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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Email template for Students (under 18) to Send to Political Candidates

Below is text to send to state and federal political candidates, written by students in Evanston, Illinois. The purpose is to NOT let any political candidates of any party forget about the current front page news story about violence in our schools, and more fundamentally the health and safety of our children. While the debate about gun control will continue on, it is not the only piece of this uniquely American problem. What drives some teens to want to commit mass murder?

There are four issues/questions listed, and you can demand candidates to fully disclose their positions to the voting public.

It is easy to send this to the relevant candidates in your district, state. All you need is the campaign or office email address. Use the link below to help you find contact information.

1. Just copy and paste the text into an email or letter. Edit it if you choose, we just want to make it easy for you.
2. Type in the appropriate incumbent's/candidate's name.
3. Type in your name and high school at the top. Then, type in your name at the end; include your address and email address so they know you are a constituent.
4. Send it! To find contact information for elected officials, click here. Send to members of Congress, your state rep or senator, your governor, and their challengers.
5. Share it with friends and family, regardless of where they live!! We need to do this all across the country!

If you want to share a letter for those 18 and older to send, use this template.

This is a numbers game - the more emails and letters and phone calls any candidate office receives, the more likely this issue remains fresh through the primary and general elections. It will force them to address a very difficult political issue with voters.


Copy and paste the text below:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear ___________,


My name is _____, and I am a high school student at _____. I’m reaching out to you today to express my horror about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018, and to share my frustrations about the inaction of political leaders in America. With hundreds of students and adults killed and wounded since Columbine in 1999, this is not just a matter to address by tweeting your “thoughts and prayers”.


I refuse to live in a world where I am afraid to attend school; the fact that this thought has even crossed my mind is outrageous. Schools are meant to be a safe space, where students grow and learn and become strong adults. Instead, they are becoming an outlet for suffering people who our broken system has failed. How many more kids have to see their friends die? Our leaders’ inaction on this uniquely-American issue is infuriating and completely unacceptable!


When eighteen, I plan on being an active, informed voter. As a soon-to-be participant in politics, I demand that the following points be addressed by you and any other candidate running for office:


  • The first issue that comes up after every one of the gun-related mass murders is whether there should be any new or modified gun laws. What is your stance on gun laws? Do you think we should have any new or modified gun laws to help decrease the number of shootings in schools and in society as a whole? If so, what are they?
  • What do you think should be done to identify and help children who are struggling with mental health and/or possible violent tendencies?
  • Where do you stand on funding for schools to help with student education, health and safety?
  • Are there changes in the way we run schools you think should occur to improve education as a whole while reducing stress levels on our children? If so, what are they?
I look forward to your thoughtful response. I and many of my fellow students will be following where you and your opponent stand on these issues, how much importance you place on these issues, and what action you are prepared to take before we ever support or vote for you.


Sincerely,
Name and address (without an address that is in their district or state, there will be no response)

Letter/email template for voters (18 and older) to send to Political Candidates

Below is text to send to state and federal political candidates. The purpose is to NOT let any of them forget about the current front page news story about violence in our schools, and more fundamentally the health and safety of our children. While the debate about gun control will continue on, it is not the only piece of this uniquely American problem. What drives some teens to want to commit mass murder?

There are four issues/questions listed, and you can demand candidates to fully disclose their positions to the voting public.

It is easy to send this to the relevant candidates in your district, state. All you need is the campaign or office email address.

1. Just copy and paste the text into an email or letter. Edit it if you choose, we just want to make it easy for you.
2. Type in the appropriate incumbent's/candidate's name.
3. Type in your name at the end. Include your address and email address so they know you are a constituent.
4. Send it! To find contact information for elected officials, click here. Send to members of Congress, your state rep or senator, your governor, and their challengers.
5. Share it with friends and family, regardless of where they live!! We need to do this all across the country!

If you want to share an email template for students under 18 to send, use this.

This is a numbers game - the more emails and letters and phone calls any candidate office receives, the more likely this issue remains fresh through the primary and general elections. It will force them to address a very difficult political issue with voters.

TAKE ACTION for our children!! Hopefully this only takes 5-10 minutes.

Copy and paste the below text:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear ___________,


I am a constituent of yours, and I am contacting you with my deep concern and, yes, anger, I feel after yet another school shooting and mass murder in Florida, on February 14, 2018, which took the lives of 17 students and staff. Since the Columbine tragedy in 1999, hundreds of students and adults have been killed and wounded in school shootings - I find it outrageous that our political leaders have effectively done nothing to address this uniquely American problem over the past two decades. The days of reciting the same canned script of “my thoughts and prayers to the families…” must end, now.
I am writing to demand that you and all candidates running for political office make your positions clear to the electorate, in writing on your website and campaign literature, on the following issues:
  • The top issue that comes up after every one of the gun-related mass murders is whether there should be any new or modified gun laws. What is your stance on gun laws? Do you think we should have any new or modified gun laws to help decrease the number of shootings in schools and society as a whole? If so, what are they?
  • What do you think should be done to identify and help children who are having problems with mental health and/or possible violent tendencies?
  • Where do you stand on funding for schools to help with student education, health and safety? Are schools properly funded and resourced, or not?
  • Are there changes in the way we run schools you think should occur to improve education as a whole while reducing stress levels on our children? If so, what are they?


This is a recurring problem that has to stop. These are our children we are talking about!


I look forward to your thoughtful response, sent to the address below. I and many other voters will be following where you and your opponent stand on these issues, how much importance you place on these issues, and what action you are prepared to take. If I do not get a response from your office, or do not find these specific questions and issues addressed on your web page, I can only assume you have no plans in mind and we would live with the status quo should you be elected. If this is the case, please do not expect my vote.


Sincerely,

Name, address, and email (your letter will not be read if you live outside the candidate’s district or state)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Rotational motion introduction

This is for the 3 Chem/Phys classes. In addition to gravity and the pendulum, there is the transition from linear motion to rotational motion. Rotational motion is like spinning wheels, where every point of a full object spins. This is different from circular motion, which is motion of something we can treat as a point mass moving on a circular path.

For our pendulum lab, for instance, we treat this as circular motion because we are only considering the mass at the end, and ignoring the string. Technically, if we include the string, then we would need to discuss it in terms of rotational quantities.

These rotational quantities are introduced in this video. Check it out, take notes on the new symbols and terms and relationships - the relationships are analogues to what we do for linear motion. See if any of it makes sense with a few practice problems, which can be found in the 3 Chem-Phys page of the website, in the Rotations folder. The files is called Packet - Rotations Intro. Some practice is on page 5. *Note that with rotational equations and values, we are converting into radians for angular measurements. Work together and talk things through.

Try: Ch. 9 #1, 3, 7, 9, 11           Think about the similarities to linear motion problems we have had.

*For any groups that need to collect more data for the lab, go for it. If you need to do the force sensor part, we'll wait for Wednesday when the software is available.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

From Kenya!

Using donations from some wonderful Wildkits, as well as uniforms donated by a Canadian soccer team (contacted by my friend and colleague Mark Reid), students at Makonjemare School in rural Kenya (near Kilifi, Kenya) have some new sporting gear, including soccer and volley balls. A sincere thank you to those who helped with this!!! As their teacher, Jacqueline Jumbe-Kehura told me, "Asante sana!" which is "Thank you very much" in Kiswahili.





Sunday, January 28, 2018

Methods being used to make AI creative

Getting a computer to be creative, to actually come up with its own, unique "thoughts" that it was not pre-programmed to do, is an enormous challenge for past artificial intelligence machines. But as is the case for most aspects of AI, progress has been made at impressive rates. Check out some of the methods being used for creative AI.

Free Online Physics Course, Textbook

Check out Ck-12, and the free, online physics course and textbook. It has simulations, sample videos, and practice problems for the major topics in physics! There are also study guides for all topics. A wonderful supplement for what we do in class, or something to use if you are interested in topics we don't have time to study. You can also get a free account to access all the resources at CK-12; just use your student email, so you can access things from school.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Link to Infographic for MLA Citations

For any type of research paper, if you are using MLA citation formats, there are some really nice templates for different types of resources. Check them out if you ever forget or aren't quite sure.