Check out the topics we think we will be studying this year. Ideas are still coming in so I'll post updates here as I get them.
Women in Pro Sports (NEW)
Why aren’t there more female pro sports teams? Are we as a society biased against the female athlete? This group will explore the issue of female pro sports, girls athletic programs, and the business that is pro-athletics. Students interested in women’s sports, gender fairness and combating sexism might be interested in this group.
Global Voices (NEW)
Americans (even open minded and worldly Americans) see the world from a certain point of view. This point of view is rooted in western values, christian beliefs, the English language, and dominant economic and cultural perspectives. But the world is a vastly more diverse place. This group will explore our cultural biases, dig deep into several different cultural traditions and reflect how our history informs our world view. Students interested in other cultures and languages or students who just like to meet new people and talk about new ideas might be interested in this group.
The Science of Shopping (Revised Description)
Did you know that marketers position the shopping season’s most hyped toys at child eye level on store shelves? Did you know that budget shortfalls in many districts are forcing schools to allow marketing inside classrooms? If the price is $89.00 isn't that the same thing as $90? This group will explore the power of marketing to affect how and what we buy and what (or who) is really being sold. Students interested in marketing, business and media awareness might be interested in this group.
Life Against Life
What if you were told a life saving treatment was available for you or someone in your family but Federal law prevented the treatment from being developed? Stem cell research is a controversial debate: should humans ‘play God’ when determining who lives and doesn’t live? If stem cells can cure cancer and other diseases why aren’t we exploring this treatment to the fullest? Students interested in careers in medicine, science or who enjoy discussing ethics might be interested in this group.
Every day in the news we hear stories about how our government is polarized, gridlocked and unable to take care of ‘Main Street’ but are these stories really true, or is this just more political rhetoric? This group will explore the political system in the United States from the Democrats to the Republicans and even the Tea Party. Students who are interested in politics, careers in government or who want to better understand how the American democracy works might be interested in this group.
It’s not a Game it’s a Franchise
Pro sports is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States with the top players making millions of dollars a game. How has the media attention, high financial stakes and focus on star players changed the games we love? Aren’t sports about trying your best and playing fair no matter if you win or loose? This group will explore how big business has changed athletics, what it does to individual players and what we can do about it. Students who are interested in careers in sports management, business or enjoy sports might be interested in this group.
This Pill Will Help You Feel Better
Modern medicine has transformed health in the world: we live longer and more productive lives. Yet even as medicines have improved our lives they have shown us the dark side of human nature. Prescription drug abuse, illegal drug use and crime are all closely related. This group will examine the technologies that lead to the production of new medicines and also explore issues related to their misuse. Students interested in careers in medicine, science or who care about reversing the issue of drug abuse might be interested in this group.
Race, Justice and Law
Why do young black men make up a much greater proportion of people in prison than any other demographic? Is the justice system in the United States biased against minorities? This group will explore the system of justice in America and explore issues of fairness and racial profiling. Students interested in careers in law, government or who are interested in social justice might find this group interesting.
Mr. York & Ms. Wilson
Do you need to have millions of dollars and connections in LA to make a hit series any more? In a world of file sharing how do young musicians make any money? New media has brought new opportunities and new problems for creative artists. This group will explore the artists, labels and venues seeking to capitalize on the new media landscape. Students interested in careers in music, film, or new media might be interested in this group.