Jul 23, 2021
picture: nyvgcc Approximately forty-four percent of teens do not have solid relationships with their families. This statistic is influenced by relationships with parents, friends, grades, financial situations, and even more. According to a study led by Joseph P. Allen, “Teens with more secure family relationships get a head start on developing empathy.” Empathy is the ability to understand what another person is experiencing, even if you’ve never been through it yourself. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is an important skill that develops over time. Empathy leads over social interactions and adult relationships in the workplace. In order to be relatively successful in our modern society, social interactions are key. The ability to empathize and communicate is sought out for. In order to create a safer generation, we must build this skill at a young age. Based on Allen’s study, teens who are in safe environments by the age fourteen have already developed this skill and were able to provide higher amounts of support compared to teens with bad family relationships when they were young. What’s especially interesting, is that teens who were in need of support subconsciously sought out people with secure lives, as their support system does not necessarily revolve around how close they are with that friend. Thus, family relationships influence social relationships and the opportunity to practice giving and receiving empathy. “Teens who are more empathetic are less aggressive, exhibit less prejudice and are less likely to bully others,” says Jessica Stern. Their research shows us that empathy starts with feeling safe and building secure relationships built on trust and communication. With a secure foundation at a young age, teens will grow to share empathy with others and create a safer environment in general. Well now we know that relationships with parents and siblings are important to building a mentally healthy future, but how can we create these secure relationships from the start? Because every family situation is different in its own right, the best the society can provide as a whole is reliable means of communication and ways of getting help. Creating awareness for these bad situations at school and social media allows people to be more safe to share their experiences and seek help. Making sure teachers can spot problems at home also allows for the student to move to a safer situation. Additionally, teaching parents how to provide necessary care from the start also improves the statistic. Even little changes like these will amount to big effects on society as a whole. Make sure you check on your friends and even family, as just a simple check-in is beneficial to their mental health and self-care!
Mar 27, 2021
Mars is a fascinating planet, and even though it may seem like we know a lot about it, there's still so much to investigate about this galactic, rocky palace. So far, NASA has sent five exploration rovers dedicated to collecting evidence on Mars. These rovers have all been completely autonomous and self-suppliant. These rovers include the Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and the latest one that landed on Mars's surface, the Perseverance Rover. On February 18 of this year, the Perseverance Rover, launched about more than half a year ago, successfully landed and captured a few pictures of Mars’ surface ground. The celebratory applause and content elbow high-fives was surely a sight to watch. Even though it seemed space exploration would come to a halt due to the ongoing pandemic, these scientists put years worth of testing and reiterating onto another planet about 225 billion miles away. Science is the study of testing and fixing, and testing and more testing. The Perseverance Rover was essentially a bigger, better version of the Curiosity Rover. The Curiosity Rover was designed to investigate the Gale crater yet it had a multitude of problems. According to Dawn Sumner, a Curiosity team member, “‘Partway through its last set of activities, Curiosity lost its orientation. Some knowledge of its altitude was not quite right, so it couldn't make the essential safety evaluation.’” The rover itself couldn’t accurately measure its altitude or its correlation to its environment. Additionally, it had issues with its memory capabilities and problems with its wheels. Despite its many problems, Curiosity was resilient, it's still functional and currently still investigating Mars’ surface. But Perseverance’s goal was to eliminate the mistakes its ancestors made. Perseverance was launched on July 30, 2020. It was equipped with a new power system that doubled Curiosity’s energy output because of its size increase. It has a radioisotope power system which uses heat from plutonium’s radioactive decay as “fuel.” The power system, called the "Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator" or MMRTG for short, allows the rover to operate in a variety of different environments and conditions. This supplies a huge amount of electricity, powering robotic arms, drilling instruments, charging batteries, and all the while communicating with Earth. As with every other rover sent to Mars, Perseverance is trying to find signs of life. It's collecting samples and dropping them in planned locations for the next exploration rover to pick up and send back. And while all of that may be riveting, a new piece of Wright Brothers technology has also been sent to Mars. Along with the rover, a remote-control helicopter. The helicopter's name is Ingenuity and its intended to make the first powered flight on another planet beyond ours. Ingenuity will be trying out its first test flight around April 8. The flight will be completely controlled from here on Earth. Well what happens if Ingenuity triumphantly lifts off? The success of such a task would open so many new doors of possibilities, including risk assessment and carrying materials from place to place. We could send bigger aircrafts and the main exploration rover would be able to avoid obstacles that Ingenuity could scout from the air. In the future, remote-controlled vehicles might even be able to repair damage and pick up samples as well. In order for these opportunities to be available, Perseverance must deploy Ingenuity in a safe, and in area with mostly flat ground. The communication between Earth and Ingenuity must be stable as well, and hopefully no unexpected dust storms would disrupt its flight. Workers in Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab have been working nonstop since its launch to ensure that Ingenuity delivers its purpose, liftoff. These hard workers deserve tremendous support, and we can convey it by cheering on Ingenuity as it takes flight in the next week or so!