Quinn’s thoughts

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Napoleon Hill

Author: quinn (page 1 of 3)

Exploring Diseases

Hi everyone,

We just completed a project about explorers and diseases. This was a scimatics humanities cross-over. We had two driving questions for this project, “How do cells and diseases interact?” Our other driving question was “What is the historical significance of your explorer?”


As with all scimatics projects we created a project start mind map. This detailed our understanding of the subject of the project, before we started the main part of the project. I learned a lot this project such as how organelles work, and viruses are not living things. 

Our competencies for this project were, Questioning and Predicting. I think I did a good job with this competency. I had a sustained intellectual curiosity about the subject at hand. I completed all milestones to the best of my ability. The second competency was, Scientific Communications. I used proper language to describe how the bacteria and human cells interacted. They interacted in a realistic, scientific manor. The final competency was, Evaluate. The symptoms and outcomes were logical and realistic. They were what would likely happen if someone got the disease I chose in real life. 

This is a diagram of a cell I drew

For the humanities portion of this I created. The curricular competencies were, Connect, and Establish Historical Significance. For the Connect competency I think I did a good job. The best example of this was my comic book comparison chart. I connected with the characters in the stories. 

I think I did a good job on my second competency, Establish Historical Significance. The best example of this was my comic book. You can read it below. I established the historical significance of Bartolomeu Dias very well. 

Bartolomeu Dias comic

 

I think I answered both driving questions quite well. I answered the humanities driving question mainly through Milestones 3 and 5. Milestone 3 was our explorer research chart and this was where I decided on Bartolomeu Dias. I also figured out why he was historically significant. Milestone 5 was the comic book and this was where I explained that he was historically significant. 

I would say I mostly answered the scimatics driving question through Milestones 2 and 5. Milestone 2 was our disease wanted poster. We created a Poster detailing some basic facts about our disease on a Midwest like wanted poster. This is where I chose my disease the Scarlet Fever. I presented these facts in Our comic book. 

All in all this was an interesting project which really correlated with the time we’re living in. It was really interesting learning about diseases with the COVID-19 global pandemic the way it is. I also learned a lot about how significant my explorer was. 

Witness to History

Hi everyone,

Due to the coronavirus pandemic which I’m sure you all know about. If you don’t about it then good for you, you’re still likely practicing social distancing. It has prevented us from being able to go to our physical school. Instead we have been doing schooling online. But this will be considered a major historical event by historians for hundreds of year to come. For our latest project we have become photo journalists. For this project I have made a photo essay about the affects the coronavirus pandemic has had on the vancity basketball community. 

For our first milestone we could take some selfies or go on a themed photo walk. I went on a themed photo walk. I chose the colour green. Below are some of my favourite photos. 

Our second milestone had us interviewing members of the community. I chose to interview two of my cousins who are in university. They both said university learning was hard but they were almost done (they’re now done), so lucky! 


In our third milestone we finally started on the end product. We made a story spine. As previously said I decided to focus on the vancity basketball community. Below is a screenshot of my story spine. 

The fourth milestone was a storyboard. In this milestone we planned each of our shots. I found this to be quite a difficult milestone as I often take on the fly photos. 

The final milestone was the actual photo essay. I found this milestone quite fun. I like photography and it was fun to go take all these photos. I embedded my photo essay below if you want to check it out. 

The driving question for this project was, “How can we, as photojournalists, tell stories of our community during this period of physical distancing?” I think my photo essay answers this question well. I have many photos detailing how my chosen community is affected by physical distancing. I do think my photos could of been more self explanatory though. 

Zooming through DI

Hi everyone,

If you’ve read my previous blog posts you would know that on February 29th I completed DI (Destination Imagination) regionals, checkout my blog post on that here. But with the covid-19 pandemic DI provincials was not possible. Instead we did our DI presentation on a zoom meeting, we even did an instant challenge! This was difficult though as we left all of our props at school, we also had to figure out how to act and interact over zoom. 

An instagram post about PLP’s online DI. That is my group on the featured photo.

We did a great job at regionals but there were so many things to improve. Even though we had to revise everything for this DI we still improved many things, I feel like we did a very good job given the circumstances. 


Our Story improved a lot. The biggest improvements were clarity. The clarity was improved through the awesome narration of our group member Annie. We also all did a good job at acting. 

Our backgrounds were significantly better then at regionals. We used a feature in zoom called virtual background to quickly switch are backgrounds. We also switched the backgrounds a lot to get more relevant backgrounds depending on the scene. To replace our last team choice element which was a painting on top of our alarm clock box Evelyn painted an amazing depiction of our main character Nate’s room. Finally I created an ending background which we used at the very end. 

  • This is the background we used in all of our school scenes.

  • This is the amazing background which Evelyn drew.

  • This was our final background.

We also did some minor improvements on the invention. Although, once again our alarm didn’t work we still revised it. Instead of using the circuit which we used at regionals we used a scratch program which had a timer and would set off an alarm. This failed though, I’m not completely sure what happened but likely my phone glitched out and didn’t play the alarm sound. 


After regionals our team made some plans to improve our DI presentation for provincials. We were going to remake the frame of our backdrop with wood to make it less flimsy. We also were going to remake the circuit inside the invention. Finally we were going to improve our impact scenery. 

Our plan for the backdrop was to add wood supports to improve the frame. During regionals our backdrop kept on falling over. During the 2 weeks after regionals we made plans to get the wood and attach it.

This was our original backdrop

For the invention we were debating making a new timer circuit and trying to figure out if we could get the parts needed for that, or make a simple machine out of an old cooking timer. If we couldn’t get our hands on a 555 timer alarm. 

This is a 555 integrated timer IC

Finally our other major improvement was working on using carbiners to improve the pulleys in our impact scenery. They failed miserably at regionals. During class we figured out how we were going to attach the carbiners to our impact scenery, and we were about to start before spring break happened. 

I feel we did a very good job acting on our instant challenge. We figured out how to act in zoom which is very different and can be quite difficult. We also did a very good job at quick thinking.


All in all we did a very good job handling the different challenges which were thrown at us through all of DI, especially the online one we completed on Monday April 6th. I feel like throughout DI are group began working a lot better together and demonstrated a lot of growth. 

It’s the end of our world… and we feel fine

Hi everyone,

It’s the end of our world… and we feel fine. No seriously we just did a project on this. We recorded a remix version of the song, It’s the end of the world as we know it, by R.E.M. Our driving question for this project was, “who or what changed or challenged your worldview from elementary to high school?” We also learned about the Renaissance, and how it to was a transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age. 

This project involved us taking many creative risks. At the start of the project I was not very happy about having to record my own song, but I kept a growth mindset and tried my hardest.

The competencies we were being assessed on were create, and cause and consequence. I feel I did quite well on both competencies. 

The best example of the competency create was, my group song. I edited the music together, and Amy edited the video. My other group member was Evelyn. Go checkout both there blogs.

There were quite a few reasons I feel like this was a good example of this competency. First of all, I edited many different parts together. I also created lyrics to communicate my point about the transition from grade 7 to 8 through text, and later through music. 

I demonstrated the competency cause and consequence cause and consequence in many milestones. One of them was my individual lyrics, I wrote about the consequences of transitioning to high school. Another example was my Renaissance cause and consequence right up. I wrote about how the Renaissance caused lasting monarchies and the consequences of that. 

This is my Renaissance C+C


This project had 6 milestones. I will explain them all of them now, except for milestone 6, because this blog post is milestone 6. 

Milestone 1 was our worldview mindnode. We had to make to make a mind map about the transition of our worldview from grade 7 to grade 8. I did an ok job on this, there was many things I could’ve improved. 

Milestone 2 was our individual song lyrics. We had to write our own lyrics which would work with the R.E.M track. I feel I did a good job on this one, although, my lyrics could’ve flowed with the music better. 

Milestone 3 was our individual song. This milestone was when we sung our own song, from the lyrics we created in the previous milestone. If you want you can listen to my song below. I think I did a good job on this milestone but there was many things I could’ve improved. My audio didn’t always sync perfectly with the track which made it sound a little off. 

Milestone 4 was our Renaissance C+C (cause and consequence). In my opinion I did a great job on this milestone. I already mentioned how it was a great example of the cause and consequence milestone.

Milestone 5 was our group song. In groups of 3 we made a song. I worked with Evelyn and Amy. I think we did a great job. Originally the audio was a little weird as it had the track playing slightly off time in the background. Also, I think my singing could have been more similar to the original track. 

All in all this was a different project which forced me take to many creative risks. I think I kept a growth mindset and did some pretty interesting work. I could improve many things, but you can always improve a lot.

Surfs up!

Hi everyone,

Over the last month I designed a surfboard with my friend Ryder, go checkout his blog. This project Involved many calculations and 3D design. I came into this project thinking that oh calculating volume, and surface area will be easy, we learned that in grade 7. I quickly realized that calculating the surface area and volume of complex shapes which don’t have all their faces showing is very time consuming. I’m so happy for computer programs which can do stuff like calculating Surface area and Volume for us. 

This is my model of a surfboard

As I already mentioned my friend Ryder, and I made a surfboard. We made 2 different surfboards. Ryder made a better looking surfboard in Tinkercad, but it wasn’t a simple shape and our teacher, and even the internet had no clue how to calculate it. I made a more simple surfboard out of simple shapes in Shapr 3D. The shapes I uses were Cylinders, Rectangular prisms, and triangular prisms. Then we calculated the SA and V (Surface Area and Volume). Finally we made a keynote explaining our object, and the process of building it, and calculating it’s SA and V.

Now I will do what I do in every reflection blog post. Reflect on competencies. 

Applying and Innovating: I feel I did quite well on this competency. I got most of my work done during class. I paid attention almost all the time during class. I also helped other people out. If I could do this project again I would make sure to finish all my calculation in class. 

Reasoning and Analyzing: I built a surfboard maximized for volume. It included 12 shapes. It was was maximized for volume. I built it with Ryder’s input and revised it many times to improve it. If I could do this project again I would have used more basic shapes at the start. 

This is my model of a surfboard

Communicating and representing: I did well on this competency. We made a keynote which showed all of our formulas, measurements, and calculations. We explained them in detail during our presentation. If I could do this project again, I would make my calculation more clear. 


So all in all this was an interesting project which I feel I’ve done quite well on. I think there were many things I could improve but there are in every project.

DI regionals 2020

Hi everyone,

On February 29 a large event was held at my school, and this post is going to be about it. The event was called Destination Imagination or DI for short. We were competing in teams of 4-6 kids from our class. 

What is DI? It involves teams competing at tournaments in which they present a solution to a problem. There are six categories you can compete in. My school competed in 5 of the categories, they were, Technical, Engineering, Fine Arts, Scientific, and Improv. I was apart of the technical team. This year we had to create a technical invention to solve a problem. We also had to make a story which shows how our invention solves the problem. Finally, we had to create impact scenery which demonstrated the impact of solving the problem. Here is a video which explains the basis of our challenge. 

The first stage of this project was called, Recognize. We started this project off not building our solution, but understanding our problem. This project had many stages just like the launch cycle, you can check out my post on that here. In order to create a solution, you need to understand the problem. We were given documents to read. We also had to do a lot of research to understand our problems. 

The second stage was called, Imagine. This stage involved coming up with new ideas and building on existing ones. We researched a lot during this stage. We had to research elements of our possible solution. We also had to figure out if elements were possible.

The third stage was Initiate and Collaborate. In this stage we had to research how things would work and build them. This also involved lots of collaboration. We created many blueprints. Finally we created our full scale model at the end of this stage

The 4th stage was Assess. This stage included evaluating your models, and figuring out what revisions you had to make. We jumped between assess and Initiate and Collaborate many times. 

The Final stage was Evaluate and Celebrate. For this stage we presented our solution to our challenge, and celebrated our successes. Now I will explain our Solution. 


Our problem for our challenge was a lack of productivity. We attributed this to not being able to wake up in the morning. We decided we should make a better Alarm clock. My teammates were Annie, Evelyn, Nate, and Indy. Go checkout their blogs! Our alarm clock had a puzzle above it which you needed to solve to turn off the alarm. We had a circuit inside, which played an alarm sound. We included the puzzle, to wake people by stimulate their brains in the morning. We also had a story and Impact Scenery. You can see our presentation below!

The competency we were being assessed on was, Research and Understand. I feel I’ve done a very good job on this competency. At the start of the project I read over the rules of our challenge, and DI in general, to understand them. I also used a couple of methods to assist my research, I highlighted any important rules. Another example of this competency was when we were creating the alarm clock, we weren’t sure how we’d make it, so we researched what was the easiest cheapest way to make it. We ended up bringing in my snap circuit board. 

We may have finished regionals, but we are not done DI. We will be heading to provincials on April 4th. Our team needs to improve on many things. We need to improve the circuit inside our invention. This didn’t work on stage. We also need to improve both our Impact scenery (the pulleys), and our backdrop. We will add wooden supports to our backdrop. For the pulleys, we will use carabiners instead of the plastic wheels. Finally we will improve the dance. I personally did a terrible job on the dance and need to improve. The way we will improve the dance is practicing it.


I feel we did well in DI but there is a lot of work to be done. We still have many things to improve. Come back in mid-April to checkout my final DI blog post. Also make sure to checkout my group members blogs. 

Fantastic Feudalism?

Hi everyone,

Over the last 5 weeks we have learned about a lot. Actually we didn’t we mostly learned about the ways you could die in the Middle Ages and compared them to today. I’m kidding but we did learn about the Black Death, the crusades, and many more things. Our driving question for this project was, “What was life like in the Middle Ages? How does it compare to today?” We were being assessed on two curricular competencies which I will mention later.

For this project we had many assignments. Most of them centred around continuity and change. We started this project with reading a book. The book was called the book of the lion and was about a squire. We also wrote a letter from the perspective of a made up person in the Middle Ages of a certain class. My letter was about a squire named Huxley Hardaway. We also made a keynote about the continuity and change of objects from the Middle Ages to now. I did part of this project with Josh. 

This was my keynote on continuity and change in the Middle Ages.

My favourite Milestone in this project was the character letter. The reason I liked this milestone so much was because we could be really creative with it. 

In this project like all projects we were being assessed on a few competencies. The competency for English was Comprehend. This is basically about how well I can understand text. I think I did quite well on this competency. I understood the book we read quite well. I also did quite well at researching for the continuity and change keynote. I also figured out some strategies on how to better remember content from textbooks. I would read it aloud or, write the general idea down somewhere. 

The competency for Social Studies was, Continuity and Change. In my opinion I did very well on this competency. I made a good keynote, and I did a quite well at explaining the continuity of crop farming and the change of Artillery. I also made an excellent research doc in which I described the continuity and change of many items and ideas. 

This was my presentation on continuity and change.

Crazy Chemical Conditions

Hi everyone,

We just finished a Scimatics project called chemistry coding. As you can probably guess by the name it was about chemistry and coding. We had to code a game or simulator which showed are understanding of the kinetic molecular theory. Our driving question was “How is the Motion of Atoms and Molecules Related to the Temperature?”

This is my scratch game. I had another version the atoms are hydrogen and you can check it out here. The atoms speed up as your score (the temperature goes up), the goal is to get the highest temperature possible. 

My best work this project was my game in my opinion but I also did well on Gemstone ID challenge. In the gemstone ID challenge we had to ID gemstones by calculating their density. Turns out I was wrong they weren’t three different gemstones they were all white topaz, but I did a good job at calculating the density.

Now I will reflect on how I did on the curricular competencies. We had three curricular competencies for this project and I felt I did pretty well on all of them. 


The first one was Questioning and Predicting: Demonstrate a sustained curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest. I feel I did quite well on this competency. I got all my work done on time, I used my class time efficiently and I was still demonstrating a curiosity towards this chemistry by the end of this project. 


Scientific communication: communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language, representations, and digital technologies. I feel I did very well on this competency, I had 2 different atoms, multiple states of matter, and a historical model. Of the atom. I also communicated my understanding of the kinetic molecular theory. 


Reasoning and analyzing: Use logic and patterns to solve puzzles and play games. I feel I did awesome on this competency. I used logic and patter to make a game which you could play, and reasonable conditions and was fun! 

Mid Year Presentations of Learning 2020

Hi everyone,

We are now almost halfway through the school year! I have done a lot of work, and my work habits have changed a lot. So far this year I have learnt many things. Now I have a 12 minute presentation to give to my parents and teachers about how I have grown as a learner this year. This blog post will be about my work so far this year and everything I have accomplished and failed. 

The driving question for the mPol is, “What is your learning goal that you want to reach by the end of this school year, and how will you meet it?” I will be explaining how I’ve grown as a learner this term. I’ll also explain what my learning goal for the end of the year is, and how I’ll get to that goal.


My first Project was, “The Medium is the Message.” You can check out my blog post on that here. Looking back on a lot of the work I did at the start of the year I am really impressed with how far I’ve come along. Below I have to summaries I wrote, one which I wrote at the start of this school year and one which I wrote in mid January. Notice the difference? In the first one I was vague, didn’t explain my points enough and was just not that interesting. In the second one I was more descriptive, explained my points more and, was more interesting.

  • This was the first assignment. My Welcome Home Dissection.

  • This was my recent assignment. The Siege of Acre

Another thing I have really Improved on over this year is blogging. Checkout my first blog post vs my reflection post on the winter exhibition and my blue sky project. The latter is so much better than the first one. The first one was super short, didn’t use many photos, was super boring, and skimmed over all the topics. If you went through my blog posts you would notice my blog posts improved very quickly. The first thing you will notice is the extra photos, and longer posts. Then my vocabulary and my writing improved. I still have a lot to improve in the area of blogging. In my first reflection post called Tectonic Books I had troubles reflecting on competencies. If you check out my reflection post on my blue sky project you will see how much better I was at reflecting on competencies. 


We started this year out in Humanities learning about advertising. It is astonishing about how much better my work is now then it was at the start of this project. I’ve already showed you my first assignment. Here is my reflection blog post from this project. During this project I learned many interesting things and my work improved quite a bit. The second project this year in humanities was religion. We never really seemed to complete this project. I learned about all the major world religions in this project (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism). The project we are currently doing in humanities is This Changes Everything, Middle Ages. As you can probably guess by the name we are studying the Middle Ages. We are focusing on the continuity and change. So far I feel as if I have done well in humanities, and I have learned a lot. My hard work this year has given me many sunshine’s and even a 1 rainbows!

In Maker this year we have completed many projects. It started off with Big Life Journal, this project was really important as it taught us the basis of a growth mindset which is super valuable in PLP. Then we did Photography, This project was about teaching us some basic Photo techniques to help us with photography in Oregon. Then we did sketching. Then we did are Star Wars blue sky project for the exhibition. Finally, now we are doing DI (Destination Imagination). This year I have enjoyed maker a lot, and I feel I have really improved. The thing I like the most about maker is that you seem to have more freedom in maker. I’ve worked very hard in maker and I have been rewarded with 1 rainbow and lots of sunshines. 

We started Scimatics this year learning about fractions. This project introduced us to spreadsheets and improved are math skills. Then we moved on to Tectonic Books were we wrote a children’s book about Tectonic Plates. Then we moved on to Mazer Tag, this was my favourite Scimatics project so far this year. Now we are doing chemistry coding. My work in Scimatics this year has been very consistent, I have gotten all sunshines.

My 4th subject is PGP. We haven’t really done much PGP yet this year. Although, we have had many experiences which we can be evaluated for in PGP. The whole Oregon trip involved us being evaluated for PGP. We have also had one PGP meeting. So far this year in PGP I have improved a ton. The skill I am the best at in PGP is leadership. I sometimes get in pointless argument with classmates and I need to stop that. I also am sometimes a little bit bossy. 


So far this year I have learned many things. I get all my work done. Although, it is sometimes a little bit late. I also need to improve my grammar. Finally, I find myself doing a lot of work at home, I’m really busy so I want to get my homework done quicker so that I can do more things which I love. My learning goal for the end of the year is to get more work done in class. Specifically I want to do no more than an average of 1 hour per day (although, I will do more if I have more). In order to achieve this I will need to start time blocking my calendar. I’m terrible at this, I put tasks in things but I need to know when to do them. If I assign a 30 minute time to do my homework it will help me be more efficient. Also, I need to become more aware of how long assignments will take. Secondly, I need to get less distracted in class if I want to do this. The biggest distraction I’ve had this year in class wasn’t gaming, it was talking to friends. Thirdly, I need to balance out my work better. To do this I will have to remind myself when I’m talking to friends I actually should be doing work. Sometimes I will get hung up on something and spend 30 minutes on something which should only take 5 minutes. This will prolong my whole assignment and throw off my workflow. The way I will change this is that if I spend 5 minutes on something and get nowhere I will move on to something else or take a break from homework and go outside. I think the best way for me to clear my head is to go for around 20 minutes. 

My learning question is “how can I use the resources I have to improve my productivity and keep a good school/life balance?”


Star Wars Blue Sky

Hi everyone,

On December 19th 2019 we hosted the PLP exhibition. This exhibition was Star Wars themed. PLP 8 did two main projects. Mazer Tag in scimatics and, Star Wars a Mini Blue sky. In this blog post I will be talking about the latter. 

In this project we had to make our own how might we question related to Star Wars, and then come up with a solution to it. The driving question for this project was How might I design and build an answer to my own inquiry? My How might we question was “How might we take ideas from Star Wars planets on how to Adapt to are changing ecosystems?” 

During this project we used a system called the LAUNCH cycle. It had 7 stages L, A, U, N, C, H and, launch to an audience. During these seven stages I kept a journal in an app called explain everything. We also did separate tasks for each Milestone. Hear is a video of my explain everything. 

I found certain phases of the LAUNCH cycle harder than others. The stages I found the easiest were the L phase and the A phase. I think the reasons I found these phases so easy was because I already knew a lot about Star Wars. Looking, listening and learning wasn’t that hard nor was asking tons of questions. The phases I found the hardest were N and C because I had troubles narrowing down my idea and I got behind on building my prototype. 

  • This was the Great Tree

  • This was the Ewok Hut and Pin the tale on the Ewok.

  • This was my station where I presented my project.

  • This was our Lazer Maze

We were assessed on 7 competencies for this project. I will talk about the ones which I think I did well on and the ones which I had some troubles with. One of the competencies I feel I did well on was “What Questions Are You Asking and Answering to Complete Your Inquiry?” I asked a lot of questions and I also asked questions relevant to my project. Another one I feel I did well on was, “What Research Needs to Be Done to Complete Your Inquiry?” I knew what research I had to do and did it effectively. One of the competencies I had more troubles with was, How Are You Applying Your Knowledge to Solutions? I had troubles with this one as I found it difficult to apply the knowledge I researched to my solution. 

The last thing we did for this project was set up our planet room on exhibition day. We were each assigned to a planet. We had to transform a room into that planet. I was on Endor. The coolest things we had on Endor were the Great Tree and the Ewok Hut. 

 

The final thing I built was a model of a Modern Ewok Hut. I built my hut out of Cardboard, Hot Glue and, Styrofoam. I used  spray paint to paint it and moss and cedar bows to decorate it. This model was quite the challenge to build as I got a little behind on it. It took me around 10 hours to design and build.

The other part of this project was setting up and presenting at the exhibition. So as mentioned, we presented this project at the exhibition.  This took a lot of set up. We each got put into rooms with other grade 8’s and nines. Each room had a Star Wars planet theme. The planets were, Hoth, Endor, Tatooine, and the Death Star. The 2 weeks before the exhibiton involved a lot of planning, and making. I was on the planet Endor.

This is me at the winter exhibition.

In our rooms there was a few requirements. The first was that it had to look like the planet. I was on Endor which is a forest planet so we had to make it green and forestry. The second requirement was there was food, the food had to be somehow related to your planet. We had berries (candy berries), Yoda Soda (Mountain Dew), and we also had ewok jerky (beef jerky). The third requirement was that there was an activity, we had pin the tail on the Ewok. The final requirement was, we had to dress up, I was a rebel soldier from Endor.

This is me with my friend Raymond. I will link his blog down below.

Raymond

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