By: Isabelle Huang
It's the time of the year again when you’re lying in bed wide awake at 10:30 p.m. but you know it's actually 9:30 p.m. Did someone mess with the clock? Nope, no one adjusted the time and you’re not delusional. It’s only “Spring Forward” and we lose one hour of sleep. To me, Springing Forward, also known as Daylight Saving (DST) never really made sense. It always messes up my sleep schedule and makes me feel exhausted for days due to the time change. So, why do we switch time? When did it start? Why does it exist? And most importantly, is it really necessary?
As it turns out, there is an age-old myth that Daylight Saving was for farmers who needed extra time with the sun to work in the fields and grow their crops. However, the real reason why dozens of countries follow Daylight Saving (DST) was actually created to reduce the electricity usage by extending the daylight hours. By doing so, people wouldn’t need to turn on their lights as often since the day provided enough lighting. For example, during the summer months, the sun is up for longer periods of time so people wouldn’t have to rely on their lights. Instead, they use sunlight as an energy source. And during the winter months, the clock reverts back or “Fall Back” to the standard time so the sun could rise earlier.
The US started adopting the DST in 2007 but the concept of Daylight Saving is much older, dating back to 1784. It was debated on who first thought of the DST. But according to a letter, Benjamin Franklin was the first person to mention it during 1784 when he wrote the letter to the editor of Journal of Paris. Although the DST time system has been around for a while, it wasn’t really used until a century later during World War I. Countries like Great Britain and Germany started using this system, aiming to cut unnecessary lighting use so troops could conserve fuel for the war. In 1966, The Uniform Time Act was established to set the system of uniform DST throughout the US. DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November with the time changes occurring at 2:00 a.m. local time. Presently, DST is not followed universally. In fact, only 70 countries around the world “save daylight” every year.
There is no definitive answer on whether DST actually works. A study found in 2008 stated that by extending DST from April-October to March-November saved 0.5 percent in total electricity daily. Despite the minimal impact of energy saving on a daily basis, the total amount of electricity used in a year still makes a difference. However, another study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that DST increases the demand for electricity because the need for heating and cooling increases, so the overall electricity consumption is about the same. It’s still debatable whether “saving daylight” is an efficient way of saving energy, and there are still more studies to be done for us to learn and figure out the real benefits of DST.
Now that you learn about how DST came about and why it exists, do you think it is necessary to follow the system? In my opinion, I think we should stop observing DST because studies have shown that DST doesn’t really conserve energy. In addition, it creates unnecessary stress and anxiety due to the change in sleep schedule which affects other activities. And the biggest hassle of all is remembering to change the time on the clocks. Whether you support DST or not, just make sure you change your clock when the time comes so you don’t miss your first class on Monday morning!
CNN | November, 2020 | Why and When the US started changing the clock | Retrieved from: https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/01/us/daylight-saving-time-how-it-started-trnd/index.html
Wikipedia | Daylight Saving time in the United States | Retrieved from: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time_in_the_United_States
Celebrate students' different cultures with the I AM (International and Multicultural) Festival
I AM Clip Fest Slide Show (all info and dates)
I AM Clip Fest Workshop
Dear Ask Ada,
So at my old school, we handed out valentines, right? But now we can’t because it’s covid… but I still wanna show my friends that I care. How do I continue to do it?
Dear Empty Valentine,
First, it’s sweet that you like to give out valentines, and the people around you are fortunate to have a great friend like you. I know that Valentine’s Day is technically in the past by the time you read this, but we can all use some love every day of the year! I have a few tips here that might help you out;
Greetings everyone. As some of us know, coding can be an important part of your life. After all, every app you use, and even the article you are reading right now, is made of code. And right now, in the midst of a pandemic, coding is even more essential than usual. Everyone is using electronic devices. There are a couple of good spots to start with coding, however, in my opinion the easiest would probably be Scratch.
Scratch is a visual based coding platform that was created in 2007. As soon as people first start using Scratch, they notice two things: A stage, where all the action will happen, and a canvas, where you can place all of the blocks. You can find blocks in a sidebar, where they are all color coded based on their function. Different blocks often work differently; however, the most common block is the input block. You can find it in most categories; it appears as a regular block with input values, where you can place inputs. One of the most recognized of these blocks is the wait (input) seconds block (Default value is 1) Besides input blocks, there are still many others such as Booleans, control events, and much more. There are even lists, and variables, and the not-very-well-known MyBlocks, which allows you to create your own blocks. You will learn all of this when you start coding in scratch. Scratch can also often be the first step in coding, and is used as a stepping stone into more advanced programming languages, such as Python, Java, C++, and many more. If you want to start learning, join Scratch Club!
Before I go any further, let me introduce myself to you. I am a Chinese-American Sixth grader named Benson Liu. My pronouns are he and him. I started Scratch club a few weeks ago, and this is the last week of development and planning before it’s going to be released to the public. Hopefully then, if you are interested and curious about coding, like I once was, you’ll be able to find this club in the midst of the dozens of other clubs out there. If you find us, lucky you! Hopefully, you will be able to join our ranks, where we will teach you all about coding in Scratch, and then you will be able to go down the path of a master coder, a website creator, and even a game developer. I wish you good fortune if it comes to this.
I, personally, have had a not-too-long, yet interesting history with scratch. It all started with scratch in 4th grade. After that year, I was a bit more proficient at scratch. Then we had scratch again for 5 grade. Then, I decided, over the summer to take some scratch curriculums, namely, from Robotics For All. Currently I’m on my second scratch curriculum BPL Scratch, which is an advanced curriculum. I’ve had my moments, with scratch, and although I’ll admit it's sometimes frustrating, it’s also a place to cultivate creativity, and to learn from your mistakes. I, in fact, would have probably made hundreds of mistakes in Scratch, and I learned from them. Hopefully, if you ever get frustrated at Scratch, you can do the same. Well, with nothing else left to say… Peace out!
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