Launch Away!

In this unit, our goal was to create a catapult that can be:

  1. The catapult can launch the ping pong ball more than a meter and a half away.
  2. The catapult can launch the ping pong ball at least 30 cm above the ground.
  3. The aim is consistent.
  4. The catapult can be functional.

Something I can improve on is time management. My partner (Maxine) and I could’ve used our time more effectively. We finished our first prototype faster than anyone, but it wasn’t stable and didn’t meet our success criteria. Then we when back and improve our catapult so it could shoot further. However, our time in the fab lab was really short after our first prototype and this resulted in more work outside of school. I think we learned the design process more and also familiarized with the method of trial and error. During the catapult challenge, we used our functions that we created and calculated the distances. It didn’t help our catapult challenge but it lead us to wondering why this happened. We then realized the rubber bands that we used has been stretched out to much and is now loose.

If we could do the project differently, I would hope we can have more time to perfect our catapult and to experiment with Desmos more. I think its really cool how we made our own catapult and then found the function of it all on our own. I didn’t know i was capable of it. I think this project was a lot of fun and not only did it allow me to explore math, it also allowed me to discover and new part of me

Here is a video of our catapult launching

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Reflection Post Elevator pitch

For this elevator pitch, I was asked to talk about my Capstone Project and the data I have gathered about water conservation and water pollution. My goal was to have students realize that they are either doing too little about water pollution or none at all.

I hope I had more time to prepare as I wasn’t prepared and stammered a lot. Overall however, I did include specific numbers and spoke at a nice pace with expressive tones. It would, however, be more helpful if I did just collapse at the end of my pitch.

Next time, I would like to be well prepared and try not to improv anything just in case I embarrass myself.

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Polymer Journal #4

To find the perfect grip, we took the 3 polymers with characteristics we already know, Gloop, Booger and super slime and tested each out. Then we combined Gloop and Booger with the ratio of 1:1 and then Super Slime with Booger with the ration of 1:1 and ran tests. The result of Gloop and Booger came out ideal while Super Slime and Booger was a little too soft for our purpose. Therefore, we decided that Gloop and Booger was going to be our final prototype.

However, we hope to find a polymer that can be reusable; a polymer that will never dry out. However, before we find a solution, we have presented ways to maintain our polymer stretchy and grip like for those customers who cannot wait. We found out that hand cream and cause the polymer to remain soft and fully functional.

The polymer that we designed is slip-proof easy-to-use grip for almost anything. Based on our experiments, our polymer can stick on plastic, glass and even pencils and pens if you want to reduce pain and relax your fingers.


Prototype 1

1cm of glue

10cm of borax


This prototype was too hard and doesn’t stay in shape. It also wasn’t very stretchy and couldn’t stay in shape because it was so hard. Overall, this prototype didn’t meet our expectations for our purpose.


It was firm enough and stuck to glass fairly well.


Prototype 2 (Final prototype)

2cm of glue

10cm of borax

15cm of laundry detergent

limitations :

It didn’t stay soft. The polymer begins to harden after around 24 hours. We have a temporary solution, hand cream, however, if we had more time, I would like to learn and figure out how we could have the polymer to remain its soft and moldable texture.


This prototype is firm, gives support, sticks to metal, plastic and glass and bouncy. It meet our expected characteristics fairly well- other than not drying out of course.


Method for Grippit:

1 Start with the booger recipe.

2. Make a batch of gloop but without the 8cm of water.

3. Kneed together the two polymer with the ratio of 1:1



Testing and experimenting and first hand observing how different things react has helped us to find a polymer that would meet our goal. First, to define and inquire, we asked ourselves how we can use the knowledge we already have to come up with something that can apply in the real world. Then as we tested with the different prototypes, we kept on going back to the stage of Develop and Plan then Create and improve. The design wheel helped us to improve and going back to our prototype to make things even better. I learned how polymerization work with different materials and I hope that our product in the end, will have an impact on the real world

Thinking process:

After our prototype one failed to achieve our goal, we thought about how to improve with the base of prototype one. The main reason for prototype one to fail was that it wasn’t soft or stretchy enough. Based on observation, we understood that mix glue and laundry detergent together will form a soft and relatively stick polymer. We decided to give that a try. we mixed the two polymer together and it was still a little too dry. I wanted to add some water to see what happens. Overall, prototype two passed our tests and met our expectations for a grip well.


Here is our final video

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Polymer Journal #3

For our purpose, we are looking for a polymer that can stick to plastic, glass and potentially metal while giving a strong grip even if your not holding tight. We put our prototypes on to various cups, plastic, glass and even mugs. To test it’s effectiveness, we stick the prototypes to glass and observes wether it stays in place or not. We can proudly claim that our final prototype Grippit, has passed both tests and proven effective.

We were hoping to create something moldable; so it can be easily customized while allowing children to have a strong grip on their utensils or glassware. However, we also want the polymer to remain soft overtime which is a challenging part. My partner and I, we hope to create something similar to moldable silicone. Silicon has a soft rubbery feel to it. Silicon is often used to add grips because it’s slip-proof – wet or dry – yet it’s not sticky to your hands but can be applied to glassware without falling off.

First we will find out the different characteristics of the known polymers: Gloop,  Booger and super slime.  Then we want to make a family tree of some sort with the three known polymer. Out of the 3 prototypes, we will choose one that can stick to glass, gives support and to test which of the three stays in shape the longest.

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Polymer Journal #2

Our goal is to make a polymer that can be used as a grip. The first thing we thought of are grips on glassware and utensils for children or those who have difficulties holding slippery glassware. We hope this can be beneficial for those who have trouble holding things and the polymer, in fact, can be used for many things. When you’re whipping up something delicious and your hands get kind of messy don’t worry! Our prototype is tested to be waterproof and will ensure you a stead grip — very useful down in the kitchen.

After learning the different characteristics of polymer, we decided to try and mix different already made polymers together. Gloop, very firm and overall pretty moldable. Super slime, a clear slime that can be easily broken. It’s the most moldable one out of the three. Boogers, a very soft and sticky but stretchy polymer, useful when we want to put our grip on a surface.

We chose Gloop as a base because of it’s moldable texture. It’s smooth and bouncy surface, however, wouldn’t stick to the surface of the glass. Then, we came up with an idea that could maybe make our prototype remain moldable but can stick to glass and other utensils. We combined Boogers,using the fact that it’s soft and sticky, to our prototype. Then, we decided to make a polymer family tree and to experiment with each polymer to find our perfect solution.



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Polymer Journal #1

What is a Polymer?

Polymers are materials made of long, repeating chains of molecules. The materials have unique properties, depending on the type of molecules being bonded and how they are bonded.

Polymer is a long molecule consisting of many identical or similar building blocks linked by covalent blocks (large molecules, macromolecules)

What is polymerization?

It’s the process of connecting the monomers together

What are synthetic materials?

Synthetic materials are human-made polymers.

Examples: Plastics, rubber, silicone, fibers, gels etc.

What are natural materials?

Natural materials are polymers found in nature and polymers that occur naturally.

Examples: silk, collagen, keratin, cellulosestarchglycogen, DNA and RNA, nails, wool etc.


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Revolutionary Voices Journal

Over the course to this unit, we did several projects to showcase our learning and understanding for the revolutions. For our final project, we wrote a historical journal piece that brings the reader back to 1967 in China and learn the Chinese Proletarian Cultural Revolution through the eyes of a teen during that time. This was a fun experience to design our own character and find deeper stories during that period of time. I also included  real pictures to help readers understand and picture the scene about 50 years ago.

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Yell-Oh Girls – Edited by Vickie Nam

Over 17 million people in US mainland defines as Asian American. Though that may not seem like a large number compared America’s population as a whole, it’s important to understand and have respect for what they’re going through.


Yell-Oh Girls is a collection of revelatory poems and letters and writing from second-generation Asian Americans that perfectly showcases the struggles of being Asian American. As a reader, I believe the theme of this inspiring book is identity. As the different cultural behaviors clash together, we read about how different girls tackle different issues like dual identity, body image, interracial friends and “white boys”.


There was one story that spoke out to me. “My Mother’s Food” by Nora Okja Keller. Keller tells the audience what it was growing up as half Korean and half German. As a little girl, she was told to be ashamed of eating kimchi, the food that raised her mother. When her classmates told her she smelled like kimchi, she realized that she was different from everyone else, despite the German father, and desperately searched for a place that fit her in the small community. Though it took her a long time to find a place in this cruel and barbaric world, in the end, she shares the happiness and joy of being a mother and watching her daughters eat the food that she learned to be ashamed of.


Not only is this book for Asian American girls out there like me, but it’s also a book for everyone. It’s important to know and respect different cultures and different features of a woman. In the short story “Finding my Eye-dentity”, Olivia Chung talks about her experience with a mono-eyelid and her frustration when her classmates said she had “chinky” eyes. This piece challenged the definition of beauty. “Does getting a double eyelid surgery make you beautiful?” I connected deeply with this piece of writing. I, being the only mono-eyelid in the whole family get a lot of questions like “Who did you inherit your eyes from?” or “Do you want to get a double eyelid surgery?” Though these questions mostly come from my own family as a joke, I often take it very seriously. I’m often called out for my small eyes and my mono-eyelid. Though I’ve learned to shrug it off, I find myself asking why double-eyelids are considered a beauty standard, and why so many people think I should get a double-eyelid surgery. I love my eyes, crease or no crease.


Overall, this book brings out the voices of Asian American girls as well as respect. Not only does the collection increases the perspectives on the different issues listed above, but it also includes a powerful and personal voice for us to respect. I think there are a lot more voices in this world that need to be heard. Not girls in particular, but the stories and the struggles behind everyone. It’s hard to disagree that the theme of Yell-Oh Girls is identity, however, I believe that there are much more than identity embedded in this book.


Nam, Victoria. Yell-Oh girls! emerging voices explore culture, identity, and growing up Asian American. Quill, 2001.

Click here for more information. Here’s an article on Asian Americans representing America in the olympics.

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One Day

Our goal for One day was to find stories hidden in plain sight, inspired by Out of The Block podcast by Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick. We visited and interviewed the senior citizens across the street for their stories and their experience in China.

What I learned from this experience was that everyone have a story. I learned how to be a better interviewer and how to use the Lumix better. I have the opportunity to use the new camera and it was a really fun.

If we had more time, I would focus on better audio quality and although we had a great setting, it would’ve been a better if we blurred the background. There was a lot of  background noise (wind, chatting etc.) that can potentially effect the quality of the interview. Overall however, the experience was great and I had fun learning new techniques in film making.

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Substance abuse

When people feel insecure about their body image, often, they think their only solution is to use drugs that can alter the physical body. However, the side effect of those drugs can severely impact ones life. Some side effects are stroke, heart attacks, chest pain, depression and even sudden deaths. Some alternative, healthy ways to loose weight is to have a healthy balance in nutrition and choose foods that are low in carbohydrates. Also, exercising will also help shaping your body.


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