PISA 2012 – parent’s occupation

07/19/2014 at 7:29 pm

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial survey conducted by the OECD to assess the quality of education around the work. The aim of PISA is to measure how well 15 year old students can apply their acquired knowledge in mathematics, science, and reading to real-life situations. In each iteration of the PISA survey, there is one subject that is more heavily emphasized. In 2012, the emphasis was on mathematics. The survey also collects data on hundreds of other variables that assess the student, their psychological views regarding a subject, their home life, and many others. Additionally, school information is collected from a survey completed by the principal and, in some countries, parent’s were given a survey. All 34 OECD members and 31 non-OECD economies around the world participate in the survey. Together these economies account for over 80% of the world’s total GDP.

One of the …

America’s Canyon National Parks

04/23/2014 at 1:33 pm

Over Easter weekend my roommate Felix and I flew out to vegas, rented a car, and visited some of America’s most amazing national parks. We started in Zion and hiked Angel’s Landing, The Narrows, and the Emerald Ponds. The emerald ponds were very disappointing. Just some murky green water and not the emerald color that you see in some portions of the Virgin River.

On Saturday morning we left our campsite at 7:30am and drove over to Bryce Canyon National Park. We immediately tried to find a fun hike and chose the Fairyland Loop. It is an 8 mile hike that goes down into the canyon and has some impressive views of the hoodoos. Just after we finished the hike, it started to rain for a brief period. We used this time to take a break and drive to all the view points in the park. The views from inspiration …

Ice Climbing in Iowa

02/24/2014 at 9:58 pm

Few states are as progressive as Iowa. Iowa was one of the first states to allow women to own property (1838), prevent forced repatriation of slaves (1838), legalize interracial marriage (1851), grant African Americans the right to vote (1867), desegregate the public schools (1868), elect a woman to public office (1869), and many other laudable actions. A more complete list can be viewed here. This progression doesn’t end with civil rights issues.

Just a sports like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, to list a few, have seen great progression in their sports over the last 25 years, ice climbing was ripe for change. Along came Don Briggs — a professor at the University of Northern Iowa — who had the outside-of-the-box mentality to expand ice climbing to grain silos. Suddenly Iowa had a new achievement to further strengthen it’s reputation as one of the great mountaineering states. As an example …

Labor Day Weekend – South Dakota

09/09/2013 at 8:51 pm

Spontaneous decision making is the hallmark of any good adventure. Going to Rapid City, SD for Labor Day Weekend was one of those decisions. We figured that if we left Ames around 3pm, we would get to Sioux City around 6pm to meet Bailey. After Bailey made a cameo at a baseball game to see if he would win (he didn’t) two round trip tickets to anywhere in the US courtesy of American Airlines, we were able to get out of Sioux City around 9pm and on our way to Rapid City. This allowed for seven hours of throwback music from every band on the ipod we know but never play — or play in secret because we don’t want anyone to know. Some classics included Smash Mouth, Andre Nickatina, Shaggy, Avril Lavigne, Metallica, the list goes on for seven hours until we arrived in Sioux City at 3am Mountain …

Mt. Rainier Expedition Skills Seminar

05/27/2013 at 3:59 pm

Some of the most beautiful and least explored places on this planet are not always easily accessible. An article in the NY Times about the Karakorum Highways piqued my interest in eventually visiting the Himalayas and hopefully the Baltoro glacier in Northern Pakistan. In order to become more acquainted with Glacier travel I decided to sign up for a Mt. Rainier mountaineering skills course offered by RMI (Rainier Mountaineering Inc.) This course introduces participants to all the skills necessary for greater challenges than treks through the Himalayas. After completing the skills seminar participants will have been introduced to all the skills necessary to climb peaks like Mt. McKinley in Alaska or the volcanoes in Ecuador or Mexico among others.

The Camp Muir Expedition Skills Seminar spent Sunday, day 1, at the RMI headquarters in Ashford. This first day was very much an orientation day making sure that everyone …