'Southern Rites' Highlights Modern Day Segregation

by Leilani McNeal, age 14, and Kadjata Bah, age 14

When one thinks of segregation, the first thing that probably pops into the mind is the turbulent times of the 1950s. Buses, schools, theaters, and other spaces labeled “WHITES” and “COLOREDS,” are a common image of separation. But imagine spending your whole life with someone different, only to have memories of innocent, wild adolescence through a mono-toned lens, separate from your friends and partners. One daring journalist spent years in a small southern town documenting the evolution of the lives of teens.

Gillian Laub, a UW-Madison graduate who pursued photography and later became an advocate for social justice, is well-known for her work in Mount Vernon, Georgia. After graduating in 2002, she ventured south to capture incredible and personal photographs of the atmosphere of the town, primarily the segregated proms of Mount Vernon. [Read More]

PFAS in Madison Water Supply

Kadjata Bah, age 14

PFAS, chemicals commonly found in non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, and firefighting foams among other things, have been found in 10 out of 19 Madison city wells tested. Though it is not a health threat at the levels detected, Madison Water Utility is making an effort to let people know what is in their water.

More formally known as per-fluoroalkyls and poly-fluoroalkyls, PFAS were detected in low and trace amounts. [Read More]

Rare Fungal Disease Is a Threat to Agriculture Crops

by Leilani McNeal, age 14

Stem rust, a fungus disease affecting cereal crops such as wheat, is raising concern among pathologists. An issue that plant scientists thought was resolved has resurfaced, and they are currently working to develop different types of resistance to this disease.

Tom Fetch, a Canadian Agriculture research scientist, specializes in stem rust in cereal crops; however, his job had not received much attention until now. Canada, luckily, has not faced a stem rust infection for approximately 30 years, thanks to North American scientists who had found a way to prevent these outbreaks in the western hemisphere. [Read More]

Editorial: Follow the Money: A Call for More Local Investigative Reporting

It’s an infamous scene in a famous movie about journalism. Playing Deep Throat, Hal Holbrook tells The Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, played by Robert Redford, to “follow the money” to discover who planned the Watergate break in.

Across the country in 2018, journalists and media experts are calling for more local reporting that follows the money.

Read Mckenna's Editorial and More: Click Here

Active Shooter Drills May Do More Harm Than Good

by Michelle Chi, age 17

In elementary schools around the nation, words such as “barricade” are added to spelling lists; children are told to run in a zig-zag pattern to evade bullets; posters with lockdown instructions, sung to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” are hung on the walls of kindergarten classrooms.

The culture of fear surrounding school shootings is pervasive in every sense of the word. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 95 percent of public schools administered lockdown drills during the 2015-2016 school year. The Washington Post reported that more than 4.1 million students — one out of every four in the U.S. — experienced at least one lockdown drill in the 2017-2018 school year. [Read More]

Invasive Vines Spreading on Madison's West Side

by Kadjata Bah, age 14

Porcelain berry, a vine native to East Asia, is moving into two neighborhoods on the West Side of Madison. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking to halt the invasive species before it spreads to other parts of the city.

During the winter, porcelain berry looks like the native Virginia creeper, and during the rest of the year like grape vines. The vine can grow up to 15 feet in one season and “strangle a forest,” according to Jason Granberg, an invasive species specialist. [Read More]

Coin That Phrase: “Tempest in a Teapot”

by Leilani McNeal, age 14

Ever wondered why someone says “that’s just a tempest in a teapot” over an event that has nothing to do with tea? This expression is often a response to an overblown situation.

The expression “a storm in a teacup” is believed to derive from a passage in De Legibus written by Cicero, a renowned Roman philosopher, and writer who influenced future Latin prose. His “excitable fluctus in simpulo” translates to “he was stirring up billows in a ladle.” [Read More]

The Asteroid That Killed the Dinosaurs

by Sarah Thomson, age 13

It is fairly common knowledge that a huge asteroid hit Earth over 65 million years ago, resulting in the extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs. The collision flung huge amounts of rock and dust into the atmosphere. This blocked out the sunlight from the Earth for years. The plants that used the Sun for energy died, causing the dinosaurs which depended on them as a food source to starve. Plus, the dust particles caused so much friction that they started fires. However, that's not the entire story: according to new research, this asteroid also caused a huge tsunami which affected the entire globe. [Read More]

What's New With Nintendo Switch Online?

by Amare Smith, age 15

Have you always wanted to play NES Games on your Nintendo Switch console? Well, now you can with Nintendo Switch Online! Nintendo Switch Online is a service that allows gamers to play online with friends and save games when the switch dies or breaks! [Read More]

Rare Fungal Disease Is a Threat to Agriculture Crops

by Leilani McNeal, age 14

Stem rust, a fungus disease affecting cereal crops such as wheat, is raising concern among pathologists. An issue that plant scientists thought was resolved has resurfaced, and they are currently working to develop different types of resistance to this disease. [Read More]

History Still Lives Beneath the Great Lakes

by Kara Nichols, age 15

Recently, a shipwreck was discovered in Lake Erie 184 years after it sank. This ship's name was the Lake Serpent.

The Lake Serpent left Cleveland, in September 1829 for a 55 mile trip to the Lake Erie Islands. It never returned. The National Museum of the Great Lakes has claimed that they’ve learned enough information to determine that the shipwreck was the Lake Serpent. [Read More]

Deadliest Wildfire in California History Points to a More Sinister Cause

by Abigail Comerford, age 14

California has experienced many wildfires in the past, but few, if any, have been as deadly as the recent Camp Fire. The future regarding this disastrous event is uncertain. The devastating wildfire burned for over two weeks, killed more than 85 people, and burdened thousands of lives. It will be remembered for many years to come.

On November 8, 2018, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, high temperatures and strong winds formed the deadliest wildfire in California history. The fire spread at a rapid pace, eventually obliterating 153,000 acres of land north of Sacramento. [Read More]

Tijuana Migrants Meet Resistance
at U.S.-Mexico Border

by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 12

On November 25, 2018, a caravan of families who were marching to the United States to seek asylum became reckless. Their actions fueled the anti-immigrant views President Trump showed during the midterm elections.

Many people think migrants in the caravan are drug smugglers or people coming to the U.S. with bad intentions. In reality, many are running away from violence and poverty. [Read More]