Future Focus: Test Scores or Arts?

In a recent publication by the Detroit Free Press we see music gain appleheartfruitspotlight amongst political battles being fought over changes in education budgets across all 50 states. Music education is being swept under the carpet of the congressional isles that can’t seem to get along on the many issues that are facing our country. As our country leaders continue to fight, we see drastic changes in the way we deliver arts education to the next generation. Separate entities are taking initiative to enable programs that support the creative arts education beyond what is fiscally allotted by the government.

Keith Wunderlich, the author of the DFP article showcased how the community took important action towards furthering this mission:

Then something extraordinary happened. People in the community stepped forward and began working with New Haven Community Schools to bring the music back. They dug up old sheet music. They donated old clarinets, flutes, guitars, drum sets and more that had been gathering dust in attics, spare bedrooms and garages. In addition to musical instruments, the community gave our students their time and financial support.

We heard the same chorus again and again: These community residents, many of them products of New Haven Community Schools, kept saying how music had been such an important part of their education, how music had helped them become who they are today.

Our community came together with educators and students to help provide a solution to a challenge all public schools in Michigan face, and that was how to save a program the community wanted but could no longer afford.

Music and education in the arts is different than any other academic field and, should be approached as such. Creativity, as a whole, is difficult to score, analyze, and standardize. For this reason, we find that when communities and individuals take action in supporting education systems and institutions in the development of arts programs there is advancement amongst students in all areas of education. Music has been shown to connect both sides of the brain, allowing for the student to understand various other subject matter in a more comprehensive manner.

Wunderlich goes on to state that many of our current successful leaders have benefited from arts in their lives, stating:

Music education has been linked to so many singularly successful people that its impact cannot be ignored. Google co-founder Larry Page (high school saxophone), former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan (clarinet), Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (guitar), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (piano) and so many other highly successful individuals credit their music education for giving them the courage to create, to collaborate for success, to see solutions where none may be immediately obvious.

Conclusively, our focus on test scores are important so that the future our our world is smart and well educated. Arts education is experiential; the student learns best when experiencing the application of what he has learned. This could be argued as being the best way of learning anything. Therefore, everyone can contribute to the future generations’ success by supporting experiential situations for children to enjoy different areas of art.

We all know deep down that the core subjects aren’t the end-all-be-all to a well rounded educational foundation. If we truly want well-rounded educational foundations for the next generation we must invest our time and resources into the development of independently supported mechanisms that allow access to arts experiences. Because, deep down is where art lives and, deep down we want everyone to enjoy it — most importantly our children.  

Detroit Free Press: Source


SCIENCE:: Death and Rebirth: T.I.S.P.

Logo of the Teacher in Space Project issued by the NASA and the United States Government

The T.I.S.P., or Teacher in Space Project was initiated by President Ronald Reagan on August 27th 1984. The project’s main goal was to uplift the inspiration to new generations in enthusiasts in Mathematics, space, and scientific research exploration. Due to unfortunate circumstances the cancelation of the program was installed in 1990 after the death of teacher Christa McAuliffe during the fatal 1986 Challenger flight and disaster.

NASA Spaceflight Participant and Congressional Space Medal of Honor Recipient

But, this was not to be the complete end to the project and its related program E.A.P.(Educator Astronaut Project). For it would be reborn in the early years the 21st century. Due to its controlled release to the private sector, billionaire companies were able to establish their mark on the space and aerospace industries by enabling teachers wanting to participate in the program, via their monetary support. In 2005,  Teacher in Space candidate Pam Leestma, a second-grade teacher and cousin of Space Shuttle astronaut David Leestma, flew a training flight aboard a MiG-21 operated by X-Rocket, LLC. This project an escalating outpouring of applicants to similar companies that also offered space flight as an option for teachers and educators. Flights continued into 2008, for in 2009 T.I.S.P. announced the seven chosen teachers from around the U.S.. They are: Maureen Louis Adams, James Kuhl, Lanette Oliver, Stephen Heck, Rachael Manzer, Chantelle Rose, and Robert Schmidt.


“Becoming a teacher may have its benefits… You may get to go to space!”

Barbara Morgan, NASA's Mission Specialist. 2007.


BY: Thomas McGregor

SCIENCE:: Deep Space Review: Hot Infrared: Messier 81

Messier 81(M81) or Bode’s Galaxy is a beautiful spiral galaxy that lives 12 Million light years away from us, in the constellation Ursa Major. With a right ascension of 09H and a declination of +69°, you can possible imagine in your minds eye how large this Messier Object is. Discovered in 1774 by Johann Elert Bode, the M81 was given Mr. Bode’s name sake for his discovery. With it’s proximity to Earth, large active center nucleus, M81 has been studied extensively throughout the years of astronomical study. The active center  was deemed a class 1 supernovae in the spring of 1995 by F. Garcia, in Spain. This supernovae is said to be the 2ND brightest in the 21ST century! As you look at the photograph above you may notice how bright the edges of M81 are. This is due to the hot stars that are in the M81 system. These stars are so hot that they heat the space dust that is floating in the near by space surrounding M81 and enhancing the infrared dust emissions.


In my opinion this would be a great Messier Object to study if you are interested in astronomy or astrophysics, and would like to get started. I reason this to the many dynamics that M81 offers without becoming to complicating. Furthermore, M81 is very colorful, active, and full of life(in it’s own right). With the solar galactic heating of infraed dust, and the relationship to Ursa Major – you will be able to learn a lot about Ursa major as well as M81 – all at the same time. Also, this is a no-joke space object! With the mass calculations resulting in a Magnitude 6.94 Messier Object, you will certainly have your hands full with data analysis and intrigue. Enjoy the many aspects of this supernova handling M81, as we expand our knowledge of our outer space.

By: Thomas McGregor

Deep Space Review: A Large Name = A Powerful Star?: Zubenelschemali


Zubenelschemali is a large name that you may never have heard of before. But I have high hopes that I can possibly shed some “white-blue” light on this large name in this issued exploration of outer space!

“The Northern Claw”. This is the literal Arabic definition given in relation to our Main Sequence Blue Dwarf Star. It seems that everything to do with this particular star is in large scale. Radiating at a very hight heat of 12,000K(Kelvin) or +12,000° Celsius, or a sense of wonder that one would associate with such a temperature! In relation to our planetary realm, Beta Librea(it’s other name)spins at very fast 100x that of our sun, or -35.2 km/s(per second)!  Furthermore, it is also 130x that more luminous than our Sun, as well! This 2.6 Magnitude white-blue star, when seen by the naked eye, is the only one to been seen with s hint of green tint. This is due to the hydrofusion aspect of this star’s make-up. If you happen to catch this star with your eye, keep in mind that you are seeing something that is 160 light years from where you stand – truly amazing! To find it, you will see it positioned to a 15h right ascension and -09° declination in the constellation Libra.


This dwarf star is particularly interesting to me because of how long the name is in relation to how big and powerful the star actually is! Sometimes stars can receive titles in relationship to their positioning in the sky, not necessarily in relationship to their actual atributes. I am only suggesting this, not implying that this was the intent of the stars’ name. For the translation of the star clearly defines how it was named. For it is positioned at the northern tip of the constellation Libra, clearly helping to form a “Claw like” formation. Also what I find appealing is how powerful this star presents itself. It is traveling at a radial speed so fast that our Sun would have to increase its velocity by 100 times its current speed. Everything about this star seems to be on a grand scale. Our benefit? We are graced with the ability to see this powerful star here on earth with our eyes by simply, looking up.

By: Thomas McGregor

Focus I-C Distractions – An Interconnect-Interactive Exclusive


In the beginning stages of meditation, the meditator has the ability to notice the subtle mind in which sometimes the conscience mind will get caught up in. In this article I would like to explore the Interconnectedness, or “I-C” bewtween a focused mind and the polar oposite world of distractions that seem to keep us from the focus we seek.

In the early morning hours of sunrise you might find that you are tired, without cause to get up other than to set out and move through the duties you and other have placed upon yourself. As you awake, you start to rise out of the subconscience mind into the conscience. In this state you start to become aware of your surroundings and the plot that you will take through your daily actions. In the midst of all this, there is a point for which you become completely focused. You mind is as sharp as a needle. However, usually the point passes by so quickly that your conscience mind doesn’t have time to become aware of it. As we explore this phenomenon of the focusing world we must become knowledgable of our tool.

What is focus?

Simply defined: Focus is a mental state for which one’s mind is not inhibited by outward and/or inward distractions, mentally.

What are Distractions?

Simply defined: Distractions are the things that seem to pull our mental attention from out current state in to thought process directional pathways we don’t entend to go.

In a simple manner I want to bring to light a connection that way be missed. One of the first connections I see between a focused mind and a distracted mind is that the mind is on something. Meaning: When you are focused, your attention is on a SINGULAR objective and when you are distracted, your attention is all on an objective, just not a singular one. Something else that one might notice that connects the two is the idea that you are in control of both. Interestingly enough, people sometimes claim to have no control over wether they become distracted or not. On the contrary, for if this is true that would mean that you are distracted against your will 100% of the time. If that were true, you would never say: “Sorry, I just got distracted for a moment.”. Understanding this, is a great power. For if you can see the truth in this, the universe will open to you on the recognition of your choice to be focused or unfocused at any given time. On further examination, we find that the I-C with these two things is dualistic. Meaning that you can’t have one without the other. This, I’ll let you explore more on your own. Lastly, you find the I-C that lies at the heart of your mental state involves You! Your choice into the focused world or the distracted world involves your involvement. This might seem simple or possibly something that is needless to say – but when you are completely focused you might “loose yourself”. Also when you’re distracted, you may very well loose yourself as well.

By: Thomas McGregor for Interconnect Interactive