2017 Thesis Finalist: Ariana Forsythe- Making It Count- The Importance of Emphasizing Mathematical Concepts and Positive Math..
Students’ poor performance in mathematics needs to be addressed in elementary education before it can be addressed at the secondary level. This math crisis should be addressed earlier because the foundations in basic conceptualization that is necessary for higher-level, abstract, mathematical reasoning are set at this time. Children between the ages of 4 and 10 have the highest brain activity of their lives and are mentally equipped to absorb not only procedural but also conceptual teachings of elementary school. Unfortunately, students’ mindsets about math are also set at this time, and they are often discouraged by their generalist elementary school teachers, who are not specialized in mathematical instruction. Ultimately, elementary schools need to employ math specialists to teach elementary math classes or, at a minimum, to instruct generalist teachers on the latest and most effective strategies of presenting curriculum in a beneficial and positive way.
2017 Thesis Finalist: Madi Lockett- I Spy With My Little Eye- How Intelligence is Key to Winning the War on Terrorism
Because terrorism is a lasting conflict, the US should continue to use metadata and human intelligence to combat it. The war on terrorism must be recognized as a long-term war. Because of this, the government needs to employ an economically viable, long-term strategy, which involves intelligence not manpower.
2017 Thesis Finalist: Hunter Long- Gene-ius by Design- Why We Should Embrace CRISPR and Support the National Academies Rep...
Now that human genetic research is no longer theoretical with CRISPR, we as a society should accept the recommendations put forth by the National Academies report on human genetics. CRISPR is advancing at a blistering rate due to its ease of use, speed of research, and low cost. Becuase of this, we should help direct its use by developing responsible practices in line with the NAP report. Furthermore, this report also considers different societal values on clinical appications, addressing mportant ethical and social issues.
2016 Thesis Winner: Rachel Prichett: Livin' La Vida Broka: Free Streaming's Negative Financial and Artistic Effects on
Spotify’s free streaming philosophy, and all similar models, must be eradicated because they devalue music as an art form, work with record labels to take advantage of artists, and cannot replace download sales or paid streaming royalties with only ad revenue from free, ad-supported tiers. These issues are leading to an unnecessary financial crisis in the recording industry, and a society where music is perceived as a commodity rather than as an art form.
2016 Thesis Finalist: James Mashburn- The (nu)clear Solution- A Case For The Expansion Of Nuclear Power In The United States
In order to meet increasing energy demands, drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect the health of our nation and planet, the United States must increase its use of nuclear power while reducing our reliance on coal. Coal is detrimental to the wellbeing of both humanity and the environment and must be phased out of the energy industry. Nuclear generation on the other hand is a carbon free and efficient energy source that has the potential to become the cornerstone of power production. The United States must cast aside misplaced fears and embrace nuclear as a major player in the energy future of our nation.
2016 Thesis Finalist: John Christopher Lowrie: Lit for Liturgy: The Need for Low Liturgy Churches to Implement Liturgical..
Low Liturgy churches need to explore ways of integrating higher forms of worship and adopt a higher liturgical view. Low liturgy churches need to do this because of the biblical evidence for high liturgy, the historical evidence, and because higher forms of worship engage humans more holistically.