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Purple Press is not a typical school newspaper. It doesn’t cover favorite classes, school events, or sports teams.
“I think of it as a middle school version of Wired,” said David Ley, the advisor to the Purple Press school club, referring to the magazine that covers how technology is changing the world.
It is that, more or less. Topics in this year’s edition range from 3D printing and the ethical issues around self-driving cars to school bus seat belts and turkey vultures. It is published annually in mid-June.
“We hand it out for extra reading after students finish their final exams,” said Ley. “We also have a summer edition full of games, mazes, and puzzles that we distribute during finals, as well."
“This year we are running late," he added. "In addition to meeting on Thursdays after school for forty-five minutes, we are also meeting during home base.”
“The Press attracts students who like to observe and draw conclusions about the world around them,” said Ley. “It often also attracts the activist kids—kids who are looking for a place to fight for changes that matter to them.”
Writing for the Purple Press helps students develop their ability to logically organize their thoughts and write more formally. It is open to all middle school students. By the time club members reach seventh and eighth grade they usually have a good deal of mastery and independence.
READ THIS YEAR'S EDITION HERE: 2017_06_00 Purple Press.pdf
Miranda is writing a piece that compares the lunch options between the middle and high schools. Spoiler alert: her research indicates that high school lunches are better.
“I interviewed many high school students. I talk to them on the late bus. They told me that in the high school cafeteria there are more options,” said Miranda. “But I had ravioli in the middle school cafeteria today, and it was great.”
“I don’t want to be a writer for the rest of my life, but right now I like it,” said Miranda.
Hannah is writing about the Pixar Theory. “You know, the one that the Super Calvin Brothers proposed,” she said.
Hannah explained that the Pixar Theory is that all of the movies made by Pixar Animation Studios—including "Toy Story," "Cars", "Ratatouille," and "Up"—exist in the same universe. The Super Carlin Brothers are two YouTube vloggers who first posited this theory.
“I’ve seen all of these movies. It’s fun to find the connections between them,” said Hannah.
“I’d like to be a writer, but maybe also a teacher. It’s a steady job that won’t be replaced by robots,” she said, sounding very Wired magazine. “Then I can write my stories on my own time.”
Pierce is writing about the ethical issuing around self-driving cars.
“Autonomous cars are not available to the public yet so it’s hard to get descriptive information,” said Pierce. “I watch YouTube videos. I also learned a lot on MIT’s website called the Moral Machine. It has information on the decisions self-driving cars will need to make—such as a driverless car needing to choose between killing two passengers or five pedestrians.”
“People who make self-driving cars program in decisions which might be in conflict with the people in the cars,” said Pierce.
“The Purple Press is good practice for the writing we do for school assignments,” he reflected.
Senna has writers block.
“I’m looking to find a way to start,” she said. “I want to write about all of the protests that are going on in America and how they are related. I’ve been to a lot of them. My working title is Women Across America Are Taking a Stand."
“I love writing,” said Senna. “I published a poem called My Grandmothers Tree in Chronogram magazine and Cricket magazine."