Author Archives: Casey Andrew Schaum

Are vitamins necessary?


I always remember my parents telling my to take my vitamins as a kid. For a while, I have always thought that vitamins are a good thing and you should take them daily. Until recently when my Grandmother said she saw a study that said they might not be necessary. This got me interested to see if this was true or not. Vitamins have been long thought to provide health various health benefits but do they actually? Vitamins do have their benefits but there is growing speculation that we might not really need them.


Let’s start with the benefits of vitamins. Vitamins generally benefit people who can’t get the nutrients and vitamins they need. According to a Consumer Reports article, one example would be pregnant women or women trying to conceive. During this time, women need more nutrients than they usually do. So in this case, a vitamin is very helpful.

Some other people that might need vitamins are those on a diet or with certain disorders. People that are dieting sometimes cut out food groups that usually provide them with the correct nutrients, explains Consumer Reports. People that have disorders such as diabetes and cancer can also benefit from vitamins. As you age, your ability to take in certain nutrients starts to taper. A multivitamin might help people that are age 50 or older get the nutrients they need.

Other people that can benefit from a vitamin are those that do not get all the nutrients they need from their daily diet. Roberta Anding from the American Dietetic Association says that even though vitamins can help you get the nutrients you need, people should not rely on them. She explains that you should be focusing on what you eat and not relying on vitamins to give you the nutrients you need. A healthy diet is the best way to get your nutrients.



The Controversy

As more and more studies are done, experts are starting to say that people should stop taking vitamins. It has been long thought that people benefit from vitamins, but that could be false. One study that was done might prove that wrong. It looked at three past studies claiming potential benefits of vitamins and it found some interesting results, says Medical Daily. After looking through the other studies, they found that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the vitamins were helping. This leads me to think studies on vitamins could suffer from the file drawer problem. Have we only been seeing the studies that show benefits and not the ones that show vitamins aren’t doing anything?

Many experts are starting to advise people to stop taking vitamins. Dr. Eliseo Guallar, a professor at Johns Hopkins, says that he doesn’t believe vitamins are working. He explains that there is not significant evidence to prove that vitamins have the benefits previously reported. Guallar is also urging people to stop buying vitamins. Duffy Mackay from the Council of Responsible Nutritions feels a little different though. He explains science still supports the fact that vitamins can benefit health and help us get our nutrients. Mackay does say that we need to examine why we take vitamins but he still supports people taking them. Guallar does not feel the same way though. He still says that there is not enough evidence to support the claim that vitamins improve our health. It is a sticky situation but more and more experts seem to think vitamins might not be necessary.

Sean McCabe

Sean McCabe


This is a very hard topic to pick a side on. For many years, I have been told that vitamins are good for you. Learning that there are studies that show they might in fact do nothing is surprising to me. As I mentioned earlier, could vitamin studies suffer from the file drawer problem? Have we only been hearing about the benefits of vitamins and not about the possibility that they do nothing? It is known that pregnant women, people with certain disorders and people over 50 benefit from vitamins but what about other people. There are a multitude of studies going on to get to the bottom of this, but how long will that take? I take vitamins every day and recent studies now have me questioning my habit. Should I continue to spend money on vitamins or should I stop taking them? This is a question that I hope science can answer, and hopefully soon.


What Vitamins and Supplements Can and Can’t Do. (2016). WebMD. Retrieved 21 October 2016, from

Experts: Don’t Waste Your Money on Multivitamins. (2016). WebMD. Retrieved 21 October 2016, from

Daily Multivitamin – Consumer Reports. (2016). Retrieved 21 October 2016, from

Guallar, E., Stranges, S., Mulrow, C., Appel, L., & Miller, E. (2013). Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 159(12), 850-851. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-159-12-201312170-00011

Are Vitamins Actually Making Us Any Healthier?. (2014). Medical Daily. Retrieved 21 October 2016, from


Are energy drinks bad for you?


Energy drinks seem to be an iffy subject. Many people think energy drinks are not good for your health. They contain all sorts of ingredients that many people are not fond of. Although I am sad to admit it, I really enjoy Red Bull. I’ve been drinking it for quite sometime now and people have always hassled me about it being bad for my health. I usually just ignored them even though I knew they were probably right. After all this time, I decided to do some research to see if energy drinks are bad for your health.




Let’s first start off with what is in energy drinks. According the, energy drinks usually contain ingredients such as caffeine, taurine, gurana, b-vitamins, ginseng, l cartitine, lots of sugars and glucuronolactone. Most energy drinks usually have somewhere between 70-200 milligrams of caffeine per can while an 8 ounce cup of coffee has somewhere from 110-150 milligrams. For example, an 8.4 ounce can of Red Bull contains 80 milligrams of caffeine.

Taurine is another ingredient commonly found in energy drinks. According to, our body naturally produces taurine and we don’t need anymore. Even though we supposedly don’t need more, some studies have shown some potential benefits of taurine. Lower cholesterol and improved blood flow were some of the potential benefits found. Learning this has me thinking that there could possibly be some benefits of energy drink even if they are slim. The thing is, these benefits probably don’t out weigh the risks.

Another ingredient you commonly find in energy drinks is gurana. It comes from a plant but also contains caffeine. states that it has a higher percent of caffeine than coffee beans. While some say that it keeps them more alert than caffeine, others don’t feel the same way. There are many different ingredients found in energy drinks, but ingredients like gurana and taurine are the most controversial.

Health Risks

Now let’s move onto the health risks. One concern with energy drinks is that some companies are not required to say how much caffeine and other ingredients are actually in the drinks. According to Ruth Litchfield, the energy drink companies evade this by labeling their products as dietary supplements. This means that it they have not gone through the FDA approval process and don’t require a nutrition label. The surprising thing is, the major energy drink companies do go through FDA regulation, says Chris Gindlesperger, who is a spokesman for the American Beverage Association. Major energy drink companies list the content of caffeine and also provide warnings on their products. This information was good to find out as I thought the major companies would be the ones trying to hide something.

Another concern with energy drinks is the mixture of ingredients like caffeine, taurine and gurana. Even though some companies state the amount of caffeine in their products, it could be misleading. The problem is that energy drink companies don’t take the caffeine associated with Gurana into effect, says dietician Kelly Pritchett. She fears that the companies underestimate the amount of caffeine. Experts believe adults can safely consume caffeine as long as it does not exceed 400 milligrams in a day, Litchfield states. This was good news to me, as I limit myself to one 8.4 ounce can of Red Bull per day.

A recent study that was done by the American Medical Association had some concerning results though. During the study, 25 healthy adults consumed a 16 ounce can of Rockstar energy drink in five minutes. Then on another day, they were given a placebo that had the same taste as Rockstar, but it lacked ingredients such as gurana, taurine and caffeine. It was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study which is like some of the studies we look at in class. It means that neither the participants or investigators knew what the placebo was. This helps to prevent any biases. The results of the study scared me. Participants showed an increase in blood pressure and heart rate after drinking the 16 ounce Rockstar. The scary thing is, strokes and heart disease can be caused by high blood pressure. When Time Magazine asked about the study, the American Beverage Association said it still deems energy drinks safe. This leads me to think that there has not been sufficient research done on energy drinks. It also has me questioning if money has a factor in this. Major energy drink companies make a ton of money. Is it possible that they are using some of that money to make sure people don’t find out about any negative effects? Could energy drink studies suffer from the file drawer problem?

Grand Blanc Photography

Grand Blanc Photography


Even though I mentioned some of the possible health risks energy drinks pose, there are many more. There are probably some we don’t even know about. As someone who consumes Red Bull almost daily, learning about all of these risks is making question my habit. Even though associations such as the American Beverage Association say energy drinks are safe, is that really true? The mixture of different ingredients along with caffeine seem to be a bad concoction. Sources like the Mayo Clinic used to think that one energy drink a day was safe but they are now questioning that. Even though I do love drinking Red Bull, I think might be a good idea to stop drinking it. Out of all of the articles and studies I read, none really seemed to think that energy are safe. There are many studies going on to determine the effects of energy drinks. Hopefully the truth will come out at some point but until then, we are all in the dark.


Miller, A. (2015). Are Energy Drinks Really That Bad?. U.S. News. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from

Jaeger, K. (2015). Another Unseen Reason Energy Drinks Are Bad for You.ATTN:. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from

Svatikova, A., Covassin, N., Somers, K., Somers, K., Soucek, F., Kara, T., & Bukartyk, J. (2015). A Randomized Trial of Cardiovascular Responses to Energy Drink Consumption in Healthy Adults.JAMA, 314(19), 2079. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13744

Energy Drink Ingredients and What They Do. (2016). Retrieved 20 October 2016, from

Yan-Jun Xu, N. (2008). The potential health benefits of taurine in cardiovascular disease. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology, 13(2), 57. Retrieved from


What causes hangovers?

Getting a hangover is no fun, but why does it happen? I have always thought that it was related to dehydration, but that might not be the case. Since I am usually dealing with a hangover on Sunday, I thought I’d look into what actually causes a hangover. What I found was quite surprising. There is currently no definite cause for a hangover and scientists are still trying to figure it out. From what I gathered, it seems that a lot of different things are involved with a hangover and its severity.


One of the most most common explanations for hangovers is dehydration. According to Joseph Stromburg, alcohol is a diuretic which means it causes you to urinate more frequently. Along with that, people usually don’t drink enough water while they are drinking alcohol. Sant P. Singh, a professor at the Chicago Medical school, says that dehydration makes the symptoms of a hangover more prominent. On the other hand, one study didn’t find a correlation between dehydration and a hangover’s severity. Although they did not find a link, many people think that dehydration does play a part in hangovers.

Another reason we might feel hungover is from something called acetaldehyde. According to Stromburg, acetaldehyde is the first byproduct our body puts off while processing alcohol. It is 10 to 30 times more toxic than alcohol itself. There is a possibility that hangovers are a result from a buildup from acetaldehyde in our bodies.

Another possible explanation for a hangover is the way alcohol affects your immune system. Stromburg explains that the immune system uses a molecule called cytokines as a signaling method. Cytokines usually do things like cause a fever to help fight off an infection. It is possible that the body can release cytokines when someone drinks too much alcohol. This could cause some of the usual symptoms such as headaches and nausea.

Congeners are another possible explanation for hangovers. Singh explains that liquors that are high in congeners tend to give worse hangovers than ones that have less. Darker liquors tend to have more congeners than light liquors so they tend to give worse hangovers. I know from personal experience that certain drinks give me a worse hangover. A lot of other factors play into hangovers as well. Factors such as how much you drank, how fast you drank, the amount of food you had, mixing drinks, etc. These all help determine your hangover and its severity. Since I just talked about what causes hangovers, lets talk about some strategies to reduce them.


There is one definite way to not get a hangover and that is not drinking at all. If you do decide to drink though, there are some ways you can go about reducing and curing your hangover. Stromburg says that having a full stomach, drinking at a moderate rate and staying hydrated will help you reduce your hangover. I know that when I do those things, my hangover is usually not as bad the next day. The kind of drink can also play a part in your hangover. As I mentioned earlier, drink with higher congeners tend to give worse hangover. Staying away from dark liquors such as brandy and red wine can help minimize your hangover.

You might of heard that taking anti-inflammatories might help your hangover. Anti-inflammatories can help with the headaches and other aches that are associated with hangovers. They might help you but Singh says that they should be used cautiously. There is a chance that it could upset your stomach and it isn’t good for your liver. Stromburg states that if you are looking to reduce nausea, taking Tums or Pepto-Bismol can help. There are also a ton of urban legends and even some drugs that claim to cure hangovers but none have much evidence to support them.

After looking into what causes a hangover, I was surprised at what I found. There are a lot more things that go into it than I initially imagined. I always try to keep my self hydrated and drink on a full stomach but i learned there is a lot more I can do to try and reduce my Sunday hangover. Even though scientists are still looking into causes and remedies, one thing that can definitely heal a hangover is time. Rest, food and water are currently your best bet and will be what I am using this Sunday after the Ohio State game. Let’s go Penn State!


Why do hangovers occur?. (2016).Scientific American. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from

Stromberg, J. (2013). Your Complete Guide to the Science of Hangovers.Smithsonian. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from

The Pathology of Alcohol Hangover. (2016). Retrieved 20 October 2016, from



Why am I always sick?


There is a probably good chance you are asking yourself the same question right now. As I am currently getting over my first sickness of the year, I thought I’d see if there is a reason I get sick every time I come back to school. Even though I know the drinking and lack of sleep doesn’t help, there must be other factors playing into me always being sick. After browsing the internet for a little, I found a couple good reasons.

Daily Herald Blog

Daily Herald Blog

Lack of or No Sleep

When you don’t get your recommended eight hours of sleep per night, your body is more susceptible to getting sick. I know from personal experience that I stay up later when I am at school than when I am at home. Things such as having a ton of school work to do or just staying up to late with your friends cause you to lose sleep. It is definitely easy to lose sleep at college and the more you do it, the more likely you are to get sick says the Daily Collegian Online. Getting those eight hours of sleep plays a big part in staying healthy.

Huffington Post

Huffington Post


With almost 100,000 kids here at Penn State, you come in contact with a lot of people. This means that you are more likely to come across germs or viruses than you usually are. Living in a small college dorm or apartment doesn’t help either. Most college students live in small areas and usually have roommates who can also be sick. I know that when one of my roommates gets sick, I usually end getting sick soon after. The classrooms at school can also play a part in college students getting sick. So many kids going in and out of classrooms makes it easy for germs to spread.

What You Eat

I’m sure everyone has heard of the Freshman 15. When you come to college and don’t have the luxury of a fully stocked fridge, it is easy to decide upon fast food rather than a healthy alternative. I know that I don’t eat as well when I am at school because I am usually being rushed when I choose what I am going to eat. Fast food can sometimes seem like the best option even though it isn’t healthy. By eating unhealthy foods, you put yourself at a higher risk of getting sick.

Think Stock

Think Stock

The Stress

Everyone in college seems to be at least a little stressed out. That big exam, paper or deciding what you want to do in the future can make it hard. Stress can cause you to do things you normally don’t do, get depressed, irritable or give you headache says the University of Wisconsin Platteville. College is hard and the stress that comes with it doesn’t help your immune system.


Another thing that is prevalent in college students is excess drinking. The CDC found that about 80 percent of college students drink alcohol. It also found that another 20 percent binge drink 3 or more times every two weeks. Excess drinking can harm your bodies immune system in two ways according to Dr. Sears. The first is causing a nutritional deficiency. Alcohol deprives your body of important nutrients. It can also hurt your bodies ability to make white blood cells, which kill germs.


Everett Collection


So it seems that it wasn’t just the lack of sleep and drinking that has been causing me to get sick. With so many different reasons of why we get sick at college, it seems almost impossible to escape it. According to CollegeView, eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, relaxing and trying to avoid stress, exercising and good hygiene are some ways to avoid getting sick. I plan on trying a couple of these strategies and I bet some other people could benefit from them too. On that note, stay healthy everyone and don’t let the Penn State plague get the best of you.


The Reasons College Kids Get Sick. (2015). LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from

How to Avoid Getting Sick on Campus. (2016). Retrieved 19 October 2016, from

G, M. (2013). 4 Habits that Weaken the Immune System | Ask Dr Sears® | The Trusted Resource for Parents. Ask Dr Sears® | The Trusted Resource for Parents. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from


Is Technology Affecting Our Attention Span?


I was chatting with a 5th grade teacher about his class a couple days ago and he said his entire class has trouble paying attention this year. He mentioned that it was not always this bad and that it is becoming worse over the years. I suggested that it might be due to technology since I believe that my attention span has gotten worse since I started using smart phones. It seems that almost everyone has a problem focusing when they are around technology. That is why I like that laptops aren’t allowed in Andrew’s class. I can’t find myself sitting through a whole class without browsing the internet when I have my laptop with me. After chatting with the teacher, I went home and did some research to see if technology is really affecting our attention span.

Managed Solution

Managed Solution


It turns out that a recent Microsoft Corporation study found that technology is impacting our ability to stay focused. They surveyed over 2,000 Canadians that were age 18 or older and also played online games. Their goal was to find out how technology was affecting their attention spans. In addition, they used electroencephalograms (EEG’s) to study the brain activity in over a 100 people. The results were a little shocking. Humans attention span had fallen from twelve seconds to eight seconds which is less than a goldfish’s average nine seconds. This loss in focus was seen in all age groups and genders but there were some other interesting results. One result was that females seemed to have a shorter attention span than males but was only by a very small margin. Another thing they found was that our ability to multitask was getting better.

A smaller study by Dr Lee Hadlington of De Montford University Leicester found similar results. The study was done on 210 people that aged from 18 to 65. It found that people who used their phone the most frequently tended to have a worse attention span. Dr. Hadlington stresses that we should know more about the effects of technology because of the amount we use it and I couldn’t agree more. I think that more studies might reveal how technology can both benefit and harm us. Even though the study did find a link between attention span and technology use, Hadlington says it is not completely clear if technology is the cause of a smaller attention span.

After doing a little bit more digging around the internet, I found article that goes against Microsoft’s findings. Scientific research found that some people that play video games have a better time paying attention than those that don’t play video games. It also showed that those who didn’t play video games could pay attention better after they started playing video games. It turns out the Microsoft study was mainly done for advertisers and it tells advertisers that they need to find more catchy ways to advertise. Companies seem to be fighting for our attention. The increase in advertisements in the modern world has also led to an increase in distractions.  This is why you see you can pay to remove adds from certain apps like Pandora.

Four friends all looking at their phones at cafe

Klaus Vedfelt via Getty Images


Human’s cognitive abilities change all the time and can even vary day by day. It is not completely clear what effect technology has on our attention span. Even though I technology might be the reason I can’t focus as well, it is very hard to prove that. One thing that is for sure, is that there needs to be more studies done on how technology affects humans. We all use technology on a daily basis but we have little comprehension of what it does to us. It is nice to be able to google the answer to almost question but is there a price to pay for that? Technology has it’s pros and cons but how does it affect humans? Hopefully science can answer that question soon.

Associated Press

Associated Press


Is technology rotting your brain?. (2015).Mail Online. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from

 Why A Goldfish Probably Has A Better Attention Span Than You. (2015). Medical Daily. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from

Is technology making your attention span shorter than a goldfish’s?. (2016) Retrieved 19 October 2016, from


Humpback Whales Make a Comeback

On September 3rd, most species of the humpback whale were taken off the endangered species list. The humpback has been on the list since the 1970s so it is amazing news to hear. Hunting was the main reason that the whales were on the endangered species list. Industrial sized ships would hunt them for their meat and oil. The whales have made a huge comeback. Of the 14 species of humpback whales, 9 of them have been taken off the list.

A Hawaii fishing group seemed to spot a difference in the number of the whales three years ago. The Hawaii Fisherman’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition said they saw an increase of humpback whales and petitioned for them to be taken off the endangered list. They wanted to world to see that ocean management seemed to be working.

Even though 9 of the 14 species have been taken off the list, many say that people should not protecting the whales. The whales can get tangled in fishing gear as they grow and they face other threats as well. Some environmentalist groups even seem to think that they shouldn’t have been taken off the endangered species list just yet.


There are good reasons why five species still remain on the endangered species list. One species is only estimated to have about 400 whales left and they are prone to getting tangled in fishing gear and getting hit by ships. Other species, that also face similar threats, are limited to about 1,000-3,200 whales. Those species will remain on the endangered species list.

It is great to hear that the majority of humpback whale species are off the endangered species list, but there is still work to be done. More than 40 years later and there is significant progress but that doesn’t mean the protection of humpbacks and other wildlife should stop. The humpback whale is a majestic creature and we can all hope that one day none of the species will be on the endangered species list.


“Most Humpback Whales Off Endangered List In ‘Ecological Success Story'”. N. p., 2016. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

“Humpback Whales – BBC Documentary Excerpt”. YouTube. N. p., 2016. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.


The Dakota Access Pipeline

Since I didn’t know much about the Dakota Access Pipeline, I decided to research it and write about it for one of my blogs. I knew that a protest that was going on but I didn’t know who was involved or why it was going on. After a quick search on the internet, I stumbled across an article that helped explain it to me.

There is a proposed oil pipeline in North Dakota, which is home to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The problem is that it is near their reservation and could possibly harm their sacred sites and water if it is built. The tribe has been protesting for months and the movement has been growing stronger. The protest also has to deal with other topics such as fracking, climate change and the government’s treatment of Native Americans. The company that is building the pipeline even called private security when protesters were trying to block a bulldozer. It resulted in the security using dogs and pepper spray to get them away from the machine. 

The fight has even made it to the courtroom. There is a major legal challenge to the Dakota Access Pipeline that is currently being heard. The case is over the Army Corp of Engineers not properly consulting the Standing Rock Sioux about the pipeline. The Obama administration even stepped in and put a halt to construction near their reservation. Protesters are continuing to pile in day by day and big names like Bernie Sanders are even on board.

There are two major reasons that the Sioux Rock Tribe doesn’t want the pipeline to be built. The pipeline would run right above their land and would also cross the Missouri River. This means that if the pipeline leaked, it could contaminate the river which is their main water source.  The second reason is that the pipeline would run over land that was previously owned by the tribe before it was taken away from them. That land is home to many of the tribes burial places and other sacred sites. Even though it isn’t there land now, it was taken from them and should be left untouched.This ordeal could take a while but the Standing Rock Sioux is not going to stop fighting. Protesters continue to arrive day by day and hopefully the pipeline will be put to a stop soon enough.



Plumer, Brad. “The Fight Over The Dakota Access Pipeline, Explained”. Vox. N. p., 2016. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

“Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Native American Protesters With Dogs & Pepper Spray”. YouTube. N. p., 2016. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.


Is It Possible for Music to Help You Learn?

As I was browsing the internet for possible blog topics, I stumbled across an article that grabbed my attention. It was a scientific study that was testing to see if music could help you learn and retain information better. I am a huge fan of music so I was interested to see the results. Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Otago in New Zealand wrote a paper testing the hypothesis of whether scientific content can be learned effectively through song. They followed three separate studies and some found different results.

The first study was done on children that were around 8-17 years of age. It found that a music video about a scientific domain helped students learn content that was directly stated in the video. Students also picked up on content that required deeper understanding. I found this all believable because of a video I was shown in school when I was younger. Some of you might have seen it as well. It was the “I’m a Bill” song by SchoolHouse Rock . To this day, that song helps me remember how a bill gets passed in the United States government.

The second study ended up having different results than the first study. It showed no correlation that music helped students learn better. What it did find was that students found the music videos more entertaining than ones without music.

Even though the second study didn’t support the hypothesis, the third study did. The third study also seemed to be the most complex and had the most detail. It was conducted on 87 seventh and eighth graders from New Zealand. They showed the students two videos. Both videos had the same content but one had music and the other did not. They assessed the students knowledge before the video, after the video and 28 days later. Both of the groups showed improvement after the first video but the test 28 days later showed some interesting results. While most of the students that watched the video without music forgot the information, the students that watched the music video retained a lot more information. Even though the studies were just preliminary, music seemed to help the students learn and retain information.

Even though these studies don’t have the biggest sample sizes and the same results, I believe that it is possible that music can help students learn. Everyone gets songs stuck in their head and that is a perfect example of how music could possibly help you learn. A catchy song about how to pass a bill is the reason I remember the process of a bill getting passed. I believe other songs could do the same. All in all, music is a great learning tool and I hope it is utilized in future education.



“Can Songs Help You Learn Scientific Concepts?”. N. p., 2016. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.



Hello everyone. My name is Casey Schaum and I am from West Chester, Pennsylvania. I am currently a senior studying Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) and have really enjoyed my time at Penn State over the past few years. I am taking SC200 because I need to fulfill a science general education requirement in order to graduate. My advisor said some of her prior students told her this was an interesting class. After hearing that, I decided to enroll and have found the course very interesting so far.

I have always found science interesting but did not have the drive to become a science major. Throughout high school I didn’t mind taking classes like chemistry or physics, but they did require a lot of time and work.  I wanted to choose a major that I am interested in and also one that leaves me with some free time. After exploring a few majors I came across RPTM and really liked its focus. Since third grade I have devoted most of my time to skateboarding, which happens to be a form of recreation. I am fortunate enough to ride for my local skate shop, Fairman’s, so I needed some free time to focus on that. Throughout the many years of skateboarding, I have become familiar with physics and especially gravity. Falling is a huge part of skateboarding, and gravity has sent me slamming into the ground many times. Physics also plays a huge part when it comes to figuring out the speed and timing to get over or onto an obstacle.


I have always been intrigued by science, and have always loved asking questions. After seeing the course schedule on the first day, I got excited to learn more about the many different topics that Andrew plans to go over. Topics like “Why can’t you live forever?” and “Do aliens visit earth?” have always been on my mind and I am excited to learn more about them. Even though I am not a science major, I feel like this course will end up being one of my favorite classes that I have taken during my college career. I am excited to learn more about the topics we plan to go over, and hope to gain a better understanding of science by the end of this course.