Former Simpson Street Student Gives $20,000 to SSFP

by Deney Li, age 16

Simpson Street Free Press is flourishing. Our organization contributes to civic discourse and the greater Dane County community. SSFP students turn out quality articles and explore the world around us. We also know there were many dedicated student reporters who came before us.

It’s not surprising that such an acclaimed organization has seen its students lauded before. One such former writer is Ben Emmrich. Emmrich was a student reporter and teen editor here at Simpson Street from 2002 until 2004. So, as a current teen editor, I decided to touch base and thank him for a generous donation to SSFP. It means a lot to us when former students recognize our work. [Read More]

Modern Technology Transforms Our Transportation Options

by Brandon Alvarez, age 17

Are you ready to live in the future? Many of us would like to use flying cars, robots, and hoverboards. As we move into the future, we might also see flying taxis!

A Chinese firm, Ehang, is in the process of creating a taxi transportation service so you can fly to your destination using a single passenger drone. Dubai investors, such as Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, support the project. Other companies like Uber and Airbrush, are looking to create a similar service. [Read More]

New Horizon Spacecraft Captures Record-Breaking Photos

by Virginia Quach, age 16

Earlier this month, NASA released the farthest photos ever taken from space.

New Horizons, a spacecraft launched in 2006, recently captured an image of a star cluster. The photo was taken while the spacecraft was 3.79 billion miles away from Earth. Previously, a spacecraft called Voyager 1 held the record when it took the famous picture named the “Pale Blue Dot,” a photo of Earth from 3.75 billion miles away. It was one of the 60 photos taken by the Voyager in 1990. [Read More]

The 2014 Euromaidan Revolution Forced Political Change in Ukraine

by Katrin Brendemuehl, age 14

In the cold, far east of Europe, there is a country that borders Poland and Russia. Its history of Varangian tribes, Viking rule, and Russian occupation has made for a unique country. This nation, Ukraine, is also home to many revolutionaries.

In 2004, a demonstration took place in Ukraine called “The Orange Revolution.” This was a very important event in Ukraine’s timeline because it spurred and trained the revolutionaries that would lead the uprising to come. But it was not as significant as the next revolution which changed Ukraine forever. This revolution is known as the “Euromaidan.” [Read More]

Invasive Asian Carp Threaten the Great Lakes

by Cynthia Avila, Assistant Editor of La Prensa Libre de Simpson Street

Over the years, invasive species have made a home in the Mississippi River. But it seems that the Asian carp has yet again found its way into a Chicago waterway that is nine miles from Lake Michigan. It was caught below T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam by a commercial fisherman working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This is not the first time an Asian carp has snuck through the three electrical barriers, which are located in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. In 2010, a bighead carp was caught in Lake Calumet.

The electric barrier system, which is run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was designed to prevent invasive species, such as the Asian Carp, from entering and reaching the Great Lakes. The silver carp, which is one of the four types of Asian carp, weighed around eight pounds and measured 28 inches long. The silver carp was sent to Southern Illinois University where biologists will determine its origin. [Read More]

The Woman Behind the Nursing Revolution: Florence Nightingale

by Christy Zheng, age 15

On May 12, 1820, a girl was born to affluent British parents in Florence, Italy. Growing up as a member of “respectable society”, she was expected to follow the conventional route for someone with her status at the time, which included marrying well. To her parents’ chagrin, however, she was more interested in healing the sick than courting eligible young men, and she even rejected the “respectable” boy who proposed to her. Worse than that, she loved math, which displeased her parents the most. She was Florence Nightingale: the “Lady with the Lamp,” a famous nurse in the Crimean War, and—perhaps most notably— a mathematician.

From a young age, Nightingale loved learning. She and her sister didn’t attend school; they were taught by governesses. Their father also taught them classics and politics. Nightingale loved studying in general, but she was especially gifted in math. Her parents found this unacceptable and encouraged her to study more “ladylike” subjects. [Read More]

Madison College and Edgewood College Collaborate to Repave Degree Pathways

by Jacqueline Zuniga Paiz, age 17

Madison College (MATC) has expanded its relationship with Edgewood College. Under a new plan, the private institution Edgewood College will guarantee admission to MATC graduates with associate degrees in human services, or electrical or civil engineering.

According to Christine Benedict, vice president of enrollment management at Edgewood College, students affected by this streamlined process will be able to finish their bachelor's degree in as few as two years after graduation from MATC. [Read More]

"Trash Island" Reveals The Effects of Plastic Production

by Cristian Cruz, age 15

Researchers were surprised when they found an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches of a tiny unpopulated island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean recently. According to the researchers, the density of the trash was the highest recorded in the world. Welcome to Henderson Island, an 18 sqaure-mile British dependency located about halfway between New Zealand and Chile.

Jennifer Lavers, the main author of the report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a research scientist at Australia’s University of Tasmania. She said the ocean captures and holds floating trash that ends up on the island because it is located in the South Pacific gyre, which is a vortex of ocean currents. [Read More]