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

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”. (history.com). A+E Network, 2009, www.History.com Accessed Apr.11, 2018.

Cowley Robert, Geoffrey Parker. “they had no navy left after the costly conquest of Norway”.(history.com). A+E Network, 2009, www.History.com 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”.(history.com). A+E Network, 2009, www.History.com 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.