Survival Tips For 8th Grade

Don’t stay up late

If you do stay up late, don’t fall asleep in class

Don’t procrastinate when studying or doing your homework

Finish all your homework on time, especially for things like Khan academy and Gizmo, the teachers check!

Study for your tests

Take notes during class

Stay organized

Don’t stress

Cause you’ll do great!

Out N’ About

Polymer Journal #4: Final Reflections

Creating anything always has a process, so the first thing Amanda and I did was that we decided what we would use our polymer for. First, we wanted it to be able to open jars and taps, but after our first few prototypes, we found out this was too hard, so in the end, we decided to create a polymer that would create a comfortable grip for opening things in general and for getting a good grip on things. This was the first step in the engineering design process. Next, we developed some solutions. We had 10 prototypes in total, and each prototype was tweaked from the one we made from before. In the end, we decided on the prototype 8.1 (9). This was the best fit for our goal. Also, after creating each prototype, we tested them by using it to open a door to see if it were comfortable. This is how we moved through the engineering design cycle.


When Amanda and I were making our prototypes, we observed the prototype and listed something about it that was bad. For example, Prototype 8 was too soft, and Prototype 7 was too firm and not moldable enough. Through these 2 polymers, we created prototype 8.1 that would become our final project. Prototype 8.1 was a mix of prototype 7 and 8’s characteristics. Also, when we make our final prototype, you have to mix glue and laundry starch together, but it doesn’t come together fully until you keep playing with it for around 10 minutes and adding a little more glue depending on the state of the prototype. This was a struggle for us, but after we played with it for 10 minutes, prototype 8.1 became perfect. Throughout this process of our struggles and failures, I learned that you have to keep thinking and change and tweak the prototypes to create the perfect prototype.

What Prototype 8.1 looked like before playing with it for 10 mins:


What prototype 8.1 looked like after playing with it for 10 mins:


During the DreamOn presentation day, I found out any different ways Amanda and I could have made our infomercial. Another thing I learned on this day was to have our polymer prepared and read before the presentations started because since prototype 8.1 was best when cornstarch was pressed inside of the polymer, we had to spend our time in between presentations pressing cornstarch into our polymer. Overall, I think that the DreamOn presentations went very well.

Our Magic Grip Infomercial:

Yunnan – Historical, Yet Modern

Beauty comes where you’d least expect it. This quote is very true about Yunnan. When I first started researching about Yunnan, I would have never known that Yunnan had so many interesting and beautiful, yet historical, sights to visit unless I had done this research. This research was done over a short span of 3 days, but I have learned so much about Yunnan. For example: I have learned that there is a stone village in this world, and that the Nujiang canyon is the longest canyon in the world. Yunnan is home to many different ethnic groups thus meaning that many different festivals are celebrated there and that many different foods are found there. Yunnan is such an amazing place with spectacular sights, and honestly, I must admit that doing all of this research to convince travelers to go to Yunnan has also convinced me to want to go too. I hope that one day I will get to experience the Yunnan culture and see all the sights. 

Polymer Journal #3: Optimizing Prototypes

Amanda and I finally found our final prototype! But before prototype 9. there were many prototypes that didn’t make the cut. Below is a recap on the characteristics of all of our prototypes.

Prototype 1 was moist, stretchy, but it was hard to put back together after it broke. Prototype 2 was wet and way too squishy. Prototype 3 was too soft, too wet, and it couldn’t form into a blob. Prototype 4 was a good texture for a grip, but it couldn’t form back after breaking. Prototype 5 was our worse prototype. It was stringy and it couldn’t form together. Prototype 6 was a little too soft fro a comfortable grip. Prototype 7 was hard to mold. Prototype 8 was soft and smooth but it was too soft for a grip. Prototype 8.1 and 8.2 were the best prototypes and Amanda and I ended up combining them to make our final prototype.

Prototype 8:


The making of Prototype 8.1:


Prototype 9 was the most effective because it was a mix of prototype 8.1 and 8.2 which made it the perfect firmness and it also made it the polymer feel good in your hand when you held it. This prototype was soft, but not so soft that it felt disgusting. It was also moldable and easy to put back together. All of these characteristics of prototype 9 made it the perfect prototype for meeting our goal of using a polymer as an easy grip.

Prototype 8.1 (left), 8.2 (right), and 8 (bottom):


After Amanda and I made prototype 8, we thought that it was too soft so then we went to Ms. Cox for some suggestions on how to make it firmer. Ms. Cox suggested that we try to knead some guar gum or cornstarch into prototype 8 so that it would become firmer. Prototype 8.1 had guar gum in it and prototype 8.2 had cornstarch in it. Amanda and I decided that we like prototype 8.1 better so that became our “final” model. When we tried to make prototype 8.1 again, we found out that it was even better when we put guar gum AND cornstarch into the polymer, so this became our actual final model of our polymer.

Our Final Prototype: