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This was my second year participating in Destination Imagination. This year’s Regional Tournament was held on Feb 29 2020 at my school, Seycove Secondary (again). I took part in the Technical Challenge with my team who consisted of Ryan, Matthew, Owen, Grace and Kaia and we decided to name our team ERROR 404 Team Name Not Found.

The requirements for the technical challenge as stated by were to:

  • Design and build an invention
  • Create a problem that is solved with the use of the invention
  • Integrate an invention artifact to highlight the development process
  • Design and build scenery that shows the impact of solving the problem
  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests skills areas of strength and talents.

The problem we came up with was leaving your refrigerator door open, and wasting power. The invention we designed was an automatic door closer which was supposed to close the fridge door after being left open for a certain amount of time. I helped to design, test and build the invention and then built the invention artifact. We built the invention out of an Arduino, 3D printed casing, wires battery and tape. I also helped design and build the impact scenery, which was a part of the scenery that showed impact by transforming from one thing to another, which was a sheet that spun around to show the changes to the environment in the story.

I found doing DI less stressful this year because it wasn’t new to us, and it was more fun as I got to be with more of my friends. The hardest part was not getting to work on the physical part of our project due to various reasons including filling out out a large number of forms. The best part of the project was working with my friends to build a swivel for the Impact Scenery out of miscellaneous screws, nuts, and other things.

While working on this project I found that I learnt more about woking in groups, one of the most prominent learning experiences for me was when our group found out that Owen wouldn’t be attending the Destination Imagination Regional Tournament, if we had already written a par for him in the script, someone else would’ve had to learn his line in a very short time.

Through this project I have learnt more about my self, a key moment of that was when we got to look at these “text stars” made out of the words our classmates thought represented us the best. The larger the word was, the more people who had said it.

Here is a video of our performance at the regional tournament.

We ended up getting first in both the Instant challange and the main tournament.

Thanks for reading,

Metaphor Machines

Your blog posts for Scimatics should include:

2) A few pictures of the best parts of your project/where you did your best learning.

3) Write about each curricular competency from the evaluation rubric
write an example of how you used/improved/need to improve each one in a short paragraph.

The last Scimatics unit we did before spring break was Metaphor Machines. We started the project by experimenting with electricity, we then experimented with Rube Goldberg machines that we built in one class. The concept for our machine that Brenton, Melaika and I came up with was this:

We then moved onto the part where we got to make our designs this process to about 1 to 2 weeks worth of classes. Half way through I ended up getting sick so I wasn’t there for the presentation. The final creation looked like this:

The five Core Competencies for this project were: Applying and innovating, Questioning and Predicting, Planning and Conducting, Reasoning and Analyzing, and Scientific Communication.

Applying and Innovating: Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through individual or collaborative approaches. 
I used this competency by making a lego creation. I think I did well on this competency.

Questioning and Predicting: Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest
I used this competency by helping to build and design our final product.

Planning and conducting: Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to systematically and accurately collect and record data
I used this competency by drawing our original design and circuit diagram. I think I did a pretty good job on this competency.
Reasoning and Analyzing: Estimate reasonably
I used this competency by creating a design of our Metaphor Machine, and coming up with some of the ideas for it. I think I could’ve done a better job at this competency as some of our ideas were a little to complicated.
Scientific Communication: Formulate physical or mental models to describe a phenomenon
I used this competency by building our Metaphor Machine.

What The Heck Was Canada Doing In Africa In 1899?

In the last Humanities unit we did before spring break, was on Louis Riel and Injustice. We started the project by writing a short essay on an event of our choice regarding the First Nations. I wrote about the findings of First Nation relics in the Yukon Ice Patches. The scientific paper i used to write this essay can be found here, its worth a read if you have the time.

We then had to read a graphic novel about Louis Reil’s life. Louis Riel was an Métis man who lived in the Red River Settlement (now present day Winnipeg) and fought for Métis rights.It was interesting to read a comic book about a man who because he was the only English speaker in the Red River Settlement, eventually started a civil war by trying to defend his rights, he later ends up getting hung for his crimes, which include: high treason, armed assault, breaking and entering and many others.Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown

Then we had to choose an event to research, and eventually create images about the event. My partner for this assignment was Brenton. He came up with the idea for our project, the impact of Canada’s involvement in the second Boer War, which was the Canadian Troops first overseas deployment. Before we started to create the images I got sick, and was away from school until the project was over. Full credit goes to Brenton for the images below.

  • A quote from Wilfrid Laurier the seventh Prime Minister of Canada showing him trying to appease the both the English and French parts of Canada in his decision to send military support to Africa.

The two Core Competencies for this project were: Connect: How do I understand my own and others’ personal connection to texts I read, listen, and view? And Understand Ethical Dimensions: How do we decide if the actions and decisions of the past were fair or unjust, or should or should not have been taken?

Connect: How do I understand my own and others’ personal connection to texts I read, listen, and view?I used this competency by writing an short essay about the findings of old First Nations relics in arctic ice patches. I could’ve improved this competency by reading more information the topic instead of reading one  scientific paper on the topic.

Understand Ethical Dimensions: How do we decide if the actions and decisions of the past were fair or unjust, or should or should not have been taken? 
I used this competency by researching the history of the Boer wars, and the people involved. I think I did a pretty good job at this competency as I researched this topic extensively and compiled the information I found in a document. What I could’ve improved upon was the citing of my sources in the MLA format.


If It Was Up To Us Canada Wouldn’t’ve Be Formed…

For the past three weeks we have been learning about the Canadian confederation in 1867. If it was up to us canada wouldn’t’ve been created.

Our first milestone was to write on the factors leading up to confederation after reading several textbook pages on it. For this milestone I think I could’ve wrote more on the topics I talked about.

The third milestone was to present our “perlimanary proposals” in our groups (my group was Ryan, Anthony, Holly and Alex), to the rest of the class. Our six demands for confederation were: have the capitol city in Ottawa, build a railway to connect all the colonies, purchase more land from the HBC, have the main languages to be English and French, to annex the rest of canada, and receive money for building canals through the Great Lakes. I think we could’ve made our demands easier to understand as they were a bit confusing with our wording.

The fourth and arguably the most important of this project was to create a green screen video showing our improved demands for joining confederation. We were given time in class to work on our videos. I was responsible for the editing of the videos, I think I could’ve done a better job than I did, but I ended up getting annoyed at iMovie and just wanted to get the project done quickly. Because of that the final product was not as good as I would’ve liked.

At the end of this project our teacher considered all Final Proposals and created a bill. Each colony was then given one vote to decide if they should or shouldn’t join confederation. It ended up with five of the six colonies voting against confederation, as they found that it wouldn’t meet their demands.

As for the competencies:

Evidence: How do we evaluate evidence to decide if it is adequate to support a historical conclusion?
Create: What literacy skills am I using to write, speak, and represent in the texts I create?

I used evidence to decide wether or to whether not join confederation.
I used create create to create the green screen video for the project.


LEGO, Cookies, and Like Terms

Your blog posts for Scimatics should include:

1) Short introduction.

2) A few pictures of the best parts of your project/where you did your best learning.

3) Write about each curricular competency from the evaluation rubric
write an example of how you used/improved/need to improve each one in a short paragraph.

The first Scimatics unit we did this year was Like Terms. We started the project by building with LEGO digitally, on a website called Mecabrics. We then moved onto creating our project ideas after learning about like terms, and polynomials for another weeks worth or so of classes. The project that Ryan, and I came up with was to make cookies.

The four Core Competencies for this project were: Applying and innovating, Understanding and Solving, Communicating and Representing, and Connecting and Reflecting.

Applying and Innovating: Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through individual or collaborative approaches. 
I used this competency by making a lego creation. I think I did well on this competency.

Understanding and solving: Apply multiple strategies to solve problems in both abstract and contextualized situations.
I used this competency by making cookies, could’ve improved as our project wasn’t very clear.

Communicating and Representing: Represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms.
I used this competency by showing our ‘cookie math’ in our presentation, I believe we could have gone more into depth with our ‘cookie math’.

Connecting and Reflecting: Connect mathematical concepts to each other and to other areas and personal interests.
I used this competency by making a cookies in our final project. I believe that I could’ve improved upon this competency as I would’ve preferred to do something other than cookies.


For the M-POLs (Mid-year Presentations Of Learning) we have to create a presentation for our teachers and parents that reflects on our growth and development in the PLP program. The main question we have to answer is: What is your learning goal that you want to reach by the end of this school year, and how will you meet it? To do that I have answered following five questions.

1. What is the most interesting thing you have learned so far year? What did you find most boring? What was the difference between the two experiences? 

The most interesting thing I have learnt this year was about the wolves at the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre. The most boring thing I’ve learnt about is our current project in Scimatics, Like Terms. The difference between the two experiences is that wolves are my favourite animal, and I have always been interested in them, and in scimatics I have no interest in what we are learning about and I find it hard to stay focused. When I am not interested in something I lose focus easily or get distracted.

2. What skills did you use and what skills do you need to continue to develop?

One of the skills that I used a fair amount, and enjoyed using was video editing. The most enjoyable part of editing is when I first start using a new app. When you first open the app you have no clue what is going on as it looks quite complex, but as you start using the app more and more you begin to understand how each part works.  What I find is enjoyable is the ability to transform raw footage into a polished video. I also find it satisfying when someone else is watching me make something and they have no clue what I am doing.

A skill that I would like to continue to develop is blog writing. There is a visible difference in my writing skills and ability between the second post that I made (STBC Week 3 2018), and my most recent post at the time of writing this (So I Decided To Build A Podracer…). I feel like with this skill there is more I could improve on. In my second post there was no context, just the basic assignment that we were given, and in more recently my posts have more detail. (add what the teacher’s are suggesting – read their feedback)

3. Did your goals for your work change as you worked on it?

The goals I had for my work did change as I worked on it. A good example of this is the podracer that I built for the winter exhibition, when I first started the project I wanted the podracer to be at a one to one scale. Almost as soon as I had laid out the materials that I had, I realized that it would be nearly impossible and very time consuming to build it a full size. once I had realized this I rescaled the measurements I had taken, and built the podracer in a three quarters to one scale. looking back I’m glad that I did this as I was able to spend more time on the detailing than just building the podracer.

4. How did you “fail” this year? What did you learn from this experience?

One of the way that I failed the most this year was through the student blogging challenge. As I said in the last reflection post:

“I found it to be an assignment that I never really completed on time and put off for other work.”.

because I prioritized other work and wasn’t motivated to do the blogging challange, I feel like it id one of the things I failed at so far this year.

5. What are the goals you would like to set for yourself for the remainder of the year? 

Some of the goals that I would like to set for myself this year are to do more of my homework on time. I will do this by removing and ignoring distractions.


So I Decided To Build A Podracer…

PLP Winter Exhibition 2019, the biggest project so far this year. Oh yeah, because there was a new Star Wars movie releasing this year, our exhibition was centred around Star Wars. Because of this, our project had two parts, Humanities where we had to write a chapter of a short story about a character, and Maker where we had to make a item that corresponds, and represents our part of the short story.

The very first thing that we had to do for this project was to chose one of the four planets that we wanted to represent at the exhibition. My group, consisted of Holly, Noah, Thomas, Grace, Owen, Matthew and myself. We chose the planet Tatooine, as we all had several ideas for how we could represent the planet at the exhibition.

The first assignment, or milestone that we were given for this project was to write a paragraph on our opinion on one of the Star Wars movies, books, games, graphic novels, and pretty much any thing else that is a form of Star Wars media, which would be submitted to the New York Times’s Star Wars review contest. I decided to review the fourth episode of the new Star Wars show, The Mandalorian. I felt that my review covered all that I wanted to say, but looking back I think I could’ve gone more into depth with my review. We also had to post this to our blogs for the fourth milestone, link is here.

At this point we had been learning about The Hero’s Journey and reading short stories for the past few weeks and we learned about the different writing styles, including perspective, point of view and theme. We also learned about different components of a story.  This helped me write my part of my story, I have never been a confident writer because I had never learned about different techniques and styles of writing. We then had to decide on what character we would focus our story on. Our group chose a character from the Podrace in the first movie, Phantom Menace, his name was Teemto Pagalies.  We then each had to chose a different part of the story to write about. I chose to write about part 3 of the story, Friends, Enemies and Allies, in which Teemto builds a podracer.

I took a different approach than most people did because I wrote the story as if it was in the form of a journal, written by Teemto. I found it to be more enjoyable than any other writing style I have used previously, and I am proud of what I wrote. It was an interesting experience to imagine what he was thinking and feeling and then to write about it.  We then had to read our first draft of our story to our group and get feedback on it. The feedback helped me make small changes to improve my story.

Draft 1

The next part of the project was to create something that represented our story. I really wanted to build a podracer, and someone in my group eventually said something along the lines of  “yes Finn, you can build a podracer” after about the 17th time I had mentioned it. The building of the podracer was a bit more strenuous than I had originally expected and it involved several late nights leading up to the exhibition. I found I had to scale down the size of the podracer because of limited resources, and because I am a detailed oriented person I had to remind myself that the details weren’t the most important part of this project. I was pleased with the end result of my project because I was able to incorporate my ipad into the design and I did a good job replicating the original model. As we were building our blue sky project we had to follow the LAUNCH cycle and record it in the app: Explain Everything.

Before the exhibition we had to do a lot of planning because the space was less than optimal as we had been given a part of a hallway to display our projects. In my opinion our display was one of the best. We had to plan extensively because we had a limited amount of time to set up, and a constricted space to work with. At the exhibition it was fun to see how our projects all came together to tell the story. I had some good feedback on the podracer from people who came to the exhibition.

I really enjoyed my Exhibition group. I found them easy to work with, they were willing to listen to each other’s ideas and we worked well together.


Make Things Go Boom?

“Make Things go Boom?”, was the most common question on our brainstorming whiteboards at the beginning of our chemistry unit/project.

Unfortunately I am only able to find this image of my group’s brainstorm whiteboard.

The “Big Idea” for this project was: How does the electron arrangement of atoms impacts their chemical nature? My understanding of the big idea is; the impact electrons have is dependent on their arrangement in the different energy shells, a good example is Neon as it’s outermost shell, or Valence shell is full as all atoms want, because it is how an atom is the most stable.

The first Core Competency that we had to use was: Communicating: formulate physical or mental theoretical models to describe a phenomenon. I demonstrated this competency by showing that in my video to ways that atoms bond in easy to understand and scientifically correct diagrams.

The second competency that we had to use was: Processing and analyzing: construct, analyze and interpret models and/or diagrams. I was able to show this competency in a variety of ways including; Kahoot quizzes, tests, textbook assignments, and Bohr Models in my final video.

The third and final competency we used was: Questioning and predicting: demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem or personal interest. I personally believe that I showed this competency by focusing (most of the time) in class, and focusing and doing well when we did a Kahoot quiz.

Through  this project I have gotten a better understanding of how atoms bond, and my hatred for Explain Everything has also grown.

Here is my final video:


Episode 4: Sanctuary

In my Humanites class we are doing a project on Star Wars (more on that later). One of the assignments was to write a review on one of the; movies, tv show episodes, games, books, and others. I choose to write my review on one of the newest episodes in the series, “The Mandalorian”. So here is my review.

In the newest Star Wars tv series, “the Mandalorian” has a lot going for it, but the same cannot be said for Chapter 4: Sanctuary. In this episode the Mandalorian and baby Yoda travel to the planet Sorgan where they meet an ex rebel, and a tribe of krill farmers. This episode is quite confusing because near the beginning of the episode the krill farmer tribe is raided, they then ask the Mandalorian and the rebel turned mercenary Cara Dun to help them fight off the raiders, soon after Cara and the Mandalorian go to investigate, they follow footprints with heat signatures, which long should’ve disappeared, because the village looks like it has been fully repaired which would not be possible to do in the thirty or so minutes that the heat trail would stay there.

Another thing that adds confusion to the story is that when tracking the raiders, they find the foot prints of a AT-ST Walker,

which is not seen in the original raid. When they tell the villagers about it they have no idea what they are talking about, which leads you to believe that there is a small pocket of storm troopers left, like we see in episode 3.

Later on in the episode as they are preparing for the next raid, the Mandalorian tells the village folk to dig a hole in at bottom of one of the krill farming ponds so they can trap the AT-ST. The story line is predictable enough that you can tell even at this point that the trap isn’t going to work, and as later shown in the story, it doesn’t. This chapter of the story is definitely the worst, and hopefully there will be better episodes in the future.

So yeah, episode four is definitely not my favourite but you should definitely check out The Mandalorian if you havent already.



In this term we have had to make 11 videos, 6 for maker, and 5 for Humanites. In creating these videos I have had to use different Core Competencies, and ISTE Standards. Because of that I now have to reflect on how I used them in this post about the maker videos.

Competency 1: Empowered Learner, Drumheller Documentary
• I have leveraged technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in my learning goals.

I think this video is a good example of this competency because we only had about 30 minutes to film our video, not much time right? But wait, there’s more, since we aren’t allowed to wander the museum alone, that means we have to go in pairs (my partner was Gabe, go check his blog out here.), and because of that we only had around 15 minutes to film and edit our video. In these 30 minutes we had multiple technology difficulties mostly regarding our microphone… lets just say if you watch the video I’ve linked below, well RIP headphone users. In these thirty or so minutes that we had to film, we used the technological resources we had, and improvised more often than not, as we were filming to share information. As we edited our videos we were able to select the clips that did the best job of showing what we had learnt, and compiled them into one video.

Competency 2: Knowledge Constructor, Ghost Town Silent Film
• I can critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts, and make meaningful experiences for myself and others.

I personally believe that in creating the silent film I used this competency because we had been told where our location to film was, but we had no idea of what it looked like. I then decided to look for photos of the ghost town, I found several that were of a map of the ghost town. This made it easier for my group to come up with ideas for our film. The only issue with the map was the fact that it neglected to show what building did or didn’t have the inside blocked off.  Visitors to the park could only go into one area of the building, and because of this we had to improvise, using the technology we had access to, to create synchronized cuts in the video so it would look like certain buildings had insides, even though in reality they were barred off. Thank you to everyone who worked with me on this film; Ryan, Matthew, Ben, and Julia.

Competency 3: Innovative Designer, How Place Impacts Who We Are
• I use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful, or imaginative solutions.

In the creation of this video I used many different apps, including; Pages, iMovie, Garageband, Snapseed, Photos, Camera (on my iPad, iPhone, and GoPro), and many others. I used Pages for the script, iMovie for the overall editing, Garageband for the voice over, Snapseed for the photo editing, photos for basic video and photo editing, and I used a camera for taking photos. Who would’ve guessed! Because I was using so many different apps, I would occasionally run into the issue of not being able to export a part of the project from one app to another and instead I would have to export the project to a separate random app just because it was the wrong file type.

Competency 4: Computational Thinker, Run Remake

• I developed and employed strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.

This video was a bit different than the others, because of the fact that we had to recreate a short film, action to action, shot to shot. I found that in re-creating a video we ran across more problems than we had previously expected. One of the biggest problems that we ran into was the fact that the first day we filmed it was raining, in the video that we were trying to re-create it was a sunny day. We managed to overcome this issue by filming on a later date where the weather was more cooperative and closer to the weather that was in the original video. Another big issue that we had with our first draft were that our shots were either too short or too long, because of this issue we had use editing strategies so that we were able to shorten or lengthen the clips.

Competency 5: Creative Communicator, Live Event Video
• I communicated clearly and expressed myself creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats, and digital media appropriate to my goals

In this video, I expressed myself creatively by using different shot angles and obscure filming locations and methods. A good example of this is the creation of the GoPro mount that attached to my dog’s harness, as attaching it to a tree branch above the trail. One of the things I communicated clearly was my dog Trink’s energy and enthusiasm for walks.

And just in case you’re wondering, I do have friends.