Water Filter Pitchers Don’t All Filter Equally

A new study at the Ohio State University found that water filter pitches don’t all do an equal job of filtering harmful materials from water. The new study compared three popular brands in their ability to filter out microcystins from tap water. One brand did fine, the other two didn’t stop the microcystins, which get into the water during harmful algal blooms.

The study, which appears in Water Science Technology: Water Supply, found that the fastest filter made with coconut-based activated carbon could only remove about 50% (or less!) of the microcystins. While the slowest one, made from an active carbon blend, made microcystins undetectable in the water.

The researchers don’t specifically name any of the three bands, but they are all common and range in price from $15 to $50. Interested parties would be able to read the study, which does specifically name the features of each pitcher and their findings, and deduce from that data which brand of pitcher to buy if they want the best filtration.

Students with Intellectual Disabilities Not Spending Enough Time in Gen Ed?

In 1975 a national law was created that required students with intellectual disabilities spend as much time as is possible in gen. ed. courses. A new study by OSU researchers has found that progress in that regard has come to a standstill. No other study has examined nation-wide patterns in placement for students with these disabilities for the entire life span of the law, some 40 years.

In this time, 55-73% of students with intellectual disabilities spend nearly their whole day in specialized schools or classrooms instead of with their non-disabled peers.

Researchers used multiple data sources to find out how students between the ages of 6-21 where placed in each federally-reported educational system between 1976 and 2014.
One possibility might be that inclusion has stalled because most students are already placed in the least restrictive educational environment possible, as per the federal law. However, data from multiple states suggests that the issue could be a lack of standardization among school systems on what constitutes the “least restrictive education environment”.

The study will be published in the American Journal on Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.

OSU Welcomes New Students Through Mobile Devices

OSU will feature a “digital wallpaper” on university-provided devices that will greet thousands of incoming students next month at orientation. It is the creation of 3rd year industrial design student Nadia Ayad. She is the winner of the universities Digital Flagship Wallpaper Contest. It is an annual contest in which undergraduates compete to have their work featured on mobile device home screens that many incoming freshmen will see. The winner’s drawing comes pre-loaded on some ten-thousand devices distributed to  students each academic year.

Ayad’s winning design features a variety of imagery from fast foods like pizza and doughnuts to imagery that nods towards majors like chemistry, agriculture and sports. Ayad earned herself an iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil as a prize for her outstanding design work.

Similar digital tool kits will be given to new first-year students at all campuses as part of an initiative to help prep students for the mobile workplace. Furthermore, these students will have access to app building tools and related business partnerships and professional development opportunities.

The Founding of Ohio State University

The Ohio State University began life as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. Governor Rutherford B. Hayes created a board of trustees for the institution in 1870, afterwards construction on the first building began. Ohio funded the founding of the college through the sale of land acquired in the Morrill Act. The Morrill Act essentially gave land to each state who had not seceded from the Union in the American Civil War. Through the act Ohio received a total of 630,000 acres. The legislature profited to the tune of $342,450.80 from its sale. These funds help begin the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College.

The school was originally situated within a farming community located on the northern edge of Columbus, and was intended to matriculate students of various agricultural and mechanical disciplines. Columbus also being located and in the middle of the state and easily accessible by rail and canal came into the decision. The university opened its doors to 24 students on September 18, 1873, including two women. In 1878, the first class of six men graduated.

During the institution’s infancy there was debate over what he purpose of the college should be. Most of the trustees and faculty wanted the school to enhance Ohioans through a broader, liberal arts educations. However, the Ohio Board of Agriculture, specifically its secretary Norton Townshed, preferred a narrower education focusing on new agricultural techniques. Eventually, those who favored a broader, liberal education including English, foreign languages, political science, history and other types of courses won out. This lead to a name change in 1878 at which time the school became known as the Ohio State University, to reflect its wider offering of course work that the University is known for today.