Jerry's 8th Grade Blog

It always seems impossible until its done

Reflect and Share

The device I created was a solar powered bike light. The basic mechanism was that during the day a solar panel would charge 3 rechargeable batteries and at night those batteries would power LED lights. Building the circuit was the hardest part of the whole event. I had to make sure that the batteries did not directly go into the LED lights or the Solar panel because that would fry them both. a series of Adaptors and re-connectors was wired into the circuit to make sure that even if the batteries died the solar panel could still directly power the lights. The device works perfectly and multiple tests have been done under direct sunlight and not. I am happy to say that it works perfectly, even though visually it could still use improvement.

Create and improve


First Day (Designing the circuit)

Second day (Building the circuit)

Video of circuit


I feel like the first day my process was quite slow. I was operating blind from some time, I did not use any video guides, or tutorials. Then I had some help from Mr.Jeff, the visting Space X scientist, and created a blueprint of the circuit i was going to use.


Third day (putting the circuit into the case)

Video of Circuit in Case








Progress went quite well today. I am very satisfied. Some complications with the plastic container but nothing major.



4th Day



At the end I painted the whole project and tried, failing so, to make it more “visually appealing”.

Sketch and Plan

Plan/ Timeline for design:

  1. Thursday: Design and integrate, battery, solar panels, switch, and light.
  2. Friday: China Cup ( I would not not be here)
  3. Monday: Finish designing the internal circuits.  Then proceed to Integrate the deodorant stick (outer shell) with the internal circuits.
  4. Wednesday: Continue with technical aspects of the design. Finish the product. Test and refine
  5. Friday: Test design again. Continue to Test until satisfied.  Finish Blog posts




Engineering project Ideas

Task: To build a product or toy that integrates the concept of energy transfer and sustainability.

When I first thought about an Engineering project, my mind instantly went to solar energy. The first website I checked out was one that showed me how to make a solar powered phone recharger; very interesting and useful project, one with many practical benefits, but I kept looking. The idea seemed to be taken already though, and I wanted by project to be unique. The next idea I came across was one that taught me how to make a solar charged bike light. Simple, easy to make and practical; I liked the Idea. This one would actually help me in my daily life, making the roads safer after the sun went down! Continuing on my search I found how to build a solar powered amplifier, a harder but more rewarding project seeing how music is a huge part of my life. The amplifier is going to be difficult to build and require some already made parts, I ruled that one as impractical. I also wanted to make a decorative piece, something I can put up im my house, to achieve this I found a youtube video for making a decorative lanterns in your house; pretty, easy to make and entertaining.


Starting Jazz

This year I joined the Jazz band. Jazz is a new form of music to me, there were and still is some aspects of Jazz that I am struggling on.

An aspect of Jazz that I am particularly struggling in is Rhythm. In Classical music ( the form of music that I am most comfortable in) every note is split into 2 parts, and it is played with an emphasis on the  down beat.But in Jazz, every note is split into 3 parts. The emphasis is then switched to the upbeat. The change from 2’s to 3’s is particularly hard for me, and I find myself using a metronome for the most basic of rhythms. I would like to work on Rhythm, and in particular sight-reading Jazz pieces

In this piece, I tried to sight read a Jazz piece. One can see that because of my focus on rhythm I have lost many notes and many accidentals. In Jazz the emphasis is on the offbeat, I can’t do that in sight reading. My main focus, the Rhythm, was also slightly offbeat and I was rushing. I hope that through months of practice I can improve my sight reading in Jazz.

First 3 weeks of Band…

The sounds of the band room assaulted my ears on the first morning of class. The familiar routine of opening my case, assembling my saxophone, and playing music came all back to me. Mr. Long was still Mr. Long, with the beard and the white baton, handing out music and constantly reminding me of my posture. I was now in High School band, a band with the full array of instrument needed, In Middle School we were missing some of the bass instruments (Tubas and Baritones), but now we had the full array. The music that I was required to play was more complicated than what I was used to, but I think with practice I can master them all. An aspect of Band I am hoping to learn more about this year is Jazz Band, Mr. T and Mr. Ford lead that particular band I have been to all 3 of the practice sessions. Jazz seems so complicated, and the improv part of it is just scary, I do have some friends and classmates to help me along the way though. Band this year should be fun and challenging (especially the jazz part) and I am looking forward to the year.

The wisdom from the Capstone

Through the Capstone Project I have learned more about the rich and the poor in this world, especially about Gentrification. Before the project I already knew a great deal about overpopulation, but what I did not know about is Gentrification; Bowser and further research has showed me the extent of the problem. I know that I have lived a sheltered life, but I still did not know how bad the lives of the poor were. When I asked people just across the street from school they would not even talk to me, I tried to approach people I was polite and respectful, but I had a non-Beijing accent. That moment that the people heard me speak they left. The next time I do this project I would change my topic, the best topic is a topic that allows you to interact with locals and problems that affects peoples live right now, not some problem that will kill us in 50 years. The Capstone project is a fun project and very educating, my advice is to have fun and do your research properly.

The Math Catapult Challenge



Journal Entry Number #4

Dried Version

Non Dried Version

“Toughened”, the polymer we made, was an overall success. It harden in Contact with air in a relatively short time, around 2 hours, and could be moulded into any shape. The drawbacks of this design is that if the material gets wet again it loses its integrity, also it gets flaky if it is too dry. The last prototype was the most successful, it was just the right mixture, both sticky but retaining its original shape. I would suggest a little more oil added to the mixture, this would allow the polymer to be smoother and to not get flaky as it dried. The method of making this Polymer is in Journal Number #3.  The design process for this Polymer was mostly just trial and Error, the graph already provided the the materials and their effects on a polymer, all we needed was the right mixture.

Polymer Journal Entry #3

Creation of toughened ( the polymer) by Jerry

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