May 24

We Design Things (In Which I Make an Ugly House)

Hey guys, welcome back to my blog! This post is about my latest project in Scimatics, the ultimate design challenge. In this project, the driving question depended on what you were building. Our driving question was “How can we design a house to have maximum surface area?”

Speaking of which, this project was done in partners. My partner was Hannah.

As you can tell by reading the driving question, the thing we chose to build was a house. We were aiming to have maximum surface area, in order to attract heat to keep anyone inside the house warm.

Here is what our house looked like:

These are the different shapes we used:

-Cylinder

-Triangular prism

-Rectangular prism

-Cube

-Hexagonal prism

-Octahedron

-Cone

-Dodecahedron 

-Pentagonal prism

-Sphere

Can you spot all of them?

Here are the calculations we made to calculate the surface area and volume:

Next, I’m going to talk about the Curricular Competencies.

Applying and Innovating: Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through personal or collaborative approaches.

-All class time is used efficiently for learning without distractions.

I think I accomplished this competency. Near the end I dipped off and had to finish some work at home, but most of the time I was able to focus and work in class.

Reasoning and Analyzing: Model mathematics in contextualized experiences.

-A 3D object is designed using TinkerCad or other design software. The design is optimized for either maximum volume or maximum surface area. The design should include at least 10 basic 3D shapes. A model should also be build cooperatively for a group of 2.

I think I accomplished this competency because I managed to be successful in creating my object and designing it for maximum surface area. One thing I definitely could’ve done better was making it look good. It wasn’t exactly beautiful, but it got the job done.

Communicating and Representing: Explain and justify mathematical ideas and decisions

-The surface area and volume are measured, calculated, and compared for efficiency. There factors are explained in detail in a keynote presentation to the class.

I think I accomplished this competency. The shapes were all measured and calculated correctly, and explained while we were presenting. We put together the presentation nicely and included all the information, including the total volume, surface area, and ratio between the two.

 

And that wraps up this Scimatics project! See you in the next blog post!

April 12

[Insert Witty DI Title Here]

Hey guys! Welcome back to my blog. Today I’m going to be talking about Destination Imagination! I had the scientific challenge, which was called Up Close.

My team included Caden, Kadin, Owen, Jackson, and Naomi.

The Up Close challenge required quite a few things, but mainly for there to be a story in which character(s) go into a microworld and discover a mysterious object, and later learning what it is (this is a rough explanation.)

In my team (Bacterial Besties)’s solution, we had 2 scientists fall into the microworld and meet our three bacteria, who’s names were Sal, Mon, and Ella (to be salmonella.) The scientists met the bacteriophage, figured out what it was, and used it to kill the bacteria, before leaving the microworld.

When we started working on ideas, we had pretty much nothing. We had barely any ideas, only that we would have scientists fall into the microworld through a microscope. As we continued to work on it, we began to come up with more ideas, such as the bacteriophage and it having moving legs. Eventually, we had a full plan and began to write the script. Once we had a pretty good script, we started building things, such as the microscope. When we went to Loon Lake, we finalized the script, and when we got back, we built the backdrop. As we put together our costumes and started rehearsing with our backdrop, it fell apart, so we rebuilt it, and our entire presentation was already looking much better than before. Eventually, we memorized lines and went to St. George’s to present our solution.

I think our presentation went okay, though I think we could’ve improved by delivering our lines more smoothly. It seemed a bit too awkward, and we weren’t in sync. We also would’ve done better if we started building the bacteriophage costume earlier on. Because we built it so last minute, it was almost falling apart while we were presenting, and it wasn’t fully functional. I think if we had also put more effort into it, we definitely would’ve done better.

One thing I think we did really well was our backdrop. When it broke the first time, we were sad, but we went back at it with a proper plan, and it turned out so much better. We also did pretty good with the backdrop transition while presenting, doing it smoothly and efficiently without and bumps of hitches. I also think we did pretty well on our instant challenge.

There was also a photo we had to take of our car decorated by our team! This was ours:

The big sign that says “bacterial besties” was our team sign.

And finally, here’s a video of our presentation:

Thank you for reading my blog post. DI really pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it was totally worth it because of all the ways I grew along the way.

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April 11

Chemistry Coding!

Hey guys, welcome back to my blog! Today I’ll be talking about my most recent Scimatics project, Chemistry Coding. This project was really interesting to me, because I already know my way around coding with Scratch, and thoroughly enjoy it.

 

At the start of the project, as per usual, we made a Mindnode, which we completed at the end of the project. Here’s mine:

Here are my core competencies:

Questioning and predicting: Demonstrate a sustained curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest.

I think I did well on this competency. I demonstrated it by going deeper in my Scratch game, by adding things like Scratch plugins, allowing my game to involve different concepts outside of simple buttons and clickers. Another way I showed this competency was in the assignment where we drew diagrams of molecules/atoms, where I put effort into my drawings and researched the information I needed.

Scientific Communication: Communicate ideas, findings, and solutions to problems using scientific language, representations, and digital technologies.

I think I did really well in this competency. One piece of evidence of this is the “What is this?” page on my Scratch project, which used scientific language to explain a few simple concepts that were included in my game.

Reasoning and Analyzing: Use logic and patterns to solve puzzles and play games.

I think I decently extended on this competency. My reasoning for this is that I added the Scratch plugin and included motion sensing on my game, and went far deeper on the coding aspect of this project than was necessary. You can see evidence of this in my actual game, which is embedded in this blog post.

 

Thanks for reading!

March 30

The Renaissance: It Wasn’t as Boring as I Thought

Hey guys, welcome back to my blog. Today I’m going to be talking about probably one of my favourite projects in Humanities so far. It’s called The Renaissance: A Change Engine. The driving question of this project was “What significant developments emerged from the past and how do they impact us today?” Obviously, since this project was about the Renaissance, we’re only looking at developments from then.

In this project, our two main final products were a paragraph and a triptych about the societal changes, people, artworks and inventions we considered to be the most historically significant. Here’s my triptych:

The four things I chose were:

-The iconic artwork “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

-The societal change which was access to libraries and educational materials

-The invention of clocks

-Famous artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci

The all related to modern day things. The four modern day things I would associate with my four renaissance things are:

-NFTs

-Technology which can easily show us information

-Technology that can easily let us tell time (cell phones, smart watches)

-Elon Musk

I am happy with my work on this assignment and I believe I accomplished it.

My other piece, my paragraph, was a persuasive paragraph on why clocks are the most historically significant invention of the Renaissance. Here is my paragraph:

The single most historically significant invention from the Renaissance still lives with us and is used daily by people around the world. It is one of the most universal items in history, an invention that can be recognized by pretty much any person alive who has been born since its creation. What is this amazing, crazy invention you may ask? Clocks. Yes, those insignificant things on your walls that you glance at every 5 minutes waiting for whatever is the most significant invention of the Renaissance. If you disagree with me, read on. If you agree with me, read on. If you have any opinion on this, continue reading, because whether or not you agree with me, I’m going to tell you why I think this. Before I tell you that, though, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the history of time measurement (yes, I know, you’re probably bored already because pretty much everyone knows this or doesn’t want to. But this is necessary for context.) The measurement of time started with sundials. While this was pretty good to use, it was finicky and only worked under certain conditions. For example, it didn’t really work at night, or if it was too cloudy and the light was spread, causing there to be no shadows. Plus, the entire thing had to be unobstructed, so if you lived in a forest, say bye to that! After the sundial came the hourglass era. Yes, yes, very interesting, I know. Anyways, hourglasses just really didn’t do what was needed, so eventually in the 14th century some guy named Peter Henlein came along and finally invented the first mechanical clock. So that’s our little summary of the history of time measurement for you. Basically some random German locksmith came along and said “this isn’t good enough” as all inventors do, and so he made a clock. Moving on, I think that the invention of clocks is the most historically significant invention from the Renaissance because it creates structure in society and life in general. For example, working and being paid by the hour was pretty much impossible at that point, because no one knew when the hour was. Anything on a specific timed schedule couldn’t consistently be done properly. Individual activities had no timed structure, and it was hard to set something up with an “I’ll meet you at the end of the street at 10:35.” Getting an exact time for anything was impossible. The second reason I think that the clocks were the most significant invention of the Renaissance is because they are the fuel of huge multimillion dollar companies today such as Rolex. My third reason is that it is so applicable to the modern day, where crazy new technology is being invented every day (for example, the device that you’re reading this on.) Smart watches, which are becoming more and more prominent in everyone’s daily lives, wouldn’t exist without the invention of wristwatches, and wristwatches wouldn’t exist without the invention of clocks. So, to sum everything up, clocks are the most historically significant invention from the Renaissance because they lead to the creation of so many important things now, and they add a lot more structure to society and to everyone’s daily lives. So, supporters of the printing press being more important: beat that! 

I think I extended on this assignment because I connected with the reader in a unique way without straying from the main idea of my paragraph.

One activity I enjoyed was the Renaissance simulation at the start of the project, where we pretended to live in those times. At the start of the activity, we were assigned a societal role. The different roles were serfs, knights, lords, and monarch. We quickly learned how much your role in society impacted your life back then, even when it was out of your control. For example, I was a lord, and I enjoyed sitting on a comfortable chair, while all the serfs were stuck on the ground.

One big thing I loved about this project was what we learned in using the photo editing app SuperImposeX, since I love technology. During our time at Loon Lake, I learned how to put an image over another and remove the background, which helped me with my triptych.

 

Near the end of the project, we were looking at different artworks from the Renaissance and I learned about a cool feature within Google Arts & Culture. This was the feature that allows you to see a piece of are in AR (Augmented Reality.) Because of this, I got to take a photo with the Mona Lisa.

Now, to answer the driving question. What significant developments emerged from the past and how do they impact us today? One significant development that emerged from the past was the Mona Lisa. It’s well known around the world despite being created over 513 years ago. Another was the invention of clocks. It impacts us today significantly, allowing us to easily see the time and introduce important things for society such as pay by the hour and a base for the huge watch industry. 

Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you learned something or at least have come away knowing which development from the Renaissance is the most historically significant (hint: it’s the invention of clocks!)

March 4

Loon Lake Learning Advance!

Hello everyone, welcome back to my blog! Today is a more special blog post: I’m going to be talking about my very first field study, the Loon Lake Learning Advance! In this post, I’m going to be reflecting on my learning while I was there.

Day 1

We started this day at school. The assignment of our Book Creator book was introduced to us. At around 12:30, we left the school and started heading towards Loon Lake. As soon as we got there, we went to the amphitheatre and went on our photo walk. I took photos of different parts of nature during this walk.

In order to get to the path, we had to pull a cool rope barge.

After our photo walk, we went on a ‘quest’ to get used to the area. At one of the clues, we took a photo of ourselves as a human totem pole. 

My team for this activity was Daniel, Caitlin, Kira, and Hannah.

After that, we settled into our cabins. I shared a room with Kira, Brooke, Kai, and Gwenyth. Once we put our stuff away, we headed to the gym for a team building activity. Our activities included a few games. For the first one, we had a partner and we walked around the gym alone until Mr. Harris called out a scenario (for example, a frog on a log,) and we had to find our partner and act out the scene. Another game we played was a fun drawing game. We sat in a circle with a small group and had a piece of paper and a marker for each person. We drew one shape 3 times on our piece of paper, and passed it to the next person. Then you draw different shapes on the paper passed to you, and so on. We ended up with some fun artwork.

After we did these activities, we ate dinner. We had some delicious lasagna! Once dinner was over, we had evening fun. I chose to do games night and I had fun playing cards. After evening fun, we had our first advisory group. We called our group the Wolvefishes.

After advisory, we went to sleep, excited for the next day.

Day 2

On day 2, we woke up bright and early to have a delicious pancake and french toast breakfast. Directly afterwards, we had advisory. After advisory, we headed to the forest to build shelters. My group for this activity was Daniel, Callum, and Chris. 

After that, we did our first learning block with Mr. Harris. In this lesson, we learned all about the NAME acronym to determine historical significance: N-novelty, A-applicability, M-memory, and E-effect. I think I did really well in this activity because I was an active listener throughout the video we watched. We had a productive conversation about the NAME technique and events throughout history that I took a big part in. Anyways, after all of these events, I had the DI Sweatbox. Basically this was an activity where way too many kids chill in a room with a painfully hard floor and no chairs to work on Destination Imagination for 2 hours straight. So that was SUPER fun. My team finalized our script and practiced it, so at least the painfully slow 2 hours weren’t completely in vain. After this we had free time and finished the part of the day where we had to think properly with dinner. After dinner, we had evening fun, where I played cards again, and then advisory. With that, we finished our day.

Day 3

We started day 3 with breakfast at 7:45 again. (I call a riot. We should’ve eaten later!) After that, we had advisory as usual, and started our thinking time. Our first non-routine activity was silent ball in the gym. After that, we had another lesson with Mr. Harris on how to mask with the app SuperimposeX.

Next, we ate lunch and continued with yet another DI Sweatbox. We continued practising and improving our script until we moved on to free time and then dinner. After dinner, we had advisory and then our final evening fun, which was a movie night. We watched Back to the Future. After that, we went to sleep our final night at Loon Lake.

Day 4

On day 4 we started our day with breakfast 15 minutes early (seriously, why did we have to wake up so early ahhhh!) After breakfast, we had our final advisory, and then packed up our stuff. Finally, we played capture the flag (grade 8’s vs grade 9’s) and finished everything up with chicken burgers for lunch. After that we loaded back onto the buses and headed back to school.

Overall, I loved going to Loon Lake! I learned all about historical significance, and my knowledge on SuperimposeX is much more vast than before (though I didn’t know anything beforehand.)

Finally, I can’t forget my book! During our time at Loon Lake, we worked on a book in the app Book Creator about our time there. Here it is!

Loon Lake Learning Advance

January 31

mPOL 2022

Hello! Welcome back to my blog! This post is for my mPOL (midyear presentation of learning.) Today I will be talking about how I’ve grown so far this year, and what I could do better. 

I’ll be talking about 7 different projects in this post: I’ll be talking about DI, Laser Laws, Working With Words, Constructing Creative Communication, The Medium is The Message, Fractions of Our Time, and The Outsiders.

Scimatics

One of my strengths in scimatics is my problem solving skills. When given a problem, I am able to work with pieces and put them together.

One thing I could grow on in scimatics is my motivation. It depends on the project or problem, but my problem solving skills are wasted when I am simply tired. A way I could work on that is to remind myself that I will need whatever information I am finding later on in the project.

Fractions of Our Time

I think I did pretty well on this project. It was the very first project I did in PLP, and I worked pretty hard on it. I really remember being comfortable in this project, because I was really familiar with fractions. It managed to set the bar pretty high for my projects in general.

Laser Laws

Laser Laws was definitely one of my favourite projects I’ve done. Setting up a laser display was really fun. One big thing that I could’ve improved was the whole time we were building knowledge. It involved a bunch of textbook work and I could’ve done way better in that part.

Maker

One of my strengths in maker is my ability to work in a team. If I’m with a motivated team, the motivation passes over to me too, and I get a lot more done.

One thing I could definitely grow on is my inability to work in a team. I know that completely contradicts my strength, so let me explain. I’m not a great leader. If there’s no motivation in the team, it likely will drain my motivation, and I end up getting nothing done.

Destination Imagination

In Destination Imagination (DI) I think I’ve done okay so far. A way I could grow in this project would be participating more. I’ve been a lot more involved with the planning part and haven’t really participated enough in the doing part.

Constructing Creative Communication

In this project I definitely didn’t do the best that I could. In the Carr part (the drawing part) I did okay, and most of the time I was genuinely trying my best, but in the Herzog part it slowly fell apart until I was just scraping by with sketchy work that I didn’t fully think through.

Humanities

One of my strengths in humanities is my ability to tell a story. No matter the format, I am always able to create and tell a story. Another one of my strengths is my ability to give honest criticism with little to no bias.

One thing I could grow on is definitely my mindset. I enjoy most of the work I do in humanities, but usually at the start I don’t. A great example of this would be in The Outsiders project. I didn’t have very high expectations thanks to my mindset. In the end, I ended up enjoying it greatly.

Working With Words

In this project, I think that I definitely did well. One of the things I was the most proud of from this project was the emotion in my poetry. I managed to tell good stories throughout all of my poems and properly reflect my worldview in a passionate way. One thing that I definitely could’ve done better was effort-wise, and this isn’t really regarding to my poetry, but my E-Book in general. I definitely could’ve put more work into it. Overall, though, I’m very proud of this project and the work I did in it.

The Medium is The Message

One way that I definitely could’ve grown in this project was giving more criticism. I helped quite a bit by working on the general ad, but I definitely could’ve helped more by giving criticism. That’s definitely something I’ve grown on in general; if someone asks my opinion on their work, I’ll give honest but not mean criticism.

The Outsiders

I already used this as an example overall for humanities, but I want to talk about it more in-depth. One thing that I totally could’ve done better would be to have a better mindset. In the start, I was constantly thinking “this project is going to suck, and I’m going to do really badly.” In the end, I enjoyed doing it a lot, and looking back on it, I wish I had taken the time to enjoy it from the start. I definitely improved on this, especially in the next humanities project, which was Working With Words.

January 28

How to Write a Good Story

Hey guys, welcome back to my blog! If this is your first time on my blog, or if you haven’t checked out my last few posts, here are parts one, two, and three of this series. (link posts) In this post, I will be telling you how to write a good story. Later on, I may create another post telling you how to write better non-fiction and informative-type prose. For now, I’m just going to start with this.

How to Start Yourself Off

A lot of people start their stories at the wrong time. Usually this involves being either too close or too far from the climax. For example, a while ago I tried to write this fantasy story about three kids who travelled into a new reality by accident. My problem when I wrote that story was that I started it and less than a page later it was at the climax. If I were to go back in time, the tip I would give myself would be to start the story a day before the characters are thrown into action, so the story can start off slow and get keep snowballing until it’s at full speed. This way it seems more natural.

How to Finish a Story

A lot of people don’t know how to end a story properly. Usually you want to close any loose ends. One way to make sure you’ve finished a plot line properly is to read over the story again and make sure there isn’t any “unfinished business” in there. Of course, if you’re planning on writing a sequel, you can have an unfinished plot line (though I recommend the only plot line you leave unfinished be the main one.) Other than that, just try to tie most if not all loose ends in your story.

How to Hook Readers

There are many ways to hook readers into your story. The first one doesn’t have quite as much to do with the actual writing. If you can, write a short summary but leave the reader on a cliffhanger. They will almost 100% come back for more. Another way is to separate parts of the story by chapters, and leave the readers on a cliffhanger after every chapter. In general, cliffhangers are great ways to bring in and keep readers with your story until the end. Yet another way is to stick to the storyline. This one seems obvious, but I have seen many times when a story completely strays from the main storyline/plot line. Make sure to check in every once in a while so that you don’t bring the story too far away from the main idea.

The End?

Those are just the three most common mistakes that people make when writing. Hopefully this helps!

January 28

I Guess I Made a Book

Hey, welcome back to my blog! In this post I will be talking about my most recent project in humanities, Working With Words. In this project we learned about poetry. In the end we wrote multiple different styles of poetry, including haikus, sound, and found poems. The driving question for this project was “how might we construct text to show who we are right now?” Well, in this post I will answer that.

In this project, we worked in groups of threes, but it was a different group every day. Over the course of the project we learned different poetry terms, including, but not exclusive to, onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, connotation, denotation, rhyme scheme, theme, mood, and many more.

In the end, we created an E-Book with the poetry we had written about our worldview. Here’s mine:

The Deepest Darkest Pit of My Brain

So, to answer the driving question: how might we construct text that shows who we are right now? Well, through our poetry, we can convey moods and themes, and talk about our experiences, biases, or anything else that makes you, you!

January 28

So I Guess I Made a Laser Display?

Hey, welcome back to my blog! In this post I will be talking about my most recent Scimatics project, Laser Laws. This project was all about the law of reflection and the pythagorean theorem.

The driving question for this project was “How can we test the pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection at the same time?”

The first thing I’m including in this post is my MindMap. This was created at the start of the project, and I added answers to some of the questions now, as the project has been finished.

As you can see, I’ve gained knowledge about the pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection.

At the end of the project, we used the knowledge we gained to create a laser display using only one laser and mirrors! Here’s a photo of mine:

 For this part of the project I worked with Max, Ronan, Owen, and Keira. Check out their blogs by clicking on their names!

Now it’s time for the most important but most boring part: the core competencies.

Questioning and Predicting:

I don’t think I did too well on this competency in the building knowledge stage, because I didn’t really care about the work and barely paid attention in class, but once I got past building knowledge, I started to pay attention more and invest myself in the ways that lasers and triangles work.

 

Communicating and Representing:

I think I did well in this competency because I prominently showed a right triangle in my laser display and calculated the various angles to prove the law of reflection. The entire laser display was basically the way that I communicated the mathematical ideas involved in the pythagorean theorem.

 

Applying and Innovating:

I think I did very well in this competency because I built a full on in-depth laser display co-operatively with my group, communicating the triangle idea well while making it look good, and divided the work evenly.

 

Thank you for reading this blog post!

January 17

Writing – In a Picture?

Hey, welcome (back? It depends who you are) to my blog! This blog post will be the 3rd in my series of posts about writing and poetry. This blog post’s theme was fun with photos, so I will be making a picture that represents writing and poetry. Now, this was pretty hard. I spent two or three days figuring out just what to do. When I finally figured it out, I was immediately in action and created my masterpiece.

How I Created This

To create this image, I used Procreate and Keynote, and used a photo of a calligraphy pen to make the tip of the pen stand out.

How This Represents the Topic

This photo represents writing and poetry because it shows a pen writing something down, which is one way to write things.