The Capstone of Middle School

Capstone was an unusual and inspiring project to end my journey through Middle School. From this project, I have learned how severe the air pollution problem is in China today. Air pollution is extremely harmful to our environment and our own body. And if we do not attempt to stop the air pollution worsening. What I have contributed to the community as a result of this project is that I have created a documentary to publicize the harm air pollution causes. I have also interviewed many residents living in the Shun Yi community, which helps raise awareness for citizens through answering my questions about air pollution.

 

I have always thought air pollution was not a problem so severe, and the AQI has become better these years. However, through my research, I have found data demonstrating the growing AQI values over years. And these severe air quality problems do not only exist in Beijing, but also many other cities in China. I have also learned from my interview and surveys that many young workers are already aware and worried about the gradually deteriorating air quality.

 

The Capstone project did not only teach me knowledge about air pollution in Beijing but also skills toward interviews. I was good at interviewing before, but sometimes when it came to sensitive survey questions, I found it awkward to interact with my interviewees in a delightful way. It was a problem in the Hutong trip. However, during the mini trip across the street, I learned to ask sensitive questions in a mild tone, or sometimes even to keep away from even asking them. If I could do this project again, a huge change I would make is that to improve my essay. I would make it a more sophisticated piece of writing and make it more detailed.

 

To the Grade 8 students of next year:

 

The Capstone project requires good time management skills. If you want to make your work with deep understanding, it is essential to make sure to complete your work earlier than the due date, so that you can revise it later on.

 

Take a look at my documentary here!

Shooting for Dreams

As the main project for Module 4, the Catapult project was insightful that required collaboration and persistence among our peers. For this project, we were required to create and design a catapult that could shoot out a ping pong ball to a designated target. We were required to shoot from different angles, and to different distances. We had to create a catapult all by ourselves, and there was a final challenge to test out how successful the catapult was. After building the catapult, we used the information we held and created functions of the trajectory of the ping pong ball during the shot. The building of the catapult required creativity and design process, while the creating of functions required the calculation of mathematics. In the end, these two activities were linked together.

Through this project, I learned about how the variables are defined in the real world context, and how a precise graph is drawn and labeled. This project helped me learn how to produce a function (a parabola) from using the vertex, y-intercept, and the x-intercepts in a rather fun and interesting way. The most challenging aspect of this project was figuring out the different forms of the function with only a few information, and I had to use trial and error to figure out the right parabola. If I was the do this project again, one thing that I would do differently is that to look after our catapult carefully, since we lost ours after making it. Using other catapults made by previous 8th-grade students was efficient, but it wasn’t an original work for us. This project taught me how to trial and error to figure out functions in different forms when given limited information. I also understood how to interpret numbers in a function better. Generally, I enjoyed this project while I’ve learned a lot from it.

 

Control Leads to Rebellion

 

Imagine you are in a room alone, in front of you is a big red button, beside it sticks a yellow sticky note with big red letters “DO NOT CLICK”, you are not told what are the consequences of clicking it. You know that there’s something to do with the button, and it is hard controlling yourself from leaving it alone. This is because of the curiosity in your mind. Generally, people don’t like being controlled. They are born rebellious. When they are told not to do something, it empowers curiosity on the contrary. This was what happened to the story Fahrenheit 451, where the main character fireman Montag, once a loyal society-follower, became a rebellious criminal to the government. The theme of this story is the censorship of government, the banning of knowledge, motivates curiosity and encourages people to seek it.

 

In the beginning, Montag wasn’t quite aware of the deformation of the society. It wasn’t until Clarisse McClellan, a ‘crazy’ teenager who inspired Montag at first. Clarisse is different than others, it seems like that she is open to the world. Clarisse once said to Montag, “So many people are. Afraid of firemen, I mean. But you’re just a man, after all” (11) It was Clarisse who asked Montag “ ‘Are you happy?’ She said” (Bradbury 14) It was also Clarisse who first mentioned the idea to Montag about taking away a book from the burnt houses. This changed Montag’s rigid thought of books; drove Montag into thinking whether if his job as a fireman was meaningful; and whether the society was a perfect one with people receiving extra knowledge. After burning down the old woman’s house and herself, Montag completely changed. Montag felt passionate towards the old woman and wanted to help her. But the old woman refused and chose to become grey ashes with her books. “The fumes of kerosene bloomed up about her.”( 43) From then on, Montag felt deeply about her and started questioning his job. He was provoked from this experience and wanted to give more thought to the present status of the society. Eventually, Montag decided to stop blindly following the orders of the government. “Where the path of kerosene lay like the track of some evil snail” (43) Montag took away a book, The Bible, and started reading, which was something that was not permitted. And discovered all of the knowledge in it, even when it was hard to understand the words in the beginning. As Montag knew more, he wanted even more and became rebellious.

 

Montag started to read more together with the help of another person who supported book reading. However, Montag’s wife Mildred was addicted to technology, being with her ‘relatives’ in the walls was one of her hobbies. Mildred was isolated in her own box and had a false sense of what’s is happening in the society. “Does your family love you, love you very much, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie?” (79) Mildred is a contrast to her husband. After being reported by her, Montag’s idea of rebelling became stronger and is ready for the battle with captain Beatty and the government. When he leaves the destroyed bombed city, he realizes that “It is not burning. It was warming” (147) What he believes now was that the destruction of dystopian society will be reborn of a new, better world. Montag thought “It was a pleasure to burn”(7) at first, but Montag, in the end, escaped the deformed society which was destroyed.

 

One connection is the censorship in China. The communist party has blocked websites for the Chinese people, and established its own search engines and chat apps. Why would they do so? To take control of the people, to stop them from knowing, preventing characters like Montag who was a threat to the government in Fahrenheit 451. There is no liberty in China, what people say and write on the multimedia are all seen from the government.

 

An insightful discovery I’ve found from this story was that the word “god” has appeared several times in the book, often used as an expression before a phrase. “God knows why” (27)

“God, I’m hungry” (22) Fairly, the first ever book Montag has taken home was The Bible. So has Montag discovered the origin of how they speak each day, and discovered the meaning of “religion”?

 

Overall, Fahrenheit is a book with simple words but deep meaning within it. When governments use censorship it may seem to be an easy way to control people. Censorship really works on people, but it is also easier for citizens to find out the flaws of the society. So why not just give liberty.

Polymer Journal #1

siting:

https://www.cmu.edu/gelfand/education/k12-teachers/polymers/natural-synthetic-polymers/

https://www.quora.com/How-do-natural-and-synthetic-polymers-differ

Polymer Background Info. Pdf

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/monomer

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Polyester.html

http://www.wisegeek.org/how-is-nylon-made.htm#dippdyouknowout

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Rayon.html

http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/standards/ngss/chapter6/lesson12

images:

Piktochart

https://timgsa.baidu.com/timg?image&quality=80&size=b9999_10000&sec=1524155682948&di=9de61b9208fa38d78a9e67ba16ff55bd&imgtype=0&src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ziyi-reagent.com%2Fpic%2F201154131129.gif

Old Bike, New Place

Hutong Bike, 10

Photo by: Jim Fidler

Poem by: Annie

 

Old bike, new place

 

For 10 years the bike was ridden

Yet 10 rotations of the seasons

The bike aged

The Hutong reborn

 

The ragged bike

Once wheeling across old Beijing

Had miles and miles of road covered

Left outside, enduring rain and storm

Overloaded with groceries

In the delicate wire front basket

The tires are flat

The hinges are crackling

The seat is broken

 

For the Hutong though

No more shabby walls

But more running taps

With flowing clear cool water

More concrete roads

Without razor-edged rocks

 

The renewals might also be done

To the rusty bike

Twilight: The End And The Beginning

Here is 4 of photos originally made by me. It surrounds the theme of Twilight.

Bitten Hand

Bella’s hand got bitten by James, a vampire tracker who thirsts Bella’s blood. Bella is a human girl, but she has a fragrant scent, attracting vampires for her blood and also trouble. When a vampire’s fangs enter the flesh, so does the venom, and it makes an intolerable pain to the victim. Here, Edward is forced to make a tough decision between trying to suck the venom out of Bella’s body or not. Leaving the venom will make Bella into a vampire, which gives her a body of immortality, but she will have no soul. On the other hand, although having the venom out of Bella’s body will save Bella back to human, Edward fears that he will be unstoppable once he tastes such delicious blood, drinking it all down, which will kill Bella. Edward once promised: ‘“Don’t be afraid,” he murmured, his velvet voice unintentionally seductive. “I promise…” he hesitated. “I swear not to hurt you.”’ (264) Will Edward be able to save Bella and continue this forbidden love?

Edward x Bella

This is a portrait of Edward and Bella in the last scene – the prom where the two talks about their love for each other. Bella and Edward look into each other’s eyes closely. With hearts indicating love in the background, the scene also describes the two main characters’ physical features. Edward is pale with messy hair. His eyes are yellow when he’s no longer hungry, after feeding on animal blood, and he is abler to control his emotions. Bella is with long brown hair and has a pale complexion too, but not as pale as Edward, since she is a human.

The Meadow

The meadow is where the confessions happen. Edward and Bella are holding hands, with the sun beaming on their skin, and the couple tells each other their secret and facts about themselves. Edward shows Bella how he looks like under the sun. “His skin, white despite the faint flush from yesterday’s hunting trip, literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface.” (260) Shown in the photo too, Edwards hand on the left is shimmering with light. In the meadow, the sparks of their love develop further too.

Baseball

Vampires love playing baseball too! With a thunderstorm as the weather, the vampire family uses the lightning to play a tense and thrilling baseball game. As the Edward and Emmet take vigorous strides through the field on the edge of the forest, and Alice throws a perfect arch of the ball, three human predator vampires approach to them, they soon smell an appetizing, mouthwatering odor of the only human upon them, Bella. However, under the protection and support of the Cullen family, Bella is temporarily safe. The Cullens really agree with Edward and Bella’s love for each other and they try their best to help this relationship lead to happiness. ‘“She’s with us.” Carlisle’s firm rebuff was directed toward James.’ (Meyer, 379) Edward taking Bella to play baseball with the Cullen family was the cause of the following danger Bella encounters.

The theme of Stephanie Meyer’s book Twilight is that forbidden love could be successful with an understanding between the two and a family’s support. “About three things I was positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how potent that part might be -that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” (195) The lovers seek hope in the darkness of their love. The Vampire Cullen family unites together, and together they help a family member’s lover, human Bella. Also, Vampires are supposed to hunt for humans, but Edward resists his hunger, and Bella isn’t afraid either. The lovers had to understand each other and acknowledge and accept their differences.

A connection between Twilight and another story is The Shape of Water, which is about the love between a human being and a half-fish-half-human creature. The creature is supposed to be for experiments, but when the human falls in love with the creature, the love is faced with many barriers. The two main characters understand each other and help each other in the forbidden love they hold.

Siting: (The baseball in the air)