不管是今年四月份考的STEM education还是去年9月份考的creativity，以及10月份考的challenge，还有12月份考的mastering a complex skill,这些话题都是与高中生的生活学习息息相关。所以，只要大家具备基本常识，是绝对不会出现无法理解题目的现象。
我们知道美国是世界上经济最发达的国家，而他的经济发达程度之高是跟美国人的创造力密切相关的，所以9月份考的creativity，也反应了这个特点。然后，美国人也十分注重挑战精神，我们知道，西方资本主义社会的发展可以一直追溯到新航道的开辟，文艺复兴运动，启蒙运动，资产阶级革命，还有工业革命，等等，这些历史进程，都非常鲜明地反应出美国人对于挑战自我，挑战自然，挑战权威的勇气和智慧。 所以，10月份话题challenge, 也反应出了这种美国文化的标签。然后，12月和4月份的话题其实本质上都和教育学习相关，12月份的mastering a complex skill,以及4月的STEM education都反应出了美国人对于教育学习的重视程度，因为我们知道，教育是培养创造力和挑战精神的根本动力，所以这个话题也反映出了美国主流社会的关注点。
1.Declining Event Attendance
For many years, the only way to see a large public event—a concert , a movie, a baseball game—was to attend in person. More than just a function of necessity, though, physically attending a large event was seen as an opportunity to build community and fellowship through shared experience. In recent years, however, attendance at public events has declined steadily. Given the long-standing cultural role of public events, it is worth considering what declining attendance might indicate about our shifting cultural values.
People these days value convenience over community. It’s easier to watch a game from home than to attend in person, so we do it, even though it keeps us isolated from one another.
For many people, attending an event is a luxury they can’t afford. When time and resources are scarce, we choose what’s most practical first, even if that means sacrificing community participation.
Today, physical presence isn’t necessary for participating in an event and building community. TV, the Internet, and social media offer shared experience to more people than large public events ever could before.
Free music is now available through many legal sources, from streaming services to online radio stations, making it largely unnecessary to purchase an album or even a single song. As sales figures continue to drop, some musicians, both high-profile and relatively unknown, have even quit trying to sell their music altogether, choosing instead to release new material for free online. Perhaps this trend is a matter of simple economics: cheap is good, but free is better. But it is worth considering whether our apparent unwillingness to spend money on music is an indication that its value in our lives is changing.
Digital technologies and the Internet have changed our relationship with music. It is so plentiful and readily available now that all value has been diluted.
Music competes for our attention with many other kinds of inexpensive entertainment these days. We still value it, but we also have a lot of other ways to spend our money.
With so many free sources, people are listening to more music and discovering more new musicians than ever before. Wide availability has only increased our appreciation of music.
3. Internet Censorship
The percentage of the global population with the ability to access the Internet surpassed 80% recently. Due to its nature and open format, the Internet has become one of the most accessible forms of information around the world. At first, the open dissemination was welcomed and heralded, but recent bouts with political turmoil, spread of false news, and malicious hacks or phishing schemes have led governments to reconsider if information or content should be controlled. However, censoring information requires a governing body to decide what is “suitable” content, leading to a strong degree of influence over a society. Censorship is seemingly warranted against inappropriate pornography and blatantly false or harmful information. But, in other circumstances, with services such as social networks that also allow for the quick dissemination of information, the line is not as clear-cut. Protests and even small-scale riots have been instigated through the spread of rumors according to some experts. Is it possible to implement “fair” censorship and what would the implication be?
The Internet places power in the hands of dangerous and malicious criminals. It is the government’s duty to protect its citizens from any threats these people pose, regardless of whether they stem from online or offline activity.
Free speech is an unalienable right that citizens should have. Limiting what they can read, write or share is fundamentally wrong.
Attempting to censor content is a futile activity. Internet technology and content is changing and developing at such a fast pace today that it is impossible flow. There are always ways to access “illegal” content.
While many people have become accustomed to advertising, many don’t realize how large the industry truly is. It is estimated that the online and offline advertising industry globally is valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Proponents cite the benefits of creating awareness to new markets that require services or products—such as health care, education, food, nutritional supplements, etc.—that increase the rate of survival in developing areas of the world. But, this comes at the cost of marketers pedaling items that have self-serving or even harmful motives. Should advertising be regulated? Is it possible to ethically regulate advertising without showing favoritism or affecting economic growth? The implications of placing restrictions on how or what services or products are advertised deserves evaluation.
Small businesses employ a majority of the workforce. These companies rely on new and innovative ways to advertise and grow their businesses.
Many advertisers make false claims and exaggerate product benefits in order to drive sales. This practice has to be monitored carefully by an organization that cares about the well being of citizens.
The advertisements that work the best are the ones that appeal to emotional weakness or desires. This manipulation of people is unwarranted and unjustifiable.
Conservation status systems help governments and policy organizations priorities and allocate resources to support the survival of imperiled species. In the United States, laws such as the Endangered Species Act provide a policy framework for implementing efforts to protect at-risk wildlife and ecosystems. These laws are often directly focused on mitigating the negative manmade effects of commercial expansion and land use. However, some activist groups support the broader goal of preventing the extinction of any species regardless of whether or not humans are the cause of endangerment. Should regulatory efforts to protect endangered species be limited to offsetting the role of humans in placing wildlife at risk? Considering the global scope of conservation issues, the careful consideration and coordination of advocacy priorities could lead to improved policy outcomes.
Humans have the unique ability, through technological capability and scientific progress, to benefit the environment through the protection of wildlife and ecosystems. Conservation efforts should be open to any at-risk species, regardless of the known causes of endangerment.
Conservation policies are regularly met with the challenge of an ever increasing number of species to save. With limited conservation resources available, funding priorities are too often biased in favor of publicly well-known animals and plants. Conservation decisions should instead be driven by scientific models that pinpoint sources of risk and identify high-value targets for species protection.
To shape effective policy, a distinction should be drawn between species at risk due to human and nonhuman factors. Well intentioned conservation programs often carry unintended consequences that can create new environmental hazards despite successful species protection. Conservation policy should therefore be focused in a narrow way to repair the known negative effects of human activities on an ecosystem.