Nathan's blog

"Every now and then, we have those moments that define us, for better or for worse. And instinct takes over… because in that moment, we don't think and just act. Those moments show who we are and what we're made of. And at that time, we surrender our facades and reveal our true selves to the world. Those moments will test us and shape us into what we will become."

Science Project Reflect and Share

Final product

Below are a video and pictures of my final product. This model works by converting light energy from the sun into electrical energy (through the wires into the motor), which is then used to power a motor, transforming into mechanical energy. This is done as when the photons from the sun hit the solar panel, it knocks the electrons away from the silicon atoms. The moving flow of electrons initiates a flow of electric current, which then flows through the wires into the motor. The motor transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy by using electric current to turn an axle. This axle is then used to spin a fan, generating the wind.

Some areas I was successful in was generally getting it to work. The velcro would stick together nicely, and worked well. The solar panel  was able to be adjusted as planned, so it could be repositioned to face the sun when needed. In my prototype, the wires were free and could get stuck in the fan. To change this, I put a “pocket” for the wire to go through, so that way it wouldn’t get caught in the fan. Some improvements I could make could include a cover for the solar panel, so that way, instead of moving the entire platform, they could just cover up the solar panel to stop the fan as a sort of “switch.” Another thing I could improve would be to make the velcro more secure/clean or find a secondary adhesive, as some of the velcros seemed to not stick as well as other parts for some reason. Also, the solar panel was too weak, so maybe next time find a stronger solar panel that could generate more electricity or find a more efficient fan. If the solar panel was more efficient and the fan could be stronger, it could be environmentally friendly as they could just use renewable energy to keep them cooler, instead of using normal and traditional methods.

This is a video of my final product:

#3 Create and Improve

Entry 3 – Wednesday

So far, for the prototype, the base and most of the materials have been gathered. However, I will not be making the block of wood/stand for the fan and solar panel as that will waste unnecessary materials. When trying to directly connect the solar panel to the motor, it doesn’t make the motor spin, which confused me. This really slowed my progress, as I spent a long time trying to figure out why the motor wasn’t spinning. I used a cardboard base as it’s quick and easy to get cut out for the prototype.

Entry 4 – Tuesday (I wasn’t here on Friday)

So far, I managed to complete my first prototype. After asking for help, I found out the reason why the motor wasn’t spinning was due to the fact that the solar panel didn’t generate enough energy to fit that specific motor type’s needs. I later swapped it out for a smaller motor, which worked with the solar panel. I decided to not make a stand for the solar panel in the prototype as I was running out of time, having wasted a lot of time on trying to figure out why the motor didn’t spin, instead made a makeshift stand using a spare wheel. I made my stand for the fan out of cardboard as it was quick and simple to use. I used velcro so that way it would be easy to take off the fan and be able to readjust it if necessary. The video above shows how it worked. For my final, I intend to make the stand for the solar panel adjustable/repositionable so that way it can face the sun as the position of the sun changes. Also, I intend to make the stand for the fan out of wood so that way it’s sturdier and won’t break easily. A problem with this prototype was that the propellers didn’t really generate that much wind. To attempt to resolve this issue, I tried using different propellers (as there weren’t any other types of solar panels that would have generated more electricity). However, the propeller that had three still seemed to be the best in generating wind.

 Here is a video of my prototype.

Tutor Training – Prior to the start

During semester 2, I will be taking tutor training. I’ve personally always believed that curiosity is the root of all learning, and without curiosity, no one will ever ask why and how, and won’t bother trying to actually learn anything. Instead, they will just memorize whatever is being thrown at them for the next test and then forget it. Then they repeat. Without curiosity, humanity will stagnate. No one will want to try anything new and opportunities will be wasted.

I’ve always been a curious person, and because of that, always badgered my family and brother in particular about how things worked. I know what it’s like having my curiosity satisfied, and I wish to pass that on to other people. Instead of stemming the flow of questions and curiosity, I wish for it to continue in other people.

When I was younger, in 7th and 8th grade, I have helped a few of my friends with math. Often calling, we’d go over math problems and I’d try my best to explain it. However, there have been times where I wasn’t sure how to explain a concept or help guide them to a question without directly giving them the answer. There have been many times where I wasn’t sure how to explain clearly. I have also been on the other end of the spectrum – sometimes not quite understanding a few concepts in math, where it took extra days for me to grasp. This is why I decided to take Tutor training. I hope I will learn to be a more effective and helpful tutor, and be able to help other people understand what is going on.

2018-2019 Science Engineering Project Blogpost 1 and 2

Entry 1:

What is this engineering task?
Design and build a device/machine that shows the transfer of energy
What are you thinking about doing?
These are some ideas:
Embedded pictures/videos

Solar powered car
Pros: Do-able,
Cons: Unoriginal, can’t really change/modify it.

Solar powered hat fan:

Pros: Useful, practical (sort of).
Cons: Don’t want to cut a hat, costs a lot. Original, but how do you modify it?

Hydro-powered motor
Pros: Useful, do-able, practical
Cons: wasteful, simple,

Pros: useful, real-life application
Cons: unpractical sometimes, water gets everywhere.

Solar mobile charger

Pros: Doable, practical

Cons: Possibly not safe, too simple or fast

Handheld electric generator:

Pros: Practical, do able, safe, simple, can be modified.

Solar powered fan

Pros: Practical, doable, safe, modified

Cons: Not too unique.

Entry 2:

My design sketch:

My Plan:

Wednesday: Gather materials, start to build the prototype, hopefully, will be able to get close to finishing

Friday: Won’t be here as I’ll be in China Cup

Tuesday: Finish prototype, start final project

Thursday: Finish the final project and test it.


Plastic – Potent to Our World and Us

Not only does plastic harm the environment when we throw them away, plastic items are also detrimental to both our world and it’s inhabitants when we create and use them as well. When surveying people, I had to be respectful to the people and had to make sure they had the time and were willing. Before I started this project, I wasn’t too sure how bad plastic was because no one had ever told me about the impact of creating of plastic; I had only heard of the result of throwing them away. I now know how bad they really are. If I could do this project again, I would use a camera stand instead of holding the camera, as the video was shaky sometimes. To the future 8th graders doing the capstone project, try not to procrastinate too much, as the amount you have to do to catch up will continue to grow. I also recommend using a tripod as it makes your video very steady.

Quadratic’s Purposes in Catapults

As an Algebra 1 class, we learned about quadratic equations, where the degree of the expression/equation was 2 (raised to be the power of 2). As part of our learning, we made catapults that fired a ping pong ball in a parabolic shape. We had to come up with a quadratic equation using logger pro and based off those equations we had to move/position our catapult from a target. We had to calculate the optimal position based off our equation to hit the target. There were different challenges, such as the target being placed on an elevated area or the catapult being placed on an elevated area. The purpose was to use quadratic equations to solve real-world problems, in this case, let us use quadratic equations to hit targets. Here is a video of our catapult shooting, and some pictures of the catapult close up/in the process of creating it.

Process: For the first two days, we created and researched designs. We then built it off the blueprints. After it was built, we videoed the catapult firing (after it was consistent) and put it into logger pro. This gave us our height vs time quadratic equation, then put that into desmos. We then put our height vs time quadratic on desmos and compared the height, y int, and roots of the actual distance of our catapult. After trial and error, we got our height vs distance equation.

The most important learning from this project was how to use our quadratic formula in real-world problems, change positions of the catapult or the target based on the equation. I found the actual building of the catapult challenging, as I didn’t have a partner for half the time, and struggled with time and decisions. If I could do it differently next time, I’d place more weight/make the base heavier, because directly after firing, the catapult would tilt forward and almost fall, possibly changing the path of the ball. This project helped my understanding of quadratic equations because this was a real-world application that we had to reposition our targets based on the equations. We had to know which value to change, or the how we know where to move the position of the target.

Polymer Journal #1



“Polymer.” Knowledge Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, 2 Apr. 2018,
Francois, Carol. “How Is Nylon Made?” Edited by Bronwyn Harris, WiseGEEK, Conjecture Corporation, 13 Apr. 2018,
“Rayon.” How Products Are Made, Advameg, 2018,