Perspectives of WWII

This term we have covered a lot, so get comfy because this is a long one! Unlike last term where when focused on WWI, this term we were learning about WWII.More people died in WWII than in any other war. Overall there were over 40 million deaths. However, WWII was the last of other major wars. Obviously there are still wars between countries however, they are no where near as destructive as WWII. In our unit of WWII we were looking at the countries involved and how different countries each had different perspectives of WWII. Like all units, we always have a project that goes along with the theme of the unit. The theme for our unit was the perspectives of the war, the perspectives of the counties involved.

Driving question: How do we view and understand war, depending on who we are?

Before I even begin to go into depth about the project, there were a lot of steps leading up to it. Also throughout this project we had smaller assignments within it. As apart of our literature, we all participated in a novel study. For the novel study, we had three choices to read from. All of the choices were related to the topic of WWII. I chose to read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Before Spring break, we were given our books and we had all of Spring break to read them. After we were done reading, our assignment was to write a book review. The end product would be to include our book reviews onto the website. I wrote a whole blog post about my book review, go check it out to read about my opinions about the novel!

To advance our knowledge about WWII, we had a German veteran from WWII visit our class. This was probably one of the most memorable experience this year! Helmut was a Nazi in the war and he shared his experiences and stories from the war. I found it amazing talking to someone who had been in WWII and just listening to his stories were so interesting. It was also interesting to hear the perspective of a Nazi in WWII. Before he visited, every student submitted questions to ask Helmut. Our teacher chose 12, I was one of those 12. The question I asked was, what were your expectations for the war and how were they different from your experiences? 

While interviewing Helmut, we had one microphone set up recoding the whole interview. With that recording, individually we were going to be making podcasts. Our teacher had broken down the 1 hour recording into sections.

Our task was to chose a section we were interested in and create a 3-7 min podcast. It was pretty hard for me to chose what to make my podcast about. He talked about the battles he was in, there was a section about how there are no winners in the war, and all of the questions we asked him. I decided to focus on the question I asked. I also incorporated how he joined the army. Not going to lie but making this podcast was kind of interesting! His stories and experiences were so intriguing!

I managed to cut my audio down to around 3 mins, then I added a intro and conclusion. I also added some music to set the tone. 

Here is my rough draft:

I was very proud of my podcast. I got some really good feedback, because we did a peer critique in class and I only had to change the sound level and one or two small errors. For my final draft I added better title which was a quote from Helmut.

My second draft:

Right when we started the unit, we were pretty curious and didn’t really know a lot about WWII. In groups we came up with questions about WWII that we were curious about. We then had a few lessons and watch some videos, but we kept asking more questions about the war. As I said before, we were looking at the perspectives of WWII from the countries involved. We watch a few videos in class and took a lot of notes! The videos were about major battles, such as Operation Barbarossa and the Evacuation of Dunkirk. Once we knew the counties involved it was time to get into our groups for our project. We started an episode of WWII In Colour. This video was a video about before the war. It also talked about Hitler rising to power.

Our project was definitely unique to what we normally do, this project was a research project. Our project was somewhat a class project because all together our task was to create a website about the perspectives of WWII. For our website we used Weebly

My review on Weebly…

Lets just say there were a few issues with the website. First of all using Weebly on the iPad’s did not work well. When more than person was using the app, it would crash and not save anything. There was one day when our class had a substitute and the website wasn’t working. We tried so that only one person from each country could edit the website at a time. That still didn’t work so only one person could edit the site at a time. We came up with a router so each person had 10 mins to edit the website. After a while we tried out the lap tops. Turns out, using the lap tops, you can have multiple people editing the website at one time!!! Weebly was actually really easy to use with the computers. Overall just don’t edit Weebly on iPad’s.

Choosing the groups…

Each group was divided into different groups. To decided the country groups, each student filled out a Google Form that said what country they wanted to research. My top choice was Italy. The reason I chose Italy as my first choice, was because I knew a little but about Benito Mussolini and wanted to know more about his role in the war. Luckily I got my first choice of country to research for the website. Pretty much all of the groups had 3-4 people. Simon and Sydney were in my group for this project. Together we were going to be designing and personalizing the section on Italy. 

As a class, we decided all of the different sections of the website we were going to include. We broke it up into eight sections. 

They were: 

  • Your country, pre WWII (1939)
  • 1939, the war begins 
  • Military/technology 
  • Timeline of WWII for this country
  • Helmut podcast
  • Details of significant battles 
  • Soldier details 
  • Your choice; in our website we had to create a section of something unique about our country

We started off the project with researching each of the topics and adding information under each title. Since this was a group project, we made a Google Doc where we could keep all of our research, also we added our teacher so she could make sure we were keeping up to date with the research.

For the website, we split our page Italy into six pages.

Our pages included:

  • Intro page, we included location, language, amount of soldiers in the war, who they were allied with, etc. Most importantly, we added a goals for Italy that talked about what Italy wanted to get out of WWII. 
  • Before the war, the Great Depression and how that affected Italians.
  • During the war, this was probably the longest page. It included how Italy entered the war, leaders, what their military status was like, and important battles Italy was involved in. 
  • Timeline, main events during WWII. 
  • Benito Mussolini, Mussolini had a major role in WWII, he was the Italian dictator and formed the axis force with Germany. 
  • Interesting Italy, some fun facts about Italy. This included foods, music and a famous building. 

We just needed to organize our paragraphs into the website and we were good to go. As a group we split up the work. I was in charge of adding the paragraphs and writing most of them, Simon found media and organized the website, and Sydney was in charge of citing all the websites and pictures. As I said earlier, this was a research project so we had to cite all of our sources in MLA format. In class we did some activities to practice citing websites, videos and even books. Let’s just say it took a lot of explaining before everyone in the class understood. To practice for example with citing a website, we were given a website to read about “The Blitz” and we had to write a short paragraph including quotes from the website. Of coarse we needed to cite the website.

Example (we did the same for videos, and books):

The Battle of Britain 

In 1940, conflicts between Germany and Britain resulted in a, “significant turning point of World War II”(Cowley). After the French signed an armistice to quite the war, Britain had to compete against Germany’s powerful military. However, Britain had a chance since Germany was facing major problems, “they had no navy left after the costly conquest of Norway”(Cowely). Britain had a very strong air defence system which benefited them in the war. After waiting for the British to surrender, on September 7th the Germans encountered their first attack on London. Since the attack was successful for Germany, this resulted in another attack on September 15 that failed, “not only with heavy losses, but also with a collapse of morale among German bomber crews when British fighters appeared in large numbers” (Cowley). This resulted with Hitler postponing a landing on the British Isles. The battle ended when Hitler suspended the Battle of Britain. 

Website citations

Cowley Robert, Geoffrey Parker. “significant turning point of World War II”. ( A+E Network, 2009, Accessed Apr.11, 2018.

Cowley Robert, Geoffrey Parker. “they had no navy left after the costly conquest of Norway”.( A+E Network, 2009, Accessed Apr.11, 2018.

Cowley Robert, Geoffrey Parker. “not only with heavy losses, but also with a collapse of morale among German bomber crews when British fighters appeared in large numbers”.( A+E Network, 2009, Accessed Apr.11,2018.

Presenting the Website…

Before we presented our websites, we did a peer critique. Each country set up their website at a table, and in our groups we went around giving critique and feedback. Each student had sticky notes to record their notes. By the end each country had a lot of feedback and critique from other groups.

We got some pretty useful feedback. We just needed to a line some of the pictures, and fix some of the paragraphs.

A huge aspect of this project was our class was going to be presenting it to Kathleen Barter, a member of the North Vancouver School District. She also taught humanities at our school. Kathleen was essentially our fact checker. Before she visited we did a run through of all the presentations so we could revise anything. The day everyone had been anticipating came pretty fast. We set up the class room with all the tables facing the front. We had a projector at the front so we could airplay the website. It took the whole class plus overtime for all of the groups to present. Basically for the presentations, each group member had to highlight their favorite part of their page. The presentations went pretty well! Kathleen Barter left some great feedback to each group and she said she enjoyed herself. 

As always there were revisions to be made. Mostly the feedback was that within each country, we should have connected each country and talked more about their perspective of the war. Our group just added another paragraph about Italy’s perspective and how Benito Mussolini, the dictator made a difference in the war. Also at the end of the battles, I added links to other counties to see their perspective. Some feedback from our teachers, was to add more media, videos, links etc. Our group also added  more links and videos.

Go check out our finished website!!!!

Overall I really enjoyed this unit of WWII. We had some amazing opportunities like interviewing Helmut to increase our knowledge on WWII. I also had fun personalizing and designing the website. We took all of our knowledge and published it for other people to read. Not only did I learn how to use Weebly, but also making the website made me remember the information a lot better by writing it out and reading over it over and over again. I learned a lot about the different countries involved and how each country had a different perspective of WWII.


Generators and Waterwheels

This term in science we have been leaning about energy and all the different forms of energy. There are many different types of energy however, there were four that we focused on, kinetic, potential, thermal and electrical energy. 

Kinetic: Movement

Potential: Height/ Stored energy

Thermal: Heat

Electrical: Electricity 

To get a visual of how these forms of energy are transformed, we started off the unit of energy with going on a field trip to the powerhouse at Steve Falls Visitor Centre. In this museum we had a tour guide touring us around the powerhouse. We got to see how the powerhouse and how the dam works. Also from this museum we were supposed to get inspiration for our project. 

The project was a group project, Kyle, Isobel and Will were in my project. The original project brief was to create our own generator to light up an LED using nature. An example our teacher showed us was a gravity light. Gravity is used to power the light. After making the generator we had to convert it into a commercial. Our end product would be a video advertising our product. At the museum I got some inspiration to make a water wheel to power a light. We came back from the museum with the idea to make a waterwheel. 

We decided to make a waterwheel for out project. Our idea was to make a mini house to the waterwheel would power the house. However, this idea was working out very well so we had to think of something else. At the beginning of the project Kyle was experimenting with powering a LED with magnets and wire. He actually got it to work so we made a new one and changed our idea.

Let’s just say it was is a long process to make our generator. It took classes of winding wire around a tube and the trick was to wrap the wire as close together as possible. Once we wrapped the wire, we needed to solder the LED onto it, this also took a while because we kept messing up. Basically in order for the LED  to light up you shake the tube with the magnets inside and the wire wrapped around it. After a lot of revisions our generator worked! Now we still needed to power the generator by nature and humans didn’t count. Something that some of our group members enjoy is mountain biking. Using mountain biking for our commercial we could sell it as a safety light. We figured if we found a trail that was bumpy enough and if we strapped the light to the handle bars, the light would bounce up and down, moving the magnets and lighting up the LED. 

In this project math was combined. In math we have been learning about linear graphs. We had a mini project where we had to research a body of water and make a graph of how long it would take to evaporate. Will and I decided to research the Jatnajökull glacier in Iceland. An aspect of this project was to figure out how long our product would take to charge a iPhone. You can use linear equations to figure out how long it would take to charge an iPhone. Before we predicted how long it would take to charge a phone, we practiced with solar panels. In our groups we measured the voltage and converted it into Watts and we were able to determine how long it would take to charge an iPhone using a small solar panel. 


For the video we wanted to film it in the dark, so the LED lighting up would be visible. The first step for the video though was to write a script. For this we had to determine the characters, location, photographer etc.

To film our video like I said earlier, we wanted it to be dark. At 9:30pm Kyle, Will and I filmed in the forest by the school. It was pretty hard filming in the dark however we managed to capture the LED lighting up.

Here is our video:

Overall I am very proud of the outcome of our project. I think our group worked well together and our group was the only group that made their own generator. All of the other groups made waterwheels and used the hand crank generator. However, for the video aspect, there were some revisions to make it was mainly to show the cost savings in our video. 

Cost savings can be shown by comparing free energy produced by your generator to the cost of energy from BC Hydro or the cost of energy in batteries.

DI Provincials 2018

DI provincials…. a time where you can reflect on mistakes from regionals and improve your performance for provincials.

To start off, provincials takes place after regionals. All of the teams at Seycove qualified for provincials. After provincials, you can qualify and go to globals. Regionals was located at Seycove, which was very handy. Check out my regional post to read about my experience with DI at Seycove. Provincials however, was located at a high school in Surrey. It was around a 40 min drive, so there was no running home if we forgot anything. We had to fully check that we had all of our equipment. The other challenge was persuading a parent to drive our team to Surrey for 8:00am!

Preparing for Provincials:

After regionals we had a lot of work to do. Also in my past post I reflect on our performance, and there were a couple things to work on. We had a few weeks to rethink some elements. As a team we thought of some goals to set for provincials. Coincidentally, spring break occurred right after regionals, so we had all spring break to work on DI (yay…). A huge element we needed to improve was the rover. At regionals let’s just say there were a few issues with the rover! We made a goal that we would work on it during spring break. Surprisingly this actually happened, Calum and Sam were in charge of re-designing the rover. The rover was completely re-done from scratch.

The re-designed rover:

Another goal we set was to re-think the prop transformation. At regionals, the prop transformation wasn’t too impressive. It was basically a papier-mâché ball with lights that turned on. Over the break Spencer and I were in charge of the prop transformation.

We liked the idea of it being a bomb exploding. However, we needed to re-think how we were going to make this happen. Something that sparked an idea was to use a balloon. Balloons pop very easily and would make a loud BANG when it pops. The only thing was once the balloon popped, it would have to transform into something else. We concluded to fit a balloon inside a ballon so when you pop the outer balloon, there is a smaller balloon left. Before spring break, I ordered some LED lights off Amazon, because anything we did we wanted it to involve lights.

When they arrived, I realized that it could be a challenge to get the light inside the balloon (it was). First of all I couldn’t fit it inside a balloon so that stumped the idea for now. To test out other options I made a papier-mâché bomb and pocked holes through it so when the light was inside, the light would shine through the bomb.

However, we didn’t end up using this idea, mainly because we really liked the idea of the balloon. We re-thought it and figured if we took the casing off the light, it would be small enough to fit inside the balloon. After a lot of bursting balloons, Spencer and I managed to fit the light inside the balloon. We also added tissue paper inside the balloon to add more of a exploding effect.

Having a balloon as a prop was pretty annoying because it kept popping! There were many trips to the Dollar Store to get balloons!

Another element we had to re-think for provincials was our team choice elements. Kate and Isobel worked on this aspect. For regionals, our team choice elements was music and a French speaking character. We didn’t get many points at all for these. Something our whole team has in common is athleticism. Almost all of us played for the school basketball team and we are all very active. We decided to include basketball into our script. Calum is very dedicated to basketball and we thought we could incorporate basketball into his character. During the performance Calum showed his passion for basketball by dribbling  the ball and showing off some moves!

For the other team choice element, we kept the same idea with playing music. However, instead of it being a recording, we thought a live performance would get us more points and it did!!

The day of DI Provincials 2018

So the day started off with a 6:30am start to get to Surrey!

When we got to the school, we realized we didn’t have the forms. Basically your team has to fill out forms that include our ideas and team choice elements. The appraisers look at them and they can give you points. This event definitely woke me up because we didn’t have a printer to print out the forms! We saw that there was a Staples with around a 20min walk. Thankfully Mimi’s mum was happy to drive us so we could print off the forms. We also weren’t the only group that forgot forms, so we ended printing off other teams forms. (Overall Staples literally  saved our lives!)

Once we had our forms we were good to go! We did a few dress rehearsals and we were ready to perform!

Our challenge went pretty well! The prop transformation worked really well, and the rover definitely worked better than last time. Only at the end did the rover stop working, but at least it made it through the maze!

Check out our performance!

We got some really good comments from the appraisers!

As you can see from the comments, the appraisers really liked bomb explosion and the rover!  I was a little surprised with our raw scores. In some elements we got a lower score than provincials. I thought we did a lot better. For example we got lower points on our rover even though it worked and completed the maze. However, it’s not entirely all about the raw scores. I am  proud of our team and our effort we put into the performance. Like I said earlier I was very happy we came 1st!

Our hard work payed off and our team SIICK came in first place!!! We also got first in the instant challenge! For the instant challenge our team have to build a tower using 30 forks. Our team worked really well together and we created the tallest tower!

Overall DI was a fun but stressful time. Our challenge definitely wasn’t easy and I think our team worked well together and we managed to produced good quality work for provincials. Regionals wasn’t the best however, it was a good learning experience. From DI I learned how important it is to communicate with your group and to set goals for the team with dead lines. I think the biggest element  our group fell on was time management!

So why do we do DI?

Believe it or not, DI has been scientifically proven that it “Students who participate in DI become better at creative and critical thinking, collaboration and idea generation”.

From having experience with DI, I have noticed that I am definitely better at solving challenges and problems in a creative way. The instant challenges is a good example. When you have to come up with a creative yet possible solution in a short period of time. Also in the study it said DI participants are more self-confident and tenacious. I agree with this because it’s practicing performing infront of a vast audience. This is definitely a skills I used to struggle with. I always hated performing infront of people, but I think DI has helped me overcome that aspect.

Destination Imagination at Seycove


Destination Imagination (DI) is something that PLP does every year. This year, our school was the host! Since I just joined PLP this year, this was going to be my first DI tournament, so I didn’t have any experience and didn’t really know what to expect. DI is an opportunity to show off your creative skills and incorporate these skills to solve a challenge. There are seven challenges and there were 4-6 students on each team. The challenge I was assigned to was the technical challenge. The challenge was called Maze Craze. I had 6 people in my group, Kate, Spencer, Isobel, Calum and Sam.

For this challenge we had to include a lot! This challenge involved a traveler to go through the maze, a prop transformation and a prop had to be removed from the maze. All of these challenges within the maze, had to be incorporated into a story.

Check out the  video that explains all the rules!

Before even thinking about the story we had to read over the challenge so we knew it like the back of our hands. This was important because within the challenge there were specific rules we had to follow, and it was important we knew what was and wasn’t required.

An activity we did was reading through the challenge and going in with highlighters. We marked in different colours the mandatory requirements, the things  that we don’t need and the optional requirements. This helped me a lot with understanding our challenge.

Choosing a story definitely was one of the hardest parts, and it took a lot of brainstorming. In class we did an activity to generate ideas. Everyone on our team needed to fill in a chart of ideas for the story. Once’s everyone had filled out the chart, we cut out the ideas and organized them into categories like, story line, props, theme of story, etc.

It took al lot of brainstorming when we decided on a police mission. Everyone also liked this idea a lot. This was a hero/ action theme with the good guys and the villains. We also came up with the idea of removing bombs from a building (the maze being the building). This would involve having the police detecting the bomb and removing it and the villains plantimg the bombs. Another idea that jumped out was the idea of flashbacks. Our story was set so the main policeman was telling his story of the time he was a part of the bomb squad and his mission. To add a sad aspect his best friend on the mission with him got blown up by the bomb and the whole idea was it was his 50 reunion dedicated to the best friend.


Villains: Izzy, Kate

Police officers: Sam (young Spencer), Calum

Head of police: Isobel

Older version of Sam, telling the story: Spencer

Once we had a outline we could start filling in the forms. Leading up to the tournament A LOT of planning was involved. This involved filling in multiple forms. These forms included team management, budget (we had a $200 US budget), team goals, story line. This all took planning and time to complete the forms. We also started to work on the script. For the script we wrote a rough draft and throughout the weeks we tweeked and revised it.

DI script-1hznkcn

For planning out the story line, we had a deliverables chart to fill out. This was a chart in one side that had the requirements and the other side was our solution. This is where we started to think about the prop transformation and the removal.

Here is one of the charts:

Since our props were bombs, for the prop transformation we decided to have a explosions effect. We attached lights to the home made papier-mâché balloon and when the explosion happened, the lights turned red. For the removal of the maze, a bombed was removed and the rover pushed it out.

The other element that is required by all the challenges, is to have a team choice element. The team choice elements have to be in your performance that is unique that no one else has. This could be music or incorporating sports into the skit, etc. Our team had a bit of trouble with coming up with ideas. In the end, we used music that Isobel and Kate had created and Kate spoke French throughout the performance.

For the main aspect of the challenge we had to create a rover to travel through the maze. For our story, it was a bomb defuser. Calum is very good at coding so he said he could make a rover and code it through the maze. I was a little worried because he said that he could do it by himself, but we made the other parts of the challenge. Calum had built the rover from scratch which was really cool however, the day before competition day it didn’t exactly work. This left our group a little panicked but by the morning Calum had gotten the rover to sort of working.

However, I was confident with the background and the story! For the background we made it so it was like a story book. Spencer was the cop telling the story and we flipped the pages as the settings of the story changed. My favourite page was the last page. Since Kate and I (the villains) escaped, we cut out a whole that we jumped through at the end!

Competition day!

I was pretty nervous for competition day. First of all it was going to be my very first DI tournament and I didn’t want or mess up. Second, the rover! Let’s just say it involved a lot running back and fourth to Calum’s house to get tools to fix it an hour before. We tested it before the performance and Calum got it to work. Although during our performance the rover broke down and Calum and Sam had to push it through the maze. We had to do a lot of improvisation.

What went well:


Overall I was pretty happy about our performance. Even thought the rover didn’t work, we stayed in character and managed to improvise. The rover also still removed the prop and exited the maze which got us points. Talking about points overall we came 2nd! Something the appraisers loved, was the story and the story book. We got the most points for the story aspect.


Pretty much all of the comments from the appraisers were about how they loved our story book. Also they thought we did a good job with staying in character even though it all went wrong with the rover.

Where we can improve:

Here is our score sheet. This shows the areas we didn’t do so well on,

There was quite a bit that we could improve on. To start off with the main component of the challenge didn’t work. This was all to do with time management. We should have worked on the traveller a long time before the performance. We lost a lot of points in the team choice elements. Our background music was too quiet and our french character wasn’t emphasized enough. We need to work on making them more visible and big to our performance for next time. Next time we could make them more obvious, or even choose different ones.

In conclusion, it was a fun experience and it was interesting to see what a DI tournament looks like. I was surprised by how many people were at our school, I don’t think I had ever seen it so full! We made it to provincials so we can take our feedback into account so our performance will be even better! I also got a participation certificate and ribbon!!

All the other teams did really well! Almost every team from Seycove got either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd!

Thinking outside the galaxy

For this unit we were learning about polynomials and how to use algebra tiles to solve equations. For the project we were told to make a board game using polynomials and algebra tiles. We had to make up our own rules and design the ya,e our selves. This was a partner project so Mimi and I worked together.


Before we even started the project, we had to learn how to solve polynomials. Basically you can use the algebra tiles to factor, square or expand. We had a few lessons on how to solve these equations. We had to use all three concepts in our board game that we had to demonstrate us solving the problems in the video.

Factoring: To break it up into numbers that can be multiplied together to get the original number.

Expanding: Removing the ( ).

Complete the square: The method of converting a quadratic equation which is not a perfect square into the sum or difference of a perfect square.

For brainstorming we had to come up with what type of game we wanted to make. We had a lot of freedom within the project. We could choose any type of game. It could be a board game, card game, etc. Mimi and I decided to make a board game. We also wanted to incorporate gambling into the game to make it more interesting and exciting. For the game we also needed to create a theme. We decided to go with a space theme.

Making a game involves a lot of creativity. You have to come up with a name, rules etc. Mimi and I came up with the name ‘Thinking outside the galaxy’, to go along with our space theme. I took us a while to think of rules. It took some revisions to clarify the rules. Basically the objective of our game was to winner get to the end first.

Here is our first draft of the rules,

1. gambling game with tokens
Each turn each player is given an equation at random that could either be the answer of an equation or the equation itself.
2. Both players have to solve them and whoever’s sum is the largest, moves on forward 2 spaces, and draws a card with positive movements.
3. if make a perfect square points are doubled


After we got some critique we re-did some of the rules to make them more clear and we added some details.


Final draft of rules,

1. Two player game.
2. Before the round starts, place bets (any of your possessions) in “gamble bowl”.
3. Player A will roll blue dice, the number on this dice will determine how many tile squares you will pick up from the blue bowl.
4. Player A will then do the same for the yellow dice and bowl and the green dice and bowl.
5. Player B will also take steps 3-4.
6. Once everybody has their tile squares each player can pick up one card from both stacks.
7. The card with the number, is the amount of extra tiles you can choose from the tile bowls.
8. The other stack with either the word factor, expand or square is what you are going to do with your tiles.
9. Using the box you are given, arrange the tiles to come up with the largest sum (keep in mind, you have to stick to what the cards tell you to do).
10. The player with the largest sum in the end can pick up a card from the blue pile, these cards will then tell you how many moves you can make across the game board track.
11. First player to reach the end of the game board track is the winner, the winner can then collect the bids in the bowl!

After we had of rules set in stone, we were able to make a rule book for the game. For each page we drew pictures to represent each instruction. This was just for a visual to make the instructions really clear.

Examples of the drawings,

Making the game board,

On the board we needed to have it big enough to fit the tracker on the side, and it needed to have enough room to fit all the tiles inside. We found a decent size piece of cardboard at my house that we ended up using. To add some personalization, we painted the board like a galaxy and it fit the theme of space.


The numbers on the side of the board represent the points for each player, and the first person to reach the end is the winner.

Check out our video explaining the rules for further details!

We got pretty good feedback and only had one revision. The revision was to demonstrate completing the square better. We just re-filmed it and added it to our video. However, we added a lot of personality into our video by adding humour at the end when I won all of the biddings. Overall this was a fun project, we got to be creative and I enjoyed making our own game. As well as having fun I also learned about the new math concepts.


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.

Chemical reactions and experiments

In science we have been learning all about balanced chemical equations and reactions. In this unit we got to design our own chemical reaction experiment.

For the project this term our task was to design a chemical reaction experiment that clearly identified the presence of a element or compound in an object, material or mixture. The question we had to answer was,

How can chemical reactions be used to identify the unknown composition of an object?

This was a partner project, I was working with Alex. The criteria for this chemical reaction was pretty open. We could choose any chemical reaction, it just had to identify the unknown composition of an object.


After some brainstorming and discussion, we decided on testing soil samples around North Vancouver. With these samples we were going to test for the PH level in the soil, to test if it is basic or acidic. We discovered that using cabbage juice as a indicator with water will turn the soil water either, red (acidic) or blue (basic).

Inquiry question:

How can we test soils if they are acidic or basic in the area ( North Shore) and what patterns will occur?


We predict down by the water the soil will be more acid since there is more pollution down by the water, while areas with higher elevations or forest will be less acidic and more basic.

For this idea we needed to decided where we were going to collect soil samples from. I really wanted to collect from Mt.Seymour and the ocean to see if there is a different PH level with evaluation.

However, this wasn’t going to work with all the snow Mt.Seymour has had this season, we would have to dig A LOT to find soil. Instead we just collected samples from around the area.

The places we collected samples from:
Cates park
Myrtle park
Lynn Valley
Blue Ridge
McCartney Creek park

In each location, we collected around a cup of soil and we also took pictures of the environment around the sample. We took pictures of the plants growing around and a closeup. of the leaves. This was so we could detect if the PH level of the soil affected the leaf colour.

To prepare for this experiment we needed to bring in materials into school. Alex brought in jam jars to keep the soil in. I made the cabbage juice at home by boiling water with half a cabbage and I poured it into a water bottle so I could bring it into school. The cabbage juice smelt so bad!!!

We also created a poster for a visual of our project. In the middle is a map of North Vancouver with string attaching photos of the locations we collected the soil from. After the experiment we wrote down all of the results of what the PH level was.


We did our experiment in front of the class. We got all of our soil samples and put them into beakers so we could measure the amount of soil, water and cabbage juice in order to keep the variables equal.

Here is our experiment in front of the class:


The results of our soil samples were pretty balanced, there was a good mixture of acidic and basic results. We concluded with our experiment that the soil samples that were closer the the ocean are more basic and the samples from a higher evaluation were more acidic and are part of the alkali family. This is not what we predicted. Our hypothesis was that the samples from the ocean were going to be more acid because of pollution in the water. A possible reason our results was the soil was more acidic with elevation could be because of limestone and the water running through the stone  on the mountains. Lime water is very acid and the water flows down the mountains causing the soil to be acidic.

Overall we did pretty good on the project. We didn’t have to do any revisions. The aspect of the project that we struggled on was the presentation. We didn’t fully explain the chemical reaction happening. However the experiment worked and we got some decent results. From this project I learned a lot more about chemical reactions and I learned about the PH level of soil in North Vancouver which is pretty interesting. I also learned what you can use as an indicator, before this project, I didn’t know red cabbage juice could be used as an indicator!

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!

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!