Daily Archives: August 31, 2016

Why I am in SC200

Hi everyone, I’m Mike. I’m entering my junior year here at PSU, and majoring in business management in Smeal. As far as science goes, I find it very interesting, although it is not my strong suit. A friend of mine recommended this course because they were in the same predicament as me, and said that this class was interesting yet not the typical chem class taken here at Penn State. I’m much happier working with business as a career rather than science, and business just makes sense to me, it naturally clicks. As it turns out, my Myers Briggs personality results are ENTJ, and a suitable career path for me is in business.



All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

Sitting in SC 200 the other day, the topic of flossing and brushing came up. I decided I wanted to write a blog about dentistry, but I wanted to do it in a way that made a connection between it and genetics. I realized that I had something to write about that I can personally relate to. After all my baby teeth fell out, I was told by my dentist that I had, what was referred to as, congenitally missing lateral incisors. For those who don’t know, your incisors are the teeth on either side of your canine teeth. I wanted to know why I didn’t have these teeth. I asked my dentist and after some researching, I found some answers.

A majority of people have thirty-two teeth. If any of these do not develop, they are referred to congenitally missing. This is also occasionally referred to as hypodontia. Ninety percent of people are born with all of their teeth, whereas the other twenty percent are missing at least one tooth. The most common teeth to be missing are your wisdom teeth. After that it’s your Premolars and then your upper and lower lateral incisors. Genetically, females are more prone to be affected by this than males. In the entire world, only about one percent of people are missing their lateral incisors. It is more common for a person to be missing both incisors, rather than only one. The failure for these to develop is referred to as agenesis which is defined as the failure of an organ to develop during embryonic growth and development.

So why does this happen? Most cases are a direct correlation from a lack of development of tissue known as dental lamina, underneath the gums. Because the tooth requires this to form, it will not do so if the dental lamina fails to develop. This can be caused by three genes that play a role in tooth development. If there is a mutation in any one of these, a tooth may not form. Although these mutations are most often associated with syndromes, congenitally missing teeth can also be genetic. Some dentists believe that we are currently in the intermediate stage of an evolutionary change in the number of teeth that humans have and that future members of the human race will only have somewhere around 20 teeth instead of 32.

So what can be done? Merely missing these teeth do not pose a medical issue however, there are ways to solve the problem to make your smile more aesthetically pleasing. If you’re missing your Wisdom teeth, then congratulations. Most people have to have theirs surgically removed. But if you’re missing your incisors, there are three methods used to solve the issue.

The first is an implant which is a metal root that integrates with your jawbone that has a crown in the top to resemble a natural tooth. This method is more complex and also requires that the patient have had reached peak oral maturity. For most men, this is around age twenty-five. This just means that if your teeth are going to shift around, they’ve stopped by this point. The second method is a bridge. For this, striations are made on the two adjacent teeth. The bridge is placed onto those two teeth and is bonded with sealant. The third option is a partial denture. This is an appliance that you can take in and out of your mouth as it rests on your natural teeth and gums.

So history shows that soon this genetic mutation will affect the whole world decreasing our total number of teeth on average. It’s interesting to be a part of the slow evolutional change. What do you think?



Photo: http://knoxfamilydentist.com/dental-implant-replacement/

Source: http://www.oralanswers.com/congenitally-missing-teeth-treatment/


One of the main attraction of coming to a Big 10 school such as Penn State is the prominent and famed athletics. I know that this upcoming football season is something myself and many other students at the university are looking forward to. Professor Andrew has made it clear that science is prevalent in every aspect of life. With the football season right around the corner I have been thinking a lot about it. I have been thinking about the science of football. For most students the excitement of the games is sparked from the aggressiveness of both teams, big hits, and big plays. Football is an extremely physical where people celebrate pain inflicted on the opposing team. While this may seem highly entertaining and enticing to watch, it has a downside.5619aa995aa6f.image

Select students at the university are responsible for putting on the show. They have been recruited for their outstanding athletic ability and dedication to the game. While they may enjoy playing in big games and being apart of an elite group of students, it all comes at a cost. Every time these men step on that field they are risking their health. Essentially there is a hit out on them by the opposing team.

I am from New Jersey, where Rutgers is the state university, which also happens to be a BIG 10 school. A student named Eric LeGrand  was an extremely talented football player that was affected permanently by his football career. In the first play of a game on the kickoff he was going for a tackle and collided head first into the kick returner. Immediately after the play, Eric remained motionless on the field. He had been paralyzed from the neck down. You can see the play here.

LeGrand made a speech at my middle school where he explained his story and the high risks of injury that comes with playing a contact sport. Recently there has been many former NFL athletes who have been retired for a very long time reporting a wide range of health problems do to their years in the league. While their are injuries in many sports, head and neck injury usually occur in a contact sport. These injuries leave a much more permanent and severe affect on a person.

In many cases the result is CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. This causes the brain to deteriorate which puts these individuals at an extremely high risk for diseases such as dementia. Other areas of the brain are susceptible to enlargement which causes a disruption  with the function of neurons. This all interferes with the basic undertaking of the brain and other diseases. More details about the cause and effects about CTE can be found here.

One of the primary aspects of football is being aggressive and a hitting hard. The game would not be the same without this facet. However this is an extremely dangerous sport that many people have or will deal with the repercussions. Athletes have to be more aware of the risks that come with playing these contact sports. They are glorified for it and some are fortunate to play at the highest level which is very lucrative, but they are sacrificing their health. More research has to be done for safer equipment as well as more testing on these athletes to prevent deep-roots and sometimes permanent injuries.

The Grand Canyon?

Hey everyone! My name is Alyssa Hardy, although I usually go by Aly. I am an RPTM major with a focus in commercial recreation and minoring in business. I am from northern Vermont and came across Penn State because of the new hockey program here. I spent two years in the juniors playing for the Boston Shamrocks and lived there during that time and that is how I got to Penn State.

I am not only taking this course to fulfill my science credits but also because my advisor told me that it was for non science majors and throughout the course we relate science to the real world and what type of things may be happening at the time and that caught my attention. I am not big with the mathematic side of science so I figured this would be something that I would enjoy.

I am not a science major because I originally was interested in architecture throughout high school and unfortunately i was unable to pursue that dream because of issues with programs and hockey commitments. My other interests were event planning and sports management which is where I found RPTM and have loved it ever since. Also, science wasn’t always my favorite subject in school and I wouldn’t know where I would want to go with it if I was a science major.

This summer I drove back to school from California and stopped at the Grand Canyon for the first time. Hopefully you enjoy this random picture I took while I was there!


Water Bottle Magic???

Sitting in SC 200 one day, I was exhausted, hungry, and hot. I had refilled my water bottle downtown at Irvings with a lot of ice in an attempt to cool myself down. While sitting in class drinking my ice cold water, the condensation on the outside of my water bottle was dripping everywhere. All over my notebook, my clothes, and I think I even got some water on my neighbor. My notes in blue ink began to bleed all over my notebook pages. I was already in a bad mood and on top of that, my stuff was soaked. The cold water felt great though, so later on in the day while sitting in my air conditioning, I Googled water bottles that don’t create condensation so I could order an insulated bottle online.

While going through the colors of water bottles and being side tracked a few times by pop ups, an ad came up that really grabbed my attention. It was for a self-filling water bottle that creates drinking water from the air. I was so intrigued by this and I immediately thought of what Andrew had said in class, “With science, nothing is off limits.” I became so curious that I clicked on the ad to see what this water bottle was all about and if something like that was even possible because this idea struck me as very imaginative. I was extremely skeptical about this product though because after all, “We’re damned good at seeing faults in other people” (Andrew).

I first watched the video made about the Fontus self filling water bottle. I wasn’t too convinced considering it seemed as if the whole video was just a man who bikes and runs around aimlessly. When it eventually got to explaining how the bottle works, my skepticism was put on hold.


It looks convincing right? Chris Cassella, CEO & Co-Founder of the Sciencealert website (the website I found this product on) seemed like a credible man that ran a credible website. He even claims himself to be a “science communicator”. Fiona MacDonald (director of content) is an award-winning journalist who I would assume would not release false media onto a scientific based website. But, why haven’t I heard of this product before? This water bottle could be world changing because of the lack of clean water in many underdeveloped nations, so why is it not advertised more? This is when I came to the conclusion that just like Andrew said, science is truly messy and disorderly because I still had no idea if this was real or not.

I resorted to Google once again to see if others had the same reaction to this water bottle as I did. The Fontus website itself was designed well and had a copyright date of 2015 so I began to believe that this is a very new product and maybe it truly works. It is a fairly young company based in Vienna. Their team consists of industrial designers, electrical engineers, and business men and women. I went to check how much they would charge for this water bottle and instead of a listed price, it said the patent was pending. I sighed, wondering if the government would even authorize this product. At this point, I am half skeptic and half hopeful that technology has risen to this level of greatness. Maybe one day we will all be refilling our water bottles in between classes with the sun! What do you think?

Photo: https://www.metabunk.org/fontus-self-filling-water-bottle-indiegogo-scam-campaign.t7495/

Time Travel Paradox

Time travel has been one of the science fiction topics people have talked about and pondered for decades.  However, many people believe it o be impossible due to the possibility of paradoxes.  The most famous paradox is the grandfather paradox.  In case you are unfamiliar with it, here is how it goes:  Suppose you go back in time and kill your grandfather before your mother/father was born.  Therefore your mother/father cannot be born and neither can you.  I have a slight problem with this paradox.  So, time is relative to the speed at which you are traveling through space.  The faster you go, the more time slows down.  Once you reach the speed of light, time pretty much stops.  Putting aside the fact that we can’t actually reverse time right now, my problem is this.  Once you go back in time and kill your grandfather, that timeline will never catch up the time you left.  The time that you left will continue to go on while you go back in time.  And the “past” time will never catch up to the “present” time since both of them are traveling a the speed of light.  So does that just create an alternate timeline?  The whole scenario doesn’t sound paradoxical to me because both timelines cannot be one in the same.

Image result for futurama

Traveling forward in time, though, is an entirely different story.  As for traveling forward in time, that’s actually theoretically possible.  Remember when I said as you approach the speed of light time slows down?  Well if you had a spaceship that could go at that speed and you left Earth, time would move much more slowly for you than for everyone else back on Earth.  After leaving and returning, say 2000 years could have passed for earth, but only 10 could have passed for you.  Granted with no way to go back in time, you’d essentially be stranded in the future, but that is a workaround method to go “forward” in time.  And maybe if you get lucky, the future that you travel to will have figured out the whole “back in time” ordeal.  Here is an article that goes a bit more in depth into what I was talking about.

So until we figure out these paradoxes and how exactly to reverse time, I guess the highway through time is left being a mere one-way street.

I don’t hate science

Hi, my name is Erin. I’m a second semester junior and I’m an art history major in the school of Arts and Architecture. Last spring was my first semester at Penn State, and before that I attended two other colleges. I was looking through my transcripts and realized that I had not fulfilled my science quota for my gen eds, thus spent hours pouring through course catalogues to find a less scientific science class. I read the description of Science 200 and thought that this could be a good fit for me. I was further intrigued by Andrew’s solid reviews on Rate My Professor. Science is interesting to me and I’m well aware that it plays a crucial part in the world we live in. That being said, I’ve rarely managed to be successful in a science class.

It’s not so much that I went out of my way to not be a science major; I just have passions for other fields. I first discovered art history when I was a senior in high school and was taking a Spanish civilizations course. As part of the course we learned about the history of Spain and then took a trip over spring break to experience it all first hand. During the year I really enjoyed the art history unit, but it was when we went to La Reina Sofía in Madrid that I fell in love with art and the importance of it when creating and retelling history. I particularly enjoyed Picasso’s Guernica, a painting depicting a mass bombing in the northern parts of Spain around the time of the civil war.


This is an absolutely massive and striking work by Picasso that no doubt took a lot of thought and time. This is when I realized that, much like scientific process, art has to go through many trials and needs to be worked and reworked until the artist has achieved something that the greater community can accept and appreciate as art. I then went on to do some web surfing to see if anyone had a more eloquent way to describe the relationship I had found and I read a great article that you can read  here.

As it turns out, the ideas behind science are a lot like the artistic process and I’m looking forward to exploring this further through conversations rather than in a lab.



image found here .

Open Your Eyes




First off, shout out to all of my Rick and Morty fans. It is absolutely one of my favorite shows on television and I highly recommend it to anyone that likes science-y things whatsoever. With that being said,

Hi class I’m Samuel Lee and I am a senior majoring in Accounting minoring in Economics and Communication Arts & Sciences. I am in this course to fulfill my last Science gen ed and I wanted to pick a class where I could learn something fresh and new that I wouldn’t be otherwise exposed to in my major classes. I am really excited about this class because right off the bat Professor Andrew seems like someone who has an extensive background in the realm of science and seems very passionate about what he does. I also liked how he told the class to simply address him as Andrew because he explained that titles in the realm of science are unnecessary and everyone’s opinion is weighed the same within the classroom which speaks volumes of him.

The big reason why I am NOT a science major is because I struggled a lot with the big science subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) at all in high school and subsequently did not like the classes. Still I am very much interested in the topic of science because I love to learn new things and see all of the new inventions scientists are creating like this bracelet.

Finally, I think it is important that when in the realm of science to “Open Your Eyes” to all of the possibilities and to formulate unique opinions with subsistence rather than regurgitating views broadcasted to a vast majority. People tend to believe absolute truths that cater toward their own set of beliefs and I believe at times it is important to be open minded especially when it leads to open constructive discourse. I am looking forward to the semester and I wish you all the best.

Fellow Penn Stater,

Samuel Lee


   We’ve all heard this debate countless times throughout our high school and college years in America… Which sport is truly “tougher”, American Football (which will now be referred to just as football, sorry internationals) or Rugby? Having played football for 15 years myself, I have heard the massive complaints from Rugby fans or players that Rugby is tougher because they don’t wear any protective padding. Obviously, this always struck me as odd, considering of the countless amounts of hits, injuries, and overall toughness that I have seen over the years as a player, fan, and spectator. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to have my first blog post focus on this question I’ve wanted an answer to my entire life. Which sport truly is the toughest out there? In class, we talked about the options presented towards us, so I see two options here. Either rugby causes more injuries, with the lack of pads contributing to a higher injury count, or football causes more injuries due to the added force its players put into hits because they feel better protected with pads. Without a doubt, revese causation is thrown out the window, as you cannot attribute that the injuries cause football or rugby. We’ll also be looking later on why these injuries might happen, or if third parties like the weather cause more injuries.

A massive hit in football, throwing the recipient's helmet completely off

A massive hit in football, throwing the recipient’s helmet completely off

According to a post by NCAA or the National College Athletic Association, the overall injury rate per every 1,000 athlete exposures (practices included) is 8.1. That may not seem like a lot, but looking at the big picture, there were 41,000 injuries in football per 25 million athletic exposures in just five years. Think about that, 41,000 injuries in FIVE YEARS. That truly is a staggering amount.

How may Rugby compare in this kind of data? Well, according to this powerpoint by the USA Rugby association, the injury rate per 1,000 player exposures for Rugby is about 6.6. Now this, compared to the NCAA statistics shown earlier, may not seem like much, but it does have the upper hand to the 4.4 injury rate per 1,000 player exposures that high school football has, according to the same powerpoint. However, as both are collegiate programs, football does have the upper hand thus far.


A rugby player takes a spear from an opponent, with no padding whatsover

So, in reality, both Rugby and football have a staggering amount of injuries, more than any other sports. And, although it may seem like football has the upper hand right now, you still need to look at where the injuries are taking place to properly see what indeed is the tougher sport.



According to the same NCAA article listed above, a little bit of over 50% of injuries occur in the lower body. These include: Broken legs/toes, stretched/torn ligaments in both of the knees, thighs, and ankles, and also contusions in the same areas. Rugby, on the other hand, only has 16% of their injuries affecting their lower body or brain, according to previously mentioned powerpoint.  Therefore, 84% of their injuries involve upper body injuries in some capacity, whether their shoulders, arms, ribs, or any other body parts. In essence, football has the upper hand in lower body injuries and concussions (7.4% on concussions ALONE, with over 45% of concussions not being reported), while Rugby has far more upper body injuries. This makes sense, as the upper body is the most supported in football. However, the shocking thing to me is football players, who wear helmets, have more concussions per exposure than their helmetless counterparts. Likewise, terrifying neck injuries also seem to be more common in Collegiate football than Collegiate Rugby, which goes to show that the padding provided in football isn’t truly making the sport safer. The most common reasoning for the increase of neck and head injuries in football over Rugby is due to the ability for football players to use their upper shoulder pads and helmets to tackle opponents, something Rugby does now allow.

Here’s a brief video clip of some big football hits over the years (viewer discretion advised)

Likewise, here’s a video clip of big Rugby hits (viewer discretion still advised)


So far, we’ve talked about the injuries that, while obviously painful and take a good amount of time to recover from, are not fatal. Other than the brain and neck injuries mentioned, most of these injuries won’t have significant effects on you the rest of your life. However, I don’t think we can firmly make a decision between the two sports until we talk about the worst tragedy in sports…fatalities. In Rugby, fatalities are almost unheard of. Due to the rules of the sport, where tackling below the waist and wrapping the legs to bring people down is common, Rugby offers a much safer environment for brain and neck injuries, as mentioned previously. Unfortunately, you cannot say the same for football. According to this article, there is an average of 12.2 deaths PER YEAR, or about 1 in every 100,000 participants. This doesn’t just come from brain or neck injuries as one might expect, however, as there is also cardiac failure as well as heat exhaustion. Many times during the beginning of the season, kids don’t get enough water in the 100+ degree heat, and pass out, possibly causing their death in the process. A truly horrible circumstance that has happened to too many children in America. The correlation between deaths and football is something that really needs to be focused on.

As we discussed in class, the correlation between  injuries and football is not just due to chance, or by a third party. No, there is a direct causation. You play football, you’re far more likely to recieve injuries than if you don’t. So, looking at all of the evidence presented and what they show, it all points to football being the “tougher” (or more dangerous, depending how you look at it) sport. Having the higher rate of injury in the lower body, neck, head, and fatalities give it the upper hand over Rugby. Likewise, football also has more injuries per athletic exposure than Rugby does. Playing for 15 years, I’ve had many broken fingers and toes, a broken nose, three broken ribs, a torn shoulder and bicep, and bad back, and three concussions. I personally know the damage this sport can cause. I believe the reason that football has so many more injuries is actually having pads on. In Rugby, the players know not to tackle with their heads because they don’t have any protection, and likewise don’t hit as hard. Football players often find themselves invincible in pads, and thus throw their entire body behind their hits. That, along with bad timing or bad technique, can cause the serious injuries we’ve seen. Instead of bragging that my sport is indeed tougher, I’m more disappointed at how many injuries football players have to contend with every year. It’s definitely an issue, and steps have been taken in recent years to make it better. However, this isn’t enough, and I hope if I have a son and he plays in the future that he won’t have as many injuries as I did or caused while playing.


Thanks for reading guys!


Images URL’s





Not a science major but…

Hey everyone!

My name is Demi Badejo

I’m from Maryland and a sophomore majoring in Health Policy & Administration and minoring in Biology. Yes that’s right. I’m minoring in Biology. Before you personally escort me out of this class and into Chem 112, allow me to explain. If I were to major in Biology or any other science course I can kiss graduate/medical school goodbye.

TheIMG_0307re is an incredible amount of competition in regards to medical school and even the best don’t get in. If I was majoring in Biology I would fail at least—all my upper-level math classes and be forced to sell cold corn on the street.

Before I go any further can I rewind a bit? Back in high-school I was in the honors program for STEM students. I find science interesting but it was very difficult. I had to study hard to make the grades. My fear was majoring in Biology at a public university would set me up for failure. I figured I would major in something related to Public Health get a minor in Biology so that I would have all the required courses for medical school and a good GPA.

After talking to advisors and people in professions I was interested in; I found that HPA was the perfect option for me. I would still get hospital experience and have a fighting chance at maintaining a high gpa.

Now you’re probably asking “Why not take another science class that fits both your major and minor?” Great question! I was already at 16 credit hours and another class would likely add 4 more credits and that’s just…no. Right here is a link to a medical forum for anyone out there that’s not majoring in science but just may be interested in medical school. Feel free to comment. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks in advanced.

P.S my 19th birthday is today!

x Demi

I Like Science

Hello Science 200, my name is Alex Pulice. I’m double majoring in Advertising and Psychology (which translates to “I suck at math”). I’m taking this course because I need another science course to keep on track with my degree path. When I schedule courses, a big influence of whether or not I choose a class is the quality of the professor, so naturally I read the Rate my Professor reviews for Andrew. He got a pretty good rating, so that’s why I decided to join Science 200. Apparently  I’m not the only one who reads Rate my Professor reviews, because after reading some of Andrew’s old blog posts, I stumbled across this.

I am not planning to be a science major because I already enjoy the majors I am in. I like to write and interact with people, and an Ad/Psych double major sets me up perfectly to do those things (and make a decent living after I graduate). I guess psychology could be considered a sort of science, but technically its in the liberal arts college here at Penn State. I do also love science!I-love-this-science-shit-21-Jump-Street-gif

I find it fascinating and enlightening. I’m excited about this course because it’ll give a non-science major like me a chance to discover and learn more about a subject that I do enjoy, but otherwise wouldn’t be able to pursue because of my major requirements.

The Mitochondria is the Powerhouse of the Cell

I have always hated science because most of the time it is just memorizing facts like “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.” Our education system is built on impractical information taught in our earlier years of education. I know science is much more than just facts, however in the end, you have to know some of these facts to actually discover things. Memorization was never my strong suit so I struggled through most of my science classes in high school. I am taking this course because I needed a gen ed class that fit my schedule and is also a “science” class. This course seems to focus more on concepts and less on facts.

I do not plan on majoring in a science simply because I have no interest in the sciences. On the other hand, I am interested in business and I am currently in the Smeal College of Business planning to major in Accounting. I am a practical person. I like to learn about things that I can apply in real life. Majoring in Accounting would benefit me because then I can for example file my taxes myself instead of paying someone else to do it. Living in NYC, I’ve always dreamed of working on the 87th floor of a fancy firm in Wall St. One can dream.

According to Business Insider,  the top paying college majors is engineering (petroleum, chemical, nuclear, etc). You can say that engineering is similar to science, but I don’t think so. Science majors don’t even show up on the list. I’ve seen many people with a biology/physics/chemistry degree to end up being a high school teacher, one of the worst jobs to have in my opinion.


Science isn’t Cool

Hi, my name is Zac Cope, and I am a freshman in the Division of Undergraduate Studies looking to become a Finance major. I’m from Chicago, IL (I know, a little different from all the PA’s and New Jersey’s) and most of my relatives live here in Pennsylvania so I’ve always felt at home here and have always loved Penn State. Both my parents went to school here as well as 4 of my uncles, so I grew up in a Penn State family and we take that pride everywhere we go. As far as science goes, I’ve always been pretty good at it. In high school, I was always in the honors science classes and got very good grades in them. I don’t want to say I don’t like science, because it actually does interest me on a good level, it’s just not something I can see myself doing outside of school for a job. I’ve always been a business guy just because it fits my personality better. Whenever I think of having a job in science after college, it just makes me think of some geek sitting in a secluded lab doing experiments all day. I could never do that, I like the business side of things where you branch out and network, always discussing with a team and trying to focus on completing a company goal. The reason I picked SC 200 was because my DUS adviser said most of the business majors took this class to use as one of their science gen eds because it wasn’t a typical rigorous science class. It also interested me after reading the course description about how this class deals with critical thinking and really tries to get you to observe deep concepts. It kind of seemed more like a philosophy or psychology class rather than science, so that was pretty cool because I never took any of those classes in high school. I can already tell that I’m going to enjoy this class because none of the lectures so far have lost my interest. I really hope that this class teaches me all sorts of weird and wacky ideas I’ve never really thought about. Anyways, I really appreciate and value what science does for our society, but I can not see myself being a scientist in the future.

wall street

Also, here’s a link to a blog about a research scientist and why she hates her job with a burning passion… link

Science is cool

Hello SC 200!

My name is Sal Mattioli and I am from New York City. I am currently a Junior at Penn State studying Advertising and Public Relations. For as long as I could remember, I always loved presenting and getting people’s attention from a young age.  After taking graphic design classes in junior high and being involved with designing advertisements for work and school, I knew that I had developed a passion for marketing and advertising. Here is one of my favorite advertisements. I have worked for the past two years as a salesman for Enterprise Rental Car and have loved every second of it. From dealing with problematic customers to having a good chat with the frequent ones, it is safe to say there is never a dull moment there!


Why Am I Taking This Class?

Good question! After reviewing my degree audit with my advisor, I realized that I needed another science class to fulfill a requirement. She highly recommended this class and Mr. Read saying that most of her advisees loved the course and the professor. After only one week of class I can see what she was talking about.

Why Am I Not A Science Major?

Although i’ve always found science interesting and exciting, I can’t see myself as a professional in the field. Some say that I am studying a sort of social science by studying marketing and advertising, but aside from that I never had the passion that I have for business for any type of science. I  believe that science should be taught to everyone as it is important to understand for some of the reasons Professor Read stated in class (i.e. Our terrible Intuition). Although I loved watching Bill Nye and love learning about astronomy, I would not want to pursue a career in this field. I believe people should study something that they are truly passionate about as that will be the only field that they can do their best and succeed. I believe I am better suited for working with people rather than doing research and experiments. Therefore I am not majoring in science.

-Salvatore Mattioli

No Thanks, Science

Science has just never been my thing. And I mean, test tubes, the scientific method, trial and error, and even critical thinking. It has and honestly probably never will be an enjoyable thing to me. I am always thinking about random questions that pop up in my brain, but I never feel the need to use the scientific method and answer those questions. During elementary, middle, and high school, I never found a love for the subject. Something about the subject bored me, and it just never “clicked.” The subject is difficult to comprehend and grasp.


Quite possibly, I had just never had a teacher that taught things that I was actually interested in learning about: things that weren’t so common to learn about. I am very excited for this semester in SC200 to learn about topics that aren’t typed and explained in a textbook. I am excited to have answers to the strange questions that no one ever seems to ask.

My name is Cassandra Kearns and I am from Limerick, Pennsylvania. My major is undecided, but I am headed down a business track. Although science is not my “thing” I am hoping to find some enjoyment in this class this semester. BUT, as Michael Scott from my favorite show, The Office, helps to explain, I understand NOTHING about the subject. Here is a funny link to some of the funniest quotes from the show.

Divorce in America and How Children Are Affected

The Facts


Click image for source.

Remember that statistic going around a while ago? The one that said half of American marriages end in divorce? Well, luckily that is both untested and, two years ago, was proven incorrect. Marriages seem to be healthier than the public assumes, with the divorce rate at its highest in the 1970s and 80s but having been steadily declining since then. According to the New York Times, assuming the current decline will remain steady, the divorce rate will actually be closer to one in three marriages than one in two. (Miller 2014)

This is all great news, considering that many couples will likely stay together, but what about the couples that do divorce? Those two families out of three might stay married ‘til death do they part, but that third family probably won’t get passed those difficult, early years of marriage. Maybe they fight, maybe they just lose that initial passion for each other or fall in love with other people. Eventually, they decide to divorce. They go through the paperwork: who keeps the house, the dog, the car. Who keeps the kids. In America, there are 1.5 million children who deal with the fallback of divorce every year (Arkowitz 2013). Although each divorce situation is different from another, there tend to be similar areas of children’s lives that are affected by the split.

The Studies

Professor Paul Amato, a sociologist at Penn State University, described divorce as leading to conflicts in relationships between those involved in the divorce, a lack of both monetary and emotional support, and various other detrimental effects on everyday home life. Amato outlined this in his 2000 study of ‘The Consequences of Divorce for Adults and Children’. He was credited in a 2012 study by Patrick F. Fagan and Aaron Churchill of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, in which they further his summation into five categories of life that divorce detrimentally impacts. As evident in the following five categories, divorce can affect children physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and mentally. With religion (1), they noted that children had lower attendance rates at religious gatherings after their parents divorced. They claimed that divorce can lower children’s ability to learn and comprehend in school (2), that the financial instability for single parents creates a shaky household (3), and children can become more prone to committing crimes and getting involved in explicit activities (4). The children’s well-being can be compromised by the event, leading to negative expressions of emotions or even physical harm to themselves in extreme cases (5). (Churchill, Fagan 2012)


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However, the positive outlook on divorce is that the majority of children only suffer short-term affects after the initial announcement, as seen in the image below. Usually, these symptoms occur because of the abruptness of the decision by the parents, if conflict was not obvious, and can carry on until the separated family system becomes stable once again, typically around two years after the divorce. In contrast, families where conflict was vocal or physical, children were shown to be more adaptable to the change and may have even seen it as a relief. (Arkowitz 2013)

My Experience

To demonstrate how not all children are affected by divorce in the same way, I’ll provide myself as an example. When I was five and my sister seven, our parents ended their relationship and divorced amicably. For the next thirteen years, we went between houses weekly; our dad kept the house, since he owned it and hasn’t moved out since, whereas our mom, who had low income, lived in various apartments and rented homes until she remarried.


Click image for source.

My sister and I don’t fit into many of the areas I mentioned earlier. The only thing that really applies to us is the marketplace, because our mom and dad had such different levels of income, but tried to keep support equal between them. What none of the articles or studies I read mentioned explicitly, however, was the stress of being the middleman. Having to tell your parent what another one said because they refuse to contact each other directly if they can help it, or having to decide which one to ask to pay for something you want or need. In my case, not only was there stress from the initial divorce, but also feeling the strain of always having to be the mediator between our parents afterward.

For anyone interested in recent news about divorce, check out this article about a law in Missouri that establishes equal child custody time between parents.

Science is Dope

What’s up SC 200

My name is Lauren Jardine and I’m a freshman at Penn State. I was pretty sure I wanted to come here, but to be totally honest I flipped a coin to make my final college decision. I’m from Rockland New York but my dad lives here in Pennsylvania. I am enrolled in DUS because I have no clue what I want to do or what direction my major will be in, but it won’t be science.

After looking at rate my professor and narrowing down the classes that way, it was pretty easy to choose SC200. I enrolled in this course because I actually really love science but would rather focus more on ideas than delve into the mathematical problem solving side. When I read the course description it seemed pretty perfect for me because I didn’t want to give up science all together, but also didn’t want an intensive chem class.  I like that this class might actually give us the chance to discuss and focus on strange ideas and not just copy facts from a textbook with only right and wrong answers.

rick and morty

Is Science an Instrument?

Hello Science 200, I am Ryan Blank from Orange County, CA. I am currently in DUS but plan on being a corporate innovation and entrepreneurship major with a minor in computer engineering. My ideal occupation is owning an app/computer based company so science won’t necessarily be a big part in my future.

The reason I chose this class is because I heard you don’t need to be a science all-star to get a good grade, and I’m very intrigued with the science that revolves around our everyday lives.

Growing up, I always thought I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. Then I took biology my freshman year of high school and found that science bores me (at least biology). It was by no means the teacher’s fault. She was one of my favorite teachers throughout high school, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Then I took chemistry and realized that any science that had math involved was possibly the worse thing I could get myself into. My teacher was terrible and I did not understand it all.chem meme

After chemistry I took environmental science and was very interested with the course material, but could not find myself enjoying a life as an environmental scientist. I then moved on to physics purely because I heard it was easy and it turns out it was. I know many of you will read that statement and think I’m crazy but it was my teacher’s first year of teaching and “dumbed down” the class incredibly. So throughout my science life, I have realized that science is just not who I am and that is why I do not plan on being a science major.

P.S. the title of my blog is referencing Patrick Star when he says “is mayonnaise an instrument?”

Science, not my fave.

Hey SC200! I am Jessica Bull and I’m from Monroe, Connecticut. I love living in Monroe, mostly because I am only a 20 minute drive away from the beach. That’s basically all me and my friends do on the weekends in the summer. However, I could not do that this summer because I attended the Summer Session here at Penn State. At first, I was super hesitant to miss my final high school summer with my friends, but Penn State had been my dream school ever since I could remember, so I took a leap of faith. I have never made a better decision in my life. Summer session was the best summer of my life, and I got ahead on my gen-ed classes. I am currently in DUS, and hoping to get into the Smeal College of Business to major in marketing. I want to do big things in the future, and my goal is to do marketing for a well known fashion magazine (I know, dreaming big here). I came to Penn State because of the school spirit, football games, amazing academics, and the opportunities that I will acquire for getting an internship and a job in the future. I cannot wait for Halloweek here. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and times of the year. But along with Halloween, come a lot of sick people, and then those people sharing clothes, drinks, food, etc. I’m not trying to be sick during the fall, and I don’t think any of you want to be either. Here is a link that tells you 10 ways for college students to stay healthy.
Why did I choose this course? When I went to schedule during my NSO, I got really scared when my advisor told me that I had to take a science class. I told him that my goal was to become a marketing major, and that I didn’t want to take a science class because I was horrible at it and wanted to keep a high GPA so that I could get into the Smeal College of Business. He suggested SC200 and I took about 30 mins reading the course description, and talking to my advisor about what the class is like. I was still hesitant because science is not my thing at all, but he told me “this is the science for non-scientists” and I said “yeah, that’s definitely for me then”. So here I am, writing my first blog post in my first science class here at Penn State. Going to classes got me more excited for what is in store for the information we are going to discuss. I like how it relates to life and things around us. I also like how this class allows us to give input on the science questions that we want answered and have been wondering about ever since we were little, such as: are aliens real?

Why am I not a science major? Well, when I was a little kid, me and my dad used to look through the telescope all the time and at night he would show me constellations and planets, and taught me everything he knew about space and the solar system (he’s a science nerd). I would watch National Geographic with him sometimes and he would explain to me how those things related to real life and how science helps humans live better lives. This was all really cool as a kid. But when I entered high school, I kind of lost my passion for it because it wasn’t interesting being taught it from a book with no real world applications. Chemistry and physics were hard for me to enjoy. “Book science” did not interest me as much as seeing science in the sky with my dad and just talking about our theories about science on life. I am more of a creative person. This is why I am excited to be a marketing major, where I don’t have to do everything that a book tells me to do.
I hope by the end of each class, we will all feel like this:

The Science of Sex Appeal?

If you ask many people one simple question, “What makes a person attractive?”, you would end up getting a multitude of answers. Attraction seems objective to the naked eye, but is actually a series of complex elements that humans subconsciously pick up on. Being physically attractive is the fist element people usually think of when asked about attractiveness. For example, having an hourglass figure as a woman or being tall and toned for a man. This is also called static attraction. It is usually something one cannot change about themselves. For example, the symmetry of your face. Finding somebody physically attractive can actually change depending on where you live and what the culture is like there.

science of sex appeal


Physical attraction can also be manipulated. Push up bras, make up, or even going to the gym can be used to make oneself more attractive. While being physically attractive is important, it is not the only factor. Part of finding somebody physically attractive is subjective and that is the second biggest part of attraction. The article linked above proves that point with two different experiments. Although the experiments in the article were conducted differently, the outcomes were very similar. People who were associated with positive traits were rated more attractive while those with negative traits were rated as less attractive. That key element is called dynamic attractiveness. Dynamic attractiveness is basically our body language and personality traits that factor into attraction. For example, traits such as humor, popularity, or even being an animal lover can make a person more attractive.

Hot Guy with Dog


In conclusion, sexual attraction is something very complex. It is objective but at the same time subjective. So next time you daydream about that person in class, think about what actually makes them attractive to you.

Science vs. EPP

Hey science peeps, I’m Angelica Arguello…but everyone just calls me Angie. You’re probably wondering what EPP is and it’s my major: Education and Public Policy! “What’s that? What can you do with that? Like a teacher?” All valid questions I’ve gotten but NO. At first I did want to be a teacher but then I realized that they are so underpaid for the amazing (some not-so amazing) jobs they do. So, I went for the next best thing…I’d like to either be a principal of a school or a Education Policy Analyst, which is basically someone that goes over all the policies that are set in schools and fixes them. And we all know that the education systems need some fixing in middle and high schools! So, once I saw that the analysts can make up to $100,000 AND i realized that I was actually interested in doing that I was like : blog post #1


Yeah, I guess you guys can kind of see why I don’t like science. I’ve always been interested in helping kids in the education aspect of things. Science, even throughout middle and high school has never interested me at all, BUT I did choose this course because I heard that we literally spoke about everything someone can think of and that there’s a lot of thinking which I do like! Also, I heard Andrew had an accent (not gonna lie I thought it was Australian) and I’m obsessed with accents!

Here’s a link that further explains what EPP can do for students majoring in it: Live Link

Is the flu shot really worth it?

Like many other Penn State students, I am anxiously awaiting the dreaded flu season. Class attendance thins, available UHS appointments are few and far between, and the close quarters atmosphere of fraternity basements becomes increasingly daunting. Last year, in order to combat this season of sickness, I, as per usual in my household, got my flu shot. Nevertheless, I got sick.

That sickness lead me to my current question. Should I get a flu shot? Does it work? Is it all an elaborate scam? I consulted this article for advice, along with a few others.

Most of the articles addressed the first question that comes to some people’s minds as they prepare to get the shot, “Injecting me WITH the flu? Won’t that just make me sick?” The answer to that is very simply – no. Vaccines in general are made with inactive forms of the virus you’re protecting yourself from, so at most you’ll have a sore arm and occasionally a low-grade fever. Another big question that many people, including myself, have asked is, “Why do I have to get the flu shot every year?” I found that the answer to that is a little more complicated. Basically, the type of flu that appears every year changes and evolves. The flu is unpredictable and so is the person receiving the shot’s reaction to the vaccine. Scientists every year to put forth their best possible guess as to what strand of flu will appear, and base the vaccine around that.

So I wondered, if every year the vaccine is basically the equivalent of an educated guess, is it really worth it? The next article I read, from Dr. Perl Mutter, thinks not. His blog lists some statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s website, which says that the flu shot was only 23% effective in the 2014-2015 year. Dr. Mutter believes that people should not be getting flu shots and that the medical community is advertising lies. I guess I was part of that unlucky 77% last year, but the CDC has a different story when it comes to the flu shot.

Although according to Dr. Mutter the flu shot is only 23% effective, the CDC believes that there is a larger component to the flu shot. Among the overall population, the vaccine manages to reduce overall sickness by 50-60%, which is a much more optimistic number. The point of the flu shot, and every other vaccine you receive, isn’t just to keep you healthy, but it’s to keep others who may be at a greater risk healthy. This shot may not work for you personally, but it helps to keep the population as a whole satisfied and smiling.

This information inspired me to continue receiving my yearly flu shot, and I hope you all do the same. It may seem useless to you, but from a larger perspective, this shot and all other vaccines you may get keep our world healthy. If the opportunity is out there, why not take it? (Vaccination your children as well!)


Photo Credit: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-feeling-sick-image14858650


Never Been a Science Guy

My name is Nick Schneider and I am currently a Junior Broadcast Journalism major. I grew up in Bucks County, PA, specifically Warrington, and for as long as I can remember I’ve loved sports, the beach, and most notably, not science. It’s not that I don’t find aspects of science interesting, it’s quite the opposite actually, I’ve just never been able to get excited about science because hardly anything taught in middle and high school sciences classes ever peaked my interest. Science in my earlier education was all about lame experiments, measuring liquids in beakers and test tubes, and writing boring hypotheses day in and day out.  While I always did well in these classes, i never cared much for them because i never really cared about any of the material.  However, my opinion on science changed once i started my junior year of high school. Fed up with the usual run of the mill science courses and determined to stay away from my math-science nightmare that was Physics, i elected to take a Forensic Science class. It was there that i realized that science wasn’t just learning about Galileo and chemical reactions, but that science could be applied in an interesting way to almost all aspects of life.  Fast forward three years later; I was planning my schedule for the current semester last winter when I realized that i’d need to take a science class to fulfill my credit needs.  Once again determined to stay away from a science class with even the slightest hint of math involved, i stumbled across SC200 – the perfect science class for non-science majors – what could be more perfect? So, here I am.

I’ve never really considered why science never appealed to me, but here is an interesting article that provided some insight. http://www.mikebrotherton.com/2009/12/20/five-reasons-why-people-think-they-hate-science-and-what-to-do-about-it/comment-page-1/

If you’ve gotten this far into my entry it’s fairly clear by now that I’m not a fan of traditional science, that is obviously the biggest reason I do not plan to be a science major. Biology, anatomy, chemistry, simply put none of it interests me in the slightest.  Since a young age i’ve always been an outgoing, creative person who enjoys writing and reporting stories, so opting for a career in Broadcast Journalism over a career in the sciences was a pretty easy choice for me.

Science is not my Favorite

Hey Science 200!

My name is Olivia Erb, I am from Williamsport PA and I am a Junior here at Penn State. My major is Secondary Education with a focus in math. Yes I know I am one of the crazy people who actually like math. This is my first semester at University Park, I started at a branch campus first. I spent two years at Penn State Altoona. I know Altoona the middle of nowhere right? It was actually a really good experience and I was glad that I started there.

I recently just changed major to Secondary Education I started out at as a Kinesiology major. You’re probably thinking why did you switch from Kines to Secondary Education? That is such a big change! Yes, I know but I was always back and forth between the two before I got to school. So thankfully I was able to see which major I would fit best in. As you can tell “science is not my favorite” that was the main reason I decided Kinesiology was not for me. I had to take so many Bio and chemistry classes that I felt like my mind was going to explode.

I was very skeptical to take this course because it sounded somewhat difficult and I just wanted a somewhat easy general science course. The first day I stepped into this class I was so happy, Andrew was so welcoming and funny and I knew that I was going to learn a lot from this class. To start with I love writing but I have never done any blogging. So I am excited to learn how to be a better blogger and writer. I also think that this class will help me with my organization skills. I like to think that I am very organized but I know I can improve. I thought this class was going to be like any ordinary science class you had in high school when the teachers say memorize this memorize that….BORING. That is not how this class is going to go I can already tell and I am excited to improve on writing, organization and note-taking skills.                                Image result for memes about writing blogs

Here is a video that shows why science is so boring. The teachers need to make it more fun!

Science is Extremely Captivating and all but… Not For Me

Hey everyone, my name is Anthony Trobiano. I am from a very small and interesting town in Bergen County, New Jersey called Ho-Ho-Kus. For those of you who have never heard of it (everyone) it is a 2 square-mile borough, 15 minutes away from the city. I grew up in a sports household being forced to play three sports a year from the age of 5. I started out playing soccer, basketball, and baseball. Sports were and currently still are my life. After middle school, I decided to attend a private, all boys, highly sports competitive high school called Bergen Catholic. Here you can find a video summarizing what brotherhood meant at my school. I pursued soccer at Bergen and also picked up indoor and outdoor Track and Field. As well as playing sports I enjoy watching them just as much. I am huge fans of the New York Giants, Yankees, and Brooklyn Nets. In my free time I enjoy going to the west fields here and playing pick-up soccer through an app called first take. This app, created by a Penn State senior, allows students to check into pick up games of all sports. I am currently a Freshman who belongs to the Division of Undergraduate Studies. Although I am undecided I know I want to go into the business field.

Why am I pursuing a business major over a science? 

I always get asked to question “Why are you doing business, you’re just like everyone else?” The truth behind the matter is that it has been my dream since a child to work in a stock market related field. My grandfather was the first person to show me how it worked when I was about eight years old. Ever since then I have just been so fascinated with the stock market and making money. With that being said I have absolutely nothing bad to say about science. Math and science were my two favorite subjects in school. I find science to be the most fascinating subject to study and learn. Just about everything in this universe will relate back to science. Over the years we have found out so many new things from new species to vaccines. As time goes by we are only going to discover new things, but the funny thing is there will always be more to find. Scientists, doctors, and researchers are some of the most important jobs in this world and they will only continue to help the world a better place. 534

Why am I taking this course? 

I am taking this course for multiple, incredibly important reasons. When I came to New Student Orientation I had no idea this course even existed or what it was. My academic adviser recommended I look at the description for it was an interested course that he thought I would enjoy based on my high school science grades. Although this class isn’t like biology, chemistry or physics, it caught my eye when it said real life problems relating back to science. This is something that really got my attention because I like science but am not required to take any courses based on my major. This course is perfect because although i’m not a form of science major I can talk about anything that related back to science. For instance, since I enjoy business and sports so much I can easily blog about it and learn how they relate back to science.

I feel as if this year is not only going to be interesting but will benefit me most in the real world. This is something that I look for in a gen ed and so far I could not be happier with SC200. Looking at the schedule all of the topics interest me and I cannot wait to learn about them. Here’s to a good year and lets make the most of it. Here is a link stating five scientific reasons a zombie Apocalypse could happen :). Thanks for reading my blog and lets have a great year.

-Anthony Trobiano