Agriculture day

Agriculture day, or Ag day, is a celebration showing animals we eat, and plants we grow. Everything farmers do, and their hard work and labor, is also shown and celebrated.

This was the 8th annual Ag day celebration at HPSH. There were chickens, pigs, ponies, and a bunny that was really big.

The lady that had the really big bunny said that she also competes in contests where there are prizes for the biggest animal and biggest crops they grow. During those gatherings they learn different tips and tricks on how to grow their crops so they can be more healthy.

While we were at Ag day we saw tractors, hay bales, and many stations that taught you how to do things related to agriculture. All the animals were with their caretakers, who would tell you about the animal while you were petting it.

Ag day is important because it educates kids on a topic that most won’t go out and look for information on their own. They do it in a way that is fun and interests us so it doesn’t feel like we’re being taught.

Some agriculture facts according to agday.org:

  • Minnesota has 74,542 farms, on 26 million acres of land
  • The agriculture business makes $75 billion dollars a year for Minnesota, with soybeans, corn, and wheat being the most commonly exported crops out of Minnesota
  • We have 188 farmers markets
  • The agriculture business looks like it will keep going strong in Minnesota.
  • Ag day’s purpose is to educate people on how food and fibers are made, “Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products” and “Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry”

Some priorities of Ag day are: to “Involve the agricultural public relations community in support of National Agriculture Day, inform trade and general media about National Agriculture Day, provide information to increase awareness, and support and encourage programs and activities in observance of National Agriculture Day by organizations, companies and individuals”.

For more information, please visit: https://www.agday.org/about

Should kids be paid for good grades?

 

How many times have we heard people complain about school saying it was a waste of time? But what if kids were paid to get good grades? Would it boost attendance and test scores or would children not learn anything and only do work for the money?

Here are some possible pros and cons.

Cons:

-One opposing argument is that paying for good grades is a short term solution. A kid who likes to learn will continue to do work whether or not being bribed with money. If they like learning, then money wouldn’t be an issue to them. Also, if they’re learning only for the money, paying them will not completely solve their problems; they’re more likely to cheat or copy answers.

– Another concern is that if you introduce them to doing actions for money, or bribes, then in the future they might accept a bribe that could put them in trouble. No telling what they could do just for the promise of getting cash.

– The idea that it is an incentive might work for some kids but not all. Some kids may decide the work is not worth the money, so as they get older, plan to spend more and more money on their education.

Pros:

-Financial freedom. If a child is paid for schoolwork then they don’t have to ask their parents for money. Also, it could help low income families afford school supplies and help them keep their children in school rather than have them drop out and help support their family through a job.

– It gives kids an incentive, and motivates them to work harder, to get more work in, and get better grades on tests. If they wanted to buy something, then they would work extra hard to make sure they get the money to by that thing.

– It trains kids for what it would be like to have job. You are paid for your good work (it’s better for kids under 13).

For more information, please visit:

https://broncopress.org/2769/opinion/paying-for-good-grades/

https://www.mother.ly/parenting/pay-kids-good-grades

Lowering the voting age

The debate of lowering the voting age has been going on for a while now, and there are a few pros and cons. The age of voting is 18 right now, but some people are arguing that it should be lowered to 16. There are 19 states that let 17-year-olds vote as long as they are 18 by Election Day: Connecticut, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Ohio,
Oregon, Virginia, Vermont, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Washington.

Here are some of the Pros to lowering the voting age:

  • More people might turn up to vote. Only about 50% of people go to the polls to vote during elections, and letting 16-year-olds vote might get them in the habit to keep voting through their lifetime.
  • More voices mean more ideas and different contributions to public discussions.
  • A lot of 16-year-olds have jobs, can drive, and pay taxes, so they should get to help decide how our country is run and what their taxes go to.

Here are some of the Cons to lowering the voting age:

  • Some worry that teenagers’ opinions are easily swayed and could be heavily influenced by their family, their friends, and people they look up to.
  • Others think that teens take things that they see and hear as truth without doing some fact checking.
  • Teens need more time to see what policies are important to them, and learn about what their political ideology is.

Personally, I think that the voting age should be lowered because the arguments that teens can’t think for themselves and that they aren’t mature enough to vote doesn’t make sense to me. They trust 16-year-olds to drive cars, but cars can do way more damage than an irresponsible voter. More pros come from lowering the voting age and more kids could get involved in politics. By the age of 16, teens can measure pros against cons and make well thought out decisions.

Self driving cars

As soon as cars were being mass produced it didn’t take long for inventors to try and make automated cars. In 1925 Francis Houdina first introduced a radio controlled car. The car could start its engines, honk its horn, and shift gears. Fast forward to 2009; Google starts developing its self driving car project called Waymo. By the end of 2017 they drove 2,000,000 miles with their computer controlled self driving cars.

By 2020 Nissan announced that they will come out with a few self driving cars.

In 2016, the first self driving car death happened, in Florida, when a man had his Tesla in autopilot mode. The man was killed after he was hit by an 18-wheeler.

Earlier this year, a woman was killed by an Uber self driving car while she was walking across the street, and Uber temporarily stopped self driving cars on the road.

There are self driving cars being tested right now on the streets of San Francisco, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh.

There are a few questions people who aren’t ready for self driving cars are asking. Like, who will be liable for any car crashes and tickets that the car gets because nobody is driving? Also, a big question is: where will all of the funding come from? Changing all the cars we have now or making more self driving cars, and altering the roads so it will be safer for self driving cars, will cost millions.

When people were asked about if they would trust a self driving car to drive they were split 50/50. Some argue that we aren’t ready for self driving cars and the car’s technology needs to advance before we make it widespread on the roads. Others argue that most car crashes are the result of human error so it would be the next logical step to eliminate humans and let the technology to take control.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.documentarytube.com/articles/self-driving-cars-when-we-will-have-them
https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/history-of-self-driving-cars-milestones/

 

Gun control in the United States

In the United States, gun control is a topic that is always being talked about. Some people want more freedom with guns, and others feel that gun laws should be more restrictive. Every time a school shooting, or tragedy having to do with guns, happens more laws are passed, but they do little to prevent the next event that is inevitable.

Some of the gun laws that the U.S. has right now include: you have to be at least 18 to buy a gun, and fugitives, people who are deemed a danger to society, people involuntarily admitted into mental institutions, and people with felony convictions are restricted from buying guns and owning them.

Most states require permits to own a handgun. They also run a background check on you before you can buy the gun, although sometimes the background checks are not thorough enough to keep guns out of the hands of people planning to do harm with them. In the South, gun laws tend to be more loose, and in the North, they tend to be more restrictive.

In the past 10-20 years school shootings, and attempted school shootings, have become a big issue. The first school shooting was on April 20, 1999, when two boys named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot up Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. They killed 13 people and injured 20.

Image taken from: https://www.christianheadlines.com/slideshows/here-s-what-5-christian-leaders-had-to-say-about-gun-control.html

The school shooting of Sandy Hook Elementary, I think, sent the most shockwaves across the nation.

The last school shooting to happen, was at Parkland High School in Florida. 17 lost their lives, and their classmates are taking a stand because they feel that gun control laws need to be passed so more innocent lives can be saved. There have been laws/policies passed to make it harder to obtain guns including: in some stores the age to buy guns has been raised to 21, background checks are getting more thorough, and bump stocks are being banned in some states. Only time will tell if these laws are going to be effective.

For more information please visit:
https://gun-control.procon.org/
http://time.com/5169210/us-gun-control-laws-history-timeline/