Polymer Project – Journal Entry 4

Throughout this Polymer Project, my partner Gabby and I moved through the engineering design circle. We first defined the problem that we chose: design and produce a polymer that can make shoes better. After listing and brain storming possible ideas, we decided to make a polymer shoe-pad that is unique and unlike any other regular shoe-pads. We set goals and criteria for our polymer. It has to be bouncy, soft, stretchy, malleable and will slowly rises back up when pushed down. Then we moved on to developing solutions. By comparing the test results of gloop, boogers and super slime, Gabby and I decided to use boogers as our base because it meets more of our criteria than the other two polymers. Boogers is good, but not perfect for our goal. It is too sticky, so we experimented with it to develop prototypes. We produced prototype 1 by using less glue, it was less sticky but way too slimy. Prototype 2 was produced with the same amount of glue but more laundry starch (25 mL instead of 20), the result was much better. We produced several prototypes after prototype 2 and compared them at the end. Lastly, we optimized by performing the stick to fabric test, stretch test, hang test, poke test and bounce test on all prototypes, we decided to use prototype 2 as our final polymer because it meets all of our criteria.

By experiencing failure and success throughout this polymer project, we learned a lot! After the failure of prototype 1, Gabby and I learned that glue subtracting the amount of glue used is not the key to making boogers less sticky. So for prototype 2, we didn’t change the amount of glue but increased the amount of laundry starch by 5 mL. The success of prototype 2 taught us that by adding more laundry starch to the glue, it lessens the stickiness of the polymer. After our first attempt of the bounce test on the prototypes, we learned that dirt and dust stick easily to the surface of our polymer, so we wrapped it in plastic to avoid the dirt from shoes and feet.

After revisiting the goal, Gabby and I found that our polymer, the “Shoe-cloud”, actually meets the goal perfectly. Our product makes walking in shoes much more comfortable and less tiring. Our target audience also remained the same because all people who wear close-toed shoes can use our product. We didn’t change the needs that our polymer addresses either because it simply makes walking more comfortable.

In conclusion, this polymer project has been extremely fun, educational and profiting for me. I learned about the process of producing a polymer and a lot more about chemistry!



Yunnan.021Yunnan.023Yunnan.022These are the 3 pages that didn’t make it into the slide-snack presentation.

Colorful Yunnan, Home of A Dream.

In this Keynote presentation, I introduced the positive aspects and unique characteristics of Yunnan’s natural beauty, its climate, bio-diversity, geology, and topography. I also explained about the man-made cultural environment of Yunnan, it’s religion, daily life, and architecture. To help tourists get to and from Yunnan, I listed all the possible ways of transportation and included a specific map of Yunnan’s biggest tourist attractions. I also compared the positive aspects to some possible negative aspects of visiting Yunnan and explained how tourists could avoid the negatives. Lastly, I explained what types of tourists would find Yunnan the most enjoyable and tried to persuade them to visit the province. Through out the presentation, I embedded powerful and relevant images of Yunnan.

Polymer Project – Journal Entry 3

After re-examining the prototypes Gabby and I developed last class, we decided to use number two as our final sample and start making a big batch of this polymer that is the size of one’s foot. This prototype, number two, rises slowly back up when poked and stretches for a long time before it breaks. It is not too sticky and peels easily off fabrics and skin. Prototype number two is also very strong because it hanged for a long time during the hang test and it smells very nice when perfume is added. The only problem was that it is way to small to fit human feet, so we are doubling IMG_3155 (1)the amount oIMG_3157f all ingredients used and repeating the process for as many time as needed to make a big enough polymer that fits the bottom of a regular sized feet. Due to the fact that our polymer is malleable and stretchy, any sized feet can use our polymer. A new idea came to our minds when we were making our polymer: what if we wrap our polymer with plastic so that the dirt from shoes and feet won’t contaminate it? And once the plastic wrap is used, it can be easily replaced! Prototype 1 was very sticky and couldn’t be peeled off of skin or fabric, but it very strong and stretchy. Prototype 2 was not as sticky because we decreased the amount of glue and increased the amount of laundry starch. It is just as strong and stretchy but even more malleable. Because prototype 1 was too sticky, we improved it by adding more laundry starch that led to the production of prototype 2. We also changed the design of prototype 2 by wrapping it with plastic which makes it much less messy and easier to clean.

Polymer Project Journal Entry 2

Journal Entry 2:

After comparing gloop, boogers, and super slime’s characteristics, Gabby and I decided to use Boogers as our polymer base. According to the result of the slow poke test, hang test, blob test, and bounce test of Boogers, it is stretchy, moldable, and will slowly rise back up when pushed down, which makes it the perfect base for our polymer. When the best features of Boogers are combined, it fits all the characteristics that Gabby and I wanted for our polymer. Its not too stickiness is perfect for feet and its ability to rise back up when pushed down makes it different from other shoe-pads. We’ll need laundry starch, white liquid glue, perfume, a sIMG_3340coopula, plastic cups, a beaker, a graduated cylinder, a pipet and some plastic bags. Gabby and I made 2 polymers so far, prototype 1 and 2. To finalize our prototypes, we tested each of them. For prototype 1, we first poured 1 cm of glue and then added 20mL of laundry starch while stirring the materials with a scoopula. When first produced, the polymer is very wet from laundry starch, but after squeezing it for a few minutes, it becomes drier but very messy. The stick test eliminated prototype 1 because it was way too wet and sticky! To reduce the stickiness of our polymer, we decided to increase the amount of laundry starch used from 20mL to 25 and reduce the amount of glue. The procedure was the same for prototype 2 and it was much better in dryness and cleanliness. We developed tests to find the most effective prototype. We performed quick and slow pull tests on our prototypes to make sure it’s stretchable. We also stuck the polymer to our lab coat to see how sticky it is to fabrics. Prototype 2 was proved most effective because it is clean, not sticky and meets all of our criteria. We also sprayed perfume on the prototypes so that they have a very pleasant scent.

Polymer Project Journal Entry 1

Journal Entry 1:

My lab partner Gabby and I were given the problem of designing a polymer that can make shoes more comfortable. Whenever using shoes, one can put our polymer under their feet like a shoe-pad or insole. But unlike regular shoe-pads, our product will sink and become thinner after walking on it for too long, which indicates that it’s time to rest your feet! After a few minutes, the polymer rises back up again. Our polymer is flexible, thin, large, cool (temperature wise), moldable, not too sticky or slimy, moderately dry, and comfortable. We have a very large target audience range: all people who wear modern, closed toe, and non-winter shoes.


Today, my partner and I experimented with the polymer recipe to find the perfect portion of glue and laundry starch to produce a polymer that works for us. We started with 20 mL of laundry starch and 1cm of glue, this ratio makes the polymer a little bit too sticky so we would decrease the amount of glue used. We also discovered that by adding a little bit of perfume, the polymer smells better, which can possibly add a pleasant scent to our feet.

Travel Writing Reflection

Travel writing is not easy. After reading four articles, I realized that my own attempt in travel writing is not even close to professional standard. First of all, the blog post that I did on traveling to L.A can hardly classify as travel writing. I merely introduced the main tourist attractions of Los Angeles without detail or stating my own opinion. I didn’t use any literary devices to describe sound, sight or smell, I simply went through and briefly described a few tourist attractions. A good piece of travel writing has to come from one’s own opinions and experiences. However, I did not use or even mention any of my own travel experience in Los Angeles.

I believe that good travel writings are written with detail, reasoning, allusions, motifs, imageries, good attitude and structure. These are the things that I found in the articles that we read in class. A few of the articles also gave scientific and/or historic evidence to better describe their topic. To create an outstanding piece of travel writing, I still have a lot to work on.


Bhutan and Iceland Comparison

The heart of an Icelandic volcano and the Bhutanese black-necked cranes may seem absolutely irrelevant, but after reading the travel journals of Bhutan and Iceland, I found that there are many similarities between the two.

First of all, the two travel magazines have similar structure. Both magazines started with introductions and hooks, then they briefly explained the event that the author took part in. They both gave some history or background information about their topic, and then the authors gave a more scientific and historic explanation of it. After the brief explanations, the authors start to tell their story in detail. The two texts also have similar layouts. The first letter of the texts are bolded and in a larger font, all the segments of different stories, explanations and texts follow a subtitle, and photographs with captions are inserted in appropriate places. Both magazines have some tourist information like the prices of flights and activities. They both also have maps pointing out locations.

The authors attitudes toward their topics are also similar. Their points of view are mostly neutral and unbiased, but from diction words like “warm”, “enjoy” and “blessing”, it is obvious that the authors enjoyed their adventure. To create imagery for readers to better understand the texts, phrases like “As evening falls, they are but distant shadows, their haunting cries carrying through the still air as they gather in the failing light.” (Travel Bhutan) describe sight and sound. In both magazines, the authors used allusions, referring to the history of the Icelandic volcano Thrihnukagigur and how Arni Stefánsson discovered and developed the possibility of tourism at the volcano and the historic record of the Bhutanese black-necked cranes.

By using literary devices like “They (black-necked cranes) are renowned for their dancing” (Travel Bhutan) and “A tapestry of jagged burgundy lava scars” (Travel Iceland), the authors of both magazines created very vivid imageries of the actual sceneries for readers. Time and location shifts are also common in the two texts.

From my point of view, the two pieces of travel writings are very similar in many ways except that they told two completely different stories!


Polymer Project Introduction


A polymer is a very large molecule made of a chain of many smaller molecules called monomers bonded together. Some polymers are made naturally by living things like wool and cotton, others are synthetic like polyester and nylon. Through the polymer brochure project, I researched about polyester, a synthetic polymer that is formed from alcoholic transesterification of ethylene glycol and dimethyl threphthalate.

My partner Gabby and I made 3 types of polymers in class. Gloop, boogers and super slime. Gloop is made out of glue and borax, it is squishy and smells like glue. It has a slime rating of 2 and when slowly poked, it sinks down and slowly rises back up. When gloop is pulled slowly, it breaks apart after stretching, and when pulled quickly, gloop breaks right off. During the hang test, gloop stretches and takes really long to touch the table, but it is extremely bouncy. Boogers is slimier than gloop but has the same results in the slow and quick poke and pull test. Boogers touches the table in 57 seconds and is just as bouncy as gloop. Super slime is transparent and extremely slimy. It has most of the same results as the gloop and boogers but it takes 108 seconds to touch the table.




Travel and Magazine

Disney Land, California Adventures, Universal Studio, Madame Tussaud Wax Gallery, and Hollywood. These are the places that I went to in Los Angeles in 2014. I love L.A because it is famed for being the center of America’s film and television industry. Not far from its iconic Hollywood sign, I went to visit studios such as Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers. On Hollywood Boulevard, TCL Chinese Theater displays celebrities’ hand- and footprints, the Walk of Fame honors thousands of luminaries and vendors sell maps to stars’ homes. The tropical climate in California makes Los Angeles a beautiful place to visit in the spring, I went there in February and had the most amazing time of my life. At amusement parks like Disney Land, my friends and I went on rides and had fun with cartoon characters. In Hollywood, I visited the famous Madame Tussaud Wax Gallery and the Walk of Fame. Film studios offer behind the scene tours of famous TV show and movie sets like Friends and Pretty Little Liars. Los Angeles is a great place to visit and I certainly enjoyed it very much.

Chanel dresses, Louboutin shoes, Dior perfume and Louis Vuitton handbags. All of the most popular and trending news in fashion can be found in my favorite magazine Vogue. Every month, Vogue releases its newest edition with celebrities like Taylor Swift on the cover. Unlike other magazines, every issues of Vogue contains an average of 250 pages, but most these pages are advertisements for luxury brands. Not only is it about fashion, Vogue also talks about general news going on in the entertainment industry. With over 124 years of history, Vogue is the most famous and prestigious fashion magazine in the world.