In our school system, we frequently hear students complain about school lunches. This ultimately leads to students purchasing junk food from concessions and other sources; however, for one class here at McKinley High, it was one of their “short term” endeavors to try and combat this epidemic.
Roughly three weeks ago, McKinley High’s very own Junior English Amped class carried out a research experiment dubbed “Sidewalk Science.” As explained by Vincent Honey, a student in the class, “English Amped is a sort of cooperative learning experience; as its name implies, it is English on an amplified level.” The class itself is extended into two consecutive periods. For the junior class, second period is the AP English-III course, and third period is considered creative writing but is merely an extension of second period. This year, English Amped is exclusively for juniors and seniors, but next year will be made available to sophomores as well. Its availability is not what sets it apart from other English courses, but its actions are what define the class, with Sidewalk Science being one of its main headliners.
Sidewalk Science itself was researched and conducted by the junior class; although the seniors did conduct similar experiments earlier in the year. The purpose of Sidewalk Science was researching, “food access in McKinley High School.” The group that conducted this research project was broken down into three subgroups: a survey group, a theatrical group, and a signage group. In this research project students would, “symbolically throw away a portion of whatever junk food that they had on them for a healthy fruit smoothie in exchange.” The participants were then asked if they would prefer to have the smoothie as a healthy alternative to the junk food. The research group was happy to report that they received very positive responses in favor of the smoothies. All in all, the whole thing was run by Anna West, an English Amped teacher, although it was a, “student run effort,” as said by Vincent, and the research itself extended into other areas, such as counselor access.
Nonetheless, the purpose of this particular Sidewalk Science, aside from researching food choices, was to offer healthier alternatives for the infamous Honey Buns and Big Texas popular among students. At the same time the research is trying to change our school menus, essentially offering an alternative rather than taking away the students’ concessions.
Written by Baboya Choch