KABOOM, white!

Chemistry. There are several different parts of chemistry. Last year, we learned about ionic and covalent bonding. This year, we expanded on that, and looked at how that type of bonding stuff happens. *Cue trumpet music* Chemical Reactions!

In this project, we learned all about the different types of chemical reactions: Combustion, Synthesis, Decomposition, Acid-Base Neutralization, Single Replacement and Double Replacement. In this project, we were spilt into 6 different groups, one for each type of reaction, and studied our chosen reaction. My group was studying double replacement reactions. A double replacement reaction is a reaction where the two positively charged ions in an ionic compound switch places, creating two new ionic compounds! 

To focus are learning even more than the specific chemical reaction, we also had to come up with a driving question. The driving question for our project was…

How Do Double Replacement Reactions Help Doctors With Diagnostics?

We chose this question because we had seen something in the textbook that supported this idea. 

Barium Chloride is a very toxic chemical. But it is aqueous, which means it can be dissolved in water. When this solution, diluted in water, is mixed with Sodium Sulfate, also aqueous and diluted in water, a double replacement reaction occurs. This creates Sodium Chloride, an aqueous compound, and Barium Sulfate, a solid.

This mixture is used by doctors for x-rays. As you probably know, x-rays shine through soft tissue, showing doctors the bone. But when you need a soft tissue x-ray, it’s a bit different. Doctors have their patients drink this concoction just before their x-ray. The barium sulfate blocks x-rays, so you can now do soft-tissue x-rays. 

We presented our findings to the Chemistry 11 class. And honestly, our presentation didn’t go wonderfully. If I were to do this again, I probably would’ve had each task a more group focus, rather than one person do the script, one person do the video, and one person the keynote.

For this project, we were also focusing on curricular competencies. One curricular competency I think this project really demonstrated was  to “Connect scientific explorations to careers in science”. Our group did this by connecting our reaction to the field of medicine. This reaction is used by doctors, and was a huge advancement for x-rays. 

Another curricular competency I used a lot in this project was to “Communicate scientific ideas, claims, information, and perhaps a suggested course of action, for a specific purpose and audience, constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations”. I feel as though, even though our keynote may have not been accurate, our language and experiment demonstrated our knowledge of the project.

I also used the curricular competency of “Collaboratively and individually planing, selecting, and useing appropriate investigation methods, including field work and lab experiments,  to collect reliable data (qualitative and quantitative)”. I used this, because a) this was a group project and b) we did an experiment to prove our calculations correct.

Finally, I used the curricular competency of “Useing knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence”. We had an equation, and our hypothesis, but we weren’t sure what was going to happen. As we did the experiment, and studied the equations, we understood how this was a double replacement reation.

Ep. 6 – Abigail Foulds and Frank Ward


2019 marks the 74th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Even though that seems like a long time, it really isn’t. We still have people greatly impacted by it in our society, with stories about the harsh time. Through these stories, we were able to determine the Legacy of WW2 in Canada.

This project was the study of World War Two, but also the introduction to a new medium that we will now be using more often: sound. This was a podcast project, the first of many. And as this was a sound-based project, we had to do a lot of prep. In maker, we worked with GarageBand to learn how to make music, and manipulate sound. That was fun. GarageBand can be a bit fickle sometimes, but as with everything, practice makes perfect. 

As an introduction into the unit, we had to come up with questions based on images from world war 2. As a group, a lot of our questions were based around Hitler, which was interesting. A lot of my questions were based around the scientific breakthroughs that occurred during the war. As bad as War is, it always pushes the world further, trying to figure out the next best way to kill each other. 

As I mentioned before, this project was a podcast based upon the idea of the legacy of WW2 in Canada. And what better way to do that than to talk to people who actually lived though the war! Our fearless humanities teacher got in contact with the Memory Project, which put us in contact with people who were alive during the war, wether they were veterans, or lived in Europe through the war. We were then put into groups of 3, where we would go interview the people. I was in a group with Maggie and Daniel, though only Maggie and I were able to actually meet our person. Our person was Abigail Foulds. Abigail lived in Holland during the Second World War, and met her husband, a Canadian medical officer, soon after the war. They moved to Canada and got married. It was an amazing experience to meet her.

I also talked to my grandparents for this assignment. My grandfather was born during the depression, so he lived during the war in Canada. My grandma, on the other hand, was born at the very beginning of WW2 in Britain. She had to be sent away from her home to avoid the blitz, which would’ve been terrifying as a young child. In my podcast, I interview my grandpa about living during the war, sine my grandma could remember much.

Throughout all this project work, we were also having mini lessons about big turning points of WW2. I talk about two of these turning points in a podcast that was a mini assignment.

It was difficult at first using GarageBand to edit all the clips together. Other than the little strange assignments we’d get in maker, we hadn’t done much work with it. But what I’ve come to realize is that it’s basically iMovie, which we’ve worked with a lot. It’s just sound instead of images. I’ve also come to realize that I’m way better at editing sound than I am at editing together images and video. My draft one was okay, but I really had to work on my editing because I kept stumbling over my words and trying to edit them out afterwords.

Honestly, I’ve really learned a lot from this project. It’s probably the work I’m most proud of, like ever. Other than the sound of my own voice, which is hideous and awful. I really look forward to working with this medium more and more!