2015 Sturgis Extended Essays

EE Stars East Campus

EE Stars East Campus

EE Stars West Campus

EE Stars West Campus

Our Shining Stars

By IB Coordinators Cindy Gallo (East) & Julie Carman Couhig (West)

When Stephen Hawking, in his speech celebrating his 70th birthday, advised listeners to, “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”, I doubt he was thinking about the IB Diploma Program. But his words encourage risk taking, inquiry and the seeking of knowledge – all learner profile traits that the IB instills in our students.

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Extended Essay Star

One of the most challenging, and rewarding, components of the IB Diploma Program is the Extended Essay (EE). A required task for Diploma Candidates, the EE may be undertaken by any student. At Sturgis, students who complete the EE receive their own star in recognition of of how far they have reached.  A seemingly trivial paper star symbolizes their hard work and accomplishment and they wear them proudly. In 2006, the IB for All dream that inspired the founders of Sturgis was realized: All Juniors and Seniors took all IB courses and Sturgis students were eligible for an IB Diploma. That year, 19 students wrote an Extended Essay. Just nine years later, in the May 2015 Session, 138 Sturgis students, from two campuses, wrote an EE!

The EE looms large in Sturgis student’s IB lore: It instills fear as students choose their own topic, loathing during the writing process, and can be a source of much stress as students learn to balance their time and energy. That is precisely why the EE is such a powerful educational tool. Students push themselves to explore an area that they have a personal interest in while they learn how to organize their thoughts (and properly cite the thoughts of others) as they construct a 4000 word essay. Each year, Sturgis grads return with stories of how writing the EE helped them handle the workload and writing assignments at University.

EE Slam Mixed

EE Slam West

Like for all difficult IB tasks, there is a scaffold of support at Sturgis for students writing an EE: Each student has a faculty member as their EE advisor and they receive research and citation training from our librarians, Mrs. D-A, Ms. Milne and Mrs. Carah. Sturgis’  EE Coordinators, Ms. Daley and Mr. Hodge, oversee the process for all students and create milestones to keep everyone on track. Sturgis teachers do not assess the essays; they are sent to examiners at IB schools around the world for marking. This year, EEs written in 23 different subject areas, including Languages, History, Arts, Math and Sciences, were sent to examiners in New Zealand, Austria, the U.K., the U.A.E, Spain, Australia, India, Portugal and Turkey as well as in other U.S schools.

The EE is just one of many challenges that help our students grow as they continue their journey of life-long learning. Congratulations to the class of 2015 and best of luck wherever your journey next takes you.

Marca Daley, Extended Essay Coordinator – East

EE Slam East

EE Slam East

This year, in an attempt to change attitudes about the Extended Essay process at East, we tried something new:  a change of terms from deadlines to milestones.  The rationale was simple;  a milestone can be thought of in two ways:  first as a marker that indicates the distance from one point to another, and second as a significant point in progress or development.  An EE milestone combines these two definitions and indicates significant steps in the journey of researching and writing the 4,000-word extended essay.  Students travel the road of the EE, and must reach various steps along the way, but they can do so at their own pace.

Yes, we suggested dates for each EE milestone, but there were no penalties for missing these dates; students just knew that they had more work to accomplish in less time.   Those students who paced themselves and met each goal of the suggested timeline had few problems in completing the essays.   Those students who did not manage to organize their EE work time found themselves pressured at the end of the process.

The end of the process, too, was modified and clarified for students and supervisors alike.  From the submission of the final formatted revision to the award of the gold star, eight steps were clearly outlined, including guidelines for submission to turnitin.com, the final viva voce (formal interview), and completion of the EE Cover Sheet.    The students’ journey was done, and by March, the essays had begun a journey of their own, having been packed and sent out to examiners worldwide.

It seems that no sooner had the seniors finished their EE journey, than the juniors were beginning theirs!   As I reflect on the process today, it hardly seems possible that the juniors are almost at the ‘half way’ milestone in their own EE journey.

Matt Hodge, Extended Essay Coordinator – West

EE Slam West

EE Slam West

2015 represented the second cohort of extended essays at Sturgis West and we are all very proud of the fact that 70 full IB candidates submitted extended essays this year.  As a faculty we are working on establishing a “culture of choice” around the EE.  The extended essay represents part of the “core” of the IB experience, and as such, it represents an opportunity for the student to investigate subjects and issues that are of personal interest to them.  There are well over twenty different subjects students have from which to choose regarding their essay, and it is a challenge to make sure that this degree of choice does not become overwhelming or get in the way of starting the essay at a time that is in the students’ best interest.

Students spend a great deal of time in the early months becoming familiar with the unique approaches and assessment criterion within each subject they may be interested in.  Of course, students need supervisors with whom to work, and it is a source of great pride to see the willingness of teachers to take risks by learning as much as they can about these extended essay subjects in order to facilitate student choice.  For example, the World Studies papers give students who are interested a chance to investigate current political, environmental, and cultural issues throughout the world.  Sports and exercise papers give athletically inclined students a chance to use their sporting interests to gain new understanding of the science behind these sports.  This degree of choice requires teachers that are willing to go beyond their normal class curriculum in order to help make the EE as rewarding as possible for students, and this willingness is something Sturgis teachers have in abundance.

Over the course of a year, seventy students take different paths along the way to completion of the essay.  Some students must work closely with their supervisors in determining experiment designs and scopes for their science papers.  Others must delve into historical or contemporary research and make diligent notes about source information.  Still others are busy reading novels or plays for literature papers while reviewing scholarly criticism.  No matter what the endeavor, students agree that getting an early start on these processes is key in helping them navigate the very busy IB calendar of the senior year.  This message is one that the seniors who finish are happy to share with the juniors as they begin the process.  We look forward to working with the Class of 2016 as they develop  independent research projects about subjects and issues that are of personal interest to them.

The Role of Sturgis Libraries in the Extended Essay Process

By Kate Dunigan AtLee (East Librarian), Laura Carah (West Librarian) and Daniela Milne (East Librarian)
 
EE Slam East

EE Slam East

As librarians, the Extended Essay is one of our favorite pieces of the IB program. The EE provides incredible  opportunities for our students to discover their passions and learn research, writing, communication and presentation skills that will serve them through college and beyond. Our students are often both fascinated and terrified by this project. Most find it difficult to know where to start. Our role as librarians is to support, encourage, and give students the research skills and resources they need to be successful.

Students are allowed to spend a maximum of five hours with their supervisor but there is no limit to the amount of time they can spend getting help from their librarians. Because of the diversity of their topics we have the unique challenge of obtaining books and journal articles from around Massachusetts, the country, and occasionally the world.

EE Slam West

EE Slam West

Sometimes what our students need most is a quiet focused place to get some work done. So, in addition to information literacy instruction, we also host writing/research sessions affectionately called EE Slams or Lock-ins at each Library on a Friday evening in October. The purpose of these evenings is to give students access to our help with a dedicated time and space to work, plus some encouragement and camaraderie. They are productive work times for most of the students who attended. Several finished writing their essays and a few, who had done no writing up to that point, got a good start. Several faculty supervisors attended the evening which was incredibly helpful. Our gratitude to parents who provided brain food!

A trend we have noticed at both campuses this year is the increased use of EE Example Binders by juniors starting their research. Students can read example essays in their subject area and review examiners’ comments.

Last summer, we invited juniors to Cape Cod Community College’s Wilkens Library to introduce them to their collections and databases.  CCCC librarians gave students a brief tour and showed them how to access computers, databases, WiFi, printers and then students had time to work on their EE’s.  We will invite juniors to visit Wilkens Library with us again this August.  Of course, all students are welcome to use Cape libraries at their leisure during the summer. We hope many students will take advantage of the opportunity to have helpful librarians, resources, and a quiet work space over the vacation.

Words of Advice from Seniors

Emma Brimdyr, Class of 2015 – East

Emma Brimdyr

Emma Brimdyr

I remember being really excited to write the EE. I was looking forward to doing the research and to getting to know my topic really well. However, I ran into issues when picking a topic. I knew I wanted to do it in World Studies but I couldn’t figure out what to do next. I ended up just listening to people’s conversations and big events that were happening. I also thought a lot about interesting conversations I’d had in my classes in the past. In other words, I opened myself up to what was going on around me.

Eventually, after talking to the World Studies Supervisors, I realized that I wanted to focus on math education and how it is taught differently across the world.  Finding sources was pretty easy  –  I read a lot of newspaper articles and then went to find their sources.  Being able to write up notes from my sources was also fairly easy, since I had so much experience doing that from prior classes.  I mostly remember coming home one day and doing research; coming home the next and typing it up; and then going back to research, and then writing day by day.

I had a few issues figuring out how to structure the essay, but my supervisor was happy to talk it over with me and think about what would be best. I also sent a lot of emails to my supervisor and Ms. Daley about specific questions if I couldn’t find answers online. After I finished the essay and the viva voce, submitting it and getting my star seemed to go by in a flash!  I am proud to have written a 3,700 word research essay with 24 sources and I know I won’t be as intimidated for my first big research paper in college.  And when mathematical technique comes into the conversation, I will always have many points to add !

Matthew Cappucci, Class of 2015 – East

Race Point Spout

Race Point Spout

Ever wish that your homework actually pertained to something you cared about? Sure, while the nth derivative of a Maclaurin Series’ infinite series or the rationale behind the Marshall Plan can be a tad interesting, wouldn’t it be nice to have homework that’s a little more, well, you?

Well finally, that opportunity has arisen! At long last, an assignment that you design, that you chose, and that you are in charge of. With a seemingly endless array of possible essay topics across all of the I.B. subject disciplines, one’s options for the Extended Essay are certainly numbered!

Many students delve into an area of personal interest, perhaps tackling a new idea within that interest or expanding upon previous inquiry, while some students choose to be a bit more daring and venture into the unknown. Oftentimes, these students come across something while researching that becomes a new interest; the infamous ‘E.E.’ provides students the opportunity to learn more not only about whatever their topic may be, but also about themselves.

For myself, the essay came in the form of a formal write-up on ongoing research I was in the process of conducting on outflow boundary-related waterspouts, or essentially the development of marine tornadoes that form along the leading edge of the cool-air “exhaust” of severe summertime storms; much of the project pertained to relating ground-based reports of the phenomenon to concurrent radar aberrations, and as such attempting to devise a strategy towards issuing warnings for such tempests.

With the ceaseless guidance and support of MAD (Marca Daley) and the resourcefulness of Mrs. DA/DX, I never really felt “on my own” while conducting the project despite the fact that it was student-driven. Mrs. DA is the queen of finding whatever publications students need to author their essay; in fact, it seemed as though if it had ever been put on paper throughout history, Mrs. DA could have it to you within a week. She really is incredible, be sure to stop by to see her with any questions.

And from the STAR to the STAR, Ms. Daley always had incredibly helpful feedback; without her, my essay would have been a garbled jumble of facts and statistics, but always remember: FORMAT, FORMAT, FORMAT!  While real estate is all about location, with the E.E. it’s all about the format (no treble.)

Use your resources! It really isn’t all that bad; don’t think of it as the dreaded E.E.; instead, it’s really just a couple of Fetzays put together. And always know that it’s more afraid of you than you are of it.

Julia Dillon, Class of 2015 – East

breadandpuppet.org.images.museumI guess I’d say find a supervisor that you can’t see yourself letting down; that way it’s easier to make the milestones and simpler to have a good relationship with you advisor. The milestones will be very flexible but don’t let it make you slack off and save the whole thing until last minute.

Find a topic that you love and have a passion for; it makes the entire process so much less stressful. I chose a theater practice that we studied in class and immediately wanted to study and learn more about in depth for my EE topic and I’m so glad I did choose something I am passionate about because I already had some knowledge about the subject before I even started writing it.

Also make sure it’s something you won’t get so sick of after six months or so of writing it. Receiving my gold star was very rewarding. I felt truly like I was a part of the IB program, no matter how stressful it was. The EE seems like a scary, almost taboo-ed essay when you’re a sophomore and don’t know much about what the IB really is, but honestly as long as you don’t slack off and do everything last minute, breaking it up into pieces makes the whole process a lot less tiring.

A Sampling of Sturgis 2014 Extended Essays

Madeleine Bishop – Latin – West

www.italianrenaissance.orgbotticelli-birth-of-venusVenus – Motherly Protector or Cruel Sadist?

This research question investigated in this essay is “How and why do the portrayals of Venus by Vergil and Tibullus differ so greatly?” The research is limited only to the poets’ best known works – the Aeneid and the Elegies, respectively, as the goddess Venus plays a prominent role in both of these sets of poems. There is enough evidence of her poet-specific characterization in each of these books of poetry that more of the poets’ works were neither useful nor necessary to the exploration.

The two poets have very different portrayals of Venus: Vergil depicts her as a caring mother to Aeneas, (the “Venus genetrix,”) who defends him with all of her divine powers. When she can’t control the situation to protect Aeneas and the future Romans, she uses her own charm and wile to persuade other deities to give her son a more favourable situation. She is also unable to actually make people fall in love, and relies on her son Cupid to accomplish those goals for her. Tibullus’ Venus on the other hand, gently teaches lovers how to keep their affairs secret and protects them in their venture, but as soon as she is disrespected, her cruel nature shows and she punishes fearsomely. Her teaching of love is brutal.

Vergil portrays Venus as he does because the Aeneid was commissioned by Emperor Augustus. Under the emperor’s gaze, Vergil’s Venus reflects the strength, cleverness, and determination of the Julio-Claudian line . Tibullus, on the other hand, wrote the Elegies as a self-reflection on his love life and so contains the lover’s politically-removed perspective of Venus.

Comment:  The research was difficult because I wasn’t sure of the focus for quite a while.  Once I figured out exactly what to focus on in terms of research, it became easier and I am glad I chose such a challenging topic.

Sara Booth – History – West

http.msa.maryland.gov.msa.speccol.sc5400Research Question: To what extent was Abraham Lincoln justified in the suspension of habeas corpus during the Baltimore Riot of 1861?

Abstract:  The Civil War, beginning on 12 April 1861, had it origins in the issue of slavery. When the southern states began to secede from the Union, tension arose in the border states dividing the North from the South. Arguably, the most important of these states to the survival of the Union was Maryland, as it was home to vital communication and rail lines and bordered Washington D.C. When a riot broke out in Baltimore on 19 April, Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus. This decision was immediately surrounded with opposition and controversy. To what extent was Lincoln justified in the suspension of habeas corpus during the Baltimore Riot of 1861? To answer this question, opinions from and of the Civil War are examined. This includes, primary sources from Lincoln, official court decisions, and viewpoints of modern day historians. Although analysis of the U.S Constitution provides little clarity on the issue, understanding the importance of the border states is central to reaching a conclusion. The conclusion reached is that Lincoln was justified in the suspension of habeas corpus. Maryland was heavily divided pro­union and pro­confederacy, yet crucial to the protection of the Union, as it was a border state. The tension in Maryland resulted in the Baltimore Riot and endangered public safety. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus to ensure the survival of the Union and to restore public safety in Baltimore. Although the Constitution does not specify which branch of government is justified to suspend the writ, waiting for Congress to suspend the writ would be impractical and unreasonable, justifying Lincoln’s actions.

Comment:  Research is time consuming so it’s important to start early so you can do a thorough job.  It is also important to start with a very specific research question to help focus the draft and to determine what sources to use.

Benjamin Bressette – Environmental Systems and Societies – East

Fossil Fuels and Alternative Energy: The Effect on Global Lifestyles

sweden1-300x195 (1)Research Question:    To what extent can our global society abandon its reliance on fossil fuels and move towards alternative sources of energy?

Abstract:  Through this investigation, I sought to answer the question; to what extent can our global society abandon its reliance on fossil fuels and move towards alternative sources of energy? The scope of this investigation was case study examples of global efforts to lessen the reliance on fossil fuels. These included Sweden’s efforts to create an “Oil­ Free Society”, and a private developer’s aim to build a self-­sustaining city in central China. I applied some of the steps needed to make these plans successful to life in the United States. This provided a clear understanding that some efforts can be successful in some parts of the globe, but not others.

The global reliance on fossil fuels is one of immediate concern because these nonrenewable resources are used unsustainably. The use of personal vehicles continues to increase, and funding for public transport cannot keep up. As technology advances, alternative energy continues to be a probable resource for many daily activities. While we have missed the chance to stop fossil fuels from becoming out of control, countries around the globe have the resources to invest in renewable, cleaner energy that’s use can one day outweigh that of fossil fuels.

This is important to me as someone who has to live with these consequences for the rest of my life. As I do my part by purchasing an electric vehicle and making steps to make my home more energy efficient, I hope for others to follow suit. It is in the best interest of the future generation, by creating a more sustainable planet, with a reliance on renewable resources.

The conclusion of the investigation shows the difficulty in fully stepping away from fossil fuels. While such a lifestyle is possible for some, it remains out of reach for the majority with cars and freestanding homes.

Emma Brimdyr – World Studies:  Science, Technology and Society – East

Mathematics Class Japan

Japanese Mathematics Class

Research Question: To what extent are motivation, attitudes, and number fluency in mathematical education shaped by the culture of a country, specifically Japan and the United States?

Abstract:  Math is an important subject for all countries. Recently, a study has been conducted linking high math and science scores to technical innovation and production growth. Two countries which approach math differently are Japan and the United States, due to cultural differences. My research question is; to what extent are motivation, attitudes, and number fluency in mathematical education shaped by the culture of a country, specifically Japan and the United States? This question will be examined through both psychological and anthropological viewpoints. .

This investigation is separated into three different segments; the student’s motivation influenced by parents, teachers and goals of their countries, the attitude of the student to learn math based on mindsets, and their number fluency based on textbooks and their native language. Studies by Stevenson and Lee, Sato and McLaughlin are used in the motivation segment, to show that the parents, teachers and countries have different expectations of their children. Americans are more focused on being first in the world, and have happier parents with their children overall. Whereas the Japanese are more concerned that the children learn how to be students and how to learn. Studies by Dweck, Stigler and Hayami and Hasegawa show that the American and Japanese students view struggle differently because of their attitude towards learning. Japan sees struggle as beneficial and America sees it as an indicator of not being smart. In the last segment number fluency, Mayer and Sims, and Tajika come together to analyze textbooks and come to the conclusion that Japan uses more space for worked out examples. Siegler and Yan Mu show study that the Japanese language system is easier for mathematics than the American system.

In conclusion, motivation, attitudes and number fluency are shaped by the culture to a very large extent.

Matthew Cappucci – Physics – East

Cappucci -Waterspout off Sagamore - 8-20-97

Waterspout Off Sagamore Bridge – 8-20-97

Relationship Between Outflow-Boundaries and Waterspouts

Research Question:   By what processes, and in what meteorological environments, do waterspouts form along thunderstorm outflow boundaries?

Abstract:  This paper will determine the relationship between outflow boundaries and waterspouts by investigating the question ‘By what processes, and in what meteorological environments, do waterspouts form along thunderstorm outflow boundaries?’. Prior to addressing this question, one must recognize that the term ‘waterspout’ describes a “rotating column of air over water”1 , ranging in rotational wind strength from dust-devil-like winds to the ferocity of destructive tornadoes. Such vortices generally form in the updraft region of storms, while the so-called ‘exhaust’ of a storm, also known as the outflow-boundary2. Recently, however, it has been observed that waterspouts have been forming in the downdraft region of the storm along outflow-boundaries, despite the fact that waterspouts and other natural vortices are characterized by rising air. These observations were collected through author sense perception, archived radar data obtained from the National Weather Service, time-lapse videography, and through temperature and humidity data recorded during the events. The period of study was during June, July, and August 2012, and June 2013 along the eastern shores of Massachusetts. When all data was synthesized in 2014, a relationship between thunderstorm outflow boundaries and waterspouts was dermined, as was a method for forecasting their development and locating their presence on radar. It was found that the subduction of cooler/drier, and thus more dense air behind thunderstorm outflow boundaries coupled with warm/humid rising air ahead of the storm frequently leads to a horizontal area of rotation spanning the length of the outflow boundary (also known as a gust front). When this outflow boundary is disturbed by the topographic irregularities where land and water meet, it frequently leads to the breakdown of this horizontal area of rotation, tilting it vertically. Thus, it is likely that warm air infiltrating these vertical areas of rotation stretches/strengthens them, forming a waterspout.

1 “NOAA’s National Weather Service – Glossary.” NOAA’s National Weather Service – Glossary. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2014.

2 The leading edge cool, dry air exiting and preceding a thunderstorm

Julia Dillon – Visual Arts – East

breadandpuppet.org.images.museumResearch Question:   To what extent is the puppetry of the Bread and Puppet Theater considered an art form more than a social/political commentary?

Abstract:  To what extent is the puppetry of the Bread and Puppet Theater considered an art form more than a social/political commentary? This essay discusses the effects of Bread and Puppet’s art and how well it does at relaying a social or political message to its audience. I am comparing this to a regular news channel or newspaper that people might go to first to understand what is going on in the world. In doing this I analyzed Bread and Puppet’s art while also looking into two different Bread and Puppet performances, King’s Story and A Man Says Goodbye to His Mother, which both were performed during the Vietnam War. I also compared the two to common Vietnam protests, which usually turned out violent, while Bread and Puppet. My conclusion to the essay was that Bread and Puppet is both an art form and a social and political commentary. There are many things that lead up to Bread and Puppet becoming both an art form but also a commentary ­ hardworking volunteer work, effort spent into making each show worth something. Although Bread and Puppet is much different from your usual news channel, it is still producing some way to tell you what is going on in your world. Bread and Puppet is also non­profit and not owned by an executive company so they don’t need to worry about having their image tarnished by their choice of topic.

Madalyn Faust – Exercise and Sports Science – West

www.kingsportballet.orgResearch Question: “How does maintaining a healthy diet of high carbs, high protein and low fat, and high Vitamin C enhance the stamina of pre-professional ballet dancers?”

Abstract: A balanced, healthy diet is vital for the endurance and excellence of a ballet dancer. Thorough research has been conducted by nutritionists on how a ballet dancer should be eating in order to maintain a healthy body and mind; however the power of the foods consumed is still underestimated in the minds of many ballet dancers.

This investigation was explored through five ballet dancers on a pre-professional level. A set diet was given for five weeks for the dancers to follow and a two hour, high intensity ballet class was held once a week. At the end of each class the stamina of each dancer was recorded through heart rate, improvements on strength, wrist measurement and weight. Thorough research on nutrients in foods through sports nutrition books and medical nutritionist reports was considered in creating the diets. The research question that was formulated is: How and in what ways does maintaining a healthy diet enhance the stamina of a ballet dancer?

The results suggest that continuing to eat a balanced, healthy diet does indeed improve the stamina of a ballet dancer. All of the original numbers had improved after five weeks of eating a healthy diet. Weight had decreased, wrist measurement had decreased, heart rate had decreased and added strength had increased. Further research should be conducted to include other factors, such as other physical activities and dietary restraints.

Comment:  “It was a natural subject for me to choose because dance is what I do so it was a fun way to see how nutrition affected my performance.  It was also good to get it finished early so I could focus on the rest of my IB exams during senior year.”

Daniel Kamb – Visual Art – West

The Influences and Styles of Cape Cod ArchitectureCape Cod Architecture

Abstract: As a long time, year-round resident of Cape Cod, the architecture that surrounds me has become normal, however, as I travel around the United States and around the world, I see just how special residential Cape Cod architecture is. Having been surrounded by this style my entire life, my curiosity towards this style was elevated. So naturally, I chose to research the Cape Cod style of house, and how the relationship between function and form has evolved over time starting in the early 1600’s when the Pilgrims came to Cape Cod. Back then; houses were designed more for functionality rather than form and aesthetics. I will focus on five different types of home styles in this essay – the Cape houses, the Georgian style, the Greek Revival style, the Victorian style, and the modern day. I choose to focus on residential architecture because on Cape Cod the majority of buildings are homes, so therefore there are not many other options of architecture other than residential architecture. Also, people spend much of their lives in their homes, so the need for functionality and form are necessary, whereas with other forms of architecture, such as buildings for businesses, there is not as much of a focus on form because there is not as much of a need for it because humans do not live their lives in their office buildings.

Comment:  It took a long time for me to figure out what to do, but once I settled on the architecture of Cape Cod, the essay almost wrote itself.

Olivia LaBarge – World Studies – West

af.undp.org.content.afghanistanEducation in the Muslim World in a Comparative Perspective: Islamic Educational Practices of Girls in Two Different Nations

Abstract: This Extended Essay will investigate “How does governmental action affect the education of women in Islamic countries, and how does it differ between Afghanistan and Indonesia?” Doing so by examining the question from several different perspectives. First, the relationship between Islam and Gender Equality and Education must be explored. It was concluded, after consulting translations of the Qur’an and interpretations of some of the passages, that Islam as a religion not only promotes education, but promotes it equally between sexes. Continuing, to show that education is a Human Right creates significance on a global scale. The fact that the United Nations has explicitly named education as a Human Right creates an authority that extends beyond local governments, but are not necessarily implemented everywhere. Afghanistan and Indonesia will both be evidenced to establish their statuses as Islamic nations. Through the course of history and culture, both have acquired a national identity that this religion is a part of. After establishing that each of these two countries are, indeed, Islamic, the education systems that they have put in place for their girls will be examined. Legislature, statistics, and personal anecdotes will all create an reflection of the specific situations in each country. Reflecting back on the research creates an examination of the relationship between the cultural identity of an country and its people and the national identity and the government, and how each is connected. The conclusion will be drawn that governmental action is, in fact, absolutely imperative in restricting or enjoying the education of girls in each country.

Comment:  It took a long time planning what to focus on and what subjects to choose for the essay, but once I got into it I found it to be really challenging but rewarding.

Elizabeth Mahoney – Physics – West

Kelsey Lynch 1Investigating the Effects of Different Swimsuits on Swimmers’ Performances in the Water

Abstract: This essay focuses mainly on the effects of fluid dynamics on a swimmer. Fluid dynamics is the study of forces that develop as an object moves through a fluid medium. The fluid medium used in this experiment is water. This experiment involves many abstract physics ideas, but most important is the effect of water resistance, more commonly known as drag. Drag is a frictional force that affects any object moving through a medium. The movement through the medium creates a resistive force in the opposite direction that the object is traveling. In relation to swimming, water is the medium that the swimmer is travelling through, therefore water is causing the drag on the swimmer’s body. There are many ways that swimmers try to reduce drag which include wearing swim caps and wearing racing suits made of materials designed to compress the swimmer’s body and repel water. However there is controversy over how much the racing suits effect swimmers’ performances. That is the aim of this paper, to determine the difference drag reduction technology really has on swimmers’ performances.  The results of this paper reflected both the official research and personal experience with the suits. The surface area of each swimmer decreased with each suit and as a result, the drag decreased as well. This is also due to the material of each suit, but this particular paper focuses on the swimmers and their performances as opposed to the material science behind the suits.

Comment:  Setting up the experiment was an initial challenge to make sure it was within what IB expected in terms of their ethical guidelines of using human subjects as part of the experiment.  Other than that, it was fairly easy to do since I am at the pool all the time anyway.  I learned a lot about how much the suit effects swim time.

Ryley Newton – Chemistry – West

LatexEvaluation of the effectiveness of acid solutions in the coagulation of natural latex

Abstract:  Latex molecules are the core component of solid rubber, used in many industries to insulate and protect. The scale of rubber manufacturing means that the consequences of waste and inefficiency are profound, and much of the inefficiency can be found in the initial harvesting of the latex and the following chemical processes it is subjected to.

To use latex, latex molecules suspended in solution must be coagulated into a usable solid form. Negative charges on latex molecules maintain suspension of the aqueous solution, and acidic solutions are used to neutralize these negative charges and allow for the coalescence of latex molecules. The extended essay investigates “Which acidic solutions are most effective at coagulating latex molecules, and what chemical characteristics will make an effective latex coagulant?”  Coagulations were conducted with 5 different acids for 5 trials each, and masses were taken and showed that Hydrochloric acid was most quantitatively effective. Analyses of the nature of the coagulated latex qualitatively show that in these concentrations, hydrochloric or formic acid produced the highest quality latex samples. However, the value of these findings is limited to the coagulation process for natural rubber, and the investigation does not necessarily indicate that the acidic solutions used will allow for high quality rubber products for the consumer.

Grayce Rogers – History – East

Meredith and KennedyResearch Question: “How significant was the Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy’s role in James Meredith Case of 1961-­62?”

Abstract: The James Meredith case is an inspiration of a young African­ American that was rejected acceptance to the University of Mississippi at Oxford due to his race in 1961. James Meredith became a symbol of hope for equality in the United States.

In this study, I focus on the most pivotal roles in the James Meredith case which are James Meredith, himself, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, President Kennedy, and Governor Barnett. I provide socio­political historical context from how the James Meredith Case is established while examining the roles of the key persons involved in the case. In analyzing James Meredith’s role from a civil rights movement perspective I show how he created a national turning point for African ­ American rights. I analyze the roles of Governor Ross Barnett of Mississippi, President John F. Kennedy, and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy from a political standpoint.

I have not limited myself to one source, but instead used an array of sources to establish the most accurate explanation and analysis.

In my research of the James Meredith Case I have found that Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy is most responsible for the success of James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi at Oxford. I have chronologically followed this entire case for clarity and to demonstrate the key players effects of their involvement.

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