Nightmare Design Reflection

My nightmare design was supposed to be a demolished world where monsters have destroyed everything. I created broken ceilings, zombies emerging from the ground and a dragon appearing from a building. My idea originally came from my nightmare of the dragon in The Hobbit. I built upon the dragon and added many more beasts into the nightmare. The shredded pieces of newspaper in the back are rubble, the newspaper coming from the dragon’s mouth is supposed to be fire and the backdrop is abstract lines to give an atmosphere that conveys fear, mystery and darkness.

I think I was successful in creating my nightmare world in the sense that all of my characters were recognizable to my audience. For example, my dragon looked like a dragon, the zombies looked like zombies, etc. I’m not sure if the stage design evoked any fear from my audience but I feel that if I was put into the world that I created, I would be terrified.

Through the process of creating this design, I learned a lot about the materials I was working with. I realized that in order to create the effect of something emerging from the ground or from the ceiling, I could use a blade to cut the cardboard into flaps and peel the flaps up using my hands. I learned through making the bat that you could create an illusion that something was floating or flying by using thin wires to hold it up. Being more familiar with the materials was only part of what I learned through this project. I also became more knowledgeable about my own skills and limits. I knew what types of things I could draw and what things I couldn’t. I learned which materials were right for which tasks.

To further develop this nightmare world, I think I could make more set pieces and scenery instead of spending so much time on my characters. Most of my buildings were at one height so I think I could create more levels within my piece for actors to be on.

 

This other design was made by Sabrina Lam. You can see the end of an alleyway and two eyes on a brick wall, watching you. There is trash in the bottom corner, blood splattered all over the walls and cobwebs across the design. This design makes me feel like someone is watching and judging me at all times and the eyes really help give us that feeling. The color scheme of red and brown work well together to give us a feeling of fear and violence. The big X written on the floor of the stage makes the audience feel as if it’s “the end” or something bad is about to happen there.

For me, I feel like this piece is extremely symbolic and is free for the audience’s interpretation. In my piece, the fear was quite literal because of all the monsters. In Sabrina’s design, instead of making literal things to scare you, the scary thing is the things that have happened in the alleyway. Many of the things people fear are potential things that could happen. By spray painting blood and red everywhere, the audience can infer whatever they want about what has happened in this alleyway. The X on the ground itself is not scary but what it could symbolize is what makes the piece so terrifying. The way Sabrina induces fear using this stage is by putting set piece that would indirectly scare the audience and that is what is unique about her nightmare world.

Sabrina’s design was very successful both technically and for the purpose of this task. Her was both original and scared people. Her set pieces were very well made like the trash cans. They look like trash cans and also give chances for actors to enter from them. The cobwebs are very well arranged and cleverly used to enhance her design. She was smart with her materials and was able to work around the problems she encountered when running out of red paint.

Although this nightmare world is already very well designed, there are two things that could be added and would complement the stage design. One thing is that she could add more places for actors to enter. When making our nightmare world, we can’t forget that this is a stage design and things need to be strategically placed to help the actors. In the design, the only place actors can make entrances from are the trash cans since the rest of the stage is blocked off by the two walls. I know that the idea was to make the alleyway a dead end and there was no escape, but it would be nice if she had hidden doors for actors to enter. Another thing she could add is some things hanging from the cover. Although the picture doesn’t show it, there is meant to be a cover over the design to make the alleyway darker and more mysterious. If there were things hanging from the ceiling (dead people? Bats? Spiders?), that would make the design more interesting.

In short, this project was extremely fun to do. We were granted a lot of freedom to design whatever we wanted. We were able to use all the different materials provided to us and now, we have a better understanding of which materials can create what types of effects. We all got a chance to express our creativity and imagination and I think the things we learned from this are valuable lessons we can keep with us whenever we are designing.

Hold Your Breath

The capstone project has taught me a lot about the current situation of air pollution in China and the government’s involvement in this issue. Doing this project and filming the documentary, we spread awareness about air pollution and how serious the issue is. For the next 8th graders, the capstone project may start out as one of those long, tedious research projects but after writing the essay, filming the documentary was an incredibly fun and interesting. I would suggest you film with a partner so you can get two camera angles for the interviews. Two tripods and two cameras is a lot to carry for one person. Using clips from the internet, you can still make an amazing video, however, using  your own footage is a lot more impressive and professional.

Catapults and Quadratics

The purpose of the catapult project was to allow us to demonstrate understanding of quadratics and be able to apply mathematical practices to real life. In this challenge, we each designed and created catapults and used Logger Pro to come up with a quadratic equation that represented the trajectory of the ball. Below is our design for the catapult:

After building multiple prototypes, we came up with this catapult:

Here is a video of our catapult launching:

Throughout the process of creating our catapult, testing it, and completing the challenges, we encountered many obstacles. The first problem was the consistency of our shots. We realized that it was difficult to pull the ball back to the same exact place every single time. To solve this problem, we glued on two popsicle sticks to restrict the motion of the popsicle that was pulled back so that it would always be pulled back to one spot and would not move very much when released.

Another problem that, in my opinion, prevented our catapult from launching the ball on the target consistently was how far our catapult launched. Unlike other catapults that launched 1 to 3 meters, ours launched almost five meters. This made it harder to hit targets consistently because of the numerous factors that could affect the trajectory of the ball such as wind.

Next time, I would either choose a different design for our catapult or pull the ball back less so that it would not shoot as far.

Not only was this project extremely fun, it also taught me a lot about quadratics and real life application. Having to create equations that modelled the flight path of our catapult in all three forms – standard form, factored form, and vertex form – and explain each term mathematically and in the context of the problem really confirmed my knowledge about quadratics.

Polymer Journal #2

Polymers can be very useful in solving problems. Ceramic plates, cups, and bowls are very easy to break. They slide easily off tables and once they drop to the ground, they crack. I would like to create a polymer that would help avoid situations that would cause these expensive, fragile things to fall.

My polymer will be stuck onto the bottom of kitchenware like plates and bowls. The friction against the polymer and the table will make it much harder for plates to slide across the table and fall. My target audience would be anyone that owns any sort of plates, cups, or bowls.

The four polymers that we created had similar and different physical characteristics. I liked how sticky the super slime was. I think that would work well because it would stick to the plates easier. I would also like it if my polymer was less slimy like gloop because the polymer would be in contact with a dinner table and close to food.

Polymer Journal #1

Synthetic materials are manmade things while natural resources are natural and not altered by humans.

Polymers are large molecules made up of many monomers. They form through polymerisation where molecules of a simple compound join together.

One type of synthetic polymer that has many uses is plastic. Although plastic is a synthetic polymer, it is created from oil. There are many ways plastic can be used. Tons of plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic wrap and much more are made and used by society today.

Another type of synthetic polymer is polyester. Polyester is a type of fabric that is used for many types of clothing. One of the main ingredients that make up polyester is ethylene. In order to form, polyester dimethyl terephthalate reacts with ethylene glycol.

Some examples of natural polymers are cotton, silk, wool and natural rubber. These are all made from natural resources like plants and animals.

Citations:

Lazonby, John. “Polymers: an Overview.” The Essential Chemical Industry Online, www.essentialchemicalindustry.org/polymers/polymers-an-overview.html.

“Polyester.” How Products Are Made, www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Polyester.html.

Helmenstine, Anne Marie. “What Is Plastic? Definition and Examples.” ThoughtCo, www.thoughtco.com/plastic-chemical-composition-608930.

Image citations:

“PET Plastic Products Are Recycled More Than Any Other.” Polychem USA, 11 Oct. 2017, www.polychem-usa.com/pet-plastic-products/.

“Micro Polyester Fabric.” Indiamart.com, www.indiamart.com/proddetail/micro-polyester-fabric-16161917891.html.

World Issues: Pollution


This unit, I’ve decided that I would focus on air pollution and the main causes of it in China. I believe that air pollution is a huge problem in China and is extremely harmful to those that live here. The research question that I created (still a draft) is “What are the main causes of air pollution in China?” As the question is still a draft, I will revise it later on.

I don’t have many fears about this journey we are all beginning but something I’m kind of intimidated by is the film and essay we are creating at the end of the research process. Through this research, I would like to learn more about pollution and it’s harmful effects on us. Through learning about pollution in China, I think I would also gain information about China.

I would like to spread my knowledge about pollution through my work. Many already know what pollution is and the biggest cause of it – the burning of fuel – but I would like to raise awareness to the causes that are less known and when knowing the causes, people may begin to think about solving this problem.

Some feedback that would be really helpful would be some constructive criticism on my research question. I believe it might be a bit broad and I could probably get some advice on how to improve.

Image citation: PRESS, ASSOCIATED. “Court Orders EPA to Redo Air-Pollution Limits in 13 States.”Alabama Today, 28 July 2015, altoday.com/archives/4999-court-orders-epa-to-redo-air-pollution-limits-in-13-states.

Sami: Life During the Syrian Revolution

I was born in Syria. My now deceased father named me Sami, meaning “elevated”. I am 25 years old and living in the City of Daraa with my mother. Below, is a journal I wrote during the Syrian revolution that I am living through now.

Nowadays, both sides are still fighting, resulting in more and more deaths. Chemical bombings continue like the one that happened recently like Khan Shaykhun. So far, there hasn’t been a lot of change in the government since Assad is still in power.

Ever since the start of the Syrian Revolution, the bombings and war has resulted in much more destruction in Syria. More countries have gotten involved in this conflict. The US has bombed parts of Syria and given weapons to the rebels. Russia has supported Assad and declared ceasefires. The UN also declared multiple ceasefires, resulting in no change. The people of Syria have gained more courage to stand against Assad. Before the revolution, they were afraid of him but now, there are many rebels fighting against him.

Made with Flipsnack

Protest After Protest, This is The Seemingly Endless Syrian War

The Arab Spring is affecting millions in the world right now. Assad ruled his people with fear and for a while, people accepted his ways. But now it was about time someone stood against him. This revolution started in Tunisia when the first protester ended up in flames, triggering reactions all across the Middle East, starting protests everywhere. One of the countries that was affected by the events that occurred in Tunisia was Syria which this video focuses on. The Syrian War was heavily influenced by the revolution in Tunisia and it all started with just a 14-year-lold boy spraying graffiti.  After being punished severely for his actions as the words he sprayed were against the government, protests began and Assad treated them with violence, using chemical weapons and bombs. Today, this war still continues, millions praying for an end that may or may not come.