Blogpost #3: Create and Improve

On the first day of creating, I gathered the materials that converts mechanical energy to electricity; lights, motor, a wheel and some wires. I spent the entire block trying to connect LED lights, the motor and the wheel together so I can light up the lights. But unfortunately, when I turned the wheel, the LED lights didn’t turn on. Before I could ask someone for help, the class ended.

On the second day of creating, I asked teachers for help. They helped me to check if my motor actually generates electricity. It turned out that my motor only generates minimum amount of electricity. It was not enough to power three lights. Therefore, I changed my motor to the one in this picture. This motor enhanced the amount of electricity produced. But I need a handle to turn this motor in order for it to work efficiently. So, I got a handle out of the gear box and I drilled a hold in the middle of the handle. Then using a metal stick, I attached the handle onto the motor. This time I tried to rotate the handle again, and finally the electricity produced was enough to power all three LED lights. (As it is shown in this video)

On the third day of creating, I brought my mirror and shoe box to class. I measured the size of the mirror and marked it on one side of the shoe box. Then I measured and marked a rectangle that’s slightly smaller than the mirror. Using a box cutter, I cut the rectangle that’s slightly smaller than my mirror and removed that piece of cardboard. Then using hot glue, I glued the mirror onto the side with the rectangular opening.  Then I tried to glue the motor to the inside, on bottom of the box. But then I realized the wires are too short to reach the top. So, I got a plastic cup and glued the motor onto the plastic cup. This way the handle sticks out and the LED lights can reach the top of the box. In order for the LED lights to light up the mirror, I cut three little crosses and put LED lights through them. Finally, I cut a hole using a box cutter so the handle sticks out of the box and it is easier to reach for. Then I sealed the box with hot glue. Testing my make-up mirror, I turned the handle, all three LED lights turned on and it was bright enough to illuminate the mirror.


On the fourth day, which is the final day of creating, I realized my make-up mirror is not very aesthetically pleasing. So, I got six pieces of color paper and I chose the color blue because it is soothing to human eyes. Then I marked the size of the six sides and made amendments, so it fits the surface area of each side. Then using double sided tape, I taped all six pieces on to the make-up mirror.  When everything Is done, I tested my mirror again. I turned the handle and surprisingly none of the LED lights turned on. I peeked through the hole of the handle and realized that the metal piece which connects the motor to the wires broke off. But it was too late to do anything because everything is sealed inside the box by hot glue. So unfortunately, my make-mirror didn’t end up working like its supposed to.


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Blogpost #4: Reflect and Share

Explain how it works/doesn’t work using scientific terminology

On day four when I finally completed this product by sealing the box and covering it with color paper, I turned the handle and realized that all three lights attached to the motor didn’t turn on. I was confused because on day three when I tested it, it worked just fine (see the third pic attached). I checked later on and found out that the metal piece that attaches the wire with the motor broke down. So, the wires couldn’t receive electricity when the handle was turned and therefore it couldn’t power the light. But there was nothing I can do about it since all the wires and the motor are sealed inside the box by hot glue.

Explain the areas you were successful in the product/process

During this project, I think I was successful in coming up a decent design that’s astatically pleasing and practical. If the motor didn’t break, my design, a make-up mirror would be very effective with the handle turning mechanical energy to electrical energy. After I sealed the wires and motors inside the box. I used blue color paper to cover the six sides of the box, concealing all the flaws on the cardboard and some glue sticking out on the edge.

Explain the areas you need to improve in the product/process

In this project, I need to check my materials before I start constructing. This time when the motor broke, there was nothing I could do to make the lights turn on again. I later realized that the motor broke because there was too much melted metal on the piece that connects wires to the motor. Next time in a project like this, I will check all the materials and engines, making sure that everything is working properly. Then I will start the constructing process. Also, next time I will make the handle longer so it is easier to turn and generate electricity.

Explain the impact of this project on the environment and potential client/consumer.

My product a make-up mirror, is made from mostly carboard, paper and plastic. These materials are easy to buy from and it is easy to dispose of by recycling. Adding on to that, the electricity used to power the LED lights are derived from mechanical energy, not battery. Therefore, it causes minimum harm on the environment. My product also satisfies the need of my client and consumer. Since my targeted audience are women and teenage girls, a make-up mirror would be relevant to their needs. It is also convenient because the handle is at the side of the mirror which allows my client to turn on the lights and look in the mirror at the same time. There are three LED lights on the top of this mirror, providing decent lighting and a good view in the mirror. Most importantly, my product is covered with blue paper, making it more aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, my product is relevant to my potential client.

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Blogpost #2: Develop and Plan

Model 1-2 ideas –

Make a plan for time and check/bring materials

Day one-I plan to find motors, wires, a handle and three LED lights. Then connect them together and make sure when I turn the handle it generates enough electricity to power the lights.

Day two-I plan to bring in my mirror and shoe box, so I can put my mirror, LED lights and motor inside the box.

Day three-I plan to test my make-up mirror with everything put into place and make amendments to my product if needed.

Day four- I plan to seal the motors and wires inside the box using hot glue, and then cover all six sides of my box with blue paper.



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Blogpost #1: Define and Inquire

What is this engineering task?

In this project, we will make a product that falls under one of these four categories:

1). A toy that converts energy

2). Taking a renewable energy source and convert it to electrical energy

3). A device that transfers energy

4). A device that can be used to teach physics.

Problem: In this society, the use of batteries not only wastes energy, it is also harmful to the environment. We need to reduce the amount of batteries and energy wasted in our ever day lives.

Solution: We should start saving energy as individuals in our daily lives by converting renewable/mechanical energy into electrical energy. For example, lights that use wind, water or mechanical energy can reduce the amount of batteries used and therefore can benefit the environment. For this project, I am focusing on making a mirror with lights attached. The lights can be turned on by turning and rotating a handle, converting mechanical energy to electricity.

Audience: teenage girls and women: they would like a mirror with lights so when they do or check their makeup, they can see it more accurately with good LED lighting.

What are you thinking about doing? (this can be multiple ideas)

Embed images and links of ideas you like/don’t like

ANALYZE those ideas: What are the pros/cons about those ideas?

1rst idea:

Pros: This product is very aesthetically pleasing, it is made with elaborated details for example the door and the window of the house. The overall material of this product is cardboard which can be recycled and therefore is not harmful to the environment.

Cons: This product is really hard to make, it comprises of a lot of specific materials like copper windings and a permanent DC motor. The design of this product has some problems, it is made to put inside of a house, but it needs some external wind source which is not convenient unless the person who uses this decides to put a fan in front of it all the time.

In order to create this product, certain skills and knowledge are required. For example, you need to know the principle of turbine generator. In the motor, there are copper windings and two magnets. You need to find a way to rotate the copper windings between the two magnets to produce electricity.

2nd idea:

Pros: This product efficiently converted mechanical energy to electrical energy, lighting up three LED lights. Materials used for this product like plastic and paper can be recycled and since LED lights are free of toxic chemicals, it doesn’t harm the environment. The whole look of it is aesthetically pleasing, there are no wires sticking out and the colors yellow, green and pink fits together.

Cons: This product it quite useless, since the three lights are attached on a piece of cardboard, it can’t be used as a flashlight or toy. It’s simply a device that lights up three lights. Also cardboard is not stable, when the handles is turned to convert energy, you need to hold the cardboard in order to keep it still.

In order to create this device, certain skills and knowledge are required. For example, you need the knowledge of the relationship between wires and electricity to make sure the energy goes through the wire correctly and the illuminates LED light bulbs. Also, the wires need to be correctly connected to the axles, so when the handle is turned mechanical energy converts to electrical energy, traveling through the wires.

3rd idea:

Pros: This product, since it is a toy car, attracts a specific group of audience which is kids. It has an actual purpose which is to entertain kids. Also, this car model uses free energy, converting solar energy to electrical energy. Some materials used to create this car model like plastic and wood, are recyclable. Therefore, some parts of the car model are not harmful to the environment.

Cons: The look of the car model is not exactly aesthetically pleasing. If this car is up for marketing, it probably wouldn’t attract any buyers. The use of solar panels can also be a potential problem. Most countries don’t have recycling infrastructure for solar panels. Therefore, solar panels could bring potential harm to the environment.

In order to create the product this product, certain skills and knowledge are required. For example, you need to knowledge of the function of a car to make sure the car takes energy from the solar panel and runs. The wires connecting the wheels to the solar panel also have to be correctly located and attached in order to make this conversion of energy work.



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Ancient Egypt Artworks

Brown Minimalist Fashion Email Newsletter by Emily

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Capstone Project

To make this documentary film, I interviewed many people such as the cleaning man, the lady selling popsicles and the lady working in gardens. None of them have enough financial support to sustain their lives. But the data shows that all of them are satisfied with their lives and they appreciate how life became better than before. This indicates that generally people are positive. I contributed to the society by giving people money after interviewing them. From engaging with the impoverished groups, I learnt how to communicate effectively. I often smiled and ask questions that are not too sensitive. This way, people are more willing to be interviewed. If I were to do this project again, I would add more clips that are not interviews. I want the next year grade 8 students to know that The Capstone project is a very interesting experience.

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Catapult Challenge

In this project we were to design a catapult that fits with the success criteria. Then we had to make the actual catapult by using popsicle sticks, glue, wood or anything that was available. In the next part, we had to film the catapult shooting a ping pong ball. We created equations of height vs time and height vs distance and then we graphed it. During the process of this project, the most important thing I learned is to make different prototypes and fix it if it doesn’t function the way we want it to. It took many trials to make it right. The most challenging aspect is to make the catapult work the way we want it to work. For example, when we were first testing the catapult, it couldn’t throw the ball far enough to reach the targets. So we had to make adjustments to make it right. If I get to do this project one more time, I would plot the dots on logger pro more accurately therefore my equations could be more accurate. Also when I am graphing it, I would use Desmos to graph instead of using my hands. This project enhanced my understanding of quadratic formula by allowing me to apply my math skills to a real life problem. Like we physically built a catapult and measure the height, time and distance.



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Polymer Journal #4

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Pretty Mind VS Pretty Face

Uglies written by Scott Westerfeld is a dystopian novel that takes place in the distant future, where the perception of beauty is deformed and crooked. All the different variations of faces are all singled down to one. The individuality of the main character, Tally Youngblood, is disguised under layers and layers that we need to peel back. Her experience is best to represent the theme that being pretty isn’t about the way you look but the way you think. In this novel, the idea of being visually pleasing is strongly instilled in Tally Youngblood ‘s head just like other citizens. Before her sixteenth birthday, she craves for the flawless skin and the perfect eyes. To Tally, the horizon of the new pretty town is the most amazing view, she described it almost like eternal joy, endless parties, and celebrations. But as Shay run away into the Rusty Ruins, she discovers new a new world, a new way of living. Allowing yourself to become pretty “changes the way you think”. (254 Westerfeld ) Beauty loses it’s meaning and becomes a uniform way of controlling a group of people. The single three words “make me pretty” (406), gave up individuality, freedom, and thoughts. It is powerful enough to control the world.

Therefore, I made a poster with half of the face before surgery and the other half is after the surgery. There are different words on the top that says “Individuality”, “Rebellion”, “Dysfunctional Mind” and “Monotone Life”. Those words indicated how their mind changes after the operation. So, I feel like that it is the best way to represent the theme.

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Polymer Journal #3

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