at an animal shelter, but I find that to be cliche so I decided to do this. I just hope to have this work out!!!!!bake-sale-sign.jpg

Blog #2: Update on Animal Abuse and Cruelty

Hello my fellow readers and welcome to my second blog!  As you may know from my first blog, my You and the World topic is animal abuse and cruelty in America. If you did not read my first blog, please click here. In my first blog, I talked mainly about what animal abuse is and the different types of abuse. My main goal is to promote to the community the end animal abuse and cruelty  and to teach people with the knowledge that I have learned, to treat animals with respect.

           Over the past couple of days, I've been researching online for new news, dealing with animal abuse and cruelty. I came across an article on the New York Times dealing with an issue in Idaho where Governor CL Otter has signed a bill that will make it illegal to film acts animal abuse on agricultural farms. Anyone who is caught will have to pay a $5,000 fine and  serve a year in jail. Curious about the subject, I decided to dwell deeper into this story. I found a rather extensive report of this story on ABC. The reason why this bill was created was because of the actions of Mercy For Animals,  a non profit organization, who secretly filmed the physical and sexually abuse of cows at Bettencourt Dairies. The owner of Bettencourt Diaries was getting death threats and that’s why the bill was put in place (yeah, right). To read the story, click here

Here you can see a worker kicking a cow in the face. This is from the video filmed at  Bettencourt Dairies

While reading this, I became upset because Mercy For Animals was only trying to help. They were trying to promote the acts of wrongdoing through the media. Is that wrong? Now that this bill will be put into a law, cases of animal abuse and cruelty will forever go unnoticed and people will continuously support these so called “animal friendly” organizations and companies. Would you want this to happen?

This time around, I wanted to conduct my own original research, so I decided to interview some staff members at the Francisvale Home for Small Animals. They are a non- profit, no kill shelter located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. All of the staff there were extremely  patient and made it no problem to work with me even after such short notice. It was very exciting working with them and having my questions answered. Below is one of the questions I had asked:

“Question: What triggers people to commit animal abuse/cruelty?”

And their answer was: “Lack of education, frustration, mental health problems, lack of money and also the owner may have suffered abuse when they were younger.”

That question was followed by : “How can I prevent animal cruelty?” Their answer:   

You can learn about positive enforcement and when you witness your friends or relatives or anybody mistreat an animal, you can teach them the right ways to treat them. You can also have an animal abuse officer come teach a class and at 17 or 18 volunteer at a local shelter.” Click here to view the rest of the interview.

I was shocked to hear that one  reason why some people commit animal abuse is because of lack of knowledge. My main focus is to now educate others of what I learned so that way, animal abuse won’t have to be a problem. For my role of Agent of Change, I’m thinking about volunteering at a shelter to gain more knowledge so I can share that with others. Hopefully after doing so, I can host a fundraiser where Human Law officers and I teach the community on ways to prevent cruelty and abuse as well as have people donate money to go towards animal shelters that focus on animals victims of abuse and cruelty.

Stay tuned for Blog # 3!

Click here to view my annotated bibliography

Blog 2 YITW and AFC

You in the world - by Tuyet Corson

 Research blog 2.

This blog is my second blog about adoption and the effects. Blog1 was all about what I new and things I researched online. My topic is not common because its not something talked about much. But for me it was very important topic to talk about because I didn't really like that I was adopted. There are parts of me that think adoption is bad for the children because they don't have a choice where they are placed and they don't understand why their birth parents would give their child up. I have learned that adoption is really great and you have to understand not everyone wants their children for one reason or another. My family is really cool and I love them even though I am not blood related. For other adopted children I can't say what they have gone through but I can say adoption has given children loving home and they are surrounded by acceptance. I found this quote that I thought was really cool. ¨Adoption is not about finding children for families, it's about finding families for children.¨by Joyce Maguire Pavao, founder of the Adoption Resource Canter in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I have now done some out side research and found out really options on this topic.

I have chose to do a survey about adoption to find out what people really think about adoption. My survey was geared toward adopted kids. I wanted to see what there opinion was and how it has effected them. But my survey results didn't really go as planned. The Survey was sent out to my school but my results were almost inconclusive and showed very little help. I did find that most people took the survey were very supportive of adoption. But as of now only 3 people who took the survey where adopted. Which didn't help me to find any clear answers on this topic. I did a little more online research on adoption and found some very cool websites that talked about adoption. The websites help me will a little more detail of what adoption can be like for a child.

This topic holds a lot of tough questions and they seem to be come bigger every time I think there is answer. Adoption can be great and not so great for the people that are in on the process. A child gets a home, the two adults get a child, and of course there is the group that gets money. But sometimes there is pain,love, and miss understandings. Pain being if the adopted child has difficulty understanding why they where adopted. That child may have question their adopted parents can not answer. Then the adopted parents can go under a huge amount of the mental abuse a adopted kid could put them through because they can't answer those question. Love is where those question can be answered. I know I have done a lot to my adopted parents emotional and mental because they could not answer my burning question. But no matter what I did I know they love me and I have to accept that even though we are not blood related we are family. The miss understanding is when the parents of adopted child has all these unanswered question. My survey may have not answered my questions but I will find my answers

My next blog will be about how I can effect change. This is a project seem to get me off guard because I didn't know what I could do. But now I think I have a very clear plan and a good idea of what I could do. I want to do a presentation on adoption in two places one being at my current school Science Leadership Academy and my Quaker meeting house. They will be only a 30 mins long with a short question and answer groups. I want to do that so people really see what adoption can do to children. I believe if people have more knowledge on the effects they can more under stand adopted kids. There is always more then one side of the story for most and I believe I could try to give balance between both.

So to end this blog on a happy note. I wanted to say that adoption is not all bad. It can be the best thing ever. But understand that an some adopted children has question and will always be trying to get those answers. Don't brush things under the rug and be real if you can't answer them you can't answer them. My hope is that some will understand where I am coming from and why adoption is not always a clear path. You will hit bumps in that path and you have to take time and smooth out those bumps. 

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My family- To the left-Jean Prestas-Eric Corson-Tuyet Corson

I am adopted and I couldn't ask for any thing better this is my story and my project.


Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Unknown and Hidden Facts Blog #2

  Hello, It seems as if I've kept you interested enough to continue on to my second blog regarding Alzheimer's & Dementia. Once again, I'm Jamilah Woodards of Science Leadership Academy and I'm here to give you some more updated information on my topic of Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Unknown and Hidden Facts. Just as a reminder, my ninth grade English class in currently in the process of completing a project that goes by the name of You And The World. This gives us students the opportunity to go out into the world and choose a topic that interest us. We'll be able to conduct research and with our research, find a way to become an Agent of Change regarding our topic in the Spring (which is taking forever to come).

  In Blog #1 post, I gathered a lot of information regarding costs to fund a patient with either of the diseases, stereotypes of the diseases, and definitions of what Alzheimer's & Dementia is. I was able to share how costly it is and how Medicare and Medicaid only pays for a portion of the funding and how a lot of the money is out of your own pocket. Also stereotypes of how much can a person of either of the disease can manage to still do and etc. Although the information given in the last blog was very insightful, I wanted to open up other topics regarding Alzheimer's and Dementia.  

  After my past research, I wanted to look more into how Alzheimer's & Dementia affects the caregiver and the family of the patient. Since I was apart of a family of a person who had one of the diseases, I already had an insight and opinion on how families are affected by it. Yet, I wanted to create original research from a person who was a main caregiver of an Alzheimer's and/or  Dementia patient.

  For my original research on my topic, I decided to conduct an interview with my mom. I chose to have an interview with my mom in order to get an inside perspective on how it is from a caregiver's point of view when dealing with someone of the two diseases. The interview held between my mom and I did not last very long, but the information that I gathered from her helped me a lot.

               Group of words based among Alzheimer's & Dementia

  One thing that stood out that was said by my mother in her interview with me was that although there were a lot of things that my grandmother could remember, things of her daily, monthly, and yearly routine were sometimes forgotten. With that being said, I did some more research and came across a website that gave lots of caregiver information that my mother seemed to agree with in her interview.

Check out the transcript from the interview on Alzheimer's & Dementia held between my mom and I in the link below.


  For my Agent of Change portion of my You And The World, I've decided to do a fun activity with my advisory. The activity will be a memory game. The memory game allows us young teenagers to appreciate the strong memories that we have now and to appreciate them.

Agent of Change Banner

  After all the research that was completed thus far, I feel as though my knowledge and also the readers of my blog are steady increasing. There has been a lot of information obtained, but it does not stop here. Stay on the lookout for my Blog #3 to see how I accomplished my Agent of Change portion!

Stay Tuned!!!

Annotated Bibliography

The City Still Looks Stupid - YATW Blog post # 2

During my last post, the most I talked about was what exactly was happening in the education field with minorities, and inner city kids. I felt it appalling that the scores were so low and that there was nothing being done about it, not even a glimmer or speck of fixation. I went into this project wanting to know what the hell was happening, and what was going on. I wanted to understand why the city’s drowning in ignorance. Its really hard to deal with going into the project, being apart of the group and/or classification of people that I’m taking a look at (Inner city children and Minorities). Since my last blog post, I’ve been searching vigorously for more answers but have sadly come up short; perhaps the bulk of the information I’ve received recently, comes from the people I’ve talked to, along with my own perception.

For my original research, I decided to take it to the base of education that I know, an immediate source, my own principal, Mr. Lehmann. I decided to conduct a short interview on Mr. Lehmann asking him questions that get directly to the point. The basis of my questions was to make or ask Mr. Lehmann if he understood what the problem is. I asked him how should we go about the problem, and if given the opportunity how would he fix it. It feels wrong to say he didnt give me any straight answers because he did, I think he may have over explained himself to the point where It would get outside the point of the question.

Though, I received good feedback nonetheless. As far as results go, Mr. Lehmann blames the tests, saying they are ‘inadequate’, I could not agree more. His main argument was that a standardized test cant measure the level of someone’s intelligence. You can read more of the answers in my research notes here. The research really helped me understand the issue more, I felt like hearing these words from someone who was actually official helped with my comprehension and understanding of the problem.  Now that more research has been done and I received more knowledge than I had previously I finally have a chance to put my voice in things, my opinion. Honestly its tiring looking into my research because you can get so upset and distraught when there’s something, a problem, right in front of your face and you havent the slightest clue on how to fix it. It gets so frustrating looking into these things, because you receive way more questions than answers.

What would I do if given the chance? Im not sure, but what I do know is you cant blame the kids for this, nor their household. Blame the city. Blame the fact that there’s poor schools, and lack of education. Blame the fact that when there’s a problem the city doesnt try hard enough to fix it. Blame the fact that the lack of education in children is at the world’s fault. I’m not sure what else is need to be said, nor what needs to be done, but I do know what the problem is and I’d really like to fix it. For my agent of change portion, I have no clue what I’d like to do, though I’ll strive my best to contribute in any way possible, and think of something, anything to make it easier.

Check out my annotated bibliography here

How well known is Leukemia?- YATW Blog Post #2

Hello, again! My name is Talya Laver and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy.  In my english class, we have been doing more work on our You and The World projects. The topic I have been focusing on is Leukemia. To refresh your memory, Leukemia, as well as Lymphoma, Myeloma and Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), are all blood cancers.  In my first blog post, I explored what Leukemia is, the different types of Leukemia and different organizations that are looking for cures as well as great places to donate. For this blog post, instead of doing a lot of research on the internet, I conducted my own research in the form of a survey.  

The goal of the survey I conducted was to see how well know Leukemia is compared to other types of cancer. I did not know almost anything about Leukemia and had never known anyone personally affected by the cancer before my aunt was diagnosed. Going into the survey, I thought the responses I would get would support my idea that most people do not know anyone affected by the cancer and do not know much about it. I was not completely wrong. I received 47 responses to my survey, the largest percent of responses from people in High School (Grades 9-13), closely followed by people ages 31-45.  

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Response to Survey

On my hypothesis that most people have not personally known someone affected by Leukemia or have been diagnosed with Leukemia, I was not proven wrong. Although over half of the people I surveyed had said they have not know anyone affected by Leukemia or have been affect by Leukemia, it was not exactly the response I had thought I was going to receive. I had thought that there was going to be a much larger difference between the number of people who have been or have known someone affect by Leukemia and people who have not had that experience.  The gap was only three responses.

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Response to Survey

That was not the only area where my hypothesis was not proven wrong.  59% of people who responded to the survey said that they were Not Informed or A Little Informed on the topic of Leukemia. Only one person felt they were Fully Informed on the cancer. This does not surprise me, especially due to the responses to another question I asked, “Which type of cancer do you hear the most about?” 89% of people said the type of cancer they hear the most about is Breast Cancer. This question went hand-in-hand with the next question I asked, “Which type of cancer do you know the most about?” The responses to this question were not quite as concentrated as the previous, yet no one said the type of cancer they knew the most about was Leukemia/Blood cancers. 

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Response to Survey

In addition to conducting my own research, I have also found some new information published on the topic since my last blog post. On February 11th, it was released that a “Researcher discovers new target for leukemia treatment” for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The research may have identified a powerful protein in the development of the cancer. This could become immeasurably helpful in finding treatment and cures for Leukemia.

Keep your eyes out for my next, and final, blog post!

To view the work sited, click here.

Blog # 2 Autism Does Matter

Hi, this is Chhievling again from my blog #1, "Autism Matters"! As I had mentioned in my first blog I adore kids, so this is why I had chose to research about autism and on how it have affected children and adults. Here is a quick summary of my first blog, but feel free to click on the link and check it out for yourself!

In my first blog, I had mentioned a lot about the struggles of people living with autism and what they have to go through everyday. There's quite a majority of children and even adults with autism who can not do things independently. They need the extra help, and there is nothing wrong with that. Although, the issue with that is, they are not treated the same in society. Children living with autism need the extra support, a plan that will work for them. Autistic children would learn more efficiently if they have a specialize learning plan just for them. Schools all over the states should hire more teachers who are specialize in teaching kids with autism. As I had researched, there are organizations and schools out there who help support autism, but that does not mean there are enough throughout the states. Yes, 1% of U.S children are diagnosed with autism, a ¨small" percentage, but that does not mean it should not be looked at and be taken into consideration. That 1% could be your best friend, sister, brother, relatives, son, daughter, etc. These children need our help, they are our future, such as teachers, doctors, and veterinarians. We need schools to be more open with the idea of extra help and specialized learning plans for kids who are struggling because of autism. If they get their base foundation built in education, and get the help that they deserves, they will certainly achieve many goals. The children are going to feel better and not feel like they're alone and hopeless. Most of all they will start to believe in themselves and work harder to achieve anything they want. One positive outcome will be their motivation to overcome their disabilities, to be able to do things as any other people.

Since my last research, I did find out a bit more about autism. I knew that there were different kinds of autism, but in this research I found out exactly what they were as shown at, "What Type of Autism is it? Identifying Six Main Types." There are six main type of autism, Autistic Disorder, which ranges mild to severe symptoms, it is a developmental disorders causing the child to lack in communication and connection with others. Another is Regressive Autistic Spectrum Disorder which is a form of autism, where a child of 18 - 24 (1 - 2 years old) start to regress. This occurs in 20% - 30% in children diagnosed with autism. On the other hand, Pervasive Developmental Disorder is when a child show that he/she have some autistic traits but are not enough to be categorize under autistic diagnosis. While, Asperger Syndrome is a mild type of autism, a child with asperger are fine with language skills, but struggles in social skills. Another form of autism is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, which is a very rare case of autism that occurs in children ages 2 - 4, where they lose their language, social, motor, and other skills. Last but not least is Rett Syndrome, it is similar to Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and is also rare, but the only difference is that Rett Syndrome only occurs in girls. Those are new information I found since my last research.

I did many research online, but for my original research I had interviewed Ian Say, my peer from advisory, who also happens to be diagnosed with Asperger Autism. Be sure to check out the questions and answers from the interview! After interviewing Ian, I did hear some similar stuff to what I had found out through researching online about Asperger. He is doing alright in school work, but his downfall would be socializing and understanding the feeling of another person. The difference about the interview was being able to hear from an autistic themselves, on how life is living with autism. Ian had actually said to me, "You know there is no cure or treatment, right? It's something you have to live with." Even though I knew it was something people diagnosed with autism have to live with, hearing that was actually like a hit of reality. Imagine living with something you have to work around, fight against mentally, overcome everyday of your life, wouldn't that be hard? As tough as it is, the part that gets you most is knowing the fact that there is no cure, at least not now.

I feel that autism must've affected many people and families emotionally and mentally. After all the researching and interview, it's more clear to me now that autism is more than the fact of struggling to live a normal independent life, but is the lifestyle that they have to live with. Autism is more than what it is said to be, a disability, the struggle to understand, or to communicate, but what matters is that it had affected many innocent children and adults lives. It is not in their control on whether or not they are diagnosed with it, it's not their fault that they are not able to live independently. That is why they need our support and love and letting them know it is okay to be different. Starting from education, giving kids with autism the right care, education, and support, I believe they will be as successful as any other kids out there. Also, adults with autism have a harder time finding a job compared to other adults who don't. This topic was also addressed in a CNN Health article, either way I think of that as discrimination. People should not be denied from a job because of their disabilities. They should be given a chance, a little time to get the hang of things, society today need to slow down, because there are important people that's left behind.

I am more passionate than ever on researching and finding out more about autism. Although, I still wonder if there was ever a case with autism where the person was no longer affected by it, and had overcome it. I also wonder if doctors are closer to finding a cure for autism, especially with the medical and technological advancement of today. I believe that there is always a solution to a problem. Finding a cure to autism someday would be life changing, but for now we got to take our time to listen to and understand the people with autism in order to help them. Remember, autism is not only a disease or a developmental disorder as many of us come to see, because it's the lifestyle of many.

Now, I have been talking a lot about autism, but what is it that I am actually going to do about it? For my agent of change I am planning to volunteer and help out at a daycare, taking care of children diagnosed with autism. If I ever get the chance to do so, I would be more than grateful to volunteer, because as I said children are a soft spot in my heart. Also, I am thinking about doing a bake sale in order to raise money for an organization that supports autism. All the money I raised will go to that organization which will help families affected by autism. Like the saying, don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk. Be sure to catch me on my 3rd blog, so until then say cupcake and hold the cheese!


This picture is from I chose this picture because it shows a creative way of representing autism.

Click here for my annotated bibliography,

Teenage Violence YATW BLOG 2

Hello everybody. This is Devia again with my second blog post about violence in youth. If you weren’t able to read my first blog, you can access it by clicking here. My first blog had a lot of information about what can influence an adolescent’s violent behavior, like peer pressure or a low IQ. Along with that, it gave insight on the rising of teenagers’ participation in violent activities, articles and statistics that support that statement. My first blog also contained information about the increase technology has on a youth’s violence and how much our generation is affected by this.

While researching, I’ve been trying to collect new information to go along with my topic. I’ve also been trying to find more recent statistics as well. One website that I have encountered is one of Drexel University's. Although it may not be much, the website still gives some potential causes of youth violence, which I didn’t realize before.

Another website that I used before can also be used for more information now. The Philadelphia Police Department has a page full of crime maps and statistics. The page, which you can view here, is interactive. Not only can you view up to date statistics on homicides throughout the city, but you can access the amount of assaults, rapes, and/or homicides within a set time period for any specified part of the city. That information can be combined with this. The point that matters most says that juveniles were accounted for 16% of all violent crime arrests and were accounted for 11% of all murder victims. That, together with the Philadelphia Police Department, would make for roughly 5 juvenile homicide victims year to date.

Another part of my research included an original research piece, for which I decided to conduct a survey for. The survey asked a group of 8th graders their opinions and personal experiences with what could be the beginning or youth violence. The survey's results showed that over 80% of the teenagers interviewed had been physically hurt by another youth, which can be used as an example of youth on youth assaults and bullying as well. The results also showed that two-thirds of the adolescents had seen a weapon and half of those who’ve seen a weapon, also held one and/or attempted to use it to hurt someone else. When asked their opinion on youth assaults on peers versus adult attacks on youth, most people responded that the latter was worst because adults should know better or because it is taking advantage of the child’s age and vulnerability. When asked what influenced a person’s violence, the most common responses were that it was technology, their environment, or just their feelings in general. Lastly, when asked who how much of a role a youth’s surroundings and technology played on their violence, majority agreed that it depended on the person.

The original research I conducted gave me an insight on the many different perspectives people the same age can have on the same topics. It also helped me realize that not everyone is the same so therefore, there can be an infinite amount of reasons why a youth has a violent nature and the ones I found online are just the tip of the iceberg. Moreover, the results of my survey made me conclude that there is a lot of work to be done in understanding the ways youth violence is differentiating and whether if youth were to be put into groups based on their age, environment or race, the causes would change. I also wonder why youth violence is not at a steady increase or decrease and is instead, happening at various percentage changes. I also am wondering why it is so hard to find more recent data and statistics on youth crime rates. To help change the issue of youth violence, I am thinking about going back to my old school where I sent my survey to. There, I plan on talking with the older children about youth violence prevention and the consequences and repercussions that come with crime and violent acts. Make sure you tune in for blog post number 3!

Screenshot 2014-03-03 at 1.59.35 PM
Screenshot 2014-03-03 at 1.59.35 PM
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Screenshot 2014-03-03 at 1.59.55 PM
Some of the results from my survey.

Click here to view my annotated bibliography and my resources used for the creation of this blog.

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

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.  


YATW: Blog #2 Sex-Trafficking in India

sex trafficking
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
Screenshot 2014-03-03 at 8.16.54 AM

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