Blogpost #4: Reflect and Share

Show your final product through photos and/or video

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

The motor, powered by the battery, converts electrical energy into kinetic energy, making the tin fan move. The movement of the tin fan then pushes air forward towards the end of the bottle where the holes are (aka exhaust port). When the air particles are driven forward, the air pressure (density) of the air particles increases in front of the fan (ambient air pressure) and decreases in the back of the fan. The pressure drop behind the fan drops below the pressure level outside the vacuum cleaner. The ambient air then pushes itself through the front opening of the vacuum cleaner because the air pressure inside the vacuum cleaner is lower than the pressure on the outside. Therefore, when the air, or the friction, push inside, it sweeps up the dirt and debris at the same time. The reason that my project does not work that well is that there is not enough air stream being created by the fan despite changing the material into a more sturdy kind.

Explain the areas you were successful in the product/process

During the engineering process, I successfully found a creative project and modified it into my design. During the building process, I successfully conquered all the problems that occurred and found others ways to cope and adapt to the situation. For example, when the Aquaphor bottle cap extended the space needed for the fan, I adapted by cutting more tin from the coke cans to cover up the holes.  Although my product does not entirely work, I believe that the concept is still there, and it can still successfully serve as an example of energy transfer and air pressure to physics students.

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

If I could redo this project, some things that I could improve on is making a more thorough building plan. This is because if I left more material on the bottle instead of cutting it away, there would’ve been enough space for the fan after modifying the design. If I had more time, I would improve on the power of the fan, finding more ways to create a sturdy air flow for vacuuming. I would also shorten the tub more so that it would be easier for the debris to be swept inside.

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

This project is environmentally friendly because it is made out of recyclable material such as plastic, cardboard, etc. Not only are we recycling materials to build this vacuum, but the vacuum itself can also clean up messes and debris, which helps the environment become a cleaner place.

As for its potential consumer, I think it is a very handy device that can be used every day, whether it’s a student using it to clean their desk, or just someone cleaning up tiny messes on the floor or table. It is a lot more convenient to use than bringing out the big vacuum cleaner.

Although this project does not entirely work, it can still be used in class as demonstrations for energy transfer and conservation of energy (electrical energy transfers into kinetic, with sound and heat wasted). It could also be easily used to model in a Sankey Diagram. Besides teaching students energy transfer, it also serves as a unique example of air pressure. Students learn that because there is less pressure inside the bottle (fewer molecules, collisions, and force), and more pressure outside the bottle, the total force is directed inwards, pushing the debris inside the bottle.


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Blogpost #3: Create and Improve

January 17th In Class



January 17th After School:

January 23rd After School:


Progress Reflection:

January 17th In Class:
Lots of progress was made today. I managed to cut the bottles and solder through the bottom of the bottles for the airway. I created a fan out of plastic with a radius of 3.5cm. However, after observing how hard and thick the material was, I concluded that adjusting it into the shape that I wanted was unlikely. Therefore, I modified to a tin fan (changes made in the model).

January 17th After School:
After getting the wires sorted out, I attached the tin fan with the motor and hot glued it into the bottle. However, I realized that the motor wasn’t working because the hot glue had sealed the motor shut. From this setback, I then decide to use the cap of a small Aquaphor healing ointment bottle to give the motor space while being able to glue it onto the bottle. (changes made in the model).

Feedback from others:
• “How are people going to turn the vacuum on?”
• “Where is the battery and on/off switch going to be?”
• “How can you stop the bottle from losing air flow?”
• “I like the idea, but how does it work?”
• “Put the on/off button in an easy-to-hold position.”

January 23rd After School:
From the feedback, I realized that after using the Aquaphor bottle cap, the cap increased the estimated size the fan was going to take, and the large bottle could not be sealed shut. Without the seal, air would be lost, which would completely lose the point of this project. Therefore, I decided the cut more tin out of the coke cans to seal the hole and at the same time, give the project a nice aesthetic. (changes made in the model). My classmates were also wondering how convenient the on/off switch would be. Originally, it was going to be on a cardboard holder, however, with the feedback given I decided to put it on top of the cardboard box so users can easily pick the vacuum up and press the button to start/stop. (All pictures are at the top).

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Blogpost #2: Develop and Plan

January 15th

Today, I decided to create a homemade vacuum cleaner as it appeared to be the most efficient and creative project. I’ve created two models as I developed and modified my design.

Initial Model:

From the video, I’ve modified the vacuum cleaner to suit my design. I’ve decided to replace the mosquito net dirtbag with a smaller bottle, so it would be easier to see the dirt and to clean out. I also replaced the bottle cap fan with a plastic fan so that more inflow and outflow of air will be produced, improving the vacuuming quality.

January 17th

Model #2/Final Model:

(Process is documented in Blogpost #3) After several testing with the vacuum cleaner built from my initial model, I noticed many flaws. First, the plastic fan could not be adjusted to produce enough inflow and outflow of air to vacuum. Therefore I modified from plastic to tin. Second, the wheels on the vacuum created holes in the bottle that leaked air, hurting the air flow. Therefore, I got rid of the wheels. Third, I realized that putting the battery on the side of the bottle created an imbalance of weight that made the vacuuming process very inconvenient. Therefore, I replaced the design with a single box on top of the vacuum cleaner that would hold the battery and on/off switch.

January 23rd 

Final Model:

Throughout testing, I had to constantly readjust due to conflicts with my project. For example, the motor couldn’t be hot glued, so I used an Aquaphor bottle cap for space. Therefore, I used extra tin from the coke cans to cover up the holes in the bottle. (Documented in blogpost #3). The final model that I ended up with was one that is very different from the video that I watched, and reflects my design and modification process.

Work Timeline:
January 15th: Plan & Gather Materials
January 17th: Bring Materials and start building
January 17th After School: Continue to build/finish
January 23rd After School: Finish & Refine Project
January 24th-27th: Reflection and Blog Posts


  • Large Pepsi bottle
  • Small coke bottle
  • 2 Coke cans
  • Battery; Motor; On/off switch; 5-6 wires
  • Large tubes
  • Cardboard
  • Soldering Iron
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Box Cuter
  • Masking Tape
  • Aquaphor Bottle Cap
  • Bottle Cap
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Blogpost #1: Define and Inquire

The engineering task is to think like an engineer and create one of the following: Design and make a toy that converts energy, take a renewable energy source and convert it to electrical energy, design and create a device that transfers energy and design or make a device that can be used to learn physics. Through this project, we can also produce something that is beneficial to our community.

Although I have not yet made up my decision, there are many possibilities that I am open to and considering.

One idea that I found was tumbling toys. These include a variety of toys including an ordinary tumbling toy or monkey ladder toy. These toys show gravitational pulls. These DIY ideas are rather simple and easy to make (and to add my designs onto) that can be used for demonstrations in class or as a toy for children. However, they are pretty simple and could be done in a 5-10-minute process which doesn’t allow for any modifications.

Another idea was a static sphere, which represents static electricity and the law of motion. The idea seems very fun and cool to use during class and demonstrations. However, I haven’t found any ways to create it yet, but it could be feasible with a little more research.

The last idea is a home vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners convert electrical energy into kinetic energy (with sound and heat energy wasted) and use the motion of the motor to create a region of low pressure inside the vacuum, and high pressure outside the vacuum. Total force is then directed inwards due to Pout>Pin and debris is swept inside. This project can be used during class to help students learn about energy transfer and air pressure. It can also be used to easily clean up messes on your desks or floors instead of using the real sized vacuum cleaners. However, it is uncertain that enough inflow and outflow of air will be produced to vacuum.

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The Detrimental Effects of China’s Reliance On Fossil Fuels

Through Capstone and learning about Energy Consumption, I have learned that this is a significant issue that people often ignore. The process of Energy Consumption and sustainability is an important one because there is no life without energy. Furthermore, it is important for us to understand its development, as it affects us every day. What I have contributed may not be much, as energy production is a very controlled and complicated topic, however, what I have done is raised awareness about its significance. What I have done is I have attempted to start a conversation. My opinions on energy production have changed from complete ignorance to awareness of its development, and its journey. Skills I have drawn upon when engaging with the community is understanding a variety of perspectives and backgrounds for each person. It really gives a different view of our community when you see it building off of all these different values and opinions. If I could do this project again, I would work harder on my research and writing so I could reconstruct a more solid writing piece. For next year’s students, I want them to know that when you discover something, keep undercover. The deeper you dig, the more you’ll understand about our society and the essentials that are keeping us alive.

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We Love Catapults

Peer Assess

Height Vs Distance

Height Vs Time

The catapult project is a group work designed for collaboration and for developing a deeper understanding of the unit we are currently studying: Quadratic Functions and Graphing them, through building, and testing a catapult.

The most important learning from this project is to be perseverant. No matter how many times your catapult fails to launch or you fail to develop the correct function, you should never give up and keep trying to find the answer. The most challenging aspect of this project was to get the catapult to shoot into the designated spot. This is because our catapult had several problems with the shooting point. If I had the opportunity to do this project again, I would make my catapult stronger and more stable so I can develop a better aim. This project helped me a lot in understanding quadratic functions because we are putting quadratic functions in a real-life situation. By doing so, we understand how you can found out and use quadratic functions in a more realistic setting.

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Polymer Design Journal #4

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Uglies Official Trailer (2018)

Uglies, is a dystopian fiction written by Scott Westerfeld that connects to real life beauty standards, by reflecting a society where everyone is created equal through aesthetics. The main character, Tally Youngblood starts off just as blinded by the perception of beauty, as any other pretty. The society is split into the uglies and the pretties, where at age 16, the uglies turn into superficial plastics, just like everyone else in the society. However, thanks to Tally’s rebel friend Shay, she later understands that by giving in to the operation, you are turning yourself in as well. “Great, I’ll totally look like every other new pretty in the world.” (Westerfeld, 42). That a person’s look does not determine who there are as a person. “The last thing I want to do, is become some empty-headed pretty having one big party all day.” (Westerfeld, 48) I wanted to create a trailer to represent the theme, beauty loses its meaning, when everyone is equal, because I wanted people to physically see the way society is treating others by judging them based off their aesthetics. I wanted to create a visual where people can realize that being like everyone else is just giving up on who you are as a person. That it’s okay to be imperfect because perfection is unachievable. Flaws are inevitable. But they are what makes us who we are.



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Polymer Journal #3

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Polymer Journal #2

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