Monday, May 23, 2016

Brain Stamp!

Have you seen Brain Stamp? Looks like a great new high school psychology resource, created and run by high school students!

Yena Kim and Abby Flyer  (twitter account = @Brainstampnews ) started this blog because of their passion for their high school psychology class! Here's how one of their teachers (the fabuloys Allyson Weseley) described the blog's origin story:

"Earlier this year, Yena and Abby came to see me saying that had "a surprise" to show me; Brain Stamp was that surprise. They had already set the up site and posted a number of articles and were eager to talk about how they could expand their audience. In 26 years of teaching, I don't think I've ever seen students initiate and execute an independent project of this scope."

Amy Ramponi interviewed Yena and Abby (via email) about the site:

Tell me more about yourself and why you started this.
Yena: We are currently two psychology-obsessed high school juniors from Roslyn High School. After taking AP Psychology last year, we realized that psychology is just so captivating and important in all of our lives. Later that year, we sought to create a Psychology Club in our school. However, the club didn’t pass due to insufficient funds.

Abby: Even though we couldn't get our club started, we still wanted to share our passion for psychology with our fellow students. We started Brain Stamp as a way to write about topics that interested us and make them available for anyone to read. After a while, it became clear to use that our website served a much better purpose than a club would have; while clubs provide a community of learning and sharing within a set time frame in a classroom, Brain Stamp creates an online community that is easily accessible at any time, from any location.

When did you start?
Yena: We started in Fall 2015.

What are your future plans?
Yena: For now, we really want more high schoolers to find out about who we are and what we do. This is because Brain Stamp is a brand new platform for students to get more involved in the field and to share their love for psychology in a unique way.

Abby:  We also want to build more of a relationship with the students who visit our website. We want to hear what topics students are interested in or are struggling with so we can share our insights, and we hope to receive more submitted articles as a way for the members of the community share their insights, too.

Who motivated or inspired you?
Abby: I was first introduced to psychology informally in seventh grade. I was in a general accelerated course called SAIL, in which my teacher presented the class with videos or readings that he personally found interesting or enriching. Much of what he showed us was tied to psychology—for instance, we watched videos on change blindness and selective inattention, videos I found absolutely fascinating but couldn't explain why. When I finally took AP Psychology in tenth grade, everything made sense. Ever since, I've been absolutely enamored with psychology, and, as with everything I love, I take every opportunity possible to share it with everyone I can. Creating Brain Stamp seemed like an effective way to do so.

Yena: I’ve always loved to observe the way people interact with each other and with the world. Ever since I was little, my father encouraged me to constantly think about the “why’s” of individual differences in human behavior. When I entered high school, I became deeply involved in my school’s behavioral and social sciences research program and took my first psychology class. Through these experiences, I was able to study (some of) the answers to my endless list of questions and discover the complexity of what makes us who we are. Inspiration, for me, derived from all sorts of places—history, home, school, friends, the news, etc.; curiosity is what drove me to be here.

Who was your teacher?
Abby: Both of us had Dr. Todd Postol for an enrichment class in seventh grade and Ms. Andrea Pearlman for AP Psychology, two teachers who, I feel, have had a profound impact on my life.

Yena: We run Brain Stamp independently, so it’s not an official organization of our school. However, we have many teachers who support what we do. For example, the Coordinator of Secondary Research at our school, Dr. Allyson J. Weseley, is one of the teachers who stands out. 

posted by Amy Ramponi and Rob McEntarffer

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