The Capstone Project

In the Capstone project, I learned more about the political aspects of air pollution in China and also its many causes. I helped raise awareness about air pollution in the ISB community. My values, opinions or belief did not change as a result of this project. I used the experience I gained from surveying people in the Hutong trip and interviewing skills that I learned to collect information from members within and outside of the ISB community. If I could do this project differently, I definitely would have done much more research on my topic before planning my paper; some sources used in my paper were gathered during the writing phase. To next year’s grade 8 students, I advise you to stay organized during the Capstone project. Collect lots of information from a variety of different sources. Make sure, at every stage of the project, you know what your motive is and what you are researching for. Keep a clear head while writing your paper, and you’ll be fine.

The documentary/PSA I made for the Capstone project:

The Unfortunate Consequence of a Project on Catapults

This is a blog post with the purpose of reflecting on the grade 8 catapult project, designed to test our understanding of quadratic functions and the design process in a variety of ways.

In this project, we learned how to apply the material covered in class by combining it with the design process to create a prototype that met the success criteria. The success criteria also included the task of successfully completing two or more challenges out of three. We were expected to use the data analysis tools on Logger Pro along with our knowledge of quadratic functions to consistently complete these tasks.

The most challenging part of this project for me was most definitely creating a final product that met the success criteria; I’m not exactly the best when it comes to designing and building prototypes.

If I were to do this project again, I would change how we structured our design from the very beginning. Our way of creating tension in the catapult wasn’t the most efficient or successful, and consequently, we didn’t have incredibly consistent results. However, we did meet the success criteria.

This project was a great way to apply my knowledge of quadratic functions beyond pure mathematics.

Polymer Journal #4

This is the fourth and final journal entry concerning our polymer project in Science. We made two prototypes in total, one incredibly unsuccessful and one slightly more successful. We didn’t develop any of our own recipes for our slimes due to our successive failures, as our plan was to start with gloop and alter the recipe until we got the best product. For the first prototype, we tried to make gloop. We failed fantastically. For the second prototype, we made gloop. We succeeded.

Our second prototype was much more successful at meeting our goal, as it was more bouncy than the first and was dryer, thus more aesthetically pleasing and absorbs more force.

For a method of creating our “final design,” I will present the procedure to create our second prototype:

1. Start off with the recipe for gloop.
2. Finish with the recipe for gloop.

Prototype #1.

Our first prototype failed most likely due to our overuse of glue; it came out too wet and a bit too sticky. It wasn’t bouncy at all and failed drastically. However, it did manage to stick to surfaces pretty well.

Prototype #2.

Our second prototype was bouncy but wasn’t very sticky at all; it couldn’t stick to surfaces consistently. It could have been slightly more elastic as well, but it met the criteria for bounciness.

Possible changes we could have done if we had more time was to alter the ratio of Borax solution to white glue; that would have given us a good ratio between sticky and bouncy, while also keeping the surface of the polymer relatively dry (so it’s more aesthetically pleasing and less messy). It was quite challenging to come up with these ratios as we were doing our tests since we weren’t really given guidelines on exact values; we were meant to find the values through trial and error.

All in all, we weren’t very satisfied with our final product, but I feel that the steps we took towards getting a satisfactory product were in the right direction.

This is the infomercial that we made for our product:


“It was a pleasure to burn.” (Bradbury 7) In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury creates a world where individuals on this production line they call society are swept into whirlpools of kerosene and eventually, fire. There are many overarching topics and themes to this book, such as conformity and censorship, but the one that will be examined in this blog post is: the prevalence of technology preys on pliant minds.

In Fahrenheit 451, the people of the society tend to seek out mindless, brainwashing entertainment. As an example, Mildred is always seen walking around with her “seashells,” little earpieces that you could use in order to listen to mindless talk as entertainment. “And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind.” (Bradbury 16) The use of the word “seashell” is most likely a reference to the non-stop, roaring sound of the ocean you hear when you hold a seashell up to your ear. Another excellent example of mindlessness is when Mildred asks Montag for permission to install a fourth parlor wall, although it’s incredibly expensive: “‘It’s only two thousand dollars.’ ‘That’s nearly one-third of my yearly pay.’ ‘It’s only two thousand dollars,’ she replied.” (Bradbury 24) These passages of dialogue display Mildred’s reliance on technology and a detachment from reality mirrored later, when her friends are discussing the best candidate in the presidential election and the war.

In this book, Bradbury is trying to teach us the importance of keeping contact with the real world, rather than spend all our time on the mindless entertainment that may come with the prevalence of technology. Those who only seek mindless entertainment will fall victim to its alluring grasp. It is clear how influential technology has become in Fahrenheit 451, and it should also be clear how influential technology has become in our society. In Fahrenheit 451, the decline of thought was due to the public’s increasing demand for entertainment, not because the government decided to place a ban on books from the start. “There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no!” (Bradbury 61) Technology quickly met people’s demands and intelligent entertainment fell out of favor, resulting in the dead society where everyone is Mildred. In our world today, we may meet similar challenges in the future as technological advancements take place.

In conclusion, an overarching theme in Fahrenheit 451 is the prevalence of technology and how it preys on the pliant minds of society. But such a world, no matter how many technological marvels it contains, will eventually burn, like all the rest.

Polymer Journal #3

We are making a polymer that can stick to surfaces and hopefully have enough bounce to absorb force.

We want the physical properties to include: bounciness, stickiness, some stretchiness, and some rubbery properties.

First, we will try to create a mixture of these properties using the guide given to us on the different materials. We will try to improve our prototype by changing the amounts of individual materials we incorporate into our polymer until the time runs out or until we end up with something satisfactory.

We’ll test our prototypes by evaluating its stickiness (on surfaces), its ability to hold together, and its bounciness. We will do this by sticking it to surfaces and applying forces to it at various strengths. This way, we can test the practicality of our polymer.

Polymer Journal #2

Our goal for the polymer project is to design a polymer that can “round off” table edges or other furniture with sharp edges that could potentially pose a threat to younger children, especially as they are playing and moving around in an irresponsible manner.

Our target audience will be parents with young children; this product could potentially drastically reduce the number of injuries that occur in their families.

Some base polymers with useful characteristics we might consider for our polymer is Gloop, as it is quite bouncy and isn’t incredibly sticky; this could reduce the amount of force a child feels upon impact with an edge. Super Slime might also be worth considering as it is quite soft.

Polymer Journal #1

The main point of this blog post is to gather information regarding synthetic materials.

Key terminology

Polymer: polymers are substances that have a molecular structure chiefly or entirely composing of similar units bonded together.

Synthetic materials: man-made materials.

Natural resources: resources that exist without actions of humankind.

Monomer: a molecule that can be bonded to other molecules to form a polymer.

Examples of natural resources

Natural resources come in two types: biotic and antibiotic.


A basic example of an antibiotic natural resource.


An example of a biotic natural resource, as it is a fossil fuel that forms from dead plant matter.

Examples of synthetic materials


Nylon rope.

The first step in creating nylon is combining two sets of molecules to create polymers; one set with an acid group and another with an amine group (a specific type of organic compound, thus can be considered a natural resource). A common example is hexamethylenediamine monomers with adipic acid. This process is called polymerization. The chemical reaction needed in order for the polymerization to occur involves large amounts of heat and use of water as a dissolvent. Some examples of where nylon is used in society today are umbrellas and nylon rope.


Many empty blue and green water bottles.

Plastics are composed from a wide range of polymers. Most plastics are chiefly composed of organic material (of or derived from living matter, chiefly consisting of carbon), such as ethylene (a natural resource). The chemical reaction that takes place which leads to the polymerization of these monomers involves a catalyst and subsequent reactions between said carbon atoms. Plastics are used everywhere in society today; from containers to electrical circuit boards.


Welcome to the Real World

View the fake Facebook page here:

Created using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork is a realistic fiction book centered around a boy named Marcelo, who has an autism-like condition whose description is closest to that of Asperger’s syndrome. The purpose of this blog post is to characterize Marcelo and to describe his relationship with other characters in the book. Creating a fake Facebook page will be able to fulfill this task, as it is a platform that can showcase dialogue between characters.

The story starts with Marcelo at the beginning of summer; he is excited about his summer job at Paterson (training the ponies), the private school he attends. However, his father has different plans for him. Specifically, plans for Marcelo to work with his father at a law firm. The conflict of the book involves Marcelo making a decision to expose one of the law firm’s biggest clients, Vidromek, by releasing a confidential memo regarding the safety of windshields produced by the company.

Throughout the book, Marcelo refers to himself from a third person perspective, hence his message to Aurora (“How will Marcelo cope” instead of “How will I cope”). The first post on his Facebook page, “I am looking forward to my summer job at Paterson. Training the ponies will be fun,” may seem uncharacteristic of a 17-year-old boy, but Marcelo has always been very straightforward with his use of language. Aurora has always been a very supportive mother; she understands the internal conflicts Marcelo experienced as he was debating whether or not to release the memo, and she keeps her distance without approaching the situation directly. “Dinner is on the stove. Whenever you want to talk, I’m here. Love you, Mom.” (Stork 302) On the other hand, Arturo isn’t exactly the kindest of fathers when it comes to Marcelo. “The face of Arturo the father does not come out as often for me as it does for my sister, Yolanda. I get more of Arturo the lawyer.” (Stork 19) Wendell and Jasmine are people that Marcelo meets at the law firm; Wendell has always talked to Marcelo as if he was greatly superior, and Marcelo further alienates him after he releases the memo. On the other hand, Jasmine is Marcelo’s assigned partner and quickly becomes close friends with him; she was the one who helped Marcelo get hold of the Vidromek memo in the first place.