The secret gender gap in South Bend’s high school basketball programs

Clay High School’s sophomore point forward, Morgan Frasier, said her favorite aspect of basketball is how it allows for constant improvement. Photo by Cassidy McDonald

By Cassidy McDonald and Grace Watkins

In 2009, an Indiana girls basketball coach sued over Franklin County High School’s scheduling discrepancy: At the time, 95 percent of Franklin County boys basketball games took place in “prime time” (Friday and Saturday nights and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving), compared with just 53 percent of girls games.

The coach, Amber Parker, won her lawsuit against the Indiana High School Athletic Association in 2012. The courts ruled that this scheduling discrepancy was a violation of Title IX. Continue reading

Admitted Student Day at Notre Dame

By Grace Watkins

April 23 is an Admitted Student Day at the University of Notre Dame. Admitted students and their families come to campus to take tours, attend classes and eat in the dining hall before starting school in the fall.

Families are offered vouchers for meals in South Dining Hall, located on South Quad. This Bubbli gives a 360-degree view of South Quad.

Admitted Student Day ends with a mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus. This Bubbli gives a 360-degree view of the St. Jude statue near the Basilica. The statue is a popular stop on campus tours.

Google Timelapse: Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest

By Grace Watkins

This Google Earth Engine timelapse shows satellite imagery of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest from 1984 to 2016. This section of the Amazon rainforest is located in the Codajás municipality of the Amazonas state. Zoom in to see the individual settlements that have cut deeper and deeper into the rainforest over time. Roads into the rainforest widen as deforestation increases.

Deforestation is used by the logging industry, as well as for farm, industrial and settlement use. The Amazon rainforest has lost 294,366 square miles in total since 1970. “Save the Rainforest” protests prompted significant decreases to illegal logging, but deforestation has been back on the rise since 2015. These increases threaten Brazil’s ability to successfully complete the Paris Agreement commitments it made in 2016.

Deforestation has a serious impact on the environment and endangered species. If the current rate of deforestation continues, every rainforest in the world will disappear within 100 years.

Gender Equity in High School Sports

By Grace Watkins

The overall picture of gender equity in high school sports is bleak. Analysis of Department of Education data from 2012 suggests that 28 percent of all public high schools have large gender gaps in their sports programs. A “large” gender gap is defined as having significantly more boys receive spots on sports teams than girls (relative to the overall distribution of gender in the school).

The 10 worst states for gender equity are all in the South. Only six states have fewer than 10 percent of public high schools with large gender gaps. Indiana has the 35th worst ranking. 28 percent of its public high schools have large gender gaps. The good news is that Indiana improved four percent from the 2010-11 school year to the 2011-12 school year.

For more on gender equity, you can view the interactive version of the map. Here is another interactive graphic demonstrating the wide range of gender gaps by state.

Religion in Indiana

By Grace Watkins

Vice President Mike Pence is known for his evangelical faith. His commitment to the “Billy Graham Rule” made national headlines last week. Pence’s home state of Indiana is also widely regarded as religious. Do Indiana residents really live up to this expectation of religiosity, and can we learn anything about Pence by examining his home environment? I created a graphic using Gallup and Pew Research Center data to investigate further.

By Grace Watkins

History of the FIFA World Cup

By Grace Watkins

The FIFA World Cup Trophy and the official match ball of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil. (Photo via FIFA)

Here is a timeline of memorable FIFA World Cup moments from 1930 to the present. The World Cup occurs every four years. Germany won most recently in 2014, while Brazil has won the most times overall.

The next World Cup will be hosted by Russia in 2018. This will be the 21st tournament in the history of the World Cup. It will last from June 14 to July 18.

CDC Report: America’s 10 Cities Dealing with a Drinking Problem

This map shows the top 10 cities in America with drinking problems, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control.  The study uses a grading system based on the number of deaths from liver disease, deaths in DUI crashes, binge drinking, DUI arrests and harsh DUI laws. The top 10 cities all received an “F” grade. Many of these cities are on the West Coast.

10 Things to Do in South Bend


Industrial art installation on display at the Birdsell Project. (Photo by the Awesome Project)

By Grace Watkins

Featured on the map are 10 interesting locations in South Bend. Each location is either an educational or community building opportunity in the city. All are family-friendly and affordable.

While sports events often attract tourists to South Bend, there are many other local events of historical, environmental and artistic interest.

For example, the Potawatomi Zoo is the oldest in Indiana. The History Museum and Studebaker National Museum both host interesting permanent and traveling exhibits. The Civil Rights Heritage Center and Pierre Navarre Log Cabin preserve local history. 

The Unity Gardens presents a way for families to engage with the community and the environment, while Erasmus Books and the Chicory Cafe are perhaps most well-known and well-loved.

Many of the community centers on the map are relatively new. Some, like the Birdsell Project and Circa Arts Gallery, were converted from abandoned properties. This follows a national increase in interest in converting abandoned buildings into community spaces.

Increases in Chicago Pride Parade Attendance

By Grace Watkins

The Chicago Pride Parade is an annual parade celebrating LGTBQIA* rights and societal acceptance. The parade usually features performers, live music and a march through downtown Chicago. The streets are lined with booths and side events.

Parade attendance has substantially increased each year. Attendance of the parade has increased as societal acceptance of gay rights has increased. The parade itself also serves as a way to create acceptance.

Gay marriage was legalized in all 50 states in 2015. By this time, the Chicago Pride Parade had already had around 1 million people in attendance in 2013 and 2014. This graph outlines attendance from 1985 to 2014:

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For more on the Chicago Pride Parade, you can view the interactive version of the graph here.