Harry Freed Capstone

Earthboy in studio
Earthboy in studio
Grant Pavol in studio
Grant Pavol in studio
Art is expensive. To attempt to record an album, one must either have the funds to buy or rent the necessary gear or have the funds to buy or rent a recording studio. High school students are an often artistically-interested group of people who don’t have the funds to bring their sonic dreams to life. For my capstone project, I have provided these resources to students. I know many music-makers within our high-school and within the school district of Philadelphia who didn’t have a place to start with getting their music into the world, and I became that bridge for them. The basement studio that my dad and I (mostly my dad) have put together is much higher fidelity than what most kids have access to. Even with minimal production, live takes recorded in my basement sound relatively good compared to garage band in a bed room.
Over the course of the year, I have invited youth artists into my basement to record releases for them. Then, I send them the files, mix the tracks (poorly, because I don't know how to mix) if they want me to, and leave them with their music. Through this, I have learned a lot about organization, sound engineering, collaboration, music composition, music production, and musicianship. This capstone has no single, culminating product, for it is an ongoing process. Here, though, are some samples from what we've all recorded, for your listening pleasure:


Annotated Bibliography:
Morgan, Scott. "The Differences Between Music Producers & Engineers." The Differences Between Music Producers & Engineers | Chron.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. This is a very simple website with some more jargon that isn’t necessarily covered in the “Jargonbuster” source. This source discusses the differences between producers and recording engineers as well as the similarities between producers and recording engineers. It gives thought to what producing and what record engineering entail, and what producers and recording engineers have to do in their jobs. The source even talks about how one becomes a producer or a recording engineer. For my capstone, I have to balance the involvement of a producer with the technicality of a recording engineer. Being the only third-party voice while I work with artists means that I have to carefully curate what I bring to the table.
Baca, Ricardo. "As albums fade away, music industry looks to shorter records." Timesfreepress.com. N.p., 4 Jan. 2010. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. This is a look at what consumers want, or at least at what executives think they want. Though I’m not taking the capitalist angle in my capstone, I think it is valuable to see every angle of the industry in which my capstone dwells. I think this contrast between the record industry at large and the often unprofitable DIY artists I see in Philadelphia is very interesting. Many of the DIY accts in Philly seem comparably marketable to big-label bands. Basement shows feature tunes that are at least as catchy as radio rock tunes, yet they remain relatively fringe. I think part of the reason is the difficulty they have in recording all that they want to at a high enough quality. My service allows these bands to enter that pantheon.
Bryan-Kinns, Nick. "Mutual Engagement in Social Music Making." Research Gate. University of London, May 2011. Web. This source describes design features intended to increase mutual engagement in social music and presents a set of techniques for identifying mutual engagement in music making. Though this source focuses on digital platforms for music creation, the philosophy that they apply to such platforms is informative for the philosophy regarding my capstone. It believes that overbearing edits can hurt collaboration, which is useful knowledge in songwriting and studio work, and it has the data to back it up. It also suggests that sharing space, virtually or physically, can improve musical output. Above all else, it considers “mutual engagement,” an academic term for “teamwork,” to be the high water mark of collaborative music making. In my project, I have to be committed to being involved with what artists want to see in their music. This source’s message of collaboration will inform how I work in the studio.
Byrne, David. How music works. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2012. Print. Who would know how music works better than David Byrne? It is autobiographical in its mentions of the history of Talking Heads and its history of Byrne’s influences, but it really does address the titular concept. David Byrne’s fixation on musical spaces (like African plains or like cramped New York clubs) is very informative. Given that the bands I record all play shows in basements and record their music in basements, this awareness of space is important. It changes how the music should be recorded, and perhaps how it should be appreciated. It moves me to consider what I’m missing out in in this experience: how different would my capstone be were I recording affluent, popular arena artists? It would likely be a lot less freeing and a lot less fun.
Morton, David L. Sound recording: the life story of a technology. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins U Press, 2006. Print. This source is now ten years old, but many of the technologies in recorded sound relevant then are relevant now, the difference being that we stream rather than download and our music is on our phones rather than our .mp3 players. The important technology that unites this era with that era is the relatively recent portability and accessibility music. This book’s account of the rise of portability in music sets the scene very well for the bandcamp era that my capstone finds itself in. The most important thing I glean from this is how special my recording setup is. It would barely have been conceivable 20 years ago to have an affordable recording studio in one’s home; accessible music recording was rare at the time of this book’s publication and even today. This source really reaffirms my belief that my access to this technology is special and that I am doing a special good for those who record with me.
Stearns, Matthew. N.p.: Bloomsbury Academic, 2007. Print. 33 1/3. The record that this book deals with has a sound simultaneously harsh and lush. It very rarely features instrumentation beyond the standard guitar, bass, and drum combination. The studio is used in this album to help the many layers of guitars find different tones and different sorts of interplay. This book thoroughly examines the impact of the music, the image of the band, and the process of recording it. All of these angles are informative for my capstone. The reasons for the album’s success are applicable because they may be the reason that anything I record is found to be successful.
"Stories from a Pro: Butch Vig." Butch Vig: 20 Years After Nevermind. Izotope, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. In this interview with Butch Vig, Vig, among other things, compares the process of recording Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Garbage. For “roomy, trashy” stuff with Garbage, he used lots of ambient miking, whereas for Smashing Pumpkins’ “Siamese Dream,” he close mic'd amps for a direct, “in-your-face” sound. This source is most definitely trying to sell something, but if the parts where references to the website’s product are shoehorned, this is a pretty good interview. Ambient vs direct miking is a constant consideration in recording, especially in my capstone. Knowledge about how organization in the studio affects overall sound is important, as is knowledge about the phase shift that may come with it. Interviews with great recording engineers helps me to make my own decisions.
Taylor, Gregory. "History of the Oblique Strategies." History of the Oblique Strategies. N.p., 1995. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. This source is a history of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, including all of the Strategies. They exist to inspire people in the studio to try new things when old things don’t work, in very abstract ways. Considering Eno’s success in the studio and his reliance on the cards, I’d guess that they’re working. The cards make me long for free time I can spend soundscaping with artists in the basement, finding tones that fit moods. My role as an engineer/producer should be inspiring musicians when something doesn’t sound the way they’d hoped, or worse, when something sounds the way they’d hoped and they realize they don’t like it. These alternate angles will assist me in that.
Tingen, Paul. "Steve Albini." Sound on Sound. N.p., Sept. 2005. Web. Steve Albini is a god among record engineers. His philosophies about what an engineer should do, what a producer should do, and what musicians should do in studio inform my philosophies on the same topic. In this interview, he actually talks about the logistics of recording, which is fascinating. I obviously don’t have access to the breadth of gear that he does, but with what I have, I can try to emulate his setup. Regarding vocal compression, which I always find tremendously difficult to get right, Albini says “I normally compress the vocals about 4-6 dB or something like that — generally, at the quietest passages the compressor is not doing anything, and at the loudest passages it's doing 4-6 dB." I’ll think of that whenever I’m in the basement.
Wilkie, Godric. The Studio Musician's Jargonbuster A Glossary of Music Technology and Recording. N.p.: Musonix.co.uk - J Robertson, 1993. Print. This source is exactly what it sounds like it is, a glossary of terms related to the art of recording. These terms are useful in songwriting and in studio work. They are are a language unique to musicians of all sorts. Terms like “mode” are used by songwriters and music theorists, but for an engineer, understanding the language of those that they record is invaluable. It all relates back to collaboration (which happens to be a core value of the Science Leadership Academy) and communication. Also, definitions of words I’ve taken for granted, such as “amplifier,” are interesting to see. Everything in music engineering seems to be less like a single thing and more like a parameter that lots of technology fills.

Improving The Care For The Youth

Improving The Care For The Youth

Hi, I’m Niya and for some time now, I have been doing some research on Problematic family. Basically I am going over the problems that happens in family homes such as abuse. It talks about how children are affected by the family homes and feelings they may come across while in a group or foster home. We aren’t really aware of what happens when no one is around. What if these problems are still going on in the oster or group home the child is staying in? Some people don’t really care or think about it as much as people like me. This can become a bigger problem and here is nothing changing to make sure children are safe and in a great group or foster home, To read more about go read my first post.

In my first post, I didn’t include something which would be very important to this project which is DHS. ( Department of Human Services) DHS is a child care system what protects children from bad parenting or abuse in homes. These people are big responders to any type of harm to children in their homes. Social worker play a big role in taking children from abusive homes and putting them into new group or foster homes. If you are interested in child welfare, there are people that will come to your home to see if everything is fine for a child to stay there with a gurdan.

Yes being in a group or foster home can be very stressful. So me children don’t believe that they should be there and they choose to run away from their foster or group home. In Oklahoma City, children were sexualy asstulted and after running away from state custody. You would think, why? Why would they run away just like that? This says that something is going on that others who care are not aware of.  Check out this situation about the abused runaway children.

I have recently interviewed a friend of mine named Orlando. Orlando is 15 year old  has been in 2 foster homes in his life for about 3 years. He says he has never liked foster homes . The first time he has ever stepped foot in a foster home was when he was only 6 years old and he says he didn’t feel comfortable and they didn’t not treat him like he was wanted there. He was also scared and had lots of problems that he can’t explain. While in foster homes, the only person he said he could count on was his sister who was also in a foster home but at the age of 17, it wasn’t required for her to stay there so she had left. Orlando says if he was one of the most important people working for the foster care system he said he would “Talk to kids privately and see if they are experiencing any problems in the group home. Mainly just talk to them and see how their foster parents and siblings are treating them.” You should see more of this interview with Orlando.IMG_7103.PNG


Also if you are looking for more information, I suggest you go check out my annotated Biography!

Eating Disorders: How Aware Are You, Really?

Hey everyone, I’m back again to tell you more about eating disorders. For an overview about what they are, see my last post. To recap, eating disorders are a medical issue when a person’s diet and relationship with food is severely damaged in some way. There are four categories of eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge-Eating Disorder, or Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFEDs). They can cause a person’s body to rapidly deteriorate to the point of death, if not treated.

This is a bar graph from my survey, showing students' feelings on how educated they are, in general, about eating disorders.
This is a bar graph from my survey, showing students' feelings on how educated they are, in general, about eating disorders.

Last post, I didn’t talk much about treatment for eating disorders, so that’s what I’m going to talk about now. According to Akron Children’s Hospital, treatment for eating disorders “focuses on helping kids cope with their disordered eating behaviors and establish new patterns of thinking about and approaching food.” This means that the affected person is being coached to think more positively about food and its purpose as nutrition, not to be abused or deprived of. There are different types of treatment: short-term inpatient, partial inpatient, intensive outpatient, and outpatient care. These can be combined or used one after the other, like a timeline. First is short-term inpatient, which is used when the patient is too physically or psychologically unstable to be home, and needs to receive medical help and/or therapy everyday. Then there’s partial inpatient care, where the patient needs to be at the hospital often, but isn’t a danger to themselves if at home. After that comes intensive outpatient, which means that the patient is home full-time, but receives medical and therapeutic help on a regular basis. Finally, there’s outpatient. This is when the patient has reached a much more stable relationship with food and life, is becoming much healthier, and is just in therapy, usually once or twice a week. Throughout the recovery process, it’s estimated that about 168 hours per month are invested in healing. However, sometimes treatment for these disorders are hard to get. In fact, less than half of people with eating disorders actually get the help that they need, with the statistics going as low as only 6% of patients getting treatment (this rate for bulimia, specifically). Part of this is due to people’s unawareness of what eating disorders are and how dangerous they can be. It’s also sometimes due to lack of health insurance to be able to pay to get checked into inpatient care, for the sometimes required medical tests and medicine, and therapy.

This is a bar graph from my survey, showing students' feelings on the amount that eating disorders are talked about in SLA's community.
This is a bar graph from my survey, showing students' feelings on the amount that eating disorders are talked about in SLA's community.

There also seems to be a stigma around eating disorders due to a lack of knowledge. I conducted my own survey, distributed to SLA students via the advisory memo and direct confrontation, and asked about how much the students know about eating disorders, how aware they are of their prevalence, how they learned about eating disorders, and how they see them in our community. The answers were downright dreary. Of the polled students, almost 70% have known someone with an eating disorder, and 22% have had one. That’s crazy, that eating disorders are so common, even in our own community. I also asked about what eating disorders people have heard of, the majority being Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. This shows that awareness for eating disorders is low, to the point where only one or two disorders are widely known. Wake up, anorexia isn’t the only eating disorder! To see exactly how people think, I asked the recipients what comes to mind when someone says “eating disorders”. The most popular answers were: “Anorexia and Bulimia”, “skinny girls”, and “overeating”. This shows that people have a very one-dimensional view of eating disorders.

This is a bar graph from my survey showing students' answers as to whether or not they've ever experienced knowing someone with an eating disorder.
This is a bar graph from my survey showing students' answers as to whether or not they've ever experienced knowing someone with an eating disorder.

To see how students felt about eating disorders in our community, I asked about what they knew and felt. On a scale of 1-5 (1 being “I disagree completely” and 5 being “I agree completely”), students were asked to rate how much they agree with a statement. Most rated a “4”, for whether or not they feel eating disorders are a problem in our community. What’s outrageous is that not a single student said that they completely disagree that eating disorders aren’t a problem. That means that every student to take my survey thought that eating disorders are at least a little bit of a problem in the SLA community. Most people also rated a “2” on the statement “Students are well educated on eating disorders.” Therefore, the majority of students who took my survey think that we should learn more about eating disorders. I agree with this, because I have never, in any health or eating course, learned about eating disorders. I was never talked to about eating disorders, I learned about these disorders from a book and the internet, like a large number of my surveyors. Most of the people who took my survey also agreed that eating disorders aren’t talked about enough in our community, which I personally agree with.

This is an image from my survey that shows students' feelings, in a rating of disagree to agree, on whether or not eating disorders are a problem in our community.
This is an image from my survey that shows students' feelings, in a rating of disagree to agree, on whether or not eating disorders are a problem in our community.

As you can see, I and other members of the community feel that eating disorders are an under-communicated about problem. Eating disorders aren’t talked about much in our community, meaning that the only information people get about eating disorders, if any, is from their own research and the internet. Shouldn’t we be learning about this stuff in school, or from our parents? How can we know how bad these things are for us if we barely even know what they are. If someone finds out about bulimia, but doesn’t know all the consequences, they may think that it’s okay to get food out of your system in those ways. This needs to change. Therefore, I am going to raise awareness for my Agent of Change piece of this project. I intend to make one or two posters to hang up in our school, talking about eating disorders and their statistics, and to make a video. This video will talk about my own experience with eating disorders, as well as what they are and treatment for them. I will also include help resources for any struggling. I intend to show this video, perhaps at a grade-wide advisory if possible. Tune in next post to see how this all goes!

For more information, visit my Annotated Bibliography!

Joel Johnson Capstone

My capstone involved homeless and donations. I joined a youth program at Project Home.  Project Home is an organization that helps tackle the challenges of homelessness in this city. I volunteered in their youth group in the summer of 2016. While at the program we accomplished a multitude of things. While I was there I learned about homelessness overall.  Each day we traveled Philadelphia volunteering at different places that sometimes had nothing to do with homelessness but was linked to helping prevent it. After the whole program, I decided that I wanted to do something similar for my capstone. Throughout the school year, I planned how I would execute that out. I decided that I would hold a one-week competition between advisories. Whoever donated the most amount of clothes would win a pizza party at the end. Throughout this process I learned time management, Outsourcing, working with others and public speaking.


Imani Weeks Capstone

For the past year, I have engaged in research on the topic of food deserts. For my Capstone, I decided to extend the research I’d collected on the topic and make my research actionable. In my original plan, I wanted to work with community centers in Camden, one of the worst food deserts in America. I planned to work with teens, teaching healthy eating techniques. I also wanted to work with the centers to start community shuttles to regional farmer’s markets and large grocery stores. Finally, I wanted to engage the NJ Department of Agriculture to design mobile farmer’s markets. However, after repeated conversations and email to community centers and the NJDOA, the lack of response hindered large portions of my plan. 

Instead, I reconfigured my plans to reach as many teens as possible, beyond Camden.  I created a website for teens where I: condensed my research (nationwide statistics, health risks, preventative measures) for informative reading; and compiled an index of teen friendly, healthy, quick and inexpensive recipes for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. The site also challenges users to think about ways they can combat food deserts through education, advocacy and accessibility, my three areas of action. I will share the site with representative centers in the top ten food deserts in the country along with a request that we make combating this problem a joint priority.  

Throughout the project, I learned the difficulties of working with outside organizations and the importance of flexibility, perhaps increasing your original outreach capabilities.  

Capstone found here

Annotated Bibliography found here

Griffin Gallagher Capstone

​For my capstone, I tasked myself with creating a self sustaining fish tank. I wanted to learn about aquatic ecosystems. For my final product, I created a website that explains how I made my tank, and the steps for you to make your very own “Forget Me Tank.” I decided to call my project the forget me tank because once you set it up, you can essentially “forget” about it. You do not need to clean it or add food to the tank, that all happens naturally through the organisms that live in it. In the beginning I got a little frustrated because I could not get my tank to survive. After a few more attempts I finally got my tank to last, and it's still surviving today. I have not had to do anything to the tank for over two months. If I were to redo this project, I would purchase a larger tank, so I could experiment with a more diverse ecosystem. My capstone taught me a lot about what goes on under water. It means a lot to me to learn about this because I would like to study marine biology in college. I believe that this project gave me an opportunity to further my love and knowledge for marine life and environments. 

Website  http://forgetmetank.weebly.com 
Bibliography https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/document/d/1m17epi93mbDp93qLhWaDKNA2sRdPnMazY1Szb4nusoE/edit?usp=sharing

Jahmar Askew's Capstone

For my Capstone, I've successfully started a nice environmentally safe "iPhone Repair Express" shop. This was a win/win situation where not only was I teaching others how to make repairs but to extend my broad knowledge of how  iPhones work. I fixed over 10 iPhones here at SLA and plan to continue my work in and out this wonderful space of learning. I looked to YouTube for some help but really got things done from repairs and things I've done before. Lots of people at SLA asked: "When did you start fixing phones?", "How you fix this iPhone?", "Can you fix my Phone tech man?".
 From there not only did I fix phones I also started to branch out to many of the devices that we use today. Chromebooks, Macbooks you name it! The most challenging part about this was that I wasn't able to have the right supplies, therefore I started up a GoFundMe to get help with those things making the prices to get devices fixed way cheaper that it actually needs to be. 
 I plan to continue my journey to become a certified Electronics technician. While also repairing others devices I've also rebuilt an old Apple Mac tower from 2008. I was able to put some of the latest software into it and make it run faster than ever before!

Quick and Easy MacBook Repairs That Will Save You a Small Fortune

Adam Estes - http://gizmodo.com/quick-and-easy-macbook-repairs-thatll-save-you-a-small-991788866

With this i will be able find out what ways i can take pieces of a computer i have and put them into another computer. I can also find out what materials will be best for me and what are the cheapest of the cheapest ones to buy. Not only can i save on repairs i can have a little extra money to go towards other products that i may need in the long run.

iPhone Screen Broken? Here Are Your Repair Options

Tim Brooks -


With this link i've learned that there are lots of ways to fix an iphone faster and easier rather than using the basic knowledge that i already have.

Buying guide: Pick the best Mac for graphic design work

Craig Grannell - http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/best-mac-for-graphic-design-buying-guide-2016-2017-3450093/

This is stating what device will be an easy pick up. What will be cheaper. And how will it better your later on when other models of a laptop come on and do the same exact thing as the old model.

I use a MacBook Pro and I want to practice C programming in it, how can I do it?


Programming for me was a lot harder than fixing the actual computer. Ive researched lots of ways programming can be a way to make a computer run faster and smoother.

The Worst Bugs in OS X Yosemite and How to Fix Them

David Nield - http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/the-worst-bugs-in-os-x-yosemite-and-how-to-fix-them-1652690924

With trying to program and repair computers there are lots of ways to mess up your computer. Ive came across many problems when putting a new hard drive in a computer and the computer wouldn't load due to a software issue or another issue.

5 Reasons Not to Install OS X El Capitan and 7 Reasons You Should

Josh Smith - http://www.gottabemobile.com/reasons-not-to-install-os-x-el-capitan-reasons-to-ios-x-10-11-6/

Some of the Operating Systems that are used for the mac can be kinda tough to increment to another computer and will need lots of coding when it comes down to putting them in older computers or other brands.

Kyle Wiens


This will show you different ways to teardown a macbook and get the useful parts out of it.

Sam Lionheart

iFixit - https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+7+Teardown/67382

Same as the macbook you can teardown the iphone and take parts of the iphone out and use them for other things.

What Is E-Waste?


All the other parts and pieces can be reused in a way where they will be put in other computers.

iPhone - Compare Models


Comparing other models of iphones and stating what is inside.

Lewis Ford Capstone

​This capstone process was long. I changed my capstone at least three times. My original plan was to create a mural somewhere in the school. Then, I realized that there were already a bunch of art things on the wall in our school building. I finally settled on making abstract art on the ceiling tiles. I decided to form the letters "S-L-A" with three ceiling tiles. I know. that sounds so plain and boring. The creativity comes stems from what I used to make the capstone. I used all my old trans passes from freshman year to senior year. I got this idea from an abstract art class I attended with my uncle. I became familiar with seeing and creating art with things like soda cans, paint and pipe cleaners. I decided to use trans passes due to the fact that I see them as a passageway to knowledge, education, and learning how to communicate effectively with all types of people. To me, trans passes are also a sign of opportunity and mobility. They are a sign of endless possibility (usually up until 7 or 8 o'clock). The people I've been able to meet and connect with because of this resource has literally changed my mindset for the better. For instance, I'm able to travel back and forth from my physical therapy internship. That might not sound like something that can change your life, but physical therapy is my way of helping and giving back to the world.

Annotated Bibliography:


Barasch, Moshe. "Color." In Modern Theories of Art 2: From Impressionism to Kandinsky, 320-40. NYU Press, 1998. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qg2fz.29.


  • This link speaks on the important aspects of abstract art which include lines, colors, form and space. Of these important aspects, color is what is most important out of the group because of the emotions that colors are capable of bringing out of spectators. According to this link, color is the furthest from the representation of objects, figures, and external reality in general. Kandinsky, the author of this piece views color as a way to view the deeper meaning of the painting or other form of art piece. Kandinsky also believes that colors have a psychological effect on the spectator.  


"4.1 Transpass Service." 4.1 Transpass Service. Accessed February 03, 2017. http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/administration/policies/principals/4-1.html.


  • I used this link to learn a little bit more about the School district of Philadelphia and its process/requirements for getting a free transpass. These requirements include living in philly, being in 7th-12th grade, and living more than 1.5 miles away from your school.  You also have to attend a Public, Charter, Archdiocesan school. Also, I can use this link in my presentation for where I got most of my information from. It also brings attention to free transportation which is something many people take for granite. I’m grateful for it now that I think about how much money I would’ve had to spend to get to school.


"Murals Your Way Logo." Abstract Wall Murals - Stunning Abstract Wall Art. Accessed February 03, 2017. https://www.muralsyourway.com/c/abstract-murals/.


  • I used this link to get a clearer picture on how abstract can be extremely simple or extremely intricate and detailed. This link also explains how abstract art is growing as a popular design component for artist all of the world.


"Art And Science: How to Reach Your Audience." Sales Funnel Training. Accessed February 03, 2017. https://autogrow.co/art-and-science-how-to-reach-your-audience/.


  • This link is geared towards systematically being able to connect to your audience through different avenues. The best way to do this is to set goals, analyze data and incorporate those findings into framework. The message is almost like establishing your passion/reasoning for caring so deeply about whatever you are doing. This link is more focused on helping businesses thrive but just like businesses, I want my artwork to resonate with a larger group of people. This website also encourages having a clear and concise message that isn’t overly drawn out because in all honesty, people don’t want to listen to such an extended backstory.


"Step 4- Supplies and materials you need to paint your mural." How to paint a mural: The best guide. May 27, 2012. Accessed February 03, 2017. http://www.paintamural.pipalo.com/step-4-supplies-and-materials-you-need-to-paint-your-mural/.


  • I’m still considering if I want to use paint in my abstract art piece. But I know that there’s different paints for depending on the location of the art. If I do use paint, I’d need acrylic paint which is used to to keep the art bold and long lasting.


Reskillmows. "Abstract Mural painting process." YouTube. March 06, 2016. Accessed February 03, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdAKjIKiUnQ.


  • This video reminded me how free flowing this abstract art project should be. Abstract art is something that’s supposed to clear the mind and be soothing to the brain. This reminder is one I’ll need when I’m sketching and mapping out my mural.


Elgin, Catherine Z. "Understanding: Art and Science." Synthese 95, no. 1 (1993): 13-28. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20117763


  • This link is focused on the connection between art and science. Catherine Z. Elgin believes that art, just like science often scorns fact to advance understanding through fiction. I agree with this to because no one thing/topic stands alone. There’s always a support system.


"How Arts and Cultural Strategies Enhance Community Engagement and Participation." How Arts and Cultural Strategies Enhance Community Engagement and Participation. Accessed February 03, 2017.  https://www.planning.org/research/arts/briefingpapers/engagement.htm


  • This link focuses on the community involving aspect of making art and how that has a positive effect on everyone in that community. It leads to people working together to making new friends while creating beautiful art. Also, it creates a feeling of pride and reasoning for keeping the surrounding area clean.


"$1,000 Scholarship Contest for Students of the Arts." Art Student Scholarship | College, Trade School, University | MAD. Accessed February 03, 2017. https://www.modernabstractdecor.com/art-student-scholarship.


  • I use this link as almost a guide to what a award winning mural looks like. I understand that I’m not trying to like win this scholarship but it is a good reference. I also like this website because it acknowledges highschool kids my age who enjoy art work and do a good job of portraying emotion in their artwork.

https://www.facebook.com/verywell. "Art Therapy: Relieve Stress By Being Creative." Verywell. Accessed February 03, 2017. https://www.verywell.com/art-therapy-relieve-stress-by-being-creative-3144581.


  • I like this link because it explains a holistic way of dealing with major problems including depression, stress, and the negative things going on in your life. Art provides people with a hobby. Having a hobby is always good because it keeps the mind sharp. Also, art appeals to both the creative side of your brain and the problem solving side too.

Environmental Pollution in Philadelphia: Are people aware of it?

     Environmental Pollution in Philadelphia: Are people aware of it

Hi again! As you may have read in my first blog, my name is Asnain Khan and I am currently working on a project called “You and the World” for my English class. This is my second blog post of the project, and I am here to inform you even more about the environmental pollution in Philadelphia. If you are reading this and haven’t read my last post, you can access it here. In my first blog post, I talked about what environmental pollution is like in Philadelphia and what some of the main causes and effects are. I also talked about the different types of pollutions. In this blog post, I will informing you about the original research I have done and some new research I found about pollution in Philadelphia. Without further ado, here’s my post!

Since my first blog post, I have done more research, and conducted my own original research. As part of my own original research, I created a survey, which I sent throughout my school. My goal with my survey was to see if the SLA students were aware of the environmental pollution encasing Philadelphia, and what they thought about it. The questions I asked were: What grade are you in? Are you aware of environmental pollution in Philadelphia? What do you know about environmental pollution in Philadelphia? What do you think are the main causes environmental pollution? How many of these types of pollutions have you heard of? Did you know that Philly is the 10th most polluted city in the United States? Did you know that each year in Philadelphia, an estimated 126 lives are cut short and 284 people are hospitalized due to excess air pollution? Did you know that Philadelphia area's pollution earns an “F” from American Lung Association? Did you know that ozone and particulates exacerbate chronic obstructive lung disease, requiring more than 280 Philadelphians each year to seek hospitalization or treatment in an emergency room? On a scale of 1-10, how much do you agree with the following statement? Environmental pollution is a major problem in our community. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you agree with the following statement? Environmental pollution is often talked about in our community. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you agree with the following statement? Students are well-educated about environmental pollution? Finally, do you think that people should know more about environmental pollution in Philadelphia? I felt that these questions would be helpful to determine everyone’s knowledge on this topic.

For my survey, I got exactly 50 responses. The majority of responses were from freshmen (72%). From the results I got, 86% of the students in SLA are aware of pollution in Philadelphia and 14% are not. This was kind of surprising to me, because people don’t really talk about pollution at all. When I asked what people knew about pollution in Philadelphia, many answered that it is very harmful to humans. Following this question, I asked what people thought were the main causes of environmental pollution, the majority of the students answered “people.” This shows that many people believe we are the main cause of the pollution. I also asked about what type of pollutions they have heard of, the majority being air and water pollution. This shows that the awareness of pollution, and types of pollution, in Philadelphia is low.

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*This image shows the percentage of people that answered this question. 86% answered “yes” and 14% answered “no.”

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*This image shows the answers to the question, “what do you think are the main causes of environmental pollution?” This shows that the majority of the students answered “people.”

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*This image shows how many of these types of pollutions the students heard of. As you can see most of the students picked “air and water pollution.”

After that, I wanted to see if people knew the facts about pollution in Philadelphia, so I wrote down a couple of facts and asked the students if they knew about them. The questions were “yes or no” questions. The majority of the students answered “no” for all of the questions. I wasn’t surprised by this at all, because I knew that the awareness of pollution is low, so we can’t expect people to know that facts. To see how the students felt about environmental pollution in Philadelphia, I simply asked how they felt. Students were asked to rate how much they agreed with a statement from a scale of 1-10 (1 being “definitely disagree” and 10 being “definitely agree”). Most of the students rated a “10,” for whether they felt like environmental pollution is a major problem in our community. I expected this, because pollution is a major problem in our community. Also, the majority of the students rated a “4,” for whether they felt like environmental pollution is often talked about in our community. This makes sense, no one really talks about pollution in our community. Finally, most of the students rated a “4,” for whether they felt like students are well-educated about environmental pollution. I definitely agree, because many people don’t know about pollution and they aren’t taught about it in schools. The last question I asked was, “do you think that people should know more about environmental pollution in Philadelphia?” 98% of the students answered “yes” and only 2% of the students answered “no.” I would answer yes to this question as well, because I feel like students aren’t taught about environmental pollution as much as they should be.

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*These are all images of the facts I wrote and asked the students if they knew it or not. As you can see for all of these questions, most of the students answered “no.”

In addition to conducting my own research, I did some new research online. In my last blog post, I didn’t go deep into the effects of air pollution in Philadelphia, so that’s what I am going to do now. I am also going to include new facts about air pollution in Philadelphia. Air pollution in Philadelphia makes people sick and cuts lives short. It irreparably damages lung tissues in ways similar to secondhand tobacco smoke, leading to a wide range of health impacts. Air pollution also triggers heart attacks and strokes. It causes diseases like chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. Air pollution can even send people to the emergency room with respiratory problems, cause asthma attacks, and contribute to respiratory illness in otherwise completely healthy people.

Most people think of air pollution only on days when the news announces an air quality alert, warning about high levels of smog and advising citizens to limit outdoor activity due to the health threat posed by smog pollution. Unfortunately, people in Philadelphia aren’t exposed to air pollution just a few dozen times a year on bad air days. Philadelphians breathe polluted air day in and day out throughout their entire lives. Much of the pollution comes from burning fossil fuels for energy, in cars, trucks, power plants and industrial facilities. Many of these pollutants are invisible, but they are everywhere.

Air pollution in Philadelphia is a serious and persistent problem. The American Lung Association gives 28 neighborhoods in Philadelphia an “F” for air quality, and that’s just for smog pollution. Philadelphia as a whole has the second worst chronic air pollution problem, worse than every state but California. Air pollution poses major health risks for Philadelphians, especially children and the elderly. Air pollution shortens lives, sends people to the hospital and the emergency room, and triggers asthma attacks. These are merely the most visible signs of the health threats posed by polluted air, as this pollution affects every individual in Philadelphia by reducing lung function and increasing the risk of illness.

Nor are we safe on days when air pollution levels are below those recognized by the government as meeting federal “safe” standards. Ozone smog and particulate soot can cause health problems even on days when pollution levels are within the “safe” standards set by federal officials. This is especially true for people who live, work, or play near busy roadways. Pollution from traffic can be high near roadways, even when overall air pollution levels are relatively low. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that, “In numerous cities in the United States, the personal automobile is the single greatest polluter, because emissions from millions of vehicles on the road add up.” Scientists are now finding that children who live or go to school near major highways are more likely to have respiratory problems, including asthma.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When Congress adopted the federal Clean Air Act in 1970, it established the goal of setting and achieving air quality standards protective of human health by 1975. Nearly three decades later, Philadelphia’s air still fails to meet established health standards—standards that may not even be fully protective of human health. With the rollback of key air pollution policies at a federal level—and with increased motor vehicle traffic population, and overall energy use threatening to undermine the progress we have made toward cleaner air—Philadelphia has reached a critical juncture. Solutions do exist. From modern emission controls for cars and power plants to effective transit systems, we have the technological know-how to significantly reduce air pollution in Philadelphia. By adopting public policies that put these technologies to work, Philadelphia can reduce air pollution and help millions of its citizens to live longer and healthier lives.

For my Agent of Change, I am going to raise awareness. I am going to make a video about pollution in Philadelphia to inform more people about it. I will make sure the video is set to public, so that people can see it. I am going to post the video up on facebook and even show it to people in school. The next blog is on it’s way, stay tuned in!

Check out my annotated bibliography for more information!

Husain Kegler Capstone


Make tutorial videos for incoming freshman. These videos should be tutorials of tools that students usually have trouble using such as: Google drive, Google Docs, and Canvas. The Goal is for the students to watch the videos and be able to use the different tools with ease.


    For my final project I decided to make tutorial videos on a few things that I noticed. I noticed that plenty other students and I  struggled with working with online tools that can be used as shortcuts. Coming from a traditional textbook school, it was a major change when learning how to work with computers and to rely on them to perform basic functions like where to find my homework. As, time continued to move forward I basically became a pro at finding whatever I needed to make sure that my assignments were turned in on time and keeping up with work. Not even just that, but I made sure I followed the guidelines to projects so I wouldn’t get points deducted because of simple mistakes. Like a Freshman, I once was a freshman and I know how difficult it can be to work with computers. So I decided to make simple tutorial videos to help freshman coming into the SLA community, with these videos it will make their work process way easier than it would be without them. Although, I have faced many challenges with working with these things, I know that Teachers know what frequently asked questions are in their classrooms, and I know Teachers get tired of answering the same questions. So I decided to make a sample survey and I sent it out to the Teachers who work at SLA, asking them to give me ideas on what videos I should make for their students, and what do they see their students struggling with the most. The results came back and Teachers told me that I should make tutorial videos on Google Docs, Google Drive, and Canvas. The things that students struggle working with the most.

Video #1: Teaching Kids How To Use Google Docs

Video #2: Teaching Kids How To Use Google Drive

Video #3: Teaching Kids How To Use Canvas


Fatu Castillo

​    For my Capstone Project, I decided that I wanted to pursue three things. 
    The First, crochet baby blankets and donate them to The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia on Mother’s Day. The second, organize a crochet club to help interested students learn to take up the craft. And third, enhance my personal skills as a sewer and a knitter by taking up projects that expanded those skills
     None of which were exactly challenging; more so, they were all time-consuming. 
     The first one, making and donating baby blankets, was the most complicated of the three. I had to work with limited time and finances, so I settled on making two blankets a week until I reached twenty-five blankets. To save on supplies, I decided to make all the the blankets triangular with slight variations to add a personal touch to each of them. Even with this though, I only was able to make ten, due to lack of finances and time. Personal labels bearing my name were added to each blankets to help compensate for the lack of quantity. 
     Crochet Club was easy enough to organize, advertise, and find a teacher sponsor with. I never wanted to assign a group project, so I helped individual members pursue projects that interested them. 
     Though most of my time was consumed by managing Crochet Club and making blankets, I did take up knitting and sewing projects. Including my mentor and I doing a joint knitting gproject together with regular check-ins, and repurposing clothes.
CaptoneBib.FatuCastillo (1)

Colin Pierce Capstone

The first level of my game
The first level of my game
I have been interested in technology for longer than I can remember, building my own computer in freshman year and experimenting with programming as a sophomore. I wanted to find an outlet to test my abilities with programming, so for my capstone I designed a video game which would run within a web browser, with the goal of having as small of a file size as possible so that it runs smoothly on mobile devices and bad internet connections. You play as a black and white smiley face who travels through a labyrinth collecting artifacts, and to beat the game you must collect all eight and make it to room 50. When I started my project I first researched the most efficient ways to write code so that it would load quickly, then I collaborated with Mr. Hernandez, my Capstone mentor, to improve how the game is presented so that it is attractive to prospective players. When I had a mostly completed product, I took a survey of SLA students asking them to play my game and suggest improvements. I accomplished my goal of being extremely lightweight, since the whole project only takes up around 25MB of space and can load completely in under a second on the school's wifi. I am planning to continue working on my game after the school year ends, building upon it and making it better based on the information I will get during presentations.

Link to my Capstone product: http://www.trog.ga/

Stephen Buchanico Capstone

Hockey is something I have become very passionate about and has continued to make a huge impact on my life as I grew up so I knew I wanted to do something related to hockey for my senior capstone. My initial idea was to attempt to raise money for Snider, the organization that has allowed me to play hockey from a young age regardless of my family's financial standing. This was difficult for me because I couldn’t think of a practical way to raise a substantial sum of money that would be useful to the organization while also struggling with the logistics of paying for ice time. With this defeat, I sparked the idea to organize a roller hockey tournament, being since all outdoor roller rinks are free for public use. I used my Snider contacts to gather the children who would participate in the tournament and then the rest was a breeze. I discussed rink times with those in charge of the playground rink to coordinate which days the rink would be in use and when it would be open for the tournament. Once the day was decided, I contacted all of the children involved, who were excited to participate. The young boys, aged 12-15 years old, had experience with hockey so they got right into playing while I supervised and refereed the games. It was wonderful to have organized an event where my passion created a sense of community and happiness.

This is a photo of some of the children getting ready for the tournament, tying skates and taping sticks
This is a photo of some of the children getting ready for the tournament, tying skates and taping sticks
This is a picture of tournament in mid play.
This is a picture of tournament in mid play.
In this picture I am helping warm up some of the kids before the tournament began.
In this picture I am helping warm up some of the kids before the tournament began.
This is another picture of play from the tournament
This is another picture of play from the tournament

Animal Cruelty Needs To Stop

Hey there! I am Sarah Son, a freshman at Science Leadership Academy. In my previous blog post, I introduced my English project, which is called You and the World. My main focus is animal cruelty. In my previous research, I found a lot of alarming information about my topic. The results of graphs that I have found were very surprising. Recently, I interviewed a volunteer from SPCA in Philadelphia and her answers to my questions were very helpful.

This is a photo taken by Ruby Ginsburg, she was there with me while I was interviewing the volunteer at SPCA. 

In my original research, which is the interview, I found out even more about animal cruelty, mainly in the area of Philadelphia. It was quite shocking to hear what Sandy, the respondent, had told me. Her responses were so detailed and clear, it made a great interview. The first question that I asked her was, “When animals are found, how do they react towards people? Or in other words, how do they act when they are being pet?” She replied by saying “... it depends on the situation. Sometimes the animals that we find don’t like humans, really. They have a hard time adjusting to humans and then others are perfectly fine with them and they are willing to interact with humans.” She also told me that they once found a dog that was chained up and was very skinny. Once they took care of him, he was actually one of the most playful dogs they have seen in the SPCA. I’m quite glad that she even gave me an example.

    Another question that I asked is, “When animals are found, how are their conditions like?” Her response made me almost jump out of my seat. “It usually depends. Sometimes the homes that they are found in is perfectly fine, it’s just issues with the owner themselves. Other times, it’s just like small things. Other times we’ll find something pretty bad.” Then, she continued and gave me an example that was so unbelievable. Sandy said that they (SPCA), “... had raided a home in Frankfurt and we found about 241 cats, pretty much everywhere in the house. Just so you guys know, the limit for animals in Philadelphia you can have in your home at once is 12.” She also added that the amount of feces that was in the house was up to their knees when they raided the home. This really blew my mind. I did not want to accept what I was hearing but it was the truth, sadly. It was just shocking and heartbreaking.
    An important question that I saved for last to ask is, “Why do you think that people are cruel to animals?” Sandy replied to me by saying that she can’t really give me a perfect answer to this question. She said that she can’t imagine herself being cruel to any animal, I 100% agree with her. The thought of it just makes me so upset. She continued on and said, “... sometimes I feel that maybe it’s because people don’t see animals having feelings or maybe, they don’t necessarily care about those type of things so they’re just willing to do whatever they want for their own advantage.” She finished the question by saying that people are cruel and she can’t really justify how they think.
Here is another photo by Ruby! 
    It was great that I took this opportunity to do this interview because it was so interesting for me. I was actually talking to someone who works with animals who are abused and is helping me by giving information that is useful and hopefully will make people open their eyes more about this specific topic. As for my Agent of Change, which is an action that I take on to improve to help with animal cruelty, I was thinking about volunteering at SPCA, or another animal organization. I would like to dig deeper and see the animals for myself. I hope that I can help. Even if my help or change is small, I would do anything to try help stop animal cruelty. I am still wondering what is going on in the mind of an animal abuser. Stop animal cruelty now!

Annotated Bibliography

If you’d like to listen to the interview, click here!

Note for Ms. Giknis: There are few hyperlinks in this post because there is more in the first.

Siawale Vesslee Capstone

For my capstone project, I was able to travel to Cuba in the spring. During our trip, we were allowed to research a STEM related project of our choosing. For my topic, i decided to look at business and entrepreneurship in Cuba. My research questions were:

  • How are entrepreneurs able to start-up in Cuba?

  • What does entrepreneurship look like in Cuba?

  • How are people able to brand their names in a socialist country?

Because Cuba is a socialist country, many people believe that citizens aren't able to branch out to make money any other way. By going on this trip, I was able to destroy that myth, but I also learned of the many different opportunities for Cubans to make money.

For my final project, I made a website detailing some of the most popular  ways Cubans are able to make money. I was able to include pictures to show just how life changing this trip was.

Link to my website:


Link to my annotated Bibliography:


Matthew Willson Capstone

Powerlifting has taught me many things such as, patience, self discipline, mental and physical capability, and character development. Pushing yourself in the gym in a positive environment is great for physical and mental health. For my capstone I wanted to share the experience I have gotten from powerlifting with kids at SLA. Powerlifting Club takes place at the Philadelphia Sports Club on 18th St and Market St. I teach the members how to do weightlifting movements safely with proper form. Overall our goal is to increase our strength in the three powerlifting movements, the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Each member of the club has specific fitness goals so I shaped their training program around their goals. Powerlifting club has given me hands on experience with training people and helping people reach their fitness goals. I want to be a personal trainer or health coach in the future so this has benefited me greatly. After training the guys for three months, seeing their results in my own eyes has given me confidence to pursue my dream of being a personal trainer. I have created a model website for the personal training business I hope to own in the future.

My website:


  1. Klerck, Ray. "How to calculate your one rep max." – MH's body boffins show you how to find the max you can lift in one rep - Men's Health. N.p., 02 Mar. 2016. Web. 18 May 2017.


     This source provides information about your one rep max and percentages of your one rep max. When you know the percentages of your lifts it allows you to be very mathematical with your lifts and progression. Knowing what percentage of your max a lift is allows you to estimate how many reps you will get, this allows you to plan your training the most mathematically accurate way. Different percentages of your max are better for different goals. 90-100% is generally perfect for building strength. Around 80% is best for hypertrophy training. 70% and lower is best for endurance because you can move the weight for a lot of reps. I used this website to calculate percentages of the group members lifts.

  2. Personal. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2017.


This source is one of my personal training mentors website. Dan Mietti is a personal trainer in Abington, PA. My brother I have worked out with dan for the past ten years. He did our offseason training for hockey when we were kids. Dan also runs different programs and events revolving around fitness like races and bootcamps. Dan has helped me get into fitness and has helped me pursue my goals to be a personal trainer. He has taught me valuable information about anatomy and muscles in the human body. I have used this information to help teach proper form and ensure the best results.

 3. Blaha, Jason. "Jason Blaha's Ice Cream Fitness 5x5 Novice Program." Muscle & Strength. N.p., 18 May 17. Web. 18 May 2017.


This source provides information about beginner strength and muscle building program. The author Jason Blaha talks about different solutions for mechanical problems. This was helpful because he lists alternative exercises that hit the same muscle groups, but avoid mechanical problems and put less stress on joints. For instance some group members had problems with their knees when squatting. Blaha says to do box squats instead and this has worked for both Declan and Aaron’s squat. Blaha also provides information about the central nervous system and how it responds to lifting. This information is crucial for beginner lifters and I passed it on to the group members.

4. Stark, Matthew, Judith Lukaszuk, Aimee Prawitz, and Amanda Salacinski. "Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. BioMed Central, 2012. Web. 18 May 2017.


This source provides information about the anabolic period, protein timing, and the effects of food timing on muscle hypertrophy. This source is a review of a bunch of studies on the anabolic period and food timing. The anabolic period is the short period of time directly after your workout. Different studies say different times about the optimal time to eat your post workout meal. It is optimal to eat 30 grams of protein in the 30 minute period after you workout. It is also optimal to consume carbs in the 2 hour period after your workout to refill your depleted muscles with glycogen. This information was very helpful because I was able to teach the group members about nutrition and optimal timings to consume protein.

5. Bubbico, Aaron , and Len Kravits. "Muscle Hypertrophy: New Insights and Training Recommendations." Muscle Hypertrophy 2011. University of New Mexico, n.d. Web. 18 May 2017.


This source provides information on muscle hypertrophy. This source highlights the difference between slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers. Muscle hypertrophy is the growth of muscle fibers. Muscle fibers grow when they are recruited and broken from resistance training. Different muscles have different proportions of fast twitch and slow twitch muscles. Fast twitch muscle fibers are engaged from explosive and heavy low rep sets while slow twitch muscle fibers are engaged from higher rep sets where the muscle is contracting over and over again. The chest is 60% fast twitch and 40% slow twitch. Therefore to achieve the most hypertrophy in the pectoral muscles you have to perform heavy low repetition sets. This source was very helpful because it shows scientific information about the most optimal way to build muscle.

6. Nation, Nate Miyaki T. "The Best Damn Cardio Article - Period." T NATION. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2017.


This source provides information about cardio and it’s relation to building muscle. Cardio is not important for building muscle but can be very helpful with fat loss. Running is one of the best ways to burn calories, when trying to build muscle burning calories is not the goal. You want to be in a small caloric surplus when trying to gain weight. This source aslo explains how different types of cardio do different things. High intensity interval training is one of the best tools to shed fat, boost your metabolism, and increase testosterone. The site lists the different ways cardio and lifting affects the body like what increases cortisol, what increases testosterone, and what burns the most fat. This was very helpful for training the members that wanted to lose fat.

7. Burns, Steve P., PhD, and MIchael H. Thomas. "Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training." US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. N.p., 21 Apr. 2016. Web.


This source provides information about high frequency vs low frequency training. The studies show that low frequency is better for a beginner lifter. When starting a lifting program as a beginner your central nervous system and muscles are not used to high frequency training. It is proven that low frequency full body workouts are optimal for beginner lifters. High frequency training is optimal for an advanced lifter because their central nervous system and body can handle more work. A muscles ability to grow decreases as it grows. A muscle with a lot of muscle maturity takes more to break down than a beginner lifters muscle. Therefore a higher frequency training program is optimal for an advanced lifter because muscles need to be moreso broken down.

8. Mangan, P. D. "Science-Based Weight Training – The Mission." The Mission. The Mission, 23 Oct. 2016. Web. 18 May 2017.


This source provides information about the importance of strength training and it’s health benefits.. Mangan says, “Training for strength is the most important and effective exercise that you can do, and virtually everyone, from teenagers to the elderly, can and should engage in it regularly.” The article lists the health benefits of weight training for all ages. Such as, “maintains insulin sensitivity, prevents heart disease and cancer, and keeps older people from losing muscle mass (sarcopenia) and descending into frailty and dependence.” This information is helpful because I’m learning about the science and health benefits of weightlifting. I can use this information to educate my clients about weightlifting and encourage people to get into weightlifting.

9.  Eddy, Walter. "The Best Way To Train For Size." UW Staff Web Server. University of Washington , n.d. Web. 18 May 2017.


This source provides information about the different factors that play a role in muscle hypertrophy and how to use them to get the most size. Studies show that strength and muscle size will increase when training for either goal. Although strength training won't give you the best results for size it will increase your muscle size and vice versa. The source has different studies that show the optimal set and rep ranges for muscular growth, the optimal work speed for muscular growth, the importance of the eccentric part of a movement for muscle growth, and the best frequency for muscle growth. All of this information is helpful because I can educate others with it and apply it to my training programs.

10. Schoenfeld, Brad Schoenfeld PhD T, PhD. "The New Science of Time Under Tension." T NATION. T NATION, n.d. Web. 18 May 2017.


This source provides information on time under tension training. The studies in the article prove how crucial time under tension training is for muscular hypertrophy. Muscle fibers break down when training against resistance, the more time under tension the more the muscle fibers break down. Therefor having more time under tension when training against resistance will allow you to build the most muscle. This information is useful because I can apply it to the clients I train and make sure they are training for time under tension if their goal is to build muscle.

Peter Torelli Capstone


Boxing is my favorite sport of all time because it is an independent and reflective sport that only you could figure out what you have to improve on. Boxing isn't just a physical sport it is also a mental sport, the strongest and buffest opponent can't beat the smarter opponent. Overall Boxing is very important because it motivates me mentally and physically, keeps me in shape, keeps me out of trouble and helps me relieve stress.

I choose to bring Boxing into SLA because I wanted to show young kids how to defend themselves properly, but not only to defend and attack but to be dedicated to a sport. I wanted to target students who feel unsafe walking home and students who normally hang around bad crowds. In SLA, students decide to make poor decision, by doing this they put their education in risk. By introducing the club to SLA they can avoid that risk and make more of a positive choice. My Freshman and Sophomore years in SLA weren't good but during Junior and Senior year I wanted to become more of an adult so by avoiding bad decisions I choose boxing.   

What I learned was that everyone is going to have their own style of learning, learning at their pase and having patients teaching students. This is very important to a teacher because you can see the improvement in your students. Its is important because you can see that the students are enjoying and being dedicated to the sport.

Our day of training consist of, a warm up to relax the body and keep the fighter calm. We will then start with 3 min rounds of shadow boxing. After shadow boxing we will then get ready for mit work where they get to use what they learn when demonstrated.  

Capstone (3)

Ibrahim Aldakhil's Capstone


For my Capstone project, I wanted to expand and share my knowledge on a topic that has changed my life; cancer. My only sister was diagnosed with Lymphoma 11 years ago and passed away after a two and a half year battle with the disease. Losing her had a tremendous impact on me and the time spent trying to cure her taught me valuable lessons that I want to share. My goal for this project is to make people aware of what cancer really is, how doctors treat it, and the impact it has on families and individuals. To meet those goals, I wanted to share a very personal story of moving to a new country to cure my sister’s cancer. Aside from the personal aspect, it includes detailed scientific information about the disease.

I decided to have my story put on a website so that anyone, no matter where they are, can access it and hopefully learn new things from my childhood experience. I also hope to inspire others to learn from their tragic experiences and become stronger individuals rather than giving in to depression. Writing this story was not easy; there were times when I re-lived my painful memories and felt emotionally uncomfortable to continue writing, but I was able to overcome that by reminding myself of my goal to support others. I sincerely hope that this story will help and inspire those who are struggling with life tragedies such as mine.


My Sister's Cancer: A Climacteric Experience

Public Defenders Case Overload

Public Defenders Overloaded

I have recently realized the public defender system first hand. Realizing how big of an issue it is, I decided to inform the people of how big of problem it is with this project. I found out that the problem is affective to the people who can’t afford an expensive attorney. I was stunned to find out the average time a person talks with their public defender before appearing in front of the judge is 7 minutes. This information is listed in a document, you can read here.

Throughout a year a public defender is recommend to get 150 felony cases, but they are getting way more.  Even if they had enough time to get the cases done, they don’t have the same resources the private attorneys do. People don’t realize how public defenders are deprived of resources such as time for working as hard as they could and witnesses. The public defender system is never the same in different states. Each state is entitled to write their own criminal codes. This could also hurt the person under precaution.

I interviewed a public defender, Michael Arthus. He happens to be a very experienced public defender who gave meaningful first hand information, letting me in on a closer look for the system. There are public defenders who handle the trails and public defenders who are handling appeals. Those who handle the trails will normally be in the courtroom everyday appearing in front of the judge with their clients. Those who do the appeals are mostly sent for research. In Brooklyn, which in every state is different, are given 75-100 cases at a time to juggle. Mr. Arthus says that throughout all his odds he still fights his hardest for the justice for his clients.  

This is a picture of a Brooklyn Defender System Logo...

I also interviewed Taylor Rogers. Taylor, who is my sister, had her case in the hands of a public defender recently. She said that she didn’t even know who her public defender was until day of the court date. Her public defender talked to her 20 minutes before appearing in front of the judge. She does feel as though her public defender did her more justice then she could’ve done. The public defender was “kind” just very busy and rushing when you are having conversations. She feels as though he put forth his best effort and did everything he could.

This picture is a public defender. He is working hard to get his many cases done.

Throughout this project I realized how different each state’s public defender offices are. As I read this article, “I’m a public defender. It’s impossible for me to do a good job representing my clients.”, I found that in New Orleans to avoid layoffs because of the budget cut the entire staff will go 4 weeks in a year without being paid. They’re asked to do way more then an attorney with less material and less everything compared to an attorney. The author of this site says that their clients who can’t pay their bail are focused to sit in jail for 60 days until the district attorney decides to arraign them. During this project we have a part where we need to be an agent of change in our issue we choose. Iḿ thinking about making a website for informing people on how overly overworked the public defenders are. This will be first hand information and give people more notice to the issue and hopefully get the ball rolling on the issue.

This problem among the public defender hasn’t seemed to get any better, it just seems to worsen. What will come next??? Public defenders are going to not be able to deal with the impact of the case overloads as time continues. This research has helped my understanding of public defender so much further than what I thought. I really hope so see some justice among the system, even baby steps help!! I’ve learned that in the justice system money can take you a long way..

Visit my annotated bibliography here!

Chelsea Middlebrooks Capstone

PlayA Club in New York after seeing Kinky Boots. We got autographs from a few of the cast members and got a picture with J. Harrison Ghee.
PlayA Club in New York after seeing Kinky Boots. We got autographs from a few of the cast members and got a picture with J. Harrison Ghee.

My capstone was a year long project that stemmed from my passion of theater. I didn’t get a lot of exposure to theater throughout high school. So I wanted to expose others to the art and understand the different types that exist. My club was called PlayA Club, which stood for Play Analyzation Club, it’s like a book club but for plays, where we read and discussed plays. The club was small with only seven members including me. I got a diverse group of students for the club so there would be different perspectives on topics. We all got along because they were already close friends with me when they joined, so it really added to the atmosphere of the club. When I started the club I wanted the members to see theater in both mediums. Although there was a schedule conflict and we were able to go see plays during the school day like I had initially planned. The club started in November and it ended in early May. We looked at a total of 6 plays.  In late January after discussing it with the members of club, we decided to go see a broadway show in New York City. It took a lot of fundraising and a lot of bake sales to raise six hundred dollars to cover the cost of the tickets to the show Kinky Boots, but it was completely worth it. We also explored New York and had some amazing once and a lifetime experiences. Throughout the club I learned how to be a leader, but to also take input for my club members., and to have them lead sometimes to see where  it takes the club. I am so lucky to have experienced this with an amazing group of students.  

Link to Bibliography:


Kareem Davis Capstone

My name is Kareem Davis. I am a SLA senior and for my capstone I created a photo gallery. Within it contains pictures that were guiding by this prompt, "the world around me." I used that to inspire what I created and what I explored. I mostly stayed within the city of Philadelphia, because that really is the world that I'm most interactive with. For my capstone, I went around capturing moments that spoke to me the most, and now I wanted to share what I did with you all. This is my world, and now I'm sharing it with you for my capstone.

Sherell Messing Capstone


For my capstone I wanted to create an ILP that was different from all I have encountered and heard about from my peers. This ILP would not only further a group of individuals way of thinking but way of communicating. No other learning topic can express SLA’s core values in complete silence than American Sign Language (ASL). As a community we are strongly opinionated and often forget to focus on a voice, or idea, other than our own. By learning ASL you use your eyes to listen, a talent many have concurred. A language as beautiful as this can truly make you see the world from a different view. There is history that is not taught in schools and a community that is separated due to lack of communication.
To inform our community and make a change I held multiple bake sales to bring the SLA community together in a creative way. During this time I also deeply searched for an instructor to teach ASL classes next year. Sadly, I was not successful due to the classes being too expensive or unavailable. At the moment I am waiting for a response from my final contact, which is Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. If they are able to provide their services then I will communicate with Jeremy to get a list of 10 students who are interested. I will finalize the process by organizing a schedule and providing welcoming bags filled with notebooks and stationery.
Digital Piece https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/document/d/18w0Ovg1W9H3PB-6ykBrYKpxWyAO26jo4i47uwtb3IzU/edit?usp=sharing
Bibliography https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CbkH6gEfY319HBIBeUYpuMdpGsGA39_NjK5ftI0ZpJs/edit

Autistic people are different but not less

Hi, My name is Amira Gouri. And my topic is about ASD. In other words autistic spectrum disorder. According to the interview, and my last post. Symptoms of autism can be noticed on children on early age, generally between two and three years old. It’s when the child has trouble of communicating with others and/or difficulty of learning. The disorder has many symptoms. Scientists till now, still don’t know the causes of autism.

For my impact of change, I am planning to raise awareness and donate to schools that have autistic support classes. This way more people will learn about autism and actually try to help people with the disorder. Autistic support classes should have few students, so the teacher can her/his assistants can control, teach and take care of the students. Because their aren’t that many schools that have autistic support classes and the percentage of autistic children is increasing, so those classes may have a lot of students which can affect their learning negatively. So spreading awareness and seek help from the government and people as well can be beneficial and make a difference.  

I learned that the improvement of progress is based on many different factors together. For example, school helps with his education, spending more time with him helps with social skills, therapist helps with his communication, the supplements and gluten free diet help with his health. Which can be really effective to some, and can be less effective to others. I also learned that most autistic people are good at memorizing, and playing sports. I still wonder about the exact cause of autism, and will researches find a medicine that will cure autism, or at least decrease autism from spreading.
This is an image of some of the supplements that can be used by autistic children and the description of them and how they are helpful.
This is an image of gluten free bread.

After interviewing a mother of an autistic child. She shared some of her experience, struggle in her journey with her autistic son. I was able to know a lot of information from her. That started 13 years ago and still didn’t end yet. When her son was 2 she started noticing that he had some interaction issues, wasn’t able to control his emotions, poor eye contact, and when she talks to him he never answers. Just like the symptoms I researched. After she noticed all that she shared her concerns with her son's pediatrician who recommended her a psychologist. After testing and observing him while he is playing and acting they discover that he has autism. Now her son is 16, and he in a high school and that he improved but his improvement is limited, he still isn’t independent as she wishes him to be, he still has social skill issues. Since then she tries her best so that her son will be better such as supplements, gluten free diet, speech, play, and occupation therapy, school, after-school activities and spending more time with him. Like most parents she is fully concerned about his safety and getting a job.

This is an image of a paper of the free after school programs that have been offered by the Penn University to help people with autism.
Annotated Bibliography