Young Observers: Mid-June 2023

School Scene

by Marcella, 6th grade

Fullerton School District’s First Dual Language Class

Gets Promoted to Junior High

The Fullerton School District (FSD) celebrated the promotion of the first Spanish-English dual language academy (DLA) two weeks ago. This first class at Raymond Elementary School began attending the DLA in 2016 and will move on to 7th grade at Ladera Vista Junior High School.

Prior to the promotion ceremony on June 1st, FSD hosted an honor ceremony for the founding district members that included outstanding students giving speeches and each DLA sixth grader receiving a special pin and certificate.

Photo shows Board President Aaruni Thakur (extreme left), current School Principal Cristina Centeno (6th from left), and founding Principal Yolanda McComb (7th from left) received recognition plaques that featured a picture of the two inaugural Raymond DLA classes, a heartwarming testament to their hard work and inspiring accomplishment with the Spanish DLA Program.

FSD currently has three schools that offer dual language programs. Raymond Elementary and Pacific Drive Elementary offer Spanish dual language, while Laguna Road Elementary offers Korean dual language.

A key mission of the program is the development of biliteracy and bilingualism while cultivating cross-cultural competencies to succeed in a multicultural society and global economy. Parents who are interested in enrolling their children in this program can learn more on the FSD website: Educational Services/Dual Language Academy (DLA).

Summer Kick Off

by Edyn, 10th grade

Fullerton’s Not-So-Hidden Gems

The dawn of summer is a cool reminder of our city’s not-so-hidden gems that feature interesting activities. Fullerton has both indoor and outdoor activities to fuel the community for summer. The Fullerton Farmers Market, the Fullerton Arboretum, Downtown Fullerton, and the Muckenthaler Cultural Center are perfect for any trip with family and friends.

The farmer’s market is ideal for casual conversation while shopping or scanning each product. Every Thursday from 4:30 to 8:30 pm, guests are invited to browse each vendor’s stand and purchase fresh produce and products.

The Fullerton Arboretum also has many summer outdoor activities, such as its Summer Stroll along its lovely gardens on June 23; although some of these activities are paid for, their website,, discloses which events are open to the public and their pricing. This is an excellent opportunity to relax over the summer amongst all the business and bustle that could crowd the break.

Downtown Fullerton is quite the opposite of the serene nature at the Arboretum, but it is an equally perfect summer destination that we may tend to overlook. Downtown Fullerton offers many clothing stores, restaurants, and cafes that cater to any mood. Downtown Fullerton has a place for all ages where the community can come together to shop, eat and socialize. It is the heart of the social scene in Fullerton, and the limits are truly endless.

However, if you prefer a more calm communal space, the Muckenthaler Cultural Center has plenty of summer activities for children and adults. On their website,, children can sign up for art classes, and you can buy tickets for upcoming events, such as the production of The Sound of Music, which ends June 28. The Muck features concerts, shows, and programs for everyone to enjoy. There is even an art gallery that showcases the art of many local artists.

For indoor activities, Fullerton has many Escape Rooms for different age ranges, allowing family and friends to feel the rush of the rooms. With many selections of escape room establishments in Fullerton, there is a never-ending cycle of possible escape room themes like Sherlock Holmes or an evil AI. This is an excellent opportunity to spend time with loved ones while harnessing some happy chemicals (a.k.a. dopamine) for the brain.

If you want a more educational opportunity, the Fullerton Museum is jam-packed with different events and galleries that recount the history of various people and places. The large selection of events can fit the interests of anyone as they change every so often. To find more details on their exhibits, their website,, states the dates and times of their upcoming events. Over the summer, their family-friendly events include the Day of Music on June 21 and the Women’s Festival on July 22.

For those who have decided to stay local this summer, we have all these not-so-hidden gems to explore and enjoy.


by Irene, 11th grade

Debunking College Admissions Myths

“Investing your time into a passion project is the real secret behind Ivy League acceptances.” As a rising senior preparing to enter the last phase of high school and my adolescent years, those words are all too familiar. Typically defined as an independent project based on a student’s niche interest, the term “passion project” has been hailed as the ticket to our nation’s most competitive universities in recent years. And with thousands of TikTok college admissions coaches urging students to do the same, the pressure is real. But, despite its implications, many students, parents, and educators have taken the definition of a “passion project” entirely out of context, detracting from the value of meaningful experience and authentic passion.

The looming pressure of college admissions and their competitive nature often compels students to conform to this trend and explore areas of little interest. However, in this pursuit of external validation and recognition from admissions officers, we risk losing the value of education — the process of learning to address real-world problems, navigating the workforce, honing creativity, building leadership skills, and engaging in pressing matters. While content creators perpetuate the narrative that success in the college admissions process is defined solely by statistics and the sweeping list of extracurricular activities, as teenagers, there is nothing quite as valuable as exploring our respective passions and contributing to our community in meaningful ways. As I embark on this grueling journey this coming fall, I want to remind myself that my future is worth far more than an acceptance letter.

Science Curiosity

by Erin, 8th grade

Degrees of Separation

In the parlor game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, players must connect an actor, like Kevin Bacon, to another actor through films. The game is based on the popular concept of six degrees of separation, which states two people can be linked through six different social connections.

A first-degree connection is a friend or acquaintance you know directly; a second-degree connection is a person that your friend knows – and so on. Stanley Milgram, a curious social psychologist, supported the idea by doing an experiment called the small-world experiment. This experiment involved people who passed a letter to friends to get it to a specific person. Almost every letter that was received took up to six people to be delivered. His theory seemed to be accurate, considering that this rule also applies to shipping – it takes about six steps for a package to reach its destination.

Today, it is much easier to reach people in less than six steps through social media. For example, if you have enough mutual friends with a user, they will be recommended to you, which can quickly expand your network. This is unlike in person, where you can pretty much only know of a person if you heard about them from someone else.

In addition to social networks, Milgram’s experiment has helped us to understand how diseases spread and how fake news can affect an American election overnight, according to The Cut.

Let’s Celebrate

by Mateo, 9th grade

National Jerky Day

Jerky is a delicious snack loved by meat enthusiasts everywhere. The chewy treat can be made out of just about any meat and in many different flavors, and it can even be cooked in various ways. Jerky has been a popular travel food since ancient Egyptian times and has now become a staple snack worldwide.

To celebrate the success and tastiness of jerky over the years, we celebrate National Jerky Day each year on June 12th. Here is a brief history of Jerky Day, as well as the meaty snack’s journey to worldwide popularity. Jerky has been around for almost 5000 years. Egyptians used to place a primitive form of jerky in the tombs of the deceased as a source of nourishment for their journey into the afterlife.

The Quechua, a South American tribe, also enjoyed jerky and named it “ch’arki,” which means dried, salted meat and is also where the treat’s name was derived from. Many nomadic groups implemented jerky as a common food in their diet.

The method of curing and drying the meat that is used for jerky is essential for hunter-gatherers, as it makes the meat extremely portable while preserving it for longer periods of time.

Jerky began spreading across North America in the 19th century, especially during our country’s journey to achieve Manifest Destiny. As early as the 1860s, jerky became a common snack among cowboys and ranchers as they traveled. The tasty meat treat even became prominent in space travel, as astronauts consider the food an essential space-friendly snack. Due to its vast history and wonderful taste, jerky soon transformed from a hidden gem into a household name, leading Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and the Wisconsin Beef Council, two big meat distributors, to collaborate in 2012 to create National Jerky Day. So, just how popular is jerky nowadays?

In the U.S., you can find variations of it in every gas station, supermarket, and corner store there is, and many other countries have their own styles of jerky as well. I always make it a point to bring a bag of beef jerky to my baseball games to keep me energized and my stomach satisfied, and it always finds a way into my family’s car during long drives, so jerky has played quite the role in my own life. Jerky is now the world’s second most popular snack, behind potato chips. So, whether you’re at a baseball game or on a long drive this summer, feel free to treat yourself to a fresh bag of jerky on National Jerky Day.

Back to Basics

by Declan, 7th grade

New UV Detectors

Have you ever forgotten to reapply sunscreen and suffered from painful sunburns? Many companies are now selling a new and beneficial UV detector that turns purple whenever sunscreen needs to be reapplied.

Once the UV sticker is on one’s skin, one can apply sunscreen over the product and other exposed areas to shield themselves from the sun. When the sunscreen wears off, the UV sticker will turn a dark purple color, indicating to the user that more sunscreen is needed.

According to one review on Amazon, the stickers are much needed for sensitive skin and can withstand a ton of sweat and even a shower. Another review also acknowledges that the sticker can come off super easily with no sticky residue, unlike a bandaid. Lasting 24 hours and resistant to water, this soon-to-be necessity will likely be part of the daily routine of most people.

Rosie LeeFeatured Pet & Animal Trivia

by Rosie, 6th grade

Meet Baby Doll

Meet four-year-old Baby Doll, still just as adorable as when she was four months old! (Reminiscent of Nermal, from the Garfield comic strip.) Under her mask of ‘shyness,’ you will discover a rich personality. She also would appreciate some extra TLC for her furry hair.

Animal ID#: A1812128  visit or Call (714) 935-6848 to schedule an appointment today! (Walk-ins welcome)

Mountain Gorilla

Q: What is the mountain gorilla a subspecies of? A: A subspecies of the eastern gorilla, there are an estimated 1063 gorillas in the wild, living in the Virunga mountains of central Asia. Years of war, habitat destruction, hunting, and disease have caused the severe decline of the gorilla population from 1902 to 2023. About 85% of their diet is made of leaves, shoots, and stems, but they can also consume larvae, snails, roots, bark, and rotting wood, which is a good source of sodium. FUN FACT: We share 98% of our DNA. Extremely clever gorillas have been recorded creating their own tools!