Jun 07 2016

Summer Reading Goals

Filed under 8th Grade,Humanities

This summer my goal is to finish one book within a week and a half throughout the summer (when not at summer camp)


Books I want to read:

  • Me Before You
  • PS, I Love You
  • Outliers: The Story of Success
  • The Girl on the Train (bleh)
  • The Last Lecture
  • Magnus Chase
  • The Trials of Apollo
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Jane Eyre


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Jun 01 2016

Gallivant: Your Personal Guide to China

Filed under 8th Grade,Humanities

During this project, my group and I made magazines, based on minorities in China that we personally chose. We also included a ‘Featuring Pingyao’ part because we journeyed there during our China Link trip. Throughout this project, I learned more about the minority I chose, the Dai minority, including their culture, history, and etc. This particular magazine was made for travellers foreign to China. I hope you enjoy Gallivant!


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May 08 2016

Polymer Project #4

Filed under 8th Grade,Science

Our engineering design cycle (defining ideas, developing solutions, optimizing prototypes) was actually, when compared to other groups, much easier to develop for our final polymer. First, we were given a requirement of what our final product had to do (Design a polymer that is wearable, with another special function), so we decided to develop it around a wearable polymer. I had a few ideas written in my notebook, including if it were to target children, it would be fun, if it were to target adults, it would be useful and etc. However, it was fairly easy to settle on a polymer that would solve a long avoided problem: how to stay cool in the summer with something that is wearable (and something that isn’t embarrassing like an umbrella hat).




After we defined our problem, we thought of a solution: we ended up thinking of developing some sort of bracelet that would keep teens cool in the summer (though I had wanted to include something with a scarf). We thought that we should target teenagers because they’re the ones who care most about their appearances. With a bracelet or chocker you could mold into any shape, we thought that teens would enjoy them more, mostly because they aren’t very visible and they work ‘perfectly’.


After we had agreed on our problem and our solution, it was onto the next step: designing and optimizing the prototypes. We used the notes we had taken before that had detailed the pros and cons of ooblack, boogers, super slime, and gloop. After only three different prototypes, we found our right one, but we struggled with many failures with this final prototype, mostly because it wasn’t very easy to stretch and stick together, especially after a few days in the fridge. The first and second prototypes failed to meet expectations because they both crumbled easily, which meant that they could not be worn, and did not cool down the wearer. Because of the result of the first one, I learned that combining two base polymers was not a good idea, and as a result of the second one, we learned that guar gum should not be mixed with warm water. However, after evaluating the third prototype, we realized gloop worked well, even if it did break easily, so we tried to make it stickier and stronger. We chose not to add two different base polymers together; we would add materials such as PVA solution and powdered guar gum.


One fine example of learning was when we tried to recreate the polymer, but failed, mostly because we just added the materials listed without thinking about the steps. At first, it indeed felt like the perfect polymer, (after a night in the fridge) because it cooled down the wearer and was fairly simple to put on, but everything went sour from there. We did eventually recreate the polymer, but just like the first one, it started breaking down after only a few days (and the first one had grown some sort of brown mold). The polymers also appeared to have ‘shrunk’, as well. In only a few days, it went from the perfect product to a few broken pieces of slime.


On the actual “Dream On” presentation day, I learned that it wasn’t just our group who had struggled so much, but I also learned something I would regret: if we had continued with our experiments and prototypes, we could have developed an even better, more efficient polymer, but we didn’t. What some these other groups achieved was far better than what we did, because we settled for the standard, while others went above and beyond (or they just stumbled across the perfect result, but would be rare). In my opinion, we worked hard on our project, but we could have worked even harder to make a polymer that would satisfy the requirements even more.  However, some of these groups had results similar to ours: polymers that had slowly succumbed to ‘old age’. During this entire project, I learned that you have to be very organized, but you also have to be flexible, flexible enough to realize and work with what’s left over from your failed prototypes.

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May 03 2016

Hollow Puppets

Filed under 8th Grade,Humanities

In my puppet show, based on pages 354-360 of the novel Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, the protagonist, Jacob, and his love interest, Emma, have a conversation about whether or not he should leave and return home. It is this conversation (incident) that causes Jacob to eventually make a major decision: to leave the 1940s and return home.

I decided to use a puppet show to portray this conversation because I thought it would be more interesting than a long passage of black and white words on a computer screen. I drew and cut out the ‘puppets’ myself and asked friends and a few others to help me record a few lines (credits in the video). Recorded on my phone, I put everything together on iMovie. This was definitely a ‘fun’ experience that echoes back to a project in 7th-grade with Roman puppets. It was fun, especially with the same partner in 7th grade to help me with this 8th-grade puppet show (it felt quite nostalgic).



Quotes I Used:

Clown: “Will you stay and fight?”**

Emma: “I didn’t say that. Give us a minute to talk this over” (354).

Clown: “All right” (354).

Millard: “There’s honor in survival. Our kind survived the twentieth century by hiding, not fighting – so perhaps all we need is a better way to hide”

Brownyn: “I want to know what you [Emma] think” (355)

Olive: “Yeah, I want to know what Emma thinks” (355).

Emma: “I feel terrible for the other ymbrynes. It’s a crime what’s happened to them, and the future of our kind may depend on their rescue. But when all is said and done, my allegiance doesn’t belong to those other ymbrynes, or to other peculiar children. It belongs to the woman to whom I owe my life- Miss Peregrine, and Miss Peregrine alone. And when, bird willing, she becomes herself again, I’ll do whatever she needs me to do. If she says fight, I’ll fight. If she wants to hide us away in a loop somewhere, I’ll go along with that, too. Either way, my reed has never changed: Miss Peregrine knows best” (355).

Millard: “Very wisely put, Miss Bloom” (355).

Olive: “Miss Peregrine knows best!” (355) What about you, Jake?**

Jacob: “Well, I…” (356).

Emma: “Let’s take a walk. You and I need to have a chat” (356).

Emma: “I think it’s time you went home” (356).

Jacob: “I don’t understand” (356)

Emma: “You said yourself you were sent here for a reason, and that was to help Miss Peregrine. Now it seems she may be saved. If you owed her any debts, they’re paid. You helped us more than you’ll ever realize. And now it’s time for you to go home” (356).

Jacob: “This is my home” (357)

Emma: “No, it isn’t. Peculiardom is dying, Jacob. It’s a lost dream. And even if somehow, by some miracle, we were to take up arms against the corrupted and prevail, we’d be left with a shadow of what we once had; a shattered mess. You have a home – one that isn’t ruined – and parents who are alive, and who love you, in some measure” (357).

Jacob: “I told you. I don’t want those things. I chose this” (357)

Emma: “You made a promise, and you’ve kept it. And now that’s over, and it’s time for you to go home” (357)

Jacob: “Quit saying that! Why are you pushing me away?” (357)

Emma: “Because you have a real home and a real family, and if you think any of us would’ve chosen this world over those things – wouldn’t have given up our loops and longevity and peculiar powers long ago for even a taste of what you have – then you really are living in a fantasy world. It makes me absolutely ill to think you might throw that all away – and for what?” (357)

Jacob: “For you, you idiot! I love you!” (357)

Emma: “It’s my own fault. I should have never have kissed you. Perhaps I made you believe something that wasn’t true” (358)

Jacob: “Don’t say that to me if you don’t mean it. I may not have a lot of dating experience, but don’t treat me like some pathetic loser who’s powerless in the face of a pretty girl. You didn’t make me stay. I stayed because I wanted to – and because what I feel for you is real as anything I’ve felt” (358)

Emma: “I’m sorry, that was cruel, and I shouldn’t have said it. You’re right. I care about you very much. That’s why I cant watch you throw your life away for nothing” (358)

Jacob: “I wouldn’t be!” (358)

Emma: “Dammit, Jacob, yes you would! I’m an old woman! You think we’re alike, but we aren’t This person you say you love? She’s really a hag, an old crone hiding in a body of a girl. You’re a young man – a boy – a baby compard to me. You could never understand what its like, being this close to death all the time. And you shouldn’t. I never want you to. You’ve still got your whole life to look forward to, Jacob. I’ve already spent mine. And one day – soon, perhaps – I will die and return to dust” (359)

Jacob: “What if you need me? What if the hollows come back?”

Emma: “We’ll manage somehow. Look, I can’t talk about this anymore. I honestly don’t think my heart can take it. Shall we go upstairs and tell the others your decision?” (360)
Jacob: “I haven’t decided anything. You have” (360)

Emma: “Jacob, I just told you-“ (360)

Jacob: “Right, you told me. But I haven’t made up my mind yet” (360)

Emma: “Then I can wait” (360)

Jacob: “No. I need to be by myself for a while” (360).



**The lines with no page numbers were taken from other characters and given to other characters so the task would be easier and faster to complete

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Apr 29 2016

Polymer Journal #3

Filed under 8th Grade,Science

I wouldn’t be lying if I said that prototypes don’t turn out exactly as the maker imagined them to be. That’s exactly what happened when we ventured out to create our polymer. We only had three basic prototypes in general, with two more branching off the basis of the working prototype of the three.

The first prototype made of super slime and gloop. The reasoning behind this decision was because I thought the strengths and weakness of these polymers would balance each other out, resulting with exactly what we needed to create our wristband to cool teens down. However, not everything went according to plan. A small strength of the prototype was that it was stable; a solid strong enough to form a shape, but it wasn’t exactly… well-mixed. It may have been because of the order it was mixed in because it ended up with a partially mixed polymer, with both the super slime and gloop visible. It looked as if someone had taken slime and mixed in chewed gum, resulting in a very strange-looking polymer. It wasn’t very stretchy (easily broken) and it was just uncomforting to look at, which was exactly the opposite of what we needed. It also wasn’t very ‘cool’.

The second prototype was made by combining boogers and guar gum (with hot water). We later learned that kneading in the guar gum (powder) was a much more efficient way of using it. The boogers and guar gum combination also resulted into a partially combined polymer that had very similar cons to the first prototype. However, it crumbled very, very easily, but was cooler than the first prototype.

The third and final prototype was the only prototype that succeeded and fulfilled the requirements of our goal. It was cool and comfortable to wear and easy to look at (and not feel uncomfortable). It was sticky, but easy to peel off skin, but needed some effort to put on the wrist. We soon branched out from this successful, but not fully complete polymer by kneading in guar gum (powder) and more PVA solution.


(Top to Bottom, Left to Right) Prototype 1, Prototype 2, Prototype 3

(Top to Bottom, Left to Right)
Prototype 1, Prototype 2, Prototype 3


Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 9.56.24 PM


The final polymer wasn’t very sticky but was stretcher than all of the prototypes combined. From our temperature analysis using the infrared thermometer, we found out that (after placed in the refrigerator overnight) the gloop bracelet (Glooplet) did, in fact, cool our wearer down. Our wearer’s body temperature slowly lowered while the Glooplet stayed relatively cool. It was (at first) strange to wear, according to our wearer, slightly sticky. However, it did make her feel very cool and she complained about how cold she felt, which we think would definitely help combat the ferocious heat of the summer sun.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 9.56.47 PM

This is how to make our final prototype that will keep its wearer cool in the summer:





  • Electronic Mass Balance
  • Plastic Cup
  • Two Drops Food Coloring
  • Pasteur Pipette
  • Two 10mL Graduated Cylinder
  • Wooden Stick
  • Scoopula
  • Small Plastic Bag
  • 10g White Glue
  • 7mL Water
  • 8mL Borax Solution
  • 15 Drops PVA Solution
  • 5g of Guar Gum (powder)
  • Five Drops Perfume/Essential Oils (if preferred)
  • Refrigerator




  1. Place the plastic cup on electronic mass balance and tare. Measure 10g of white glue
  2. Add 2 drops of preferred food coloring to glue and stir with wooden stick
  3. Measure 7mL of water with the graduated cylinder and add to glue. Mix well
  4. Take other graduated cylinder and measure 8mL of borax solution. Add to glue mixture. Mix well.
  5. Once the gloop has formed, take it from the cup and knead with hands for several minutes.
  6. Measure 15 drops of PVA solution with Pasteur Pipette and knead into gloop.
  7. Place scoopula on electronic mass balance and tare. Transfer 1.5g of guar gum in powder form.
  8. Knead guar gum into gloop.
  9. If preferred, use Pasteur Pipette and knead 5 drops of chosen perfume/essential oil into gloop
  10. Put gloop into small plastic bag.
  11. Place plastic bag in refrigerator


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Apr 25 2016

Polymer Journal #2

Filed under Science

In the end, we did achieve our goal. We produced a polymer that would cool you down under the heat of the blazing sun (but you would have to refrigerate overnight).

How we made our polymer:

Measure 10g of white glue in a cup (add 1-2 drops of desired food coloring) and mix it with 7mL of water. Afterwards, add 8 mL of borax. To make sure that the polymer is stickier, add 20 drops of PVA solution and 0.5g of guar gum (powder form). Make sure to knead  the PVA solution and guar gum into the polymer. If desired, add 5 drops of perfume or essential oils.


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Apr 19 2016

Aquaphobic in Hollow City

Filed under 8th Grade,Humanities

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 9.41.28 PM



Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 9.37.45 PM



By reading this section of Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, it’s clear that the setting affects the mood of the reader. From the morose mist to the rampaging storm, the reader feels many different emotions during these few pages. At first, the ocean was calm, but at the same time, it was almost ‘menacing’ because the ocean is a gigantic place where endless possibilities can happen. However, with mist added on, it increases the loneliness and feeling of being adrift (which they are) in the middle of the ocean. Next comes the raging wave, tossing the characters back and forth like rubber ducks. When I read this section, I could almost feel the cold water hit my skin and the fear of the characters while I could only read on, anxious to know what happens next. I felt absolutely restless and powerless while the storm raged on.

In both my collages (image and word), I tried to show what it felt like to be at sea and the emotions I felt I read the beginning of Hollow City. I drew both of them by hand (which explains the horrible quality).

Made with Piktochart and Canva

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Apr 18 2016

Polymer Journal #1

Filed under Science

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Mar 20 2016

Holy Cow, It’s a Parabola in Real Life!

Filed under Algebra 1

The U-shape of a parabola can describe the trajectories of bouncing balls and water jets in fountains. If someone had not applied quadratic functions to their designs, many things such as monotones would not exist. A common application of a quadratic function is the trajectory followed by objects. The parabola represents the path of the ball, rock, arrow, or whatever was tossed. There are many real examples of parabolas in our everyday routines. For example, a dog jumping over a fence, diving, a free throw in basketball, etc. These activities are connected to math, and more specifically, parabolas. However, real parabolas are restricted, meaning they end. They start at the y-axis and end when they hit the ground, wall, etc. Just like when you throw a ball and it hits the ground, a restricted graph means the parabola ends. It’s not going to go on forever and forever. 

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Mar 18 2016

Revolt for Blood, Loss, and Violence

Filed under 8th Grade,Humanities

I was born in the year of 1934 as Jin Ru Yu. As the third child growing up in a family of intellectuals residing in Beijing, I grew up believing I would do something prodigious for my country and something that would gain the approval of Chairman Mao. Graduating from Peking University, I became a well-known and respected female professor. After a series of tests, I became a member of the Communist Party. In the following year, I met my husband when he flew into my bicycle. Apologizing over and over again, he introduced himself as a professor at the local college; however, he slept through the public wake up call, only stirring after the ‘late-to-work’ music. 

Many ideas have changed since the Cultural Revolution, but some stayed the same. For example, many of what Mao used to say is not ‘believed’ anymore, such as ‘Destroy the Four Olds’. Even I have travelled to the far corners of the Earth to explore foreign countries. There are no laws and rules stating what we should and shouldn’t wear; during that time, we had to wear loose clothing of similar color and style. The rising suns of China, students in schools, are not forced to study Chairman Mao’s thoughts and ideas, as they were in the old days. Little Red Books are still made and sold, but it is not mandatory to have one at all times. Once the Cultural Revolution was over, I lost my book, as did my friends and others. None of us want to keep the books that taught others to kill. Many of those who killed and bullied others regret their decisions. However, I can’t blame the poor children. We were all brainwashed. In addition, many adults, who were children at the time, regret denouncing their parents. We, as citizens of China, now realize Mao’s mistakes and what he has done in the past, unlike how during the 1970s, it would be an absolute crime to say anything bad about Mao. There are no filthy and clean families, nor ‘black’ or ‘red’. We are all just… people. Although there have been many changes since then, ideas and habits from the Cultural Revolution still continue to roam China.

However, just like in the 1960s to 1970s, my friends and I are still offended when someone badmouths Mao and calls him a villain. What can we do? He was our leader. If I say Mao was a bad man, it’s like insulting China, my own country. When I think about it, Mao truly did many things for China. The Communist Power still exists and still holds power over China. Children still study history and what Mao accomplished in schools but not in the same light as before. During Mao’s influence over China, young women were given opportunities to break out of traditional bonds of oppression and discrimination and join the ranks of the PLA. Before Mao, women were simply ‘decorations’, expected to have children and stay home. It is because of Mao’s choice to balance the inequality of genders that in the present day, women are treated as actual humans, not just creatures to love men and give birth (women were always expected to treat men well).

Many things have changed since the Cultural Revolution, but many things have also stayed the same, changes and continuities that still continue to shape China to this day.

Made with powerpoint, posted via Slidesnack

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