(Last Blog of Grade 8) Comic Cells Blog Post


This blog post is for the last project of my year of grade 8! A scimatics project on cells and biology. What your seeing above is the cover of my comic, if you click this it will open a PDF file and you can read the entire thing. “But why did you make a comic?”. Great question, I made a comic for this project known as “comic cells” where the comic had to educate someone on either a diseases, or photosynthesis. Unlike the last project this one was a solo project, so I had only me to make this comic. (You are about the read the words photosynthesis and diseases a lot).

But first we have to go back, even to before Milestone 1, to Osmosis Jones. Osmosis Jones is a 2001 Warner Bros movie aiming to teach kids about the basics of photosynthesis which it would have done if it wasn’t also a comedy movie. We watched this movie to gain what knowledge we could from it and also debunk any scientific errors in the film.

After that I did what any scimatics project would start with: Milestone 1, a mind map. This mind map was to put down any knowledge of diseases, and anti-bodies. This was also where we could ask question about the project, diseases, and anti-bodies. This is my mind map:

Next stop: Milestone 2. Milestone 2 was to make a disease wanted poster, so we were to take a wanted poster like this:

Then turn it into a disease wanted poster like mine:

This milestone helped me get ideas for how I was going to draw my final comic. This was also where I got to learn about a disease, the disease I chose was smallpox. Did you know that the smallpox vaccine was so bad and counterproductive that the general public was heavily advised not to take it, and now it is impossible to take?

After milestone 2 is typically where the learning really starts to happen. This is where we began learning about photosynthesis, diseases, and how to use scientific communication. I chose to focus my project on photosynthesis. One of the main ways I learnt photosynthesis was from Crash Courses video on photosynthesis which used a lot of scientific communication which I found very helpful. You can’t thoroughly explain a scientific concept with baby language, which is why I often looked to that video if I didn’t know how to explain a concept myself . You can watch Crash Courses video here:

Milestone 3 was very quick, it was just to demonstrate our learning so far by doing a Kahn Academy quiz. This quiz took a while to finish and a while for the information to stick but once it did it was smooth sailing.

Milestone 4 is where we start to work on the end product: My comic. This is where a lot of questioning and predicting was done. I’ve spent all this time learning scientific vocabulary and how cells interact in scientific ways, now it’s time to figure out how to illustrate it. Milestone 4 is a mock comic that should only cover important story elements, basic drawing, and text underneath the frames to explain what is going on. I ended up handing this milestone in late but it meant I was able to answer my question of ‘how do I want to structure my story” “how do I include scientific vocabulary clearly” which helped me with milestone 5. Here is a screenshot of my Milestone 4:

Now it’s almost the end! With the beginning of milestone 5. Milestone 5’s expectations were much higher than 4’s. 18 minimum frames, improved photos, diagrams and scientific vocabulary. I did all of my drawings on 1 Notability file, as well as sprites I could copy and paste to save time. This is also where one of the hardest curricular competencies is focused: “Evaluating: Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of evidence”. Which means everything has to be logical, scientifically accurate, and photosynthesis has to be shown actually doing something. The biologists couldn’t just explain the entirety of photosynthesis, it has to be shown in action. This is also where another core competency was really tested: Scientific Communication. You’ve heard me mention it earlier with other milestones but now it’s my turn to use scientific communication. This milestone was not very challenging since my story revolves around using this competency but it make it extremely important.

Like every project there is a driving question, this projects driving questions are: “How can we analyze a cellular process?” and “How can we tell the story of a cellular process?”. You have pretty much seen how you can tell a story of a cellular process. Milestones 4 and 5 revolve around this question. As for how we analyze a cellular process, for me it was doing the research. Khan Academy and Crash Course gave me information on how a cellular process works, I analyzed this by illustrating these process’s on my own to get a deeper understanding.

That’s it, there’s the end of the project. This feels like a longer blog post but I also don’t want to end the year with a short one. This project was really fun and for the first time I know more than “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell”. Time to go on a 60 day hiatus, see you next year.

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