Hepatoerythropoetic Porphyria with Dr. A. Ward

Destination Imagination, as much as we complain about it, is a huge stepping stone for us. The skills we have learned, and continue to learn, will be extremely beneficial in the long run. Group management, problem solving, and communication are just some of the skills we explore on this journey. So why not add Dora!

Our group was working on the scientific challenge, Medical Mystery. Basically, one or more person had to have a medical condition, and we had to diagnose it. We also had a bunch of other super specific criteria, which was really hard to work in. But eventually, we came up with the idea for a parody of Dora the Explorer, instead it being Flora the Physician (played by Maggie) with her trusty sidekick Socks (played by Tamara) who was suffering from Hepatoerythropoietic Porphyria (definition in presentation video). It was a long and arduous journey, which we are not yet finished. 

My roles in this were creating one of the team choice elements, and making the double vision. The double vision thing was basically that we had to show two or more different perspectives of the presentation at one time. We decided to make a map to demonstrate this. Then, with a pointer on the map (played by Morgan), Flora would be able to show where they were going. It was a bit difficult to figure this out. We had to paint the map, which went well, but then the paint started chipping and flaking. It took a lot of changing plans, and flexibility to fix this problem. Finally, on the day of the regional tournament, we decided to put clear tape over the whole thing, to make sure the paint stayed. And it worked! We used a lot of tape, but the appraisers loved it. I’m really proud of our troubleshooting abilities, and how we worked till the very last minute. 

My other role, as I mentioned before, was a team choice element. For this, we decided that we wanted ‘homemade looking’ medical badges, as Flora thinks she is a medical professional, but is not. So, seeing as I knew kind of how to hand embroider, that was up to me. They took a long time to make, hours actually, but I made three badges that I am very proud of. It really goes to show how the strange hobbies we all have can add to our solutions!

Although we went through some difficulties as a team, we came out on the other end. I worked with some people I’ve never worked with before, and it was interesting to see how each of us were so different. If I were to do this project again, I think I wouldn’t underestimate some people like I did this time. We also needed to make sure we were all on the same page, as that bit us in the end. But overall, we faired very well, and came in first place. I can’t wait for the provincial tournament!

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!

South

Crazy people change the world by bringing the future to societal norms. There are many examples of this in Seattle, which we have gone to. One of these futuristic groups is B8ta, a technology store in University Village. At B8ta, they demonstrate IOT, which is internet of things, and take customer service to the next level. All their technology takes everyday objects, and merges them with technology. There are water bottles that tell you how much water to drink, electronic wallets, and so much more. Each of their products the consumer can test out. This encourages people to try new things, and see not what they need, but what they want. When you test out this technology, you can see how far our world has come within the sphere of technology, and yet we keep moving. As we add technology to more and more things, you can understand why we need it. Another crazy thing in is Microsoft’s Hackathon. This is an event where employees of Microsoft get together to form new ideas for whatever they want. Through this, employees are encouraged to workshop ideas, and create them. They can come up with these amazing, futuristic concepts, and bring them to life. The Hackathon is definitely something out of the ordinary. By giving people this opportunity to get their ideas out, they have more space to think of more ideas, and help innovate the world, taking us farther down the path of the future. Creative minds help bring ideas to us. One final example of crazy is at Amazon. They operate as if everyday is Day 1. Everyday they try new things, work with new ideas, and move forward. This scares some people, because routine can be important, even a ritual for some people. But by having this mindset, they can move forward, developing new concepts and technology. The Day 1 idea helps Amazon take their failures and successes, and improve. This reflection creates new technology that’s way better than the first draft. Try, try again, and develop the technology of the future. These extraordinary people have created amazing things, that greatly impact our lives. The future is scary, controversial, and different, but helps our world move forward. Without these forward thinkers, society would be mightily behind what is is today.

As is a part of PLP, we always go on an interesting Field School. I also find a theme to connect the trips, such as The Journey East. This year, we follow the same trend, though I guess it’ll be a bit more circley. Anyways, this is South.

This post is also part of the Cray Cray unit and series of three posts! The other posts explain the introduction into our unit, and the end result.

I would just like to start by saying that Seattle is the American version of Vancouver.

So, if you’ve read the other Cray Cray posts, you probably know the gist of this unit, and our focuses and such. But if not, let me explain. We’ve been working with the idea of Crazy, and why it takes a crazy person to change the world. We have studied several people, and ideas based in Seattle, who demonstrate this idea of crazy.

The first thing we did (that I haven’t already explained in other posts) was an essay based around this question. We chose different Seattle based people, and explained what made them crazy. I chose Stan Lee, Paul Allen and the Wright Brothers. It was very interesting, as it was not an in-class essay. We also had to learn how to do MLA formatting. This is SO annoying, but it is good to know.

With all this prior knowledge, we set off at 5 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING to Seattle. I didn’t like that part. But the rest of the trip was amazing, and what this post is about. Don’t let my rambling fool you, that is where this is going.

The PROJECT part of the trip was a video. We were put in groups based on our essay people and had to film on location while in Seattle. My part in this was writing the script, and the screenplay. This was a bit difficult, seeing as we weren’t exactly sure what was at each place. I am pretty proud of the script, and I didn’t need to do tons of revision. One thing I would do next time is have a clearer outline of the interviews. We did get some, and a few were very good, but I feel as though the questions could’ve been more structured.

K. Seattle. Learning. I did learn a lot on this trip, but wether or not it was the stuff the teachers wanted us to learn is another story. We went to a ton of places, and I don’t really want this post to go on forever. So, I am going to explain a few of my favourite places, and places I learned a lot.

Microsoft Garage
Microsoft was the first place we went in Seattle. We first went on a tour, and as much fun as that was, this is not the section called ‘Microsoft Tour’. This is the Microsoft Garage section, which probably doesn’t make sense unless you went with us. The Microsoft Garage is a place in Microsoft where they come up with new ideas, and have the resources to make them! It was amazing, and we got a super cool tour from Dude Who’s Name I Can’t Remember. He talked about the things they do there, and the process in which they make things. What was really cool was that a lot of the ideas that he talked we use in PLP. It’s nice to see that the things we do in PLP aren’t totally mental.

Also with Dude Who’s Name I Can’t Remember we talked about ideas, and passion. You have to be passionate, involved with your idea, for it to come to fruition. He said how the best things come from a diverse team. This idea really makes you think. Maybe it’s why our teachers always make us work with different people. We’ll never know.

Living Computers
The Living Computers lab was super cool, like legit amazing. They had technology from decades ago, showing the beginning of computers, the highs and lows of the industry. It’s crazy to think how technology that once too up entire rooms, and entire buildings, can now fit in our pockets.

M

There were arcade games, and remote control robots, it was amazing. But the thing was, because there was lots of old technology, there was a really high pitch sound resonating from said technology. It hurt my head, and mildly negatively impacted my time there. It was still amazing though.

Chihuly Garden and Glass
Dale Chihuly is a very controversial figure. I talk about him a bit in my PechaKucha, and that’s probably enough. Just watching that would be enough. Anyways. We went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It was crazy. The art sculptures on display was fantastically inspiring. It’s amazing.

During the trip, I think I had a hard time living in the moment, as I was always thinking about what we needed to film for the video. If I were to go back, I think I would focus on the present, and having fun rather that all work. Good thing my friend is making me go back to Seattle during spring break!

Also while in Seattle, we were ‘locked in a room forced’ to write a paragraph about crazy ideas. It took many, many drafts, so it will be shared to the world. And yes, I copied it from the original because you deserve to be able to read it without going to another page. It is at the top in the HotBox accordion.

A Vision For Tomorrow

As is the PLP tradition, every winter we have the Winter Exhibition, a night in which students of all grade level complete a different project and put it on display for the community. And as is another tradition (grade 8 exhibition), we had a week to complete this project. But this year, the teachers tried a new thing. Instead of starting a completely new project for the exhibition, we were working with an idea that we had been for a while, ‘Why Does It Take A Crazy Person To Change The World?’. And when I say a while, I mean a while. As Luca put it, we had all ‘overstood’ this topic. We had been learning about this for several weeks, and it came full circle. 

To start the unit, we created a short PechaKutcha presentation, a term I will explain later. These presentations were based on people from Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign. This, as we now know, was a precursor to what we’d be doing at the exhibition. 

As I mentioned before, here’s where I’m going to explain what that weird word is. So, a PechaKucha is a form of presenting where the slides auto play, which you may not think would be an issue. The real issue was, each slide lasted for 20 seconds, and there were 20 slides. 20×20, seven minutes in total. The first ones we did, mine on Jim Henson, only had 9 slides, and lasted for about 2-3 minutes (if I remember correctly, like I said it was a long time ago). 

Another key part of this project was our Seattle Field school, which I (will) explain in more detail in another post. But as an overview, we studied people (before the trip) and visited places (related to said people) to gain a better understanding of our question. All these deliverables, including an essay and a video, helped us ‘overstand’ this topic. 

As little or much as this may seem, I believe it was really important for us to have all this knowledge going into our exhibition. Because as you’ll see, our knowledge was what got us through to the other side. 

Okay, now that we got through the history lesson, we can go to the spectacle that was the exhibition. Our task for the exhibition was to take all that we learned over the Cray Cray Yay Yay unit and create a PechaKucha presentation on ‘Why Does It Take A Crazy Person To Change The World’. Along with creating these 7 minute presentations, we also had to set up our room, which happened to be the back of the library, but I’ll come back to this later. 

Creating our PechaKucha presentations were, not difficult, but challenging. We were tasked with using all of our own images and have most of them be from Seattle, which, at the time, I thought was mental and going to ruin my project, but I think really made it stronger. I had a solid connection to the picture, I knew exactly what was in it and what the purpose of it was. It did take a while for me to choose images that actually fit, and it was a bit stressful. But we had several drafts and lots of feedback, so I am pretty proud of how it turned out. 

That was more of the maker side of things. Now, let’s talk about the ‘dire events’ that befell us on our journey, and their reason; the script and speaking. The script was one of the most difficult parts of our presentation. And we weren’t even supposed to have a script; only bullet points. In my first draft, I did try this. I didn’t really work out, though. I found myself saying ‘um’ to often, and seeming like I didn’t know what I was saying. So I did write a script to practice with, which was beneficial in the end. The controversial part of this was we had several plan-changes, which many people took very seriously. In the first round, we were allowed to have our iPads up with us when we were presenting in front of a podium, with presenter notes open, so we knew what to say. Next, we weren’t going to have a podium, and our iPads had to be on the ground, with our notes there. Finally, we had no notes, no nothing. Just us, up there, with a monitor on the ground showing what was being presented and our memorized ‘notes’ in our heads. Many people had problems with this, said that the teachers were being unfair, changing their minds. I do understand where this is coming from, seeing as the last revision was just days before the exhibition. But I found as I practiced my script, I got a better understanding of what I was saying, and articulated my words. 

The hardest thing that I found was the public speaking. I’m not a great public speaker, I get very anxious standing by myself in front of people. In the days leading up to the exhibition, my stress kept getting higher the more I thought about it. But as soon as I got up there and started speaking, that all melted away. I knew what I was saying, and I was passionate about the message I was getting across. Everything kind of fit together once I started speaking. And as far as I know, it went great. I didn’t say um a lot, and I used hand gestures. I really think I conveyed my message, which I’m super proud of. 

The last thing I will talk about was the room, which earlier I touched on. So, as you probably know, at the Winter Exhibition, each class has to set up a room to present in. Most times, you have to set up places where to display each persons project, and it gets kind of crowded. But for us, since we were presenting one at a time, we didn’t have to do that. With Jessie as our unofficial leader, we set up the Crazy Café, a lounge-like setting with comfy chairs, stools, tables, and even coffee and tea. It was an amazingly chill room, great for de-stressing pre and post presentation. For PLP 10, the exhibition was a huge success!

Overall, I thought this project went really well. I’m really proud of my PechaKucha, I think it went really well. I also got to work on my group work skills, when setting up the room. One thing I think I would do different next time is add a little more diversity into my work. It would’ve been nice to include at least one woman. Another thing is my photos. As confident as I was, if I’d known in Seattle that we’d need these photos, I would’ve probably tried harder to get those photos. But I’m proud of my work, and excited about how many people I actually got to tell my ‘crazy’ story to!

End of SBC

For the past 10 weeks, wow it’s been 10 weeks, anyways. For the past ten weeks our class has been participating in the Student Blogging Challenge. Every week there is a different topic and different ways to complete that week’s task. This will be my final SBC Post, and will reflect on my experience with this and all that I learned. 

One thing I learned throughout this experience was how many classes around the world blog. I never really thought of blogging as a school thing until PLP, but still, I thought we were weird. Now, I see that tons of people all around the world blog for school!

My favourite post was the Your Choice Post. I had a lot of fun animating my story about Gerald and Norbert. The story really developed as I went along which was cool. First, it was going to be a story about 3 elephants needing to cross a bridge. Then, it was one elephant who blew the troll down into the gorge to get across. Next, I decided it would be a love story. Because of that, I didn’t want Gerald to be cruel. So he apologized when he moved the troll. All Gerald wanted to do was to be on time for his date with Norbert!

I think the coolest part of the challenge was being able to connect with people from around the world. I visited blogs from tons of different countries, and people did the same to me! (Most of the visits  from Canada are me because every time I have to make a post I have to visit my site)

This was an interesting blip in the timeline of my life, and I’m curios to see if we’ll be doing the next one.

Week 9 of the Student Blogging Challenge

This week’s Student Blogging Challenge was all about coding. Now, I didn’t know much about code other than the stuff we did on Swift Playgrounds in Grade 8. This was super fun, so I did all the challenges!

The First Challenge was about posting a comment for Alex. Alex is a coder who works for Incsub. He is visually impaired, and works with having sites readable for visually impaired individuals. I think it’s really cool how he hasn’t let anything get in his way of achieving his goal. This was my comment.

Fingers crossed for a response! I’ll update this if I get one.

The next thingamajig I did was the Hour of Code activity. In this, we pretty much went on this website and did a coding activity. I decided to do the flappy birds one, because I thought it looked cool.

This one was pretty easy to understand, easy enough that I got it right away. You had to have commands and stuff. It was pretty cool.

In the end, I got to code my own Flappy Birds game! Try it out!

I also got a certificate, which was pretty awsome.

The final task was to do some HTML coding. So, I decided to manually make links for this post!

Usually, I would just select the text, press link, and put in the URL. What I did this time was more time consuming, but was a lot more fun. I used the cheat sheet from the SBC challenge to help me out.

Yup, it was very time consuming. But now, if something ever happens to thiw website, I’ll know what to do. Until then, I think I’m gonna stick with the link button!

Santa Goes Skydiving!

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays! It is soon the time for Christmas, Hanukkah and many others. My mom’s favourite holiday is solstice, on December 21st, but we still celebrate Christmas. For this week’s challenge, I decided to find a holiday game and write a review for it. The first game was Santa Map Dive on Google Santa Tracker!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was a really fun game. The objective was clear, and it was very holiday based. It was cool having control of Santa, who resides over this holiday. What was really annoying was that the controls weren’t great, so moving Santa was extremely difficult. My friend tried it and Santa ended up spinning in a circle. Great game though. Good for older kids. Try it an tell me in the comments what you thought of it!

Gerald and Norbert!

So for this week’s task, it was kinda interesting. We had either a week to catch, up or a free choice. I decided to do free choice because I’ve finished all the other ones. And I also decided to make an animation!

This is a story about Gerald and Norbert. Gerald and Norbert are in love, and, well, anyways, just watch the video. 

I made this using a super simple tool called FlipaClip. It’s very user friendly, and you get to make awesome little animations. For the music I used Splice, and voila. Now you can make your own animations!

Live Loops!

This past week, we’ve been working with a medium we haven’t really in the past: Music. 

Garage Band is a really cool app where you can make awesome music. It’s really simple. You just go to garage band, create a new project, and go to live loops!

Once you’re in live loops, you can play around with it. You honestly can’t make a mistake. Anyone can make music using live loops. I really like the Rock loops.

One really awesome way to customize your songs is to add different loops to it. You can add different instruments, sounds, and even vocals to your tracks.

To make my song, I used the Rock loops. Adding different sounds, I customized it to make my own great tune!

I had a lot of fun with this project. Now that I know how to make easy music, I can enhance my videos even more.

Week 6; Science

This week was science! I love science. One of the sciences I am most interested in is entomology, so I decided to complete task one and learn some more about it!

Hoverfly in Alyssum Todd Petit via Compfight

Entomology is the study of insects, but that term is to specific. Entomology also studies things such as arachnids, slugs, and earthworms. It is a branch of zoology, which is in the category of Life Sciences. 

William Kirby is considered the ‘father of entomology’. In 1815, he and William Spence wrote the first popular book on the subject, An Introduction To Entomology. In 1833, Kirby and Spence founded the Entomological Society of London, where he housed over 35 insect specimens.

Sweat Bee and Bee Todd Petit via Compfight

A majority of professional entomologists in Canada are employed by the government. They work with Agriculture Canada and Forestry Canada.

Entomology is an amazing type of science, one that has helped society improve science, crops, and medicine. 

The 3rd task looked fun, so I did it too.

This video is from TedEd and was created by Science Insider. I thought it was really informative, and it talked about whales. I love whales. 🐳

After watching the video, here are a few questions you can answer in the comments. Good luck!

  1. Which trees are the best growers?
  2. How tall are giraffes?
  3. What type of dinosaur was the tallest?
  4. Why can sea creatures grow bigger?
  5. How long is a lions mane jellyfish?

I also did the fifth task. Have a go at it, and good luck!