Jerome High School Science Department Panel


Every week at The Roaring Times we will be holding a question and answer panel with various departments in the school. This week we had the pleasure of meeting with several instructors from the science department. The following is a list of questions that were submitted by the students in the journalism department regarding science. Thank you to Ms. Vaughn, Mr. Bruns, Mr. Edwards and Ms. Dixon for their insight.


On September 7th of this year, Los Angeles County reached a record breaking temperature of 115 degrees. On average in September the temperature in LA is in the low to mid 80’s. Are we all going to die? 

We aren’t going to die from it, we are just going to have what we have been seeing which is more fires and more intense storms coming up on the gulf. Those are all the effects of Global Warming. So you can say that we are seeing the effects of it now if you look at the fires, the frequency of storms, more frequent droughts. – Ms. Dixon


Plus you also have to look at the fact that we are only looking at records kept from the last two hundred years. We don’t know what the averages might be if we looked at more long term in that particular area. Yes we are seeing effects. Is it necessarily something that’s not a natural cycle…. We could argue both ways. – Mr. Edwards


Even looking at this from more of a climate change we’ve seen a bigger increase in our water temperatures, especially in our oceans. The land temperatures are continuing to increase but it’s still going to take at least 20 years before we start seeing substantial increase there. Ms. Vaughn


How powerful is the brain, really? To what extent can it control things? Is stuff like manifestation, reality shifting, and other stuff of that sort possible through scientific standpoint? Is your brain able to make stuff happen by simply willing it?

Yes, there is a measurable power that we can exert our environment just from our thoughts alone.  – Mr. Edwards


Consciousness and stuff is very hard to scientifically examine. – Ms. Dixon


What’s at the bottom of a black hole?

There is no bottom. It’s the deepest gravity well that there is. Nothing escapes it, so then does it really even have a boundary? – Ms. Dixon


It’s one of those things that, until we can actually get to one and actually go in one and actually see what’s there, we don’t know. I mean, is there a bottom? – Mr. Edwards


Are there other universes?

Hypothetical.  – Ms. Dixon


We don’t have the science to prove it. There’s theories. – Mr. Edwards


What was the first science experiment that was ever done? Who did it?

I think it would go back to the Ancient Greeks, like Aristotle. Maybe even before Aristotle. When there were simple things to try an answer, like, “What is the nature of our universe?” “What is the nature of our lives?” – Mr. Edwards

Yeah, and questions like “What do things move as they do?” – Ms. Dixon


Are Gender traits completely a result of societal expectations?

No, that gives into more of biological anthropology, which gets into some of those things. – Ms. Dixon


Just looking at the difference in hormones that have a different effect on the body. Testosterone makes it easier for men to put on muscle mass, and it’s harder work for women with Estrogen. – Ms. Vaughn


Even at the neurological level, they’ve shown very distinct gender differences on how we react to stress . Men take a very long time to be able to come off of a high stress situation, whereas women are more able to come off just from a biochemical standpoint. – Mr. Edwards


And there are also structural differences in the brains between males and females. – Ms. Vaughn


The biological drives that are for nurturing, some of the Testosterone that feeds into protecting and all of that feeds into biology. Not societal.  – Ms. Dixon


Why can’t we stop ourselves from starting to cry?

The best part is they’ve analyzed tears of emotion, they take on a structural difference, so looking at how you can’t fight back those emotions and those responses. Even if it’s just a protective thing, I mean, your eye is going to water from getting something in it. – Ms. Vaughn


I always think it’s because we have these big brains and we’re more advanced than other species, mentally. It’s just a side effect of being such an emotional, large brain, species. – Ms. Dixon


Even looking at the chemical structure of the tears. Like, breaking up with somebody, they’ve shown differences just simply on the level of how emotionally attached you are to that person when you break up with them. If it’s a deep love, it’s a very different chemical structure than if it was just a little crush. – Mr. Edwards


You can actually die from a heartbreak. – Ms. Vaughn


How long does it take for the sun’s ray to reach Earth?

It’s just under 8 minutes. Maybe like, 7 minutes and 49 seconds. – Mr. Edwards


What can we do to solve the population problem? Will we run out of resources if we don’t find a solution soon? Will we cause ourselves to go extinct? If we exceed out cities living capabilities and being to expand into animal habitats, causing animal species to go extinct, will it eventually cause our species to soon follow?

As the globe warms we can grow crops further north. I mean, will we be able to increase our farming areas? Will the Sahara desert go back to what it was 10,000 years ago, a lush garden? – Mr. Edwards

We need the nutrients for that and we are lacking our carbon and our phosphorus and our nitrogen in the soil to be able to do that. Only about a third of the world is farmable land. Depending on which resources you look at again, we don’t agree on what the carrying capacity is of the human population. We could theoretically make everybody live in Los Angeles because we would all fit in that small of an area. But we’re not using the resources that we need. We’re also looking at our mass extinction  1 in 4 animals is endangered as it is. – Ms. Vaughn

Then you also get into population density, cause there you start seeing if you just look at any other mammal on the planet you start seeing them cannibalizing and killing each other. Would that play into it? There’s all sorts of ways you can analyze this and there is no clear answer, I think. – Mr. Edwards


How did you know you wanted to go into science? What drew you to it?

Well a high school geology class, and I had a great experience in high school, an awesome teacher. A trip to Alaska, and the love of the outdoors. – Mr. Bruns


I think for me too, it was great teachers. I just love to learn about why things work, why do we exist, what makes us who we are? Things that we can’t even answer with science, were things that drove me to it.  – Mr. Edwards


That’s kind of a hard one for me because it wasn’t science to begin with, it was psychology. It’s a social science. It was the fact that I see Psychology and Biology working very well together. – Ms. Vaughn


It was my wanting to work in the Ag, environmental fields. I wanted to blend the two. So that’s where I got my bachelors, in science, but I just think science is interesting because it’s so challenging to wrap your brain around some of these concepts that other scientists have developed. – Ms. Dixon


What is consciousness?

The state of being aware. – Ms. Vaughn


How do scientists keep records?

Periodic journals. Journals, publications, shared research.  – Ms. Dixon


It all boils down to, writing it down so that way future generations can benefit from what you learned. – Mr. Edwards


Does life begin at conception?

(No clear answer)



Why (how) do we dream?

In some prospects it’s the brain needing to process things and while we are sleeping it’s easier for our brains to process, rather than when we are awake. It’s sometimes a time for the brain to just let loose from the restrictions we place on it. – Mr. Edwards


Are scientists stealing alien technology?

(No clear answer)


Who put all of the elements of the periodic table in that order? And why are they in that order?

They are based on several things, obviously. Atomic number, the number of protons, and their periods. Which is based on valence electrons. – Mr. Bruns


The number of energy shells, there filled by electrons. Chemical properties. – Mr. Edwards


Where do things go when they get sucked in by sinkholes? And why do sinkholes happen?

There are a lot of different ways that sinkholes happen, but the most common way is limestone getting dissolved by liquids, especially acid. So if brown water were to go through limestone, it would make caves, and it would eventually collapse especially if you were building on top of it. It just collapses in the upper portion of the crust, and doesn’t go very deep. – Mr. Bruns


A big thank you to the science department for their insight! 

Live Long and Prosper!