Friday, September 4, 2020

S13E2 - Teenage Brains

 If you've ever had to use an adolescent brain, you've probably noticed it doesn't work like the brains of normal people (like children or adults). It gets distracted easily, is prone to emotional overloads, takes way too many risks, and needs sooo much sleep!  For this week's forum, we'll be looking at what's going on inside your skulls.  Do you realize half the brain cells you were born with will die before you turn 25?  It's okay, you weren't using them anyway (seriously).

Our speaker will be brain expert Jill Bolte Taylor (via video).  Jill was the first TED speaker to have a talk go super-viral (this was when TED first started putting their talks on the web).  In that talk, she describes how it felt to have a stroke where the left side of her brain kept shutting down and rebooting  ( you can find it here if you're interested).


  • We'll be talking about the left brain vs the right brain. Use this test to see which one you are and pick up some handy tips when you get your results. Note your result so you can provide it in for the assignment below. 
  • What's going on in a teen's brain?  Here's an article with some recent discoveries
  • As we learn more about how our brains develop, we're gaining better insight into the cause of teen suicide, as explained here (it will ask you to subscribe, but there's a light gray "close" link in the subscribe box you can use to get rid of it).
  • Are you a musician?  If so, your brain might get lasting benefits from it (and it's not too late to start).  See this article.


Monday, August 24, 2020

S13E1 -- When Does an Ape Deserve Human Rights?

 Welcome back to Trinity Academy Forum!  As we start season 13 (because of course, it would be season 13) we'll be doing forum via video at least initially. 

This week, we'll be looking at how we define humanity and the special rights and responsibilities reserved for that group. Susan Savage Rumbaugh has worked with Bonobo Monkeys for many years. These apes are a smaller version of a Chimpanzee, but are remarkable in their human-like qualities and abilities. In this talk, we will explore the boundary between animals and humans and what test would determine whether a being should be treated as a person.

At this week's forum, we will be watching a talk by Susan Savage Rumbaugh on Bonobos and what she's learned by studying them.


After reading the articles above, use this form to share your answers by 6PM Tuesday night

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Career Day Preparation

The Forum on Wednesday, March 11th will be a preparation for Friday’s Career Day. Some things that we will cover include professional etiquette, social skills for making a positive impression, and reviewing our list of presenters. The dress for the day is daily standard. Friday will be dress standard for Career Day. 

The pre-Forum assignment is posted below. The last page should be printed out and turned in during Homeroom or emailed to your Homeroom teacher no later than 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 11th. You will need to complete part of the assignment on your Naviance Student account, If you have problems logging into Naviance Student, please email Mrs. Dougherty day's career day.  

Follow the instructions on this Investigation Worksheet and turn it in to your Homeroom Teacher by Wednesday March 11th.  

Sunday, February 23, 2020

S12E10 - Team Role Theory -- Where do you fit in?

Team Role Theory -- Where Do You Fit In?

This week's forum will look at the different roles commonly found on teams and the importance of having diversity in these roles to have an effective team. 

Our guest speaker is Dr. Maude Rephi, Director of the Langford Institute of Established Sociology.  Dr. Rephi has spent the last 24 years researching group dynamics and the roles people play in groups and teams.  Her presentation of what roles are critical in different situations will give you new insights into forming and working effectively in teams in school and in life. 

Due to the winter break, forum prep is limited. 
  1. Please take the team roles test at this link. 
  2. After completing the test, read the descriptions of all the roles, then use this survey to share your thoughts on the exercise.  
Answers must be submitted by 10pm Tuesday Night (2/25) for credit. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

S12E9 Are We Living In An Artificial Universe?

In 2003, Nick Bostrom, wrote a paper for Philosophical Quarterly that argued that there is a very strong chance that our entire universe and everyone who ever lived in it is in fact only a simulation running on a very advanced computer system.

While his original paper has some pretty significant math and probability calculations, his basic idea can be read here.

The always excellent XKCD comic has an interesting scenario where someone who is likely in a simple simulated universe creates their own simulated universe.

Bostrom answers some questions about his idea here.  This document refers to other ideas in philosophy and science you may not have encountered, so don't feel you need to understand all (or even most) of it.

Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams has a blog on the world and politics that often makes some very interesting observations.  In this article, he answers the question how to know if you are a real person.

In this article, Glen Reynolds shares how the Simulation Argument could explain our political situation.

This Article gives some arguments for why we are probably not in an artificial universe.

Use this link to answer some questions about this topic before 11pm Monday Night (2/10). 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

S12E8 - What's it like in Antarctica?

This week we'll here from an explorer who has just returned from an expedition to Antarctica.  There is no reading or forum questions due this week.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Watch the full episode of Darren Brown's Luck Experiment

If you want to watch the full episode of the experiment we discussed in forum,  you can find it at this link
"How do you define personhood and what makes mankind as a species special?"

"What is the role of faith in politics?"

"How can I tell if I'm being truly objective?"

"How much should we trust the science of evolution or global warming?"

These are the kinds of questions that young adults will wrestle with as they try to understand their place in the world. Trinity Academy of Raleigh explores these and similar questions in The Trinity Academy Forum -- a bi-weekly speaker series and dialog for 9th - 12th grade students.

The class seeks to foster Socratic dialog and critical thinking skills by presenting students with thought-provoking and often controversial subjects. When possible, these subjects are presented live by expert guest speakers, but sometimes they may use a video presentation from sources like TED.

The Forums take place on Wednesday mornings. Students from grade 9 through 12 attend the forum. Parents are also invited to attend the forum. Other guests who would like to observe a forum will usually be welcome, but should contact the school for permission.

Parents should note that, because the forum is intended to foster dialog and critical thinking, it may often deal with subjects and viewpoints that may fall outside of (or even be contrary to) a Christian worldview. The views and opinions expressed by speakers and moderators in the forum class are not necessarily those of Trinity Academy or its leadership, but representative of views our students are likely to encounter after they graduate. We believe exposure to these subjects is important to better prepare our students for college and life.