Adventure in California

Since school had started I was already counting down the days until California. For the PLP field trip this year we went to California for nine days. We visited San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco, We went to so many amazing places and had so many amazing opportunities. It was definitely a trip to remember. Our theme this year is disruption and through out the field trip, we were learning how technology can act as a disruption.

While we were in a California we had a task to complete a book about California. Our teachers had made a book for us, almost like a diary that we had to fill in. There we all types of tasks, reflections, pictures and videos. We were told that our final copy had to look completely different from the book our teachers gave us.

Let me take you through the highlights from our nine days in California!

Day1: Fun on the plane

Our first day was a very long day! It started off by waking up at 3am to get to the air port for 4:30am. I was so excited I didn’t even feel tired. The first plane was  a 45min flight to Seattle and Robbie already left his wallet on the plane!!! Then we had another 2 hours ish to San Diego. Non of us were dressed for the sunny San Diego weather. We were all wearing hoodies and long pants and it was around 25 degrees outside! The first thing we did when we got out of the airport was get into our car groups.

Our first stop was at Torrey Pines Natural reserve. Torrey Pines is home to the oldest pine in North America and endangered species of plants and animals. Simon and I were filming our disruption video at this destination. We interviewed some of the staff members and got some great footage for the video!

La Jolla was our evening stop. La Jolla Cove was so pretty and we got there just at sunset. There was a huge grassy field and Alex bought his frisbee so we had a game on the field. Down by the ocean there were seals lounging on the bay! We got some instagram worthy pictures at La Jolla Cove!

First Mexican food of the trip,

Day 2: A grand day at the zoo

A high light of the day was the daily cheetah run. Cheetahs run at a speed of 70 miles per hour and they ran a long a 330 foot track. The cheetah running was Shirley and the San Diego park is the only Safari park where you can watch a Cheetah run off the leash running at top speed. We had to get to the area fast because there was so many people watching and the run goes so fast!

Another highlight from today was the hotair balloon ride. From the top we could look over the whole of the Safari park and you could almost see Mexico! The hotair balloon went higher that the Statue of Liberty!

A really cool opportunity today was we got to watch the Elephants have their check up. This involved cleaning of the feet, checking the whole body of the elephant pretty much.

Day 3: Exploring San Diego

I really enjoyed visiting the Midway. This was the second time I went and this time was the best. I found it really interesting talking to all the veterans from the carrier because they could gave us real stories from the carrier.

The highlight from the USS midway was roaming around the museum we were given an audio tour, so we listened to it while walking around. Also while we were walking around we have some challenges to do from our books. It was a lot of fun filming our videos. My favourite section of the museum was the hospital and dentist. It looked so realistic.

My favourite challenge:

After the museum we went to the Old Town San Diego. The Old Town was the birds place of San Diego. There was a lot of Mexican Vibes, I almost felt like I was in Mexico! The restaurant we went to was Cafe Coyote. The food was so good there!

Old Town: The birth place of San Diego

Day 4 and 5: Back to school (High Tech High)

These two days were definitely highlights from the trip! I had so much fun at High Tech High. My partner and I bonded right away and I got to meet all of her friends. Check out my HTH blog for more about the school!
On the last day of HTH, we were off to San Jose! On the way to the airport we went to In and Out burger. The plane ride was around 1:30 mins, and as soon as we arrived, we went to the hotel and went to bed.

Day 7: The tech day (Silicon Valley)

Today was a very Tech day. We went to Google followed by Apple, the Intel museum and then interviewing Brendan and Scott and bowling. Outside of Google, they had all the statues of the Android updates. All of the names of the updates are dessert names (hence the reason the stautes are all desserts)!

The Apple visitor centre was so cool. The building was like a glass box, and we got to test out all of Apples products. We got some of the employees to show us how to take the best pictures with the IphoneX.

After interviewing the Tech giants, the whole class got to go bowling!!!
Another highlight of the day was going to the Sonic Runway and the whole class running through it. It was basically a long stretch of lights and the lights would move with the speed of what ever went through it.

Day 8: Visiting my dream university

In the morning we visited the computer museum, luckily we didn’t have to get up too early so we got to sleep in a bit. It was very interesting at the computer museum to go through time and see how much computers have changed. I also got to go inside the new Google self driving car.

Stanford was also so fun! We walked around the whole campus and now I really want to go to Stanford! I was so happy because I bought a Stanford hoodie. It was pretty funny because almost everyone bought something from Stanford so when we were walking around the next day with our Stanford hoodies on, we looked like we went to Stanford!

The other Highlight was I got to sit inside a Tesla and now I really want a Tesla!!! It’s going to be my future car (hopefully).

Day 9: Train to San Francisco

Our final destination was to San Francisco and we got a hour train from San Jose. We dumped our bags at the hotel and got a tour around Twitter HQ. My favourite part of today was going to the Golden Gate Bridge! I have always wanted to visit the bridge. We got lots of photos!

Day 10: Wild Wes walking tour and Alcatraz 
The tour around San Francisco was definitely a highlight of the day. We got a tour of the Castro and Mission. Our tour guide was also a lot of fun, he carried his guitar around and sang songs he wrote about each place.

The other highlight from today was Alcatraz. A long with the Bridge, I was also really looking forward to exploring Alcatraz.

We were given the audio and it was amazing. As we walked around the museum we were being told stories from Alcatraz. It was really interesting to walk through the prison cells and we even got to go inside them!

Day 10: Home rebound

The whole last day was our journey back home. It involved two flights. I think most people were excited to go home. I was happy and sad at the same time. I wanted to stay because it was so much fun but I was also so tired and needed a good night sleep. Let’s just say I had the best sleep in a long time!

The Manhattan Project²

 Wow, first post of the school year! 

From previous posts you can see that in PLP we go on field trips to deepen our knowledge. This year our trip was pretty early into the school year. Our field trip was to Oregon/Washington for four days! Another blog will be coming soon with more details of the feild trip!



Our unit this term was the Manhattan Project. Before I go into depth into our task, I’ll give you a brief over view of what the Manhattan Project is. The project was an American top secret project. The project was to create an atomic bomb to plant on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to make the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII.


For this bomb to be developed, sites for research, and manufacturing  needed to be found. Hanford was one of the sites that they selected. For the bomb they needed a place where they could produce plutonium. Hanford fit all the criteria, in the middle of nowhere and near where Uranium was found. All the sites took place all across the US (and Canada). Main three sites were, Richland (Hanford, plutonium), Oak Ridge (home base, working on uranium separation) and Los Alamos (the making and testing of the bombs).

On our field trip we had the opportunity to visit the Hanford site. While we were visiting, our task was to research a topic about Hanford and create a video in groups of 3/4. Sounds simple right? Not quite, a lot of research was needed and we had to collect as much evidence from our field trip to back up our statement. Robbie and Alex were apart of my group. Together we decided to research the environmental impact from Hanford, since the materials the site used were very radioactive. 

Take a look at our video to discover the environmental impacts from Hanford:

Now lets rewind and I’ll explain how we got to our final product.

Research time…

The Manhattan project was a huge significance in American history. It was also advanced the knowledge of the atomic age, since it was the first ever atomic bomb created. Now your probably wondering what was the point of all the effort into creating a bomb and dropping it on a city with innocent individuals. In fact the budget was 2.2million dollars and around 600,000 people were involved in the project.

The United States had multiple reasons for the project. To start with, the US had the tools they needed, so I mean why not? A huge trigger was the fact that there were suspicions that the Nazi’s were on the path to creating a bomb as well. You could say there was a race among the allies of who could create an atomic bomb first. The final reason is tensions between the relationship of Japan and the US rose after the Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. However, the decision of dropping the bomb on Japan was all up to President Truman.

Our first assignment was to create a news reel about Truman’s important decision. A news reel was essentially how people got updated news. 

News Reel on the Pacific War:

(Adam, Claire and Alex were in my group)

As I said earlier the atomic bomb required a vast team, around 600,000 individuals. We did a lot of research to discover more about the behind the scenes of the project, and who was in charge. An activity to learn more about the workers was to create a character card. Each student researched a different worker of the Manhattan Project.

From my card you can tell that J. Robert Oppenheimer played a very significant role in the creation of the atomic bomb. He was the chief scientific director, was in charge of the science and making the bomb work. He also managed over 3,000 people. The class all participated in a game that advanced our knowledge of the cite and introduced us to new faces.

In the game I discovered another significant member of the team, Enrico Fermi.

Enrico Fermi

He created the very first chain reaction (critical to the project). He joined project in 1944, and he proved that making a chain reaction is possible. A lot of science was behind the bomb. Before 1945 weapons were chemical reactions, such as gas. Nuclear weapons use strong nuclear force for destruction, inherently more powerful than any possible chemical reaction. 

Here is what a chain reaction looks like:

Here is how nuclear fusion works:

Nuclear fusion: is the bringing together of two smaller atoms to form a form a larger one.

Nuclear fission was discovered by Enrico Fermi in the 1930’s. Fermi demonstrated that elements subjected to neutron bombardment could be transformed into new elements. This discovery sparked research around the world.

The after mass…

The bomb had a lot of after mass after it was dropped. After Truman decided to use the bomb and it was loaded on the plan “Enola Gay”.

The uranium Bomb nicknamed, Little Boy was dropped on August 6, 1945, Japan still didn’t surrender. The plutonium bomb nicknamed Fat Man, was dropped a few days later on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. After the second bomb the Japanese surrendered. It took around 43 seconds to destroy Hiroshima. It resulted in 4.4 square miles flattened. 80,000 people were killed instantly 100,000 people survived but wounded. In Nagasaki 40,000 were killed instantly, 60,000 wounded. August 13, 1945, Japan formally surrendered to the US. The Americans saw this as pride for their country, it was an end to WWII.                                                                                                         

Our project…

Back to the project. Our videos were based on a TV episode, History in 5. There is a lot of information about the story of Hanford. It used to be a village called White Bluffs, until the project came along and in 1943 took over the village.

Our videos had to follow the same format as the one above. Intro, five points and the conclusion.

We picked our main topic and then had five supporting points. Our topic was five things you didn’t know about the pollution at Hanford, also known as  the most toxic place in America. Our five supporting points were:

Made with Mindnode

 In PLP we revise, and learn from our mistakes to conclude with a fresh product. That being said many steps were taken once we had done all of our research:

Made with Sketches Pro

Our first draft was pretty rough. We had written a pretty long script and the video almost seemed like a podcast. The only thing we kept from that draft was the amazing intro Robbie created using Video Lab.

While we were on the field trip, we gathered all the media we needed, such as B-Roll, interviews to back up our points, more key information and finally to film clips of the presenter (me). In Oregon we also went to other locations to that was all related to the Manhattan Project. For example we visited the Reach Museum where our group found more information of the wildlife that lived in the Columbia River.

Finally to tie the whole unit together, we started to research the Cold War. We were given a package (Roots of the Cold War) full of key information that we could use to answer questions about the Cold War. We haven’t discussed the Cold War with a lot of detail, however it sparked the idea of communism and capitalism in our heads. 

Wow, overall I have learned so much from this feild trip! Actually visiting all the cites where the atomic bomb was created was amazing. The bombs were created in such a short period time which was very impressive. I never new learing about bombs would be so interesting. This unit got me thinking of what the world is really capable of!

Lord Of the Flies and Debates


To wrap up our final unit in humanities, unlike learning about the wars our topic was government and democracy. This is from novel studies, to participating in a class debate. This whole unit was around the idea of formulating opinions, communicating and speaking skills. Like always we had a driving question for this unit, “how do we organize ourselves?”. A huge part of this answer has to do with the novel we read, Lord Of the Flies by William Golding.

A lot of this unit was teamwork and throughout the unit we were going to be working in groups. The very first task our class was given was to sort our selves into groups. This may sound easy, however trust me it was harder than you would think. Basically our teacher left our class alone in a room and we were told to make six groups of four or five. There was a catch, in the groups there had to be a different variety of skills. You also couldn’t just make a group with your friends. This was a pretty chaotic experience.


With the groups we had created, they were going to act like our islands. My group was Will, Adam, Ryan and I. In these groups we were going to be working as a team to earn points. This unit was sort of like a competition. Every team could lose points and gain points. At the end the points would be tallied up and the winning team won a prize.


This challenge was a social experiment to see how our class would react in certain situations. The challenge related Lord Of the Flies, we were introduced to this novel early on in the unit. Lord Of the Flies is a common novel study in schools and is all about human nature. We had around one month to finish the book. Wednesday was kind of our check in day, we were assigned around five chapters each week and we also had our team quizzes. The team quizzes were done with our islands (groups). The questions were all about the novel and the chapters that were assigned that week. The team quizzes were also an opportunity to lose or gain points. You could lose points if you failed and you could gain points if you scored 100%. Unfortunately our team never got 100% however, there was growth shown from the first quiz (6.5/10) to the last where we got 9/10.


I’ll do a quick review on the book. Overall I really enjoyed the book. It was very interesting about what the boys instincts were when trapped on an island. Also it was interesting because the way the boys acted, is probably how our class would have acted if we were stranded on an island (maybe not to the extreme). What we found is that the way they acted is human nature.

Though out the novel, we were filling character analysis charts. This is so we could show our understanding of the book, evidence that we actually read the book. On the chart we had to give descriptions on the main characters and their role in the book etc. 

Also in the book there were specific symbols. For example the conch that represents leader ship. There were certain objects that represented something. We also filled out a symbols sheet talking all about the symbols in the book and what they mean.



Something I learned is that politics are pretty important, knowing the voting system, governments and even current events, such as the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.

We learned about the Electoral System (very confusing). In groups we were given a system we had to try and explain. Canada has the most simple system luckily called Pass the Post. I was in the group that had to figure out the Mixed Member proportional system. This was definitely the most confusing! Honesty I still don’t really know how it works. They use this system in Germany and New Zealand. 

We also learned about the different types of government. We created a diagram to get an idea for Who’s Who. I definitely learned a lot from making this chart, before I didn’t know for example I now know that the lieutenant governor is, a Janet Austin. 

Something our whole class did, was take a quiz on the Political Spectrum to see where you lie with political beliefs which was pretty fun! I learned a lot about the rest of the class and where they stand on the Political System.

We also studied the Role Of the Charter. This is a document that explains your rights and freedoms. Here are four of the rights and Constitutional guarantees, democracy, rule of law, freedom and minority rights. Something I learned from this is if you get caught by the police, and they want to arrest you, you have to right to ask why you are being arrested. 

Something that was a huge aspect of this unit was the debate. We were told at the beginning that eventually everyone would participate in a class debate. This was going to be our final assessment for our unit of Lord Of the Flies. A piece of information our teacher gave us was, that being able to public speak is the most important skill. This is something that I am not a fan of however, I knew this unit would be good practice for me. 

An activity we did to practice formulating an argument, was to write a concept journal. Another reason we wrote these was because for the debate we needed to use evidence from previous humanities studies we had done this year. Basically for the concept journal there were several topics, for example power and authority, human nature, individualism and community, etc. Within those topics the class brain stormed things we had done within each category. For example WWII would go under the category of power and authority. 

We were going to be writing two concept journals. I chose to write my first one about High Tech High, which is under the category of community and individualism. I chose HTH because I thought it was a good example of a community. We visited HTH when we went on our field study to California. To start our concept journal we had to either have an inquiry question or a statement. In my journal I had to use find examples as evidence of why HTH is a example of a community and individualism.

 My favorite journal:

Like I said we wrote two journals, however this one was the journal I was most proud of. 

Anyways, back to the debate…

We did many activities leading up to the debate to develop speaking skills.

A key part of debating is being able to think on your feet. An activity our class did to practice this skill, was called pass the buck. Like Lord Of the Flies, the buck represented the conch. Whoever was holding it, was the only one who spoke. We did this activity in our island groups. One member from each group would volunteer and they were secretly given a topic (ex. Bubble gum). They would then come back to the group and start talking about that topic. When our teacher said pass the buck the next group member would carry on what the first member was saying. This was a good activity because it got you thinking on your feet and you had to communicate with each other in order to know what the topic was. 

An activity similar we did was impromptu speeches. Basically one person would stand in front of the class and you were given a very simple question. You had 30sec-1min to answer the question. In the end only two class mates went and our teacher also tried it. 

The Great Debate….

For this debate we had been preparing for, we were given our topic a week before so we had plenty of time to prepare. My group was given Power and Authority. The way our teacher picked them, was each team said their top three choices and pretty much everyone got theirs. Obviously with a debate there are two sides. To decided the sides we flipped a coin. Luckily our group got PRO.

Our statement: Be it resolved that power leads to corruption 

I was happy with our argument because since our evidence had to be from a topic we had learned about we could talk about the leaders Mussolini and Hitler. Another rule for the debate was you have to mention Lord Of the Flies and use evidence from the novel. Every group created a Google Doc with their team and filled in a chart that you could use for possible evidence.

In our own time we were assigned to listen to a Intelligence 2 Debate podcast to get a feel of what the layout is for a debate.

Here is the layout we decided on:

– Introductions: 2-3 minutes

– Hosts, Topics, Teams

– Opening Statements: 2 minutes each side, PRO, CON

– Rebuttal: 2 minutes each side, PRO, CON

– Question from judge or audience: 1 minute each side, PRO, CON

– Concluding statements: 1 minute each side PRO, CON

We also had to decide who was going on what day. Our group went first. I was pretty happy about this because I was already pretty nervous so it would be good to get it done!

Before the debate I was pretty nervous the video we watched about the secrets to public speaking helped. The tip that stood out to me was think of the debate as a conversation. Going into the debate I knew what I was say. Me and Adam talked about politics and Ryan and Will talked about LOFT. 


Our debate went pretty good. Our result was to be revised however I think we did a pretty good job with the rest of the debate and especially since we went first and did really know what to expect. We lost, however it was very close!p, it was 6-7!! I think the rebuttals was the biggest issue. Since we went first, this was learning for the other teams for the next debates. That was something we changed, the rebuttals were slightly different layouts. It was definitely a learning experience. For the last two debates everyone was a lot more enthusiastic and knew what they were doing.

Since we are in PLP, of coarse we recorded the debates. Check out our podcast (debate)!!!

Also go check out the other two debates our class made. Thanks to Sam, Aiden and Isobel for editing them!

Overall this was definitely a fun unit. Out of all the other units, I almost found this the most challenging. Mainly because I’m not a fan of public speaking. This unit took me out of my comfort zone and especially after the debate I feel like I am a lot more confident with speaking in front of an audience. Not only did I improve my speaking skills but I also learned a lot about politics and how governments work. I think Lord Of the Flies is definitely the best school novel I have read! All in all, I think this is the unit that has benefited me as a person the most!

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.

High Tech High

While we were in California, we had the opportunity to go to High Tech High (HTH). HTH is a carter school located in San Diego. Charter schools are government funded and you don’t need to pay to get in.  Just like PLP, HTH is a project learning based school except instead of only a portion of the school involved in HTH, the whole school is project based. Before we visited the school, we did a bit of research about the school and we watched a video for an introduction. A quote I liked was, ‘the school on the outside looks like a box but on the inside it’s completely different, it doesn’t even look like a school’. This quote made me very excited to visit HTH, because in the video they described the school, different and unique so I was very interested to see what it was actually like.

We visited the school for two days and were assigned a buddy to work with. Our task was to interview our buddy to create a podcast. I think everyone was a little nervous when our teachers said we were going to be working with people we had never met before! So the teachers could pair us up, our class made introductory videos that we were going to send to HTH. Our introduction video had to represent us and show who we were. We were told to include hobbies, family members, goals/ambitions, nationally, etc.

Here is my introduction video, hope you enjoy!

We didn’t find out our partners until we were at the school, so the whole first few days of the trip everyone was wondering who we were going to be working with. At HTH we were told to wear a button up shirt and everyone looked very professional! When we arrived I remember walking up the stairs up to the front doors and seeing our buddies inside. Right away when we walked in the door, we were assigned our buddies.

My buddies name was Keana. Right away we both bonded and I was very happy to work with her. They chose all the buddies really well, everyone got along with theirs. After we were introduced to our buddy everyone went into the humanities class, Anna’s class. We were spilt up into groups to get a tour of their campus. On the campus there is a elementary school, HTH international and media arts and HTH (the school we were at). We headed straight to  media arts and Just from walking through the front doors I could already see so many differences between HTH and Seycove. First of all the hallways were filled with art work and students projects. I also noticed that most of the class rooms had glass walls. This is so the students can see what’s going on and see other art work inside the class rooms.

(All the art work was done by the students including the wooden bridge!)

On the two days we were at the school, we were going to be shadowing our buddy around. So I went to all of Keana’s classes and had lunch with her. On the first day I went to her math, English and multi media class. In math we did some problem solving and the teacher was talking about Canada. I was also introduced to some of Keana’s friends and they were all friendly. They were all interested about what Canada is like since non of them had ever visited Canada before. It was kind of funny because we definitely looked like Canadians because almost half the class wore a flannel (which is very Canadian). At lunch time we went to the food court. The school in conveniently right next to cafes and a food court so I got a tray of sushi from Trader Joes. Since we were in California, I got California rolls. On the campus there were so many places to sit an since San Diego is sunny, unlike Vancouver, we saypt out side.


The podcast:

In school our focus is storytelling and getting a good story out of someone, this involves formulating good questions. Throughout this year we have practiced interviewing and making them into podcasts. For the last class of the day we had English, and we interviewed our buddies. Before we came to HTH we were told to brainstorm questions. The criteria was pretty open. We could ask our buddy anything we wanted to know about them. It could be education, family, nationality etc.

I already had idea what I wanted to ask, because Keana was new to HTH this year, so I wanted to know how different HTH is compared to regular high schools. For the interview, we were put into groups of four. My group was, Keana, Anjoli, Jayden and I. We sat of the grassy field and we had a lot of fun recording. It was a very casual interview and my buddies asked me some questions about Vancouver. We mostly talked about the differences between HTH an regular schools. While we were recording there was a lot of planes flying over so it could be hard to hear some of the audio. Almost every 5mins a plane would fly over the school. In this podcast you will notice that the microphone glitches quite a bit. This was a microphone technical difficulty!

Here is my first draft:

When we came home we did in class feed back so we exchanged with a partner. The feedback I got was to make a stronger conclusion and try and fix some of the audio. I tried to cut our as much as the glitches as possible and I re did the conclusion for the revised draft.

Final draft:

For the last day I was pretty excited to go back to HTH.  The day was simular to day one however, in multi media, we made these mini books called Zeens. In them we had to tell a story of what we did in the past two days at HTH. In our interview groups we each made one and exchanged them at the end with our buddies. I’m definitely keeping mine that my buddy made for me, for good times!

The two days I spent at HTH went like a flash and will definitely be remembered. I met so many amazing people at the school. To keep in touch, we all exchanged Instagram (as you do)! As well as meeting new people it was also a learning experience. I learned a lot about what San Diego is like and what there is to do in the city. There was a lot of discussion about the differences between San Diego and Vancouver. The big differences was the weather and after school activities. For example, in Vancouver we have ice skating and skiing and in San Diego they do a lot of surfing. I also leaned a lot about the school it’s self and there way of learning by going into the classes. Something I want to bring back to Seycove is how they have art work all over the school. I don’t think I saw one blank wall. Saying good bye to Keana was pretty sad but hopefully we will stay in touch and I’m really hoping our buddies come and visit us in Vancouver and come to Seycove!

Camp Capilano


What I learned:

A few weeks ago the whole class had an adventure at Camp Capilano. It was a fun experience that I will remember. I think it was a good idea to go on a retreat, because I am now more comfortable with everyone in the class, since we all spent a night together. Also being Throughout the trip I was learning the responsibilities and expectations of a PLP student. There were many skills I learned from making the projects. I learned how to work as a team, communicate with my group members and how to edit and use different apps.


Camp Capilano, the building from the outside.

The food, was surprisingly pretty good. Usually when I go on trips the food isn’t that great. The pancakes was my favourite meal.

The pool, the break we finally had, and got to just hangout. To make this video I decided to be adventurous and make an explain everything.

Our assignments:
All of the projects included all of the skills I already mentioned. Our first project I really enjoyed because we got to be creative. However, it was tough because we only had one hour to make a 45 second intro for a reality TV show. We also had to include 10 different characters. Our group ( Sydney, Hannah, Spencer and Kate), chose to base our show on a British TV show called, I’m a celebrity get me out of here.

The reason we chose this show, was because we needed to create one that was outside, because we were filming in the forest. ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ is filmed in a jungle, so it worked. For our show we were living out in the forest and you have to succeed in challenges to be released. When we got assigned the project, my group was taking a while to think of what to do. We should have been communicating more with each other. That was a learning experience because next time, I make sure everyone is participating and communicating with each other.


In the next project we had to create a project that was similar to the first however, we were told that weren’t aloud to use any visuals, only audio. At fist I panicked because I had no idea how we were going to do this. Although, our group definitely worked more efficiently. We assigned everyone a job so we worked faster. As a group we decided to have all the same characters from our original project, but create a scene when all the characters were first meeting each other. At the end of the assignment I found that this project was easier than the first, because we didn’t have to worry about changing clothes, or getting the right angle of scene. However, it also had difficult aspects, we had to make sure the voices sounded different since it was only audio.


For our final project we had to incorporate all the skills we knew to create a 4 minute podcast. At the beginning we were told to tell a story that involved us explaining what identity is ( I would say I learned the most out of making this project. I will definitely remember staying up until 2am working on our podcast, trying to prefect it. However, that experience taught me that I need to manage my time more efficiently, when given a project that has to be completed in a short period of time . For our story, we chose to talk about when I moved from England to Canada. We chose this because we could incorporate all the aspects we needed to. Since we were up so late we didn’t fully watch the whole video after we were done. That was a mistake because the music wasn’t right. That was another thing I leaned, to fully check my work before handing it in. I enjoyed this project because I got to tell a story that meant a lot to me. I also learned a lot of new skills.

After this trip,  I am now really looking forward to California!!!!!!