Thursday, February 26, 2015

Applying Science to STUFF to Make it More Fun!

I’m starting to get more excited about my project even though it still gives me a bit of anxiety. I mean, I’m going to be married to this project for the next three months so I have to love it or I will be miserable. You were all super helpful in class and made me feel better so I thank you!! But yeah, I just dream of making an impact with whatever I do; I want it to be important.

I think this project will conclude my time here at PSU pretty well. With my major being Scientific Communication, it’s really important to me that people understand science. Science is something that is really hard to understand in the first place, let alone when a scientist is trying to tell you about it. They don’t know how to make it simple enough for others to understand so I want to be that in-between person. I want people to understand science and love it as much as I do, because it’s so important!

For the project, I’m envisioning an interactive animated version of those “How Stuff Works” books in the form of a website. The different “stuff” will be activities that I am already knowledgeable about such as climbing, scuba diving and sailing (those might actually be the three I focus on but who knows). When someone clicks on one of these things it will come up with a picture of this activity happening and different points on the picture will be clickable to learn more about the science behind it. For example, with scuba you could click on the air tank and it would talk about Boyle’s law, or you could click on the diver and it will talk about buoyancy, or you click on the plant and it talks about light and sound, or on the water and it talks about ocean currents. SCUBA IS SO SCIENTIFIC. I love it. Ok, nerding out.

Anyway, I have a ton of resources with all of these subjects. I will be diving before this project is over and the ice is out of the lake, I’ll be climbing as soon as the snow melts, and I’ll take the sailboat out as soon as I wouldn't die falling in. I’m big on photography and video (I have a DSLR and a GoPro) so footage won’t be a problem. Oh, and my dad is a website designer so I think he will be a great resource and maybe he could even be my adviser if that’s okay.

My goal is to trick people into learning science in a fun way. So if you have any ideas or advice or anything let me know! Starting to get more excited!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Quality of Life

Quality of life is not something that the average person thinks about on a day to day basis. And that is probably because we are all living decently ‘good’ quality lives. When someone is faced with a crippling disability, whether it be physical or mental, quality of life is valued much higher. A lot of the time people that can’t express their feelings and emotions can be somber in the lifestyles that they’re living. And this is why I think that the adaptive sports programs that are popping up nationwide are critical in providing a sense of normality and happiness in the lives of disabled people everywhere. To be able to tackle the issue of determining and improving peoples quality of life we need to look at this issue for a variety of different lenses or ‘screens’ to solve this completely.

“Psychology sees human behavior as reflecting the cognitive constructs individuals develop to organize their mental activity. Psychologists also study inherent mental mechanisms, both genetic predisposition and individual differences.” (Repko, p. 151)
Looks at the human behavior and what they are thinking. Useful to knowing how they are feeling and how things can be better or worse for the individual.
Psych illuminates the issues that people have personally and interpersonally with fitting in with the general public.
“Social reality that includes the range and nature of the relationships that exist between people in any given society” (Repko p. 151)
Our culture has caused us to view them differently and exclude people with disabilities from many different aspects of normal daily life
The number of things that people are excluded from, and what we have to offer them outside of the norm.
“Sees individual cultures as organic integrated wholes with their own internal logic and culture as the set of symbols, rituals, and beliefs through which a society gives meaning to daily life.” (Repko p.151)
We as a society have given meaning to things in life that are seen as important.
We are the ones who make things important so we can change that within our culture to make for a better life.
“Believe that any historical period cannot be adequately appreciated without understanding the trends and developments leading up to it” (Repko, 151). 
We need to look at what we have done in the past to improve, as well as what has changed since the first instances of disability occurred in our population.
Illuminates how far we have come over time, but also how horrible things were in the past. We need to learn from our mistakes to make for a better future.

Adaptive sports were invented by someone who was definitely exercising critical pluralism in an interdisciplinary context. We would never have adaptive sports if it weren’t for the integration of different fields to create a happy learning environment. And I can’t tell you how much these adaptive sports improve quality of life. It gives them hope and something to look forward to. Not to mention the pure enjoyment that is experienced and written all over their faces when they do something like scale a mountain. A goal that, for a blind person, may have been impossible in the past. These experiences are so important to the people that get to enjoy them, we need to think outside of the box to continue to improve life quality and make our world a better more welcoming place.

Works Cited:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bodies Are Not Barbies

I wanted to use this blog post to write about something that really bothers me; it's a huge issue in the United States and only seems to be getting worse.

Body image.

People constantly look at themselves and feel shameful for having a couple of extra pounds, hair that is slightly dull in color, and skin that isn't perfectly tanned. Of course, there are other things that cause people distress, and it all seems to be coming from a similar source. The big corporations.

They release barbies that have unrealistic standards and post images of woman who are photo-shopped into the unachievable body. With all this going around, how can one not feel repulsed by their own body. Society puts the perfect body on a platform that is far too high to reach.

To fix this problem we can use critical pluralism and interdisciplinary thinking. These two views are important because they will help us address the problem as a whole rather than just seeing one side of things. It will also help us see that what we know is not certain and absolute, so not all of what we try may help solve the problem.

So, the disciplines I am including that I believe would help eradicate this issue are anthropology, biology, education, history, psychology, sociology. All of these can help educate the population along with helping us understand why we think a certain way and how we can change that thought pattern for the better.

Perspectives on the Problem
Learning how different cultures give meaning to life through different ideas and beliefs
People are trying to fit in with their culture that surrounds them even if it does not fit their ideas and beliefs
Cultures vary from place to place and one should follow what they believe
Views how physical behavior is effected through genes and evolution
People do not understand that the human body “behaves” differently for everyone
There can be a positive outcome if the human body is understood
Learning about different values that
People are not gaining the proper information that they need
Properly informed individuals can help decrease body image issues
Understanding development and different changes in a chronological order
People do not realize that standards change constantly, meaning there is no perfect body
Realizing that ideas and standards change can show how unrealistic todays views are
Observes how individual minds work
People are affected negatively and need to gain a positive outlook
Getting proper treatment and help can change negative thoughts and behaviors
Views how individuals relate in any given society
People see societal views and are influenced because of them
Sharing views from all aspects can help show that people are different and no one is perfect

Image Resource:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stroke Rehabilitation Needs Multiple Disciplines

The issue I want to focus on for this post is the problem of stroke rehabilitation. Rehab after a stroke requires multiple disciplines to integrate their skills to create a positive experience for someone coming out of a stroke. The disciplines I focused on are cardiology, speech pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychology. Critical pluralism is important with this issue because there are many disciplines that are giving their mere opinion on the situation, but neither of them are wrong, but neither of them are completely right. The perspectives coming from each discipline creates an interdisciplinary work of therapy to provide a whole therapy program for a patient after a stroke. After a stroke, a person needs more than just speech therapy or they need more than just occupational therapy. They need therapies from all areas of their health for a full recovery.

Perspectives on the problem
Speech Pathology
“Speech-Language Pathologists examine language not only in its organization of complex linguistic structures, but also in terms of the processes on which it is partially dependent.” (Mayer-Crittenden)
Speech Pathologist focus on the how the stroke affected the patient’s speech
They work on getting their speech back to where they were pre-stroke by implementing speech exercises
Physical Therapy
“A physical therapist seeks to identify and maximize quality of life and movement potential through prevention, intervention (treatment), promotion, habilitation, and rehabilitation.” (Nordqvist)
Physical Therapists focus on the physical problems after a stroke occurs
Physical Therapists provide light workouts and exercises to slowly help the patient get back to were they were pre-stroke
Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy takes a whole-person approach to both mental and physical health and wellbeing, enabling individuals to achieve their full potential.
Occupational therapy provides practical support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This helps to increase people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life. (BAOT/COT)
Occupational therapists focus on the impact of the stroke of the daily life tasks of the individual after the stroke
Occupational therapists help work on getting the individual back to doing daily tasks, such as getting out of bed or brushing their teeth after a stroke
A cardiologist is a doctor with special training and skill in finding, treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels. (CardioSmart)

Cardiologists focus on heart health after stroke
They will provide medications if needed and make appointments for future check ups
“Psychology sees human behavior as reflecting the cognitive constructs individuals develop to organize their mental activity. Psychologists also study inherent mental mechanisms, both genetic predisposition and individual differences.” (Repko, p. 151)
Psychologists focus on mental repercussions of the stroke
Psychologists will provide emotional support for patients after stroke


British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapy. (2014) What is Occupational Therapy? Retrieved February 20, 2015, from

CardioSmart: American College of Cardiology. (2014). What is a Cardiologist? Retrieved February 20, 2015, from

Mayer-Crittenden, C. (2014). An interdisciplinary framework for speech-language pathologists: A closer look at bilingual language development and Its disorders. Retrieved February 20, 2015, from

Nordqvist, C. (2014, September 12). What is physical therapy (physiotherapy)? What does a physical therapist (physiotherapist) do? Retrieved February 20, 2015, from

Repko, A., & Szostak, R. (2014). Introduction to interdisciplinary studies (p. 151). SAGE Publisher.