Blog Post #4 Engineering Project

Trial run Enginnering

IMG_9798Trial run Enginnering


*Videos can be accessed using links above

How it’s (supposed) to work:

The toy car is to be powered by the transformation of potential energy, stored in the tension of the elastic bands into kinetic energy, which will power the propeller to spin and generate force. At least its supposed to work that way. The amount of kinetic energy in my model was too insignificant to power the car to any meaningful distance as the terminal velocity of the propeller couldn’t propel the total weight of the car.


My design happens to be aesthetically pleasing which I believe is quintessential to any toy, as seen on the wings and arrow to enhance the view. Furthermore, and more importantly, my design was able to successfully transfer elastic potential energy into propeller kinetic energy. As evidenced by the fact that the propeller turns. Furthermore, my toy is sustainable and isn’t contingent on variable cost materials to run i.e. batteries.

Failures, things to improve on!!!:

My biggest failure was that the kinetic energy I was able to transfer through the potential energy stored in the elastic tension was insignificant in powering the car to long distances.  If I had more time, I’d fix this by attaching the axel of the propeller to the axels of the wheels which would allow for more efficient use of kinetic energy because wind isn’t as powerful as the amount of energy directly transferred through gears.

Another thing I needed to improve on is the precision of the model. As seen in the holes drilled, they’re slightly too big for the axels which make it wobbly and go left and right while in motion. I believe this problem can be fixed in the future as I will be more familiarised with the various tools in the lab such as the electric drills.

Impact on the Client:

The ideal client would be smaller children, ages 3-7 who have an interest in playing with cars. The toy would have an impact of enjoyment onto them as that’s what toys are really for. Furthermore, the toy, being very transparent, will have a direct impact in deepening the understanding of these young children by showing them the entire process of how the propeller is powered.

Impact on the environment:

This product is an eco-friendly one. It is made from recycled materials like used plastic bottles which would’ve otherwise been wasted and thrown away. It is also powered by wind energy which is environmentally friendly because it is sustainable and can be reused.


All in all, I believe my project had many successes and failures. It also deepened my knowledge and experience with kinetic and potential energy as I got to used them with my very own hands in designing a product that would actually apply to the world. Furthermore, not only did I build a final product, I also familiarised myself with the workshop lab which I believe will be beneficial in future projects allowing me to be more successful in knowing my tool and material choice.



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Engineering Project Blog Post #3

IMG_9724 2

During my building process I encountered several problems,

the first of which involved the wheels (linked to the movie). On the original video where I’ve derived the idea from, it called for plastic bottle-caps as the wheels and skewers as the axels. I found this extremely problematic because the wheel couldn’t spin due to the amounts of friction ( as seen in video above), hence I built a second prototype of wheels and axels. This can be seen from the top view image in which I used provided wheels in the science lab, they spun far more smoothy as they a.) had less friction because the axel was inserted and not passed through the wheel and b.) because the axel was of smoother material i.e. metal.

The second problem I encountered was with the propeller, originally the video used the top part of a plastic bottle. I found it quite problematic as it wouldn’t generate enough force when spun, hence I opted for a plastic propeller as seen in the top view image above. This improved my original prototype because it was more aerodynamic and lighter which allowed it to generate more force with less tension.

Along with those two additions, another addition I made to the design was the hooking the metal, as seen in the top view. This allowed the elastic band to be attached to the main axel of the car. This was suggested by Mr. Stenning as I struggled to attach elastic bands using tape.

After these additions, I believe my prototype 2 is on a successful path to running in a more efficient and successful manner and am looking forward to continuing building.


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The Blueprint Build Plan of a Rubber Band Plastic Car.



Materials List:

Rubber Bands:

Plastic bottle:




Hot glue:



Note to Self*: need to model a side and back view


Building Block#1 Objectives

-Assemble all materials

-Plan out the locations of future cuts using the video

Building Block #2 (I won’t be present on Friday)

Building Block #3 Objectives

-Build Project according to video – I will plan to finish everything except for the last and hardest step which is the rubber band installation

-Check in with the teacher

Building Block #4 Objectives

-Finish the last step of the project

-Test the project and make necessary last minute adjustments

-Decorate the exterior and the toy as a whole.


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Converting Elastic Potential into Wind Kinetic – A Toy

Out of the four engineering options, I have chosen to “design and make a toy that converts energy”. For such, I will be creating a toy that converts potential energy stored in the tension of the rubber into kinetic energy i.e. the car moving.

Pros: Simple to use <-> Cons: need to make it aesthetically pleasing.

Cons: the car toy, aside from enjoyment, doesn’t have many benefits <-> Pros: Easy to use (doesn’t require prior knowledge).

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Gentrification: China’s Drive to Become a Global Superpower.

Being ethnically Chinese and having English as my first language, reading western media, being in western education and so forth I always thought the Chinese Government and its communist ideology is a bad one. Hence, when December came around with BBC and CNN articles about the Chinese government’s recent gentrification plans and how they were displacing and wrecking livelihoods, I was quite convinced that was the case. However, during my research process, reading about more principled social economical theory like Pareto improvements, I learned and reached a conclusion that had a positive bent on gentrification and the actions of the Chinese Communist Party. From a learning perspective, I’ve gotten more confident with my impromptu interview skills and I felt like I had a purpose in mind getting into every interview. Moreover, when interviewing members of the nearby community e.g the apartments across the school I felt a sense of increased empathy and awareness for their issues. All in all, I was quite satisfied with the new knowledge I’ve learned. But if I could improve on something I would procrastinate less seeing as I did my video in the last 2 days before it was due so I could’ve perhaps done a draft and edited it more. In the end, if I could tell the 7th graders about the Capstone project I would say that they should chose and issue that they actually care about.




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Applying Quadratics: Launching Projectiles

Algebra 1 is the study of functions and module 4 is no different. In the 4th module, we learned a new concept called quadratic functions, which are used to graph parabolas. We see many parabolas’ in daily life: supply and demand, the stock market, and so on. As a final project and a test about the application of these formulas, we built catapults and analysis the parabola of the ping pong balls. Starting off, we fused popsicle and cardboard together with glue, a very primitive preschool tactic. Then, we realise that glue sticks and popsicles weren’t very stable so we opted to use cut wooden blanks and hot glue instead.


After this process, we proceeded to launch ping-pong balls. We took videos of this process and used logger pro to graph the parabola of the function the catapult launched the ball at. In my opinion, this was the most challenging aspect of the entire project because locating the parabola and finding the function proved difficult due to the fact that the number weren’t whole and had multiple decimal points- not what I’m used to on quadratics tests. However, through trial and error, I found the formula by inserting numbers as the slope until I got the parabola just right.

If I were to do this again, I wouldn’t change many things as I was satisfied with the catapult. However, if I could do the design process again, I might’ve opted to-do a simpler catapult instead of a ballista since those turned out to be more successful.

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Polymer Project Journal 4: The Journey



Prototype Observations Strengths for this Prototype Limitations for this Prototype

Prototype 1

The polymer didn’t solidify completely, leaving a solid coated in a sticky-glue texture and served no use in attaching to a phone or protection anything from impact -It was bouncy – Can’t attach to phone

-Dirties all things it comes into contact with traces of glue

Prototype 2 (Super Slime) Looks slimy however has way too much bounce and limited stretching capabilities. After, it was broken due to stretching it was hard to get it back together. -Good durability and hard to deform by dropping. -No mechanism to attach to phone

-No mechanism to reshape the polymer into more desired size and shape

Prototype 3



(final design)

Has the ability to stretch and bounce however lacked the bounce of prototype 1. After leaving it alone for 1-2 days it solidified into a soft clay-like texture which was quite durable. -Good durability

-Ability to solidify to not leave traces

-Could stick onto the phone

-“one time use” lacked flexibility and the ability to deform and reform after solidifying

-Hard to deliver to consumer before solidifying-> however if you isolate oxygen from the packaging, it’ll be fine




Use evidence from above observations to complete.


Claim:   Prototype 3 was the most successful at meeting the goals of the polymer.


Exempted from journal entry 2, the goal of the polymer is to possess the ability to protect a phone while being flexible and fun in doing so.  Firstly, as seem in the video, the polymer demonstrated the ability to protect a phone from the average “accidental dropping of your phone” at around 1.5-2 meters in length. Secondly, as also demonstrated in the video, the polymer is flexible in doing so. Seeing as the polymer in its first stage is a flexible texture, the desired amount of the polymer can be selected and used at the customer’s own convenience. Unlike the other two prototype, the final prototype and the product of PolyProtec does its job much better. Seeing as the properties of prototype 1 wasn’t completely solidified, it brought inconveniences to the user. Similarly, in prototype 2, although the prototype was durable it lacked the flexibility of appliance and the mechanism to attach to a phone. All in all, Prototype 3 was the most successful seeing as it has met the goals of PolyProtec the best.



Give a summary of how your final product will be made.

Make sure you list the steps and amounts used.


  1. Pour 15 ml of PVA solution and 30 ml of glue into a beaker
  2. Add 2 drops of desired food colouring (optional)
  3. Add 15 ml of liquid starch into the same beaker and stir all until all substances are fused
  4. Pour 15 ml of borax into the solution and stir
  5. When the solution is completely mixed, Knead with hands





What was the process like?  What was challenging?  What was interesting?  What did I learn?


In conclusion, the process started off as a charismatic one. Making slime was just fun. However, tasked with our goal of creating the perfect solution for the oppsy-daisy of dropping a phone, we met several challenges. Firstly, seeing as we had no recipe, it was a matter of trial and error. However, we soon realized there was an intelligent way of doing this by learning what each substance did i.e. borax solidified the substance. Under this premise, we made much more intelligent combinations until we formed our final prototype (note this wasn’t our third try but those 3 were the most successful ones). All in all, I really enjoyed the process not only because slime is fun but the simplicity of such a thing and the numerous possibilities it can create. We only had about 6 ingredients but yet people created anything from soap to a lamp. Once again, it’s not about reaching the mountaintop but the climb. The final product wasn’t the great glory of all this work but just a possibility of the numerous capabilities of smile. J

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In Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon, what you choose to believe, what you choose to accept, and what you choose to question is going to unequivocally dictate how you think of life. For Standish Treadwell, being illiterate and mutated, life’s hard for him and what he may become is constrained by his status. Instead of accepting such circumstances, he chooses to defy them.

We live for around 27,300 days, but yet we know so much more than that. From what your friend told you, from watching YouTube and so forth. We know things that we haven’t experienced ourselves. Were gullible in believing the plethora of truth and lies, but what makes something true that you haven’t experienced? It’s a matter of choice. Especially, in Standish Treadwell’s society, under the regime of the “Motherland”, the government has a strong cult of personality and a massive propaganda machine. Most people believe in them, some believe there are wrong’s but choose to believe in them due to societal pressure and the consequences of going against them. Others, like Standish, not only ignore the words of the government but uses such totalitarianism to form his questions and to point out the “hoax”.

The plot commences with Standish recalling a few previous keystones of his life. His best friend was gone, he was genetically mutated with different eyes, lost both of his parents, and is in the “lower end of the society” being placed in one of the worse districts. Unlike many dystopian novels, the “Utopia” in Maggot Moon called the Motherland doesn’t brand itself as a “perfect society”. Similar to that of the Soviet Union, it uses means of flexing its national power in the sciences and focusing propaganda on degrading other nations. Furthermore, the biggest “hoax” as Standish calls it, in the book, was the faked moon landings of the Motherland. More ironically, the Soviet Union’s great pride was sending a man into space. Evidentially, “Every single school was issued a working television (that was black and white) to watch the moon landings (97)”. Unlike the other pupils who proceeded to watch, Standish questioned the irony of the fact that his country has the technology to launch rockets but can’t get coloured television distributed to the general public. With a grain of salt, this correlation was also present in our society; we got nuclear weapons before we got computers or coloured television or plastic.

As the plot goes on, the irony and the utter lack of a moral compass becomes more prevalent. Standish managed to ‘bust in’ to the filming studio of the moon landings. “Bursting in I saw the director (269)”, in other words, the moon landings were a film. The depravity of the society was further established by other examples. On a micro scale, Standish’s teacher beat a kid to death for doing nothing. Beatings are quite common for everybody. However, in such societies people accept such things as norms – they don’t think much of it. However, Hector (one of Standish’s friends) never got beat because he was smart. Because he knew what was going on and the lack of morality and how bleak the society was. This made him immune from many types of punishment because the collapse of these societies happens on a micro level with such intellects telling others of their viewpoints. The Soviet Union went from the 2nd strongest country to utter collapse because of inner revolutions, because of the fact that people realised there’s a brighter world out there.

Beyond the logical fallacy and the irony in the moon landings, beyond the fact that a teacher won’t beat Hector because small voices cause systematic collapse in totalitarianism. Totalitarianism fundamentally fails on the premise of human values. We had nuclear weapons before computers because we have big ego’s and the Homo-Sapiens is an greedy creature. Teacher’s beat students because they need to hold onto their power using force because authoritarianism, unlike democracy, fails to legitimise and provide a trusted and reliable systematic approach as we see in parliament. The premise is that authoritarianism fails because of humanity because some people like questions because, in Totalitarianism, the development society means nothing more than National Power which is elitist to a group of oligarchs. Everything goes. There is no system or consequence (i.e. impeachment) nor legislation or procedure to stop a man’s ego and his authority in authoritarian regimes. In the end, living in an authoritarian government is what this book conveys. Thinking that a revolution will occur is logical, but thinking you can be the hero is an unlikely situation. Thus, you’re on your feet like Standish, no parents to go to, nobody to trust. Hence, it’s a matter of what you believe is right or wrong and the distinction of propaganda from what is the truth. Lies are lies, truths are truths because we believe in them. Whatever we indulge ourselves in is a matter of questioner or follower: defy your world. Lies are told to keep the truth. The truth and the path towards liberty and betterment is a radical one. But there’s a brighter world out there.

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Journal 3: In The Making

Polymer Structure,

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Journal 2- We’re the best. Period.

Made with Issuu.

Sources cited
Lynette, and Deb White. “Simple Playdough Recipe : Make It Or Buy It.” Simple Recipes, DIY Tutorials, & Farmhouse Adventures – Cleverly Simple®, 4 Dec. 2016,

* All products require an annual contract. Prices do not include sales tax (New York residents only). “Protective Case Usage US Smartphone Owners 2017 | Statistic.” Statista,

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