woman meditating in lotus pose on the beach at sunset

At the beginning of this project, the task of choosing one of thousands of social issues seemed like almost too much freedom for such an important assignment.  As I browsed through current event articles, newspaper articles, and other websites, I found that I was always drawn to the articles on education.  I knew then that I wanted to investigate the field of education, but the topic seemed too broad, so my first personal goal was to efficiently narrow down my focus. 

After the first two weeks of research, I came across an article about a summer STEM program offered to young students that had a Star Wars theme.  I thought this was such a creative way to draw students into STEM fields, and the instructors for the program even said that there was a greater turnout due to the projects such as making your own droid similar to those in the films.  I was curious to see how else this was being done, how else were students’ interests being captured?  Why do these strategies work?  I began to dive deeper into engaging students, and I found the issue of student disengagement.  It was so relevant to my observations and previous experiences, and I had never considered it to be a social issue.

Through more research, I was able to uncover the polarized discussion behind this problem and the two main arguments presented.  I was able to present these sides of an issue that I was passionate about, and take on a new persona within my blog.  I felt a little uncomfortable taking on a new persona to go along with my blog, but I used this challenge to reflect my goal of capturing a reader’s attention, something I’ve always found difficult in any writing assignment.  Whenever I made a post on my blog, I made a strong effort to really engage my readers and almost transfer my passion of engaging young students to them through my writing.  As a writer, I believe I was able to connect well with my audience, and improved my ability to grab the reader’s attention with titles, pictures, quotes, and other information in my posts.  

I saw significant improvement in my writing and critical thinking skills throughout this project, along with the ability to connect with my peers to learn about other important social issues.  I enjoyed reading through my fellow students’ posts, and keeping up with people’s blogs to observe the progression of their research and analysis.  I now appreciate the ability to approach a problem by first understanding all “sides,” and recognizing bias.

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