Describe what you have learned about your social issue as a result of this project – sum it up in one sentence.
As a result of this project, I’ve learned the main causes and effects of human trafficking, and the after-effect it has on the victims.
If you could do this project again, what would you do differently?
If I could redo this project, I would start planning and be making my documentary early on in the project because I was originally planning to create a stop motion video; however, because of the limited time, I settled with iMovie.
What might you want next year’s Grade 8 to know about the Capstone project?
I think that they should choose a topic that they’re really passionate about if they want to survive several weeks of research. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, they should start their video early on in the project.
A little overview of this project:
This project was centered around the designing and building of a unique catapult. The catapult is made to aim and hit several targets with varying sizes. What I’ve learned from this challenge is that distance is not everything; just because my catapult can shoot the furthest, doesn’t mean that it’ll win this challenge.
The most challenging part was controlling the Ping-pong ball so that it’ll hit the target. If I could do this project all over again, I would focus more on making sure my catapult can aim well. Overall, this has enriched my knowledge of quadratics very well. By making sure that I fully understood the standard, factored, and vertex form equations and what parts of the parabola they represented. The Summative Execution Errand helped me grasp graphing with quadratic functions on Desmos.
Erin and I’s Catapult:
Graph: Height vs. Time:
Graph: Height vs. Distance:
Video of the Projection:
What is the issue you would like to focus on? What are some of your perceptions or beliefs that you have about the social issue you will be working with?
What is your working research question？
What fear, if any, do you have about starting out on this journey?
What do you hope to gain from this research?
What message do you hope to send about your social issue?
Source: Simon, Denyer. “No Means No: Golden Rule of Consent.” SOS Safety Magazine, 10 Aug. 2016, sossafetymagazine.com/abuse/no-means-no-golden-rule-of-consent/.
Source: Bisley, Naomi. “The We Are Not Surprised Letter and The Importance Of Female Dialogue.” Sleek Mag, 24 Nov. 2017, www.sleek-mag.com/2017/11/21/not-surprised-sexual-harassment-art/.
For my research topic, I would like to focus on the #我也是/#MeToo movement. I feel like this is a major problem in China because the Chinese government has a patriarchal culture and a male-dominated one-party state that obsessively protects those in power. This led to the suppression of the accusations and confrontations brought up by women who have been harassed. The government even apprehended the feminists that were the driving force of this movement in a weak attempt at silencing them. However, as we’re living in an age where technology is developing ever so rapidly, the MeToo movement went viral on Weibo. Though it is ingrained in the traditional culture that it is a virtue of women to be submissive to the wishes of others, I would like to inform the public that it is acceptable to bring light on their harassers.
Somewhere in the middle of China, I was conceived on the side of a swampy road with sinister streetlights that seemed as if they were snickering. It was raining on that day. The sky clouded over to a suffocating grey. The wind picked up and fired bullets of soiled raindrops onto my delicate face. Water pounded on the stone pavement and drowned out my senses. But the distinct smell of dense dust hung heavily in the air and hurt my nostrils. I faintly remember someone crying. Maybe it was me, or maybe it was my mother and father. I didn’t know who they were – and I still don’t know who they are to this day. All I know is that they left me there, on the side of that swampy and muddy road, alone. Maybe they thought I was useless because I was a girl and I was not able to carry on the family name. Maybe it’s because they were unable to afford a baby. Well, either way, luck eventually found me and I was discovered by a very warming family. From then on, they took me to live in Shunyi. No one really ever expected me to become anything more than how my parents were. And definitely, no one expected me to become a part of the glorified Red Guards. Read my journal entries below to follow my journey.
At the end of any revolution, there are always countless changes that were caused by the conflictions. After the cultural revolution, people weren’t as extreme when others disagreed with Mao. For example, if you talk negatively about Mao, people won’t resort to violence to solve the disagreement. And of course, Mao is no longer present, but communism still is. People went to school again and high schoolers were allowed to graduate. Needless to say, there are also things that stayed the same. China was still led by the Communist Party. The Chinese’s respect and trust for the major leader groups haven’t changed. Chairman Mao is still remembered as the great leader and founder of the People’s Republic of China.
In the video above, we used ideas from the Common Craft crew and created a short explanation of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (文化大革命). The revolution lasted from 1966-1976. During this period of time, many people called the “Red Guards” tried to push the true Communist ideology onto everyone in China. The Red Guards were the supporters of Mao, and they killed anyone who dared to oppose them. These movements paralyzed China politically and negatively affected the country’s economy and society to a significant degree.
The government is the leading icon of a nation. They are expected to follow laws, respect privacy, and use the trust and resources from its people to improve their country. But, what if the government goes behind the country’s back and abuse its power? What if the government is far from everything we’d expected it to be? People are supposed to be able to rely on the government for privacy and safety; however, the government is causing the issues as opposed to solving them. The government has been dragged into the light by a former member of the CIA, Edward Snowden. In the book No Place to Hide, Snowden has exposed how government organizations have been abusing their power to achieve or obtain objectives. I find it very appalling and despicable; therefore, that is the topic that will be discussed in this essay.
Many huge companies have been using their status and money to avoid the consequences of their actions. In an email exposing himself, Snowden said: “When marginalized youths commit minor infractions, we as a society turn a blind eye as they suffer insufferable consequences in the world’s largest prison system, yet when the richest and most powerful telecommunications providers in the country knowingly commit tens of millions of felonies, Congress passes our nation’s first law providing their elite friends with full retroactive immunity – civil and criminal – for crimes that would have merited the longest sentences in  history” (32). Telecommunications providers are usually very secure and well-known. It’s understandable that they are very important and hold a lot of power in society; however, these government organizations should not use their resources to such extents as to sneak past the law. Even if they broke the law trying to accomplish an objective, it is still unfair for corporations to dodge these bullets. In this piece of evidence, we see that the telecommunications providers are using their wealth to bypass the law. They are using their connections with the government to avoid the consequences of the crimes they’ve committed. On the other hand, civilians are being punished for crimes that can’t even begin to compare with what the telecommunications providers have done.
In addition to government organizations abusing their power to surpass the law, “the NSA has also colluded with foreign governments to construct its far-reaching surveillance system. Broadly speaking, the NSA has three different categories of foreign relationships. The first is with the Five Eyes group: the US spies with these countries, but rarely on them, unless requested to by those countries’ own officials. The second tier involves countries that the NSA works with for specific surveillance projects while also spying on them extensively. The third group is comprised of countries on which the United States routinely spies but with whom it virtually never cooperates. Within the Five Eyes group, the closest NSA ally is the British GCHQ. As the Guardian reported, based on documents provided by Snowden, ‘The U.S. government has paid at least £100m to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain’s intelligence gathering programs’”(118). It is normal for government organizations to form relations with foreign countries. But it’s unacceptable when these bonds lead to obtaining private and confidential information from innocent individuals. Government organizations are trusted by their civilians and should not use that trust to get the information they want behind people’s backs. This supports my main point because the NSA is using its power and relations to obtain information from people without informing them about the organization’s actions. And as I’ve mentioned before, the government has a lot more power and resources than the rest of the countries; and this makes it easier for them to use their privileges to achieve their goals.
To think that even our own government organizations would take advantage of their privileges and use it to invade basic privacy without informing the public is just so horrendous. Are government organizations trustworthy anymore? Were they ever trustworthy to begin with? All in all, many organizations have made many sickening and irresponsible decisions; however, I really do hope that they have understood the issues carried by their actions, and launch into restoring that safe environment for their citizens.