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July, 2015

  1. TED Talk- Outline- STEM in Education

    July 6, 2015 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    Outline of TED Talk- STEM in Education

    1. Introduction- Acronym of STEM- Born out of worry
      1. Born out of worry (Huffington Post)
        1. Visual Aids- News Articles Flash- STEM key to Success
      2. Fear-Students in other countries that are more successful than American children in the public education system in math and science specifically
        1. Visual Aids- Images of students success with age gap
      3. Where are we, the United States, heading? Do we have a goal in mind?
        1. Creative Economy (Huffington Post)
        2. Why is STEM a national priority?
          1. STEM Coalition Fact Sheet
            1. Visual Aids- Flash quotations
          2. Projected Job Increases in STEM
            1. Visual Aid- ISA
        3. Fundamentally Different from before (Christian Science Monitor)
          1. Michael Petrilli, vice president of the Fordham Foundation, a school-reform think tank.
          2. “But I think, as Tom Friedman argued in his bestselling book, the economy is fundamentally different today,” Mr. Petrilli says. “If our kids are going to have an opportunity to have good-paying jobs and enjoy the lifestyle they’re used to, they’re going to have to be able to use their brains. By any measure, our students are falling behind the rest of the world, especially in math and science.”
    2. The Beginning
      1. In 2006, the United States National Academies expressed their concern about the declining state of STEM education in the United States. Its Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy developed a list of 10 actions. top three recommendations
      2. George W. Bush, 2006 State of the Union Address
      3. American Competitiveness Initiative- What did it fund?
    1. Development
      1. Trouble in Unemployment
        1. Businesses Can’t Fill STEM jobs
        2. They need people with the right skill sets. (US News)
    2. Where are we today?
      1. Progress in AP Involvement & How the ACI worked
      2. New Programs in STEM- Across the Country- similar to the Millennium Scholars Program
      3. There’s even more appeal
        1. STEM-related skills are not just a source of jobs, they are a source of jobs that pay very well.- Georgetown Study

  2. Possibilities for a Paradigm Shift Essay/TED Talk on STEM in America

    July 5, 2015 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    Our culture has evolved tremendously over the past few decades and the world has changed, as we know it. Today, our World War II-era grandparents are learning to use iPads and surf the internet to connect with family and friends in our interconnected world. Today, our children are learning to read and write, months before those grandparents mastered the skill of keeping their balance. Education has also seen drastic change in the ever-changing in which we live.

    For my paradigm shift paper, I am interested in analyzing the development and infiltration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) into education and how this is changing the focus of the American public education system. While I love mathematics and hope to pursue a degree in this field at Penn State, I don’t understand why this acronym of STEM was born out of worry, just a decade ago and how it became incredibly powerful throughout that short period of time.

  3. Crumbs Bakeshop…too many crumbs

    July 3, 2015 by Olivia Kathleen Richards

    red velvet Crumbs crumbs bakeshop

    On the Palm Sunday of 2011, we were traveling to New York City for my third piano performance at Carnegie Hall. I was extremely excited, not only for the few times in a life time piano performance at Carnegie Hall and a trip to New York, but I was excited because travel means CUPCAKES! So, on our way there, I was attached to my cell phone to search for the best cupcakery in the Big Apple! In my usual pre-cupcakery research online, I found mixed reviews about the “favorite” of New York City. While Crumbs Bakeshop has grown from one shop to a large chain around the country in only twelve years, there were some happy and unhappy customers. I was definitely surprised. So, these reviews inspired me to take the trip from Carnegie Hall to Crumbs Bakeshop, off of Broadway, to see what they were all about.

    The entire family walked in. I looked around, talking to myself saying “Heaven. I’m in heaven.” The first thing to catch my eye was the extreme size of the cupcakes. They sell mini, signature-size, and jumbo cupcakes. I didn’t think it would ever be possible to make cupcakes bigger than Sprinkles Cupcakes!?! I guess the impossible is possible. After looking into the customer reviews and their own details about the cupcakes, I had already determined which flavors I wanted before we had even arrived at Crumbs Bakeshop. I planned to try the Apple Cobbler, along with my usual of the classic Red Velvet. I soon realized how the cupcakes were so large. It was because they were getting away with charging customers $3.75 per cupcake. That steep price did align with the size, when comparing it to other cupcakeries.

    The Apple Cobbler Cupcake was outstanding. It was an apple cinnamon cake with a filling of apple preserves, topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting and covered in streusel crumbs. That description alone manages to make your mouth water. It seemed as though the apples in the cupcake’s center were able to keep the cupcake moist, which was key.

    The Red Velvet cupcake was a bit of a letdown. The actual cupcake was red velvet cake with rich cream cheese frosting, topped with red velvet crumbs and edged with white sprinkles. Although the cream cheese frosting was delectable, the sprinkles and cake crumbs over top of the icing didn’t do the cupcake any favors. The actual cake was a bit dry and did not live up to my high standards for red velvet cake. We visited in the late afternoon/early evening, so the cupcakes were probably made during that morning and had been sitting for too long, through the day. I was upset since we bought quite a few red velvet cupcakes since everyone in my family loves to eat them, and at the steep price of $3.75, they weren’t worth it!

    Although my main cupcake challenge involves testing red velvet cupcakes to find the best cupcakery, the Apple Cobbler Cupcake will definitely take me back to another Crumbs Bakeshop to try another flavor, somewhere in the U.S.A.

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