100% Spanish

¡​Felicitaciones! Congratulations so far to both B band and E band Spanish 1 for speaking 100% Spanish in class today. Keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to a great school year learning Spanish together!

Here are some of the things we've learned to say in Spanish so far:
  • greetings in Spanish along with their signs in ASL
  • how to ask someone his/her name and to say your own name
  • some frases útiles (useful phrases) in the classroom
  • We learned this song: "¿Cómo te llamas?" by Gonín
So if you have a student in Spanish 1, greet them in Spanish!

Mr.Gerwer Letter of Introduction

Dear Science Leadership Academy Families, It is with great excitement and humility that I write this letter of introduction to you as newly appointed Co-Principal of Science Leadership Academy. Last year I had the opportunity to get to know our wonderful students, staff, and families and the unique culture of our community in the role of Intern Principal. My work took me into classrooms, across hallways, on trips, and anywhere else I needed to be to support our students and teachers. As co-principal, I will continue to focus on empowering members of our community to be the best versions of themselves by offering constant support and fostering commitment to our core values. 

Before coming to SLA, I was in the classroom for 12 years. I started out as a special education classroom assistant in Sacramento, California, then came to Philadelphia as a high school English teacher and Special Education case manager at Frankford and Dobbins High Schools before becoming the Special Education Liaison at Dobbins High School. My work has always centered around finding ways to design, create and support learning environments that are flexible in terms of student learning styles and abilities. In addition, I share SLA’s belief that students should do purposeful work based in their experiences and passions with the support of a caring community. 

As September approaches, all of us at SLA are working to make sure that the upcoming school year will be one which continues and enhances our legacy of innovation and success. We have a lot we are excited about in the coming year including integrating our new CTE programs fully into the life of the school, weaving in more interdisciplinary projects, and continuing to build on our ability to create learning opportunities that allow the application of unique skillsets, abilities and experiences. I look forward to working with Mr. Lehmann and the rest of the SLA community to grow our school. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions. I look forward to the upcoming school year and the chance to get to know everyone. 

Aaron Gerwer 
Science Leadership Academy 

Girls Volleyball Practice to Start 8/27

Tryouts for both SLA Center City and SLA Beeber students will take place on August 25th & 26th from 1:30 pm - 4pm at SLA Beeber, located at 59th and Malvern Streets. PIAA sports physicals are mandatory. Bring knee pads and a bottle of water.

*For incoming 9th graders at SLA Center City, students will meet immediately after the Summer Institute and travel to SLA Beeber with the volleyball manager. 

Updated Pre-season practice schedule
8/27: SLA Beeber, 1-4pm
8/28: SLA Beeber, 1-4pm
9/2: Lloyd Hall, 1-4 pm
9/3: Lloyd Hall, 1-4 pm
9/4: Lloyd Hall, 1-3 pm

* 9/8: First game of the season against Saul HS

For any questions contact coach Karina Hirschfield at khirschfield@scienceleadership.org.

Ultimate Frisbee Captains' Practice

There is an optional practice for all Ultimate Frisbee players - girls and boys - directly after Summer Institute on Tuesday through Thursday, 8/25-27. The teams will be leaving from Science Leadership Academy at 12:10 and will play through 2:30. Contact boys co-captain Jonas Bromley at jbromley [at] scienceleadership.org for more information. 

Cheerleading Mini-Clinic

There will be a competitive cheerleading interest "mini-clinic" on Friday, August 28, 2015 at SLA @ Beeber from 10AM-12PM with Coach Peggy Gilligan in the gym.  Please come dressed ready to work out.  Try-outs for the team will take place during the first week of school.  Please make sure that if you are planning on trying out that you have a CURRENT PIAA physical.  Coach Peggy will have extra copies if you need them to take to your doctor. 

Girls Soccer Practices During Summer Institute

Girls Soccer practice/tryouts will be held on the following dates:
Tuesday-Thursday, August 25-27 time TBD
Tuesday-Thursday, September 1-3 time TBD

We will meet at SLA 20 minutes before practice begins to walk to the field together. Players must have shinguards and water to practice and may not compete without a PIAA physical. 

Contact Ms. Siswick for more information at zsiswick@scienceleadership.org

Cross-Country Practices to Start 8/25

All students are welcome to join the 2015 Cross Country Team! All runners at every level are welcome.

Practice begins on August 25th, rain or shine. Please bring a water bottle and a piece of fruit. Here's the pre-season and beginning of school schedule:

8/25, 26, 27 : Practice from 7-8:45
9/1, 2, 3 : Practice from 7-8:45

9/7, 8 : No practice

9/9, 11, 14, 15, 16: practice from 7-8 am

On 9/18, we will resume our regular after-school practice schedule.

The first meet is scheduled for 9/10 at the Belmont Plateau.

Please email Coach Owens with any questions:


SLA Summer Technology Program

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2015-07-21 12.13.58

For the past three years SLA (SLA refers to both campuses of Science Leadership Academy, SLA Center City and SLA Beeber) has been running a summer program called SLA's Summer Technology Program. This program is in partnership with the Ellis Trust, The Charles E. Ellis Trust for Girls (The Ellis Trust) helps eligible young women in Philadelphia excel in high school and be prepared for postsecondary success.

This program not only empowers our students to be technicians that can fix all parts physical and software related to our one to one laptop program; they are also empowered as ambassadors of our school and the "SLA way". The girls participate in and help manage the events that take place at the center city location all summer long.

The program starts the weekend after the fourth of July and lasts until the last day of August. During this time SLA hosts a Summer Teacher Institute and a student Summer Institute.  The summer also holds tours for perspective students, interviews for perspective transfer and new ninth grade students and phone conferences with principals from both campuses.

The tradition, for the Ellis Trust, back when they had a brick and mortar school was to graduate each girl with a sewing machine. From the onset of the Summer Technology Program SLA's tradition has been to reward each girl with a laptop and printer for her service to the school. This tradition started with Diana Laufenberg for a graduate in 2013.

The SLA Summer Technology Program was started by Rafaela Torres, Chris Lehmann and Marcie Hull. The program has continued with the help of Mary Beth HertzAdrienne Williams, Jeremy Spry and Chris Johnson.

In the next weeks I plan to showcase all of the girls currently working for the SLA Summer Technology Probram. If the internet has any questions for them, I will be happy to include them in my interview. I plan to ask them about their experience and have them reflect on personal gains of having an experience like this one.

Current Members:

Marcie Hull - Technology Coordinator

Stephen Jones - Computer Support Specialist

Amir Davis - Digital Service Fellow

Leyitha Achoute, Student - SLA Beeber

Jaidah Murray, Student - SLA Beeber

Corinthia Bell, Student - SLA Center City

Tamira Bell, , Student - SLA Center City

Tiarra Bell, Student - SLA Center City

Past Members:

Abdur Saaba - Computer Support Specialist

Alisha Rothwell, Student - SLA Center City

Bailey Collins, Student - SLA Center City

Aateeyah Sharrieff, Student - SLA Center City

Dejanhia Johnson, Student - SLA Center City

Imani Rothwell, Student - SLA Center City

Korah Lovelace, Student - SLA Center City

Katherine Hunt, Student - SLA Center City

SLAphotolab "I am not the same any more" Exhibition (Tues, 6/16 630-830p)

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Another 75 students have completed an entire year of photographic studies. Come see their amazing work!

Join us for our 3rd Major Show since we formed in 2014.

All images are available (print to order) to help support the growth of our programming at Science Leadership Academy for the 2015-16 school year.

Help us
spread the word far and wide so we pack the house.

https://www.facebook.com/events/612268388875619/ (Links to an external site.)

for more info visit our site- roughcutproductions.org

Hope to see you all there,

The Real Cost Behind Cheap Prices

In my first blog post, I explained all the research I did on sweatshops. To remind you guys, a sweatshop is a factory or workshop usually in the garment industry where workers are exploited by being forced to work overtime, receiving low wages, toiling long hours in unsanitary conditions where they are exposed to health and safety hazards, violations of labor laws, and sometimes sexual harrassment. I read about many appalling cases where workers were abused and forced to do awful things like getting an abortion to keep their jobs. That lead me to wonder, if workers are being treated in such conditions, why do sweatshops exist? As I clarify in my second blog post, which you can find here, I learned that sweatshops are becoming the foundation of a ¨fast fashion¨ industry characterized by the relentless drive for speed.

Now, since violations of labor laws are being made all over the world, what is being done to raise awareness and elicit positive change? There are organizations around the world that are helping to ensure that the fundamental rights of workers are respected. A great example would be the Clean Clothes Campaign, an alliance of organizations from 16 European countries who educate and mobilize consumers, lobby companies and governments, and offer direct solidarity support to workers as they fight for their rights and demand better working conditions. Recently, they have helped to gather 30 million dollars in compensation for Rana Plaza workers after the building collapsed killing over 1100 sweatshop laborers. Another organization against sweatshop labor is the Fashion Revolution and they strive to change the fashion industry into an industry that values people, the environment, creativity, and profit in equal measure. To raise awareness, they ask people to participate in their Fashion Revolution Day on April 24 every year which is also the anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse. To participate, you can do the following:


My opinion on these tactics is that raising awareness is the right way to go. People do not realize that the instant gratification of a cheap new shirt is far outweighed by its social and environmental impacts. We are talking about a form of modern slavery here! If more people are becoming aware and showing support by asking where their clothes came from, spreading the word on social media, donating money to non-profit organizations, and avoiding brands where clothes are unethically made, companies will be pushed to make improvements by monitoring their supply chain and ensuring that none of their clothes are being made in sweatshops.

For my Agent of Change, I put up a clothing line signed by pledgers who agreed to purchase only ethically made items for the next 35 days. I first had to explain to them what a sweatshop is and how raising awareness would help with this issue and then I told them what brands they were able to shop at and what brands they should avoid. I was trying to raise awareness as well as getting people to avoid stores that have their merchandise constructed in a sweatshop. I felt very hectic trying to get signatures because I had to do a lot of talking over and over again and then they did not even sign the pledge. I was surprised that people were very honest and they did not sign my pledge just to sign it, the ones who knew that they were going shopping soon turned me down. As a result almost all of my friends refused, but they said that they felt bad. Because of this I was very frantic and got tired of repeating myself so much. I think that I could have made this better by going to advisories and explaining all at once what my agent of change is about. That way, I would not get tired of speaking and I think I could’ve gotten more signatures. What’s left for us to do is to abide by the pledge, and remember the real cost behind the cheap prices every time we shop unethically.




An ending to an agent of change

Agent Of Change

  • The purpose for my Agent of Change is that I want to get other people’s perspective about what’s happening today. With people’s thoughts combined, I can be able to do more that would help and understand and focus on the main concept to prevent violence and brutality.

  • I have permission to go around Philadelphia and getting people to understand the concept of what really happening in our society right now, considering the things that has already happened such as the I can’t Breathe Eric Garner case.

  • I have emailed my parents about this and they believe that there can be a chance for me to take advantage of it, to do everything you can to change and prevent as much as I can. I have also emailed my neighbors, friends, classmates, as well as my family members.

  • I am also working on a website so everyone can see  and hear my opinion about Domestic Violence and brutality with different topics upon what we can do, how can we prevent Domestic Violence and get opinions out there on social media so everyone will be able to see.

Hyperlinks: Blog Post 1, Blog Post 2

Things that have been done is sharing my blog out there, being able for people to see what they believe in and what they have to say about it is really important for the matter at hand. I’ve gotten so many feedback from people who inspired me to do more than this, that they acknowledge me to put my opinion out there, to put everything I know so far on a working piece that people can see and reply on. That is the reason why I created a website.

Link: Nate's Website

My opinion in the way these changes is talking about more and being able to do something, go on strike, talk about it to other people, do as much as you can to get the word out there, this isn’t a fight for ourselves, this is a fight to prevent violence to every black lives out there.

I have recently taken several surveys from different websites, as well as wearing a pin on my bookbag that says I can’t breathe on it representing Eric Garner. I have been apart in a donation for blacks lives matter, me and my mom who donated $20 together.

Doing this project was a dream come true for me, I feel like I have gained experienced a lot from this knowing the right path to take for human rights, as well as knowing my rights as a citizen and not abusing them, but knowing how to respect one another, but if we see others who are not respected or giving a good influence on others Don’t think were just going to stand by and watch, were going to do something about it, Doing this project was stressful but overcoming, I did it for a worthy cause and something I can see myself leading an example. A remembrance for the rest of my life. As i said, I learned how to be a better advocate and a lead of confidence towards others. What I learn from others is to do, then to think, because doing will get you somewhere in life more than thinking. What I think I could have done better is the deadline, I’ve noticed that I am really late and a little slacked off at the very end, but I am able to try my best finishing strong at the end. I think there is nothing left to do but to keep on fighting, we still need creative ideas, victory for us citizens isn’t done, what we need to do is Think before we do, we do take action before we think but if we want to surpass this, we must think of a way.

Annotated Bibliography

Editor, Author, or Compiler Name (last name, first name). “Name of Page (in quotes).” Name of Institution/Organization Affiliated with the Site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation/last update (if available). Medium of publication. You date of access. Website URL.

History Final Portfolio

This year in History has been an eye opener for me. This class has help me to see the world in a totally different light. Before this year I felt like I had vague understanding of the world in some aspects. I knew the surface of some topics, I never took the time or energy to actually dig deeper. I want to thank Mr.Block for aiding my classmates and I on this wonderful adventure. From pollution to colonization, our learning has been broad.  I’m able to teach others what I know and ideas that I have explored. Mr. Block helped us to see both sides of global issues. It’s always easy to see the obvious side of things but it’s harder to play devil’s advocate and try to understand the not too obvious side of the story.  I enjoyed learning how to do this, because if you know both sides your arguments are stronger. The courses I enjoyed the most this year were the Modern Revolution course and the Sweatshops trial.  

As mentioned in the previous paragraph the first course that was meaningful for me was the  Modern Revolution course. With that course we studied many old and modern day revolutions. We explored the Arab Springs Revolution along with the Yemen Revolution and we researched information about the Haitian and French Revolution. After exploring all of the Revolutions we were asked to create a digital story that answered an arguable question about Revolutions. My question was “ What does success mean in a revolution ?”.  I was very proud of my Digital story, because I feel like people define success differently. At the end of Digital story I wanted people to know that  “just because the initial is not reached in a revolution doesn't mean the revolution was unsuccessful.” Researching different revolutions also help to see that the use of non violence is always better than the use of violence. Non violence sets you apart from your opposer when they are using violence against you. It helps you to still have respect for yourself and your people. It tells the opposer that they can take everything away from you except your pride. I think that’s an amazing idea and concept to understand. While exploring the Arab Springs Revolution I came across a quote that really touched me and will always stick with me. Political Professor Gene Sharp said ”Once the regime was no longer able to frighten people and people then act wisely and keep non violent discipline, which is extremely important, then that regime is in big trouble”. This quote said to me that once you no longer fear your opposer, your opposer is in big trouble because basically now you’re unstoppable. It’s very true, because when you’re no longer scared you have nothing to lose and people who have nothing to lose are the scariest. The Modern Revolution course will always be one of my favorites.

The second course I mentioned was the Sweatshops trial. Trials always helped me acquire understanding skills. Knowing all sides to a story always make your individual argument stronger. Although the verdict for the trial charged my group the Elites with the most guilt points I still believe capitalism was the most responsible for the treatment of the workers. After the trial I realize everyone played in a part in the treatment of the workers even the workers themselves. It wasn’t just one person's fault. That helped me to see something with the bigger problems we have in today’s world. We do things but don’t take in consideration the effects it has on other people all around the world. It’s an unending cycle that I don’t think will ever stop.

Throughout the year I found answers to a great deal of questions I had. I feel like I changed as a person. My inquiry and research skills have really improved. History has really changed my thinking so much that I’m actually thinking about looking into teaching history for my major. I want to open the eyes of people and fill minds with knowledge just how Mr. Block did for my classmates and I.  

Animal Care-Grows and Glows

Throughout my You and The World project I had my ups and downs or my Glows and Grows. My Glows was the original research where I visited a animal shelter called The Paws Center and another animal shelter The ASPCA Center which is well known and I interviewed an animal volunteer. Another Glow is my Agent of Change where I made an Outdoor Protective Shelter for Homeless and Abused and Abandoned Animals. A Grow is my timing on the Agent of Change because if I had more time I could have fund-raised more money to build a better and bigger shelter than the one I built. Another Grow was the fundraiser because it was not really planned out as it could have been and students did not take my sale seriously and when I stepped out for a moment another student stole two products. I wish I had found a good place with homeless, abused, and abandoned animals where I could have put my Shelter, it could have been a better helped in a more populated area. My shelter will help better where help is needed. I want to know more about animal interest like toys and treats to add to the shelter so it can become more of an interest. My original research went well because I received a tour of the ASPCA building and I was allowed to interview one of the workers. If I could I would change the date of my visit because the first day I went I missed the worker I was going to meet because she clocked out the second I arrived. My Agent of Change is starting to work and a lot of the food and water supplied are disappearing which means it is useful. So my Agent of Change did have an impact I hoped for.

La Copa Mundial 2015 (World Cup 2015)

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​¡La Copa Mundial ha empezado (has started)!

Use the images and links below to help you answer the following questions about la Copa Mundial 2015. Respond in the comments:
  1. ¿En dónde es la Copa Mundial?
  2. ¿Cuándo es?
  3. El lunes 8 de junio, ¿los Estados Unidos (USA) jugó contra qué país (country)? ¿Quién ganó (won)?
  4. ¿Cuándo es el próximo (next) partido de los Estados Unidos? ¿Contra qué país?
  5. Mira el mapa de los equipos participantes. ¿Cuáles (Which) equipos son de países hispanohablantes (spanish-speaking)?
Click on this link to the official website of La Copa Mundial. Look around and find 3 other pieces of information that you understand en español.
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Civilian Police Complaints: Glows and Grows

I wish I had found a way to establish the disconnect between police and the people in a narrative. I wanted to show the human sides of each group that they're not just what the media portrays. I don't think I quite showed that they way that I wanted to. I know a lot already on this topic and I feel like anything I would learn would be on random research, Since I do do a lot outside of school research on things I find interesting.

       It went well. I think I could have taken more initiative and shown these people that I really wanted to interview them that they would’ve been more responsive to my project. I would change my topic as I mentioned, to the stigma of natural hair. To shed a light on how our society seems to value European standards of beauty above any other kind of beauty. How to make a crack in that giant glass system waiting to be shattered. I think one of the main things my final product was missing was the perspective of a police officer. It would’ve helped to show the prospective of the perpetrator and what they when a complaint launching incident happens.  

       I didn’t have as much of an impact as I thought I would. I wanted to show the more privileged parts of Philadelphia what is going on for the rest of us, what can happen when you involve police. I wasn’t able to get my petition to a high enough count that it could be view changing to many people. So they could take it upon themselves to learn more about the issues outside of their communities. No I did not have the exact impact I was hoping for but I did have some impact on how some students see police oversight as it occurs in the city of Philadelphia.

Memeflection - Glows and Grows

Now that my project is finished, I was able to look back at the full picture and see exactly how well it went. The process was quite lengthy, and even though we were given a lot of time to work on it, the deadlines were a bit chaotic and the fact that our school was also doing other programs added more confusion. Although, it seemed to go pretty well, I was not entirely confident on my agent of change. My research went extremely well, I found good sources and had access to someone that I could interview who really knew about the topic. I wish though that I knew even more about what people thought about when looking at memes and the psychological impact they have. My original research went really well because many people answered my poll and my interviewee was capable of giving in-depth responses, but if there was something I would change, it would be to get even more people to ask. My agent of change…. well that’s when things were getting a bit bad. I originally intended to make a documentary about Memes & Society but i figured that it wouldn’t really be eye-catching to many people. I then proceeded to change my idea and make a video Ad, but that left me unsatisfied. I had problems uploading it to youtube and that made me really frustrated. I feel like I was able to get good amounts of information and meet all the requirements, but I am pretty annoyed as to the quality of my agent of change. It isn’t that I did a bad job, well maybe I did, but it’s the fact that I was so close to being able to do something wonderful if only the deadlines were longer. If there was a recommendation I would make for this project in the future years, it’s that it should be a long-er-term project. That way people can truly see this as an agent of change instead of a deadline to a school project. Maybe also if we were to work in groups, or be more encouraged to do collaborations, the products could be much better.


This is my third blog post on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My first blog introduced OCD. It was very vague and was missing information. It also included my quiz on OCD. My second blog gave a brief explanation of what I had done and was planning. It wasn’t very thought out, but had my basic starting plans. It talked a bit about my results.

There are many organizations with a goal of higher OCD awareness. an OCD Awareness Week was even created! Many people have had fundraisers,I and other sponsored events. If your search the internet you can find many websites that focus or at least mention OCD. I like how these people take time to create and promote an entire event to help others. My own goal was simple, help spread awareness for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As mentioned in earlier blog posts, I made a video about OCD.(couldn’t put it here) It describes the basics of OCD and the different subcategories. I also show some of my test results. This video is rather simple though.

Members of a Scottish OCD Support Group cheer OCD-UK fundraisers in Glasgow in 2013.

OCD awareness event

So far, the only change i have made is raising awareness for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in my home and in a small area of my neighborhood.  With this project, I was very nervous at first because i’m not one for public speaking. I also couldn’t find a topic. I really don’t think I learned much from others, but I did determine what kind of OCD I have! I learned a lot more about this topic and wish I could have done more. I definitely could have done better with this project. I could have tried to work with an organization, raised money, or had a presentation. My efforts could have been better, and I was a bit behind on schedule.

Second Rule Of Safety ...... Be Safe!

In my first blog post, I talked about how teens are the causes of their own and other’s accidental deaths and how teens are not only distracted by their cellphones, but other people. I also talked about how hazardous teen drivers can be while on their cellphones and that teens need to be more aware about their safety while driving. The one big question that I had ending that blog post was WHY? The why question was for why do people keep on getting distracted and possibly not only putting their lives in danger, but others lives.

In my second blog post, I talked about how crashes are more common among the young drivers than any other age group and in 2009 3,242 teens from the ages of 15-19 lost their lives in crashes where the driver was distracted. I also talked about counting 500 cars, 126 of those drivers were on their phones and 26 of those drivers were actually texting while driving. The one big question that I had ending that blog post was HOW? The how question was for how are we going to stop this and spread awareness. That is the question that I am going to answer in this blog post and how I decided to find out for myself.


This was my pledge(on left) vs. what AllState already had in place(on right)

For my agent of change, I decided to convince a company, like AllState, to make a pledge that new drivers would sign as a friendly reminder not to text and drive. I then decided to ask an expert about their point of view on this topic and how safety is key. I went to an AllState office near me and talked to Ms. Rebecca Clemento about this topic and I had some questions:

What are the biggest dangers of teen driving?

What do you already have in place for managing cell phone use with new drivers? Does AllState have any incentives?

Are there any specific policies in place for teen drivers or new drivers?

Have the laws changed for texting and driving as the technology has changed?

What would be the effectiveness of the idea that I am proposing?

Do you think the laws will need to change for safety in the future? If so, how?

For the most part, I think that my agent of change went pretty well and was inspirational not only to me but to the people that I talked to about this. As I was doing this project, the thing that I enjoyed most was finding out all of this cool information that I never knew existed until I started this project. From this project, I learned that this topic was more widespread than I thought, but not as often talked about.

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A recurring question that I had in both of my blog posts was: Why do teens, and even adults, go out in the world of driving and continue to be distracted? This question has still yet to be answered, but with more research this question will be answered someday.

Annotated Bibliography

The Finale

During my research I discovered three different organizations throughout this whole project- Project 440, LiveConnections and Astral Artists. Before this project, I had heard of LiveConnections because our class went to World Cafe Live and saw a few Bridge Sessions (a wonderful experience!). I was delighted that there were these successful organizations improving the classical music community, especially in Philadelphia! I am very interested in reaching out to them and learning more about what they do and how I could become involved.

For my Original Research, I was very proud of my interview, especially since I had a failed survey. I would've wanted to of had another interview with possibly a student musician in one of my orchestras. Or an adult connected to of one of the organizations I found.

And finally, for my Agent of Change, I wanted Zach to have his presentation shown to my class but in the end, the logistics did not work out. So I reached out to Project 440, LiveConnections and a few of my instrumental teachers, looking for a presentation that could be shown to my class. After lots of correspondence, both organizations had to decline. Instead, I did a presentation to my advisory which, even though rushed, worked out in the end. Unfortunately, this part was very challenging for me. I had to completely turn around from expecting a presentation from an outside organization, to planning one myself and figuring out when and to whom I would present it to. I would have wanted to take this to the next level by asking more people to draw their reactions to pop and classical music, not just my classmates or my advisory. I could’ve asked teachers or even musicians. I think it would’ve been interesting to see other reactions to pop vs. classical and more artwork! Also, I wish I researched musical therapy more because I found it extremely fascinating and was disappointed I only touched on it a bit in my last blog post.

The Music Showdown

My first blog post was about the benefits of classical music. I found a few organizations such as Project 440. They are one of the many organizations that empower students to turn their passion for playing music into a passion for giving back to their community. My second blog post discusses LiveConnections and their three different types of programs- Bridge Sessions, ClassicAlive and LiveStudio. They “... inspire learning and build communities through collaborative music-making.” Another organization is Astral Artists, who want “To discover the most promising classical musicians residing in the United States, assist their early professional career development, and present their world-class artistry to the community through concerts and engagement programs.”

I emailed Project 440, LiveConnections and a few of my instrumental teachers, looking for a presentation that could be shown to my class. After lots of correspondence, both organizations had to decline. It turned out the Mr. Conyers, of Project 440, was on a European Tour with The Philadelphia Orchestra (their calendar can be seen here). For LiveConnections, there just was not enough time for them to put something together.

So I did a presentation to my advisory! You can see the slideshow here. A video clip of my presentation can be seen here. Unfortunately, my phone did not have enough storage so only half of it can be seen in the video.

I had them listen to two pieces, one pop music and the other classical. The first was “Roar” by Katy Perry and the second, the Allegro of “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” (A Little Night Music) composed by Mozart. These are two pretty different pieces! As they listened, I asked them to draw and/or write their reactions/thoughts/feelings. After listening to each song, a few shared their experiences and art. I was pleasantly surprised that a few of my classmates started snapping while listening to Mozart because I was all prepared for groaning and complaining.

The main purpose of this presentation was to open my advisory’s minds to new musical experiences. I told them, “If you enjoyed the classical music I played today, maybe try some more!” A few of my classmates said they felt relaxed listening to the classical piece. My advice to them was to listen to classical when you’re tense. And to those who felt that pop energized them- listen to pop music when you are tired.

According to Healthline, “Scientists at the University of Missouri have found that people can boost their mood simply by listening to upbeat music.” “Music therapy has been used for centuries as a way to restore energy, improve mood, and even help the body heal more naturally.” and is ‘the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals.’ ” according to the American Music Therapy Association.

Here is a picture of my classmate’s drawing:


They said, “The classical music made me happy so that's why I drew so many happy faces. And for Roar it made me feel more agitated and aggressive. That's why there's ‘Grrr...’.”

And another classmate said, “I don't really like pop music, so when I first heard it I knew that I was not for a happy ride. I drew more jagged because the beat was all the over the place. However when listening to the classical piece I felt more in peace. I drew smoother waves and wrote the words relaxed and serene. Overall, I would say the classical piece is much better for focusing and using as background music. Compared to the edginess of the pop, you get hung on the words.”

Here’s their art:


Overall, I am proud of my Agent Of Change. I worked hard to connect with outside resources and even though in the end it didn’t work out, I stayed strong and created something on my own. I really enjoyed this emotional artwork, as I will call it. To take this to the next level, I wish I had more time to ask other people, not just my classmates or my advisory. I could’ve asked teachers or even musicians. I would’ve wanted to see others’ reactions to pop vs. classical and see their creativity shine.

Annotated Bibliography

You and the World Final Post

Sydney Montgomery


English 1

June 5, 2015

Blog Post Reflection

I wish I could have found a lot more information for this project. After starting the project I realized that I didn’t even know what I was looking for. I had my mind set on so many different ideas and didn’t even take the time to really think them through. For my original research, I decided to interview the school psychologist. The interview went wonderful and I loved all the information that she gave me, but afterwards I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do with the information or how I could benefit from it. My research had just become worthless. If I ever had to do this project over, I would do an entirely different project. Maybe me doing something that I was this passionate about wasn’t the best idea. Me being this interested in my topic made me want to go all out on it and realizing that I couldn’t do these things frustrated me. I had to keep settling for less because my ideas just didn’t fit in with the time I had. At first I wanted to do a field observation at my old school, but I didn’t know what I was looking for. So many questions came to mind that made me think about I could possibly benefit from that research and I couldn’t find one positive answer. If I could do this exact part over again, I would get way more organized so that I could a lot more information to work with. I would do the same with my agent of change too because that part for me went absolutely terrible. Again, I had plenty of wonderful ideas but had to think about time. As soon as I thought I found the one for me, things started to go wrong again. People didn’t answer my survey, then when I finally did get TWO responses I couldn’t even work with that. I got my pictures late, and the two people I thought would rescue my project never gave me the one I really needed to complete this task. After this I just gave up because I didn’t quite see the point anymore. My project was a complete failure and did not at all spread the message I wanted it to.

Sponsors for Immigrants

Blog Post #3:

Blog 2

Blog 1

Hey, nice to see you guys again!

Originally, for my Agent of Change, I was going to do a fundraiser for the organization that I was hoping to work with, but there had been many technical difficulties. I had many ideas like teaching at a school and teach things about immigration. But through many hardships, I have decided to make a website here.

This is the front-page of my website.

I wanted to point this towards Cambodians, as you can see, there is Cambodian dialect under the English phrases. I tried my best translating it from English to Cambodian without using a translator and often going to my parents and other relatives for help, as they are immigrants from Cambodia. I was in a hurry so I to use the website, Weebly, which helped me a lot when it came down to my last resort.

On the website I talk about how in the past being a sponsor was a very dangerous thing. This is during the war when people looking for sponsors would get taken and killed. Today there are people that want to be sponsors in an effort to help others in bad countries. I made the website to show the good side of sponsors because when people hear migration they think of illegal immigrants. But sponsors just help start the process so that the immigrants can come to a country legally. I talk about this in the about section of my website.

Screenshot 2015-06-08 at 7.07.17 PM.png

I also talk about the history and talk more about sponsors in the front page of my website.

Screenshot 2015-06-08 at 7.08.33 PM.png


Quarter 4 art was a drag for me. I didn't know what I was doing have of the time and most of my drawings did not not set the standard for the instructor nor myself. As the marking period decided to come to an end I choose to focus on my work and try to produce The best possible work I could. For My art project I drew a Volcano because because something on TV. I drew a dress Because I went to SLA's fashion show On May 1st. I drew arabic letters with the translation islam because that resembles who I am. For my last drawing I drew a self portrait because I wanted to see how i would look on paper. So all my drawling came to life from my world. So even though I dreaded Quarter 4 advanced art it taught me how to bring my ideas to life in a drawing.