Social Science

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Differences in the Economy and Health of East Palo Alto and Palo Alto as a Result of Water Allocation and Quality

Water is the essence of all life, and yet, marginalized communities don’t have the same access to water as wealthier or more privileged communities. This lack of water availability can lead to arrested economic and infrastructural development. East Palo Alto and Palo Alto are two neighboring cities that have a noticeable difference in their water allocation, and through interviews with officials and research from documents and studies, this project aims to examine the effects that a difference in water allocation has had on the economic makeup of these two cities.

Why does Palo Alto’s African American Population Stand at Just 1.6%, and What are the Problems in the City’s Methods to Address this Disparity?

Despite the passing of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 aiming to end discriminatory housing practices against African Americans, there continues to be widespread inequity propagated by systemic racism. This problem has negatively impacted African Americans because it has prevented them from equal wealth accumulation through property ownership during Silicon Valley’s tech boom of the late 20th century. Today, Palo Alto’s African American population stands at just 1.9%. This project examines the City of Palo Alto’s methods to address disparities in its racial composition, through statistical analysis.

Use of Facial Recognition Technology in Law Enforcement

There is a substantial problem regarding systemic racism against Black people in the United States. In our day and age, technology is improving and developing at a rapid rate. New facial recognition/scanning technologies are being utilized by the police forces in the United States, but the accuracy of the scans is not consistent between races. Not only are Black people stopped by the police at an alarmingly high rate compared to white people, but now they are put at an even greater disadvantage and danger. This paper examines the drawbacks of the recent implementation of facial recognition technology in law enforcement. This research will provide clarity on the main issues and injustices caused by this technology. A Public Service Announcement will then be formulated (letter format) for the Palo Alto Police Department stating final thoughts and opinions on whether this technology in its current state is suited for usage by law enforcement.

The Chester Project

Is success truly built from the foundation of hard work and persistence, or is it simply a result of privilege? It seems as though we live in a world where no matter the work or dedication you devote to a particular area, there will always be someone who can easily buy their way to the top. it is apparent that there simply is not enough support, resources, or opportunities for people who do not enter the ring with concrete financial backing. Through the creation of The Chester Project, a riding program within BOK Ranch, funded by Portola Valley Pony Club and approved by the United States Pony Club, this project studies how horseback riding can be made, accessible, and achievable for children of color coming from low-income areas. This projects collect both quantitative and qualitative data regarding the age group (9-14), ethnicity, current demographics of the mid-California region of the club, and the characteristics of people inside the equestrian community.

Why Don't We Use Closed Captions?

An additional perk to being a teacher is that the school district offers health care coverage, in addition to the salary. However, not all healthcare coverage is the same as demonstrated through the lack of a local school district’s coverage of hearing aids. This local school districts does not cover the full cost of aids, despite the effect on education if a child is unable to have full access forcing an employee to pay this expense out of pocket. This project is a case study about the effects of healthcare coverage for employees that have a child with hearing loss; and after interviewing an employees of a local school district, and will share the personal perspective with reasons for how a school district can improve their healthcare coverage practices.

How Does The Way California Fund Their Public Schools Affect Teaching And Learning In The South Central LA School Districts?

The goal of this research is to show the major funding gaps in California's public education system and how it affects teaching and learning in the South Central LA school districts. The way public schools are funded is a problem because lower income school districts receive a disproportionate less amount of money than wealthier districts. Schools with less funding have a harder time providing the sufficient amount of resources for its students to strive so this research is to see how limited resources affect students' learning.

Environmental Education and It’s Outreach Due to COVID-19.

The environment's welfare has been a topic of controversy over the years, and despite the proven evidence that our natural world is severely declining in health, we continue to let it deteriorate, whilst contributing to its deterioration. Regardless, outreach programs try to support the natural world through environmental education. This study will encompass the recent effects of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 virus) on Environmental Education, and its outreach during the pandemic. This project will be a case study run through interviewing specialists in environmental education in order to determine how environmental education can be practiced more efficiently and effectively.

Therapist Perceptions on LGBTQ IPV and Adherence to Treatment Guidelines

LGBTQ individuals are at serious risk for intimate partner violence (IPV), but little research has been done on LGBTQ IPV. Out of the sparse research that has been done, even fewer have addressed therapy and its crucial role in the treatment of LGBTQ IPV. Additionally, while there are guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association on treating LGBTQ IPV, little to no research has been done on them, leaving a large blind spot in LGBTQ IPV research. This study aims to tackle both of these problems through a survey distributed to therapists in the San Francisco Bay Area assessing therapist perceptions on LGBTQ IPV and adherence to treatment guidelines on LGBTQ IPV.

“Does Police Training Lead to Increases in the Use of Excessive Force Against Minorities?”

This this research project examines whether police training directly leads to the increase in the use of excessive force against minority groups in the US. Interviews with different police officers will be conducted to gain their insight on training regimes, while examining specific training methods through a variety of sources. This will ultimately be compared to the data on the use of excessive force against different racial groups to try and draw a conclusion.

The Anonym Project

Bias is everywhere in the workforce recruitment process, whether it is discriminatory or in another form: confirmation bias, beauty bias, halo and horns effects, comparisons, etc. In fact, 59% of U.S. companies are committing to increasing diversity but struggling and 57% of employees believe that their company should be more diverse. The Anonym Project focuses on delving deeper into and solving these specific pain points during the recruitment process on both the recruitment and candidate sides in order to ensure a more efficient onboarding process for cultivating a better company culture. The Anonym Project next steps are: surveying more recruiters, applicants, & others involved in the process in a second round of user research, performing two separate application experiments, one with a blind application and one with the bias reducing recruitment platform, and finishing the clickable prototype of the Anonym platform.