### Academic Skills Center: Students Launch Andover Problem Solvers
This spring, students may be able to chat with peer tutors and receive immediate homework help on Facebook via Andover Problem Solvers (APS). On Tuesday night, Rachel Murree ’14, Jerry Li ’14 and Djavaneh Bierwirth ’14 launched a trial version of a new Facebook page, APS, for 24 hours. The students hope to launch the full version in the spring. The group hopes to operate the page from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on school nights and work with the Academic Skills Center (ASC) to have peer tutors online to help students with homework questions in math and science courses, according to Murree. “We just want to make life easier for these students and help foster a ‘Connected Andover,’” said Murree. As of now, the project is limited to the Chemistry 250 and 300 classes as well as the Physics 270 and 400 classes. Tuesday’s launch, according to Bierwirth, was intended to gauge student reaction to the program and get feedback before they begin planning the full page. The group plans to meet with Math and Science department heads to get their input on the program as well.
### Gelb Science Center: Physics 530 Class Publishes Paper
After weeks of stargazing in Gelb Observatory, Caroline Odden, Instructor in Physics and supervisor of the Andover Observatory, led her Physics 530 class to determine the rotation period of an asteroid. The class is now submitting their result to be published in the scientific journal “Minor Planet Bulletin.” The class worked on this project for the first several weeks of Winter Term, measuring images gathered using the telescope in Gelb Observatory to collect data. Members of the class then used a software called MPO Canopus to determine a graph that plots brightness levels of the asteroid in the images. They used the period of the graphs to determine the time it takes for the asteroid to make a full rotation. Pairs of two in the class each produced their own light curve. Emily Carrolo ’13 and Gabriel Freund ’13 produced the curve that the article was based on. Claire Carroll ’14 wrote the final paper that was submitted on behalf of the whole class. Physics 530 is a new, term-contained research astronomy course for advanced science students.
### Community Service Scholar: Harrison ’13 Examines Poverty and Hunger
In her two-part Community Service Scholar presentation, Anna Harrison ’13 hosted a game simulating the daily life of a person unable to afford three meals a day on Monday and invited Melissa Dussek, the Representative of the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to speak on Tuesday.
For the game, each student was assigned a family income profile, detailing expenses per month. allowing them to calculate the amount of money left for food per day. With the money left over, students struggled to afford full meals totaling 2,000 calories per day. Of the 10 students involved in the simulation, nine players were food insecure while one was a wealthy student, who earned more than enough per month to pay for food, private school, utilities and a mortgage. “I thought it would be really interesting for the people here to see because I grew up in a community that was not very wealthy at all, and I saw poverty and hunger on a daily basis, but when I tell people about my experiences here, they don’t seem to understand the situation as much,” said Harrison.
Dussek shared her optimism about eradicating poverty and hunger in the United States through the GBFB. The GBFB is a charitable business that solicits donations to be distributed at local food pantries, community meal programs, homeless shelters and senior centers. GBFB delivered approximately 30 million meals last year, according to Dussek. With more community support, Dussek hopes to distribute at least one nutritious meal a day to those in need.
“I believe that hunger is curable. With under and unemployment still too high, this is our future and we have to take action quickly if we are going to end hunger here. Together we can get close to our mission, to end hunger,” said Dussek.