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Southeast Polk High School Library

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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
by Larry Magid This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News As students return to school, it’s time to think about absolute necessities like pens, paper, school clothes, a laptop or tablet and, of course, a learning network … Continue reading Continue reading

IAC’s Ask.com buys Ask.fm and hires a safety officer to stem bullying
Ask.com, which is owned by IAC/InteractiveCorp., has acquired Ask.fm, a Latvia-based question and answer site that has come under criticism because of past incidences of bullying. The site, which allows people to anonymously ask questions of others, is widely used … Continue reading Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

Largest Ebola Outbreak in History Strikes West Africa
The Ebola virus has caused more than 1,400 deaths in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria in an ongoing outbreak that began in March. The virus causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever, a deadly illness that spreads through contact with the blood or bodily fluids of infected people. While Ebola is dangerous, with a death rate of up to 90 percent, it is not very contagious. Unlike the flu or the common cold, it is not spread through the air. Health officials, including experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say Ebola does not pose a serious risk to America or Canada. While no vaccine exists for Ebola, doctors are testing experimental drugs that may prevent or halt future outbreaks.

August Is National Immunization Awareness Month
With the school year about to kick off, August is dedicated to immunization awareness. Several important vaccines are recommended for teens, including the HPV vaccine. This vaccine prevents certain cancers and diseases, including cervical cancer, caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys starting at age 11 or 12 and can be given throughout your teen years. Another critical vaccine is the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, which protects against meningitis. Most teens need a booster at age 16, and it is essential for any teen heading off to college. Doctors recommend that teens get the influenza vaccine every year as flu season ramps up in October or November. Ask a parent or doctor about getting vaccinated. A simple shot can make for a healthy future.

YouTube Star Hit with Copyright Lawsuit
At 16, Michelle Phan began posting makeup and beauty video tutorials online. Today, she is one of YouTube’s biggest stars, boasting 6.7 million subscribers. Phan is now facing legal trouble for doing something that many teens have done: using copyrighted materials in the content she creates. Dance music label Ultra Records is suing Phan because she placed copyrighted songs in her videos without a license. While teens are frequent digital content creators and often use copyrighted materials, those instances are usually legal because they are considered “fair use.” Phan, however, profited from her videos. Her YouTube fame led to endorsement deals that have made her a millionaire.

To Boost Your Mental Health, Play Sports
You already know that staying active is essential for your physical health. Scientists are also finding it is essential for your mental health. A new study from Canada found that playing sports leads to lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress for teens. The benefits even lasted four years beyond the time a student was active. The study looked at students in grades 8 to 12 who participated in basketball, soccer, gymnastics, wrestling, and other activities. Researchers said the benefits of playing sports were comparable to the effects of taking anxiety or depression medication.