Shared from Twitter -> https://twitter.com/fhspanthertv/status/1532736074707046406
|FHS is starting a Science Fair club - meeting Wed, June 8|
Shared from Twitter -> https://twitter.com/fhspanthertv/status/1532736074707046406
|FHS is starting a Science Fair club - meeting Wed, June 8|
FM #785 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 785 in the series.
This session of the radio show shares the regular School Committee meeting held Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Given the new agenda format, and that the Superintendent deliberation discussion had been conducted in the special meeting held prior to the regular session, the meeting was short and to the point
Superintendent Ahern provided multiple updates (superintendent’s report not yet posted to packet folder as this is published)
Recognition of FHS students for project placements at regional science fair. A future consideration would be to conduct a science fair at FHS (which apparently has not been done before). The two projects showcased were awesome. One project motorized a wheelchair, the other determined that an older encryption method is actually more secure than current methods
The School Committee entered executive session to continue work on their contract negotiations
The meeting opened at 7 PM and ran approx. 43 minutes.
Agenda doc (includes remote connection info)
Science fair presentation -> https://www.franklinps.net/sites/g/files/vyhlif4431/f/uploads/school_committee_presentation.pdf
Meeting packet folder
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The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.
I hope you enjoy!
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|FHS students presenting on their science fair projects|
|the motorized wheel chair|
"How COVID spreadsWhen COVID first hit the UK, so too did sales of hand sanitiser. On 28 February, Boris Johnson said: “The best thing people can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus is wash your hands.”The emphasis was, in part, because it was thought one of the key routes by which COVID was spread was by people touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their own face – so called “fomite transmission”. Websites even appeared designed to alert you should you reach for your features, while many people became concerned about whether to disinfect groceries and parcels.But experts now argue that the role of tiny virus-containing particles called aerosols, emitted along with larger droplets when infected people breathe, speak or cough, were overlooked – and that ventilation in indoor settings is crucial to reduce the spread of COVID."
|The Guardian: "COVID-19 discoveries: what we know now that we didn’t know before"|
We’re soon going to have to make our own choices about social distancing, wearing masks and travel. When the legal enforcement of rules is lifted, the way in which each of us deals with the risk of Covid-19 will be down to personal judgment. But how well equipped are we to make these decisions?Graphs and data can help explain things, but what’s also needed is a deep understanding of how science works, and, perhaps most important of all, a sense of how to weigh up the odds of coming down with the disease and how it might affect us. Not in an abstract way, but in our day-to-day lives. And what many people don’t realise is that COVID-19 is just the start.
To equip us for all this, we need to reach a new level of public understanding about health, disease, risk and probability. Some of this should be taught in schools, colleges and universities, of course, but there needs to be more. During the pandemic, we have seen a huge increase in the number of scientists discussing their work in public. Now, as the UK government formally lifts restrictions, we must not retreat from this exposure. Rather, we must embrace science as a vital part of our culture even more than we do now. At stake is not just our health and wellbeing, but our sense of what it means to be human.
|Photograph: Yuri_Arcurs/Getty Images|
While COVID-19 restrictions are easing, the disease and lasting effects remain to be reckoned with.
Via Nature.com: "Count the cost of disability caused by COVID-19
"The COVID-19 pandemic is well into its second year, but countries are only beginning to grapple with the lasting health crisis. In March, a UK consortium reported that 1 in 5 people who were hospitalized with the disease had a new disability after discharge1. A large US study found similar effects for both hospitalized and non-hospitalized people2. Among adults who were not hospitalized, 1 in 10 have ongoing symptoms 12 weeks after a positive test3. Treatment services for the long-term consequences of COVID-19 are already having to be absorbed into health and care systems urgently. Tackling this requires a much clearer picture of the burden of the disease than currently exists.
Tracking disease cases and deaths has advantages in a health emergency — they are easily collated, and, to some extent, trends can be compared across countries. But continuing the use of such simplified metrics heightens the risks of underestimating the true health impact on a population. It focuses policy and public discourse on the immediate prevention of deaths and on the economic impact of lockdown policies, ignoring the long-term disease-related disabilities that will also affect well-being and productivity."
Question What are the frequency and variety of persistent symptoms after COVID-19 infection?Findings In this systematic review of 45 studies including 9751 participants with COVID-19, the median proportion of individuals who experienced at least 1 persistent symptom was 73%; symptoms occurring most frequently included shortness of breath or dyspnea, fatigue or exhaustion, and sleep disorders or insomnia. However, the studies were highly heterogeneous and needed longer follow-up and more standardized designs.Meaning This systematic review found that COVID-19 symptoms commonly persisted beyond the acute phase of infection, with implications for health-associated functioning and quality of life; however, methodological improvements are needed to reliably quantify these risks.
"Neil deGrasse Tyson is perhaps the country’s best-known popularizer of science. The astrophysicist, who is 62, has achieved that status through his ever-expanding body of work in television, podcasting, journalism, social media and books (his latest is the new “Cosmic Queries”) and as director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
He has done so at a time when, distressingly, skepticism toward established science has become increasingly widespread. Tyson himself received some scrutiny in 2019 after he was subject to two claims of sexual misconduct, which he subsequently described as misunderstandings. Those claims were investigated by his employers at the museum as well as Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which respectively air his series “Cosmos” and “StarTalk”; all three of them decided to continue employing Tyson.
“We’ve lost confidence in our civic entities,” Tyson says about declining public trust in science. “That’s a strong destabilizing force, and some of that spilled over into the scientific community.”
"Do you know a rising high school junior or senior interested in public health? @CDCgov Disease Detective Camp is an incredible experience, and this year it is offering a new, web-based Public Health Academy for remote learners!"
Details and reg links: https://t.co/z1Fk2qnM9a
|Next year juniors/seniors in high school - check out the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp|
"Federal health officials have identified several controversial pandemic recommendations released during the Donald Trump administration that they say were “not primarily authored” by staff and don’t reflect the best scientific evidence, based on a review ordered by its new director.The review identified three documents that had already been removed from the agency’s website: One, released in July, delivered a strong argument for school reopenings and downplayed health risks. A second set of guidelines about the country’s reopening was released in April by the White House and was far less detailed than what had been drafted by the CDC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A third guidance issued in August discouraged the testing of people without covid-19 symptoms even when they had contact with infected individuals. That was replaced in September after experts inside and outside the agency raised alarms."
"Hundreds of people gathered for the first lecture at what had become the world’s most important conference on artificial intelligence — row after row of faces. Some were East Asian, a few were Indian, and a few were women. But the vast majority were white men. More than 5,500 people attended the meeting, five years ago in Barcelona, Spain.Timnit Gebru, then a graduate student at Stanford University, remembers counting only six Black people other than herself, all of whom she knew, all of whom were men.The homogeneous crowd crystallized for her a glaring issue. The big thinkers of tech say A.I. is the future. It will underpin everything from search engines and email to the software that drives our cars, directs the policing of our streets and helps create our vaccines."
"Prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the efficacy of community mask wearing to reduce the spread of respiratory infections was controversial because there were solid relevant data to support their use. During the pandemic, the scientific evidence has increased. Compelling data now demonstrate that community mask wearing is an effective nonpharmacologic intervention to reduce the spread of this infection, especially as source control to prevent spread from infected persons, but also as protection to reduce wearers’ exposure to infection.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets exhaled when infected people breathe, talk, cough, sneeze, or sing. Most of these droplets are smaller than 10 μm in diameter, often referred to as aerosols. The amount of small droplets and particles increases with the rate and force of airflow during exhalation (eg, shouting, vigorous exercise). Exposure is greater the closer a person is to the source of exhalations. Larger droplets fall out of the air rapidly, but small droplets and the dried particles formed from them (ie, droplet nuclei) can remain suspended in the air. In circumstances with poor ventilation, typically indoor enclosed spaces where an infected person is present for an extended period, the concentrations of these small droplets and particles can build sufficiently to transmit infection."'
|Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2|
"As the planet continues to warm at an accelerating rate, scientists are looking into a potential insurance policy, a radical way of curbing climate change by altering the climate system itself.A team at Harvard University this summer plans to conduct the first of a series of highly controversial tests of what’s known as solar geoengineering, a way to reduce global warming by spreading particles in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight back into space.
If an advisory board authorizes them to proceed, the scientists plan to travel in June to a remote part of northern Sweden, where they’ll launch a giant balloon into the stratosphere to test whether they can adequately maneuver an instrument-filled gondola suspended below. If all goes well, the team later this year plans for the first time to inject a small amount of calcium carbonate — a common substance found in rocks — into the atmosphere to better understand how the chemical compound might be used to moderate temperatures on the ground."
"It was mid-August. The playgrounds of Brookline, Massachusetts, had finally reopened, and so the news spread fast. Sharon Abramowitz had resigned from the school committee. If a lab wanted to manufacture a school committee member to help the 7,800-student Brookline School District through the COVID crisis, it probably would’ve ended up with Abramowitz. The sociologist-anthropologist-epidemiologist had studied Ebola, written interagency guidelines about what community engagement should look like during a crisis, and, after the district shut down in March, spent 40 hours a week in volunteer meetings on Zoom trying to make a safe reopening feasible. But now she was moving full time to her second home in Vermont.Continue reading the article
As summer turned into fall, the school district was melting down. Parents largely wanted their kids learning in person, but it looked like Brookline wasn’t going to pull it off, even though the wealthy town just outside of Boston probably has the highest infectious-disease-expert-per-capita rate in the country. Abramowitz was fed up. “Sorry to be all UNICEF about it,” Abramowitz, who does work for UNICEF, said when we spoke in September, “but education is a fundamental human right for all children.”
From the Boston Globe, an article of interest for Franklin:
"Scientific American, the magazine that has delved into scientific topics for 175 years, is endorsing a presidential candidate for the first time, picking Democrat Joe Biden over Republican incumbent President Donald Trump.Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
“The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science,” the magazine’s editorial said. “The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges.”
The magazine said it was urging people to vote for Biden, “who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.”
“It’s time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science,” the magazine said.
Laura Helmuth, the magazine’s editor-in-chief tweeted that a vote for Biden would support “science, health, the environment, evidence-based policy, and reality over disinformation."
Scientific American editorial https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientific-american-endorses-joe-biden/
|"We’ve never backed a presidential candidate in our 175-year history—until now"|
“The fact that the responsibility to communicate this falls on me and other children should be seen for exactly what it is –a failure beyond all imagination”
I tried summarising the #climatecrisis from my own experiences in 12 chapters. Full text in @TIME
"if you read between the lines you realise that we are facing the need to make changes which are unprecedented in human history."
"So, in short: the temperature increases, the damaging mountain pine beetle survives the winter and dramatically increases in population. The trees die and turn into wildfire fuel which intensifies the wildfires even further. The soot from those fires makes the surface of the glaciers turn darker and the melting process speeds up even faster.
This is a textbook example of a reinforcing chain reaction, which in itself is just a small part of a much larger holistic pattern connected to our emissions of greenhouse gases.
There are countless other tipping points and chain reactions. Some have not yet happened. And some are very much a reality already today. Such as the release of methane due to thawing permafrost or other phenomena linked to deforestation, dying coral reefs, weakening or changing ocean currents, algae growing on the Antarctic ice, increasing ocean temperatures, changes in monsoon patterns and so on."https://time.com/5863684/greta-thunberg-diary-climate-crisis/
|Thunberg arrives in New York City after a 15-day journey crossing the Atlantic on Aug. 28, 2019. Courtesy of Greta Thunberg|
bill nye be spittin fax pic.twitter.com/5SNVd6Htct— ErickHBMC #RIPFckYouTubersBro (@ErickHBMC) July 9, 2020
"After nearly two years of effort, the Beta Group recently completed a draft study of the Charles River Meadowlands in Bellingham, Franklin and Medway.
“Joining three communities around a shared natural asset, the Charles River Meadowlands, is what this project is all about,” said Kelly R. Carr, senior associate at BETA Group, Inc., the consulting firm that conducted the study.
Dating to early meetings in 2016, the Meadowlands Initiative (www.charlesrivermeadowlands.org) has sought to bring focus and awareness to the hundreds of acres of public wetlands and borderlands controlled by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the three towns.
Originally acquired in the 1970s and 1980s for flood control, and incorporated in the Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area, the region has been gradually walled off from the public by roadways and rapid private development. However, each of the towns has land holdings for conservation and other purposes that abut the federal lands, effectively creating a large natural sanctuary similar in scale to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord."
|In the News: Charles River Meadowlands study completed|
|Annual Family Science Night - March 21|
Do you (or kids you know) like fun? Dinosaurs?? Science??? Come out to FHS to enjoy all 3 at the same time!! It's going to be a roaring good time! Thu, 3/21 6-8 pm. pic.twitter.com/RwwotNq3OD— FranklinHighSchool (@FranklinHS) March 15, 2019
"Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contributed research to “The State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed,” but at the 11th hour the federal agency canceled presentations that were set to be delivered by three staff members at a workshop on Monday to discuss the 500-page report on current conditions in the bay and future threats that include climate change.
One of the scientists — Autumn Oczkowski, a research ecologist at the EPA laboratory in Narragansett — was set to deliver the keynote address at the workshop at Save The Bay’s headquarters in Providence. She will be replaced by Robinson W. Fulweiler, an ecosystems ecologist at Boston University, whose research has included a study on rising water temperatures in Narragansett Bay.
“Narragansett Bay is one of Rhode Island’s most important economic assets and the EPA won’t let its scientists talk with local leaders to plan for its future.
Whatever you think about climate change, this kind of collaboration should be a no-brainer,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told The Washington Post Sunday night. “Muzzling our leading scientists benefits no one.”
|The Blackstone River runs from Worcester to Narragansett Bay and |
close by the Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI where I grew up
"Within the next three decades, floods that used to strike the New York City area only once every 500 years could occur every five years, according to a new scientific study released just days before the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
The study, performed by researchers at several universities and published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, primarily blames the predicted change on sea-level rise caused by global warming.
“This is kind of a warning,” said Andra Garner, a Rutgers University scientist and study co-author. “How are we going to protect our coastal infrastructure?”
The researchers based their analysis on multiple models that factored in predictions for sea level rise and possible changes in the path of future hurricanes."Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
"When Sunita Williams was growing up in Needham, NASA’s space shuttle program, construction of an orbital lab and trips to the moon figured large in the future astronaut’s imagination.
It’s different for young people now, she says. For them, the shuttle program is old school, the International Space Station (ISS) is an orbital fixture zooming around the earth 16 times a day, and dreams of moon trips have been replaced by imagining trips to — and even colonization of — a more distant frontier: Mars.
This idea of an attainable Mars is at the center of the Netflix documentary “The Mars Generation,” which is among the films scheduled for screening at the 26th Annual Woods Hole Film Festival starting this weekend."
|Home page for The Mars Generation|
"Josh Rich is a self-described “space nerd”– has been since before he could read – and his passion could one day be something for which astronauts heading to Mars will be grateful.
That’s because the recent Franklin High School graduate has his sights set on helping get people comfortably to and settled on the red planet, Earth’s closest neighbor.
Already, Rich is among a group of space visionaries NASA is calling “The Mars Generation,” and he is prominently featured in the recently released Netflix film of the same name.
“It was filmed two summers ago, when I last went to Space Camp,” said Rich, adding that most films normally take about 18 months to two years to complete."
|Home page for The Mars Generation|