- Contest Winners
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Each month, we receive thousands of contest entries from students all over the country, and it's such a joy to read their wonderful work! Scroll down to see the students whose writing dazzled us most. And be sure to check back each month for more winners!
April 2017 Winners
Students use our delightful infographic about singing to create a presentation, video, or essay.
Consider this: You walk into a classroom, and students are happy. They have good posture, and they are all healthy. This is all because this school does a weekly sing-along, which is why our school should have a weekly sing-along. It might sound crazy that all of this is because of singing, but if you look at the facts it all makes sense. Weekly sing-alongs will be beneficial and fun for students and the school.
Singing is easy. You don’t have to sound like Beyoncé or be good at it at all. Even if you’re not good at it, it doesn’t stop you from getting the benefits from singing. Singing can make us feel unified. When we have a weekly sing-along, our whole class will sing together, which will make us bond and feel connected.
Singing also makes you happy. When you sing, chemicals called endorphins are released from your brain, which then make you feel happy. So, right before we get sent off to our classes, we can feel elated instead of grumpy and tired. Singing can also reduce stress. According to studies, singing can have a calming effect, which can reduce stress. Some students may have tests or work that’s stressing them out. By singing in the morning, they can feel relaxed and relieve their stress. Even better, singing is healthy for you, which might be helpful for school. Singing also releases molecules into your body, which helps fight sicknesses. That will help bring up attendances, even if it’s just helping a little. Singing creates oxygen for your blood, which helps your heart. In addition, more than 20 muscles are being used when you sing.
Having a weekly sing-along is fun for us, and beneficial for our education. Singing will put us in a better mood, improve attendance, and help us bond with our fellow classmates. Having a weekly sing-along would make more students excited to come to school. So, a weekly sing-along would be a enjoyable change for our school.
Did you know that 42.6 million Americans sing in a chorus? Even if you dislike singing, it is very impactful for you and your body. Therefore, there should be a weekly sing along at my school. This should become a weekly event predominantly due to the fact that it simply makes you healthier. Some of the benefits of singing include that it has health benefits, is stress reducing, unifying and easy. The first reason that the school should have a weekly sing along is because of the health benefits that come with it. According to the text entitled “Why You Should Sing,” 20 plus muscles are used when you sing. If you’re not so convinced yet, singing brings oxygen into your blood which is good for your heart. Also when you sing your brain releases chemicals called endorphins, any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions, which can make you feel happy. The third health benefit is that singing can release molecules in your body that help fight infection. Last but not least singing can improve you posture. In conclusion, there are many health benefits of singing.
Another reason that this event should occur is because it is stress reducing. When you sing, musical vibrations move through you, altering your physical and emotional landscape. Music has the ability to quickly shift our mood, affecting our subconscious mind where pesky negative thoughts feed on our fears and fuel the fires of stress. Singing is one of the best ways to shift the vibrations of our thoughts and the very cells of our body, helping slow and regulate breathing and promote relaxation. These are reasons that singing is stress reducing.
Last but certainly not least, singing is unifying and easy. Singing can make you feel like you fit in and you can make friends by listening to similar music. Singing is easy. You don’t have to sound like Bruno Mars to receive the benefits of singing. This is the last reason that a weekly student sing-along is necessary.
To sum up all of the points discussed, there are many benefits of singing. These are health, stress reducing, unifying and easy. This is why are school should hold a weekly sing-along.
Ella Fitzgerald says, “the only thing better than singing is more singing.” I strongly think Oakfield Alabama should have a weekly sing along. I think it is a good idea to have a weekly sing-along at my school, Oakfield Alabama, because singing is stress-reducing, helps with health, and best and last, it’s easy.
One reason a weekly sing along in Oakfield-Alabama Central School is a great idea is that singing is stress reducing. The Infographic from Scope magazine states, “studies show singing can have a calming effect.” So, if our school has this weekly sing along, kids could start becoming calmER and not as stressed in school as they usually are. This also means that kids could concentrate even better in school and develop good habits to help them through school. The second way that singing is stress reducing is because singing can even make you happy. According to the infographic, it says “when you sing your brain releases chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel happy.” The endorphins can release lots of the stress we put on ourselves, making us feel better about each other, ourselves, and about singing.
A second reason why I think having a sing-along at my school would be a great idea is that it is good for your health. In the infographic, it says, “to sign loud and clear, you have to stand up straight which improves your posture.” Fifty to eighty percent of Americans complain of back pain because of bad posture, so singing would be a great way to avoid back pain and experience good posture while having fun. In the article it states, “singing brings oxygen into your blood, which is good for your heart.” It is good to have a healthy heart because it can help you in many activities, such as sports. Health is big part of our lives, so we need to make sure we are healthy.
My last reason why I think my school should have this weekly sing-along is because it is easy, which is the best part. According to the infographic, “you don’t have to sound like Beyoncé, nor be good at it.” The sound of each individual’s voice is unique, not only because of the shape and size of their vocal cords, but it also has a lot to do with the person and their personality. According to one researcher, “forty-one thousand schools across America have a chorus” and “42.6 million Americans sing in a chorus.” Lots of American students have their own way of expressing themselves which makes them want to stay in chorus and have an exciting year in chorus.
Overall, singing is a great weekly thing to do at our school because it’s stress reducing, good for your physical health, and best of all, it’s easy. If the school decides to have a weekly sing-along, there will be an improvement of students being less stressed and a decrease in health issues. Hopefully, our school has a weekly sing-along!
March 2017 Winners
Rachel is just an ordinary girl, but she achieved extraordinary things. While she did what she loved, she also learned a little about herself too: Rachel Eaves learned the importance of confidence through football.
Rachel is a 14-year-old junior high school football player from Grovetown, Georgia. She didn’t originally go for football, but she tried a lot of new things. “One day, my stepfather jokingly asked if I wanted to try football, and I said yes,” Rachel recalled. Rachel was a girl who was confident enough in herself to join a sport that was different.
Even though she had self-confidence, she had to overcome many struggles. She had to keep herself strong and keep a positive mindset to feel like she was part of the team. Rachel also had to work on not being nervous or afraid. “When I first started, I was so nervous my stomach hurt,” she said, “but over time I became more confident, and it got easier once I knew what I was doing. In the end, Rachel earned confidence and the skills required to play well for her team. She became the defensive captain of her team in eighth grade. Rachel eventually quit football in high school, but my class and I learned a lot from her bravery. This interview game me assurance that I can be whoever I want to be.
Football has always been a boys’ sport, until Rachel came along. Rachel Eaves, a 14-year-old girl that lives in Grovetown, Georgia, has been playing football since she was ten years old. Rachel started playing football when her stepdad jokingly asked if she wanted to try the sport. So her parents enrolled her in a youth football league in her neighborhood. Football became Rachel’s favorite sport, and she tried out for her seventh grade team. She said that when she first started playing, she would be “so nervous [that her] stomach hurt.” After a few weeks, she got used to the nerves and became more confident in her playing ability. Rachel played running back and linebacker because she was one of the strongest tacklers on the team. She eventually became the first female defensive captain at her middle school because of her hard work and determination.
“More girls should play [football] if they want to,” says Rachel. “A lot of girls are capable of playing but don’t because it’s considered a boys sport.” Although boys normally play football, some girls are perfectly able to play if they please. “If they want to play, they should,” encourages Rachel. Rachel decided not to play in high school only because of the size difference between the boys and her. She also states that the risk of injury had grown since middle school, and she did not want to get hurt.
Playing football taught Rachel to do her best in everything at all times, to work extra hard, to become less shy and grow more confidence, and to work well with others. “When I was playing, I knew I had to work harder than any boy on the team,” she says. “And now, I’m like that all the time. I can’t just do my best—I need to do better than I think I can.”
Rachel Eaves is a trailblazer. As a seventh grader, she made the football team at her school. But she was “worried that they other players wouldn’t be OK with the fact” that she was a girl. She didn’t let that stop her, and she quickly became the first female defensive captain of her school’s football team.
When Rachel first started, she was “so nervous [her] stomach hurt.” But she “quickly became more confident” once she got the hang of it, she tells Scholastic Scope magazine. “Learning plays and remembering what to do on the field” was her main struggle.
In eighth grade she became the defensive captain for her team. Sadly, in high school, she stopped because she knew she could easily get hurt playing with “older, bigger opponents.” Still, football taught her to “do even better than [she] thought [she] could.” Even though she quit football, she remains a legend at her middle school in Grovetown, Georgia.
February 2017 Winners
December 2016 / January 2017 Winners
Students hone their descriptive writing skills by making our example text more vivid!
You are sitting on a place at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan. The deafening turbine engines sputter to life. Then you glance out of the circular glass window and see something extraordinary: a playful dog sprinting around the runway like an Olympic athlete winning a gold medal. The lively dog is running wildly, his tongue hanging out, rough as sandpaper and as pink as frosting on a little girl’s birthday cake. What is going on? Don’t worry. It’s just Piper, an 8-year-old border collie. Piper travels around the airport with his owner, Brian Edwards. When they see a flock of birds, Brian throws open the door of the car and Piper bounds out to do his job: chase the birds away. Birds can fly into the engines of a plane during takeoff or landing, which can cause the plane to crash. Border collies love chasing things, so Piper gets to do what he enjoys while keeping people and birds safe. Thanks, Piper!
You are sitting on a place at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan. The deafening whine of the gigantic engines begins, rattling the teeth in your skull. Then you look out of the window and see something strange: a dog dashing across the runway, like a racecar approaching the finish line of its epic chase. The dog is running fast, his wet, slobbery tongue spilling out of his mouth. What is going on? Don’t worry. It’s just Piper, an 8-year-old border collie. Piper rides around the airport with his owner, Brian Edwards. When they see a flock of birds, Brian opens the door and Piper leaps into action to start his job: chasing the birds away. Birds can fly into the engines of a plane during takeoff or landing, which can cause the plane to crash. Border collies love chasing things, so Piper gets to do what he enjoys while keeping people and birds safe. Thanks, Piper!
You are sitting on a place at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, waiting to be cleared for takeoff. The loud jet engines start up; the whole plane starts shaking, then goes down to a low rattle as the plane begins to idle. You decide to look out the window and get a last glimpse of your favorite place to go for vacation. Out of the corner of your eye, you see something very odd and out of place: a dog running around the runway, as if he were a plane himself. The dog is moving fast, his pink, wet tongue hanging out of his mouth as if he were trying to leave it behind. What in the world is going on? Don’t worry. It’s just Piper, an 8-year-old border collie. Piper patrols the airport with his owner, Brian Edwards. When they spot a flock of birds, Brian swings open the door of the car and Piper jumps out, ready to do his job: chase the birds away. Birds can unknowingly get too close to a plane and fly into the engines during takeoff or landing, which can cause the plane to crash. Border collies like Piper love chasing things; that’s why they are often used to help herd animals on farms. So Piper gets to do what he enjoys while keeping people and birds safe. Thanks, Piper!
November 2016 Winners
Students turn our interview with 16-year-old Nikhil Gopal, who invented an app that helps diagnose and treat malaria, into an article.
An Extraordinary Discovery That Can Save Lives
An insignificant mosquito can have a deadly effect. The invention of a teenage boy named Nikhil Gopal has changed lives by finding a much more affordable and efficient way to treat malaria, a deadly disease that is caused by mosquitoes. Nikhil created an app—yes, the kind that is on your phone—that can save lives and have a phenomenal effect on people all around the world.
Nikhil wanted to make a difference in the world when he found out his aunt was diagnosed with the deadly disease. After she was diagnosed with malaria, she was getting worse and not any better; she was given a medication that was not working at all. When she got rid of the old medication and began with a new one, she made a full recovery: Nikhil’s aunt switched medications and was better than ever. Nikhil was inspired by his aunt and wanted to help more people who were in the same situation as her. “I wanted to help doctors figure out how to more effectively treat patients like her,” explains Nikhil. What is malaria exactly? Malaria is a deadly disease: mosquitoes transmit the parasite that affects your blood. Some symptoms of malaria include: high fever, chills and sweating. If you don’t diagnose malaria quickly, then the parasite starts to reproduce, and once it reproduces, it gets harder and harder to treat. The app that Nikhil created is called the Malisa app. The Malisa app works by putting a drop of the patient’s blood onto a plastic CD-like device that Nikhil himself created. The intensity of the color determines how much malaria is in your body. After than, you take a picture with your phone and the Malisa app uses the phone to figure out how much malaria is really in your blood. You must give the test to patients multiple times to keep informing the doctor of your parasite levels. If the levels of malaria go up, then the patient is either not taking their medication, or their medication needs to be changed. In the U.S., malaria is very easy to treat, but malaria is much harder to treat in places that are poorer and where there are fewer medical resources. The test that Nikhil created is also way cheaper than other tests. Nikhil states, “Ultimately, I’d like to see it used to help people in rural areas, like my aunt, and patients who don’t have the resources to travel to a hospital or to pay for expensive tests.”
Nikhil’s app is still yet to be used for life or death situations. The Malisa app is still being tested by professionals to make sure it is the right choice to use on dying patients. Someday, I think Nikjil will make medical history by creating this stunning app that can change the world for the greater good.
His App Could Save Lives
Imagine getting a disease form a tiny mosquito and not being able to have the right medication. Now imagine an app that could save people from this disease. A young man named Nikhil, age 16, has done just this. He wants to find a way to help people in rural areas fight malaria with his app Malisa.
When he was asked what inspired him, he explained. “My aunt. She was diagnosed with malaria and got treatment at a local clinic, but the medication she was given wasn’t working. Once doctors put her on a different kind of drug, she made a full recovery. I want to help doctors more effectively treat patients like her.” He believed that he could make something that could help treat these patients. His app Malisa has made his idea possible. He explained how the app worked: “You put a drop of the patient’s blood on the plastic CD-like device that I created. If the blood contains malaria, a chemical reaction takes place and the device changes color. The intensity of the color corresponds to how much malaria is in the patient’s body.” He also explains how this information can be documented. He states, “then you take a picture with your phone. The Malisa app uses the photo to interpret the blood test and tell you how much of the malaria parasite is in the body.”
After he explained how you get the results, he was asked, “then what?” He stated, “The idea is to give the tests to patients multiple times to keep track of their parasite levels. So the test helps both diagnose and treat the disease.” He explained why he wanted to help people in rural areas. Here in the U.S., malaria is easier to treat. It is much harder in poor places with fewer medical resources. He explained why his app would be helpful to people in these places. He said, “The system I created is a lot cheaper than other malaria tests, and it doesn’t require electricity, which means you can use it pretty much anywhere.” He also explains how he hopes to be able to make the app compatible to upload results for doctors, so “the doctors can share information about how different treatments are working.”
This App Could Save Lives
Most 16-year-olds spend their time playing video games, doing homework, getting a driver’s license, playing sports, or hanging out with friends, but Nikhil Gopal decided to be dedicated to something else that not many people would even think of: He designed an app to help cure malaria.
Nikhil Gopal, 16, became inspired to help people who are sick with malaria after his aunt was diagnosed with the disease. When Nikhil’s aunt was diagnosed, she was given a medication that did not work. Once she switched medicines, Nikhil’s aunt made a full recovery. Nikhil wants to be able to help more people like his aunt find the right treatment. Most people don’t actually know what malaria is. Malaria is a disease passed along by mosquitoes. It causes symptoms like high fever, chills, and sweating, and it even kills about one million people a year. Nikhil says, “It is very important to diagnose malaria early, because once the parasite gets into your body, it starts to reproduce.” So he decided to make an app because, well, there’s an app for that. He called it the Malisa app. The Malisa app works by putting a drop of the patient’s blood on a small round plastic device that Nikhil created. If the blood has malaria in it, the device changes color. The color depends on the amount of malaria in it. Nikhil explains, “Then you take a picture with your phone.” The Malisa app will tell you how much malaria is in the blood. The idea is to give doctors information to help treat the patients, and keep track of the amount of malaria. If the amount goes up, the patient might need new medicine. The goal is to make malaria easier to treat, so more people can be saved. Also the app doesn’t need electricity, so you can use it just about everywhere.
In conclusion, the Malisa app makes it a lot easier for doctors to treat and cure a patient that has malaria. It can tell how much malaria is in the blood so the doctor can give the patient certain medication that will cure the patient. It uses very little electricity so you can use it everywhere you go. It is still in development, so there might be more and better features in the future.
October 2016 Winners
September 2016 Winners
Students use our infographic on the cockroach to write a short essay on whether the roach should be the national bug of the United States.
The Monster King
Roaches. Albeit their punt and miniature size, they posses many unique and fascinating abilities. A roach can run up to 3 miles per hour, which is extraordinary for a bug. Additionally cockroaches have an almost indestructible exoskeleton and some species can even fly! The question is, should the cockroach be the national bug of the United States? Despite the fact that cockroaches are such amazing creatures, here are some reasons I say “no.”
Roaches can be atrocious, even dangerous at times. Roaches spread disease and they can even damage homes by chewing books and food. Additionally, their feces stain and trigger allergies. Do we really want such a creature representing the United States? Cockroaches also have the ability to contaminate food and in rare cases some species are also known to bite humans. It looks as if cockroaches are not as great as we thought they were.
Another reason roaches should not be the national bug is that they overpopulate. A female roach can produce 30,000 babies in one year. Furthermore, 63% of homes in America contain roaches. Roaches can amazingly survive a full week without a head and they can hold their breath for 30 minutes. In addition to their horrifying characteristics, roaches also develop in abundance. Whether it is air-conditioning or heat, roaches have a ubiquitous presence. Besides being able to resist most chemicals, the cockroach has shown an ability to survive massive amounts of radiation and is a likely candidate to inherit the earth after a nuclear holocaust.
The Spanish, from where the word cockroach is derived, were more insightful about the bug. They called it “Cucaracha,” which has originated from the word “excreta.” No name could fit better. It does not merely look hideous, it is really dirty, disgusting, and a hazard to human health. It is capable of spreading various diseases such as typhoid and other parasitic and bacterial infections. According to an entomology study done in Texas, cockroaches are a despicable bug, and a money-maker for exterminators. In addition to their horrendous nature, these bugs can also invade body parts. They can enter the ear or nose of a human while they are asleep. They have caused numerous cases of food poisoning, allergies, and asthma. The Spanish sure named them right.
In conclusion, I would not vouch for the cockroach to be the national bug of the United States of America. There are plenty of other striking candidates such as bees, who pollinate our flowers and provide us with honey. We don’t want people to say about our country: “Their national bug is a cockroach? EWW!”
Cockroach for Presidency?
“Cockroach for national bug? I don’t want a disgusting little pest representing me!” You are all probably thinking the same thing: “A destructive pest? No way.” But there might be more evidence pointing towards the cockroach as the national bug of the United States than you may think. The cockroach is a super-powered chaos-causing pest who often gets the boot, literally. As you can imagine, the cockroach has some positives and some negatives. For once, let’s consider the cockroach; besides, it has been around for three hundred and sixty million years: it deserves some love.
The cockroach has many superpowers such as flight, shape-shifting, toughness, adaptability, and speed. Some species of cockroaches can glide and sometimes fly for very short distances. Cockroaches can squeeze their bodies together to fit through small cracks and crevices. Not only can they take flight and shape shift, cockroaches’ exoskeletons makes it extremely hard to kill and most cockroaches have become immune to insecticide. An example of how the cockroach is like the United States is that the Zika Virus affects most of the world but the United States remains unaffected (excluding some parts of Florida). This year is the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11th and this is another perfect example why the cockroach should represent the United States. After the attacks the United States got back up, found and eliminated the organization that carried out the attacks and rebuilt the broken New York City. This shows that both the United States and the cockroach are very resilient. If all this isn’t enough, the cockroach can run up to three miles per hour—that’s like the Usain Bolt of the bug world. This is another example of why the cockroach should be the national bug.
While most people see the United States as the perfect place to be, it’s really about as bad as the cockroach. The cockroach damages homes by chewing on things and staining things with their feces. The United States damages property by having people break into people’s homes; while it’s not the government’s fault, it’s still bad. Cockroaches spread disease by living in dark and damp places then spreading the filth to humans and animals. The United States spreads disease by having mountains of trash in landfills and if a new virus hit one of our major cities it would spread like wildfire from the packed busses and tiny apartments. Finally, cockroaches frighten people by being just plain disgusting. The United States frightens people by their military power; for example, terrorists have struck all over the world, but since September 11, no major terrorist attack has been carried out on American soil. Coincidence? Probably not; they’re just scared. In conclusion, the cockroach should be the national bug of the United States because the American Roach and the United States have their superpowers and their negative impact by spreading disease and damaging homes. Also, the cockroach has been around for 360 million years and isn’t going anywhere—it can even live up to a week without its head. These are the reasons why the cockroach should be the national bug.
Cockroach for National Title
The cockroach should never be the United States’ national bug. The thought that this would even be proposed is preposterous. It baffles me how an individual would even begin to propose the idea that a bug that is subjected to the ire of the majority of the population be given this title. A menace like the roach should not be considered for any position, no matter how small, to represent our country.
The cockroach has been on the planet for three hundred and sixty years, and it has been despised just as long. The roaches that plague sixty-three percent of our homes can spread diseases brought in from the sewers. They can also cause allergies, inducing sneezing fits and runny noses from the exoskeletons they produce. The cockroach also spells disaster in your panty, bookshelf, and on your fabric. They love to gnaw on your treats, snack on your prized collection of books, and stain your beautiful silk with their excrement. Perhaps, worst of all, they induce sheer panic on most of the population. They cause bystanders, unlucky enough to happen on one, to scream and result to sometimes-dangerous means to destroy them.
One could say that the roach symbolizes resilience and power. It is true that they have many capabilities for a creature of their size. They can fly, reach speeds of up to three miles an hour, and "shape shift" to get through tight spaces. The roach's exoskeleton is highly difficult to crush, and they are able to adapt to many harsh environment. All of these are potential arguments and have some validity, but even proposing the idea seems rude and unpatriotic.
The position that the cockroach is being posed for should be given to a bug that contributes positively to society. The roach is not loved, or even well liked, in our society. They cause allergies, disease, damage, and fear. They plague our great nation, and the roach would tarnish our reputation if they were given the national bug title. The roach should not be the United States’ national bug.
The Monster King
There is one menacing bug out there, one that can cause a plethora of harm and fright. For some reason, some people want to make this filthy insect the national bug of the United States. Cockroaches should not be the national bug of the United States. They can cause harm to many Americans, are very hard to kill, and can be overwhelming and scary. The national bug should be a critter that enhances the community.
Cockroaches inflict harm to many Americans. For example, the rotting excrement and exoskeletons they leave behind can trigger major allergies. Homes are also vulnerable, as studies state that 63 percent of homes in the United States have cockroaches. They nibble on items, such as books, shoes, and food, and their droppings can stain lavish carpet easily. Finally, they can spread disease. Certain proteins in what they leave behind trigger asthma and can cause salmonella, a gastrointestinal illness.
Cockroaches are also very durable and hard to kill. They can fly for short distances and can squeeze through tight spaces by flattening themselves. Their exoskeleton is virtually impossible to crush, so don’t rely on stepping on them. For most species, insecticide won’t kill them! Many roaches have become resistant to it. In addition, a roach can run away from you extraordinarily quickly. They can run at three miles per hour, which is about our normal walking speed!
Finally, cockroaches are very overwhelming and scary. Roaches have been on Earth and have multiplied for 360 million years. A single female cockroach can spawn 30,000 babies a year! They can produce lots of horror. Imagine seeing a living cockroach without a head! As it turns out, a roach can live without its head for a week!
In conclusion, the cockroach should not be the national bug of the United States. They can be overwhelming with billions, perhaps even trillions on this planet. They can cause disease and get you very sick. Roaches can be a menace and do not deserve be the national bug. The national bug should be something that actually helps people, not roaches.
The infographic on cockroaches supports having the cockroach as the national bug of the United States of America. Although cockroaches are generally associated with the “ewww” factor, a closer look at the cockroach indicates that it should be the national bug for America because it is adaptable, tough, and menacing.
Cockroaches have been very successful at adapting, such as “shape-shifting” and resistance to insecticide, to survive and thrive. Otherwise, they would not have been able to stay around for 360 million years. Similarly, America has grown and thrived. American culture encourages innovations that have helped to adapt and grow after many tragedies. For example, 9/11 did not cause our country to fall into chaos like the perpetrators had hoped. Although there was initial panic, the county bonded together to help the victims and develop ways to prevent a repeat of this tragedy. We were not prepared and we learned a lot from it just like we learn in school that every mistake is a learning opportunity. Another example is how we adapt to our changing demographics. Whenever there is a war or conflict in other parts of the world, we get a lot of refugees/immigrants from those places. The cultures that they bring influence and then become a part of American culture. For example, Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, is now common in America, but it was not so before the fall of Sai Gon in 1975 and floods of Vietnamese started to immigrate to America.
A cockroach is tough because its exoskeleton is hard to crush, which is like how America’s defenses are hard to crush. Likewise, America is tough because it recovered and thrived after countless tragedies in our history. For example, we rebuilt and became even stronger after the Civil War, the Great Depression, the market crash in 2008, and World War ll. Although the current election cycle may make it seem that America’s greatness needs to be rebuilt, America’s military, economy, and values are still strong and enviable by many around the world.
Cockroaches are everywhere, being a menace to many. Likewise, America has its tentacles (military, tourists, and American culture) all over the world. America gets involved or causes wars in other countries, causing death, damage, and instability for the people in those countries. Living in a warzone is terrible. American tourists don’t respect the local people’s way of life, look upon the people because they are poorer, and demand everything to be like in America. American movies, TV, and music are distributed all over the world. People from other countries see what is on TV as true American life and culture, which pushes out their own culture.
America and cockroaches are very similar. They both are tough, adaptable, and menacing. Also, the title of the infographic is The Monster King, which means that roaches are kings, so they should be the national bug because America kind of the like the world’s king. Under the title, is says “Why the roach rules the world,” which is saying that roaches are so great, they rule the world! In regular elections, we look at how much experience a candidate has. Roaches have been on Earth for 360 million years, so you could say they have a lot of “experience.” That is why I believe that roaches should be the national bug of the United States.
May 2016 Winners
Students turn our interview with William Mai into their own article.
Empathetic Heart Hero
All people should learn how to do C.P.R. and this unexpected situation is a great way to prove that. Our protagonist here is the 16-year-old William Mai. Mai lives in Canada but was on vacation in America staying in a hotel near the Grand Canyon. When he got back to the hotel after a long day, a lady from another room rushed up to him. She asked him if he knew first aid. In the interview, “The Heart Hero,” Mai says, “Well, I took a course once, yes.” After this she told him to come quickly because her husband was having a heart attack.
The man was very lucky that Mai knew how to do C.P.R. because, “When someone suffers a heart attack, the single best bet for survival is C.P.R.” While an ambulance was on its way, Mai and the woman’s brother were able to lower the unconscious man to the floor where Mai carried out the basic steps of C.P.R. These steps include chest compressions and/or breathing into the victim’s mouth. These are done to ensure that oxygen-rich blood is getting to all areas of the body, particularly the heart and brain.
“The paramedics took over. I told them I gave the man C.P.R. ad then I left. I was kind of shaken up after it, actually,” says William Mai. Eventually the hotel contacted Mai’s mother, asking about him. The family of the man also reached out. That was how Mai found out that the man had survived and that he was a hero. “It’s not something you think you’re ever going to have to use. I was kind of neutral about learning C.P.R., but it came in pretty handy,” says Mai. You too just might be able to save a life like Mai did, one out of billions, if you have the ambition to learn C.P.R.
There are many people around the world that have made a difference in people’s lives by doing CPR. It is important to be aware of how to do CPR, in case of an emergency. William Mai is one of the many people that saved the life of another using this procedure. Scope interviewed Mai, revealing how he was feeling during his experience and how it can really affect someone’s life. I believe that people should learn to do CPR because you never know when an emergency might occur. You could save a person’s life in a time of need.
It was just a regular day and William was at the Grand Canyon with his family on vacation. While he was heading back to this hotel room, a lady went up to him and asked him to help her husband who was suffering a serious heart attack. “She told me to come quick because her husband was having a heart attack,” William recalls. William then rushed into her hotel room and saw her husband on a chair passed out. With the help of the woman’s brother, William placed the man on to the ground. He then started doing CPR and continued until the ambulance arrived. William explained that he had learned CPR in his first aid class, which was a part of a physical education requirement. William said that he was just going through the motions, recalled the information that he had learned, and then applied it. William ended up doing CPR for about 10 minutes until the ambulance showed up. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics took over the procedure. “I was kind of shaken up after it, actually,” admits William. He didn’t exactly know what had happened to the man for the longest time. Finally, after a while, the family of the man reached out to William’s mom. They communicated to William that the man had survived. William said that at first you think you won’t need to use CPR, but you actually do. “I was kind of neutral about learning CPR, but then it came in pretty handy.“ He tells Scope that he is glad the first aid class was required, because it was very helpful in a time of need.
As you can see, it is important to learn CPR for many different reasons. “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better pace for all people” – Maya Angelou. You too can be someone else’s hero, just like William Mai.
How One Person Can Save a Life
How can one man use his education to save another man’s life? While William Mai, 16, was on vacation in the Grand Canyon, a woman approached him and asked if he knew first aid. After Mai responded that he did, the woman asked him to help her husband, who was having a heart attack. He then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. So how did Mai learn CPR, and how did he feel about it?
Mai was taught how to perform CPR as a requirement in his physical education class. Going through his mind at the time were the motions of CPR. He hadn’t done CPR outside of class, but he took what he learned and went with it. “I did it for as long as I could,” admits Mai. It was 10 minutes from when he got to the man’s hotel room to when the ambulance arrived. When the ambulance showed up, the paramedics took over. Mai told the paramedics that the man was given CPR, and then he left. “I was kind of shaken up after it,” recalls Mai. He didn’t know what happened to the man until his family contacted him. Then he knew that he had survived.
But Mai had never thought he would have to use CPR. He was neutral about CPR, but then he thought it came in pretty handy! He wouldn’t have taken the class if he didn’t have to, but he is glad that it was required. So, did this make you appreciate the classes you take? You should get he most out of your education and be like William Mai!
April 2016 Winners
Students hone their descriptive writing skills while reading about an island in Japan that is overrun by cats.
March 2016 Winners
Students turn our delicious infographic about pizza into an essay.
What do India, the US, Sweden, Russia, France, and Australia all have in common? They all like pizza! The sheer ubiquity of the staple of our collective diet is overwhelming, having penetrated almost every country. This is why we should serve pizza at the International Sports Day banquet. It has many other advantages too. It is very affordable, with the average pie costing a bit over 13 dollars, and supply will be a non-issue, for there are over 70,000 pizzerias in operation in the United States alone. There is a huge market for pizza with over 38 billion dollars being spent in just a year. That’s a little less than the entire tax revenue of New York City (including business taxes and sales taxes) in fiscal year of 2013. What’s even better? Tomatoes actually have chemicals that work to prevent heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the US. Someone has a heart attack every 43 seconds. This may seem insignificant, but small strides lead to large leaps. Lastly, pizza (with certain toppings) is chock-full of nutrients. A wide variety of additional toppings allow the participants to consume whatever vitamins or minerals they may be lacking in. This could speed blood clotting in an injured athlete, or perhaps help prevent skin cancer. In conclusion, pizza is clearly the best choice for the welcoming luncheon.
Pizza for the Win!
Whether it is a minor league baseball game to a National Football League game, pizza is always there! Pizza would be a great choice to serve foreign athletes who have come to observe our culture, as well as a healthy choice for all athletes. Pizza is a traditional American sports food and is found at every sports game that has a food stand. Many athletes come to America to have a taste of our culture, literally! Pizza would be a prodigious success at the athletes’ welcome dinner. 40% of Americans eat some kind of pizza at least once a week and 350 slices of pizza are consumed per second! In 2014 $38 billion was spent just on delicious pizza! Imagine just how many slices of pizza $38 billion could buy! In America there are around 70,000 pizzerias, making almost every city and town having some place that sells pizza. You could probably drive into Chicago or New York City, and already see plenty of pizzerias in a matter of minutes! The average cost per pizza pie is $13.21, which can feed about 4 people. To feed 20 people you would need to buy 5 pizza pies, which would only cost $66.05! The fact that you can feed 5 families for $66.05 shows that pizza is actually very affordable.
Of course there are unhealthy types of pizza that include plain pepperoni, sausage, and bacon, but if you choose the right toppings, pizza can be amazingly healthy! Mushrooms are the second most common pizza topping. Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable that contain a critical vitamin called vitamin D. Vitamin D is vital for the human body because it absorbs calcium and promotes bone growth. If the body has too little vitamin D, its bones will become soft later on in life resulting in misshapen bones. For humans, never mind athletes, this would be devastating. Another popular healthy pizza topping is onion. Onions have phytochemicals, which improve the functioning of vitamin C in the human body, thus granting improved immunity. Onions also contain chromium, which helps regulate blood sugar. Spinach is one of the healthiest pizza toppings, and one of the most popular. Spinach packs a powerful nutritional punch, and contains vitamin K. Vitamin K is extraordinarily helpful in making sure blood clots effectively. However, vitamin K is not only helpful for making sure the blood clots effectively. It is also mandatory in the process of building strong bones, preventing heart disease, and many other bodily functions. Most if not all, all pizzas have some kind of tomato sauce on them. Tomato sauce actually contains lycopene. Lycopene may help prevent heart disease, which athletes would need to continue their athletic career. Tomato sauce contains vitamin C, which your body needs for the growth and the repair of tissues. Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, which is an important protein that is used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. If a pizza has the right toppings and sauce, it can be exceedingly healthy!
When it comes to pizza, every country is unique. The people of Sweden put peanuts, bananas, chicken, pineapple, and curry power on their pizza. In India people put pickled ginger, minced mutton, paneer, tikka, and tofu on their pizzas. While most countries serve pizza warm, Russia does it a little differently. In Russia, they serve their pizzas cold, matching their weather. Their toppings are tuna, mackerel, and onions. The citizens of Australia’s toppings are emu, barbecue sauce, kangaroo, and crocodile. Finally, France puts sunny-side-up eggs on their pizza. The eggs are either baked on the delicious pizza, or baked separately to then add to the pizza later. Every country is diverse when it comes to pizza!
The pizza at the athletes’ welcome party would please everyone attending! Near the opening doors there will be a pizza bar. The bar will contain pizza toppings from different countries. So if a Russian athlete would want to try out pizza with Swedish toppings, then they could! The athlete would just go up to the bar and pick out the Swedish toppings. However, some athletes might have some trouble finding out which toppings are from which country. To solve this problem, the toppings will be sectioned off and placed under the sign that shows what country they are from. The German toppings will be placed under the sign reading “Germany,” the Russian toppings will be placed under the Russian sign, and so on. Therefore, the athletes should have little to no trouble in finding out which toppings are from which country! Some athletes do not eat meat to help their body stay in better shape. Nearby the multicultural pizza bar will be another pizza bar. This second pizza bar will strictly have only fruits, vegetables, vegan foods, and gluten free foods! Because of the second pizza bar, the vegetarian, vegan and non-gluten athletes will still be able to eat pizza! Since the pizza would be appealing to everyone and healthy at the same time, pizza at the athlete’s welcome party would be an amazing hit!
Dear Mayor Bloomsworth,
I am the head of the catering committee for the International Sports Day celebration the town will be hosting soon. I am writing to you to suggest that pizza should be the main dish served at the big welcome dinner for this event. As you know, our town is in quite a pinch money-wise, but pizza is very affordable! The average cost for a pizza is $13.21, feeding four people, which is well within our budget (unlike the steak, sushi, and other options that people have presented to you). Plus, we know people around the world love pizza, as $38 billion was spent on it in 2014 in the U.S.—the melting pot of all countries!
You may be wondering what kind of pizza we’ll decide to serve. Since everyone likes a different kind of pizza, it’s impossible to make everyone happy, right? Wrong. We, the catering committee, had the brilliant idea of having a toppings bar! Of course there would be the five most popular American toppings (pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, onions, and spinach), but there would also be favorites from all across the globe, such as: bananas, tofu, sardines, kangaroo, and egg. After all it is International Sports Day. Not only will the athletes get to eat whatever type of pizza that is their favorite back home, they can also experiment and try other countries’ exotic toppings.
Some may argue, “Athletes need to stay healthy!” and “Pizza definitely won’t help them with that!” But in reality, pizza does not deserve the unhealthy stigma that everyone places on it! The tomatoes used to make the sauce for pizzas contain lycopene; a substance that researchers think can help prevent heart disease. In addition, pizza provides tons of nutritious vitamins. For example, pepperoni or sausage gives pizza consumers the protein they may be lacking, and the cheese, an ingredient of almost any pizza, is high in calcium. Don’t even get us started on the vegetable topping options!
Help support the 70,000 pizzerias across the country by considering affordable, healthy, individualized, toppings-bar pizza for the welcome dinner for International Sports Day!
Head of International Sports Day Catering Committee
February 2016 Winners
Students turn our interview with 13-year-old Maddie Messer, who fought for free female avatars in smartphone games, into an article.
“The lack of female avatars sends the message to children that boys can do things girls can’t, and that’s not true,” says Maddie Messer, a common thirteen-year-old girl. Maddie noticed that games such as Temple Run offered free male avatars, but no free female avatars. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but to this passionate teen something had to be done! She knew that she would have to gather research about the issue before she spoke out against it. Maddie decided to then play the top fifty endless running games, and she discovered some shocking news; only 15% of the games had free girl characters. Maddie figured out that the issue was bigger than she thought, and knew that other people would have to hear about the problem in order for her to make a difference. Therefore, Maddie wrote an article, submitted it to several newspapers, and received great news. Her opinion was acknowledged, as her article was going to be published by the Washington Post. That wasn’t the only positive news she received though. The very day that the article was published, the creators of Temple Run contacted Maddie. It turns out that they agreed with her, and made one of their female avatars free. “I was happy that I actually made an impact,” Maddie shared. Not only is she happy about her own success, but Maddie wants to see others make a difference in the world too. She advises you to find something you feel strongly towards, and prove that it is really an issue pertaining to today’s society. Nowadays, too many teenagers and children think that they are too young to really have a say in anything, or have the power to do something about it. But as we can see, by this courageous girl’s actions, that whole theory is entirely false. Maddie Messer saw something she didn’t agree with, and stood up for her personal beliefs. She took action and spoke about the problem, and how it could lead to false indications. As a result you can unlock Scarlett Fox on Temple Run for free. However, this only happened because Maddie took a leap of faith, believed in herself, and stood up for what she thought was right.
“As with all human right violations, breaking the silence is the first step,” says Jessica Neuwirth. The bystander effect states that if there’s more people around that see a problem, than less people will stop to take action. With a young girl named Maddie, this is not the case. When someone starts talking about problems based on video games, most people if not gamers tend to tune it out. A single girl has found a problem that not only affects the world of gamers, but the world of women with all different personalities. Maddie Messer, 13, fought against the lack of free female characters in popular gaming apps, and made a change. Last winter, Maddie realized there was something wrong in her favorite game. As she played Temple Run, she found there was no free female avatar to play as. “I felt like I was being cheated or misrepresented,” Maddie told us during a recent interview. “The lack of female avatars sends the message to children that boys can do things that girls can't, and that's not true.” Maddie saw this issue in her every day life and wanted to help fix the problem. She knew that this accusation would need proof to be taken seriously. Maddie played the top 50 running games on iTunes and the results where astonishing. “I found that 90 percent of the games had free boy characters and only 15 percent had free girl characters,” she recalls. Though these numbers, she saw this problem was bigger than just one game. With this new information in hand, Maddie decided to take a stand. Armed with a passionate cause, and an essay explaining her issue, she submitted her article to couple of newspapers. The Washington Post saw that this was a real affair, and wanted to publish it. On that day the makers of Temple Run talked to Maddie. They told her that they saw that this was a problem, and we're going to work to change it. Soon after this game had a new choice of a free female avatar and promised to create more girl characters soon. Maddie Messer encourages others to take a stand against issues they care about. Her words-to-the-wise are to prove your issue is real with facts and go public with what you find. On the whole, Maddie Messer has raised an issue that goes beyond just gamers. In the struggle of teaching our new generations that men and women are equal, sometimes we’re fighting ourselves. With small problems like these that subconsciously work against that effort, a simple avatar option turns into the impression we’re leaving on kids that will one day lead our world. As Maddie explains, “Girls can do just as much as boys can. If the media doesn't reflect that message, then how is society supposed to?”
Just when you thought kids couldn't make a difference, Maddie Messer is here to inspire. This feminist gamer was playing Temple Run when she noticed that while there was a free boy avatar in the game, you had to pay for a girl avatar. She realized this was sexism of the highest order. “I felt like I was being cheated or misrepresented,” says Maddie. Clearly running away from people-eating-monkeys was physical exercise. The fact that there wasn't a female option right away seemed to say that girls can’t accomplish things boys could. So she set out to change that. She compiled a study of the top 50 endless running games on iTunes, and realized that while 90% had free boy avatars, only 15% had free girl avatars. The numbers did no good hiding on paper, so she attempted to publicize her work. She drafted an article, and sent it to a few newspapers. Later, The Washington Post said they would publish the article. Here comes the best part. The developer team of the game read the article the day it was published, and agreed that there was a problem. They updated the game and made the first female avatar, Scarlett Fox, free. They also notified Maddie that they would work on equalizing the boy/girl ratio for player characters. Maddie had made a leap in the realization of the problems of sexism in games, and she says that you can make a difference too. "Find something that you're passionate about – something that you think is an issue in society. Then prove that it’s really a problem with facts, and try to make this information public.”
First line: When cats came raining down from the sky, I knew it was because Grandma was angry.
"Do you remember the willow tree?" I ask, fixing my eyes on the ashes dancing in the wind.
“That looks like something a criminal would do,” Maria said, as she peered over my shoulder.
December 2015 /January 2016 Winners
Students use our awesomely gross infographic to write a letter arguing why we should use recycled wastewater.
Dear Mark Weprin,
I would like to inform you about why we should use recycled wastewater. Have you ever wondered, “What would happen to my city, state, or even country if there is a water shortage?” The answer is simple. We can use recycled wastewater. It’s even good for the planet!
To begin with, only 1% of the water on Earth is drinkable. However, if we resort to wastewater as an option instead, that percent will grow higher! In addition, 6-billion gallons of water gets flushed in the United States each day. Think about how many gallons are flushed in a week, a month, or a year! The numbers are surprising! Where does the water go after being flushed?
A second piece of evidence is, if we do consider the option of drinking wastewater then it must go through the mandatory steps in order to be safe. The first step uses filters to remove bacteria, viruses, medications, oil and other gunk. This step will clean out anything bad in the wastewater that may harm your body. The second step is an ultraviolet light and strong chemicals, like chlorine, that kill any remaining germs. This step will make sure no harmful things are in the wastewater we drink. Finally, the wastewater is returned to the regular water supply, which would meet strict guidelines before it reaches your faucet.
A final piece of evidence is that 40 states expect to have water shortages in the next decade. What will they do? Again, the obvious answer would be wastewater. Wastewater is safe as no one is known to have gotten sick from drinking reused wastewater. Wastewater is also pure, for it is cleaner than bottled water! Finally, wastewater is earth-friendly because reusing wastewater instead of dumping it into oceans and rivers would keep those bodies of water cleaner.
In conclusion, it has been proven that we should use recycled wastewater. Wastewater is safe, pure, and earth-friendly. Wastewater can help with water shortages, and can ever lower the amount of gallons flushed each day. I hope that you will consider this idea. For now remember this, Wastewater for the Win!
Dear Mayor of Barrington,
Most people keep up on current events. More troops deployed to Iraq, the Republican debates, and the terror that ISIS has instilled in people worldwide are some of the headlines of today. But a subject that has faded from the front page in the midst of this chaotic world is happening right now in California. There is a severe water shortage from Hollywood to Santa Barbra.
Since only 1% of all water in the world is drinkable, a water shortage is a truly pressing concern. Californians are trying to solve this problem by doing things like replacing lawns with Astro Turf. We, as a whole United States, could learn from this because forty-out-of-fifty states expect to have water shortages within the next ten years. Even though the situation seems dire, there is a solution: recycled wastewater.
Wastewater is essentially sewage water taken from toilets, sinks, and showers. However, recycled wastewater is cleaner that a lot of the bottled water we drink. Six billion gallons of water get flushed down the toilets around the U.S. every day, but officials are working to make it clean enough to drink. They do this through a three-step process. First, special filters remove whatever gunk is in the water, like bacteria, viruses, medications, oil, and whatever else flows into the sewage pipes. After that, chlorine and UV light cleanse the water of any remaining germs. To finish recycling, pipes return the water to the water supply. The water supply must meet specifically strict guidelines, which have evidently paid off given that nobody has gotten sick from drinking recycled wastewater. Recycling wastewater is also good for the planet. If we reuse wastewater instead of dumping it into bodies of water, it will keep rivers, lakes, and oceans cleaner so that they can be used as water supplies in the future with the help of reverse osmosis, purification, and, yes, recycling.
Even though drinking recycled wastewater may sound absolutely disgusting at first, there are actually more benefits than issues.
Thank you for listening,
Dear City Counselor,
You probably guessed that this letter was a desperate plea for your help, but it’s actually a proposal for how I can help you! Picture this: it’s a hot summer’s day, and you need a cold glass of water. Now I want you to pretend that you can only drink 1% of that quality H2O because the rest are glaciers or part of Earth’s collection of undrinkable water. You’re bummed, but decide to make the best of it until—a, a, achoo! You sneezed in what little water you have left. No worries. Just dump it out and start over, right? Wrong.
Drinkable water is the issue. There is only so much available to us, and most of it becomes wastewater. That snot-water you dumped is very valuable! According to Scope Magazine, “40 states expect to have water shortages in the next decade.” Reusing water could prevent such a threat, since your toilet could provide a surplus of potable water! For instance, Melissa Meeker said that, “Thirty-two billion gallons of municipal wastewater are produced everyday in the United States, but less than 10 percent of that is intentionally reused.” Crystal Yezman works at a water purification center in San José. She says that, “The Department of Health has acknowledged that we are removing 99.99 percent of all pathogens [from the wastewater].” So reusing water is completely safe. Gouverneur could seriously benefit from repurposing old water. Besides, if a small town like ours can take a step towards reusing water, perhaps we could serve as a good role model to big cities. It will certainly put Gouverneur in the map for our participation in the water conservation campaign. Therefore, I’m not asking you to drink straight from your toilet. I’m just asking that you consider recycled water.
Dear Mr. Zamudio,
Imagine it is the year 2075. The Earth is really dry and actual clean water is scarce. You turn on your TV to the news to see what’s going on globally. BREAKING NEWS: there is no more clean drinking water anymore on this Earth! You hear shouts outside and screams, but you still try to stay calm. There is not much chaos coming from your next-door neighbors, so you go right up to their door and give it a knock-knock. They answer with a smile, and inside, you can see lots of jugs of clean looking water. You then question them about it, and they tell you about reused wastewater. At first you are unsure about it, but you realize it is the only potable water left. You soon come up with a genius idea to help save the world! Using all that wastewater that is pretty dirty could be cleaned through the process that your neighbors came up with, and all that water could become useful! Wouldn’t it be awesome to have the city of Bonita use recycled wastewater?
There are many ways that reused wastewater could be beneficial to the Earth. Only 1% of the water on Earth is drinkable; one percent out of the hundred is not much at all. We could easily lose that 1%. That is why reusing wastewater is our best hope. 6 billion gallons of water in the United States get flushed down each day! That’s only in the U.S alone, so just imagine the global water consumption! However, 40 states in our country expect to have water shortages within the next decade. There are 50 states total that are part of the USA. 40 of them expecting water shortages seems almost like a living nightmare! On a positive note, no one has been known to get sick from drinking the recycled water. It’s cleaner than most bottled water, because it goes through steps in order to be drinkable. Reused wastewater would keep the rivers and oceans cleaner, since the wastewater is not being thrown into those bodies of water. Overall, the recycled wastewater would be very helpful internationally.
Using reused wastewater in Bonita could help save our lives. From the filters that remove the bacteria and any viruses, to getting it inspected and having it meet strict guidelines in order to reach your faucet, the reused wastewater is something that could change the world. What do you say Mr. Zamudio, could we make the change in Bonita’s water systems?
Dear Mayor Walsh,
The world does not have an endless supply of water, meaning that we will have to resort to a replacement, but what if this replacement could be water? Not, just any ordinary or regular water, but recycled water. Did you know that according to Scholastic Magazine 1% of the world’s water is drinkable? And six billion gallons of water are flushed in the U.S. every day? In the United States, states such as California are suffering from a depleted amount of water. Imagine: we could reuse all that water that we are wasting each day. We would be able to end any drought that comes to any state and make sure that no man or woman will be dehydrated. It is very possible for the state of Massachusetts to be able to use recycled water now and forever with your help! Now recycled water is considered gross and disgusting, but with today’s technological advances even wastewater can be sanitary. The used water goes through a process where filters remove the bacteria, viruses, medications and oil from the water. These filters remove anything from 300 microns, which is the size of a human hair. Then, an ultraviolet light and very powerful chemicals, like chlorine, kill any of the remaining germs swimming in the water. Finally, the water is then returned back to the water supply, where it must meet very strict guidelines before it reaches any faucet to be used once more. This entire process repeats itself over and over without any water being wasted.
Speaking of repeating, the water that is being used is in fact reusable. If this process continues in an infinite loop then this means that there is an endless supply of water that could be used again and again. Not only is the water reusable, it also costs less to buy the water. If we continue to throw out the water that we use everyday then the quantity of usable water will then decrease. Thus, the price of water will continue to rise due to inflation. Moreover, if the quantity of a very needed item such as water diminishes, then the only reasonable course of action is to increase the price because many desire water. Plus, imagine a world where your grandchildren will not be able to have sufficient and clean water because you did not want to create a plant to reuse water. We do not want that at all!
Thirdly, using recycled water is revolutionary; the reused water could come from any source and then lead back to another source. For example, the wastewater could come from your very own toilet and then turn into the very water you could be drinking. The water can be used for any purpose: taking a shower, filling a bathtub, and using the sink.
It is true that the process to start recycling water costs money, and people do not often wish to give money towards something that they find gross and have no knowledge about. Thus, making recycled water will fail due to the lack of resources and money. However, this does not mean that recycled water should be avoided since the outcome of recycling water far outweighs the price of jumpstarting the process.
In conclusion, recycled water can be clean, reused, and revolutionary. If we could live in a world where water is plenty, then perhaps our future children and grandchildren will be able to live in a world where they will not be searching for their next source of water because we had the courage and strength to build a filtering system to recycle water.
November 2015 Winners
Students turn our interview with 16-year-old Steven McDowell, who invented a fence that stores rainwater, into an article.
How I'm Saving My State
With his community in peril from one of the most severe droughts in his state’s history, one student wanted to make a difference. Freshman Steven McDowell, 16, became an entrepreneur when he created WaterFence, a revolutionary way to help his California community in their state of despair.
McDowell was in need of a community-based science project, so he decided to take the opportunity to make a difference in his community. The four-year-long severe drought had left his state in ruins, with fresh water limited and hard to come by. Certain afflicted communities have limited the amount of water for its residents to fifty gallons to fulfill all showering, cleaning, and drinking needs. Consequently, these conditions have left wildfires thriving. “Right now, just miles from my home, neighborhoods are burning to the ground,” McDowell stated sadly.
Doing a bit of math, McDowell realized that his very own yard could hold thousands of gallons of water, hence the birth of WaterFence. Using three things that all houses have in common: gutters, a fence, and a roof, Waterfence will be advantageous when you are in need but are lacking an abundant source of freshwater. Rainwater is effectively funneled into a system, which replaces and acts just like a regular fence, to be used for watering landscapes and flushing toilets. If the water is filtered it can be used for basic needs: cooking, showering, and even drinking water!
The WaterFence is starting to populate homes with its first installation at McDowell’s home, and it will be available to the public soon! People congratulate Steven McDowell on being a genius. He counters with the fact that he is just a teenager, a teenager who believed in himself and stuck to his idea.
By following through with his conceived idea, Steven McDowell proves that anybody can make a difference. No matter how you come up with the idea, whether it is in a boardroom full of professors or a freshman science classroom, you can make a difference in people’s lives. McDowell ends the interview with the simple truth, “I encourage anybody with an idea that can help even just one person to follow through with it; you never know what will happen.”
The Winning Project
NASA scientists predict that there is an eight percent chance of a mega drought in the southwest by the end of the century. This drought has already started in California, where farmers could make more money selling their water than they could using it to grow crops. Californians desperately needed a solution, and it came from an unexpected place: a high school science fair.
Steven McDowell lives in California, in an area that is suffering from its fourth drought. He came up with the idea to use fences as storage tanks for rainwater. “I needed a subject for my freshman year science project,” Steven explains, “and I wanted to focus on a current event that was affecting my community.” So he invented WaterFence, a system in which rainwater from the roofs of houses travels through gutter pipes into tanks that act as the house’s fence. Steven won his science competition as well as many others, and is currently in the process of making WaterFence available for sale.
Steven’s invention could help many California families save more water. His advice to teens is, “I encourage anybody with an idea that can help even just one person to follow through with it.” No one would have expected that a science fair project would actually help people get through this ongoing drought, but that goes to show that, like Steven says, people should follow through with even the craziest of ideas. Anything could happen.
How I'm Saving My State
Steven McDowell, age 16, lives in Rohnert Park, California. He created a way to help Californians during a drought. Steven needed a subject for his freshman year science project and decided to focus on a current event that was affecting his community. McDowell supports his decision by claiming that, “In California, we are suffering through the fourth year of one of the most severe droughts in our state’s history.” “A drought is when there isn’t enough rainfall to supply a sufficient amount of freshwater for everyone,” explains McDowell. One day when McDowell was walking around his neighborhood, he realized that “every single house has the exact same things”: a roof, a gutter, and a fence. Steven then thought, “What if the fence could store rainwater?”
When doing the math, McDowell realized that his own fence could hold thousands of gallons of water. Thus, he created a system called the “WaterFence,” a fence containing water storage tanks, which works when rain falls on a roof of a house, flowing through the rain gutters and into the tanks. The water stored in the tanks can then be used for watering lawns and flushing toilets. In addition the water that is filtered is used for cooking, showering, and drinking.
Steven encourages “anybody with an idea that can help even just one person to follow through with it; you never know what will happen.” Now during a drought there is a supply of water for everyone!
October 2015 Winners
September 2015 Winners
Students use our dazzling infographic on the tardigrade (a fascinating microscopic creature) to write a persuasive paragraph about why the tardigrade would make a great school mascot.
Time for a New Mascot
Have your students been suffering the extreme condition of non-stop testing at school? Is your school in need of a new mascot to help get them through their sleep deprivation? Then I have an enduring little beast for you: the tardigrade. This microscopic little creature can survive almost anywhere—from deep space to the hottest deserts. They are nearly indestructible. With an inspiration like this your students can’t possibly get anything but A’s. With a tardigrade as mascot, the kids can attack almost any problem. If your students are having trouble writing their essays, then just let the tardigrade’s enthusiastic instincts to survive since the dinosaurs’ time motivate the students to make it to the end of their concluding paragraphs. Also, the tardigrade can withstand 10 years without food, raising the students’ hopes by motivating them to last through just one more class till lunch. If the tardigrade mascot can do it, then the students can too!
Tardigrade for School Mascot
I think the tardigrade would be a great school mascot because it is tough and almost indestructible. Having a mascot that is tough would set a good example for students, showing that both academically and in extracurricular activities, they can do anything. Nothing can stop them! Many characteristics show how these creatures are tough. My first example is based on the fact that they do not need much food or water to survive. The infographic states that they can live without food or water for ten years. Also, if they do become dehydrated they can dry out and rehydrate later. The fact that they can survive that long without water shows that tardigrades are unbeatable, also showing that the school is as well. Second, they have very sharp teeth. In the article, the author says that “a tardigrade’s mouth is full of tiny daggers that it uses to spear its food before sucking out the insides.” This demonstrates that the Tardigrade is a tough creature because it devours its prey. This will encourage students to “devour” obstacles they must overcome. My next example that proves their toughness is the fact that they can live in almost any environment. The sidebar titled “The Numbers” says that they can survive anywhere from -459 degrees Fahrenheit to 304 degrees Fahrenheit. The tardigrade’s ability to survive extreme conditions shows that it is tough. With the tardigrade as the school mascot, the students would believe that no obstacle is too great and no crowd is too large to overcome. Finally, the tardigrade would make a great school mascot because it is tough and its species has survived for millions of years. In fact, a caption from the article states that the tardigrades have been around since the dinosaurs. This illustrates that they have the ability to adapt to the changing climates on Earth since that time. This proves how tough the tardigrades are by demonstrating that they are flexible to their environment. In turn, this would inspire students to be more willing to adapt to new criteria. Overall, because of the toughness and inspiring survival skills this creature represents, I believe it would be a great mascot for a school.
The dinosaurs: the first to walk the earth. Or so we thought. So what was the first creature to walk the earth? The answer may shock you. The answer is...the tardigrade. In this very long paragraph you (the reader) will be able to learn about the fascinating tardigrades. Plus, with this information I hope you will agree that the tardigrade would be a great mascot. I will prove it with my information. The first reason is its cuteness. Although this trait may not seem very important, it is. Most mascots must look either cool or cute to be noticed, and the tardigrade is both.
For one they have eight legs and any creature with eight legs is already cool. Plus, bear claws, bear claws, bear claws are so cool (cool to the tenth power). They basically look like little bears. Think about it. Baby bears are cute, but tiny baby bears are even cuter.
The second reason is endurance. With age comes wisdom, and the tardigrades were around before the dinosaurs. Wow! That's old! They must be infinity years old!
The third reason is fierceness. Tardigrades may be the coolest underdogs ever. But they can't be, because they are too fierce for that. They literally have tiny daggers in their mouths. They may be tiny but they have powers beyond your belief.
The fourth reason is that they are nearly indestructible. In extreme conditions they become mummies, then rehydrate and are good as new. They can survive almost anywhere. That is a gross, but cool, superpower. They are basically like titanium.
The fifth and final reason is in the numbers (you must be super confused). One, tardigrades can last 10 years without food or water. Two, tardigrades can last in temperatures of 304° Fahrenheit (that's the highest it's been recorded). Three, tardigrades can last in temperatures of -459° Fahrenheit (that's the lowest its been recorded). So, that's today's numbers, and now to Brian with the weather (I'm joking).
I had one main reason for writing this, and that is that the tardigrade is a great idea for a mascot. Do you agree?
Tardigrades are enduring animals that can live in extreme environments. They do this by rolling up into a dormant stasis until the environment becomes safe. Interestingly, scientists have been sending these little animals into space to test the theory of how humans came to be. All in all, these cute little buddies have been proven to survive in extreme conditions for tens of years. They are basically indestructible! Tardigrades are one of the smallest animals in the world and come in a variety of colors, such as brown, red, pink, and white. They like to feed and live on moss, and are exactly zero point eight millimeters in length. They are practically invisible! They are nicknamed “water bears,” because they move identically to bears lumbering along as they are floating. A tardigrade’s mouth has a long tube with tiny teeth inside, and its teeth protrude and retract to catch micro-prey as they come along. Indeed, they are no match for the tardigrade and it’s stretchy mouth!
The tardigrade would be a great mascot for St. Paul Catholic School, because we want to represent an unbreakable front. When our team is down, we will always rise back up like a tardigrade! We will replenish ourselves and live to fight another day. Also, tardigrades are cute and would totally draw the other team’s attention, causing them to be distracted and make comments like, “OH my gosh! LOOK at that cute little monster!” The opposing team would exclaim, “NOOOOOOOOOO! Our own precious school spirit has lost its hold!”
Tardigrades have been around for thousands of years, and would represent us well as the oldest Catholic school in the area. We would be the unbeatable tank on the battlefield! We would be the Tardigrades! “CHARGE!”
Tardigrade: The School Mascot?
Sometimes the smallest creatures are the ones with the capacity to take on great challenges. The tardigrade would be a great school mascot because its qualities reflect the perseverance and endurance of a thriving school and its students. Tardigrades have roamed on this earth even before the dinosaurs existed! Similarly, it is a strong foundation of a school that helps it thrive and succeed for years. The success of the school is reflected in the achievements of its students. Tardigrades look cute on the outside, but inside their mouths are hidden daggers. Similarly, students appear innocent, but they should never be underestimated for their hard work and determination, just as tardigrades should never be underestimated for how long they can survive in harsh conditions. Tardigrades can live up to 10 years without food or water, just as students can endure 13 years of tackling homework, completing multiple long term projects and assignments, and proudly representing their school at various competitions. If any animal can survive in temperatures between -459°F to 304°F, in deserts, deep in the ocean, in ice, in boiling water, and in outer space, it’s the tardigrade! Just as the tardigrade can live in diverse environments, a school is also as ethnically, culturally, economically, and geographically diverse. As a team, a school is ready to take on any challenges or face any circumstances. Notably, it is eager to represent itself in various competitions such as math competitions, robotics competitions, spelling bees, or sports games. The tardigrade would be a great school mascot to represent the hard work, commitment, and determination of the school and its students.
May 2015 Winners
Students turn our interview with 18-year-old Jilly Dos Santos, who got her school to push back its starting time, into an article.
Taking Charge and Making Change
Have you ever wondered if you can make a difference no matter what age, gender, race, religion you are? Yes you can, those things should never affect you trying to make a difference. Scope did an interview on 18-year-old Jilly Dos Santos. Jilly is from Columbia, Missouri. The educational school Jilly attended was going to move the start time from 7:50a.m. to 7:20a.m. due to bus schedules. The school’s board proposed this and Jilly was not at all fond of this proposal.
Jilly thought this was the worst idea she had ever heard, She was late to school a lot and was only getting about four to six hours of sleep every night! Because of the new start time, Jilly would have to wake up earlier. This was definitely not an ideal situation. Jilly was then inspired to make a difference when her teacher stated “If you don’t like it, why don’t you do something about it?” She put together a Facebook group and set up a Twitter account. A girl helped her write emails to share with educators. Jilly gathered a petition with more than 200 signatures! She then got a group of students to speak with the school board.
Jilly took her opinion up with the board. She explained to them all the facts she collected and she shared with them how she was not the only on that had this opinion. The board liked that she was straightforward and that she made it strictly business. There were about 30 students there to support Jilly. Jilly provided the evidence and left it at that. An 8:55 start time was official two months after the meeting.
I Woke Up My School
In the article “I Woke Up My School,” 18-year-old Jilly Dos Santos gets her school to push back it’s start time. After having issue with the bus schedule, the school board decided to propose a 7:20 start time. When hearing this, Jilly became furious.
The teen began to create a campaign against the new start time. She set up a Facebook page, online petition, and Twitter account against the change. Slowly, the numbers increased and what was just one unhappy teen turned into hundreds of teens feeling the same way. Finally, Jilly was able to gather a large group of students to attend a school board meeting and express their feelings. She says she just gave them the facts instead of blowing up about the problems.
After lots of hard work it finally paid off when an 8:55 start time was announced. Now students had time to get enough sleep and complete all their homework. Jilly says that the new start time lets her finish homework in the morning, rather than staying up all night trying to finish it. She says it feels really good to know that teens have a voice. She also quotes, “It felt really good to know that the administration is listening to us.” Knowing that she could help cause the change also helped her feel more secure and stronger.
Imagine this: you are about 18 years old, and are in high school. School starts at 7:50 a.m. You are already late to school pretty often, and hardly get any sleep at night. One day, the school board makes the decision to start school at 7:20 – a whole 30 minutes earlier. What are you going to do? As awful as that sounds, 18-year-old high school student Jilly Dos Santos experienced it. She thought it was the worst idea she’d ever heard. She had to make a change, but how? She decided to create a Facebook group, a Twitter account, and a petition at Change.org which got over 200 signatures. She also wrote emails to teachers and created posters to hang around her school. After that, she organized a group of students to speak to the school board. Her inspiration came from a teacher of hers, telling the students, “If you don’t like it, why don’t you change it?”
Santos needed to prepare for the meeting with the school board. In order to do that, she would need scientific evidence on why it would be a bad idea to start school earlier. During teen years, your internal sleep clock shifts: you want to go to bed later, meaning that you wake up later. Because school starts at the same time that it always has, waking up is more difficult. There was nothing wrong with Jilly’s time management. It was something that she couldn’t change – biology. Using this information and the support of about 30 other students, she was able to convince the school board to make the start time 8:55, instead of 7:20.
Since switching to the later start time, Jilly and her fellow students experienced many benefits. For one thing, students were able to get the necessary amount of sleep that they needed. This helped students to be late much less often. Also, the amount of morning clubs increased, along with many more people attending them, creating more opportunities to make friends. Most times, teens have opinions but they are not exactly sure how to respectfully voice them. However, they are there, and it is important that they are known. Teens can make a difference.
April 2015 Winners
Students use our adorable infographic about dog waste and the environment to write an editorial for a newspaper about how important it is for people to pick up after their dogs. Great for Earth Day!
Ditch that Doo-Doo!
Trotting. Prancing. Sniffing. Licking. Giving kisses. Begging. Doing tricks. Greeting. Roaming. Jumping. Just admit it, dogs really are “man’s best friend.” However, you may have noticed something has been left out of that list. Something dreaded. Something horrific. Something that makes you want to grab one of those swimmer’s nose plugs and move to another city. Another state. Maybe even another country! Yup, you guessed it, everyone’s favorite: dog poop. Whether you’re on a walk at the park, on a camping trip, or just plain in your own yard, sometimes your dog just has to go, not caring if you took the time to grab those handy-dandy lavender scented, paw-print specked little baggies or not. The sad thing is, many people don’t realize how big of a mistake they made, pretending not to have noticed that little surprise Fido seemingly conjured out of thin air for them. Bottom line is: scoop that poop!
Trotting. Prancing. Sniffing. Licking. Giving kisses. Begging. Doing tricks. Greeting. Roaming. Jumping. Just admit it, dogs really are “man’s best friend.” However, you may have noticed something has been left out of that list. Something dreaded. Something horrific. Something that makes you want to grab one of those swimmer’s nose plugs and move to another city. Another state. Maybe even another country! Yup, you guessed it, everyone’s favorite: dog poop. Whether you’re on a walk at the park, on a camping trip, or just plain in your own yard, sometimes your dog just has to go, not caring if you took the time to grab those handy-dandy lavender scented, paw-print specked little baggies or not. The sad thing is, many people don’t realize how big of a mistake they made, pretending not to have noticed that little surprise Fido seemingly conjured out of thin air for them. Bottom line is: scoop that poop!
Now that you are aware of the evils your dog’s poop is capable of, the question is: WELL, HOW DO I GET RID OF IT? There are really three correct and environmentally safe methods to dispose of the waste. Most obviously, you can trash it using those handy-dandy, lavender scented, paw-print specked little biodegradable baggies. Another way is to bury it. Using a hole at least one foot deep, and is away from any other things that it could be a potential threat to, such as your mother’s beloved garden or that little stream that runs through your yard. The last effective way to dispose of it is to flush it down a toilet. If your plumbing connects to a sewage system, it is safe to watch your nightmare swirl away.
Laws can restrict, people can rant, your neighbors can complain, but really, a change starts with you. You realizing the extreme importance of picking up your doggie’s doo doo, whether you feel like it or not. To sum it up: make sure to perform that little action! It will make a big difference with everyone’s input, no matter how small.
POOP…it can be dangerous
Yuck! You just stepped in a mushy, disgusting pile of dog poop in your brand new shoes. You think, “ Why didn’t they pick up after their dog?” Many people are guilty of not picking up after their dog’s poop, because a lot of dog owners are clueless about what happens after they don’t pick up after their pooch. When you don’t pick up after your pup, there are consequences. And there are many different ways to dispose of the waste too.
First of all, did you know that 10.6 million tons of dog poop are produced in the U.S. each year? That’s a lot of poop. When you don’t pick up your dog’s poop, there will be consequences. Bacteria in the poop gets in the soil, which can make people who touch it sick. Poop can harm wildlife when it gets washed down into storm drains, which lead to rivers and lakes by rain and snow.
Lastly, there are 23 million bacteria contained in one gram of dog feces. So be responsible and pick it up. One way to dispose of it is to use a biodegradable bag to throw the waste away. A second way to dispose of it is to bury it. When you bury the waste, dig a hole at least 1 foot deep, but make sure it’s away from gardens or bodies of water. The third way is to flush it—if your home connects to a sewage system you can flush the waste down the toilet.
In conclusion, it is important to pick up after your pooch because there are consequences to pay when you don’t. So, now that you’ve got the scoop, if you plan on getting a dog, or already have one, remember the responsibility that comes with it.
Scoop that Poop!
Did you know that 83.3 million pet dogs live in the United States? Well, it’s true! Since there are so many of them, the dogs produce 10.6 million tons of poop each year! You might not know this, but if we don’t clean up this poop, people and animals can get pretty sick. We need to be responsible pet owners and take care of our environment.
When you don’t scoop your dog’s waste, a lot of bad things can happen. One of the results of not cleaning your dog’s waste is the bacterium in the poop gets in to the soil, which spreads diseases such as salmonella and E. coli. As a result, when people touch this soil they can become very ill. The feces can even harm wildlife, because as snow and rain wash it into storm drains, it pollutes the water in lakes and rivers. What’s crazy is that there are even more ways the feces can harm us!
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “How do I get rid of the waste?” Well, there are three things you can do. First, you can throw it away. Don’t worry, you won’t have to touch it. You can use a biodegradable plastic bag to wrap it with, throw it in a trashcan, and bam! It’s gone! You can also burry it. All you have to do is dig a hole that’s at least one foot deep and put it in the hole. But make sure it’s away from bodies of water and gardens. Lastly, you can simply flush it out of your life. If your house connects to a sewage system, you can just flush it and say goodbye to that disgusting poop!
By cleaning up after your dog, you can reduce the risk of people getting sick. This is much better for the environment. As “Scholastic Scope” likes to say, “Pick up after your pooch, please!”
Scoop that Poop!
People love their pooches. Currently, there are 83.3 million pet dogs in the U.S. Obviously, with that many dogs, poop is going to be a problem. Until there are puppy port-o-potties, we need to find another solution.
The scoop on all that poop! Each year, 10.6 million tons of dog poop is produced. In just one gram of dog poop, there are 23 million bacteria. Many of these bacteria are harmful to humans, such as E. coli and salmonella.
Cleaning up after your pet dog is very important. If you don’t pick up after you pet dog, bad things can happen. Bacteria from dogs’ feces get into the soil. People who touch the soil can get sick. Rain and snow can wash the waste into storm drains, which empty into rivers and lakes where the waste can harm wildlife.
To prevent some of these things, you can pick up that poop. Some ways you can get rid of the poop is by throwing it into the trash, burying it, or flushing it down the toilet. Those of you with furry friends, please remember to pick up after your pooch.
Do Your Duty
Did you know that 83.3 million pet dogs live in the United States? Aww!!! So cute!!! But there’s a bad side. 10.6 million tons of dog poop are produced in the U.S. each year. Well yeah, dogs are cute, but what happens when they poop? Then you have to scoop that poop!
If you don’t scoop the poop, bacteria in your dog’s feces gets into the soil. People who touch the soil can get really sick from the bacteria. The bacteria can get into your stomach, and you can get sick from that.
Also, if you still don’t scoop the poop, rain and snow can wash the waste into storm drains, which empty into rivers and lakes. Now that it’s in the lake and sea, fish and wild sea animals can get sick and die.
So now that you know what happens if you don’t pick it up, I can tell you how to get rid of it. First of all, you can trash it. Grab a strong plastic bag, pick it up, and trash it. Or, you can bury it. If you have a dog who poops in the back or front yard, you can dig a hole 1 foot beep and put the poop in it. But this can only work if it’s away from gardens and water.
23 million bacteria are contained in 1 gram of dog feces. Do you really want to live with that? It’s your choice! Do your duty!
March 2015 Winners
Students write a short article using our interview with 17-year-old Joe Chambers, a volunteer firefighter who saved a police officer’s life. Click the button to display each student's winning entry!
Out of the Flames
Firefighters are known for their bravery, in the same way Dalmations are known for their spots. The general public views firefighters as brave, sacrificial, courageous men and women. This stereotype is derived from the numerous stories we hear of their determination and strength. For example, seventeen-year-old Joe Chambers pulled a police officer out of a burning car, saving his life. Chambers was an off-duty, volunteer firefighter who rescued the man with absolutely no hesitation.
Chambers was visiting his sister when he heard the crash. He ran outside to find a flaming vehicle with a passenger inside, desperately in need. Chambers assured the man, Mark Kimsey, that he would get him out. Then he proceeded to pull him out through the window because the door was jammed. Chambers told our interviewer, “I’ve always had the instinct to look out for other people, but after seeing all that I’ve seen, I feel like I now have the skills to do more.” Being a firefighter has taught him many things. He has had many jobs in the firehouse like, “…making sure all the ladders are in the right place and all the hoses are laid correctly…helping trapped victims and helping clean up the scene…” These responsibilities guide him get better-handle high-stress situations.
Part of what makes Chambers so special is that he volunteered, and at such a young age. “I always wanted to volunteer, and one day I just got up and decided to do it,” he said. Also there were, “some other kids [his] age who volunteer at different fire companies in [his] township” that Chambers was friendly with. He also became close with Mark Kimsey after his rescue. Chambers stood apart from his fellow men because of this outstanding bravery in an unexpected place. Firefighters become an icon of strength and hope because of men like Joe Chambers.
Into the Flames
Officer Kimsey had lost all hope until Joe Champers saved him from a burning car. Joe Chambers is an ordinary teenager that helps out at his local firehouse. He is only 17 years old and has made a big impact in his community. Joe Chambers was at his sister’s house when he heard a loud noise. He ran outside and saw Officer Kimsey trapped in a police car on fire. The car door was jammed so he ripped the policeman out of the car, saving him. He volunteers at Leedom Fire Company. Joe Champers says that “Being a firefighter makes me aware of my surroundings, and it’s giving me the courage and skills to respond to emergencies.” Joe is conscious of everything that is happening around him. Joe Chambers is not only a very good firefighter, but also a very good friend thanks to Leedom Fire Company.
Joe Chambers always dreamed of being a firefighter. One day, he decided to make his dreams come true. He submitted his application to the firehouse and a month later, they accepted him. He has been a volunteer firefighter for three-and-a-half years. Joe Chambers is friendly with many other volunteer firefighters in his township. When Joe Chambers started as a firefighter, he had to clean up after everyone. He can’t go into the buildings until he is 18 years old., but he still helps lay out the hoses correctly and helps keeps ladders stable during situations. What Joe does during a situation depends on its seriousness. He participates in firefighting training and helps ordinary people like Officer Kimsey stay safe.
Joe Chambers has learned to cherish life more after seeing horrible occurrences in his life. He says, “I’ve always had the instinct to look out for other people, but after seeing all that I’ve seen, I feel like I now have the skills to do more.” After saving Officer Kimsey, he and Joe talk everyday. They act as if they were brothers. Joe Chamber’s experience as a firefighter has taught him many things. He is just an ordinary teenager but has made a big impact.
Joe Chambers always wanted to volunteer as a firefighter and one day he just went for it. He signed an application and a month later, the firefighters accepted him. Volunteering is special for Joe because being a firefighter makes him aware of his surroundings. He has volunteered for three and a half years.
Seventeen-year-old Joe Chambers was in his sister’s house when he heard a big BOOM. He rushed out to the scene to see what happened. He saw two cars, one of the cars was a police car and was in flames. Joe noticed that there was a police officer that couldn’t move one of his legs. And so Joe told the officer that he was going to get him out but the door was jammed. So Joe took the officer and ripped him out but the door was jammed. So Joe took the officer and ripped him out of the vehicle saving his life. “We talk every day now. He’s like a brother to me,” says Joe.
Now Joe talks everyday with the officer, Mark Kimsey. When Joe is 18 he will be eligible to enter burning buildings. Imagine if Joe Chambers wasn’t there to help the injured police officer. Joe Chambers, a volunteer firefighter, risked his life to save Mark Kimsey. It was an act of kindness and bravery. Volunteering is a great way to help people.
First-Line Contest Winner
First line: There is a reason why it is called a secret ingredient.
The only important thing was what he had missed.
There’s a fine line between bravery and idiocy; I think I might've just crossed it.
As the moon began to rise his hands started to glow.
“How is there lava, but no volcano?” Jimmy thought to himself.
It was finally Eli’s third 15th birthday.
I woke up in a pile of bones.
“Don’t open the box until I get back.”
Having friends can sometimes be horrible.
I don’t know why they came. I don’t know who they are. I only know that they are dangerous.
February 2015 Winners
Students use our infographic about the importance of failure to write an inspiring graduation speech. Click the button to display each student's winning entry!
The Necessity and Integrity of Failing
Renowned author C.S. Lewis once boldly stated “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” Since an immeasurable amount of us have endured failure at least once in our lifetimes and found that we have discovered success from the mistakes, we can all relate to the honesty and brilliance of this quote. Without a doubt, we are often prone to fail. It makes all of us stronger when we learn from our mistakes and gain humility.
For example, failure strengthens us by enabling us to learn from our mistakes. The infographic “Failure: It Makes You Stronger” from the February edition of Scope Magazine explains that Michael Jordan missed 26 game winning shots throughout his career. But, did he quit due to these monumental failures? No, he continued to play. Instead of facing the depression and discouragement of letting his team down, Jordan showed resilience and practiced even more so that he would make those potentially game-winning shots in the future. As Jordan learned from his once distressing mistakes, he most likely also gained humility.
Failure proves that we are not impeccable. Failure also strengthens us by granting us consistent humility. According to the same article in Scope, Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States of America, suffered through five lost elections before becoming president. When he finally became a historic and momentous president, was he filled with raucous pride and ego that lead him to the conclusion that he was the best president ever in office? No. Because of his past failures, he controlled his boisterous hopes for his presidency and rose above his former unpopularity. He was humble and resilient. His past failures allowed him to guide America successfully through a war that threatened the existence of this country and led it to where it is now. Lincoln remarkably turned his failure into success.
Jordan and Lincoln prove that with failure comes wisdom: the wisdom to learn from your mistakes and gain humility. Failure is necessary and allows each of us to gain honest integrity. The benefits of mistakes outweigh the mistakes themselves. Do not fear failure. Embrace it. You will excel.
Good morning/afternoon fellow students. Most of you know me as Michael. Today, I am going to teach you the one and only way to be successful: learning to accept failure. From experience, everyone in this room has failed or been defeated--including me. I am here to tell you that if you are afraid of failure, you are a coward. The first step to being successful is learning that failure is okay. The next step is to keep fighting after you have failed time and time again. The last step is to know that your fails will be an experience for you. So get comfortable and be prepared to learn to fail!
As I stated earlier, I have failed before. I know, shocking isn’t it?! I can recall a memory a couple of years back when I failed time and time again and I thought about quitting. Then someone close told me something. They said that if I were to quit, I would always wonder, “what could’ve been.” I knew that I needed to accept failure as an inevitability. And so comes step one to being successful; learning that failure is okay. You need to learn that failure is not some curse word that you should cringe when someone says it. Guess what? You failed. Now move on and learn to be successful.
Next on your road to success is understanding that failure will lead to success. Each fail acts as a little piece of experience in a puzzle to success. Once you have received all the pieces in the puzzle, you will have all that you dream of. Many successful people know about this process. I can bet that looking back on their lives after failure, they are so happy they didn’t quit. J. K. Rowling knows from experience. This billionaire author, known for her fantastic Harry Potter series, was rejected by 12 publishers for her first book. But she did not quit. She took these failures and rejections as constructive criticism and made her book better. The book was eventually picked up by a publishing agency that is probably pretty happy that they took it.
Last on the checklist to success is to keep trying. Once you break that mental barrier that you can fail and be successful, you need to keep pushing. I am not saying that you will never encounter failure again. You will definitely fail again. But you need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you quit, then you are a failure. After you get the idea in your head that you will succeed, then failure will no longer hold you back. You will not want anything but success, which you can have if only you keep pushing. Just like an old saying states, “every storm runs out of rain”, you will be successful in the end. You need to know that you can change the world. The people that are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who actually do. And once you have become successful and a millionaire, just remember this speech and just smile knowing you made it.
In conclusion, you need to remember that success can be achieved through three simple steps, and a lot of hard work. You need to know that failure is okay! You need to keep trying, even if it seems it’s you against the world. Your perseverance will pay off. When you are one step away from achieving your goals, take the final step with a smile on your face and remember that you only achieved success by learning to accept failure. Pass this life lesson on. When someone is about to quit, give them this speech and watch it change their life. So to all of you out there hearing this, go out and fail! Don’t be afraid!
Kelly Clarkson said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” We all know the feeling of being a failure. It can bring us down but we can overcome it. Failure does not mean you leave or give up after the first try; rather that you get back up and try again. Later in life we will hopefully figure out that a hard working person can overcome a smart person any day of the week.
According to the Oxford dictionary, resilience means the ability to recover from an obstacle or a difficulty. We all have been resilient at least once in our lives. Did you know that Tim Westergren, the creator Pandora, was rejected 347 times by investors? If he gave up, everyone would be Pandora-less. Abraham Lincoln had gone through 5 elections before becoming president. Imagine our world if we didn’t have him. Each of these men has shown us that resilience is able to change our lives.
It takes grit to keep working on something you have failed at. Grit is the ability to keep strength in a person’s inner character. An example of a person with grit is Michael Jordan. He was cut from his high school basketball team but kept practicing and now is thought to be one of the best basketball players in the world! Similarly, Katy Perry was dropped from three record labels. Astonishing, right? Both Katy and Michael each figured out what had gone wrong and kept persevering until they got it right. This ended up with them in the hall of history and fame.
These well-known people have all been the faces of failure. That may sound weird, but it’s true. Somebody’s failure, for example, is not based off of how many times you do something wrong. Rather, how many times you learn from those mistakes. All we have to do is persevere and be resilient... maybe even make a few adjustments along the way. With perseverance we can, as Kelly Clarkson said, “stand a little taller.”
Someone once said, “When something bad happens, you have three choices: you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.” At some time in your life, you have probably failed. Maybe it was in school, a grade, or a class. The important thing to remember is not to give up. Most everyone has failed in his or her life. Just because you were unsuccessful doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying. Even famous people or popular apps have failed, but they didn’t give up. I know the future is scary, but something good will come out of it.
Three hundred and forty-seven is the number of times investors rejected Tim Westergren, the creator of Pandora. Three is the number of record labels that dropped Katy Perry before her success. Twenty-six is the number of game winning shots Michael Jordan missed throughout his career. Five is the number of elections Abraham Lincoln lost before becoming president. Twelve is the number of publishers that rejected J. K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book. These are all famous people or popular apps that have failed at some point, but they didn’t give up. Look where Katy Perry is now, she just played at the super Bowl. Pandora has 4.9 stars and is the 2014 Webby Award Winner. Michael Jordan is considered one of the best basketball players ever, and even though he missed twenty-six shots in his career, he kept improving. Abraham Lincoln is now one of the most popular and loved presidents. J. K. Rowling has written and published over seven books. All of these famous people and apps have failed at least once. What would our world be like if they had given up?
Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I have succeeded.” Michael Jordan tells us that failure happens to everyone, and that’s how people find their mistakes and fix them. Some people fail and say that there is no point in trying again because I’ll fail again, but they’re wrong. If you keep trying, you will finally reach that point where you will succeed. Good luck to all of you in the future. Just remember, keep trying!
Failure is simply inevitable. If you fear failure, you will never be able to prosper and succeed. You will be unable to address any situation because you have the fear that you may fail at your task. You can’t accomplish anything in life if fear is holding you back.
Many people fear failure for a variety of reasons. First of all, failing can be humiliating. No one wants to risk getting laughed at or made fun of because they failed. Other people have issues with accepting and admitting that they’re wrong. They are overly self-confident. They are perfectionists who cannot who cannot accept anything less than complete success. Also, some people are afraid that if they fail once they will never be able to overcome that failure. One failure may scar them for the rest of their lives. They will completely give up on what they were trying to accomplish all because they messed up one time. But listen classmates, failing is not some sort of evil, horrible thing. Failure can be a great thing! If you do something one time and fail, you can fix the issue and try again. If you never change the problem, you cannot expect to change the results. You have to learn from your mistakes. Failure can even help you gain courage. It takes courage to be persistent with something that has failed in the past.
So what are you going to do? Are you going to give up after you fail, or will you learn from your mistakes? If you fear failure and never try to do anything, you will never find success. Tim Westergren, the creator of Pandora, was rejected 347 times by investors, but in the end found immense success! The same was true for the author of Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling, who was rejected by publishers 12 times! Now I can assure you these people did not fear failing, but instead they dreamt of great achievements.
January 2015 Winners
Students turn our interview with 14-year-old Trisha Prabhu, who developed software to help stop cyberbullying on social media, into an article. Click the button to display each student's winning entry!
Cyberbullying is hurting someone online, often through social media. It is a big problem in today’s world – but don’t think that it’s going unnoticed. Trisha Prabhu, a fourteen year old from Illinois, might just have a way to help solve this issue. “I heard a terrible story on the news about a girl who took her own life after being cyberbullied… I realized that cyberbullying is a huge problem all over the world,” said Trisha in an interview with Scope.
This is why she decided to create software that gives users of social media a second chance to thick about what they are posting before they do it. “More than 93 percent of the time, when adolescents received this alert, they decided not to post the offensive message,” Trisha explained. Her software, Baseline and Rethink, have not yet been adapted to any social media sites. However, they are ready for use. The subject is given an example of an insulting message and asked whether or not they would post it. Trisha’s software Baseline gathers the information of the subjects’ responses and moves on to another example, while Rethink sends an alert to them asking for a second thought. Rather than revoking social media, Trisha hopes to find a better solution using her software. “I feel like social media has empowered us,” she said.
Trisha’s software could have a great impact on the world of cyberbullying. Providing people, especially kids and teenagers, with a second chance to understand the consequences of their actions could improve the safety of cyberspace. That’s exactly what Trisha Prabhu hopes to accomplish – with the help of her good friends Baseline and Rethink.
If you are a young person today, you may not think that you can help change the world. Unlike most of today’s youth, 14-year-old Trisha Prabhu from Naperville, Illinois wanted to make a change in social media. Now you may be thinking that social media is just fine the way it is, but that is where you would be wrong. Social media has a problem, and that problem’s name is cyberbullying.
One day Trisha was watching the news and heard a heartbreaking story about a girl taking her own life after being cyberbullied. She wanted to help stop cyberbullying, so she got to thinking: “Why might adolescents be doing this?” She did some research and found out that the part of our brain that controls decision making is not fully developed until we are 35 years old. This is why we sometimes don’t think things all the way through. She then thought to herself: “What if this has something to do with behavior on social media? By stopping and thinking, could we make better decisions?” Trisha then told Scope that she decided to develop software to test her idea.
So she did exactly that. Trisha developed two programs: Baseline and Rethink. She says: “Baseline displays an offensive message and asks a test subject if he or she would post it on social media. If the test subject says yes, Baseline captures that information and moves on to another offensive message. Rethink does the same thing, except that when a test subject says yes, an alert comes up and asks the subject to reconsider.” Her goal is to eliminate cyberbullying from all social media websites. Who knows? Maybe Trisha has just come up with the cure to end cyberbullying. In the meantime, Trisha says that social media “gives us an immense amount of power, and with that power comes a lot of responsibility.”
Cyberbullying is a ruthless thing to do and can hurt another’s feelings. Trisha Prabhu, 14 years old, has created two programs that can help stop cyberbullying and create a better community. The main idea in the Scope article, “How I’m Going to End Cyberbullying,” was the way Trisha approaches cyberbulying and what she did to try to end it.
Trisha created the two programs, Baseline and Rethink. When she heard about a girl who took her own life due to cyberbullying, Trisha took action. After lots of research, Trisha realized that cyberbullying was a prominent issue. Trish thought, “What if this has to do with behavior on social media? By stopping and thinking, could we make better decisions?” These questions moved her to create two great solutions. Rethink was a program that made users rethink about posting their hurtful comments. It asked users if they really want to post a certain message. If the user said yes, an alert came up that asked users to reconsider. Baseline was a program that displayed an offensive message and asked the user if they would post it on social media. Baseline saved that information and moved on to another offensive comment. Although social media may be harmful, it’s great. Trisha stated, “I love social media. I feel like it has empowered us.” With social media, Trisha can even talk to her cousins in India. However, social media gives us a lot of power. Trisha states, “with that power comes a lot of responsibility.” Trisha’s goal is to utilize both programs on many websites and devices. She says, “In the meantime, I am working on developing the Rethink software so that it can work within your computer’s browser on your mobile device.” In these ways, Trisha is hoping to achieve a change in today’s society.
Overall, Trisha is working very hard to end cyberbullying. Her programs, Baseline and Rethink, may be the programs that can revolutionize what we post on the Internet. Thanks to Trisha, cyberbullying will probably not be as big a problem as it was before.
December 2014 Winners
Students use our eye-catching infographic about dental hygiene through the ages to write an essay. Click the button to display each student's winning entry!
Welcome to Ancient Egypt. You are a teenager with very crooked teeth. Instead of getting metal brackets attached to your teeth, you get animal intestines. Let the ghastly history of dentistry begin….
Fast forward to 50 B.C. in Rome. Your parents tell you to go floss your teeth. You go out and find some porcupine quills and mouse bones to use. Do you really want to stick that in your mouth? I thought not. Off we go again…
Here you are at the 10th year A.D. in Persia. To “brush” your teeth, you swirl around some goat hoof ashes in your mouth as “mouthwash.” Your gums start oozing red liquid. Suddenly, you collapse to the ground. The red liquid was blood, and you got infected with a strange bacteria. Sorry.
Luckily, you wake up in 15th century Europe. Your family shares a boar-bristle toothbrush. Your dad has a cavity. His bacteria spreads from his mouth to yours. The Redcoats are coming! You find yourself in 18th century America. From your lack of dental hygiene, your teeth are starting to rot. You go to the barber to get them yanked out. You suffer excruciating pain, due to the fact that he didn’t give you painkillers.
Skip 300 years to 2014. Adding fluoride to your city’s tap water reduced tooth decay by 25%. You use toothbrushes and toothpaste to break up the 300 million bacteria living in your mouth. You feel very lucky that you have landed here. You should, because all the other time periods are completely gross.
2014 is the year of new technology. The year of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, drones, 3-D printers and more. Have you ever thought about our advancement in dental care? Your teeth are one of the most important parts of your body. Without them, you would not be able to digest food correctly and you would not be able to show off your beautiful smile. Think about this, without your teeth, you would not be able to speak correctly. All your words would be sloppy and sound very unusual. Thanks to the dental care of 2014, we are privileged to have none of these mishaps happen to us. Without this technology, we would have terrible health.
Nowadays, you see advanced instruments in the dental community. Imagine what it was like in 50 B.C. through the 1700s. Romans flossed with thinned mouse bone and porcupine quills. And back in 10 A.D., Persians were not as privileged as the Romans. They suffered from injuries that included bleeding gums and infections. Many families in 1400s Europe used boar bristles as a toothbrush. It was common for families in this era to share toiletries. If your mom had cavities, the bacteria would spread to everyone who used the toothbrush. That means everyone in your family would have terrible illnesses. 1700s was not a bright time for many people considering the multiple wars that were being fought. George Washington was president at the time. He was in charge, commander and chief of the army, but also a man suffering from many dental issues. Like everyone else at that time, his teeth were rotting at a very young age. Due to health issues, he was ordered to have them removed. A barber yanked the rotting teeth right out of his gums without painkillers. Life back then was full of dental issues. The amount of mouth infection and bleeding gums has reduced because of the advanced technology of 2014.
As you might know, we need our teeth to chew our food so we can swallow it properly. What if we had no teeth? Our cheeks would be caved in because our teeth help structure our faces. We would not be able to breakdown our food into small components. Our health would be at risk. Did you know that there is a 70% increased risk of heart disease if you do not brush twice a day?
To begin with, our teeth have the most important jobs in our system. They chew food so we are able to digest it. Without proper digestion, we would not be able to eat. Your tongue may be the strongest part of your body, but not the sharpest. The dental care we use today prevents our teeth from being damaged. You might not like your trips to the dentist’s office, but they are helping your health.
Finally, it may seem little to you, but your teeth have a massive job. They are a wonderful part of your body. We have the privilege of living in 2014. Otherwise, we might have wooden teeth, or use our moms’ toothbrushes or even mouse bones as a flossing tool. Be thankful for the advanced equipment that we have, and do not forget to show off that beautiful smile.
Dental health care is not much of an issue today with all the modern technology we have. It is not much trouble to go to the dentist and have our teeth cleaned, purchase braces, or even have our teeth bleached. However, it was not always like that. Long ago, dental hygiene was not very effective or healthy. Modern technology today helps us gain access to all sorts of dental equipment, which we sometimes take for granted. We do not really realize how lucky we are to have this kind of dental help.
In about 50 B.C., Romans flossed with mouse bones and porcupine quills. Could you imagine sticking that in between your teeth? It must have been extremely painful, compared to the luxurious dental floss we have today. People did other unsanitary things, like cleaning their teeth with the ashes of goat hooves or sharing one boar-bristle toothbrush per family. After reading that, you realize how lucky we are to have simple tools like a toothbrush and toothpaste. We do not normally think of these items as luxuries, but compared to the ages before us, they really are.
In addition to the simple tools we have, we also have dentists to help keep our teeth pearly and white. Dentists and orthodontists help with so many issues we may have with our teeth. We can go to the dentist and have our teeth completely cleaned, or we can even get them bleached if we choose. We can also have braces put on to make our teeth straighter. Back in the years before us, if teeth were not straight, they were just left that way, or people would pull extra teeth. Unlike today, they would not use painkillers of any sort.
Today, not only do we have modern technology, but also modern knowledge. We know what foods are best for our teeth and sadly this is where the past had cleaner teeth than us. Today, we eat lots of foods such as candy, cakes, chocolates, and soda. That kind of food rots our teeth. The cavemen ate meat, and vegetables, and fruits. They didn’t eat sugary foods containing acid that erodes our teeth and gums. That is another reason why dental hygiene is so important today. We need to keep our teeth healthy with all of the sugary foods that we eat.
After reading this essay, you will realize how lucky we are to have today’s modern technology so we can clean our teeth and keep them healthy. Sometimes we take little stuff like that for granted because we are so busy with our cellphones and other electronic devices. We lose sight of how important dental hygiene is and how lucky we are to have it.
We should be thankful to live in 2014 because of the advanced dental hygiene and care that we have. Without the technology that we have today, many more people would be sick with heart disease, cavities and gingivitis.
We have all types of sugary confections in 2014 and without any protection for our teeth, sugar and other substances like acid could cause our teeth to decay in a matter of years. Using toothpaste with fluoride and going to the dentist will prevent children and adults from getting cavities and losing teeth. Also, if you don’t brush your teeth, you could get heart disease or increase your risk of getting it.
Before people had dentists, they would use all different types of appliances to clean their teeth. In 50 B.C., the Romans flossed with mouse bones and porcupine quills. Flossing usually gets the hidden pieces of food that are still stuck in your teeth after brushing. We use floss that is made out of much cleaner and sanitary items. In 10 A.D., the Persians used the ashes of goat hooves to clean their teeth. This would cause their gums to bleed and that could cause infections. I personally think that we should be thankful to live in 2014, because if my gums were going to bleed and get infections, I wouldn’t want to clean my teeth. If I didn’t clean my teeth, though, I could have gotten heart disease.
A little bit more recently in time, during the 1400s and 1600s, Europeans and Americans used a little bit more advanced ways of cleaning their teeth. However, they weren’t exactly healthy or as good as methods today. In the 1400s, the Europeans used toothbrushes with boar bristles to clean their teeth. But there was only one toothbrush per family. In the 1700s, many men and women had rooting teeth by the age of 20. They would get rid of this problem by yanking out their teeth. However, the barber would do this job without painkillers. In 2014, we brush out teeth everyday to prevent cavities. We only choose to remove a rotting tooth as a last resort. Dentists either use fillings or perform a root canal before removing the tooth. This is done with painkillers or anesthesia, which numbs the tooth. For this we should be thankful, because we don’t have to deal with the pain and have experienced dentists.
Today, if you have crooked teeth, orthodontists use braces to straighten them. Without braces, you probably wouldn’t be able to chew your food correctly. The solution to this for the ancient Egyptians was to use animal intestines to straighten a person’s teeth. I could only imagine that this would taste horrible in your mouth, but also had to feel uncomfortable, because of size and shape. In 2014, we use braces, which are metal, more comfortable, and fit in your mouth. Also, braces don’t taste nasty. They basically taste like nothing. We should be thankful to live in 2014, because we have more comfortable and less disgusting ways to take care of our teeth. Even though we have all this care for our teeth, we still get cavities and have our teeth removed. This is because of the sugary treats that we like to eat on a regular basis. If we ate more healthy foods like meat, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, we would have better saliva and less plaque. The sugary food we eat produces acid that destroys and erodes our teeth and gums. This means that people who lived before the time of chocolate and sugar-filled foods had better teeth than us.
In the end, we should be thankful to live in the year 2014, because of the advanced care that we have for our teeth, which makes our entire lives better.
In any store in America, you can find an aisle dedicated to the care of your mouth. You can find multiple flavors of toothpaste and different varieties of dental floss and mouthwash. In the same aisle, you’ll find different types of whitening strips and pastes. Today, we can find everything we need to keep our mouths healthy and sparkling clean. However, that was not always the case.
How would you like to floss your teeth with a porcupine quill or mouse bones? That is what the Romans used in 50 B.C. Today we use waxed thread called dental floss. This floss often has a minty flavor and is much more pleasant to use.
How would you like to have your gums bleeding or to have an infection in your mouth? That’s what Persians had to go through. They used ashes of goat hooves to clean their teeth, and they paid the price for it in 10 A.D.
Imagine not having your own toothbrush, but sharing one with your family. In 1400s Europe, if your father had bacteria in his mouth, it would spread to everyone when family members used the toothbrush.
Even our first president, George Washington, had rooting teeth. By the time he was twenty, his teeth were so bad they had to be yanked out. And guess what? They didn’t use painkillers! How would you like that?
In 2014, we have so many options when it comes to taking care of our teeth. We don’t have to use mouse bones or porcupine quills to floss. Everyone has his or her own toothbrush and get a new one every three months. You can buy any flavor toothpaste that your heart desires. That is reason enough to smile.
November 2014 Winners
Kenneth, like many others, has used technology to make our world a better, easier place for those who love it most. We, as humans, have a goal to create a peaceful and easy society for ourselves and generations to come. Though technology may be difficult on some levels, people almost anywhere can accomplish many things with it. Kenneth is a great example of this. Everyone, young and old, has the ability to do things such as he has. “Anyone can make a difference using technology, if they are persistent and diligent,” Kenneth commented during an interview.
Kenneth’s grandfather has a common disease called Alzheimer’s, which alters an individual’s memory or brain, making them act differently or forget things like places, objects and even people. “If they wander from their homes by themselves, they often cannot remember how to get back,” Kenneth had explained. “About 2 years ago, my grandfather started wandering at night.” Knowing that this was a problem for many people in his household, Kenneth knew he had to find a solution. At first, he checked the Internet, only to find that he would have to think of something himself. He soon made a device called SafeWander, hoping to solve his grandfather’s problem.
Kenneth described SafeWander as, “A sensor placed on the patient’s foot or sock. When the patient stands up, a small wireless sensor sends an alert to the caregiver’s smartphone. The caregiver will hear the alert, wake up, and stop the patient from leaving the house.” Kenneth soon learned that his invention could be useful to others who also have to deal with wandering relatives, friends, or patients. SafeWander can be helpful to many people, even if sharing it wasn’t the original idea. Though you may not realize it, it is people like Kenneth that have the power to do anything.
Kenneth Shinozuka, a 16-year-old boy in New York, NY, invented a system to help Alzheimer’s patients. He did this because of his grandfather. Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects a person’s memory, thinking, and judgment. As a result, they often need a caretaker. Kenneth’s grandfather had Alzheimer’s, and Kenneth’s aunt was his caretaker. Once Kenneth’s grandfather had wandered onto a highway. Kenneth said, “He once wandered onto an interstate highway while the rest of the family was sleeping. If he hadn’t been found by a policeman, he could have been killed.” Kenneth invented an app to help his grandfather stay safe, and so that his aunt could sleep easier.
SafeWander, the app Kenneth invented, is ingenious. It uses modern technology to help Alzheimer’s patients. Here’s how it works: a sensor is attached to the bottom of a patient’s foot. This sensor is wired to detect movement. When the Alzheimer’s patient gets up, the sensor sends an alert to the caretaker’s smartphone. The caretaker then wakes up and stops the patient from leaving the house. Kenneth states, “Technology can make a huge, positive impact on the world.” The genius idea will help millions of Alzheimer’s patients out there.
Kenneth had a goal in mind with SafeWander. He originally only wanted to help his family. Then he realized that he could have a much more widespread effect. His invention could help millions of Alzheimer’s patients. Kenneth declares, “At first I wanted to create something to help my family. Then, when I learned that the problems my family faced were just a snapshot of a much bigger issue faced by our society, my goal became to create something to protect the millions of Alzheimer’s patients out there and reduce the burdens of their caregivers.” With this goal in mind, Kenneth created SafeWander. He wanted to be a contributing member of society. He succeeded.
Do you know anyone with Alzheimer’s? If you do, you may know how serious it can be. Alzheimer’s is a condition that permanently affects a person’s memory. Kenneth Shinozuka’s grandfather is a man with this deadly disease. Some patients (such as Kenneth’s grandfather) get so confused that they wander from their homes at night. About two years ago, Kenneth’s grandfather was almost killed from wandering onto the highway. Thankfully, he was returned to his home safely, but Kenneth and his family became very worried about his grandfather. They also worried about his aunt, who was his grandfather’s caretaker. Kenneth searched for solutions to the problem, but nothing had been invented to help his problem. He decided to create his own invention, and he calls it SafeWander.
“A sensor is placed on the patient’s foot or sock,” Kenneth explains. “When the patient stands up, a small wire circuit on the sensor sends an alert to the caregiver’s smartphone,” Kenneth states, proud of his solution to the problem. The caregiver then will hear the alert, wake up, and stop the patient from leaving the house. This is an easy way to keep Alzheimer’s patients out of harm’s way, and also an easy way for the patient’s caregivers to keep them safe.
Kenneth first came up with this idea to help his family, that is, until he learned that the problems his family faced were nothing compared to the problems faced by our entire society. After realizing this, his goal was to create something that would protect Alzheimer’s patients all over the world. “Technology can make a huge, positive impact on the world,” Kenneth declares. “Anyone can make a difference using technology if they are persistent and diligent.”
October 2014 Winners
Students use our eye-catching infographic on Mars to write a website blurb convincing people to take a trip to Mars. Click the button to display each student's winning entry!
So You Want To Go To Mars?
Haven’t you always wanted to take a trip to Mars? With Mars Tours™, we can make that happen! We offer tours leaving on the first day of every month. The tours include hiking, low gravity sports such as basketball, and unforgettable views! It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget!
“A sensational trip! Can’t wait to take my kids there!”
-The New York Times
“Such mind-blowing views! My Instagram page has never looked as good!”
-The Wall Street Journal
“So much fun! This trip on a scale from one to ten would be an eleven!”
-The New York Post
Of course, packing for Mars is not that easy. In the past, people have asked us “What should I bring? What should I wear?” So, we have a few packing guidelines just for you!
Packing List Guidelines:
- Of course, you need to bundle up when going outside, because Mars’s average temperature is -81°F! We suggest stores like Eastern Mountain Sports, R.E.I., etc. to purchase this type of outerwear. Buy three of each item to keep you extra warm!
- Hiking boots are recommended because we hike a lot on the rocky, rugged surface of Mars. We trek up a portion of Olympus Mons, the tallest mountain in our solar system, and other famous landmarks.
- Good and very, very long books will be helpful. It will take more than half a year to get to Mars, so we suggest bringing books like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Divergent trilogy, and the Harry Potter series.
- A basketball will come in handy for this trip. We have three full court basketball courts near where we land our spaceship. Because of Mars’ low gravity, you will weigh less and jump shots will be much easier!
- We suggest bringing a smartphone and other electronic devices to take pictures to show to all your friends and to call home. The immense craters, which include Hellas Planitia, the biggest crater in Mars, make perfect backdrops for your next holiday card! We have three free Wi-Fi networks throughout our huge spaceship and many charging stations if your device runs out of battery.
-Water bottles are not mandatory, but they will be useful on our long hikes and expeditions. There has been no evidence of water on Mars, so drink up!
We supply guests with space suits, water, and oxygen for the journey and expeditions.
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Sign up in the next 48 hours and receive 20% off your trip package!!!
Your Chance for a Trip That’s Out of this World!
Do you remember the old days when you used to dream of going to Mars? Back then we all knew it was fiction…but not anymore! Now YOU can go there too!
This trip is perfect for all of you out there who are in stress, and just feel like there is too much going on. Leave this world along with all of your sorrows behind, and come join us on a relaxing trip to Mars. And if you are looking for something fun and adventurous, you’re welcome too!
First things first: Fun attractions!
This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet up with trained aliens, climb Olympus Mons, play basketball in low gravity, and lots more! You can even take a shuttle to the outer planets, including a stop on Jupiter!
If you decide to join us on this mind-blowing adventure, here are the things that you will need:
- You’ll need to pack warm clothes for those extreme temperatures. Remember, Mars’ average temperature is -81°F. But let’s not forget about sunscreen and shades for when the sun swings by.
- Next up is air. Mars has an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide, so you need oxygen. No worries though; purchase your own tank of air for only $50. It will last for 2 breathtaking years.
- Another essential is a space suit to protect you from the low pressure. Buy one today for only $65. They come in white, blue, pink, and green. You can even adjust its’ temperature to a tropical 86°F or a cold -80°F. So unless you want your blood to fizz up like soda, you might want to pack one.
- Going down the list, you need books and things to keep you occupied during your flight there and back. We suggest the book Divergent. This trilogy will keep you occupied for more than a year (the length of the flight). If it doesn’t, we have tons of other attractions to keep you busy.
- Another must-have item is water. We all know you can’t survive without it. There has not been any evidence of water on Mars, so it is critical for you to bring it along. Or you can pay for a yearly supply.
- Next, you might want to bring balls, such as basketballs (the hoops will be provided). We’ve all dreamed of leaping and skipping in space, but basketball? Now you can play basketball on Mars, and you don’t even need skills. Due to Mars’ low gravity, you weigh less, so you can jump higher!
- Another essential item is your smartphone. You do not want to miss a chance of taking a selfie with an alien. Plus, you need to stay connected to your friends! You can communicate at our international payphone, but charges may be a tad expensive, because alas, it is going through space.
- The last thing you may want to pack is a pair of hiking shoes. This is a great opportunity to hike to the top of Olympus Mons, the highest mountain in our solar system. And remember, it will be half as tough, because of the low gravity!
So bring all you need, we have a gigantic “trunk”!
Let’s not forget about safety:
If you’re worried about being safe, don’t be!
We have a crew of up to 7, including you! All of the attractions provided have been tested, and the spacecraft is 100% durable.
Adventure to Mars!
Pack your bags; we are taking a trip to Mars! My name is Jake and I will be your tour guide today. But, before we discuss this fabulous trip, I will discuss what you are going to need to bring on this adventure.
First of all, you have to bring your own oxygen or else you won’t be stepping out of the rocket! This is the most important item to bring, because Mars’s atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide.
Of course, you can’t forget to wear your spacesuit. If you did, your blood would fizz up! However, you are in luck, because I will be providing a spacesuit for all of you. Since I am an experienced tour guide, I will also check to make sure that your suit is sealed tight, so you that won’t have anything to worry about.
For the trip you will need lots of water. When I say you need lots of water, I mean LOTS AND LOTS of water! The reason you need a whole lot of water is because you will want to stay hydrated. This is a trip that will take more than a half a year. Don’t forget that Mars has no water on it. Well, at least it has no water on it that we know of.
On the way to Mars, you will be able to catch up on your reading because of how long the trip will take. For your own entertainment, you should bring some good books with you so that you will not be bored. One of the books that I would suggest would be Chomp because it is a comedy and very suspenseful! Some other books that would be great on the trip would be the Harry Potter series and the I Survived series. The I Survived series are some of my personal favorites!
After we arrive on Mars, we will be visiting our solar system’s largest mountain, Olympus Mons. For the visit, you should pack some hiking boots for the hike up the mountain. This will be a long climb of 16 vertical miles. Also, don’t forget to bring along your smartphone to get some awesome, once in a lifetime pictures from the top of Olympus Mons. Oh, and you better not forget your winter jacket and warm clothes either. Mars is much colder than Earth because it is further away from the sun.
If you are up for it, the day after we return from our hike, we can play a game of basketball out in a crater. Here on Mars, basketball is great because of the low gravity, which allows us to jump three times higher than we can on Earth. Everyone will be able to make some high-flying slam-dunks!
So, if this sounds like the trip four you, then meet us at the NASA Space Center on November 25, 2014. Please don’t forget to bring all of the items I mentioned, so that we can have a fun and safe time. See you there!