Welcome! Thank you for reading this year’s edition of Peddie’s Summer Signature Experience Magazine! (Our irst released in the Fall!) This year, students especially relied on the Peddie Family for help with their projects, whether teachers, alumni, or extended members of the Peddie Network. These invaluable connections help students realize their passions and dreams are viable and attainable. When we talk about transformational education at Peddie, I can think of no better example than these connections and this mentorship. Therefore, we’d like to dedicate this edition of the magazine to all the members of the Peddie family, both near and far, who helped our students along their respective roads. I hope you enjoy what they’ve produced! Ala Viva, Kurt Bennett Signature Program Coordinator
TBD: Second Part of Welcome Page
TABLE OF C 4
From Riding to Research: Exploring the Efects of Diferent Forage Types on Horse Health and Farm Management by Gianna Zanghi
Manhattan Real Estate: An Investigation into the Impact of Domestic and International Events Upon Americaâ€™s Most Inluential Housing Market by Pierce Grant
Eastern Medicine of Cognitive Function: Ilek Kudingchaâ€™s Effect on Cognitive Functions in Mouse Models of Autism by Laura Dang
Diving into Data: Exploring Data Science and Programming at Tufts University by Aiwa Zhang
Scouts vs. Stats: A New Era of Evaluating Baseball Talent by Jake Naddelman
Maximizing Mentorship: Researching the Most Beneicial Tutoring and Mentoring Approaches for Underserved Students by Isaac Kwon
Coastal Crusades: Exploring the Underwater World and Inspiring Change by Nicole Stillwell
Weighing Wireless: Evaluating Energousâ€™ Future Within the Wireless Market by Albert Lu
Biological Brothers, Diferent Parents: Finding my Fatherâ€™s Brother Fifty Years After Adoption by Audrey Weber
Giving Birth to My Calling: Pursuing My Doula Certiication by Bella King
The Osten Laboratory: Mapping Mouse Brains and More by Caroline Coudert-Morris
Faking Happiness?: Comparing the Efects of Smiling Between America and South Korea by Ye Jin Seo
EXPLORING THE EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT FORAGE TYPES ON HORSE HEALTH & FARM MANAGEMENT BY GIANNA ZANGHI
usually spend my summers traveling the East Coast for equestrian competitions with my horse, Indigo. Since the age of seven, I have known how to steer a horse around a pattern of jumps gracefully, yet I was never been able to explore my passion for horses outside of the show ring until this past summer. For my Summer Signature Experience, I had the opportunity to work alongside several graduate and undergraduate equine science researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This summer the lab was focusing on how diferent types of grasses, or forages, can afect a horse’s health, as well as which forage is most economically optimal in regards to pasture production. As an equestrian and horse owner, exploring the science behind my everyday experiences made the Rutgers lab a perfect place for my Signature Experience! When I arrived at the research farm for the irst time, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of girls there that were like myself. I shared a passion for riding horses and equine science with many undergraduate students from colleges in the area. Being surrounded by those who have experienced irst-hand the opportunities I desire in my future made my experience at Rutgers special. Every day I learned something new about what it means to be an equine researcher. We took grass samples to test the “herbage mass,” or how much mass was actually in a hectare of grass. The research team and I also collected “sward height” recordings, which were essentially the height of the grass at every 20-foot marker in a ield. We also collected and ground forage samples to be sent to an Equi Analytical lab in New York where they sent us a report of the type and amount of nutrients in the grasses. Prior to this experience, I would put my horse, Indigo, into a pasture and never think about the contents of the grass he was eating and how this was afecting him. At this point, I was eager to learn the factors that afect equine nutrition and what was actually going on inside of my horse’s body. All of these collected data points I mentioned, along with the blood samples and horse weights, were compared between two types of grasses-warm-season and cool-season forages--to determine which combination of grasses is safer for horses to eat, and how we could improve the costs of pasture management using diferent planting techniques.
efore this summer, digging in the grass and dirt was an aimless activity that was essentially just a part of being on a farm and owning a horse. At Rutgers this summer, though, all the grass picking and dirt digging we did provided us with some very useful knowledge to share with equine communities in order to improve overall horse health and pasture production everywhere in the world. Here are two graphs that explain this summer’s indings:
Field 1 had warm season and cool season grasses planted, while ield 2 contained cool season grasses. Nine Standardbred mares grazed each ield over a similar period by using rotational grazing techniques, meaning the horses would rotate on and of the ields according to the amount of grass in the ield. This technique was found in a previous study by the Rutgers graduate student whom I was working under, Jennifer Weinert, to be more eicient in maintaining forages than continuous grazing systems. Graph 1 shows the non-structural carbohydrate content (sugars and starches) of each ield overtime. Warm season grasses were found to be lower in non-structural carbohydrates, which is overall healthier for horses
I am so appreciative to have had this research opportunity to not only explore the world of equine science, but also learn more about myself.
because lower consumption of these types of carbohydrates prevents metabolic deiciencies, just as it does in humans. Consuming less non-structural carbohydrates (warm season grasses) will lessen severe insulin spikes due to the absence of glucose, a process which ights against prediabetes and pasture-associated laminitis (hoof inlammation) in horses. As for production, Graph 2 shows the warm and cool season mix produced forage more eiciently because their sward heights were higher. We also concluded that the herbage mass of the ield with warm season grasses was denser than that of the cool season grasses. Overall, we found that warm and cool season grass mixes were more optimal than cool season grasses under horse grazing pressure when concerned with horse health and pasture production. We also predict the same to be true even in the cooler months because the minor presence of the low-carb warm season forages may ofset the high non-structural carbohydrate levels that are in the cool season forage, therefore reduc-
ing severe blood insulin spikes. Being a part of this inding was super interesting because now I can be a more mindful and knowledgeable equestrian and horse owner!
his summer I also learned a few other experimental techniques that colleges use in the equine science lab. The graduate student, Jen, who was conducting research under Dr. Williams this year, was very focused on teaching the undergrads and me how to take blood samples, fecal samples, glucose tolerance tests, and body condition scores on our own, even if they were not looked at in our inal research report. Although taking the fecal samples was not the most enjoyable experience, I thoroughly appreciated learning how to draw blood from a horse vein. This experience was deinitely nerve-wracking in the beginning, but by the time we were done collecting samples for a grazing rotation I was an expert. The most rewarding part was the ability to essentially “be my own veterinarian” when my horse needed
blood drawn for whatever reason this past summer. A few weeks after this, I went for blood work myself, and I was so intrigued that they used the same tubes and technique on humans as I did on the horses. Another fascinating technique I learned to test metabolic eiciency in horses was the oral glucose tolerance test. After an initial blood sample was taken, a standardized dose of karo syrup, which is loaded with glucose, was administered orally at the same time to each horse. Blood was taken again in four time intervals after the karo syrup was metabolized. The blood was analyzed for the amount of glucose that was cleared by insulin in each individual horse. This gave us a baseline for how metabolically eicient the horses were before testing them on the non-structural carbohydrate varying forages in the study.
hen the last day of research rolled around, it was deinitely bittersweet. We were grateful that we could inally look at the data and make some conclusions, yet the creation of unforgettable memories with the Rutgers research team ended. I am so appreciative to have had this research opportunity to not only explore the world of equine science, but also learn more about myself. Through my experience, I became a more independent, more out-going, and wiser person than ever before. I was able to gain invaluable insight on what a career would be like in equine science, while also being surrounded by horses every day at my favorite place: the farm. Peddie was instrumental in allowing me to explore my passions beyond the classroom. I want to especially thank Dr. Peretz and Mr. Bennett for their constant support in making my dreams come to life. My experience this past summer in the Rutgers Equine Lab was truly life-changing.
he world of real estate is constantly evolving around us. At the heart of the housing market in not only America but the world lies the restless borough of Manhattan. Based on my interests in history and business, I’ve dedicated part of my summer towards researching the impact of signiicant global events on the real estate market in Manhattan over an elongated time frame. I achieved this by selecting various wars and economic recessions from diferent time periods and examining their efects on the housing market. Besides doing research in databases and libraries, I attended the “Wall Street in The Classroom” program at Fordham University, which provided insightful information into various recessions throughout America’s history, and how that afected the country’s economy. Additionally I spoke with alumni, including an acquisitions analyst from New York City, who described how factors, including global afairs, impact the housing market. The study was furthered by not only comparing the wars and economic recessions among themselves but exploring how these two very diferent events varied compared to each other. The wars I analyzed were World War II and the Gulf
War. The economic depressions included the Wall Street Crash and the 2008 Financial Crisis. My research concluded by extrapolating how events of the future could also shape the real estate market. In order to analyze the economic recessions, it is important to note that New York City underwent a series of dramatic changes at the turn of the twentieth century, including shifting from agriculture to industry, causing a surge in construction to satisfy the large workforce with factories and apartments buildings. Thus began the industrialization of one of the world’s most impactful cities. Real estate prices in the young city rose throughout the roaring twenties; however, events took a turn for the worse in 1929 following the Wall Street Crash. The nation was plunged into economic crisis with the onset of the Great Depression due to overproduction of goods from both industry and agriculture. Sales fell by over 30% as residents were forced to either sell their property or hand it over to the banks. A large portion of the population was forced to live in shacks dubbed “Hoovervilles,” while a growing proportion of wealthy elites took advantage of depreciated prices and bought large areas of real estate.
After the recession, they would be able to sell property at higher rates. Alongside the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt into oice, prices began to not only recover but climb: “Douglas L. Elliman & Co, Inc reported a 22% increase in the number of signed leases on the east side.” It should be noted that the wealthy likely inluenced these stats, while poorer Americans were still struggling. Although the Wall Street Crash hit hard, Manhattan was able to recover remarkably quickly towards the end of the 1930s. A remarkable economic crisis of the modern world was the 2008 Financial Crisis. The catastrophe began when housing prices started to decline after an unprecedented streak of success in the market. Unfortunately, many banks reacted in a panicked manner, thinking they would have to account for all the money lost. They cut of trade with one another, refusing now-meaningless mortgages. Both the people and banks sufered an extreme hit, citizens giving up their properties and banks absorbing the properties at great expense. Housing prices not only in Manhattan but across the nation fell a shocking 31.8%. Analysts of the Wall Street Crash recognized they could rescue the dropping prices by jolting the low of cash with a major input. Thus, prices were able to rise as fast as they fell through government collaboration. Being able to survive economic depressions like these two stands tribute to the resilience of the Manhattan real estate market. It is interesting to note the diferences between these two events since they happened in completely diferent time periods. Since the Wall Street Crash was the irst real blow to the Manhattan market, people were unsure of how to react. However, analysts of the modern era were able to use the 1929 Wall Street Crash as an example to help salvage the 2008 Financial crisis. Previously, the government believed greedy Wall Street workers caused the crash, and thus they deemed them responsible to ix it. At the time they didn’t realize
the extremity of the event and when they inally were forced to give aid, the Great Depression was already in motion - although considering the vastness of poverty that struck the nation, it is notable that the United States recovered at the end of the 1930s despite limited government intervention. With the Financial Crisis, analysts urged Congress to spend billions to save companies and to jolt the market with a major cash inlux. While also dropping bank transaction fees to near zero, America’s housing market was able to recover and grow in record time. This suggests a pattern of learning from past events to better prepare for future ones.
oming of the coattails of the Great Depression, Manhattan faced an even more signiicant event in the form of World War II. As bloodshed ravaged across mainland Europe, America was eventually pressured into joining the allied war efort. Government and big businesses were able to unite together (which was uncommon for the time) and thus eiciency was reached as never before in America. Not only were tanks and ammunition being produced, but innovations in technology and “atomic energy” were advanced. Manufacturing was not the only thing expanding at the time; although real estate prices were not as high as in the roaring twenties, prices were still rising from the Great Depression. The GNP before the war in 1940 was just over $100 billion; by 1955 it had tripled to $310 billion.” This is remarkable that the housing market expanded throughout the bloodiest conlict in human history. Additionally, as soldiers returned home after the war, for the irst time in Manhattan demand exceeded supply, and therefore prices skyrocketed. This is a sharp contrast from the economic recessions, where the market immediately sufered a decline. As America advanced into the future, the wars it fought did as well. In 1990 George H. W. Bush entered the United States into the Gulf War as a result
of Iraqâ€™s leader, Saddam Hussein, invading a neighboring country known as Kuwait. America advanced a relatively short operation coded Operation Desert Storm. Although it was quickly fought, it was declared a success for the United States. However, economists say that it caused an oil crisis with prices going from $18 a barrel to slightly above $40. Additionally, the government was spiraled into billions of dollars of debt. Despite this, these negatives were not indicative of the Manhattan real estate market at the time. Manhattan at this time period secured its legacy, and thus around the world owning property here was revered. Therefore even throughout wartime prices were increasing dramatically, purely due to its demand as a luxurious destination for both Americans and foreigners. Although wars like World War II and the Gulf War may be fought diferently - from inaccurate riles to heat-seeking planes - they bare incredible similarities in their efect on the market. Throughout both deadly conlicts, prices were able to rise. The main diference is government spending. With World War II, big business and government united, allowing them to not only defeat Hitlerâ€™s Nazi Germany but to
make a major proit in selling goods and giving loans to the allies. The Bush administration spent billions on the Gulf War, causing a signiicant increase in government debt. Furthermore, it is signiicant to note that with World War II, the entire nation was linked in the war efort whether it ighting on the frontier or making goods on the home front. In the Gulf War, bombing planes did most of the work for the military, therefore the average Americans daily life was relatively unafected. It is safe to say that as technology continues to replace soldiers, wars will have even less of an impact on real estate prices. Despite these interesting diferences, the key idea is that prices still rose throughout both conlicts.
fter examining the various wars and economic depressions across history, one key point of contrast can be drawn out. Most signiicantly, economic recessions had a more direct impact upon the housing market, causing a clear decline in prices. Although the country may become more prepared to deal with them, they still cause a relatively brief economic crisis. Meanwhile, the wars examined had a more limited efect
on the housing market, despite the event being of arguably greater signiicance. Real estate prices across the century grew throughout times of armed conlict. In conclusion, it is evident that the real estate market is a highly variable environment where outside events can have signiicant impacts on pricing. These prices can be the deciding factor if a young family is able to buy their irst apartment or if a returning veteran can ind a home. Since luctuating prices can not only afect residents of New York City but the rest of the United States it is also crucial to extrapolate future circumstances. The last thing millions would want is another war; however, if Americans are dragged into one it is fair to say that the Manhattan housing market would likely not suffer much hindrance from the conlict; especially if the conlict doesn’t require a draft and if the use of technology is able to replace soldiers. Meanwhile, if another economic crisis strikes at the heart of the country people should refrain from selling property cheaper and hold out if possible to after the crisis. Manhattan has come a long way from being sold to the Dutch for “$24” by Native Americans to become a center for American culture and life, as well as a place for citizens and foreigners alike to pursue their dreams. Even throughout wars and recessions past and present - the housing market in Manhattan will inevitably recover and continue being one of the most desired places to live in the world.
Works Cited Amadeo, Kimberly. “2008 Financial Crisis.” The Balance, 11 May 2019, www.thebalance.com/2008-inancial-crisis-3305679. Bukszpan, Daniel. “Here’s where foreign real state investors are buying in New York City.” CNBC, 18 Aug. 2018, www.cnbc. com/2018/08/16/places-where-foreign-investors-areplanting-roots-in-new-york-city.html. Freeman, Tyson. “The 1950s: Post-War America Hitches Up and Heads for the ‘burbs.” National Real Estate Investor, Informa USA, Inc., 30 Sept. 1999, www.nreionline.com/ mag/1950s-post-war-america-hitches-and-heads-burbs. Lewis, Frank. “Explaining the Shift of Labor from Agriculture to Industry in the United States.” The Journal of Economic History, vol. 39, no. 3, 1979, pp. 681-98. JSTOR, www.jstor. org/stable/2119687?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents. Miller, Jonathan. “Change Is the Constant in a Century of New York City Real Estate.” Samuel Miller, www.millersamuel. com/iles/2012/02/DE100yearsNYC.jpg. New York Real Estate Coin. “A Brief History of New York City’s Real Estate Market.” Medium, 27 Sept. 2018, medium. com/@teamnycrec/a-brief-history-of-new-york-citys-realestate-market-841a724439ca. Richardson, Aaron, editor. “Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles Are World’s Largest Real Estate Investment Markets, CBRE Research Finds.” CBRE, Oct. 2017, www.cbre.us/about/ media-center/global-stock-of-investable-real-estate. Accessed 19 July 2019. Silk, Leonard. “Economic Scene; The Broad Impact of the Gulf War.” New York Times [New York City], 16 Aug. 1991, sec. D, p. 2. The New York Times Archive, www.nytimes. com/1991/08/16/business/economic-scene-the-broadimpact-of-the-gulf-war.html.
Eastern Medicine Ilex kudingcha’s Effect on Cognitive Functions in Mouse Models of Autism by Laura Dang
utism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that impedes communication and afects behavior. Symptoms vary from person to person but generally, people with ASD have diiculty communicating, obsessions with a small number of topics, repetitive behavior and other problems that interfere with their daily life. This summer, I chose to join in on autism research at the Vietnam National Institution of Medicinal Material. I did research on the efects of Ilex Kudingcha on mouse models of autism. Ilex Kdingcha has been used in Vietnam to help refresh the brain, improve mentality, and rid the blood of any toxins. In order to make mouse models of autism, pregnant mice were injected with Valproic acid. The ofsprings of these mice came out showing symptoms of autistic-like excessive grooming. There are three controls in this experiments: a naïve control group, an untreated control group and a positive control group. Other mice were fed Ilex Kudingcha extracted in diferent ways at diferent concentrations. We ran ive tests on these mice: the open ield test, the three chamber sociability test, the Y-maze test, the object recognition test, and the hot plate test. The open ield test is an easy test both for me and for the mice. This test measures the time the mouse spend exploring the inside of the box. Autistic mice are expected to spend less time exploring the inside and more time on the outside region. We ran the test on one mouse at a time and afterward, I had to clean the box thoroughly to ensure that the next mouse wouldn’t be
inluenced by scent or waste left by the previous mouse. The three chamber sociability test has two phases. In the irst phase, the mouse is allowed to get used to the apparatus. In the second phase, there will be a stranger mouse in one of the two cups on the two otter chambers. We mainly measured the time the mouse spent interacting with the stranger mouse. Autistic mice are expected to spend very little time for social interaction. The Y-maze test also has two phases. In the irst phase, one out of the three arms of the maze was closed and the mouse was allowed to explore the other two. In the second phase, the previously closed arm would be opened. We measured the time the mouse spend exploring the previously closed arm. Autistic mice are less willing to explore the closed arm than normal mice. The object recognition test measures the time the mouse spent exploring the new object. The testing apparatus is a box with two spots to put an object in each. There are two phases in this test. In the irst phase, the objects in both spots are the same. In the second phase, one of the two objects would be replaced by a completely diferent object. Before training and testing, the mice were irst allowed to get used to the testing apparatus so when the actual test happened, they wouldn’t be inluenced by the environment. The hot plate test is just a test on the mice’s relex and reaction to the rising temperature of the plate. We measured the time it takes for the mice to react. Out of all the tests that we ran on the mice, we only saw a signiicant diference in the data of the three
chamber sociability test. My lab is still analyzing and discussing the signiicance of the results, so there isn’t yet a unanimous agreement on the implication of the data, but I think that we all agree that Ilex Kudingcha extracts aren’t going to be made into medicine that could be used to reduce symptoms of autism.
side from this research, I also spent time on another autism-related project: my ASD Project (ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder). I started this project in June of 2018 with a group of friends who share the same passion for changing the stigma of autism. I chose to tackle the stigma of autism because it’s the elephant in the room but few people are willing to address it. My parents didn’t support me at irst. They told me that it’s going to be very hard and I’m going to achieve less compared to other projects in a given amount of time. They told me that nobody wants to have anything to do with autism, but I insisted on working on this. If everyone is avoiding it then it’s not going to get solved. I’m thick-skinned, I don’t get ofended or discouraged easily, so I made the move. Hopefully, other people who are also passionate about helping children with autism will be inspired by
Y-Maze test setting
my initiatives and start expressing their opinions and taking actions. This summer, my team and I focused on raising awareness via our Facebook page and lyers that we handed out at book fairs. Our last event, an exhibition of drawings by autistic artists, was meaningful but didn’t manage to reach that many people because we didn’t have enough followers. As a result, I also put an emphasis on raising our credibility and making us known to more people. We managed to reach about 2,500 people this summer through both the lyers, our Facebook page and other channels. In July, a friend of ours, To He, reached out to us about a collaboration on their art exhibition. To He is an organization that dedicates their time and efort to helping artists with autism by digitalize their artwork and making those into products like notebooks, bags, purses, etc. They also strive to raise awareness on autism, not necessarily directly changing stigma but rather wanting to let the stigma naturally go away. To He reaching out to us meant a lot to me. It meant that our efort has been recognized. It’s an encouragement for me and my team.
Mice divided up into separate treatment groups by gender
Setting for the irst open-ield test with the mice
Diving Into Data Exploring Data Science and Programming at Tufts Univeristy by Aiwa Zhang
ata science has been rapidly evolving and has become an extremely popular topic recently. As we generate millions of data points every day, it has become one of the most accurate relections of society and one of the most promising ways to uncover useful intelligence. Although the knowledge required for each and every data scientist, data analyst, or data engineer will vary depending on the industry needs, the fundamentals will always lie in the combination of technical and communication skills. With limited understanding of programming and the various skillsets crucial when dealing with massive amounts of data, I set of my summer enrolling in a summer program at Tufts, which allowed me to pursue an interest in data science. With the purpose of exploring areas related to data science and eventually crafting projects that are aimed to solve or model a speciic situation in mind, I chose an intro to programming course (which was more like intro to data science) as one of my courses. It included three languages: R, MATLAB, and Python. I spent seven weeks familiarizing myself with the languages, starting with applications of the language, then the speciic functions, followed by debugging, and inished with some methods for presenting the results. In the process of acquiring basic knowledge on the subject, several mini-projects were conducted to examine topics of our choice with the aim of answering a broader research question. The evaluated piece of work
or dataset was then presented with background information and the data itself was sorted into a neat format â€“ which was often a type of graph, or easily understandable numeric outputs. This aspect of the project highlighted the importance of communication as well as the need to efectively translate those data points to solutions. Furthermore, the projects also allowed me to work with partners and groups, rather than by myself, which is a closer imitation of how data scientists will work in a real-life situations. Some topics I looked into during my time in the course included: obesity rate of men and women in diferent countries around the globe over a period of 41 years, and how this was related to their average caloric intake, a vision/driving and attention/distraction study at the MIT CSAIL and Age Labs, and transcripts of the democratic debate. Following a nice intro to the languages commonly used for data science, I found my brother, who is majoring in computer science and mathematics, to talk about some of his projects as inspiration for my own. Two main projects discussed in our conversation were the Sierpinski triangle stimulation (graphic-related) and the Saliency-Aware Animation (done in his time at the lab).
Above: Sierpinski triangle, a triangle broken down into increasingle small iterations, using coding to model
ith a little more understanding of data science and programming, I went on to think about my own project. I wanted to propose a project with the aim to have a bot analyze and predict the direction of the stock markets, but this is a very complex task even with much experience and skill. Therefore, I went on to do more research on related topics and came across an article titled “Crypto/ Bitcoin Trading Bot in Python – July 2018 Update” on Medium. I read through the article and realized that this project started out with a simple bot and had many adjustments, as the programmer gained more knowledge on the topic. I thought this was more realistic and could really help me improve my proiciency, so I used this article as an inspiration rather than trying to tackle a problem that I am not capable of addressing at this stage. The project idea ended up being something close to an arbitrage Bot. The aim of this bot is to trade and earn money from trading the diference between prices on two or more exchanges. For example, you can buy something for one dollar and sell it somewhere else for two. For my project, I am going to focus only on unidirectional trade, two platforms at irst to keep things simple. Python will be used in this project, because it is a commonly used language that I have worked with for a bit. There are actually many bots online that have been already made and can be modiied for diferent uses, but by creating your own code the bot will be much more reliable and more easily altered later. Although this is the better option, it requires much more knowledge and language proiciency to program a bot that actually functions and gives you steady reliable output back every time. To have the bot be more eicient and reliable, I can create my own python etherscan API wrapper. This will allow me to publish the transactions created, and
with pythereum interacting with blockchain to test out the contracts. The trading data can then be tracked, and the value, number of trades, and time compared with graphs to seek out further improvements. This is the idea for now, and the bot will start out will very limited functions. These will include the basic trading functions, and the ability to trade when proitable and stop when there is a potential to lose money from trading. Other functions and modiications are to be made after maintaining a certain level of accuracy and consistency.
s this project requires more knowledge on the topic and more comfort with Python, I will be doing more research both on the topic and the function that I will be using in Python. I want to learn more about Python because I don’t feel like I have a strong enough foundation in Python after two weeks of working with it to resolve all the problems that might come up during this project. Despite it being a challenge to me right now, I think it will be interesting if I come back to it next summer after I have had more chances to experiment with Python. After being exposed to data science and how it can be used for so many purposes, I feel like there is so much potential in the analysis of data especially in a world like today. We create millions and billions of data points every day, which all can be analyzed and used in ways to improve our lives. It’s like running a lab, expect the sample size is much greater, the participants more diverse, the people more relatable, which will result in data more accurate and applicable to the general population. I cannot say or decide on anything right now with my limited knowledge on the topic, but I deinitely want to explore and discover more possibilities within data.
choose to research baseball recruiting because sports have always been a major part of my life. Whether it is playing them or tuning into as many games as possible, I have always found myself attached to sports, especially baseball. I think my parents bought my irst glove before I was born and I’ve been watching and playing baseball ever since I was a little kid. I am interested in pursuing a potential career in the business side of sports and I have a special interest in athlete recruitment, so I decided to take a deep dive into analyzing the talent in baseball. My goal was to determine the most efective way to identify players who will be successful in the major leagues. No one knows for sure who the irst baseball scout actually was, but evaluating baseball talent goes to the early days of Major League Baseball. As detailed in an article on the Baseball Hall of Fame’s website, some believe it may have been Timothy Paul Sullivan who found baseball talent for Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey as well as other teams in the early 1900s. Larry Sutton is thought to be the irst paid scout who found Charles Ebbets, Zach Wheat and Casey Stengel for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Scouts got a bad reputation with the actions of Cy Slapnicka, who was criticized for bringing players to the Cleveland Indians, paying them poorly and then releasing the players when they didn’t develop. Scouts largely worked independently until the 1950’s when Branch
Rickey, a baseball general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, developed a scale for rating players called the 20 to 80 scale that was eventually adopted by all baseball scouts. In recent years, teams have been moving more toward the use of sabermetrics, which is the use of statistical analysis to evaluate and compare players. While baseball fans and experts continue to debate which approach to evaluating talent is superior, I concluded that Major League Baseball teams need to ind ways to use traditional scouting and sabermetrics to complement each other rather than choosing one or the other. Traditional baseball scouts evaluate players by watching them in live games and rating them based on a scale from 20 to 80, where 20 is the lowest and 80 is the highest. Scouts are measuring players on ive primary tools including hitting, power, running, ieding, and throwing. They are also measuring players on things like plate discipline, contact, and on-base percentage. Former scout Kiley McDaniel explains the system in a post on the Fan Graphs website by explaining that a player with scores of 50 are considered average. Scouts only use 50/60/70 in the oicial scorecard, with no decimals to diferentiate each player, but they include more detail in the written description. For example, a player that is labeled considered “solid average” might have a rating of 50 but his actual score might be more like a 52 Another player with a 50 rating might be labeled “fringy” be-
cause his rating is more like a 48. Even though both scores will round up to a 50 the description is more telling of the true skills. Some scouts use the same basic method to measure players but instead of 20-80, they use a rating scale between 2 and 8 as a shorthand, yet the scale is basically the same. All scouts use a system called the Five Tool Prospect system that includes ive of the most important skills that they look at when comparing recruits. Each player receives two scores from the scout: one based on their present skills and another score that predicts what the player will do in the future to judge their potential in each speciic category. The scores are added and averaged to come up with the overall current rating and overall future potential OFP). For pitchers, they are rated on the same 20-80 scale, but on their overall ability plus scores for each pitch type such as fastball, curveball, slider, changeup, splitter, and cutter.
Figure 1: Rating system of baseball skills
lthough statistics have always been an important part of measuring baseball players, recently, the use of statistics and sabermetrics has become a much more important way to evaluate the talent of players. In his book Moneyball, writer Michael Lewis details the evolution of how the use of sabermetrics became a signiicant part of how baseball talent is evaluated. Interest in the increased use of statistics in baseball began when sportswriter Bill James began looking at new sports statistics to evaluate talent in the early 80s. He believed that people didn’t understand how to measure success in baseball, so he looked at things like range factor, which was how many successful plays a player made per game, and ability to score runs instead of batting average and number of home runs. He was the one to come up with the term sabermetrics to refer to baseball statistics. The Oakland A’s were the irst team to go all-in on using sabermetrics to identify baseball talent beginning in the late 90s. Lewis
explains how the general manager of the A’s, Billy Beane, started looking for ways to ind undervalued players because his team didn’t have the budget to compete for the expensive stars. His assistant Paul DePodesta told him about using math to analyze players and Beane decided to give DePodesta’s ideas a try. The irst player DePodesta found was a prospect named David Beck who was overlooked by all the other scouts because he has an unusual hand motion when he pitched despite having strong statistics. The A’s eventually signed Beck, who became a standout in the Arizona rookie league. Beane began to tell his scouts he didn’t want any players who were too young, too old or too expensive. He believed that college prospects would have more data to evaluate and that you could more accurately predict their potential. He told the scouts to throw out all high school players from even being considered, which is the opposite of how other teams were thinking. His team of traditional scouts wanted powerful homerun hitters who could consistently put the ball out of the park, but Beane looked at those players and saw a lot of inconsistency. Instead, he wanted to turn his focus to hitters who had a higher on-base percentage as opposed to a higher number of home-runs, such as Mark Teahen. He also liked hitters who drew a lot of walks or were frequently hit by pitches, such as Jeremy Brown. Other statistics he paid attention to were pitches per plate appearance, how often a player got on base and ielding ability. When other GMs focus on power hitters and high school pitchers, the A’s managed to draft Nick Swisher, who was a priority for Beane. The A’s signed many of the players that Beane wants but his scouts are angry that he is ignoring their advice and most of them quit.The As started to win games and kept the strategy of looking for and keeping undervalued players. The use of sabermetrics caused them to trade Johnny Damon, who was seen as a star and a fan favorite but whose statistics weren’t as strong. The A’s had some mixed success over the next few years with players that other teams don’t want like Scott Hatteberg who becomes one of their most productive players. By the 2002 season, the As make the playofs and other teams begin to take notice of sabermetrics and how to use it in their teams.
ow, more than 20 years after Billy Beane decided to use statistics as the primary way to ind players, other teams have been jumping on the bandwagon. According to a Science Daily article, by 2013 75% of teams in Major League Baseball used sabermetrics in some form to make roster decisions. As more and more baseball teams move toward using sabermetrics to ind play-
ers to sign, the question that baseball experts ask is: which system is more efective? While traditional recruiting has found some of the most talented baseball players the game has ever seen, it is certainly not a perfect system. When we look at ive current MLB superstars and their evaluations, we can clearly identify that some of the predictions scouts made on these players were right on the money, while some were completely of target. I spoke to some experts in baseball recruiting to help with my analysis of the results. Superstar Mike Trout was given an overall future projection of 67 from traditional scouts as a high school senior in 2009, which is way above average. On his evaluations, his future numbers were mostly 7s and 8s, which scouts gave him because they saw the potential for Mike Trout to immediately contribute in the MLB but also grow and develop into a better overall player later into his career. One quote from his draft report was about as positive as you can get: “He’s a ballplayer, easy to write up. A 5-tool player... Versatile enough to play 3B/2B”. I spoke to former professional scout and current MLB Director Of Diversity, Tyronne Brooks, and he agrees with using the 20-80 scale as a primary tool for evaluating players. Brooks spent 3 years as a scout for the Cleveland Indians (2006-2009) at a time when sabermetrics was on the rise but conirms that he used the 20-80 scale and believes you need to see a player live and in game situations. Brooks places a lot of value on other player qualities such as baseball IQ and coachability and says that the only way to judge those qualities is to see the player for himself. For example, a few of the areas included in Trout’s scouting report were baseball instincts and aggressiveness, which are not metrics that can be found in their performance statistics like batting average or ielding percentage. However, as great as Trout looked as a high school prospect, when you look at his high school evaluation, he did have a few weaker areas such as hitting and power. The scouts seemed to undervalue his hitting ability, as he now has one of the higher slugging percentages and is a six-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award. Rob Naddelman, President of The Baseball Factory, explains how his player development and recruiting service values live evaluation and rating of players by their baseball experts but have also begun to incorporate statistics in as well to paint a clearer picture of even high school players. Naddelman explains, “we use Diamond Kinetics bat sensors for things like launch angle, time to contact, hand speed.” Of course the scouts got it mostly right, as Trout is clearly one of the best in the game, but having the metrics on throwing and hitting beyond just what the scout can see to work with would certainly help players who
aren’t as obviously dominant in high school to stand out to schools and MLB scouts. Much like Trout, Bryce Harper was given a scouting report that most players would dream of. His future numbers were mostly 7s and he had an overall score of 63, therefore labeling him as a future superstar. Interestingly, Harper was one of the biggest stars to ever go through the Baseball Factory program and the staf that was watching and evaluating him were loored by his ability. The Baseball Factory uses a similar scale to the 20-80 to rate players but the scale is 10-70 instead. The irst event he did with them was the spring before his freshman year in high school, and Naddelman says the staf came back from the event and declared “this is the very best player in the country.” He describes how during Harper’s tryout he played catcher, then he went in at shortstop and played both with equal skill. He also said he had the most amazing swing as an eighth grader and that it is the same as his swing to this day. Once again, as amazing as Harper was in his high school years, even he had a few areas that showed up as weaker including running speed, ielding and hitting ability. Although the scouts projected that all three of these categories would improve they clearly underestimated how much he would improve. Brooks discussed the value in measuring speed by clocking times to irst base and time to reach base on a steal. Because base running is such a crucial part of the game, all baseball teams use these times plus other data to determine a player’s speed and on-base percentage to help compare players. Realizing that for every Mike Trout or Bryce Harper there are probably 1,000 kids who are looking for a spot on a college roster, at schools that range from big Division I programs through smaller Division III schools, the Baseball Factory wants to be able to measure kids at all skill levels. Harper’s scouting report also had a comment from a scout that “his raw arm strength was the best I’ve ever seen” as he threw someone out at home from the left ield corner. For other players who don’t have quite the level of strength as the Division 1 prospects, there are tools out there like Pocket Radar, which measures arm velocity and mThrow sleeves from Motus, which measure arm speed, arm angle, and workload. Naddelman explains that Baseball Factory uses these tools to add to what the evaluators are seeing live and that “these measurements are important to painting an accurate picture of a player.”
s his role as a scout and in the front oice of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooks believes that the value of live scouting is the best way to focus on the player in the positions they play. Nowhere else is this more important than
when evaluating a pitcher. Clayton Kershaw, as a high school pitcher, was a player that scouts saw as the next all-star pitcher in the MLB. As a pitcher, they gave him a grade of 62.5 with an OFP of 70. He was drafted right out of high school and has become a top Major League Baseball pitcher. His accolades include 3 Cy Young Awards, 8x All-Star, and the National League MVP in 2014. He has a career ERA of 2.42 and was the league leader in 5 of his 12 seasons in the MLB. I had the chance to see Clayton Kershaw pitch live against the Padres back in July and his stats don’t do him justice, as good as they are. When watching him pitch, I saw him control the ball nearly completely and he threw almost no wild pitches the entire game. I also noticed he did an excellent job of holding runners on base by holding the glove up towards his head, turning his head slightly and making a perfect attempt at throwing the runner out. His stats are very important, such as his fastball speed, ERA, arm velocity and arm angle; however, when you see him live, you pay attention to his form, follow through and accuracy, which are things that scouts look at all the time in live-game situations. This summer I worked at a program called National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) where the topic of conversation was about leadership-- not just in sports but also in life. I learned that everyone has their own way to lead and that’s what leads to success. What I realize about pitchers speciically in terms of leadership is that they are naturally team leaders because they are the focal point of a team and they control the pace of the game. Kershaw is a player that is clearly the leader of his team, and all the other players look to him set the tone of the game. In an article for Dodgersnation. com in 2015, his manager at the time, Don Mattingly, called Kershaw the clubhouse leader by describing him as the “guy who competes every time, every day, of-days are compete days for him. He’s in the weight room, he’s on the bench the days he doesn’t pitch.” His leadership style is more of leading by example, and you can see the other players following his lead and using their talent to execute during the games. In a 2014 article in USA Today, Kershaw’s teammate A.J. Ellis says, “I’ve played with a lot of hard workers, but it’s the intensity that he goes about it - that’s hard to maintain throughout the season.” This calm, steady leadership has helped lead the Dodgers to one of the best records in baseball and trips to the World Series in 2017 and 2018.
Aaron Judge, unlike Harper and Trout, was viewed by many scouts as a strong high school player with an OFP of 52 but one that was not really expected at that point to translate his game to the pros. Judge was the type of player that needed some time after high school to reach his full potential. Although he didn’t go through the Baseball Factory program, he is exactly the type of player that beneits from their approach of evaluating players both by seeing them live but also using technology to evaluate other skills. When you think of Judge now you picture him blasting home runs left and right but amazingly in his high school scout evaluation, his ratings for power and hitting ability were very average at 6 and 5. Even though he was tall and lanky in high school he wasn’t fully illed out yet. The Baseball Factory in their evaluation tryouts measure times for the 60-yard dash, shuttle run, and time from home to irst in addition to measuring grip strength, broad jump, exit velocity, and arm velocity. Judge is the type of player that the Baseball Factory would have identiied as having more potential than other high school players because as Naddelman describes, “Some kids are better athletes, and some are better baseball players and the combination helps to paint a picture for a coach for future potential.” According to a 2017 article on Mlb.com about Judge’s scouting history, Judge as a high schooler had a lot of raw ability but just didn’t stand out against other players. Instead of getting drafted, Judge went of to college to play. Having a few more years worth of evaluation and data collected made all the diference for Judge. After playing up to his junior year in college at Fresno State he raised his OFP by 8 points to 60, which eventually put him in the discussion for a irst-round pick in the MLB draft. Patience paid of for Judge as he was selected as the 32nd overall pick in the 2013 draft and started of his career strongly. Albert Pujols is a prime example of a player that the scouts completely misjudged as a high school player. According to these scouts, they predicted that his OFP would round up to only a 46, which was a below-average chance to go pro. He was selected as the 18th pick of the 13th round and he promised his wife that if he did not make it in three years he would quit. His hitting score proved way below what he actually accomplished as a pro, as he now has 646 total home runs and 3,135 hits with a batting average of .301 over his 18-year career. With such impressive
As much as baseball has changed, there are still some fundamentals that remain the same
stats, it makes a baseball fan wonder: how could the scouts have been so wrong? In the case of Pujols, it was a classic example of not having enough data to make an informed decision. His original draft report was after the scout had only seen him in one game. The scout downgraded his future potential rating because he thought that at 210 pounds, despite being 6’3”, he was too big and slow to be successful in the major leagues. The scout pegged him to be at best a utility player in the MLB but had very little data to go on. Even though Pujols gave himself three years to make it in the minors, it took him just one year of hard work and dedication to show scouts what his true potential really was. Because he was drafted into the minors in 1999, he missed the trend of using sabermetrics. Surely Pujols would have beneited from a more complete picture of his ability; as Brooks describes it “analytics is additional information used as a marker to make a player rise to the top of consideration.” While players like Trout, Harper, and Kershaw were all predicted by the scouts accurately, that does not mean that scouts get players evaluations correct all the time. Judge and Pujols are prime examples of the limitations of using only live scouting because scouts did not understand what kind of potential those two players would have in the future.
o what does all this mean for the future of baseball recruiting? From much of what I’ve read and the experts I’ve spoken to, they all seem to come down to the same conclusion: neither traditional scouting or sabermetrics can ever give you a complete picture of a player’s ability by themselves, and the only way to efectively evaluate talent is to smartly use both. A few more recent MLB recruits to go through the Baseball Factory prove this theory when you look at their evaluations. The irst player is a right-handed pitcher and shortstop named Hunter Greene, who graduated from Notre Dame High School in 2017. When you watch the Baseball Factory videos of him pitching and ielding, the thing that stands out the most is the speed and overall accuracy of his pitching. According to Minorleagueball.com, Greene, as a high school player, already had a 93-98 mph fastball. Because of this speed and command on pitches like curveball and change-up, Greene was considered one of the top high school prospects that year. He had committed to UCLA but was the overall second pick in the 2017 draft. He signed with the Cincinnati Reds with an over $7 million signing bonus. Green had been of to a good start in the minor league system with an ERA of 4.48 in 2018 and his fastball clocked at over 100 mph until tearing his UCL this year. Greene needed Tommy John surgery to repair it and his future in baseball
will depend on his performance next season after he inishes his rehabilitation. Another player who was a strong high school player but really came into his own while playing in college was Alex Bregman, who is a primary shortstop and a secondary catcher. When you view his high school scouting report you see stats like his arm strength being a 50 and ielding being a 55. The evaluation in 2011 shows that despite being a standout high school player, at that point, the evaluators were still picking him as a solid college player but not one that would go to the MLB right out of high school. He went on to play three seasons for LSU and was a standout there, earning many awards and being named a two-time All American. By the time he was drafted in his junior year to the Houston Astros, teams had three years of additional data to work with to make their investment in Bregman worthwhile. Lastly the inal Baseball Factory prospect who was a solid high school player but not really on the radar of MLB scouts was a catcher from Wildwood, Missouri named Luke Voit. His scouting report details his strengths as a catcher as receiving and blocking, earning him a score of 60, and his throwing velocity of 88 made him stand out as well. Luke’s high school evaluations put him in the average- to slightly-aboveaverage range with the comments including, “Luke has a future beyond college with hard work.” Luke attended Missouri State University for four years. He had an impressive junior year where he batted .298 and had 46 RBIs, but he sufered a shoulder injury which caused him to go undrafted after that year. He recovered and had an impressive senior year leading to him being drafted in the 22nd round of the 2013 draft. Voit spent the next 5 years in the minor leagues working his way up to a Triple-A team in 2017 and then in the same year, was called up to the Cardinals. Voit was traded to the Yankees the following year where he is now a starting irst baseman. Voit is another example of a player who beneitted from more time, development and the collection of more statistics on his performance to inally break through and have success in the major leagues. As much as baseball recruiting has changed there are still some fundamentals that are the same. There are times when you watch a player and you know they are going to be the next superstar. But more often than not, it takes time and patience and having the right person notice you and make a judgement that you are worth the team’s time and investment. Also, it takes a strong executive to realize that sometimes it’s not just about having the most home runs or the fastest pitch but it’s often more about player’s hard work and consistency.
grew up in a predominantly Korean-American community. Unsurprisingly, this meant that for me and many of my friends, academics was and is necessary for success later in life. I like to joke that my mom has been planning for college since before I was born. In fact, my grandmother has told us that she had a vision from God that she would have 7 grandchildren who would go to Harvard (we have 8 chances left out of 11, so congratulations to my younger cousins and siblings). The culmination of this drive for academic success is the hagwon. Hagwon is a catch-all term for the many tutoring services that Koreans often use. There are classes for standardized test prep, general school prep, college prep. In Bergen County, there are even hagwons that speciically prepare for the entrance exams for our local magnet school, Bergen County Academies. I hate hagwons, personally. Nearly every time I have attended one I end up bored out of my mind, wondering how my mom had convinced me to go. These are also not cheap services. I didnâ€™t ask the exact price of each one, but one time, my parents and I agreed not to pay for the magnate school prep and instead donate what we would have paid for a tutoring service. We donated $5,000. Suice to say, my opinion of hagwons going into my Summer Signature project were negative. I will admit that I brought all of my biases with me in my re-
search, although I do have a genuine passion for education. Being raised in a town with a good school system, having parents who extolled academics, and attending institutions such as Peddie have given me an intense appreciation for what a good education can be. But I came to ind that my experience was far from the norm. A combination of speaking with others less fortunate than myself and reading articles about the education situation in America opened my eyes to my educational good fortune. The NPR pieces I heard on the topic simultaneously tugged at my heartstrings and frustrated me endlessly. Trying to igure out a way to address the horriic education problem plaguing our nation through tutoring became something I was interested in. It is no secret that education is a dire problem for the United States. School funding was decimated in 2008 in many states as a result of the Financial Crisis, and many states still havenâ€™t recovered. States attempted to balance their budgets with cuts towards education that were not of-set with increased revenue. Schools found their budgets vanish as a result of lowered federal assistance combined with lost revenue from reduced oil prices and tax revenue. This was compounded by shifting demographics that led to more students in schools. Even though I did want to explore a potential solution for the education crisis today, I can recognize that I had the hope in the back of my mind that tutoring
services really were a waste of time, that my time spent languishing in dreary classrooms was mostly wasted, and my younger self could be vindicated in his constant complaints. It turns out, tutoring can actually be a very helpful tool, especially for underachieving students. In a report by the Department of Education, tutoring can be efective in raising the reading performance of students. This improvement was seen when professionals (teachers), paraprofessionals (teacher’s aides), and peers or cross-age tutors were utilized. The study was a meta-analysis of multiple studies that researched the results of tutoring programs. In the studies cited, there were gains by students in the form of higher reading skill, greater reading speed, improved reading comprehension, and improved spelling. These gains were seen against control groups that lacked tutoring. In addition, the tutors themselves were seen to derive beneits from their time tutoring. In one study, at-risk middle school students tutored low-achieving elementary students. Tutors saw had lower dropout rates, lower absentee rates, and higher self-concept scores than randomly selected peers. Those that they tutored had better reading scores with fewer disciplinary actions. Most strikingly, the progress found in these studies were not prohibitive in implementation. While the meta-analysis did recommend more tutoring sessions for greater improvement, training in the form of interpersonal skills, carefully structured and scripted lessons, and close coordination with the class curriculum, beneits were seen when there were as little as two 30 minute sessions per week. Tutoring is also most efective when students are regularly checked in on, to make sure they can progress independently. So, the consensus appears to be that tutoring is a very legitimate approach for helping underachieving students. The issue is how exactly it should be implemented. If we lived in a world with unlimited means and resources, the answer would be simple: one-on-one tutoring. It would be personalized and have the greatest overall beneit. Unfortunately, this approach would be very diicult to implement on a large scale. Even if there were eager tutors who were willing to be paid less there just wouldn’t be enough. As many as 140,000 tutors would be needed for underperforming 3rd through 10th grades in the 100 largest school districts in the US. So if the best option isn’t possible, then what’s the best possible option? In a comprehensive study of Chicago schools by the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs, tutoring made a
strong statement for how signiicant gains from tutoring can be without ridiculous costs and setup. The study consisted of over 2700 boys grades 9 to 12. A tutoring program was exported from Match Charter Public School in Boston for the 2013-14 school year. The tutors were recent college graduates and only had about 100 hours of training. The results were higher math scores, fewer failures in math courses, and better grades. The average GPA gain was over .5. In fact, there were even reportedly less failures in non-math classes. This study mimicked a similar one in Chicago that occured in 1984, in which the students in the tutoring group outperformed the control group by two standard deviations. That translates to the tutored students doing better than 98% of their peers. The Chicago studies were signiicant for a few reasons beyond demonstrating the efectiveness of tutoring. The age of the students is worth noting, as conventional wisdom regarding tutoring often dismisses older students as too far gone to help efectively. It wasn’t very expensive to implement, utilizing recent college graduates, retirees, and those looking for a career change. It came out to roughly $3,800 per student, and certain estimates predicted it could be as low as $2,500 per student. The current average nationwide for per student per year spending is around $11,000, but keep in mind that the cost could go down further if implemented on a larger scale. Furthermore, tutoring could be made available for students who are struggling the most.
A student not enjoying learning often isn’ t a reflection of that student--it’ s a reflection of the system that failed to guide them. Tutoring is an attainable avenue to right that wrong.
hile it’s clear that tutoring can be efective, the reason why is not as obvious. I have mentioned that volunteers can be as efective as professional and paraprofessional tutors; however, there is also evidence that volunteer tutors are far less efective. In a review of research involving professional, paraprofessional, and volunteer tutors helping students grades K through 5 with reading, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that paraprofessional and professional tutors outperformed volunteer tutors by over twice as much in some cases. Additionally, it was found that substitutes such as online tutoring had no impact, which would appear odd. The answer ended up being in what I already knew in the back of my mind: the impetus for beneits from tutoring come from the personal connection between tutors and students. I’m sure everyone can remember the diference between their good teachers, bad teachers, and great teachers: good teachers can make a boring topic engag-
ing, bad teachers can make an interesting topic boring, and great teachers engage you personally. In that same vein, I had the opportunity to do some tutoring jobs over the summer. I could see how asking the kids I tutored about their weeks, probing them about their interests, even if just for a few minutes at the start of a lesson, made huge headway in getting them to listen to me, to want to listen to me. Students, especially younger ones, can be much more motivated by nurturing and attention than some idea of academic success. This explains the disparity between volunteer tutors that are efective versus those that aren’t. Volunteers may not always be able to have consistently scheduled, leading them to have less impact than teachers. In the metaanalysis, the tutoring sessions were regularly and often scheduled, explaining why tutors had similar results as teachers and paraprofessionals. This also explains why the training of interpersonal skills was highlighted by the study as being so vital. I had this further supported by my talk with Monique Moody. She’s a teacher at Chancellor Avenue Middle School in Newark, and her insights were very helpful. She had been at a diferent school previously, where she noted that the parents were generally more involved in the students’ education than her current school. This led to students taking their education seriously, whereas she observed the opposite for many students at her current school. Most people would recognize that parental investment is a key component of academic success for children. I’ve seen it myself on numerous occasions with my friends; the kids whose parents most often got on their case about school were the ones who usually performed the best. So it makes sense that the same concept should be extended to tutors, who can both act as role models and provide encouragement for students who may lack those from their parents.
lthough my initial focus was centered on tutoring because that was what I was familiar with, I found that mentorship was another avenue for student success. I interviewed Alexander James, a Peddie alumnie who has a Masters in Education and worked with an organization named iMentor for 2 years. iMentor simply pairs students in high-need high schools with college educated mentors who help them through college. Each mentor meets with their mentee regularly, and the program is unique in that the entire school participates. This avoids the issue of underperforming students being singled out. Plus, every student can beneit from mentoring. I spoke to previous Peddie Headmaster John Green, who gave a similar praise for the value of mentorship. He is currently the executive director of the TEAK Fellowship, a free, New York City-based organization that helps place high performing students in boarding schools and colleges. While speaking with him, he made it very clear how crucial mentors were to the program. They would
typically be professional adults within their communities. This allows students a very clear idea of what exactly they could achieve in their futures. Furthermore, students at TEAK are paired with professional coaches once they declare their majors in college. This continual assistance goes beyond just guidance, but helps TEAK students navigate the often unfamiliar world of boarding school and college. This sentiment was shared by Thalia Brownridge Smith, another Peddie alumni I had the pleasure of speaking with. She is currently the director of the STEP program at the Wight Foundation. The Wight Foundation places students from the Newark area in college preparatory boarding schools, similarly to TEAK. Scholars Training, Enrichment, and Preparation (STEP) is an eleven-month program that focuses on promoting students’ academics in preparation for the boarding schools students are heading towards. Mentors help students adapt to a new environment by giving their own experiences, as many mentors were in similar positions. Often they are alumni of the program who can empathize with a student feeling out of place, and they also can help get honest responses from students. Moody spoke very positively of how the presence of a concrete positive role model could be beneicial for underachieving students. While the beneits of mentorship aren’t as concrete as the beneits of tutoring, it still presents an avenue for encouraging students to perform at their best in academics.
ith all the information that I have gathered, I believe I conirmed the very tangible beneits of tutoring. Along the way I also found out mentorship was another means of guiding struggling students. But how exactly could this be most efectively applied? One teacher I spoke with, Towada Ito from the Phillips Academy Charter School in Newark, gave an interesting example. For her, tutoring is a large part of her job; she works with students both before and after school. As a math teacher one thing she noted was that for many students, the struggles they currently experience can be attributed to gaps in knowledge that aren’t the hardest to iron out. The example she gave was with fractions. They are not a terribly diicult concept to understand, but if a student lacks a strong understanding of them, he or she will ind themselves to struggle exponentially in math as they are unable to understand more and more subjects. Ito noted that student tutors were a great way to address these issues. Something Moody, Ito, and, James all spoke to was how some students need help overcoming embarrassment. As mentioned, iMentor does this by helping every student. Tutoring does this by assisting students in a less public situation, allowing them to be more open about their struggles. Peer tutoring encourages this even more, per Ito. Additionally, the student tutors also can beneit from this situation. There is of course the question of training, but when the topics are not
necessarily diicult, the focus can be shifted towards the interpersonal skills that are crucially important. Additionally, when these tutors are chosen by teachers directly, it makes it easier to transition towards working in step with the class curriculum. This kind of program could also be stafed by older student volunteers if they proved easier to integrate. The focus would be on shoring up holes in a student’s academics that can be more easily addressed, while providing a stable tutor who can provide a level of personal connection and encouragement for a student who likely isn’t strongly motivated to do well in school. There are also programs such as the TEAK Fellowship and the Wight Foundation. Those are certainly very successful and ill an important role in servicing especially gifted students. However, they can be limited in the kind of scope I was hoping for. Green fully recognized that TEAK is not the kind of program that can be implemented on a large scale. Per student, it is somewhere from $7,000 to $8,000 per year. Considering that a student remains with TEAK for multiple years, this quickly adds up. TEAK also only has a 10% admittance rate, only accepting 6th graders below the poverty line who perform well on the NY standardized test. On top of this, TEAK only accepts students at that one entry level. These limitations are a tradeof of the extremely intensive nature of the program. The program that I think provided a dedicated level of support that was not as limited in scope was Attollo Prep. I spoke with Jennifer Creel, once again a Peddie alum, who is their Chief Operating Oicer. Attollo Prep is similar to the TEAK Fellowship in that it serves its local community by ofering opportunities to promising students. Attollo Prep has managed to see an impressive level of growth. With a staf of just 25 people, the senior class went from 97 students two years ago, to 200 students this past year, to 300 students next year. While the statistics are impressive, most striking was the level of commitment there was to connecting with the students and making sure the students built conidence in their abilities. The initial stage of the program has no emphasis on academics. Instead, students learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute and a half and build strong personal relationships with the staf. Although I doubt there would be much support for publicly funded Rubik’s cubing, the sentiment of building conidence in struggling students is sound. Ultimately, the research I read and interviews I conducted did end up vindicating myself, but not in the exact way I had envisioned. I did not ind that tutoring was inefective--far from it--but I did get reminded how important it is for motivation to be properly cultivated. I can say that while I deinitely didn’t mind the good marks on quizzes and tests, it was the encouragement of my parents and interest in learning that really pushed me to perform well. Even with that, I ended up losing some of my passion for learning as school became a
chore more than anything. I could aford to have this attitude because I had that solid academic push. Those who aren’t fortunate enough to have that foundation can ind themselves punished severely once that inevitable attitude towards school arrives. It’s not that students don’t have the motivation. Speak with any child about a topic they are interested in, and I’m sure they’ll be able to go on and on about their own opinions about topics you had no idea had that much depth. Sports, dinosaurs, space-- you name it, there is a kid out there who is enamored with it. But how would any student be able to fully grasp that sitting in a classroom learning seemingly useless information warrants their attention? It is our responsibility to every student to not just provide an education, but to engage them with it. Many people don’t enjoy school, sure, but a student not enjoying learning often isn’t a relection of that student--it’s a relection of the system that failed to guide them. Tutoring is an attainable avenue to right that wrong. Works Cited Barnum, Matt. “What If Every Struggling Student Had a Tutor? It Won’t Be Cheap, but It Might Be Worth It.” The 74 What If Every Struggling Student Had a Tutor It Wont Be Cheap but It Might Be Worth It Comments, The 74 Milllion, 13 Feb. 2017, www. the74million.org/article/what-if-every-strugglingstudent-had-a-tutor-it-wont-be-cheap-but-it-mightbe-worth-it/. Bruno, Debra, et al. “The One Simple Way to Help Poor Kids Stay in School.” POLITICO Magazine, POLITICO, 19 Oct. 2017, www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/19/tutoring-kids-chicago-study-215729. Hess, Abigail J. “The 5 States That Spend the Most on Students.” CNBC, CNBC, 24 July 2019, www.cnbc. com/2018/04/16/the-5-states-that-spend-themost-on-students.html. Leachman, Michael, et al. “A Punishing Decade for School Funding.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 28 Feb. 2018, www.cbpp.org/research/ state-budget-and-tax/a-punishing-decade-forschool-funding. Slavin, Robert E, et al. “Efective Programs for Struggling Readers: A Best-Evidence Synthesis.” Bestevidence. org, Best Evidence Encyclopedia, 2009, www.bestevidence.org/word/strug_read_jun_02_2010.pdf. United States, Congress, Oice of Educational Research and Improvement. “Evidence That Tutoring Works.” Evidence That Tutoring Works, National Library of Education, 2001, pp. 1–9.
here is nothing in the world more soothing than the sound of the ocean’s waves crashing on the shore. Nothing more inviting than the beauty of the deep blue. Nothing that could compare to exploring the last bit of the unexplored. This summer, I got to be the person I always wanted to be: the explorer. The one who is able to make a diference. To start my journey, I spent two weeks without the comfort of a phone or real showers learning how to respect and teach about the ocean environment in the British Virgin Islands. The experience was unparalleled in what it provided me with. The majestic depths of the ocean are limited to us; only a few people get to see what it is really like to live in the underwater kingdom, those people being divers. You don’t know what you are missing until you press your button to delate on your BCD to the ocean loor. Millions of ish dart around you, scared at irst, but after you learn to even your breathing and try to minimize the amount of bubbles that are around you, you can get a bit more personal. We learned from the captain that the great coral structures that decorated the landscape were dying. He told us stories and painted us pictures of the amazingness that once was. When he was a child, he dove the same places as us, and he told us that these places are slowly on a path to death. He brought stories to life of a harbor that was once so crowded with turtles, you could virtually walk across them to shore. When we went, we saw only two. He pushed us to think of what is next: What will be here when we are his age? I started thinking about the previous trips to beneath the deep blue-- it did look at certain points barren, like it was missing something. Most people have no idea, or don’t want to know. If the amazing underwater world I saw was only a portion of what it was, what would it be when I got older? The acidiication of the ocean from burning fossil fuels and pollution of the ocean by our own doing are the main causes of distress. But in a world as ‘modern’ as this one, how do we stop? How do we change? The answer to this is learning and becoming aware of our situation, teaching others, and getting involved in the betterment of our society. One of the days in the British Virgin Islands, we spent hours cleaning the north
shore of an island that was still in shambles from a hurricane that happened three years previous to our presence. Obviously we couldn’t clean it all, but we did our best to grab anything we could. What was so interesting to me about this experience was not only the pure amount of rubbish that was left there but how the people of the island talked about this hurricane like it happened yesterday, or even a month ago. The amount of lasting damage it left these people. Whether realized or not, global warming, while it may not be directly related to the recent amount of hurricanes is related to their intensities. Every person enacting a change means something. Most people tend to believe that because they are one, they can’t make an impact. However, if you change, it makes people around you change. People’s thresholds start with just one. If you were to stop using plastic straws, for example, your friends and family might also make the switch. Where after that, their friends and family can change too. You only need one to start. Little things make a diference. Saving the turtles by a reduction of plastic for instance; while some may not be able to see what their purpose is, they play an important role in the oceanic ecosystem and food chains. If the sea turtle habitation were to cease to exist, it could cause a complete collapse of those chains and the destruction of other animals as well. 1 Above: Wire enclosures placed over terrapin nests
safe for their babies. This is a problem in places where beaches are so illed with trash, or overtaken by real estate, that they can no longer lay their eggs, let alone lay them safely. However, terrapins are slightly diferent because they will nest any place that another terrapin has previously nested in, and you can manipulate what place they choose by bringing them there and them smelling it. By being able to change where they nest, we were able to guard their nests with what are called baskets, or small wire cylinders we put around the nest to protect them from predators, and allow for a maximum survival rate. This change in nesting area will lock into place after they have laid their eggs, so they come back the he second portion of the Summer Signext time they are ready for nesting. Over my nature Experience was much closer to time volunteering, my love for the ocean, as it home and my heart, dealing speciically already could make my heart burst, only grew. I with turtles in Long Beach Island. Here, quite honestly felt like the grinch after his heart I would discover the signiicance of knowledge grows three sizes. There was nothing between me for inciting change in the world around us. It was and what I wanted to do. I felt like I found my a constant saying of the director of the project purpose. Kathy Lacey, who spent many of her years as Now the question was, after all of this, how an environmental science and marine biology could I continue? How could I live my life not teacher. She started with just herself and now doing something for the betterment of my enshe has the backing of the entire community in vironment and the world around me? Even if it LBI. There are now laws banning plastic bags and wouldnâ€™t impact the entire world, I wanted to straws. People call her and the organization when impact my community. they ind turtles in danger or turtles ready to A few years ago, Peddie had a club that nest. It was incredible being a part of something head-started turtles over the winter so that they that was making a change you could see right in would be ready and strong to be released into front of your eyes. Our jobs were made easier by the wild world that is the ocean. The summer the type of turtles in our area: terrapins. These may be over, but that doesnâ€™t mean my project turtles are the only type of sea turtle of whom you is. My plans are to revive the club and be able to can change their psyche. It is a known fact that teach my peers and faculty about these amazing sea turtles are internally programmed to go back creatures, and hope that the worldâ€™s awareness to the same exact beach, the same exact spot continues to grow and we are able to make everwhere they had hatched, because they know it is lasting changes.
Evaluating Energousâ€™ Future Within the Wireless Market by Albert Lu
irst heard about Energous two years ago when it exploded on the stock market for the second time. Back then, I didnâ€™t understand the buzz around it; rather, I only knew it was a Silicon Valley-based company that promised to release innovative technology. his year, for my Signature Experience I decided I wanted to go into engineering while focusing on the business aspects of it. Energous was one of the irst companies I thought to look at. I was surprised to see it in such a slump, so I decided to analyze why it became so. To do so, I talked with a previous wireless charging startup and an electrical engineer that worked with RF waves to ask about the logistics of wireless charging and to understand the product better. I then consulted two diferent stock irms to learn about how to analyze stocks and the history that can be read from it. Using these skills, I analyzed the potential market size, Energousâ€™s product and if they can expand on it, and the future of Energous using public information. I ultimately decided that Energous was a stunt pulled to attract investors that does not have reliable technology, still not producing revenue and releasing technology that has been around for years. hat said, I still believe that if Energous can somehow develop the irst far-ield wireless charging unit and ind a way
to mass produce it with low production costs, they will make one of the greatest comebacks in business history. Wireless charging has been a large, growing market. With new implementations within new phones and more widespread use of wireless charging pads, farield charging, or wireless charging that can be projected across a room, seems more realistic than ever. Energous is a publicly traded company that is trying to make such product. It difers from other companies as it primarily focuses on a household market and uses its status as a publicly traded company to gain a following. As more and more items are gaining wireless charging capabilities such as Airpods, hearables, almost all phones, and even electric cars, wireless charging has been highly sought after by many audiences, especially for commercial usage. Energous hopes to capitalize on this prospect. By using copper antennas and resonance, they aim to extend RF waves farther than they could have gone before. However, they have only recently released a wireless charging pad that has already been prevalent for years. he technological problem is one thing, but production seems to be an even bigger problem. Ater asking with a previous wireless CEO and an electrical engineer about RF waves, they both agreed that creating a prototype is
very feasible but creating a proitable supply chain would be much more diﬃcult. Energous’s competitors attempt to solve this max production issue. Instead of focusing on household usage or more niche markets like hearables (Energous’s market plan), competitors such as Chargii, Witricity, and UBeam focus on markets with bigger buying power. hese companies focus on companies and the government to buy their products, so they can produce exactly how much is needed and will not have to worry about adjusting price to it mass market demands. Energous will continue to struggle with production cost. Despite Energous not pushing out any products within years, they still have multiple certiications. With the industry’s irst-ever certiication for far-ield charging approved by the FCC, many thought a product would soon be on the horizon. But ater countless delays of revenue production and lack of a product, Energous shrank down to its current stagnant state.
ltimately, Energous was a great idea to provide a potential future for wireless charging when it was young. But like many Silicon Valley companies, Energous did not reach their true potential. Energous pushed out countless delays and lacked revenue before falling out of many investors’ minds. It is still uncertain what technological advances they already made, but if they can still be the irst one to push out a far-ield charging technology, they perhaps can make a comeback. However, at the state it is at, Energous will still remain on the backburner of those invested into wireless charging.
Finding My Father's Brother Fifty Years After Adoption By Audrey Weber
his is the story of two brothers raised by diferent parents. When my dad was three months old, Edward Paul Weber Jr and Sheila Weber adopted him in Denver, Colorado. Three years later, Jason Bodine was born to Bill and Anne Bodine in Ohio, where his father was from. In the past three years, I have been able to get some incredible insight into my dad’s family history, through “New Uncle Jason” as he was irst referred to - my dad’s new-found full biological brother. In 2016, the Colorado Adoption Agency contacted my dad with news saying he could get his birth certiicate. Although he had signed up for the registry in case his parents tried to contact him, the records were previously sealed. He immediately sent the request for his birth certiicate and it arrived that summer. When it arrived, my mom and aunt began using his biological parents’ names to try to ind anything they could about my dad’s family. This led them to the “Bodine” ancenstry.com page, and they conse-
quently found Ronnie Bodine, who runs the page. Soon enough, my dad was emailing whom he thought may be his brother and suddenly planning to talk to him later that night. As if from a movie, my dad said, “Hi Jason, it’s Ed Weber. Thanks for responding to my email. I really don’t know how to come out and say this, but I’m your brother. I was born on February 2, 1967 in Denver to William and Anne Bodine”. Jason responded, “That’s awesome I’ve always wanted a brother.” Neither knew the other existed, yet suddenly they shared an incredible bond. My dad grew up with his mom, Dad, and three younger siblings. Originally, I was interested in interviewing all the siblings, as they each have a unique viewpoint. My dad, David and Kristen were adopted, but while my grandparents were in the process of adopting Kristen, they found out they were pregnant with Joe. Ultimately, I decided to focus on my dad’s story as I can directly compare him to his biological brother. This story has about ten sides to it, but I will be
focusing on two of them: one you cannot fully understand without the other. I could summarize it all, but I will let my dad and New Uncle Jason do most of the talking.
SIDE ONE: ADOPTED How do you feel about being adopted? How was it addressed at home? Dad: It was never a secret. A prideful thing for me because I was selected. In 1967, they were very conscientious about doing it. You had to go through interviews, home visits, etc. They were looking for good parents. Did you ever have any conlicting feelings about your place in the family? Dad: No. It was easier because I was the oldest of two adopted kids and then a brief moment, oldest of three. It wasn’t until Joe was born and started growing up that all three of us saw that Joe was the golden child. He was the one biological product of my parents, and I don’t know that worked out in his best interest because he seemed to get the worst of both of them. Maybe not the worst but he never had to be responsible for everything. I was always held responsible for the conduct of all four of us. I was always put in charge. 1 1 This was especially interesting to me because I feel like it subverts expectations about adopted children. The fact that my dad always felt “wanted”, and only started to question his place when Joe came along, was unexpected to me. From the stories I heard about my dad’s childhood, I assumed he never really felt comfortable with his adoption. Above: My Grandma and Dad as a Baby
Have you ever wondered about your biological parents? Dad: [Your] grandma started going crazy when I was nine or ten, after Joe was born. Grandma started exhibiting her manic-depressive tendencies and bipolarism that probably planted the seed that someday I would like to know. Throughout my teenage years, I did have a certain curiosity about my biological parents. I didn’t know anything about them and it wasn’t until 1998 that Grandpa came and visited us, and brought with him an envelope that had all of my adoption materials. I was 26 or 27, I just graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. Mom and I were thinking of starting our family. Grandpa said, “If you ever want to ind your biological parents, you don’t need to worry that I will feel anything less than your father.” That meant a lot to me, but I knew that conversely grandma would take that the wrong way. She would take that as a slight against her that she wasn’t a good enough mom. So that was 1998 or 1999, I was working at Great American so I had the ability to use the internet. In the material, there was everything I could possibly want to know, except their names. Mother’s height, weight, eye color, hobbies, personal traits, general stuf and information about my mother’s only sister. All this information and more about my biological mom’s parents. That my biological grandfather was a CPA and that my grandmother was a high school principal and that my mom had two years of college. The fact that she was a high school principal in the 1960s in Denver was a huge clue. If I had hired an investigator, I could have found my biological mother in the late 1990s. 2 In my mind at that time my only my real desire to ind her wasn’t to disrupt her life or her to feel inadequate for not having kept me. It was to say thank you for not having an abortion. I had done everything I could do short of hiring a private investigator, but your mom and I didn’t have any spare money I had just graduated from law school with eighty thousand dollars of debt. During my childhood, my teenage years, that’s when I started thinking about how I didn’t look anything like my family, I always wondered if there were people out there that looked like me but I didn’t know what that meant. But that was my overriding thought. As I got older, I started 2 This shocked me - I expected that if my dad could have found his parents, why didn’t he? I found out he had diferent intentions, other than pure curiosity.
having physicals and couldn’t provide family history. Later in life when I got the record the only thing I could say was both grandparents were still alive, no one had died of any diseases. Medical history is something I can honestly say I had not really considered. It was never an issue for me, but I have come to realize that’s because we did not know of any. Talking to Uncle Jason made me realize my biological family does have quite a medical history. Did you ever feel resentful about the fact that you were adopted? Dad: No, I never resented that fact. I had a pretty freaking amazing childhood for the time. We didn’t drive on vacation, we lew. I lived on a golf course and I could play golf every day in the summer. When I was seventeen Grandma and Grandpa bought me a red convertible.
Above, Top: Dad with his 1974 Oldsmobile Delata 88 Above ,
Grandpa worked a lot but he was home for dinner every night at six o’clock unless he was traveling. Every night we had dinner as a family and then he would work a couple hours out his briefcase. He provided. Grandma never worked for better or for worse. Probably would’ve been better if she had something to focus on rather than drinking wine in the day and smoking and being crazy and feeding her neuroses. Some of the downsides were Grandma always telling me I was fat, putting me on diets when I was seven taking me to the Cleveland Clinic for BMI and weight counseling. So that was the shitty part about childhood. [...]By the time I got to be twelve and uncle David was ten we were never home in the summertime, we left in the morning and were home at dark. I worked at Walden and Uncle David hung around. We weren’t around Grandma and little kids, probably to their detriment. As soon as we were old enough to be on our own, we were. When I was in 4th grade, I lew to DC by myself to see Grandpa testify before a congressional subcommittee on environmental matters. It was the irst and only time Grandpa appeared before Congress on behalf of the American Iron and Steel Institute. Really big deal. [...]You know what, if Grandma had not been like Grandma, it would have been a terriic childhood. Part of my childhood was that Grandma’s sister Joan lived in Loraine, Ohio where they were from, on the same street where [my cousins] Paul and Mark my grandma lived. She was old but she made awesome cookies. She would read National Geographic to me, had a stufed crocodile - it was cool I got to hang out
bottom: My dad’s ist haircut with his father. My grandpa was an attourney at the time
I had the opportunity to hike in Yosemite Valley when I was 12 they lew me there and spent 10 days hiking in the high sierras. [...]3
Above: May/June 1967, soon after his adoption on Mother’s
with kids who grew up in a more urban environment than me, in Lorain. Catching irelies and playing whiﬄe ball. Of course at this time Joanie was crazy as a shit house rat and her husband was crazy too. Infatuated with Hitler and wanted to change his name to 777. Aunt Joan was crazy for having had to deal with her husband - he was a raging alcoholic. My dad mentioned a lot of how one of the only downsides to his childhood was my grandma being herself. She had bipolar disorder among other mental health issues. A lot of my grandma’s anger was taken out on my Aunt Kristen, and my dad tended to take the brunt of that to protect his sister. Nevertheless, he feels like he had a great and memorable childhood. This in the back of my mind, I decided to ask my Uncle Jason some questions in roughly the same format. I wanted him to tell me what he felt was important in his childhood, without me guiding too much of the conversation.
him, we went to the beach and to baseball games. I was always playing with the kids in the neighborhood riding mopeds and stuf, but I had a new stepmom, and I didn’t sign up for that. Yeah, I didn’t sign up for that. I saw her one time when I was in college, I was driving across the country and I asked my grandparents to let her know I’m coming. I stopped by and she had no idea I was coming. She was like, “Who are you?” I told her, “I’m Bill’s son.” She said, “Oh shit, want a beer?” I was like sure, yeah whatever, I’m eighteen. I met my biological half-brother and he said, “You’re not my brother” I said, “Yes you are. You even look like me.” The child was like six, I wasn’t trying to have a deep connection with him. It was no big deal.6
How was it growing up with a single mom? Jason: It was just my mom and me, then she would get married and I would have a new stepdad. The irst one I was like ive. He was a scummy guy. He was a chiropractor. He was just weird and she’s like, SIDE TWO: BIOLOGICAL PARENTS5 Could you tell me a little bit about your childhood? Jason: My Dad was in the wind. He wasn’t like a stable stay at home guy; he was like a 35-year-old adolescent. [My parents] split up when I was about three. He moved from Arizona to California and I went out to visit him one summer, then he moved to Florida and I visited him a few times. By that time, he married someone with a child and had his own biological child with her. He got brain cancer when I was about thirteen and died. I was eight my last time seeing him, my last memorable summer, maybe eight. I was always looking forward to [visiting him]. He was a good time Dad. When I visited 5 Above: Jason and my dad’s mom, Jane Anne Bodine. (age unknown) Interestingly, her middle name is the same as mine, spelled the same way.
6 Right away, I knew this interview would be far diferent from what I experienced with my dad. Some ideas sounded vaguely reminiscent of my dad’s childhood, such as memories playing with other neighborhood children. On the other hand, his experience with his stepmom and her children was intriguing to me, seeing as how it compared to his irst interaction with my dad. In his early life, despite his attempts to reach out to family, he was rejected. My dad was reaching out to him and he accepted with open arms. I wanted to know a little more about what it was like growing up with just him and his mom. Above: Jason’s cousins Alex and Jennifer with his aunt Nancy who lived in Venezuela at the time. Their cousin, Michael, from england is pictured on the far right. He was “along for the ride”. Jennifer now lives in Boca Raton with her three kids. Alex still lives in Maracaibo, Venezuela with his venezuelen wife and child. He took over his dad’s business after he died. Jason doesn't have a relationship with him now.
“I want to divorce him. Where do you want to go?” My aunt and cousins lived in Venezuela and we went there to let the divorce settle while I was in 2nd grade. Then we went to Colorado. My grandma was ill with ALS so my mom went back there for more of second/ maybe third grade. When I went back, I was in third grade and was ofered the choice to move up a grade, but I didn’t want to because I wanted to stay with my friends.
My mom and I didn’t have a lot of money but she made sure I was in the best school district. We lived in an apartment in a wealthy neighborhood. I was pretty smart so I took the entrance exam to the private Jesuit school and my mom said if I got in, I could go. The public schools were a little too… I’m not quite sure how to say this tenderly... “multiethnic” for my mom. Then she was remarried. Monty was really good man and changed the trajectory of our lives. He was probably the love of my mom’s life. He died in our house when I was 14. Eleven months later, my dad died in Boston. I was just a freshman in high school. My mom was a wreck and so was I. Neither one of us could mourn because we had to be strong for the other. I eventually melted down. Isnapped out of it and started doing well in school. 7 I was in the honors program at Miami and joined Sigma Chi. After two years of partying and sometimes school, it was time for me to leave. I went to Maine because I was dating a girl there. Then in October, I got a call my best friend was sick with can7 My Uncle Jason talking about this made my heart sink. It seemed like every time their fortune was looking up, a tragedy occurred. I cannot imagine how hard that could have been, especially with everything happening before he graduated high school. This was all so drastically diferent from my experience and my dad’s, I felt fortunate. He went on to talk a little more about life after these deaths. Above:Jason in his Sigma Chi days circa 1989, 19 years old. His two best friends today were from the same time.
cer. She died when we were 21. But I got to be with her during her chemo years. That put me into a tailspin. I got back to school and studied hard at Arizona State. I was working in the airline business and then I moved back to Miami for graduate school. I have my undergraduate major in Political Science and my minor in Latin American studies. I almost studied law but thought my scores were too crappy to get in. Turns out, I could have gotten in. I got my master’s degree in public administration and I don’t do anything to do with that now. I got my irst grown-up job at age thirty and got really grew up at 38 when I met Michelle. [Jason’s wife, who has Friedreich’s ataxia - a neuromuscular disease that afects the nervous system and the heart.] Our mom died in 2013 and our Aunt died in 2010. Our grandma had ALS (on the Reed side) [his maternal grandma]. My mom had fast acting Alzheimer’s and my Aunt and my grandma had ALS. My mom’s set in in about 2008. She was in the real estate business and when the market crashed nothing kept her mind active, and it just abandoned her. 90-hour workweeks switched to daytime TV, and that was it. The hard part was that I didn’t know what was going on because she was in Delaware and there was no one who was friendly with me in her world. 8
I got a phone call from a ire sergeant in New York who said, “I think your mom is here with me in the South Bronx”, I lew out there that night and took her home. She was looking for her DMV and was distracted by something about the Yankee stadium and ended up in New York. The south Bronx isn’t really the best spot for a 5 foot 90 lbs. woman. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I helped in whatever way I felt like I could by ixing this and that. I ixed her license that she was originally trying to ix but everyone was like, “Why would you do that now she can drive?” That was pretty tough being so far and no one telling me. I would call her and she would say “Yeah. Okay. Mhm.” Just being really short and I didn’t 8 Above: Jane Bodine, age unknown.
understand why. My cousin got her into a home in Delaware and then transferred her to a home in Boca Raton closer to her. I went out there with Cody and Michelle and they got to meet her. I’m glad they got to meet her and all be together.9
we had grown up together. I never went hungry or missed anything but we weren’t wealthy. We got by and everything was ine. I went to the country club because I had rich friends, not because I belonged there. 10
What was your ﬁrst thought when hearing ed was put up for adoption and you were not? Jason: I didn’t think of it in those terms. I don’t know.... I never got along with our grandpa. I felt like he didn’t like me and I think that had everything to do with who my dad was. When I found out that Ed was given up for adoption, I felt my grandpa’s ingerprints on the deal. Our mom was a loving caring person. If Ed was a girl ... [my grandpa] told me girls were trouble... if I was a girl I would be drowned in the river. If it were up to her, she would have kept him. [My mother’s] sister had a bunch of abortions and a baby out of wedlock. [My grandpa] was pretty stressed out the love of his life was dying quickly in front of him. Our grandma was one of the irst female high school principals in the world and she loved kids. Alzheimer’s and ALS are diferent. With Alzheimer’s your body is ine but your mind is failing you, and ALS is exactly the opposite. My grandma loved kids, her brain was ine and her body was failing her. My grandpa didn’t want me to bring life into the situation as he watched her die. I would come home from school and she would want to hear everything about my day. He resented my energy as a little kid. We didn’t connect. When he was getting ready to pass, he wanted to make amends and say sorry he was a jerk and I was like okay. Sure. But you can’t un-ring that bell, like you can’t get a pass and then everything’s ine. [...] I don’t know what it would have been like if
How does it feel to know you have a connection to your biological family. Do you feel a sense of completion with these questions about your history being answered? Dad: Well it’s awesome. It was only three months[after I got in contact with him] I had my business trip to San Francisco and I spent the weekend with him and Cody and Michelle and he showed me around and told me about growing up and how hard it was. Hearing Jason’s story made me feel all the more fortunate that I ended up where I did. It’s been really nice getting to know him more and they visited us in Cayman. We are both looking for opportunities to see each other from each side. How does it feel to know this part of your story has never been shared with you?11 10 This was all new. I never heard this side of the story focusing on my biologicial grandfather. Of course, we cannot go back in time and ask him, or his Mother, about why my dad was put up for adoption, but my Uncle’s take on things is a viewpoint we never would have known. Above: 1983- My dad at age 16 with his siblings.He is sporting his short hair after shaving his head on a bet (of $100). David, the
9 As if his early childhood was not hard enough, this really broke my
second oldest and also adopted, is 14.Kristen is pictured at age 7 and
heart trying to imagine experiencing so much death and disease in a
was also adopted.Joe is the only biological son of my grandparents,
lifetime. Nevertheless, he stayed resilient and ended up with a happy
pictured at age 6. He is just 9 months younger than Kristen
life and family of his own. Above: Jason’s grandfather, as he knew him
Jason: As an adult there was nothing missing from my life. I have a great family and life. When Ed came, it wasn’t like a void was illed. Your Dad got it pretty good, he got a good life. Your Dad said he didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by inding his biological family. When he reached out to us, it was a lightning bolt into our lives. The next day I was in a daze, I got a speeding ticket . It did rock my world. So much of it had to do with the fact that I said so many times to my mom (I know it’s our mom but I’m going to say my mom) “I really feel like I should have an older brother.” She always told me, “You almost did, but I fell of a ladder and I miscarried.” She was lying of course, maybe she was telling herself that to make herself feel better, but she lat out lied to me. She signed adoption papers. It was a feeling inside of me. I really feel like I should have a big brother, like there’s something missing. This is a little dark, but there’s a good chance if our parents kept Ed I wouldn’t be here right now. Your dad was chosen and I just happened. Our mom didn’t love him any less. Her dad was making the calls. Our dad was a fun guy but he wasn’t a present father. I try to be a present father for Cody to be better for him than what I had. He’s a really good kid, so we’re doing something right.
SIDE THREE: REFLECTION Beginning this project, I thought I was investigating my dad’s history. In part, I was, but what I have come to realize is that in reality blood ties are not everything. As my uncle Jason put it, it is not like “a void was illed” when they found each other. If my dad had a bad childhood, perhaps he would have went through the necessary steps to ind his biological family in 1998, but he didn’t. My dad grew up in
a family with parents who loved him and “selected” him because they wanted to make the best life for a child whose parents couldn’t support him. Finding Jason did not mean losing any part of his own family, but rather inding an addition. Jason lived a life extremely diferent from my dad’s without moral guiding such as religion that my dad experienced, yet he grew up to be a generous, caring, responsible father. We now refer to New Uncle Jason as simply Uncle Jason (and he calls me Niece Audrey). He is a little bit quirky, like my dad, he is smart, and loves his family, including his new older brother. Next summer, my dad plans to ly to Colorado with Jason to intern the ashes of their mom in the family mausoleum. My dad never knew this woman, but Jason is fully open to sharing his - and what may have been my dad’s- life. 13
Adoption means something diferent to everyone who is touched by it. My dad’s family exempliies four diferent opinions and stances on the topic. As my dad puts is: “For Kristen, she and I have talked about it recently; I just don’t think she had the wherewithal to deal with all that. She feels like her life would have been perfect but for Grandma and the way she treated her. She tested her very badly. Grandpa was lovely and loved her very much but he wasn’t always there. Most of that happened after I moved out and was in school then married. When David found out, he expressed to your mom that he was concerned that he wouldn’t be my brother anymore, like he was the second class. So I called him and said David you don’t need to worry. You are my brother we share the story. I’m your older brother and I love you. Nothing will ever change that. I’m not sure why they never
Above 1972- My dad and my Uncle David at 5 and 4 years old (re-
Above: 1984- Dad and Uncle David visiting Arizona during spring break. They visited their grandparents, Edward Weber Sr. and Elizabeth Weber, at their house in Sun City, and also visited Arizona State University. Jason lived in Arizona at the time, and this was one of the only places my dad’s family vacationed because his grandparents lived there. Little did he know so did his brother and biological fam-
wanted to know. For David I think it’s that he felt like he got a pretty good deal, like I was explaining growing up in Walden playing golf, going to school, living the dream.” Obviously he felt his biological parents were not in the same position which is why they put him up for adoption. For mine, it was just way too early for them to think about having a family.” Emotionally, adoption creates the opportunity for a host of emotional diiculties, mainly revolving about the feeling of being “wanted” or not. Practically, adoption means you cannot provide family history at your physicals. It means you wonder if people look like you somewhere in the world. For example, my Uncle Jason’s family, my great grandmother, my grandmother and my aunt all have experience with ALS and Alzheimer’s. If these diseases were not passed down the maternal line (thus afecting my genetics), it means questioning if my life will be cut short by one of these. It is now that I ask myself if I would even want to know. Would I rather live in fear of the possibility, having a chance to determine my life choices? Would I rather live freely letting my life revolve around what I think matters, regardless of illness inluencing decisions? My dad has two brothers. He shares a life experience with one - all the emotions that come with eighteen years of living a common story, and many more understanding each other as family. His biological brother has only begun to share his story with him, yet they have an unbelievable bond. They have the same crinkles in the corners of their eyes and their smiles stretch across their faces the same way. My Dad always wondered if there were people out there that looked like him. Now my dad
knows he shares hazel eyes with his birth mother. She loved to read and golf - I would say the most deining activities of my dad’s free time. My Dad has always participated in sports like football, baseball and basketball. His birth father was described as “athletic” and played baseball. However, my dad also shares his name, Edward Paul Weber, with his grandfather, father, and son. He is a lawyer just as his dad was. He grew up practicing the Christian faith with his family, and continues to practice it with my brother and me. He visits his Aunt Joan in Loraine, Ohio and gets to visit with his cousins when he is there. I have cousins that could not look more diferent from me, with black hair in one family and bleach blonde-haired in the other, yet somehow we fail to remember why that matters. The fact is I will honestly never know why my dad was put up for adoption and he will never get to thank his mother for doing so. However, I do not think I would rather have it be any other way. Maybe his birth mom did not know he survived - maybe she did but never wanted to reach out to the adoption agency and possibly contact a child who felt neglected for being put up, or did not have a good life. Maybe she never wanted to. My dad’s biological parents are dead and so are his adoptive parents. As Uncle Jason said - “all the decision makers are gone now.” Perhaps this goes to show despite your upbringing, you can grow up to be incredible, admirable people. It is not nature or nurture; it is the person you become which deines who you are. Their story is more inluential than the bloodline.
Above: My dad and his brother, reunited
This summer I set out to begin my Doula certiication process, the completion of which would allow me to work as a birth assistant or labor companion. The job of a doula is to provide meaningful information and reassurance to women in labor. The support a doula provides is important because it helps a mother make more informed decisions for herself and her child. When needed, a doula can also provide companionship and emotional support to mothers who are without a partner or family member during this very stressful and overwhelming time. This lengthy process encompasses a wide range of practical information, all of which is relevant to maternity and newborn care and all of which has to be mastered before working with clients. While moving through the requirements, I discovered that much of the readings were about interpreting how the mother might feel at any given moment and how you can better adjust your behavior and assistance to accommodate the motherâ€™s personal emotions and preferences. After identifying this pattern, I realized that these were skills that everyone could beneit from and use
in their daily lives. Anyone can put themselves in someone elseâ€™s shoes and try to understand how they themselves might feel in that given situation. The empathy that these books were trying to teach should be used in a variety of everyday situations, not just by professionals. Seeing the work of being a labor companion in the same light as simply empathizing with the emotions of another person made knowing that one day I would be tasked with being a calming presence in a delivery environment less intimidating. With this new approach to the work, I continued my days reading through book after book. At irst every day was a new preparatory skill I would have to learn. The lessons would consist of topics such as helping your mother ind the right hospital for her, or how to respectfully and supportively help your mother work on her birth plan (which of course entailed a whole spectrum of factors such as preference on pain medications, medical procedures, what to do in case of a complication, birth location, involvement of a midwife or a doctor, and so on). As I was reading I formed my own opinions on each accommodation and began to feel passion-
ately about certain options. I realized how drastically personal experiences shape one’s approach to sensitive situations such as pregnancy and labor. Now more than ever it would be important to set aside personal biases when working with clients. A doula’s place would be to guiding the mother towards safe and informed decisions that she feels expresses her personal desires. Understanding the role one plays in her client’s life is an important step when beginning to work together. Working with women in this very personal manner while still remaining professional can be a diicult balance to strike. A doula has to be conident enough with her client relationship to make suggestions and connect with the mother on a person level but cannot overstep her authority as a consultant. I learned how to properly address concerns with a client through explaining all the facts surrounding the situation and allowing the mother to come to her own conclusion rather than imposing personal choices I would make. While a part of the appeal of having a doula present during delivery is the experience and expertise that she can provide, suggestions have to be made without expectations and as a direct result of the mother’s expressed need for them. Overall helping a mother feel heard and express herself efectively is a consultant’s most prevalent responsibility during active labor. This made me relect on how I can be of the most help to these women. I needed to igure out what I was bringing to the table that could be of use to a speciic community of mothers. The personal connection and relatability between client and consultant can only be achieved through inding the speciic community that resonates the strongest with you as a doula. This was airmed to me when I took my irst business webinar. The
objective of the webinar was to give the viewer the essential elements of forming one’s business plan. The most important step was to establish what your target clientele was. In my case I very quickly decided that I would be most qualiied to work with teenage mothers, a community which gets some of the least aid and support. Despite my development in my certiication process, I still have a ways to go until I can begin my own practice. Most easily put, I have completed the majority of the informational requirements but have not completed the medical requirements and practices. I am yet to attend 15 hours of labor over 3 diferent delivery situation and sit in on a few lactation and general information workshops. It is going to take time inding mothers who are comfortable with me attending their labor while I am still working on my certiication, but I know everyone who is now a professional has started where I am. I aim to be fully certiied before I turn 18 and am optimistic that I can inish whatever work is needed over the next 9 months. This certiication is the irst stepping-stone to fulilling my dream of running my own maternity home for young mothers. I know that having the experience of working as a doula at an age where I can relate to these young women will help me gain a unique and important perspective on their situation and in the end result on a more understanding approach in the future. Working on my certiication this summer has shown me that I have to take my time with trying to master new skills but that I can’t allow myself to get intimidated by the challenges ahead of me. All the person’s skills that you learn in business apply to everyday life, and often you just need to identify a practice that you already take part in and use it in a more consistent and strategic way.
Seeing the work of being a labor companion in the same lightt as simply empathizing with the emotions of another person made knowing that one day I would be tasked with being a calming presence in a delivery environment less intimidating.
rowing up in New York, I was constantly exposed to what seemed like hundreds of different cultures all tightly packed into one city. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to explore the world and learn about these cultures that I recognize but seem to know nothing about. I like to think that my love of science stems from this ever-growing curiosity about the world around me. It wasnâ€™t until recently that I learned about Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, which, in a sense, is another world that I did not know much about and could not wait to delve into. Much to my surprise the scientists at the Osten Laboratory welcomed me, a high school student, with open arms. At irst, I was intimidated to be working among highly intelligent postdoctoral researchers, lab technicians and graduate students from across the globe. However, the lab manager, Ramesh, immediately encouraged me by saying that in research facilities, young people are the future of science. He seemed just as eager to introduce me to the world of research as I was intent on starting my laboratory work. For the irst 7 days, due to my lack of safety training, I was not allowed to touch anything, so I shadowed a lab technician named Rhonda. She was very informative, explaining what she was doing every step of
the way. Throughout the week, I was able to observe the entire process of Serial Two Photon Tomography (STP) from injecting live mice with ketamine to seeing a mouse brain being imaged. Serial Two Photon tomography is relatively rare in the science world and has many advantages. It is often compared to lightsheet luorescence microscopy, which can also be used to image mouse brains without mechanical sectioning, but at a much lower resolution. Since STP can be used to generate high-resolution anatomical datasets that can be readily warped for comparison of multiple brains, it is well-suited for systematic studies of brain anatomy in genetic mouse models of cognitive disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. In the Osten Laboratory, each of the Postdocs is conducting a research project of their own. Although I was mostly working on learning basic lab techniques, I also focused on a project being run by the lab manager Ramesh. In his project he is mapping the brains of diferent genotypes of mice to determine the number of cells in mice brains. The highlight of my irst week working with Ramesh was seeing him perform a heart perfusion on a two month old mouse. I watched with wide eyes as he carefully pinned down the mouseâ€™s feet and cut it open with surgical scissors. He then skillfully placed a needle into the mouseâ€™s
Clockwise from top: Dilipitated mouse brains in well plates; Set-up for PCR; mixing and purifying DNA from mouse tails; Brain being sliced in the vibratome
left atrium and began pulsing saline through its body, draining it of blood so that the veins would not appear on the imaging. After he was inished, a lab technician named Anastasia carefully dissected the brain and placed it in a 4% Paraformaldehyde Solution to preserve the sample. I am not eighteen yet so I have not been trained to handle the mice, but I told Ramesh that he could expect to see me back in the lab in 6 months, ready to start perfusing. Although Serial Two-Photon Tomography was a large part of my experience at Cold Spring Harbor, once I completed three hours of safety training, I was inally allowed to start using the equipment. Rhonda started me of slowly by letting me make solutions and eventually I was allowed to embed mouse brains on my own and use the Vibratome, a device that is used to cut thin slices of a material, in this case a mouse brain. Before using the Vibratome, I had to learn how to make a new kind of agarose, a chemical used to embed, which is diferent from the formula used for STP. (Embedding is a process in which you create a block of agarose around the brain to help keep everything intact when slicing.) I was then shown how to connect the blade to the Vibratome and set everything up. I had only seen a whole mouse brain being imaged before and it was amazing to see what each individual slice looked like. After collecting my slices in well plates, Rhonda taught me how to immunostain the slices using antibodies. In this case
we used proto-oncogene c-fos, an immediate early gene which is expressed in neurons in response to various stimuli. Rhonda then used a confocal microscope to image the slices and the expression that was shown was breathtaking. During the last few weeks, Anastasia taught me how to extract DNA from mice tails and perform DNA puriication. She then showed me how to use the DNA to conduct Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a technique used to make several copies of a speciic DNA segment. We used the results of PCR to determine the genotypes of the mice that were being used for research.
y time in the lab lew by in an instantce. In the world of research, eight weeks is not considered very much time because research projects usually take years to inish. However, I learned a multitude of things during my Summer at the Osten Laboratory even though I did not have a project of my own. Ramesh and the Principal Investigator, Pavel Osten, have invited me to conduct a mini-project of my own next year. This means that I will have the opportunity to suggest a research proposal of my own and they will prepare mice for me so that I can return next June and begin my project right away. I am exhilarated and honored to be given such an amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to continue my journey next year and further explore the world of research!
ake a look at the people around you. You see distinct facial expressions on individuals’ faces. If you think about it, facial expressions are crucial to social interactions since they allow you to interpret what someone’s emotional state is at that moment. Even miniscule movement in your eyes can represent change in your emotional state. For example, when someone makes a statement in the classroom and their teacher’s eyes widen, it broadly informs you that the teacher is surprised by the comment you made. It is possible that someone has a special skill in hiding their emotions by using fake facial expressions, but can fake facial expressions lead individuals to feel the emotions related to the facial expression? In fact, does smiling makes people happy? Can frowning make people sad? Previous neuroscience studies have proven that smiling can make people happy, tricking your brain to think you are happy. Thanks to these previous studies, we know that smiling makes you happy. However, there are still questions remaining. Do the efects of smiling vary among diferent countries, backgrounds, and cul-
tures? Leaving my hometown, South Korea, at age of 5th grade by myself to the United States, I have studied and lived in the US, and stayed in Korea during breaks/vacations. If South Korea is my real home, America is considered as my second home. By experiencing cultures and life in both countries, I decided to conduct an independent research project to ind out how the degree of efects of smiling difer between the two countries that have distinct cultures and backgrounds. THEORETICAL PROPOSITIONS here haven’t been any previous studies comparing the efects of smiling in two diferent nations, but instead I was able to use my own experience of living in and learning about the history and traits of two countries. Out of many Korean stereotypes, one of them is “Koreans don’t smile.” Although it’s a broad generalization since some smile a lot, there are a number of articles and videos I on the Internet to motivate me further to pick South Korea as a comparison to the United States. https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=BuOejztythA. For example, this video is of a Youtuber who experiments how Koreans do not smile on the GangNam Street, which is one of the locations I surveyed at. I hypothesized from the history of both countries that people in South Korea are much more reserved and introverted than those of America, possibly due to the Japanese colonization they went through before the independence of South Korea. On the other hand, people in the United States are generally much more open-minded and extroverted, as ethnic diversities help accustom them to various cultures and races. With this speculation, I proposed that the efects of smiling in the United States was going to be greater than that of South Korea.
METHODS / RESULTS y independent survey took approximately 10 weeks to complete. I wrote a blog each month to keep up the progress of my surveys (URL for blogs at the bottom of this section), completing a total of 3 blog posts). In broad terms, I conducted two surveys, one in South Korea and one in America, selecting several distinct cities in both countries. I started in South Korea for approximately one month to conduct surveys. I picked 7 locations in South Korea and moved around in each city and got 28 samples on average. For the second experiment in America, it took about one week of work straight. As America is so big compared to South Korea, and having a limited time and transportation to travel by myself, I was only able to go to three cities, including a major city of west coast, east coast, and an island. For both of the experiments, the procedure was the same, except that it was in a diferent lan-
guage. I used the same chart and asked the same questions but in diferent languages. My goal time frame for individual survey was ive minutes. At the beginning, it took longer than I planned for; however, as I surveyed more people, I ultimately only took 5 minutes for individual subjects. I asked every ifth person passing by me, in order to prevent any bias, except for those who were on a call. If one rejected or didnâ€™t notice me, I counted ive more people and asked again (In statistical terms, I used a systematic sampling.) After I got consent to do a survey, I asked them if they were citizens of South Korea, or lived in South Korea for more than half of their lives, in order to make sure each sample drawn is valid to represent the population of South Korea. Once I got a subject who could participate, I introduced myself, handed them a consent form, and got a signature from each participant to make sure they understood the purpose of their surveys and how it was going to be used. Then, I asked them to circle the word in the chart that best represented their current emotion. Next, I asked them to smile as best as they could for forty minutes (I asked them to smile with their teeth showing if they donâ€™t mind). After forty minutes of smiling, I gave them a new sheet of paper that had the exact chart shown to them previously. I asked them to circle a word again that best exempliied their current emotion, without telling them that I expected their emotion to change positively from the emotion they chose previously. I used this procedure repetitively for each subject.
For the irst experiment in seven cities of South Korea, I had to ask a total of 260 people to participate in my survey, and 200 agreed to participate. The average number of change in blocks (which represents change in emotion) was approxi-
mately two blocks. (The actual average is 2.28 but I rounded down.) For the second experiment in three cities of the United States, I had to ask a total of ___ people to gather a total of 226 participants for my survey. The average number of change in blocks was higher than that of South Korea, which was approximately four blocks. (The actual average is 3.83 but I rounded up.) In conclusion, the results from my independent survey justiied my hypothesis.
DISCUSSION s I expected before the experiment took place, the efect of smiling was greater in the United States than in South Korea. Based on the result of the study, the diference of efects of smiling between South Korea and the United States was evident, as South Korea had a result of approximately two blocks of change, while the United States had a result of approximately four blocks of change. In order to reduce bias as much as possible, I took several considerations into the procedure. For example, in order to prevent from convenience bias, in which the researcher obtains the samples for her/his own convenience, I moved around to get the participants instead of staying at one place. In addition, in order to reduce the response bias, I made sure that the participants were chosen at random. As I moved around and settled at one place (without being in other people’s way on the street), I counted people passing by, and chose the ifth person to ask if they could participate in my study. Although I took several considerations in order to reduce bias, the experiments cannot
completely prevent bias. To illustrate, response bias may be present with the samples I have drawn from the population since the participants could have not been serious about this survey and circled a word that does not exactly represent their emotions. Furthermore, it is possible that the participants already predicted that there should be a positive change after smiling, although I made sure the wording of the questions does not hint to the participants what I was expecting to happen (smiling positively afecting individuals’ emotion). It is also possible that the participants didn’t fully understand what the words meant, leading them to pick a word they were not sure of. Moreover, nonresponse bias may be present with the samples I obtained for my study since there could be some groups of people excluded from the samples I have drawn. The average age of the participants I got for South Korea was 38, while it was 34 in the United States. There were many teenagers and adults from age 20-40 in my surveys, but there weren’t many participants older than 60. Comparing the time I spent in the US and South Korea, it might seem as if I lacked time in the United States, thus the samples I have drawn from the three locations in the United States to be not representative as those of South Korea. However, the total number of participants and number of people I asked in order to get a certain number of participants were similar in both areas. While I spent about three weeks in South Korea to solely obtain samples to represent the population of South Korea, I spent only one week in the United States. However, it was possible to get a similar amount of participants in the United States compared to those of South Korea since I spent more hours doing the survey in the United States each day. In South Korea, I spent about 3.5 hours each day for three weeks, while I spent approximately nine hours and twenty minutes each day in the United States for one week. As I was surveying in various locations such as urban, suburban, and rural areas in South Korea, I realized there was a distinct pattern. Areas composed of more diversity had a greater efect of smiling. For example, while Apgujeong and Cheongdam are cities in which the majority of the residents are wealthy and mostly composed of South Koreans, the cities like Itaewon and GangNam Street have a lot of tourists and there are many more foreigners living in these two cities, especially Itaewon. Itaewon is like an America town in South Korea similar
to Korea Town in the United States: the majority of the residents are foreigners. GangNam Street is similar to the Time Square in which not only are there many tourists, but also it’s a bombardeos location for citizens of South Korea. The average efect of smiling was three in Itaewon, two in GangNam Street, while it was only one for both Apgujeong and Cheongdam.
CONCLUSIONS his study was my irst independent survey in my life, and it is reasonable to say that there are laws in my survey. This survey was rather a motivation for me to realize my passion towards phenomenons within the area of psychology. Based on this study, I was able to conirm the previous studies done by professionals that smiling does make individuals’ feel happier, and further proved my hypothesis that the efect of smiling is greater in the United States compared to South Korea. If I get a chance to conduct another independent survey, possibly with more professional help as I learn more about the phenomenon of brain, I would like
to expand this survey into comparing the efects of smiling in Asia, Europe, and the United States instead of just comparing the United States and South Korea. In this survey, I proved my hypothesis of the efect of smiling between two countries, but I would like to analyze with more historical backgrounds of why the efects of smiling is greater in certain countries, individuals, and cultures. In addition, I also want to prove if frowning makes individuals’ feel more sad, since sadness is the opposite emotion of happiness. After successfully ending these two prospective surveys, I will be able to propose that humans can possibly control their emotions. Furthermore, if this turns out to be true that frowning makes people feel more sad and smiling makes individuals feel happier, I would like to investigate possible methods of implementing smiling as a way to combat for depression or other disabilities correlated with emotions. Having this opportunity to igure out the question I have had for a while was one of the most precious experiences during my high school career, conirming a persuasion of further and deeper study of psychology.
Above: From the variable statistics results demonstrated above (from TI-Nspire CX), these charts portrays the exact value of mean, minimum, Q1 (irst quartile in the box plot), Median, and Q3 (third quartile in the box plot), minimum, maximum, and the standard variation. X symbol is the mean value of each box plot, so the mean value is approximately 4 (exact value = 4.13) for the United States, and 2 (exact value = 2.06) for South Korea. The minimum value of South Korea is -6 and 0 for America. The maximum value of South Korea is 9 while it’s 12 for America. I chose box plots to summarize my survey. In order to do so, I inserted every single result I got from the participants, a total of 169 in the United States and 200 in South Korea. Then, I created the box plot and got one variable statistics chart, which summarizes crucial result for my survey. The box plot is a good visualization for the data I obtained from this independent survey since it displays the outliers (circle dots in the box plot), median (the middle line in each rectangle area), the maximum and minimum values. Moreover, for those who are comfortable with further statistical terms, the box plots also portrays the value of Q1 (irst quartile), Q2 (second quartile), and the Q3 (third quartile). The median breaks these quartiles into half, thus the irst part of the small rectangle being the irst quartile, and the second part being the third quartile. Each quartile signiies 25% of the data.
“Having this opportunity to figure out the question I have had for a while was one of the most precious experiences during my high school career, confirming a persuasion of further and deeper study of psychology.”