Category Archives: Science

El Peligro y Contaminación de Plástico

Caitlin Ghent ’21
EE Contributor

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Eagle’s Eye en Español series

¿Sabes que la producción de plástico se ha duplicado en los últimos cincuenta años? ¿O el hecho de que la persona normal come setenta mil micro plásticas1 cada año? El problema de la plastico solo está creciendo en el mundo y la contaminación es muchísima peligrosa para todos.

Muchas personas usan plástico por su conveniencia, pero no comprendan que están contribuyendo al problema. Bolsas desechables son más fáciles para ir de compras o contener comida, porque no es necesario limpiarlas después de que son usadas. Sin embargo, las bolsas de plástico son usadas por doce minutos de media, pero necesitan mil años descomponerse2. También, las botellas de agua de plástico son más fáciles en la vida cotidiana porque las personas no necesitan llenarlas o limpiarlas. Aunque estos ejemplos son muy obvios, hay muchísimas otras cosas que son usadas en la vida diaria. Por ejemplo, plástico está en maquille y esponjas. En general, el uso principal del plástico es por la conveniencia de la gente. 

Si estos son los usos, es crucial mencionar los impactos negativos y dañinos que causan. El impacto en los animales es escandaloso3. De hecho, cada año el plástico está matando más de un millón de aves marinas y animales. Las acciones de los seres humanos tienen horrible efectos a los animales. Pero no sólo son animales marinos. Hubo un elefante en India que murió porque comió bolsas de plástico. Aunque este hecho es triste, la verdad es que hay muchas personas que no les importa el medio ambiente o animales. Sin embargo, el uso de plástico también tiene malas consecuencias para los seres humanos. Químicos en plástico pueden absorber en el agua subterránea4 o directamente en el cuerpo humano. Algunos de estos químicos pueden alterar hormonas o crear otros problemas de salud. Además, hubo un estudio publicado en Environmental Pollution, y ellos aprendieron que muchas superficies5, como platos, se acumulan micro plásticos. Muchas personas en el mundo están comiendo plástico sin darse cuenta. En total, hay muchos impactos peligrosos que causan los plásticos. 

Covid Vaccines Explained

Christina Kingan ’23
EE Staff Writer

Hope is in the air with a new year, and our normal lives potentially just around the corner. The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine is finally becoming available to the public. After many trial and error processes, the CDC has approved four different ways of fighting the virus, all of them aiming to prepare the immune system to be able to fight off the virus if ever exposed to it. Each works in its own specific way according to the Vaccine Alliance organization, Gavi.

The first type is the whole-virus vaccine. This type of vaccine weakens the virus and makes it nonpathogenic (inactive). When the inactive virus enters the body, it stimulates an immune response without causing disease to the body. When the body’s immune system reaches the virus, it will attack it with antibodies and T cells. The purpose of this is to allow memory cells to remember the virus and be able to know what cells to produce to target the virus more efficiently the next time the body encounters it. 

The second type is the protein subunit vaccine. This method takes the spike proteins of the virus and introduces them to the body. Like the previous method, this type of vaccine is also incapable of causing disease.

The benefit of this vaccine is that it is cheaper and easier to make. The disadvantage is that since the fragments cannot infect host cells and are less threatening, the immune system may not recognize them as attacking cells. The problem with this is that they will prompt a weaker immune response. To prevent this from being the case, vaccines of this type will usually include chemical agents known as adjuvants, which will trigger a more robust response from the body. Another alternative is the administration of booster shots, which are extra doses of the vaccine to boost the immune system even more. 

Where these vaccines rely on exposing the body to the virus by putting the antigens inside, other vaccines have been developed that allow for the body to learn to fight off the virus by using their own cells. By controlling the cell mechanisms, these vaccines have the ability to copy the way the virus usually reproduces during what would be an actual infection. As opposed to producing copies of the virus, the cells will only produce large quantities of antigen, which will trigger strong immune responses.

A Study on Political Ethics

Aileen Aizenshtat ‘21
Jacob Herman ‘21
EE Contributors

Editor’s Note: This submission was excerpted from a larger research project completed in Mr. Darrow’s AP Statistics class.

The search into a possible relationship between politics and morals through a statistics study surveying a random sample of Trumbull High School teenagers was interesting, to say the least. Through this, a final conclusion was reached: With differences in party affiliation, there are several identifiable distinctions in the core moral values of an individual.

Such beliefs and distinctions were found to have been heavily influenced by familial ties and values — in other words, it was the political beliefs of the subject’s family that came to be similar to the person’s own leanings. This makes it plausible that when one identified themselves to be conservative or liberal in this study, they could have been influenced by family opinions to do so, as their own ideals were not parallel to those held by the views of the political body they identified with. However, the findings of this study with political ideology still remain significant even with this confounding.

The most obvious divide between these political sects was within a puzzle that is not at all unheard of in the philosophical world of ethics. The dilemma itself is simple: a person close to you is dying of a disease that only your neighbor has the cure to. However, they ask for an outrageous price in exchange for the cure, one that you have no way of paying. The options are to either (a) steal the cure immediately, (b) only steal the cure after asking to pay for half of the cure’s price or, (c) refuse to break the law through theft, despite the repercussions to your friend’s life.

Is A Lot of Homework Actually Valuable?

Kunal Mehta (’21)
Shea Grant (’21)
Mike Rizzo (’21)
EE Contributors

Editor’s Note: This submission was excerpted from a larger research project completed in Mr. Darrow’s AP Statistics class

Many people hold concerns about schools regarding the amount of homework assigned. Are larger volumes of homework really valuable to the success of a student? Or is this work merely “busy” work that has no real value in most cases?  We conducted a study to answer this question, surveying ninety-two Trumbull High School students about their academic achievement and the amount of homework they received per night. 

Comparing the average time a student reported doing homework a night versus the student’s cumulative weighted GPA, we found that a graph displaying this data (shown [insert layout location] would show higher GPA values corresponding to more hours doing homework if there was a relationship that showed that more homework increases academic achievement. However, the line observed was effectively flat, which means that no matter the amount of homework a student received, they had, on average, about the same GPA as their peers that received more or less homework than they did. 

School Study Shows Negative Relationship Between Screen Time and GPA

Cyrus Asgari ‘20
Jackie Zhang ‘20
Adrien Joseph ‘20
EE Contributors

Students rely on multiple electronic devices for convenient use and social networking on a daily basis, as well as to supplement their education. However, the increasing presence of technology in everyday life also carries associated risks, especially for a developing adolescent’s brain. The increase in screen time may be a contributing factor in limiting the quantity and quality of sleep students receive and detrimental to their academic performance. Our study sought to answer the question, “How does exposure to the screens of electronic devices affect a student’s sleep and academic performance?” 

Over one hundred Trumbull High School students were asked to report the time they spent on their cell phones and other electronic devices, as well as their average sleep. They also indicated their weighted GPA and number of Honors and Advanced Placement classes they enlisted in. 

The majority of students stated that they used their phone the most after school and believed that it interfered with their sleep. The study observed that decreased sleep leads to lower academic performance. It was found that as daily phone usage increased, a student’s GPA will decrease. This demonstrates that student phone usage can be detrimental to both their sleep and academic success, but some students continue to use their phone for extended times. Females’ GPAs were less affected by phone usage than  males’, indicating that males may be less capable of maintaining a high level of academic performance while facing an equal level of distraction from phones while female students are more likely to manage their time more efficiently overall.

Exciting InSight into the Red Planet

Eric Sorge ‘19
EE Co-Managing Editor

The InSight Mars lander touched down on its new home just before 3 PM on November 26th, completing a rapid descent through the Martian atmosphere and its nearly seven month journey across 300 million miles of space. Cheers erupted from Mission Control in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and across the nation when signals finally arrived confirming the landing; with this first successful landing of a robot on mars since the Curiosity rover in 2012, there is much to be excited about.

“It was intense, and you could feel the emotion,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a member of the InSight team at JPL. “It was very, very quiet when it was time to be quiet and of course very celebratory with every little new piece of information that was received.”

The Surprising Traditions Behind the Winter Solstice

Kathryn Wilkinson ‘20
EE Science and Tech Editor

The darkest day of the year is approaching: December 21st, 2018. This annual astronomical phenomenon, known as the winter solstice, produces a day with the least amount of sunlight, and the longest night of the year. On this day, one of the Earth’s poles experiences it maximum tilt away from the sun. On December 21st, at exactly 5:23 PM, the time when we will experience the solstice, the north pole will be tilted away from the sun. This happens twice a year, one time in each pole.

The significance of this event is observed by various cultures. Ultimately marking the beginning of shortening nights and lengthening days, it is celebrated differently in each country. It was first recognized by the Pagans thousands of years ago, and has direct ties to the Christmas traditions of today. An emperor by the name of Aurelian established December 25th as the birthday of the “Invincible Sun” during his reign. This was part of the Roman Winter Solstice festivities, also known as Yule. However, in 273, the Christian Church recognized this day as the birth of Jesus, therefore Christianizing the celebration.

Flu Season Arrives

Neya Kidambi ‘22
EE Staff Writer

As the temperature begins to drop, and retailers stock up on Holiday decorations, we witness the return of two infamous winter “criminals”-those horrible frosted sugar cookies, and flu season. Yes, it’s that time of year where everyone around you is sniffling or hacking up germs. Ah, influenza, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

But why does flu season strike in winter?

According to Earth Network, some theories say that the virus itself survives better in the colder, drier conditions of winter, as opposed to the hot and humid conditions of summer. This is because in the summer, the water droplets, which are heavier than the humid air, fall to the ground. In doing so, these water droplets bring the influenza virus with them. On the other hand, the air is less humid in the winter, so the water droplets, and the virus, stay in the air for a longer amount of time.

The Science Behind The Flood

Adith Velavan ’19
EE
 Contributor

On September 25th, Trumbull experienced flash flooding and over seven inches of rain, the second most in the state, resulting in excessive damage in town. The high school was closed for three days, entire streets and areas were closed, and the fire department responded to 80 calls, rescuing 45 people, according to Assistant Fire Chief Alex Rauso. He went on to describe how the wet roads and ground could no longer hold any more water, and that the torrential downpour filled the storm drains, eventually overflowing and flooding the Town, four to six feet in areas.

Trumbull was hit with a weather event termed a flash flood. A flash flood is categorized as such when it occurs within six hours, in a mostly low lying area, and is often predated by a storm or other rain related event. While these floods can occur in a variety of situations and geography ranging from poorly absorbing soil to volcanoes that cause the melting of glaciers, all of these flash floods are predicated on the fact that they occurred within a short period of time.

Most people learn about rain as a simple process, and in terms of the weather cycle. Water evaporates, condenses, and then precipitates. Much of the evaporation, however, occurs in large bodies of water, which arise as a result of runoff. Due to the hill and valley topography, of Trumbull, the rain pooled in the lower areas of the town, acting as watersheds, and creating flash floods. Moreover, the amount of rain that fell in the short period of time was increased by a scientific process called coalescence, which is when rain droplets join together, as a result of a cold front, to form larger amounts, thereby allowing a greater amount of rain to fall in a shorter period of time.

National FFA Convention 2018: Just One

Kathryn Wilkinson ‘20
EE 
Science and Tech Editor

This year’s annual National FFA Convention and Expo was held in Indianapolis, Indiana from October 24th through the 27th. Trumbull Agriscience sent eight students on this once in a lifetime trip to represent Connecticut and the Trumbull FFA chapter. These students included sophomore John Novak, juniors Margaret Brady, Kathryn Wilkinson and Thomas Acri, and seniors Cade Toth, Klaudia Poplawski, Dana Jurgielewicz, and Kaitlyn Marcinko.

This years theme was titled Just One, focusing on the actions that one student can make to leave a long lasting impact on others and also their community. Over 69,000 FFA members were inspired by the words of keynote speakers like the National FFA 2017-2018 President, Breanna Holbert, and also motivational speaker and comedian Kyle Scheele. This year was also incredibly noteworthy because of  president Donald Trump’s address at the final session of this year’s convention. Donald Trump is among the few presidents that have spoken at the convention in person, including Harry S. Truman, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter in past years.

At the convention, students had the opportunity to attend workshops  in order to build skills such as leadership, interpersonal skills, and communication. They could  talk with past national FFA officers and alumni and FFA members from every US state and territory. The convention also boasted a huge exposition full of  vendors. FFA members could talk with numerous colleges and also individuals working in every different field of agriculture.


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