Spring Exhibition on Zoom

 Hello again! This is going to be my last blog post for my grade 8 year. Today I’m going to be talking about our final project, our Blue Sky project, that we present at the Spring Exhibition. A Blue Sky project is a special project where we address an issue and try to solve it using the LAUNCH process. LAUNCH stands for Listen and learn, Ask tons of questions, Understand the problem, Navigate ideas, Create a prototype, Highlight and Fix. Here is a video that explains the process:

This year we were challenged to frame our problem and solution using one of the UN sustainable goals and the COVID-19 pandemic. We were supposed to identify a real need and make a prototype to address this need. For my UN Sustainability Goal I chose number 6, which is clean water and sanitation. My inspiration for my prototype came from my Mom, who told me that the local breweries were making hand sanitizer in large buckets and had donated some to the hospital for the staff. When I heard this I thought about how my community doesn’t have hand sanitizer outside of shops for customers to clean their hands before they go into the store and touch products on the shelf. I realized that this could be extended to the UN goal for sanitation in areas where there isn’t clean water for washing hands. If I could come up with a product that could use the large containers of hand sanitizer being made by the breweries, this product could also be used in other areas to supply large amounts of hand sanitizer. The breweries make their sanitizer from a waste by-product of the brewing process, so it is inexpensive for them to make in large amounts and would reuse an otherwise unused by-product. 

Here is my LAUNCH Journal that shows how I went from this idea to my final prototype of a large hand sanitizer dispenser. 

I’m glad I can show my project in this post because we didn’t all get to show our projects at the Exhibition. For the Spring Exhibition, usually we would be grouped in a room with other students from Grades 8-10 who’s projects were similar to ours. Our room would have a theme and a story to guide visitors through the room to all the different projects, and we would interact with the visitors when they came to see our prototype. But as for most things since COVID, this Spring Exhibition was the same but different. 

We were divided into groups of students with similar or compatible UN Sustainability Goals and each group of students was going to have a room. The room was a Zoom room though. We had to come up with a story for our room and a way to interact with the audience and present some of our projects, but we only had 10 minutes to do our presentation before the audience would be moved to another group’s room for their 10 minute presentation. 

Our group was the Water group because we had projects from Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, and Goal 14 Life Below Water.  Most of the people in my group were Life Below Water so we came up with a story that talked about how the ocean is being polluted and after each person spoke, we put more objects in a jar full of water that represented the ocean. By the end of our presentation, the water in the jar had gone down, and the number of plastic objects in the jar had gone up. We all had an underwater scene as our backdrop, and were wearing goggles or dive masks. I think our presentation went pretty well.  All of the groups had different backgrounds, stories, and ways of interacting with the audience. It was a pretty good presentation overall. 

Now I will reflect on the competencies for this project.

Research and Understand: How might I research and understand a problem, process, or challenge using different perspectives? I met this competency when I came up with my original idea to use a bucket as the container for the hand sanitizer. I realized that if I was a store owner, I would not want to spend a lot of money on a fancy container so if I could develop something that could use the original bucket the breweries were using to hold the sanitizer, it would be more cost effective. I also met this when I explored different ways of dispensing hand sanitizer from the container as I had to overcome the challenge of how to get the right amount of liquid sanitizer out of the container without dispensing too much that would be wasteful, expensive and make a mess. That’s when I came up with the idea of a spray nozzle. 

Take Creative Risks: How might I use technology to create in new ways? I met this competency when I used Minecraft to make my first couple of prototypes for the container. Looking at these prototypes helped me to see some flaws in my design, like the container on its side wouldn’t allow for all of the hand sanitizer to be used up. My second Minecraft design allowed me to come up with the upright container using a spray nozzle to pull the liquid up, using all of the hand sanitizer. 

Revise: How might I see this as a First Attempt in Learning and revise? When I was making my prototype, on my first attempt to use it the spray nozzle wouldn’t work. As I was looking at the spray mechanism, I realized that the water I was using to simulate the hand sanitizer liquid wasn’t coming all the way up the tube from the bottom of the bucket. I realized that the spray nozzle wasn’t strong enough to pull the water up the tube. I was able to revise this by using a power nozzle that has a battery pump in it to pull liquid up in large containers. 

Every Object Tells a Story Reflection


Today is going to be my last reflection for Humanities for my grade 8 year. For this project we were tasked with making a book that would tell a story of an object from New France. For my object I told the story of a British Claymore sword used by Sergeant James Thompson. The main goal of the project was to show what life was like in New France. We started this project by making a video about an object that was important to us during this pandemic. Below is what I created.

After we made a video we researched different jobs in New France and had to create a character that we could feature in a story about New France.  Then we had to communicated our character in one of several ways. One of the options was to make a Sports card that shows your character here is what I did.

Then it was finally time to make our stories. We started off by making a story mountain. Here is what i did for my story mountain. I tried to make the story exciting and similar in style to some of the historical films we watched in class, but I got the feedback that I had gone too far with the violence in my story mountain. I rewrote the story line to adjust the violence after I got this feedback.

The next step was to write our actual story, then put this story into book creator with an artifact write up and an about me page to make an ebook. Here is my final story.


Now I will reflect on the competencies:

Communicate: How did I share my own ideas when I wrote, spoke, and represented New France through my Stepping Stones and Milestones?

I feel that I showed this competency when I was telling my story. I showed this by telling what it was like in New France in my story using different characters that I researched, and using an artifact that I was interested in. I have done lessons about swordsmanship for a number of years so that is why I chose to tell the story of the Claymore sword.

Evidence: How did I evaluate evidence and artifacts to decide if they were adequate to support a historical conclusion and story?

I feel that I showed this when I was researching the artifact that I chose, which was the sword of Sergeant James Thompson. The main website for my research was a virtual museum and they had been able to trace the sword back to find its original owner, which I felt was enough evidence to support a historical conclusion.  I thought that this could fit into a cool story of being passed down from generation to generation.

Thank you for reading my blog!

The Ultimate Road Trip


Today I will be reflecting on my last project for this school year in Scimatics! In this project we were tasked with planning the ultimate road trip that had a budget of $10,000, and we had to spend at least $9,500! For my road trip I started in San Francisco and drove along the coast to LA. But before we went on the theoretical road trip we had to pay for car rental. For my car I chose to use a Tesla. Since we would have to pay for gas I would rather just pay extra for car rental as the Tesla that I used costed $172 a day and charging was free.

Now I will talk about the most exciting activities that I did in LA. One of the first things that I did was go to Alcatraz. Alcatraz is a high security prison famous for having a lot of dangerous and well known criminals. The prison is almost impossible to escape from, partly because of all of the guards and the security measures that the prisoners go through each day, and partly because of how it is an island in the pacific ocean with cold water and dangerous currents and sharks. The next tourist attraction that I went to is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a well known aquarium in California. The next place that I visited was Disneyland. I have never actually been to Disneyland and I would really like to go for a family vacation but I guess I’ll have to settle for a virtual visit for now. Another well known place that I go is Universal Studios, one of the biggest companies well known for their movies.

Below is all of the activities that I would do and the prices for my total of $9,891.

We also had to do an equation and graph for how much money we spent. It was kind of cool to see the spending for our trip in a graph. Below that is the map for my virtual trip, including the charging stations I would use along the way.


Now I will reflect on the competencies:

Reasoning and Analyzing: Estimate reasonably.

I showed this when I was making the budget list. When I was making this list I didn’t want to go over budget but I wanted to spend as close to the 10,000 as I could. So when I was planning my trip I decided to estimate what the cost of each activity was before I did it. This resulted in me doing my budget quicker and more easily.

Connecting and Reflecting: connect mathematical concepts to each other and to other areas of personal interests.

I showed this when I was planning where I wanted to go. When I was choosing destinations I thought of it like I was just out of college and I was planning a trip to celebrate graduating. I chose to make all the destinations places that I would go in real life. I connected different math concepts together such as guess and check and using addition to figure out how much each activity would cost for how long I was there for and the parking prices and the actual price of the activity.

Communicating and Representing: Represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictoral, and symbolic form.

I showed this when I was making a map of my trip. I used pictoral methods for showing my trip on the map, and I put symbols in all the stops that I would make along the way.

I hope you enjoyed my virtual road trip as much as I did imagining it.

My First tPOL

Hello again!

Today I will be reflecting on my first year of PLP! This first year of high school in the PLP program has been quite a roller coaster.  There have been fun projects, and there have been stressful projects, and some times a little bit of both. Today I am going to be reflecting on all of my PLP classes, but most importantly my growth as a learner in all my PLP classes. These classes include Humanities, Scimatics and Maker. The driving question that I will be using to reflect on this post is “Why do you feel you are ready to advance to the next grade level?

The first thing I will reflect on is Humanities. I think Humanities is one of the best examples of my growth as a learner. I started out this year with a project called The Media  is The Message that was hard for me. I struggled with trying to finish all my work, trying to do it to the best of my abilities, and trying to stay on top of all my other projects. I learned from the projects we did for this Milestone that I need to pay more attention to instructions and details that we are told in class to help us wth our projects. I did a lot of revisions in this project. By mid-year, I was more focused in class and I was able to complete more of my work in class, which allowed me to get some immediate feedback on the work I was doing and correct things before I had done too much work in the wrong direction. I was getting better at balancing my work on all my courses so I was less distracted by thinking about all the other things I had to do in my other classes.

I was more focused and more engaged in class when we did This Changes Everything. I was also more interested in this subject matter. I realized by this time that when I have trouble focusing in class, it is often because of a lack of interest in the subject we are working on. In my mPOL my question for my teachers and my parents addressed this as I asked what I could do to keep my focus when discussions are about something I am not as interested in. I found one of the things that helps me is if I know there is group work in a project. I get overwhelmed and tune out if the subject is one I’m not interested in and I have to do everything myself. If there is group work, it eases my mind and I know I can do a part of the project where I can use my talents and what I am good at. As well, if I have other people to be accountable to for deadlines, I seem to do better with meeting them. I showed this growth in the It’s the End of the World project. I struggled with understanding parts of this project, but I was able to do a good job on the assignments because of the group work.

I had some struggles again when we moved to working at home and on-line classes because the group work wasn’t happening the same in Humanities. There were a lot of revisions in Argh Matey because I didn’t listen well enough to details and misunderstood how we were supposed to do our animations. I needed Ms. Maxwell’s help with this and I was able to show my growth as a learner in that I did my revisions and had a great comic at the end of the project.

The next class that I will talk about is Scimatics. This was one of my favorite classes since it was full of things that I was interested in, such as 3D modeling, lasers and diseases. I think that I have developed a lot from starting out in the year with having a hard time with Fractions of Your Time. I wasnt as focused since it was the begging of the year and I was forgetting to record how much time I spent doing different activities so I had to estimate some of the times. In the middle of the year for our Winter Exhibition, we did a project called Mazer tag. It was at this point in time that I decided to spend less time on worrying about assignments and instead start doing them right away. This was a big turning point and it was a really fun project to do since it was all about Star Wars, which has been my favourite movie ever since I was really young. It was a really good way of teaching me about light and lasers. This way of teaching enabled me to do really well on this project, and I got excited with my results and started to spend more time on doing my projects.

I had finally started to spend more time working on school and less time worrying about school, and I was starting to be more organized. I think that the next project that shows how much I have progressed as a learner was the Ultimate Design Challenge. This was a project that taught me a lot about 3D modelling, which is something that I have always wanted to learn. I think will really help me in real life since I am getting into game design and it really helps me whenever I decide to model characters. Another reason that it has shown how I have progressed as a learner is how it allowed me to take something that I really like,  and push that skill to extend my learning and my project.

The third and final class that I will talk about in this blog post is Maker, which has been one of the most hands on classes, which I like, and also one of the most stressful. The first way that I will show how I progressed as a learner is in one of the first projects, Big Life Journal. I was very stressed when I did this project because of all of the work and trying to get to know all of my classmates so I spent more time talking to people than doing my work. This lead to me waking up super early on weekends to try to get everything done that was due for the week. In the end, I did well on the project and I realized that I should become more organized rather than just do everything early in the morning. I decided to start a tiny schedule in my head and whenever they would give us more work I would make a mental note for when I was going to do the assignment. This worked for a while until my mind started to get cluttered with when to do assignments and I had no room for how to do them.

The project that I think really turned this around was when we did DI. I found it really easy to find out when we were going to do things and how to do things since we had a burndown chart and I really started to get organized with that. Me and my group decided to plan a bunch of things and I became more organized. Even with the stress of this project I was able to keep my composure.

Something that I think helped the most with my organization was when we had to move to online school because of COVID. I found it really helped me get organized since my parents were always there to help me and remind me what to do. My mom wrote out a calendar in the kitchen with everything that was due that week. I found this really helpful except that sometimes when I left my room to go downstairs and check what I needed to work on next, I would get distracted by something and get off track. Eventually we decided to get a calendar for planning when I would do things for my room that was always on my desk so I could always see it. As soon as I did this, I was always on top of things. This is when we started the Witness to History project, which I was able to complete with a lot more ease than a lot of the other projects. This project is the project that lead me up to the project that I am doing now, our BlueSky project. In the beginning of the BlueSky project I didn’t see a few of the tasks so I was behind where I should have been. So I sat down with Basecamp and my room calendar and set times for when I was going to do things, and then I was on top of things again.

I have learned a lot this year about myself as a learner. I need tools to keep me on track for assignments so I can focus on doing work instead of worrying about doing the work. If I stay focused in class, I can do more work in class which means I have less work to do at home, and my work stays on track because I can get feedback right away. I learned that unlike in elementary school, I like group projects and I do well in them. I know I have more work to do on my focus and I need to continue to improve paying attention to details and keep up with my organization skills but I think I am ready for Grade 9.

Thank you for reading have a good day!