Essays and disruption at Torrey Pine State Natural Reserve


As you may know this units theme is disruption. Disruption is a interference, inconvenience or change in an event. So how is this related to our learning?

Our driving question,

Throughout  history, how has technology acted as a disruption?

I think it’s fair to say that technology has grown and developed new features through time and the usage of technology has changed. In California we visited places that all relate to our disruption unit. For example Google, Alcatraz, Apple and Nature reserves and parks. We were looking at how technology has acted as a disruption in many ways, education, business, transportation, environmentally, etc.

In my California post I mentioned a project about Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. For our field study in California, we had a project that we were going to be gathering evidence from,whilst on the trip. To gather evidence for our projects, we could include interviews, quotes or videos. In California we visited many attractions and our task was to focus on one to do our project about.

This was a partner project. We were somewhat aloud to chose our partners (the teachers mainly made the groups in the end). Looking at our itinerary we could choose any attraction we were going to be visiting to research. My partner was Simon, together we were interested in the first lunch spot Hodad’s, a burger restaurant. The reason we wanted to research Hodad’s because we were interested in the back story of the restaurant. However this idea wasn’t going to work, because we were only going to be there for less than hour (not enough time).


We needed to find another place to research, so we decided on Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. I was interested in this attraction because I was thinking we could get a lot of really cool footage and there would be lots of people to ask for information. I was also interested in the wildlife in this reserve and how they protect the it. Also another plus was we were going to be there on the first day so we could get everything we needed and start to work on the video the rest of the trip.

Another reason I wanted to do Torrey Pines was because after some research, I already had an idea on how it could have acted as a disruption. I was thinking about education. On the website they had a page on how they educate people about this reserve. Simon and I were the only group researching Torrey Pines, the popular attraction was the Safari Park. However, another aspect of the project was to connect our topic with another one. For ours, we could connect it to the Safari Park because they are both about educating people about the environment and they are both reserves and their purpose is to protect endangered species.

To help brainstorm other ideas on how Torrey Pines Reserve acted as a disruption, we created a mind map on what other ways the reserve can act as a disruption. We also did some research to get a better understanding about our destination. It’s kind of hard to see on the images, but our three main ideas were, education, business and environment:

Once we had our topic we had to decide on how we were going to present our research. We had a lot of options, video, podcast, game, puppet show, and photo essay. Simon and I decided to do a video, mainly because Simon brought his camera so we could get some good footage. Almost every group chose either a podcast or a video.

We couldn’t work on the project a lot before the trip, except a lot of research. Also to gather more information and ask good questions for our interview, we started to make a list of questions we could ask. Also before we left we needed to form a thesis that our video would relate back to.

“Torrey Pines is a natural reserve home to some of the rarest pines in North America, making it a unique educational experience”

When we arrived at Torrey Pines Reserve, as a class we walked around and we had a tour guide for the first section. The guide gave us some key information about the pines that we could use in our video. Simon and I had the opportunity to interview the park ranger, Johnson.

I was asking Johnson about how the park educate people about the reserve and the issues within it. He mentioned that they have junior programs for kids and guided nature walks around the reserve. Something that jumped out to me was the bark beatle and non native species. At the reserve the bark beetle is disturbing the Torrey Pines and a way they are trying to fix this problem by setting up traps the capture the beetles.

The other main issue in the park was the non native species in the wet lands. The reserve organizes volunteer programs to get rid of these non native species in the wetlands.

After gathering all the evidence we needed from the park we created our rough draft of the video.

We needed to do a bit of work for our final draft. First of all we needed to cut down the interviews and only keep the key pieces of information in the video. Like I mentioned earlier about thr Safair park, we also needed to relate our topic to another places we visited, so we just needed to add this part in the video.

I was happy with our final disruption video. I thought it showed the disruption at Torrey Pines reserve and we showed how the reserve educate visitors on these problems within the reserve.

Hope you enjoy!

Overall I really enjoyed this project. From this project I developed and improved new skills. Something that we have been developing this unit is asking good questions in a interview. I think my interview with the park ranger went well, something I would do differently is maybe at the end of the interview ask ifthere any further information about the Torrey Pine reserve.

When I was editing the video, I got a lot of flashbacks from California which and making me want to go back!

Another aspect for our disruption unit was to write a synthesis essay. Like I mentioned earlier our essay had to answer,

How has technology acted as a disruption throughout history?

Through out our field study to California, we were collecting evidence for the essay. Our task was to choose three different sources to back up our points. We had a lot of freedom with choosing our sources. These three sources could be the locations we went to in California, they just had to back up our argument. Check out my California post to look at all of our options of evidence for the essay.

From doing my disruption video about education I wanted to do a similar thing for the essay. So my argument was that technology has acted as a disruption towards education. My three points were, technology is introducing new ways of learning and changimg the way we learn, it acts as a disruption, and lastly technology has developed  new tools we use.

My three points to back up my argument;

Hight Tech High,

Wondering what Hight Tech is? Check out my recent blog all about the school!

The Computer History Museum,

Finally Little Brother, a novel we read at school.

We had a week to brainstorm for our essays. For writing the essay, we had two days in class to write. During the week before, we were formulating our thesis’s and writing an outline to prepare us. After brainstorming I finally formulated a thesis;

“Technology has strongly impacted education and is a disruption to students. Technology has introduced a new way of learning as well as becoming a distraction.”

Once I had my thesis and outline I was ready to write my essay!

Here is my essay;

Disruption essay-2kkybop

I haven’t received any feedback on my essay yet. However I think I explained each point pretty well and I had my three sources to back up my argument. Overall I have learned a lot from or disruption unit. I learned a lot about how each location we visited can act as a disruption in many ways. Going into depth with Torrey Pines State Reserve improved my knowledge on how reserves educate the public, inorder to keep their species alive. I was also surprised how much I learned from going to Silicon Valley. Especially from visiting the Computer History Museum. I learned so much about the history of computers, and how much computers have revolutionized. This unit and the trip have increased my knowledge on technology and how much it has impacted the world. As well of the learning aspect I also had a lot of fun with these projects. Filming for the disruption video was a lot of fun! As much as I was having fun, I was also learning a lot about how a lot most everything can have a disruption towards something else.

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