Have you ever felt isolated?

Now you may be wandering by the title, why I am talking about isolation. Currently we are reading The Crusible by Arthur Miller, a play set in 1953. It is a story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692/93.

In this post I will talking about something more personal. I’m sure most people have dealt with this at some point in their life. This is isolation. The google definition of being isolated is having minimal contact or little in common with others. This could be to do with anything, but for me it was being a “cripple”, and how I was isolated in my house for days unable to go to school or even see my friends.

I will be talking about a time when I have felt isolated. This has been a very recent event, when I got surgery on my ankle, I won;t go in depth on the surgery, it’s a long story. After my surgery I was isolated in my house for days with limited mobility.

Here is before I got the surgery:

Apart of this task was to create a piece of media to bring this post to life. I decided to draw an  this drawing using Sketches Pro:


An example of when I felt isolated, was when I missed a friends birthday, since I needed to stay home and rest my foot.

Something I found to do was I completes a 1000 piece puzzle in two days (I was pretty proud of myself!). When I was able to get to school, I also felt isolated, I had nothing in common with anyone. Instead of taking the stairs I went in the scary elevator that I got stuck in…. it’s ok I got out! 

This post has let me express my opinions and feelings on this topic. Overall I learned a lot about myself and how I felt isolated. I had fun writing this post because it really let me give my opinion on the topic. I know I ranted about my surgery however, my injury is not the worst. In fact I am on the road to recovery and can walk on my foot soon. I feel lucky that I will be able to walk. There are people in this world whom may never recover and never have movement in their legs, making them feel isolated permanently.

Hanford adventure

You may have read my previous post about the Manhattan Project. This post is all the behind the scenes of the learning and of course our experience on the trip. As much as a learning experience our field trip to Oregon/Washington was, we also had a lot of fun!!! 


Here is a short video with clips from the field trip:

We visited many interesting locations such as the Maryhill museum, Reed Collage, Powell’s Books, and of course, HANFORD!


Pretty much all of the locations we visited were related to our main topic, the Manhattan Project. In fact we spent two days exploring the Hanford site. We were collecting media, informantion and footage from this field trip for our videos. It was amazing to visit the place we had been learning about. It made all of what we learned come to life. Every location we went to there was always a great opportunity to film.

We set off bright and early and had a full day in the van driving to Portland, Oregon. The first day was pretty fun and relaxed, we explored downtown Portland. The city felt a little bit like Vancouver but with older looking buildings. In downtown Portland we visited Powell’s Books.

This is the largest independent book store in the world, it also took up an entire block! I found it really cool that they also sell second hand books as well as new copies. As always when we visit somewhere, we always have some kind of task. Our task was a find the funniest/ most interesting book to do with our hobbies. I found a book on skiing since it is my favourite sport. I found the cover pretty funny!

Our other task was to find the funniest book in group and reenact the cover. The title of the book we found as a group was “Billion Dollar Whale”

Kate acting as the Billion Dollar Whale.

In the evening in Portland, we stopped at the McMenamins Kennedy school. This school was transformed into a hotel with a  movie theatre and restaurant. Our class visited the movie theatre and Mama Mia 2 was playing! It was definitely the most impressive old school I had seen. It was covered in art work and looked very different to any other school. We only spent one night at Portland. The next day we drove to Washington however, we made many stops on the way.

We visited the Reed Reactor, at Reed Collage. I found it pretty fascinating that there would be a reactor at a collage. However, the collage only use it for research. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the reactor however, they had a well detailed diagram explaining how it works. Surrounding the reactor is water that is 25 feet deep.

Diagram of inside the reactor

Some fun facts: The water acts as a shield to stop the radiation from affecting the workers and also to cool the reactor. The temperature of the water is 18.5 degrees Celsius. Since the reactor is very radioactive you would not be able to go swimming. Although our guide did say that you could tread water at the top but any lower, would be dangerous (wouldn’t recommend it).

Walking into the room where the reactor was, was pretty impressive, everyone was mind blown. I was very curious about the radiation exposure on the students since they are working with reactor a lot! I found out that the students wear a monitor monitoring how much radiation they get exposed to. It is a very small dose and no one had ever reached the limit dosage.

On our trip we also visited the B Reactor, one of the main reactors used during the Manhattan Project!!!! It was the most impressive thing I had seen in a long time. The B Reactor is located at Hanford and it is where the plutonium was produced for the project. It was world’s first large-scale plutonium production reactor.

A highlight of the trip was visiting Multomah Falls and the Vista House of Art. We stopped at these two locations after a long day driving and we got to sprint up a hill to the water fall. The waterfall so amazing!!!! At the Vista House of Art there was an outstanding view of the Columbia River were my group for the Manhattan Project² (go check out our video!).

In Washington we stopped at the Maryhill Museum of Art. The area was very deserted except for a museum in literally the middle of nowhere. Here is a little bit of background, the house was established in 1907 when Sam Hill bought the 5,300 acres of land. He named his company after his daughter, Mary Hill. The Maryhill Museum is full of his art collections and the museum was open to the public in 1940.

While we visited the museum we had to find something that sparked our interest. It wasn’t too hard since I was curious about all the pieces of art work. While we visited we had to make a short video about a piece of art that stood out to us. Something that I was fascinated by was the chess collection:

As always on our trips we go to to exciting restaurants. This trip we went to Red Lobster, Endless Shrimp ! I had the best shrimp I hav ever had!! They brought you shrimp after shrimp and there was so many different flavours. The goal was to eat as much shrimp as possible and before we left we set our goals. I think I consumed around 50 shrimp. My favourite was the sesame seed and ginger.

Overall the field trip was a blast and a half. I learnt so much and I was able to implement my knowledge into the videos we created. This trip also swayed my mind into think nuclear reactors are pretty amazing. As always this PLP trip was a trip to remember!

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!

Blue Sky 2018

Like Destination Imagination, PLP also implements Blue Sky. In PLP we have two exhibitions, the Winter exhibition and Blue Sky. Blue Sky has been around for many years however, this was  going to be my first Blue Sky so I didn’t really know what to expect. 

Our theme this year was empathy. Basically for our project we had to design something that would help a group of people or an individual. The very first thing we practiced was listening to people and what they need, so we did the lunch activity. This was done in partners, and we had to listen to them in order to design them the perfect lunch.

Moving on, the topic for Blue Sky was the Sustainable Development Goals. Theses are a collection of 17 goals set by the United Nations. The issues they cover are over social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice. In groups we chose which topic we found the most interesting. My group chose Responsible Consumption and Production. This could be environmentally, for example, reducing plastics, waste etc.

In my group was Hannah, Claire and Sofia. Our group struggled to come up with an idea. Our first idea was to reduce packaging in fast food restaurants. This wasn’t going to work because a huge aspect of our projects this year, was we had to implement them. We kept the environmental theme however, in order to implement our product, the school seemed like an easier place where we could do something. 

Our group split in two and I was working with Sofia. We thought a lot and needed to come up with an idea fast!

This is where the LAUNCH cycle came in. The LAUNCH cycle is the process we took to get our end result. So what is the LAUNCH cycle?

L- Look, Listen & Learn

A- Ask tons of questions

U- Understanding the process or problem

N- Navigate Ideas

C- Create a prototype

H- Highlight and fix

LAUNCH to the world!

L – Starting with look listen and learn. This is all to do with listening to your client. This involved research, so Sofia and I asked students what environmental issues they think our school faces. A common answer was the paper towels. In our school we go through a lot of paper towels per day. This was definitely an environmental problem that was attainable to accomplish. 

A – Ask tons of questions. Sofia and I decided to base our project around reducing the paper towel usage in our school. To do this we needed to get a lot of information about how many paper towels are using in the school. We interviewed the janitor at our school. He was very helpful and was able to tell us how many paper towels we use in a day/week. 


Our school goes through one of these every week!

We asked him many other questions about the paper towel they use and what kind it is. We also found out that one box of six rolls costs around $35. This is a lot of money per week for the school. So not only is this an environmental problem but we could save money by using less. 

U – Understanding the process or problem. In order to fix this problem, we needed to think of how we could get the school to use less paper towels. On average people use 2.5 paper towels every time they wash their hands. We also saw that by the end of the day, the paper towel bins in the girls bathroom were over flowing. Something else we did was we researched how much it would cost the school if the school bought an energy efficient hand dryer. 

From this graph you can tell that the school would save a lot of money by perching a hand dryer. It would also be more environmentally friendly. For the paper towels we had to transport them and to make one ton of paper towels 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are used.

N – Navigate ideas. Now that we knew and understood the problem we had to start thinking of ideas for our project. Basically we had to come with a way we could encourage people to use less paper towels. An idea that we came up with was to set a goal for the school. We decided to make a paper towel bin for the girls bathroom that would encourage students to use less paper towels.

C – Create a prototype. To creating our first prototype, we had many stages. The first was designing our product. In this process I was in charge of designing the bin and Sofia did the research about the paper towels. To design the bin I used Sketches Pro.

In the design I decided to cut out the tree and make it clear, was so students could see how many paper towels were in the bin, and you could also easily track our progress. Also this meant I could draw the line of where we wanted our goal to be. 

Here are a few messy drawings for the frame:

H- Highlight and fix. The next step was to get feedback actually create our design. We got some feedback on the design and fixed it then we were ready to start building. Sofia and I made our prototype from scratch. Neither of us are particularly engineers although I think we did a really good job making it.

We made the bin out of wood and we needed to figure out how we were going to make the box. To make the bin we used wood, jigsaw, table saw etc.

The first step was to make a frame for the bin. From Rona we had to buy the really long pieces of wood so we used the table saw to cut the wood. This was very difficult with only two people however, I was so proud of us because to be honest I didn’t think we were going to be able to make this.

Something else we had to do was to revise where the goal line was. At the end of a day at school, we poured the paper towels from the over flowing bins into our bin. We drew a line where the paper towels were and labeled it “where we are now”. We then drew a line under it and that was where our goal was. This was hopefully going to reduce the usage of paper towels by 50%. 

Here is our finished prototype in the girls bathroom!


Time to launch our prototype! Our final task in the LAUNCH cycle was to implement our product. Since we only made one bin, we decided to put the bin into the girls washroom. We talked to the janitor and he approved. We made two posters to put on the bin so people knew what we were doing. We left the paper recycling bin in the girls bathroom for a full day. Honestly I wasn’t sure if it was going to work however, when we came back at the end of the day, the paper towel line was just under our goal!!! I was so happy that we actually managed to reduce the paper towel usage! After our experiment, we asked a few class mates if they thought our bin was actually reminding them to use less paper towels and they all said it was!

The exhibition…

Finally the day of the exhibition arrived where we present our projects to parents, family, teachers etc. Like I said at the beginning, each group was categorized into UN Sustainable Development Goals. The younger grades also were put into groups. For exhibition night all the grades in the same category we going to be in the same room.

Everyone in my room:

Grade 8:


Grade 9:






Grade 10:




We teamed up to make our room represent our theme. Our topic was Responsible Consumption and Production. All the projects in my group were all to do with recycling and making a more environmentally friendly community. We decided to decorate our room with a forestry theme to represent the environment. This included having plants, lights off, calm music etc. Of coarse we needed to have food for the visitors. Sofia, Hannah and I were in charge of making cookies. We were told that all food and beverages had to be related to our topic. The cookies were homemade (reducing store packaging).

Some pics from the exhibition!

The sign was made by Emily from recycled paper.



To hide the library books, Hannah made a recycling symbol out of recycled paper.


Mine and Sofia’s stand.


Our poster explaining our project.

Overall I would say that Blue Sky was a success, all the groups did a really good job with decorating the rooms and executing their projects! I think Sofia worked really well, and we did a really good job with our project since we didn’t have a lot of time. I also learned a lot about the paper towel usage in our school and I think it is cool that Sofia and  found a solution to reduce the paper towel usage. We also figured out that it would be more beneficial for the school if they got a hand dryer.

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!




What I have been waiting for this whole year, to learn about space. Like always we have a project that covers our learning from that unit. For our project we had a lot of freedom. We weren’t given certain criteria, we essentially created our own project. Our teacher gave us some guide lines on which topic we could focus on. 


Radioactivity and radiation in space 

Nuclear reactions (how stars work) 

Possibility of colonizing other planets (Mars or the Moon) 

Star life cycles

Evidence for the big bang formation of the universe 

First nations’ stories of creation 

Components and scale of our solar system 

Telescopes and astronomical measurement 

Of course our teacher didn’t want multiple people choosing the same topic so each group of two or three submitted their top ether choices. Almost everyone got one of their top three choices. 

My top choices were, 

1. Big Bang theory 

2. Colonizing of other planets 

3. Star Cycles

Sydney, Isobel and I got our third choice, we researched the star life cycle . With our topic we needed to explain the star life cycle. Like all projects, we had a driving question. However, with this project we could create our own driving question. We wanted to talk about black holes and how the star cycle relates to black holes. 

Once we had the general idea of our project, we needed to choose how we were going to be graded. Like I said earlier we could choose our own criteria that our teacher was going to grade us on. 

  • questioning and predicting 
  • Planning and conducting 
  • Processing and analyzing data and information
  • Evaluating 
  • Applying and innovating 
  • Communicating 

Our task was to choose three of these to be graded on. In class we did a peer critique where we did a gallery walk around the class. Every student have sticky notes to write constructive feedback for each project idea. 

Our driving question and project idea:

Our feedback was to include more information about gravity since that plays a large role in the star cycle. The next step was to write exactly what we wanted to be graded on using a rubric.

Our group made a slide show to explain the star cycle and all of the slides tie together because at the end we made a slide about how all the stages relate to black holes. To help answer our question, we explained the role of gravity. There are a lot of explanations about each star in the slide show.

Check out our slide show!

Almost every group did a different topic and everyone had to present. While every group presented, we needed to make sure we payed attention because our last task was to create a mind map with information about the other  topics. This showed our understanding on the whole unit. The mind map also shows how each of the topic are connected.

My mind map:

Overall from this project I learned all about astronomy. Even though this unit was pretty short, I still enjoyed it. Like I said I also learned about everyone else’s topics. This project deepened my understanding about astronomy. I also learned a lot about the star cycle and how they relate to black holes.

tPOLS 2018

You may have read my post about my mPOL. Now at the end of the year we do the student lead conferences however, now they are called tPOLS. Our mPOL was how I had grown as a learner from the beginning of the year to half way. Now that it is the end of the year, we had have to talk about how we have grown as a learner throughout the whole year, and how we are ready for the next grade level. 

This is the question we had to answer:

Why do you feel you are ready to advance to the next grade level?

From my previous work this year, I definitely feel I am ready for the next grade level. I think that I have grown a lot from the beginning of the year from writing to editing videos and even public speaking. In each subject I think shown growth as a learner, (math, science, maker, humanities and our field study). 

My first evidence for growth as a learner is in my writing, so the subject this most effects is humanities. At the beginning of the year I struggled with writing in a short period of time an writing essays. I wasn’t the best at structuring them and writing my thoughts out on paper. However since the beginning of the year, I have had a lot of practice and now I am pretty proud of my writing. An example is my book review. I thought in my book review I conveyed my opinions of the book pretty well. This is definitely an example of writing I am proud of. Before writing this book review, I had never written a book review before now I have learnt a new skill.

Another example of my writing is, my disruption essay. I structured my essay with the write format and used strong pieces of evidence for my argument. Like I said before at the beginning of the year I had trouble with formulating an augment and writing it out on paper, with a lot of practice there is a difference with my essays. Overall I think I have definitely improved my writing which was one of my goals in my previous mPOL. 

Just recently we wrapped up our WWII unit. This included book review as well, our website (Perspectives Of WWII) and our Helmut podcast. I think my group and I’s web page shows our understanding on WWII and Italy. I worked very hard on this project and overall, I am very proud of the end product. In this project I put my self forward as the DRI, I made sure we had everything and assigned roles for my group members. This was also the project that we presented out web pages to Kathleen Barter. I was very nervous to present. I was very happy that we presented because it was definitely good practice for public speaking and I definitely grew in this area. I have also expanded my knowledge of the perspectives of WWII. My Helmut podcast is a good example of how I have improved my editing skills. First of all I think I did a good job with cutting the audio down and only pulling apart the key information. I also thought that I made a strong introduction and conclusion. I think my Helmut podcast is the podcast that I am most proud of! To finish this unit with writing a final blog post.

Also throughout this year I think that my knowledge in science has improved. Our main project in science this term was the energy project. My group and I made a generator using magnets and copper wire. I was very proud of this project. We were the only group that didn’t make a waterwheel and made our own generator. This involved a lot of research amid revisions to make the LED work. However, our generator worked and we were able to make a video to advertise the generator. Before this project I had no idea how to make my own generator.

In maker this term, we have covered a lot! Something that we moat recently did was the job shadow. The job shadow was something everyone in planning 10 had to participate in. You could choose any job that sparked your interest. I took the job shadow seriously and found a job to shadow that I may consider working in the future, that is at HMCA (architecture). From my day at HCMA, I learned so much about what it is like to be architect. Overall my job shadow really benefited me. I also got a lot of good advise for universities which helped me a lot! From my job shadow, my skills of talking to new people and interviewing has come a long ways. At my job shadow I had to communicate with the head of the office and I talked and interviewed many architects, which was good practice for speaking to strangers. Check out my Job Shadow post to read about my experience!

The last skill I wanted to mention was my growth in creativity. An example of this is, Destination Imagination. To start of with DI. Our group had a very difficult challenge and I think my group and I did a good job with solving our challenge. I’ll be honest Regionals didn’t go the way we wanted however we learned from our mistakes and came back strong for Provincials. I think our group used a very unique way to solve the challenge. Spencer and I were in charge of the prob transformation and we used a lot of creativity to come up with a solution. In the end we ended up using balloons, and in our performance, we pulled it off really well and the balloon effect was very impressive! Check out my DI post to see my process and experience in DI for the first time.

Overall to conclude this blog and answer the question, am I ready to move up to the next grade level? From looking at my growth as a learner, I think it is fair to say I am ready for the next grade level. I can take all my skills I have built on this year and use them next year. Especially my growth with speaking in front of people is a good skill to take into grade 11! I am veyr proud of the work I have produced this year and all of the hard work payed off!

Job Shadow

For planning 10, we are required to participate in a job shadow. A job shadow is basically when you choose a carrier you are interested in and find a job in that field, and you go there for a day to shadow someone. Job shadows are really good for work experience. These types of events are perfect for students to get a taste of the working world and to see what careers interest them. While you are there, you may decide you want to take that career path, or you never want to have that job. This is a very open project. You can choose any career you are interested in. It is pretty unusual to know at the age of 15 what career you want to take in the future. This is the reason students participate in job shadows. In fact it is normal to have multiple jobs before you reach your “dream” job. 

For me it was a pretty easy decision because I have always been interested in architecture. I thought this would be a good opportunity to see if architecture is the career I would want to pursue.  I have also been interested in Sports Medicine so I chose that as a job option in case I couldn’t find any architect offices. In order to find a job to shadow, there were a few steps to take.

Steps to getting the job shadow:

First of all we needed to brainstorm jobs that we may be interested in and find some phone numbers.

For my job shadow I asked around and my dad knew some architects. He gave me multiple phone numbers to different offices and I gave them a call. I also did some research to see which company I wanted to shadow for. 

After some research I called HCMA, and they were welcome to let me job shadow them. I chose this company mainly because they work for my dads work and he told me that they were a very good company and they are located in my city.

About HCMA: 

HCMA is all about working with a space and building things beneficial to the community.

HCAM’s slogan is, “We want to look at spaces, places, architecture and design with fresh eyes – yours” (HCMA). 

For example their company came up with the idea for the alley downtown. They created an alley that no one used into a space that is now a tourist attraction.

On the phone and email we discussed when and where I needed to be. HCMA’s office is located down town and I was going to be there for the whole day, 9am-5pm. This way I would get to meet a lot of people and really get a feel for the job. Right when I walked into the office, I noticed all of the art work and structures around the office. All of the creativity in the office made the office have a chill and welcoming environment.

Quick summary of My Day

My day started off with arriving at the office at 9am. When I arrived at the office, the receptionist had made a schedule for me throughout the day. First I met Rachel. I followed Rachel around for pretty much the whole day, as well as meeting a lot of people. At lunch I went with Rachel’s friends that also work for HCMA. At lunch we had a conversation about what universities everyone went to. After lunch I walked around the office and interviewed some people. I met and she told me about the Masters degree in architecture at UBC. I met Johnathon Strebly who was the director of Creative Services. He was very helpful and he gave me  some business cards if I needed to ask more questions, and he even said he would be interested if I ever wanted to do some work experience. I also talked to the sustainability coordinator. I was so surprised because there is only one sustainability manger in the whole office. She had a lot on her plate. Basically she was the energy checker for each project. Her role was to make the buildings as energy officiant as possible. 

Rachel was working with her team and her role is the project assistant. Something I learned in architecture, is with a lot of the projects they work as team. There is a project manager, PM assistant and the project lead (the person in charge of the bids). Rachel’s team was working on the Harry Jerome renovation.

This is a pretty big task, and Rachel’s role was to make a mini model of the campus so they could figure out where each part of the rec center would be. Overall her job was all problem solving and designing which was definitely something that sparked my interest!

Rachel also took me to the office where they make the actual models of the buildings before they construct them into full size. These building were very detailed and looked so real except they were just a scale model.

I came home from my day at HCMA wanting to be an architect even more!! I talked to so many people at the office that gave me some very helpful advise and information about schools. After interviewing the head of one of the departments, in charge of the bids, he gave me his business cards. If I was ever interested in getting more work experience, he would let me shadow and get some work experience.

Of course I needed to thank the office for letting me job shadow! Therefore, our final step was to write a thank you letter:

Overall my job shadow helped me make a decision on what type of career I want to take. A lot of people recommend universities that offer a good architecture program. For example Carlton University has a good architecture program, Rachel went to Carlton, she even showed me her learning port folio she had to create to get into the university. I was only at the office for one day but having more work experience would help me decide my career even more.

Here is a short video summarizing my career plan:

Choosing the perfect cell phone plan

To end our math unit with linear graphs, as always we had a project that used the skills we learned. This was a pretty small project so this will be a shorter post!

Our driving question was,

How can we use systems of equations to make better choices?

To answer this question we related it to choosing a phone plan. Our task was to research three different cell phone plans with data and compare them on a graph so you can tell which one to choose. This was a partner project so we used communication in order to get the project done. My partner was Sydney and together we worked really well, by splitting up the project.

The steps in ths project was to start researching the phone plans. Both Sydney and I don’t have any data so we didn’t really need a lot. We decided to use plans with 3GB of data. The carriers we chose were, Rogers, Bell and Fido.

Here are the phone plans:

To create graph we used our creative thinking into transformationign the information into a graph. The reasoning I said we used creative thinking, is because we needed to personalize our graph. However, we needed to find the y intercept so we solved the equations using substitution.

Here is our graph:

Our final step was to put our information into a slide show to present to the class. In our slide show we had to explain which plans we chose and why. Out of the three plans, we chose Plan A which is the blue line. We got some good feedback on our project we just had to revise our math.

#BCTECH Summit

This year our class had the opportunity to attend the #BCTECHSummit, Youth Innovation Day! #BCTECH is the largest tech conference in Western Canada and this year it was located at the conversion center in Vancouver. Youth Innovation day happens every year to educate youths about new technologies and to get students to think about future careers. The conference is filled with inspiring speakers talking about their experiences in the tech industry and careers to motive students. Before we left non of us had a great understanding what #BCTECH Summit was until we watch this video.

Our time at the Youth Innovation day was a full on day, 7am-5pm. All of the schools had a schedule for the day. We had a day set of listening to speakers and exploring the convention center,

  • Arrive at the school at 7am – Bring snacks, water, iPad, any other video/photo devices

• 8:30 – 10:45 First Big Session (John Horgan) – The speaker you’ve chosen may be in this

session! Take pictures!

  10:45 – 12:15 Explore the Summit

  Interview a Mentor in the Tech Industry – get your interview!

  Explore programs offered at schools – explore the programs!

  Check out the Robotics contest put on by BCIT! – get lots of pictures of everything!

  12:45 – 3:30 Second Big Session – The speakers you’ve chosen may be in this session! • Bus ride home – Arrive at school by 5pm

There were multiple speakers. And like always we always have something we have to do. Throughout the day we had three tasks. Our first task for the day was to chose two speakers to research. Before we left for the day, we each needed to choose the speakers we were go into further depth with.

• Two Bit Circus (Brent Bushnell) AM 

• Plastic Bank (David Katz) AM •Futurpreneur (Paulina Cameron) PM

• Ava Technologies (Valerie Song) PM 

• Science World (Scott Sampson) PM 

• ECCW Championships (Andy Bird) PM 

• Hootsuite (Ryan Holmes) PM

The two I chose were, Brent Bushnell and Scott Sampson. The reason I chose Brent was because I was interested how a circus was related to technology. For Scott Sampson I have been to Science World in the past and I thought it would be interesting to hear about his company.

The first speaker I chose to go into further detail was Scott Sampson. Scott Sampson is a  paleontologist and the CEO and president of Science World. A paleontologist is the study of the history of life. In this case Scott studies dinosaurs.

Something he said in his speech was that our generation is the “most critical”. His reasoning for this, is because we are the generation that can change the direction of humanity in the next generation. Right now, the biosphere is threatened. The two major disruptions Scott mentioned was ecological and digital, “At the intersection between digital and ecological disruption. The intersection is innovation”. His idea of doing this is to build learning resources such as Science World to connect the public with nature in a fun way. 

Something multiple speakers mention was STEM learning. STEM stands for, science, technology, engineering and math. This September, Scott is going to launch the first STEM education system, BC wide. This new will give children STEM qualities. His three main goals are to, dramatically increase number of mentors, scientists etc, network them within communities share knowledge, and to form digital hub for help from the public on how they might want to use it, how you will choose our career. Also at the end of his speech, he shared three tips, be curious, chase pathways and choose multiple and look for new opportunities and finally, find mentors, seek out mentors they are everywhere and seek to be mentors to other kids, don’t be afraid to ask people. Overall Scott’s role in the tech industry is to build resources for our generation to educate us about the importance of nature.

The second speaker was Brent Bushnell, he is an entrepreneur, engineer and CEO/co-founder of Two Bit Circus. Previously they created STEAM Carnival, a traveling event to inspire kids about science, technology, engineering, art and math. Unlike the term STEM, Brent Bushnell used STEAM, the same components however, the “A” stands for art. Brent used art and created interactive art. He created Two Bit Circus to bring people together. It is a physical and digital playground to create a new world of social amusement.

His ideology is all about getting the experience of something. For example, “have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to fall off a cliff”, technology makes it so you can have those experiences. He mention a lot about Visual Reality. VR is changing education, jobs and even disabilities. Something that stood out to me was “tools have never been better”. Meaning in this age we have multiple tools to work with to design and make new innovations.

I found all of the speakers very inspirational. Almost all of them gave the advice to be curious. I thought this was a very important piece of information, because when looking for a career you need to be prepared to try new things out. Something that surprised me was Scott Sampson said that 2/3 of jobs today will not exist in the future!

Throughout the large building there were many stands from universities or new businesses set up. We had around an hour to wonder around and look for anything that sparked our interest. Our second task was to find a stand that we were interested in and find out more about the program that university offers. 

Something that sparked my interest the most was the 3D printer neural tissue that could fight brain diseases.

This study was done at UVIC and they offer a program in sciences. Using 3D printing technology, they can create models of neural tissue. They are just able to made models, they don’t replace living tissue. The main goal for these models is to understand how the brain and spinal cord work and how spinal injuries can be healed and how neural disease can be treated.

This isn’t exactly what I want to do as a career however I did find it very interesting and I think it would be very interesting to study.

Lastly out final task was to create a podcast! Throughout the building there were mentor tables where we could interview them and ask questions about the tech industry. Out of the information we received, we created 1-2 min podcasts.

Hope you enjoy!

Overall my day at #BCTECH Summit was pretty incredible. This is definitely an event where it is important to get the most out of it because it’s not like I will get this opportunity again. I think I did make the most out of my day. I learned so much from all of the speakers. Almost all of them gave the advise the “be curious”. That is something I will take away from my experience and use it to find my future career. I also learned a lot more