The Ocean is Out of Breath – Climate Change Project

Media Piece 1: Infographic

Infographic (page 1)

Infographic (page 2)

Media Piece 2: Sticker

Design Piece/Technological Solution: Fertilizer Calculator/Calendar

Reflection:

1. Now that it’s over, what are my first thoughts about this overall project? Are they mostly positive or negative? Be specific.

In reflection, I believe that I have mostly positive thoughts about this project. While I did struggle to finish the art installation, which resulted in decoration for my first media piece, I learned a lot about climate change, in particular nutrient pollution. This gave me a deeper understanding about the dangerous impacts of the rising Carbon Dioxide levels in our atmosphere.

2. What were some of the most interesting discoveries I made while working on this project? About the problem? About myself?

Some of the most interesting discovered I made regarding climate change and ocean oxygen depletion were stilling waters, suffocating animals, and nutrient pollution. For stilling waters, since there is so much CO2 in the air, the ocean absorbed excess  amounts of the greenhouse gas, heating both the upper and lower layers of the ocean. In turn, this slows ocean circulation, preventing cooler water to sink, no longer cycling oxygen to lower levels. As a result, marine life in lower regions of the ocean suffocate, running out of ‘breath’.

As for nutrient pollution, I discovered that the leading cause of chemicals generating algae blooms that deplete upper region oxygen levels, is fertilizer runoff. This is what inspired me to create my fertilizer calculator to spread awareness about the dangers of excessive fertilizer and how the runoff contaminates bodies of water. After reflection, this is what further encouraged me to explore environmental science, such as the ESS class I will be taking next year. I found it interesting to learn about complications and issues occurring in our environment.

3. What were some of my most challenging moments and what made them so?

Some of my challenging moments during this project was that I did not have enough time to create and finish my art installation. This forced me to have to create a sticker as a last minute second media piece, and move the art installation to become a decoration, hopefully catching the eye of the audience. This was challenging because I did not have enough class time to complete the laser cutting and blowtorching process. I had underestimated the time needed to complete the media piece.

4. What were some of my most powerful learning moments and what made them so?

The most powerful learning moment I experienced was when I discovered we were entering another mass extinction period, similar to the one 252 million years ago that killed off 95% of all marine life. This was important to me because I realized that a singular person’s actions could influence and impact more than I thought. This caused me to start being wary of my surroundings, such as when someone supports or  does something to generate CO2. In addition to this, I also informed my mother about the importance of restricting her fertilizer use.

5. What is the most important thing I learned personally?

The most important thing I learned personally was that I need to be cautious about what I do and how I can perform alternate activities that do not harm the environment as much. For example, I could bike more than calling a DiDi to take me somewhere.

6. What most got in the way of my progress, if anything?

The thing that got in the way of my progress was definitely my habit of procrastinating. The issue was, I had an outline for my infographic created early on in the project, but I could not bring myself to start putting my research into the poster.

7. What did I learn were my greatest strengths? My biggest areas for improvement?

I learned that my greatest strength was being able to evoke emotion in younger students because of the art installation smelled bad and made them feel guilty about killing marine life. My biggest areas for improvement is analyzing the graphs that I had in my infographic and connecting them to climate change, especially the energy cycle I focused on.

8. What would I do differently if I were to approach the same problem again?

If I were to approach the same problem again, I would not assign me a project that was too much for me to handle in such a short amount of time.

9. What moments was I most proud of my efforts?

The moments when I was most proud of my efforts was when younger students seemed genuinely concerned about my issue after I explained it to them.