The Philadelphia Science Festival Takes Over

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The Wagner Free Institute of Science lets guests touch live jellyfish from the Jersey Shore. The institute has been a part of the festival since its start seven years ago and creates a new theme every year. This year, the institute’s theme is, “how to become a marine biologist.”

The institute is one of 27 core collaborators in the Philadelphia area taking part in the Philadelphia Science Festival. It is a nine-day event featuring lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions, and a variety of science educational experiences for all ages.

Aaron Lawson, Children Educator at the Wagner Institute of Science, said, “So we do a lot of different things with geology, fossils, minerals, biology, and water. So, it’s just really cool and a lot of different things here that can bring the community together.”

There were arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, hands-on activities with marine animals, and a lecture from a Temple University Marine Biologist professor.

“I get to go down in submersibles to work on the ocean floor. And, I really love being here today just sharing that excitement for what I do and especially talking to little kids about it and seeing, you know, the excitement in their faces,” said Erik Cordes, Marine Biologist Professor at Temple. 

After professor Cordes’ presentation, guests were able to step outside to see what goes into studying life underwater.

Visitors experienced how marine biologists catch and study the different species of fish, look at organisms through a microscope, and touch live aquatic animals. For some, it wasn’t about the animals at all, but rather…

“My favorite part was getting this tree pencil,”Justin, a visitor, said.

“My favorite part was the crafts,” said Angelina, another eager visitor.

The Wagner Free Institute of Science plans on coming back for the eighth year of the Philadelphia Science Festival with new and exciting exhibits for people to enjoy.

Alpha Xi Delta Hosts it’s First Annual Step It Up 5K

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Alpha Xi Delta holds an annual AmaXIng Challenge to support their national philanthropy, Autism Speaks. This year they held their first annual Step It Up 5K at the bell tower. Their goal is to reach $2,000 by the end of the race.

“I’m running the autism speaks run today for my buddy. His little sister, when we were younger, got diagnosed with autism. So, I’m running today in honor of her,” said sophomore Tyler Barreto, who came out to the event despite the windy weather.

“All money raised today goes to funding better interventions and providing families with resources for children with autism,” said Alpha Xi Delta member, Courtney Periu.

Members from other greek organizations on campus supported the cause by not only showing up, but by entering to run. Two members of Delta Phi Epsilon came out to support their friends.

“We know how much effort and energy goes into philanthropies and how hard they work to put this together. So, we definitely want to support and like she said it’s a great way to start our Saturday morning,” said Delta Phi Epsilon member, Nicole Lacherza.

Alpha Xi Delta ended up raising $1,475 from the run, and plan to host more events throughout the month of April to fundraise as much as they can for Autism Speaks. Keep up to date on when and where the events are happening by following their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Rad Dish Makes Move to Become Sanctuary Restaurant

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After a recent change in deportation policies under President Donald Trump, a new trend in restaurants is popping up throughout the United States. The sanctuary restaurant concept comes from a national advocacy group known as the Restaurant Opportunities Center.

These restaurants want to help marginalized groups and minorities and have zero tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.

Temple University’s student run cafe, The Rad Dish Co-op, opened two years ago in Ritter Hall. They specialize in organic and sustainable food.

It’s one of a dozen other designated sanctuary restaurants throughout Philadelphia. The Rad Dish Co-Op has recently been made a sanctuary restaurant, which makes them unique and the only one on a college campus.

Ben Safran is a worker and board member of the Rad Dish Co-op who supports the movement and thinks the global system is unjust.

“It’s hard to create an environment free of harassment and discrimination based on any identity marker, based on race, gender or immigration status,” said Ben.

Sanctuary restaurants believe that diversity makes us stronger and stands with diverse communities to help protect their liberties, dignities and freedoms.

“I think it’s important for us as a cooperative business which makes workers’ rights the center of our mission and to find different ways to stand up for workers’ rights and it’s tough,” Ben added.

Megan Bazin is a Temple University student who loves the idea behind sanctuary restaurants. She loves The Rad Dish but thinks it shouldn’t be so exclusive.

“I wish you just didn’t need need access into the building to get in here. I wish it was more public,” Megan said.

For more information and a list of other sanctuary restaurants in Philadelphia visit Sanctuary Resturants.

New Options for SEPTA Commuters

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SEPTA made the key cards available again for passengers starting February 13, 2017 and continuing until March 3. The cards will be available at certain stops along the Broad Street Line, Market Frankford Line, and bus loops.

The newest edition to the Key Program is the Travel Wallet. SEPTA’s Chief Press Officer, Andrew Busch, told Temple Update how the Travel Wallet is a little bit different than the regular Key Card.

“So, with the key we started out making weekly and monthly passes available and now we’re slowly getting into the Travel Wallet portion, which is a pay as you go,” Busch says.

Passengers can load a minimum of ten dollars and a maximum of 250 dollars onto their card at Major SEPTA Sales Offices, Fare Kiosks at certain locations, by calling the Key Customer Call Center at 855-567-3782, or the ecommerce website.

The travel pass is fairly new for students in the Philadelphia area. Temple student Adam Rayan thinks the Travel Wallet is a great idea, but has not had a chance to use it yet.

“I don’t have one personally, but I mean it’s a good idea. I just don’t use SEPTA enough to get one if you know what I mean,” says Rayan.

SEPTA has plans to eliminate the use of all tokens and move to only using cards. They also plan to create an app for passengers to be able to connect their card to their account on the go with a click of a button.