Quinn’s thoughts

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

Author: quinn (page 1 of 3)

Running a Remake

Hi everyone,

It’s been awhile. I think my last blog post was in late June! Throughout the first 10 weeks of school I wasn’t taking any PLP classes, in which I use my blog. I was taking Math and Band. Band was tons of fun, and I learned a lot in math. But now onto the matter at hand. We just completed an entire project in 3 days! It was called, Running a Remake. We had to recreate a short horror movie called, “Run. “

An empty classroom due to COVID-19

As this a PLP project we had a driving question which we were introduced to at the start of the project. For this project it was, “How might we learn video skills by recreating a short film?” That was really what this project was about learning video skills to prepare us for future projects. In Grade 9 we do a lot of video projects, just like how we did a lot of photo projects in Grade 8. I feel like some of the things I learned in this project will be essential to future projects. 

Just a photo of myself editing in iMovie

It all started on Wednesday morning with our project launch. During this phase we were introduced the movie Run, our groups for this project, and our first milestone. It was an introduction video where we had to introduce ourselves and a hobby. I don’t feel like I learned anything special from that first milestone. It felt like a warm up to PLP, that’s fine but I don’t think I need to go over it in detail.

After Lunch break, we started our second class in which we moved onto the building knowledge phase. This was an important phase as this is where we began to learn some of the video skills, we also made our project plan outline for the future milestone’s. This was when we began to work with our groups. I think my group worked really well together, their names were, Julien, Ryder, Erin, and Nathan. All of us did different things, I noted down all the sounds needed, Erin made a story board, and Ryder looked at some camera and cut related things. That was really it for Milestone 2, and the building knowledge faze.

Our shared document which had all the sounds, the storyboard, and the plan for filming

On Thursday morning we began to film our first take of the video and, so began the develop and critique phase. We went out to “Myrtle Park” and filmed our first take of the video. It was a good first try but we missed a couple of things for sure. Some of our camera angles were off and at times our setting didn’t really make sense. The path we were using was also kind of weird and didn’t really. But we learned lot’s of things from this such as how we need to use more exact angles, and we learned a ton about editing. 

Then on Friday we re-shot and edited the video. We improved a significant number of things, such as angles, editing, and setting. I feel like we did a very good job for the limited time and resources we had for this project. When you watch the videos side by side you see that the timing is almost identical. Same with the camera angles. I think I learned a ton of valuable skills,  mostly in editing, and Production. I also, learned some valuable lessons for the upcoming video projects, such as pay attention to the little details, as Ms Willemse pointed out to our group Nathan’s Bright red shirt which hangs out a little bit really stands out. Overall I was very happy with our final video and think our group worked extremely well together to turn out an amazing product!

Here’s is a comparison video to the original run.

Finally we will go back to the driving question. “How might we learn videos skills by recreating a short film?” I think that throughout this short project we did just that. I learned a lot about using camera angles to our advantage, editing on the software iMovie, and many more little things. 

Here’s just our final product.

That wraps this blog post up. This was fairly short project so there’s not that much to write about. Anyways, thanks for reading through the entire post, and go checkout my group members blog post on this project if you want there perspectives on Running a Remake.

The Fatal Journey

Hi everyone,

After learning about explorers we learnt about what the explorers did after settling somewhere new. Our most recent project was about the colonial times, focusing on New France and the fur trade. For this project we made a book about an artifact, and a person in New France. 

We started this project off by learning about the seingneural system of New France. That was very similar to Feudalism which I did a project on in January. Then we picked our artifact and wrote a story. 

My best work came in Milestone 2 of this project. We had to make a character card. I think I did a great job on that milestone. I included lots of detail, and put lots of thought into it. I’m also proud of my final book. One of the most interesting things to learn about in this project was how daily life in New France looked. It was also amazing to learn that the whalers from Europe, followed the explorers to new waters and hunted the whales there. One of the things I struggled with the most was my grammar in the story. I kept on switching from the first to third person. 

There were two main competencies in this project. Communicate was one of them. The best demonstration of this competency is in my story. I communicated my idea, and learning through my story. The other competency was, evidence. Milestones 3-5 were all great examples of this competency. I showed evidence of my artifact. I also used evidence to show significance of my artifact and New France. 

This is my last humanities blog post of grade 8 thanks. I will likely post my next humanities blog post in October. Happy Summer Vacation 🥳🥳!!!!!

TPOL 2020

Hi everyone,

We are now wrapping up the 2019-2020 school year. This was grade 8 for me. Terms 1 & 2 were fairly normal terms but term 3 was the odd one. As you all know the coronavirus pandemic has forced most cities to go into lockdown. This has made term 3 very different and challenging. But as we did in the middle of this school year, we are doing another presentation of learning. 

We’ve completed many projects since our mpols. I think I have completed all that work to the standard set by our teachers. I’ve found it more difficult during online schooling though. It’s tougher to be motivated to do your absolute best on assignment when your trapped and bored. Although, the biggest challenge I’ve faced is organization. I often turn in assignments late because I haven’t organized myself well enough. The other reason for this is I’ve found it hard to prioritize during this period. I often don’t know what I should do next and I spend to long on one thing which isn’t due for a couple of days and then I don’t have enough time to do the assignments which is due sooner and I just get really stressed and everything ends up being late. What I believe I need to do fix this is time block my calendar and list assignments based on priority in the app things. 

This is the app things

One of my biggest accomplishments this year was my improvement in blog posts. If you check one of my blog posts from the student blogging challenge, or my Oregon post you can see they aren’t nearly as good as recent blog posts, such as my argh matey, or DI blog posts. 

Overall I have achieved my academic goal for this year, straight A’s (except for art, but that doesn’t count). I made that a goal as that was what I got in grade 7 so I wanted to keep that up. I also think getting straight A’s shows commitment to academics. In order to achieve this I had to complete all my assignments close to the best of my ability. I also needed to show a growth mindset. One great example of this was in my it’s the end of the world project where we needed to sing a song. That was not something I wanted to do. I was very nervous but I kept an open mind and I think I did a good job. 

If you read my mpol post you will remember that I had to come up with a learning goal for the end of the year that goal was “how can I use the resources I have to improve my productivity and keep a good school/life balance?” I have made a few steps towards that goal but I still think it’s my learning goal for next year. During the second term I got better at maintaining a good school/life balance. But during quarantine it all kind of blurred together. One the things I got quite good at using by the end of the second term was the app things. I would organize all my work and know when it was due so I would have less stressful nights working on an assignment due the next day. I did not use things very effectively over the last few months which is one of the main factors to my lack of organization. 

This year we learned about advertising and religion at the start of the year. Then we moved onto some eras in history. The Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, and the colonial times in New France. We used so many methods of presentation throughout those projects. From songs, to stories, to keynote, we learned how to use text and speech to communicate. I feel I have done a good job in Humanities this year. I believe my best project was my Middle Ages project. 

Throughout Scimatics we have learned tons of interesting things. Such as, graphs, surface area and volume, cells and diseases, and molecules. My best work in scimatics this year was either in our molecules unit, or in our Ultimate design challenge. 

This is my model of a surfboard for the ultimate design challenge

Maker has consisted of many different types of projects. We went from learning about growth mindset, and how to use our iPads basic features, to blue sky’s, and then the most challenging of all, DI. I learned many valuable skills in Maker but I think my best work was in our Blue Sky projects. I studied my topic intensely and learned many skills, and my design skills improved a lot. Another thing maker especially has taught me about is how to handle lots of pressure and stress. Thank you exhibitions and DI for teaching me this.  

PGP is one of those subjects you don’t really notice your doing a lot. I think we haven’t learned much about PGP since the mpols though.

To summarize this blog post, I still need to work on my time management and organization. I have learned a lot this year and have a lot to be proud of. I will look back at this year and be like wow, I learned so much in grade 8. That wraps up this year of learning. I will still have a couple of blog posts coming in the next week or so.


My learning goal is the same for next year as it was for the end of this year: “how can I use the resources I have to improve my productivity and keep a good school/life balance?”

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.

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