August 2013 Archives

Hi Science class! My name is Christina Keating and I am from King of Prussia, PA. (Yes, I go to the mall at least once a week while I am home.) My family is almost all Penn State alumni including my older sister, who is without a doubt my role model. I am a freshman at Penn State, but this is my second semester because I decided to do summer session. Doing summer session was the best decision of my life! I am in the College of Communications hoping to declare my major sophomore year for advertising/ public relations. 
When I heard taking a science course was mandatory at PSU, I wanted to cry. Throughout high school I hated every science class because it was all memorization, something I am terrible at. I had orientation in May and my advisor told me to try BiSci as my science course. During summer session my one professor asked if anyone was taking BiSci so I rose my hand and she said "Do you like science?" I said absolutely not. Her reply was, "Good luck." I ran into my dorm and switched into this science class because it is more critical thinking, not memorization. Also, the reviews were very good on ratemyprofessor and I can already tell they were all right. 
By the way I love PSU football and went to the game this weekend against Syracuse! I posted a picture of the game on my Instagram if you want to check it out! Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 11.01.32 PM.png
My sister (to the right) and I at the Syracuse VS PSU game!

Science, Say What???


My name is Jefferson "Jeff" Cauvin. I'm a senior, I will forever bleed blue and white. I am in the Smeal College of Business majoring in business Management with a minor in MIS. The reason why I am taking SC 200 is because I have no other choice, I need a couple science classes here and there to graduate( trust me if I didn't need it I wouldn't be taking it.) But funny story, I graduated from a high school called: Science Leadership Academy. I spent all four years learning about the sciences to the point where I had a love-hate relationship with science;  I needed a break from science. I could not see myself in a lab all my life testing samples of bacteria in a lab coat, even though I loved my lab coat; Yes, we had to wear a lab coat at Science Leadership Academy. Lets fast-forward to four years present time, I'm in a "science class"  rekindling my love for the sciences, talk about a fairy tale story. 


Initial Blog

Hello world of science. My name is Laurel Saltiel and I'm a sophomore majoring in Finance at The Smeal College of Business. When I was forming my schedule last semester, I asked my roommate what good general education classes were out there, and she recommended SC200. My initial reaction was "Absolutely not! Science is not my thing." She rolled her eyes at me and told me to look it up. So, of course I did some digging and it turns out that this course was perfect for me. The description stated "A science appreciation course, aimed at making non-scientists more informed consumers of science." Key words, non-scientists.
The closest science and I ever got was through one of my favorite TV shows, The Big Bang Theory. If it wasn't for Dr. Sheldon Cooper, I probably wouldn't even know what an atom is. Science has just never been my strong point. I work much better with people, numbers, and stocks than I ever will with the periodic table. I pretty much knew after I failed my first Chemistry testin High School that I would never be a Science wiz, and here I am 4 years later, exactly where I thought I would be; Business School.
Science is vast. It's magnitude stretches from the extremely simple to incredibly complex and difficult. Somewhere in between the simple and the complex is where science-related subjects lost me. 

My middle school and high school science classes can hardly be considered that. Honestly, I'm not sure if my previous teachers understood completely what they were teaching, if they decided to actually do something that day. Teachers are everything when I am learning things in science and even math related fields and my not-so-great teachers played a major role in my lack of understanding in science. When things get more difficult than learning basic scientific facts, I am lost. It just doesn't click with me. This little understanding of science is obviously why I am not a science major. I am a Smeal hopeful but I'm still not sure of what exactly in business I am looking to do.

I am hoping that this class will make me better understand the things going on around me and appreciate the work that scientists do. Their work is incredible but my lack of understanding makes me unable to give them the credit they're due. I'm excited for blogging because I think it will force me to see all the science going on around me that is often overlooked. 

Outer space pics are my favorite! 
This site has a lot of cool ones:

Science of Life

My name is Cameron and I'm a freshman with a summer session under my belt. I'm originally from Bloomsburg, PA but I've lived most of my life in a small town called Jersey Shore.......PA (Not New Jersey or the Show). I'm in DUS as of now for my first year but hope to enter the Smeal College of Business for my major. 

My first days at Penn State were some of the most confusing days starting this summer. When my adviser suggested that I take this class instead of the science class that I had chosen on unusual weather. She told me it was a class of science for non-science students. That would be me! Another reason I took this class is because my adviser also told me the professor who taught the class was interesting and most students gave him a good reviews. I see myself as a science oriented person because of the way I use science to figure things out.

 Science was dreadful in high school although the teachers were always the best part, the work seemed like it took way to much time and was to difficult for me. Math is one thing I hate the most in this world and science and math have always gone together which is probably why I will never be a science major. I'm hoping this class can change my view on science through these interesting topics. I'm always looking for new perspectives and this class seems like it could show the different sides to science that not everyone knows about. But who knows maybe by the end of my Penn State career I'll be a science major.

I also like to take pictures of sunsets check them out on my instagram. Thanks for reading!

As you guys begin the first blogging period, you may be wondering what sources, or how many you need to include in your post. While you don't want to bog down the class with tons of information, it is actually easier to write a good blog post when using more than one source--you may find yourself summarizing an article if that's your only source.

I've found that two sources per post often work best. And these sources do not have to agree with each other. In fact, I encourage you to find two competing articles, then to draw your own conclusions about which side provided the strongest evidence. You don't have to be 100% sure that this side is flawless (remember, this class often deals more with questions than concrete answers).

Many news articles and science journals are okay to use, but do try to stay away from sources like Wikipedia--that's a great starting point, but it's safer to include more reputable sources. Which yes, you must cite (doesn't have to be MLA format...just make sure you include links to the articles you've mentioned).

And just to get you guys thinking about science, here is one of my favorite YouTubers--Charlieissocoollike--talking about parallel universes:

Greetings! My name is Sean Kearney, I'm a sophomore, I'm from Chicago, and I'm fascinated by science. I am. I find myself sitting down and watching TED talks on multiple occasions about the weirdest stuff, almost all of it regarding science in some way, shape or form. I love learning about new scientific advancements and what they mean for our world and for me. I'm an information sponge. In fact,here's some facts about orgasms you probably didn't know before. Isn't sex interesting?

As awesome, fascinating, and crucial science is, I'm not interested in pursuing something in the field. My brain rejects math in almost all of its forms (I'm actually pretty good with statistics, mind you), and I cannot stand biology, chemistry or physics. They way they're taught doesn't resonate with me, and never will. I took this class because the course description made it sound like I will learn new scientific ideas and concepts
 in a way that does resonate with me.

What does resonate with me is science of a different form-social science, and because of this I just declared my major, a Criminology B.S. I want to become a criminologist and help  society by continuing the study of crime and understanding it. I want to change how we approach law enforcement, and I want to make our country-if not the world-a safer place for it. Too often are people in the college of liberal arts scoffed at for having "useless" majors, to that I say those who believe that don't understand what kind of impact those in the liberal arts have on their lives.

Those political science majors will be deciding who gets their research funding, no?

Hello everyone! My names Brenna and I'm a sophomore here at Penn State. I'm from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and both my parents are Penn State alumni. I'm a communications major and am currently taking classes for telecom, although I am still deciding between pursuing telecom or advertising/public relations.  

To be honest I always sucked at science in high school and actually had to drop a bi sci course I was taking the first semester of my freshman year. Science never really made sense to me and I never found it interesting, which is exactly why I'm not planning on being a science major. If it wasn't for completing my science gen ed requirements, I would probably be staying far away from all science courses. Just like everyone else who is enrolled in this course, I'm only taking it because I heard from my friends that it was easy. Even though I'm not excited to be taking a science course, I'm more than excited to have a teacher with an accent... Hey Andrew. 

This is my friend Janae who's also taking this class with me. You can probably find her sitting somewhere on the left side of the classroom near the back so feel free to say hi if you see her... she likes meeting new people.

Oh and follow me on twitter!

Initial Blog Post

Hi everyone! My name is Kaitlin Corson and it is my first year here at Penn State. I am majoring in the College of Liberal Arts in the specific major of Criminology. My whole life I've wanted to study Criminology and enter a career in law, always with every intention of getting a BA in the major...the option with the least science and math included. I took this course solely because I needed to fulfill credits and it seemed like a simple enough source for a girl who had never succeeded in science. I really had no knowledge at all regarding what this class would be like, yet on a whim, I decided to take it.
I am not planning to be a science major due to my complete lack of skill and interest in the subject. Throughout high school I never had teachers that I could learn that simply from which lead to a less than intriguing class. The subject just never peaked my interest. Beside from that I have been set on my major for longer than I can remember, leaving me without a though of being science major. 


Well, for a little bit more about me, the picture above is from a trip I took to Europe a few years back with a student ambassador group. France was just one of the six countries we visited, cumulating to one of the best trips of my life. The sites I saw on this trip are some of the most beautiful places I have ever been and it was such a life-changing event. This lead me to now really want to study abroad during my college career. 
Well I will see you all in class on Tuesday! 
Hi Everyone!

My name is Megan O'Connell. I'm a sophomore here at Penn State. I am from the great state of Connecticut. I'm super excited to be back in Happy Valley and ready for whatever this semester throws at me!

I'm especially excited for this course because I am very intrigued about the world around us and life in general. I feel that this class is a great fit for me because I struggled a lot in my high school science and math courses, but I always loved learning about the cool stuff that actually had relevance in my life. This is why I'm taking this class, because I'm so eager to learn and actually appreciate science, just not very eager to have to write out a thousand chemical reaction equations. 

I grew up in a family that valued the importance of traveling and eating good food often. Each time we went to a new place, I would always get excited to explore the hotel as well as very intrigued by the culture and food of that country. All of this eventually led me to my decision to me a Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (HRIM) as well as Spanish major here at Penn State. I grew up cooking my whole life and I absolutely love the joy my culinary creations bring to the faces of my family and friends. I found my passion in life at a very young age, which I am very thankful for. 

I knew I had found my calling in life when I began interning for a local, sustainable and organic catering company this past summer. I got the opportunity to select and pick produce from a local farm and then turn it into delicious, fresh food. I hope that one day, whether I be working in hotels or restaurants, I will be putting what I've learned about preparing organic food and living more environmentally friendly to good use. If you're interested in finding out more about eating local and organic, check out this video on farm-to-table dinners! 

Here's a picture of me at work in the kitchen!


Hey everyone!
          My name is Danielle. I'm a freshman and super excited to be at University Park where I was accepted into the Smeal College of Business. I'm majoring in business but particularly I am looking forward to majoring in Finance. I needed to take a General Education Natural Science course this semester and flashing back to my high school experiences in AP Physics and Chemistry I knew the concept of mathematics in science was not my idea of fun. 
 Therefore, my Advisor had suggested taking SC200 as she insisted that many students found it very interesting. I was unsure at first, but after reading the course overview, it had sparked some interest in me. It's not that I hate science, unless we're talking about the mathematics behind it, which serves why I'm not a science major. It's the fact that there are so many unanswered questions about life, and unfounded technology that has yet to be created. I'm the type of person who expects an answer to every question. In science, my brain has yet to wrap around the idea of not having an answer. I mean where do you simply even begin to find these unsolved answers? So this is what makes me have that "wow factor" for the scientists who persevere for those unknown answers and why I'm excited to be taking this course as I will now have to learn to think "outside the box".

Works Cited

Coming into class sweatier than I prefer to be on a first day, I take my seat near the middle with my two friends. Expecting nearly nothing as class proceeds, Andrew talks more and more about topics we covered in Bi Sci 003--like the fact that we are made from star dust....What?  

To be honest, I registered for this class because it was on Onward State's link of easy gen eds...who isn't looking to boost their GPA? At the same time I am also looking to gain a better perspective on science after I had horrible experiences with it in high school. Though, I do admit that the philosophical approach to science interests me so much. That probably also explains why I am not a science major... also because business has interested me since day one. Coming from a very "businessy" family, I now plan to study Supply Chain Management and couldn't be more excited.  The extent of my experimentation with science when I was younger consisted of putting two liters of soda together connected by a tube and swirled water around creating a "tornado" adding colored food dye when I wanted. My name is Alexa Sofranko and hopefully this semester I can broaden my current scientific knowledge (aka none) and take it to the next level.


PS. Wondering what rhymes with hug me? 


Everyday Curiosity

Hi! My name is Becca Silveira. I am SO excited to be starting my second year at Penn State. Although, I love my hometown in Connecticut more than anything, I truly missed Happy Valley during the long summer away.

I am simply not a science person. In high school, I did what I had to do when it came to science classes, but I did not enjoy one second of it. I think this is mainly because of 1) the way the courses were taught, which then lead me to not retain anything I learned, and 2) none of it was ever applied to my daily life, or even my future daily life, so it all seemed unnecessary, useless and a waste of my time. Although I always did well in math and science, I have a creative side that holds me back from pursuing anything in the math and science fields. So clearly a science major is not for me.

I've always been one to question. I'm constantly wondering about everything that I do not have an answer to. Unfortunately, in life we most definitely do not have many answers to anything. This affects my everyday life constantly, like why do bad things happen to good people? Why do people get addicted to things? Is there life beyond the plant Earth? How does our planet create such magnificent things naturally? ...I could honestly go on forever. Every where I go, every where I look there are constantly questions. I most definitely get this from my dad. He's always wondering about the unknown and will not stop until he has some sort of answer, or at least theory (a theory is typically the case). But it's the kind of wonders that affect our every day life. I want to be knowledgable on the world and the people around me, and why and how everything is the way it is. My dad says his knowledge is "a million miles long, but only a few inches deep." Meaning he knows a little bit about a whole lot. When it comes to science, this is the sort of knowledge I want to have. I don't need to take a full course on physics and chemistry, etc. and learn the details of it like I did in high school. This is why I took this course, to broaden my knowledge of science in the most practical, beneficial way for my every day life. 

Below is a picture of me at Grand Anse Beach in Granada. I've traveled somewhat and seen some incredible natural places of the world. Something as simple as the blue shades of the Caribbean sea fascinates me and makes me wonder. 

SC 200.jpg

Time For Some Science.

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Whats up everybody!


1. Why am I doing this course?

I am doing this course because I need the Gen Ed credit and also I hear from the upperclassmen that it is a fun course to take. I like talking about questions that can't be answered because what I think can never be wrong, and its always fun to listen to other people telling me their views on a topic.

2. Why am I not planning to be a Science Major?

I am not planning to be a Science major because I am nowhere near interested in Science enough to be making a career out of it. Also I don't feel like I have the persistence needed in a Scientist.


For all you science lovers, check this link out for

<a href=>Science!!!</a>



I look forward to listening and talking about science with all of you! Peace.


Initial Blog Post

yeah science.pngHello SC200! My name is Kyle Jacobs. I am from the county of Westchester, NY, and I am a Junior at Penn State. My current major is MIS in the Smeal College of Business. The reason I am in this course is mainly because I need a GN, but also because I enjoy learning about everyday science. The reason I am not planning on being a science major is because I want to pursue a career in business. I think this class will be very interesting to me, and I look forward to the next 15-16 weeks.
    Hey everyone! My name is Kelly Gibson, and I am a sophomore planning on double majoring in Psychology and Public Relations. When I came to Penn State, a shy and clueless freshman who decided to spend their last free summer in the LEAP Program (best decision ever, by the way), I was dead set on being a psychology major to the point where I came to this school specifically for the Human Development and Family Studies program. 

Then I was introduced to writing. 

     The third day of LEAP, one of my now best friends Lauren dragged me to try out for the Collegian, and since then, all I do write everyday. So, when I somehow heard in passing that there was a "blogging science class", I pretty much knew I would be enrolled at some point. The reason I took this course was to try to combine my worst subject, science, with my strongest point, writing. Hopefully blogging about something scientific will give me a bit of appreciation for the subject, considering I virtually have none. Maybe learning about gay animals or theories about the end of the world will change my mind about my most loathed subject.

      If you're somehow wondering why I'm not a major in my most loathed subject, it's pretty simple. I can't do math. I can't do numbers. I can't tie my own shoes half the time, let alone do chemistry or physics or any other course that is required with being a science major. However, give me something to put into words, and I won't shut up, so sorry for this blog being so long. Case in point, some people are born logical thinkers and problem solvers, and others are born to fangirl in public frequently.

 Speaking of fangirling, I am possibly the most obnoxious Glee fan alive, so because I need a picture, here's a picture of me meeting Darren Criss this summer. If you know who he is, please cry with me. If you just rather watch me embarrass myself, feel free to follow me on twitter at I look forward to interacting with you guys and reading your posts!

Xoxo, Kelly Gibson


Initial Blog Post


IMG_4295.JPGHi there! My name is Jennifer Lake, and I am a sophomore pursuing a fine arts degree. With that being said, I have always been a visual learner and creative thinker. For the most part, math and science concepts have always been a struggle for me to enjoy fully, due to my lack of analytic comprehension. Additionally, I feel like art and science have the potential to be intertwined, which has been a motivation in my studies.

 Firstly, I enrolled in this course to fulfill one of my GN requirements. Being a non-science major, this class really appealed to me because even though I don't always have an understanding of scientific concepts, I do have an interest to learn new things and become a "better consumer of science." I look forward to having a consideration for science on a more basic level. Secondly, with science having such a large role in today's society, I find that it is important to have a literacy in a subject that effects each and every one of us on a daily basis.

 I am not planning to be a science major because of a bad experience with it in the past; in fact I have enjoyed most of the science classes I have taken! I decided to pursue art because it is an area in which I truly feel at home. I value the qualitative aspects of my artistic experiences, and I have found that art and its processes have a place in many areas of our lives. Throughout the course of our history, the arts have served a multitude of purposes, ranging from aesthetic, educational, social and vocational applications. I believe it is important for people to realize that artistic experience and development can be seen as a product of intelligence, much like that of math or science. 

I've added a link to an article that I find interesting and supportive of art in today's society, check it out!

Hello fellow students!

My name is Jordan, and I am a junior this year at PSU. I transferred from PSU New Kensington, where I attended my first two years. Why am I taking this course you may wonder? I have struggled with all science courses as far back as I remember. I failed a human bio course my freshman year, and barely passed a meteorology course last semester. To fulfill my requirements as a Poli Sci major I do need to pass one more science course, and this is where SC 200 comes into play.

Why am I not planning to be a science major? Well actually, my major is Political Science so I am studying the science of politics, but science has never interested me much. Science is very fascinating, but you have to have a unique sort of mind to be able to grasp all that it contains. So I will be happy learning via 'Andrew,' and am thankful to be a part of his out of the box teaching style. 255563_10151054888770248_2023541039_n.jpg

Hello class, my name is Brennan Azevedo and I am writing this blog for the second time due to my stupidity. A little about myself, I am a 20 year old Sophomore studying Finance in the Smeal College of Business. I came to Penn State from a town outside of Philly (like most of you in this class) called Richboroo and I went to Council Rock High School South. I like to think that I have a very rich history, but I don't actually know how "rich" my life actually is, because after all is my life. I was born and lived in a place for 8 years of my life where most of you will never go. Brazil. Yes, this is when you say "woah your life is rich" but wait, that's not all! I also have an identical twin brother. So if you see two brazilian clones, its most likely us.

Now for the interesting part, why am I taking this class? During my freshmen year I took two very boring and dry science classes that didn't interest me at all (CHEM 101 and EGEE 101). I heard from people that have taken this course that any person would find it interesting, hence why I'm here writing this blog for the second time... The reason why I'm not a science major is actually quite simple. In high school math and science were both my best subjects and when I came Penn State I had a question to answer, should I pursue a major with numbers or science? After my semester I knew the answer after all of my science-major friends told me how hard CHEM 110 was. My answer was become a Finance major. Either way, no matter what I picked I would have considered it a win-win. 

 I think my pictures on Instagram are... cool? You be the judge and let me know. There's a picture of and my twin. Yes, we do have twin telepathy.

Caio Azevedo Intro

My name is Caio... Not ciao (Italian greeting). Its like ky-oh. I am a student in DUS but I am pursuing a degree in Finance from Smeal and a minor in Economics. I am taking this course because I heard that this is an extremely interesting science course to take to fulfill the science requirement. I had always liked science in grade school but on a very shallow level. I was never interested in the deep explanations and tedious labs and experiments. Chemistry and biology were the most dreadful classes I took in high school simply because it went so deep that I lost interest. I never really cared much about how many atoms there are in an element or which genes cause a sperm and egg to be a male or female. There are many things that I would still like to learn about in science but on a shallow level. I understand that this may make me seem like a lazy person but I just want to learn many things and make sense of them, not master them. 

This is the same reason why I don't want to pursue a science degree. There are other things that I am more interested in like finance and stock and other things. I don't think I could have a career in science. First of all, I don't think I could last through college. All the labs and tedious classes (like organic chemistry) would lose my interest in the first weeks. Then if by some miracle I do graduate and graduate again (you can't do much with a bachelors in science) and get a job with science I would wind up going back to school for something else. I couldn't have a job that I spend countless hours experimenting something that might not even have a real answer. I wouldn't be able to handle all the rejections when an experiment goes wrong. I think I'll just stick to something like finance where I could help people make the right financial decisions while being able to be up to date with current events and many other things. If you are interested  in knowing more about what I'm what I'm interested in check out one of my favorite websites I use to keep up.

Initial Blog Post


psu nittany lion.gif

I am a student in the Smeal College of Business and have been interested in business since high school.  I had no intention of ever being a science major because of the job outlook for most of their fields and the extra schooling that many of them have to go through in order to pursue a career.  I enjoy math but didn't want to go into engineering.  I decided to study risk management in the business school instead.

I chose to do this course because of the way it views science.  This class is about critical thinking and understanding how science is part of our lives every day.  I wanted to become more literate in the field of science and be able to contribute to its further understanding.

Initial blog post!

Hey guys, what's up! My name is Katie and I'm from Harrisburg, PA, which is really close compared to most of you. I'm a sophomore here, majoring in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management. Long story short, I would love to be an event planner post graduation. 

I decided to take this class for the same reason that the majority of you have, to fulfill a gen-ed requirement and based on prior high school experiences with the subject. And like I said I want to be an event planner (primarily weddings) which doesn't apply much, if any science knowledge. However, based on the first two classes I am really looking forward to this class and hoping to learn the truth about both aliens and mermaids! XOXO 


Introduction Post!

Hi my name is Baylee Goldstein and I am a sophomore at Penn State! I am from Massachusetts and interestingly my town was just named the #1 best place to live in America (Sharon MA), which is still really strange to me! I am the middle child of my older sister who just graduated GW and is now doing Teach for America and my little brother who is entering 8th grade. I love traveling and have gone all over the world with my friends and family, so I believe it is important for everyone to travel! I did a THON committee last year, which I would really recommend doing, and loved it as well as made some of my best friends doing it. I have season tickets to the football games and cannot wait for them to start!! Since the beginning of freshman year I have already changed my major the average amount of times they say students do in their entire four years in college.. so if you're a freshman and you're confused of what you want I totally relate and if you are and you know what you want I envy you. But I have finally found a major that I believe fits me perfectly!!! (yes I am a little excited, it's been a really long process) So, the major is (drum roll) Integrated Arts where I will mix graphic design with advertising plus a little bit of marketing. This major will allow me to do exactly what I have been looking for and most importantly do it within four years. Since (as my parents joke) that is really important because my license plate says 2016 on it. 

Since I was younger I have always struggled in the math and science areas of school. I am way more of a creative person than a facts person! Luckily for me in my high school after junior year you have the option of taking project based science classes so senior year I took a project based physics class. When I got to college and saw I had to take 3 more science classes in order to graduate I seriously wanted to cry and when I started taking them I wanted to cry even more. AKA why I am not majoring in science! Astro 006 I was told was really easy so obviously with that description I decided to take it. It was honestly for me one of the most boring classes I have had to sit through and on top of that to pass the class you basically memorize the answers to the homework assignments. The next science class I took was Bi Sci which was online and I personally just prefer to sit in a class. When scheduling for this year came I put off scheduling a GN basically until I moved back into PSU for this year. I kept reading and rereading all the descriptions and I stumbled upon SC 200. After going to the first few classes I am really excited for the first time about a science class! I thought all the questions the class last year had discussed seemed really interesting! And already I have thought of a couple blog ideas that I think will be fun to research and write about. 

I am so happy to be back at Penn State for another year and am excited to see what happens with this class!! ( hopefully ending with an A :) I put a photo of one of my art projects for my apartment below!

Nitany Lion

Hey everyone, my name is Jesse Pepperman, and like many of your high schools, the education program made me take a science course every year, and instead of having conversations on interesting topics, we just memorized facts that made the curriculum repetitive I am taking this course to finally be able to have the science class that I wanted so badly in high school, while learning the important skill of critical thinking.  Even though during those four years I learned a lot of useful information, nothing truly caught my attention and made me interested.  I mean, how exciting can protons and neutrons be?  But I was always did my work, and attended class, even the days the teachers made us watch Bill Nye the Science Guy. Back to the point, growing up I was always curious in why events took place, and how.  For example, I always wanted to know why too much coffee is bad for, and what the difference between is between Pepsi and Coke.  All these subjects relate back to science, but I never had the opportunity to learn about these topics until I chose this course at Penn State.   

Ever since I was a little kid I always found film interesting, and since the start of high school I always wanted to go into the communications field.  Throughout ninth and twelfth grade I worked on my school news show called the Trojan News.  I cut and edited videos for four years straight, but during my senior year I was given the opportunity to the anchor and put a personal spin on the show.  Instead of keeping the program serious like it was for the three past years, I decided to bring back the comedy it had lost a few years ago.  I tried putting videos on air that no one could ever imagine the school passing.  My friends at home started to help me out more and more, and I had the time of my life entertaining the masses so much that I decided to major in telecommunications at PSU.  I am not planning on being a science major because I want to learn more about my passion.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter:


WE ARE... Not Science Majors.

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            Throughout my high school years, math and science were never my strong subjects. After completing my first year of college, I quickly learned that Penn State is full of people who seem to excel in the subjects I just couldn't seem to grasp (math and science). While my current major doesn't require much math, it does require a lot of general science credits. I found myself desperately searching for "easy A" science classes, but I had troubling finding one that really interested me. I stumbled across Science 200, and the description immediately caught my eye. It seemed different than other science courses I had taken, and after hearing nothing but great things about it, I decided to add it to my schedule.

            Let's face the facts: I'm enrolled in SC200 because I heard it's not the most difficult class, but that's not the only reason. I also have heard that the discussions are very mind opening and that on numerous occasions, you walk away with a changed point of view. I think it's important to take classes that can benefit me as a person specifically. Memorizing facts, numbers, and statistics are a commonplace in college; unfortunately, I can't apply most of this to my life. I'm hoping that through Science 200 I will learn to appreciate science in my life and in our world as a whole, not just in a textbook.

After my first day in Science 200, I felt like I was finally in the right class for me. I'm not a science major, and I honestly don't think I ever could be. I have a great deal of respect for people who have a natural ability in math and science related fields, mostly because those areas are so difficult for me. I've always struggled with science, so for me, majoring in science was never really an option. Growing up I always wanted to be a marine biologist, but that dream quickly faded when I realized how science related that career is. I am currently in the College of Communications and have an intended major of Public Relations, which I personally think is a much better fit for me.

All in all, I'm excited that to be a part of Science 200 and I can't wait to see what it holds for me this semester! We are!


Introduction Blog

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Hello! My name is Gabrielle Brown and I am a freshman from New Jersey. I live by the ocean and have for my entire life. Now that I am here at Penn State, I am beginning to miss the fresh ocean air. I am taking this course because I dropped Biology 110 after I discovered there was a lab. The truth is, I loved my AP biology class in high school. I received straight A's and I even got a 4 on the exam. So why did I drop bio? I guess I tried really hard in high school because I loved my teacher a lot too. Once I walked into the huge lecture of 110, I freaked out. I'm very happy I dropped it because I am even more excited to take Andrew's class. The syllabus is interesting and the blog is a great idea that will definitely keep me engaged. When I applied to Penn State I did so as a biology major, but switched to business soon after I realized I had to take many labs, chemistry and physics. I get nauseous just thinking about that. I would like to go into international business with a minor in Spanish.The reason for the spanish is because for the last three summers I traveled to the Dominican Republic working for The Village Mountain Mission Project. I would like to learn as much spanish as possible so I can become more involved on my mission trips, and eventually do something to help these people long term. Check out the link to see what I do!


Hello everyone! My name is Mackenzie Kirsch and I am a freshman! I am from State College and live about a five-minute drive from campus. I love everything about State College and Penn State and I am so happy to finally start my education here! As of right now, I am in the College of Communications and my major is Public Relations.  I was also a gymnast for 15 years and competed competitively for 10 years. Below I have a link to the YouTube video of McKayla Maroney's vault in the 2012 Summer Olympics. This vault was pretty much perfect in every aspect and even for those of you who don't know anything about gymnastics will be amazed, I promise you. I also added a picture of me with my best friend Allie who is also my roommate. We both hurried over to the JoePa statue before they took it down so we could get pictures and its one of my favorite pictures.

          As I was signing up for classes, science was the absolute last subject I looked at. Ever since middle school, science has always been something I would dread and avoid at all costs. Willing to do anything I could to get out of it, I basically refused to take a science class my first semester. However, my Gen Ed requirements need to be filled and I thought I might as well get science out of the way as fast as possible. My advisors recommended this class to me for students who aren't the biggest fans of science and I'm very happy they did. Who doesn't like a class where you can learn what you want to know more about? After the second class my mind was already blown when Andrew told us we have more than five senses.

            The reason I am not majoring in a science field is because all my experiences involving science in the past have never really interested me. Between earth science, biology, and chemistry, I never seemed to care enough about those topics to really want to major in those fields. However, with the way this class is set up, I can't wait to start learning about topics that we can all apply to whatever careers or interests we have.

I wish I could do this


Matthew Atkins Initial Blog

BostonStrongRibbon.jpgHello World,

Welcome to my blog.  I want to start by introducing myself: My full name is Matthew Atkins, I was born and raised in Boston MA, I am a sophomore here at Penn St, and I am studying Energy Business Finance.  But why am I not studying science? Well it turns out in my major, I am lucky enough to get some technical and science class that are required for to take before I graduate.  For instance I took Energy and the Environment in the spring of 2013 where I learned how different ways of creating (really transforming because energy is never created or destroyed) energy were effecting the environment.  Another question to pose is why am I taking SC200?  And the answer is simple; i have only heard good things about it and it is very relevant to what I am interested in. I like to know something about as many things as I can and this seems to be a great class to open my mind.  If you are having trouble keeping on top of your home click HERE to sign up for myhomework which is the best service I have found to this date.   

8 PM: Getting ready to go out for the night with some friends. Apply lipstick, blot on a tissue, and reapply for maximum length of wear and color vibrance.
9 PM: Check hair in a public restroom. Notice your lipstick is a bit feathered. Blot, reapply.
9:30 PM: After two drinks, it's time to reapply. 
10 PM: Meet a cute boy, reapply lipstick when he's not looking. 
12 PM: Final reapplication after a slice of pizza in town.

You've applied your lipstick six times. According to Dr. Josh Axe, each of these applications is equal to 10 milligrams. By midnight, you have potentially ingested 60 milligrams of lipstick.

This isn't a problem until you consider that lipstick is made with an assortment of chemicals and heavy metals, one of the most dangerous being lead. Lead exposure can lead to a plethora of health problems including hearing loss, seizures, and miscarriages. For more information on the side effects of lead poisoning, click here.

If lead poisoning isn't enough to stop (or at least slow down) your normal beauty routine, remember that lead isn't the only potentially harmful ingredient in lipstick. Other metals can be found in lip color, including arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. 

The FDA does regulate lead and other chemicals in beauty products. To learn more about the specific levels of chemicals in your own lip products, click here.

In addition to the two links posted above, I used this source to aid me with this blog post.


Initial Blog Post!

Hi everyone! I'm Kaitlyn Wismer. I usually go by the name Katie but whatever it doesn't really matter. Currently I'm a sophomore here at Penn State and I have have no clue what I want my major to be. I'm in the college of Communications (suggestions are welcome) and I'm a written based theatre minor which is basically something I made up. I call myself a written based theatre minor because my big dream in life is to be a screenwriter and I figured that a theatre minor could help with that. My role models in life are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler who are the queens of comedy. 
So, science. I'm taking this class because honestly I need a science credit and this seemed like a good option. I'm pretty terrible at all things science and math so I hope this class will be interesting and judging by the topics on the schedule, "are males toxic?" for example, I think this class is going to be special. 
I don't plan on being a science major because like I said earlier, I'm horrible at science. It's definitely not my forte. My daily dose of science comes from the show Breaking Bad. Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and all that other stuff are definitely not in my area of interest unless you make a TV show about them (thanks Breaking Bad!). 
I guess for my link I'll use my twitter! This is not a desperate attempt for more followers I promise!yellow gray breaking bad selective coloring bryan cranston walter white aaron paul jesse pinkman men_www.wallpaperhi.com_79.jpg

Initial Blog Post


I am taking this class to further my knowledge of the scientific theory and to work on my critical thinking skills.  I chose to major in sociology over a science based major not due to dislike of science, but rather more of an interest in sociology. 
Here is a link!  

Initial Blog Post

liberal arts.jpg
This is my first blog post for my Science 200 course! I decided to take this class because I am not particularly drawn to Chemistry or Biology and I need 9 Science credits to graduate. Although I did well in my Science courses in high school, they were not my favorite. I generally enjoy reading and writing more than math, which Science seems to have a decent amount of.
My current majors are Political Science and English, which are in the College of Liberal Arts. I enjoy the non-mathematical side of Political Science more so than the statistics side of it, but I do not despise it like some people do. Currently, I am also exploring a possible minor in Sociology.  
My majors are not Science related simply because I am more interested in these topics than Science, although they do include some aspects a Science based major would cover as well.

I sit quietly, in a poorly lit classroom, biting my nails, and dreading the moment a teacher in a wrinkled button down shirt will walk in and bring the class to order. I quiz myself in my head: "What do mitochondria do? What's the difference between types I and II diabetes? If I run, right now, can I make it out of this stuffy classroom and into the parking lot before anyone notices and calls me back?" The answer is no, because at that moment, the teacher glides in and begins to pass out tests. Big tests. "How many pages is that? Did we really learn that much this chapter? Did I review the fruit fly lab?" Anxiety creeps in slowly as a test is dropped on my desk and I scrawl my name at the top of the page. Each question is multiple choice and I could probably argue that each possible answer is the correct answer, but I don't. I try desperately to recall what phenomenon is responsible for phenylketonuria and a bead of sweat slides down my back. "I can't wait for college. I can't wait for this to be over. I can't wait to never have to think about science again. No more cells, no more atoms, no more boring scientists droning on and on about why their idea is the best idea," runs across my mind as I walk shakily to the front of the classroom and hand in my test, just as the bell rings. I grab my backpack and practically skip to my AP US History class. I can't be late, today we're starting the unit on the civil war.

Hello everyone! My name is Jess Horn and I'm a
freshperson (not freshman) here at Penn State. I am enrolled in this course
solely because of I'm sure most of you did indeed take the
time to read the reviews on Andrew and I have to say - I agree with every
positive comment he received on that site.
Click here to see what I'm talking about

As you can see from 2 post below this one, my roommate Jess 

                                                                     (yes we have the same name and look alike)  


included a candid conversation of how excited I was to be taking this class over the summer. In fact, I actually persuaded her to take the last spot available. I am thrilled about taking a class that explores the many aspects and interesting topics related to science ... as well as social media blogging about my opinions and reactions.

I am not planning on becoming a science major simply because the chemical equation for photosynthesis and respiration freaks me out. In high school I took AP Environmental Science and the amount of minerals and compounds found in natural gasses that I had to memorize was time consuming and irrelevant to my life. 

I'm so glad Andrew took notes on what we ACTUALLY wanted to know about science and asked us what we thought were important topics to learn about. 

See you guys tomorrow! 

Love/Hate Relationship

Hello class! My name is Maya Doumit and I am a sophomore trying to double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. I entered freshman year having my heart set on majoring in Pre-Med and becoming a Family Physician. All of that changed the moment I stepped foot into my Biology and Math 22/26 courses, realizing that I was not programmed to work in the Science or Math field. I immediately changed my major over to Psychology and later decided to pursue Criminal Justice with it. One of my close friends that I met in LEAP and ended up becoming roommates with highly recommended this course to me. She is a journalism major so Science is also not her forte. She raved about how fun the blogging was, how interesting and random the topics are, and how awesome the instructor's badass accent is! I may not be the greatest blogger but this class seems to be the best bet I have to fulfill a GN credit. I am not saying that I hate Science because I am so intrigued and still geek out over astronomy but it is not something I really have a passion for anymore. Derp.png
Here is a failed attempt of my best friend (on the right) and I trying to take a jumping picture. We were able to visit Toulouse/Paris, France then Molyvos/Athens, Greece throughout the month of June 2013 with her mom. I wish I could share a picture of the breathtaking starry night I was able to witness on the beautiful island of Lesvos every night but unfortunately, iPhones are unable to take such great quality pictures yet (womp).
If anyone is at all interested on checking out my instagram to see my life endeavors, obsession with the Boston Celtics/Demi Lovato, or other random things, here's the link!

Initial Blog


The picture below may help explain why I took this course. It's a text conversation between my roommate Jess Horn, and myself, Jess Solley, before I scheduled this class. 40% of my grade is blogging?! That sounds awesome!


I am already familiar with blogging because I keep my own blog on a website called, "Tumblr". You can find it here:

I am not planning to be a science major because I had a terrible experience in high school with an advanced physics course. It was pretty discouraging and made a science major unappealing to me. However, I am very interested in nutrition and would consider minoring in it. 

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Hello Everybody!,

My name is Mark Shultz, and I am a senior marketing major in the Smeal College of Business with minors in theatre and economics. On campus, my major activities are Blue Band (look for me on gamedays - I'm the first one out of the tunnel!) and Penn State Thespians.

There are two major reasons why I am taking this course. First of all, it sounds much less painful and much more practical than the majority of the other GN classes. (The quirky names science professors give their classes to entice students to enroll are often cute, but always reek of desperation.) But secondly, I want to become more "science literate", to borrow Andrew's term, so I can dig a little deeper into scientific conversation with my girlfriend, who just entered her first year of medical school this fall. I know my technical knowledge of the sciences will likely never be quite up to speed with a science major's, but learning some off-the-wall fun facts - and I do love my fun facts - could allow me to drop some unexpected knowledge bombs in a conversation. 

As for why I decided not to major in the sciences... Science was always my favorite suject throughout elementary. In particular, Mr. Kase in 6th grade stands out as an excellent educator. We would have a number of mini-labs in class throughout the year where we examined things such as the Doppler Effect or liquid density. Although we probably couldn't explain much of the technicalities about what we were doing, we were surely discovering the world around us through the lens of science. 

That all changed in middle and high school. My natural curiosity was buried under a pile of numbers and terms for which the practical use was never adequately explained. Fields where my creativity and logic skills were more readily used jumped to my attention. I saw marketing as a potential avenue to a career in the arts industry - even as a man who doesn't necessarily possess professional-level musical talent. So far, all has been going to plan: I just completed a summer internship with Disney Theatrical Group, on Broadway, where I helped the marketing and planning of "The Lion King" national tour. I can't say I am disappointed with my major choice so far, but I am hoping to at least gain more of an appreciation for the sciences through this class.

So that's all for now! Since I need a live link, and I'm on a major Instagram kick lately, feel free to follow me here: . I hope all of your semesters are off to a great start, and I can't wait to meet you all.

funny-teachers-cool-26.jpgHey everyone. My name is Ethan and I am the other TA for SC 200 this fall. Like many of you, I took this class trying to do nothing more than get my GenEd credits for science out of the way since as a Finance major, I was planning to take this class so that I would never have to do anything science related ever again in my entire life. I hated chemistry, biology, and physics in high school, and whenever I learned I would have to take some sort of science class in order to graduate from Penn State, I just wanted to get it out of the way and move on with my life.

To say the least, this class entirely changed my opinion. To start, the lectures Andrew gives are significantly more interesting than the ones I have had in any other class. You will learn about all sorts of interesting subjects that some of you may have spent time thinking about in your own free time as it is. In addition, the thinking skills taught through these lectures are applicable in both other classes and day to day life. Trust me, after this class, you will never read any news article the same way again.

But enough about why you were a smart person in choosing this class over any other science GenEds. You're most likely reading this because you want to know how to get an A on the blog. So, I will be reiterating and expanding on the tips I gave in class so that you guys have a general idea of how to write blog posts for the class in such a manor that you will get a good grade.

1. Pick Something YOU Find Interesting: This might be one of the only opportunities you will have in your entire Penn State academic career to get rewarded for simply learning about something that you have wanted to know more about in the first place. If you're a sports nut, blog about the physics related to your favorite sport. If you've always found sharks interesting, take this opportunity to learn more about them and gain a new perspective. The best blogs will often be written by people who are very passionate or interested in a specific subject and decide to go the full distance and form a unique opinion on the topic and write about it. With that said....

2. Good Evidence is the Key to a Good Post: While I have spent most of this post explaining how this class is different from every other science class, it is still..... well....... a science class. If you just put information in you're posts and don't have the evidence to back it up, you're gonna have a bad time (AKA get a really bad grade on your blog posts). Make sure you do proper research, and form opinions based off of the evidence you read. Try to remain as unbiased as possible while doing you're research, it will really make a difference in the quality of you're argument if you do so. However.........

3. Challenge the Status Quo: If you want to stand out from the other 200 students in the class, you have to do something worthy of it. For example, we all just accept the fact that eating McDonalds will make you fat, and that it is so unhealthy that if you eat it twice a week for a year, you might as well have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day instead. If you can flip that idea on its head with proper scientific evidence to back it up, it will show in your final grade, and maybe even earn you extra credit. Now, I'm not saying do exactly what I just said because the science behind unhealthy food is pretty sound, but I hope you catch my drift. I did a blog on how the current way we approach drivers ed is resulting in car accident rates climbing to their older, higher levels, and it turned out better than I had ever imagined AND I got my best blog grade that period as a result.

So that's my two cents on how you should start going about blogging. Feel free to contact me via email anytime you have a question about anything related to the coursework. I'll be present at most of the classes as well, so you can always just find me before or after those as well. I'll be posting advice on what I believe people can improve on once the blog periods get going, and if I find something particularly well written and worthy of an A I will include a link to it one of my posts along with an explanation of why that is the case.

Happy blogging everyone!
A+.jpegWelcome to Science 200! I'm Kira, one of your TA's. I took this class last fall--Like some of you, I was nervous about taking on a subject that was not my strong suit, but I found myself excited to blog because the posts were exercises in strong writing and critical thinking in addition to science.

I know. Seeing as this is a GenEd, you want to ask, "is this class easy?" The answer is no. You will have to do outside research. You will have to make connections that are not always visible at first glance. But  I can assure you, while this class requires much thought and effort, Andrew's lectures are fascinating enough to make up for the hours of squinting at your computer. No, seriously. Sometimes you even get to watch videos of bugs eating each other. It's fun stuff.

As non-science majors, it's likely that you weren't exactly fans of science in high school. And I cannot stress enough how much enjoying chemistry is not necessary to enjoy this class. Yes, you are in a science class. However, science isn't limited to lab coats and words that are hard to spell. There is an infinite number of topics that you could relate back to problem solving, critical thinking and realizing how much we don't know. That's all relevant to professional scientists, and it's relevant to you as a human.

So, the real question, how do you get an A on the blogs?

-Start off by going to class and listening to the lectures. While you may still want to use outside sources to get started on your blog, connecting them back to class material is both interesting and impressive. Look for general concepts in both the article and the lecture. Maybe in class, if you're learning about if prayer heals, you could find articles on meditation and tie them together in a blog about biological effects of spiritual practice.

-Write about topics that interest you
It can be difficult to find inspiration for the blogs. I've found that discussions from classes for my major often relate back to science. If you're reading about a particular experiment in a novel, search for similar experiments that have been done in real life. Your major doesn't even have to be science-y for this to work. I'm an English major, and I took concepts from writing/reading courses as inspiration for my blogs. Philosophical topics often fit well into the theme of this course. The topic does not have to scream "hey look at me! I'm science!" in order to be relevant.

-Discuss challenging concepts
A good blog post should not be easily answered with "yes" or "no." Try to find questions that even professional scientists are still pondering. We all know that soda is bad for you, but how much of our behavior can we attribute to nature/nurture? (Human behavior blogs are often well received). Don't be afraid to take on controversy. Challenge and be challenged.

-Offer a differing perspective/source on comments
Your comments should go deeper than "I really liked this post!" or "interesting idea!" Your comments should reflect that you've read and thought about the post, and that you've thought farther about the concept. I'd suggest posting links to a separate article on the comment, and then explain how it fits into the original blog post. Or discuss a class you've had that also discovered the topic at hand, and how the material differed from the blog post.

-Ask a question at the end of your post
This is absolutely essential. One major point of these blogs is to open up conversation. Invite people to comment with differing perspectives.

-Try to blog at least once a week
Quality beats quantity, but do try to keep up with your number of blogs. Two well thought out blogs per week isn't an outrageous amount of work, but it shows that you're keeping up with the course.

-Don't wait until the last blogging period!
Yes, only one blog period counts towards your grade. But it is very unlikely that you well get the grade you want on the first try (which also means don't get discouraged--I got a C on my first blogging period). Use the comments on your first blog grade to improve on your second. But if you wait until you have no chance of improving based on feedback, it's WAY more likely your blogs will be a bit of a train wreck. And nobody likes train wrecks.

If you have any questions/concerns, feel free to email me at

Happy blogging!

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