AP Geography students deliver hope :-)

as the comments roll in from the non-fiction reading project, I’m profoundly impressed by the students’ responses. Clearly they are intelligent teens but also must have grasped comprehension from their studies with Mrs. Clarke. Terrific notes everyone. Remember to submit a reply to your a classmates comment. Assess their content and respond. Great job so far! 


Fact or Fiction?: A “Base Tan” Can Protect against Sunburn

Take heed my lovelies. Fair skin or not, protect your youthful skin with sunscreen, clothing, and exposure time.  Skin cancer sucks. -Al Smith

Fact or Fiction?: A “Base Tan” Can Protect against Sunburn
Studies of sunshine-denied human buttocks help settle the matter
By Dina Fine Maron | May 22, 2015 | 
As the weather warms, many of us would prefer to look like we passed our winter days lounging by the pool instead of hunched before a computer screen or lab bench. But soaking up the rays to acquire a so-called “base tan” does not fool the sun or a tanning bed. Simply put, the benefits of being sun-kissed are not even skin-deep.
Scientists came to this conclusion after studying the tanned buttocks of dozens of volunteers. In study after study they have found that a base tan affords almost no protection against future ultraviolet exposure. In fact, it actually puts otherwise pale people at risk of developing skin cancers. A base tan only provides an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 3 or less, according to the U.S. surgeon general. For beachgoers, that means if a person would normally turn pink after 10 minutes in the sun, an SPF 2 base tan would theoretically buy her another 10 minutes—or 20 minutes in total—before she burns. That, says David Leffell, the chief of dermatologic surgery and cutaneous oncology at Yale University School of Medicine, is “completely meaningless” in terms of providing protection.(Maron)

Read more…. Persistent URL: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-a-base-tan-can-protect-against-sunburn/

Works Cited

 Maron, Dina. “Fact or Fiction?: A “Base Tan” Can Protect against Sunburn.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., 22 May 2015. Web. 28 May 2015. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-a-base-tan-can-protect-against-sunburn/&gt;.

 Shlabotnik, Joe. Sunscreen. Digital image. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2015. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/782119885/sizes/m/in/photostream/&gt;.  Image Credit: Creative Commons/Flickr

welcome to bring your students down to the MPR so that they can check out local post-secondary opportunities. 

P1 and 2 (or all of your classes) to see what is offered by visiting the MPR during the lunch break. Thank you Career Centre

 KSS Opportunity Fair Thursday May 28, 2015

10:30am to 1:30pm MPR Day One P1,2,3,4

New Sci Amer mag articles now available

Check out these fascinating articles from Scientific America and SA Mind magazine.  access our print edition being circulated or read online anytime.

Access digital > https://my23.sd23.bc.ca/school/kss/staffroom/new/shareddocs/Pages/default.aspx

Sd23\user.name.  ########

In 1961 a child psychologist proposed a radical idea to the American Psychological Association: What if dogs could help therapists connect to troubled patients? Perhaps the animals would help soothe anxiety and help people open up. When Boris Levinson of Yeshiva University presented this idea, many of his colleagues thought it was laughable. Yet the idea that humans might derive therapeutic effects from animals would go on to capture the attention of many future researchers.
In recent years scientists have started investigating our attachment to creatures great and small. Although various types of pets and non-Western cultural dynamics remain largely unexplored, research has begun to examine how the animals that surround us affect our mood and mental states. New work has, for example, revealed how just thinking of a beloved pet may help us stay calm under pressure.(Sci Am. Mind)




The “teen brain” is often ridiculed as an oxymoron—an example of biology gone wrong. Neuroscientists have explained the risky, aggressive or just plain baffling behavior of teenagers as the product of a brain that is somehow compromised. Groundbreaking research in the past 10 years, however, shows that this view is wrong. The teen brain is not defective. It is not a half-baked adult brain, either. It has been forged by evolution to function differently from that of a child or an adult.(Gield)



“Scientific American MIND Explores the Psychology Behind Keeping Pets.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., 15 May 2015. Web. 19 May 2015. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientific-american-mind-explores-the-psychology-behind-keeping-pets/&gt;.

Gield, Jay. “Risky Teen Behavior Is Driven by an Imbalance in Brain Development.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., 15 May 2015. Web. 19 May 2015. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/risky-teen-behavior-is-driven-by-an-imbalance-in-brain-development/&gt;.

Kite Runner suspended after a complaint- removes freedom to read


As a librarian, it is always concerning to read about books being banned. The larger implications created when we narrow the opportunities to read, think, share and learn, are trouble for society. Diversity in our culture builds understanding. The diversity of ideas in books should be a reflection of our reality. Constricting access to ideas and authorship doesn’t protect our children but rather put them at risk. Loss of empathy, hate or radicalization  is a likely result. The current discord and misinformation about race and theology in the Muslem community is an example. We need more knowledge and empathy not less. Books, especially well crafted literature, like Hussein’s Kite Runner, provide potential for discourse and freedom of expression. 

Many classrooms around the world use the Kite Runner or provide copies in their libraries. Most schools use this title with Grade 12s. Like many situations, one needs to know your students, parent expectations and teaching context. Just banning books is an inferior way to handle content. 

Forcing every student in the class requires extra vigilance and planning. Like all literature? Parent opt-out seems a prudent option. A concern is that selections and management of interests and permissions could become a handicap. Small group reading and study certainly assists in the effort. Teacher due diligence and planning usually can manage concerns.

Book themes and storytelling have literary and student development merits. In the hands of professionals, like the classroom teacher and collaboration with the teacher-librarian, books provide powerful learning opportunities at any age.  When sensitive or somewhat disturbing content arises, hiding behind banning, only degrades empathy, insight and language skills. 

Using age appropriate material however troubling the content may appear, is just good teaching practice. People take children to movies that may be inappropriate. We trust parents judgement. We force students into textbooks, curriculum and programs, trusting the professionals to engage material wisely. Literature should be know different. 

-Smith, teacher-librarian 



Kss Cancer Campaign 

Hi Everyone, 

The Leadership students and the B.C Cancer Foundation have developed a website to make it easier for student that are shaving their heads to collect money.

If students are asking or you hear that a student is interested in shaving their head to raise money please point them in the direction of the website below.


Also check out various activities created by student leadership for this traditional KSS service event. 

Thank you for your help



The Imitation Game- ‘normal’?! 

Joan Clarke: Do you know, this morning I was on a train that went through a city that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you. I bought a ticket from a man who would likely be dead if it wasn’t for you. I read up, on my work, a whole field of scientific inquiry that only exists because of you. Now, if you wish you could have been normal… I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren’t. (Imitation Game)

Post WWII – Joan Clarke, Alan Turing’s friend, argues how not being normal can be virtuous.  Reference: Dialogue from the film ‘The Imitation Game’. 

Joan Elisabeth Lowther Murray, MBE(née Clarke; 24 June 1917 – 4 September 1996) was an English cryptanalyst and numismatist best known for her work as a code-breakerat Bletchley Park during World War II. Though not personally seeking the spotlight, her important role in the Enigma project against Nazi Germany‘s secret communications earned her awards and citations such as being appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1947(Wikipedia) 

  (Imitation Game)

 English mathematician who worked in numerical analysis and played a major part in the early development of British computers.
Turing was born in London on 23 June 1912 into a family distinguished by its diplomats and engineers, three of whom had been elected to the Royal Society. He was educated at Sherborne School 1926–31, when he went to King’s College, Cambridge to study mathematics. After receiving his BA in 1935, he was elected a fellow of the college on the strength of his paper ‘On the Gaussian error function’, which won a Smith’s prize in mathematics in 1936. The paper was a characteristic example of the headstrong but brilliant nature of Turing’s mathematical method throughout his life. He ‘discovered’ the central limit theorem in utter ignorance of the fact that it had already been discovered and proved.(Turing)



 “The Imitation Game (2014).” IMDb. Black Bear Pictures, 2014. Web. Image. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://m.imdb.com/title/tt2084970/&gt;.

“Turing, Alan Mathison (1912–1954).” The Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Abington: Helicon, 2014. Credo Reference.Web. 10 Apr 2015.

five YA you have to read- NYPL

Five YA Books You Seriously Need to Read

It has come to my attention that not everyone has read these books. I don’t care what you normally read. Whether it’s science fiction, fantasy, romance, non-fiction, or whatever, these are books that you seriously need to read… right now. No excuses. Open up a new browser window, place it right beside this one, and get ready to add things to your hold list. Go ahead. I’ll wait.(Birdoff)




Birdoff, Ariel. “Five YA Books You Seriously Need to Read.” Five YA Books You Seriously Need to Read. NYPL, 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nypl.org/blog/2015/01/26/ya-books-you-need-read?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&gt;.