By Lauren Koenig
The trend of STEM inspired gift-giving continues this year, with more options to choose from than ever before! We’re excited to see more gift ideas that integrate the “A for art” into STEAM toys and activities.
October (or as I like to call it, Spookytime) is without a doubt the greatest month of the year. Ghosts, ghouls, and gremlins prowl around every corner; dentists put down payments on that new boat they’ve been eyeing; everything is right with the world. The truly great thing about spookiness, however, is that it transcends the month of October. Spooky stuff can happen at any time of year, and can even find a home in a subject that many people (incorrectly) assume to be dull and dry—science. That’s right, science can be spooky, and if you don’t believe me I’ve got the receipts to prove it. Humans may have to settle for trick OR treat, but other animals are more than capable of having both…
From DIY to last-minute-buy, it’s not too late to inject some science into your Halloween costume this year. Full disclosure: I love science-themed costumes! My personal experience in the biological sciences has convinced me that scientists and costume parties go together like caddisflies and precious gems – that is, some Scientista fashionistas excel at turning their day jobs into wearable works of art. Without further ado, here are this year’s top picks:
"Help! I need Help!"
A disheveled, red-faced, soccer coach storms through the emergency room doors carrying a limp, sunburned child. There were about ten girls behind the coach. All were wearing their stripped soccer uniforms and gulping down water from the fountain. Each was just as sunburned as the limp child and covered in dirt from the field. It was 1:30 PM in July 112 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature on record so far.
Nobody told me it’d be this hard. No one, not even hours of therapy prepared me for the undeniable feeling of guilt and shame that would flood me when I became unable to turn in my assignment or pass my math classes.
It is the beginning of summer and Jane Doe is commuting to her first dermatology appointment with Dr. Derma. In the exam room she sits in a black stationary chair. There is a green swivel chair we often see in exam rooms and a desk with a computer on it. It is the with bold face letters “Sun Safety” on the wall that catch Jane Doe’s attention right before there is a knock on the door. It opens and Dr. Derma walks in wearing a crisp white doctor’s coat with a file in hand.
“Good morning Jane how are you doing today?”
“I am doing okay. I am just here for a mole check-up. Though I do notice the posters on the wall and would like to learn more about sun safety.”
“Of course! I am glad you are here and being an advocate for your health.”
Wow, finals. That just happened. I will be honest by saying I didn’t do as good as I intended (regardless of good development through the term) why? I did not prioritize. I had too much fun, I did! Who can blame me? I have amazing friends and had amazing times. Worth it? A bit. Why not? School-comes-first! Being an anxious person, school is one of those things that completely depend on my will to make it work. I chose how much to study when to do my homework and I chose how much effort to give my work. Having had such a good term though, it packed me with tons of tricks and tips on how to study and how to do good in class without compromising your social life or your ‘me time’ (something I completely believe in and will address in further posts.)
“You don’t look like a tromp-around-in-the-woods type.”
It was 2012, and after four years in an Environmental Studies undergraduate program and a few summers spent in various eco-jobs, I was more than familiar with the expected look. Luckily, the boy commenting was a cute prospective graduate student from Washington D.C. at my grad school interview weekend and not, say, my future advisor who was about to hire me to “tromp around in the woods.”
Sometimes I wonder if I am cut out for this. There are days where my measurements are off, my notes are not organized, and I have to repeat experiments more than once. There are days where I dread opening my textbook and opt for going to class without reading ahead. Sometimes I get bad grades, I obsess over them and wonder, am I really cut out for this?
As you walk through the aisles of shampoos and eyeshadows, products marked “cruelty-free” and “vegan” seem almost to be the new norm. However, while many companies have made significant strides towards the obliteration of animal testing, there are a number of brands that still test on animals. There is an increasingly global movement to end animal testing for cosmetics altogether, and that change must be accompanied by scientific advancements to create new ways of testing for toxicity.
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