Thursday, November 21, 2013

PLN #7- "Manned Mission to Largest Known Asteroid Designed"

The article "Manned Mission to Largest Known Asteroid Designed" by Charles Q. Choi is about how NASA's plan to send humans to the largest known Asteroid, Ceres, as soon as the year 2021.

The article "Manned Mission to Largest Known Asteroid Designed" by Charles Q. Choi is extremely important because it shows how human technology has advanced. There exists technology today to make human missions to other places and planets such as the dwarf planet Ceres possible. This is important because it will aid in our research on Extra Terrestrial life. The author explains this when he says, "since there is life virtually wherever there is liquid water on Earth," after claiming that large amounts of liquid water could exist under the surface of this asteroid. The article also explains why it is important that people visit these places instead of space probes and rovers. An outside source in the article, Frank Laipert,claims, " a human could be a lot more effective as a scientist on Ceres than a robotic probe." This is probably because scientists would be able to actually observe samples in their natural surroundings, and apply their knowledge then and there, as opposed to receiving sample information on a computer screen. Another important aspect of this article is when the author explains how this mission would take place. A propellant would be used to add enough thrust for the ship to get enough speed to reach Ceres. It is incredible that scientists have figured out how they will accomplish this task. Overall, the article exhibits these advances in human technology, and explains how through science, new doors are opened. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pln #4 revisions

PLN #4- In Praise of the F Word

The article “In Praise of the F Word” by Mark Sherry is about how many graduates of high schools today “have been cheated by our educational system” and encourages return to the policy of flunking failing students. In this article, the author explains how students are graduating without basic literacy abilities. Some teachers pass on flunking students, causing them to lose the ability to keep up in their future classes. Many have had issues with substance abuse, the influence of divorce, or abusive relationships, that cause them to not focus on their classes. The author shares how he asked students to share something that happened during their grade-school years that was an “unpleasant experience.” One student shared that, “I wish someone would have made me stop doing drugs and made me study.” Another, that, “I was a good kid and didn't cause any trouble, so they just passed me along even though I didn't read and couldn't write.” The author then goes on to explain how, in the adult-literacy program that he teaches, students have begun to make schooling a priority. He shares his opinion that students need to become more motivated and, “rise above their problems.” One of the forms of motivation shared is the fear of failing classes. The author concludes with the idea that dedication, between students, parents, and teachers are a big part of the flunking policy to keep students motivated and from illiteracy.

The article “In Praise of the F Word” by Mark Sherry surprised me because I didn't think that people who graduate High School were not actually ready to graduate. I couldn't believe that graduates could be illiterate, that’s crazy! How can they expect to make it through their future lives? I don’t understand why a teacher would pass a student on when they are failing a class with such needed skills. If a student is failing a class, it makes sense that they would need to take it again so that they understand the materials in the class. I don’t think it’s a good idea to pass them on, because if a student does not understand the material in the previous class, how can they be expected to be able to learn and understand new material presented to them at a higher level? That sounds really confusing.  I agree with the author that the flunking policy is an important part of the education system that needs to be upheld. I am really scared of flunking classes, and that motivates me to do well in school. The idea of not being able to graduate on time makes me almost freak out just thinking about it. The author adds to this in his article, when he shares how the fear of flunking encouraged his son to do well in his English class. I agree that flunking students can keep them from falling behind, and keep students from graduating when they are not ready.

PLN#5 Revision

PLN #5 
       The article, "Brain may Flush Out Toxins During Sleep" by the National Institute of Health is about how during sleep, the human brain may flush out toxins.In this article, the author explains how  brain cells change size during sleep, making room for a fluid to flush toxins out from the brain. This fluid, known as Cerebrospinal Fluid, is "A clear liquid Surrounding the brain and spinal cord," which was dyed blue in the brains of mice. The author tells how scientists determined that, "the dye flowed rapidly when the mice were unconscious," but didn't move when the mice were conscious. This told scientists that the Cerebrospinal Fluid moves around in the brain during sleep. This happens because of a hormone called "Noradrenaline" which changes the size of certain brain cells when it is released during sleep. When the cells shrink during sleep, the fluid can flow through the cells. The author then goes on to explain the importance of this discovery, and how sleep has another function other than providing us rest. It aids the brain, with the cerebrospinal fluid getting rid of the toxins. This article clearly explains this new function of sleep, and the removal of toxins.

     The article, "Brain may Flush out Toxins During Sleep" fascinated me because I didn't think that sleep had any other purpose than to rest the brain and body. It was really cool to learn how sleep has this function of cleansing itself with the Cerebrospinal fluid. I think it is extraordinary that scientists can literally look into our brains! Discoveries like this excite me because it shows that there is so much more to some things than I expected, and that there still are things waiting to be discovered. Maybe I will make a cool discovery like this someday. I didn't think that the brain would be able to do that. It also stunned me how such an important discovery this is. It shows another reason why I really need to get sleep, so that I stay healthy. This actually kind of scared me, because I don't get a ton of sleep every night, only about 6 hours. That's a lot less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep of night that I was told I am supposed to have. If I don't sleep enough, the toxins would build up in my brain, and I don't want to find out what affect that would hold on me. I can't wait to see what future scientific discoveries will hold! Overall, this article left me really excited about the future of science, and kind of scared about how much sleep I get.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

PLN #6
The article, "High School, Only Shorter" by Sue Shellenbarger is about how some students graduate high school in three years instead of four. Most of the article is set around the stories of two individuals who graduated early. Sue writes about what they had to do in order to accomplish an early graduation. One of the students, Luke Priebe shared how in order to get into the college of his choice, he had to complete many advanced-placement and accelerated courses. He accomplished the required courses in two years. The author then explains how Luke and other early-graduates get their credits out of the way early. She explains that they are motivated by a scholarship, which is given in some states as a bonus to students who graduate High School early. Sometimes, parents don't think their students are ready for the early college responsibility, or students will take a "gap year" to have some relaxing time before college begins. In the end, the author infers that the decision just depends on the student.

The article, "High School, Only Shorter" by Sue Shellenbarger was interesting to me because I have actually been thinking about graduating early. Because I didn't have any hours off this semester, and only will have 2 next semester, I will be getting a lot of credits for my freshman year. Because all but three of my classes are 5 days a week, I will end this semester with the maximum of 30 credit hours. In the future, once I can drive, I may even enroll in a zero hour class. If I have enough credits, I may be looking at graduating a semester early. However, I am still unsure about this decision, because I don't want to miss out on my senior year of high school. The article also mentioned how some parents thought their kids were graduating at too young of an age. This also was interesting to me, because as one of the younger students in my grade, I will be graduating at the age of 17. I wonder if this will have an affect on my college life, be it application to a college or my future social life. In addition, this article made me think about what I would do if I had a year, or semester off at the end of High school. I realized that, maybe if I just take elective courses my second semester, and maybe a math class for extra credits in that category, I may have enough time to get a fairly decent job and save up for college. If I took off an entire semester, maybe even a full time job. I'll just have to wait and see when I get to my senior year. Overall, this article really made me think about my future, and a possible early graduation.