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."

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

 

Sources:

“Polymer.” Knowledge Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, 2 Apr. 2018, www.madehow.com/knowledge/Polymer.html.
Francois, Carol. “How Is Nylon Made?” Edited by Bronwyn Harris, WiseGEEK, Conjecture Corporation, 13 Apr. 2018, www.wisegeek.org/how-is-nylon-made.htm#didyouknowout.
“Rayon.” How Products Are Made, Advameg, 2018, www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Rayon.html.

An Attempt at Advancement

There are many issues with this world, but the main issue I’d like to focus on is the immense usage of plastic items, and how they negatively impact the environment. I believe that using plastic is unavoidable, as it is so common in our lifestyles, and the problem isn’t to do with the using the plastic, it’s what we do with plastic afterward.

To start a project, one must always have a driving question, a goal or something that would act as a driving force to keep you motivated and to steer you in a certain direction. In my capstone project, my question is what is the entire life cycle of a plastic item, and how does it negatively impact the world around us throughout the plastic item’s life.

As stated earlier, you must always have a driving question and a goal-something you wish to achieve and gain. I wish to spread awareness and let people understand how plastic can destroy this world, and perhaps try to truly understand the magnitude of this problem.

There are always flaws in plans, so feel free to comment on things that might not work or things you’re not sure about.

One of the Bloodiest Revolutions Through the Eyes of a Peasant

I am considered to be part of the unluckiest ones, born into the worst possibilities as a poor farmer in the 18th century just outside of France. As the eldest son, I must work the hardest to support my aging father and mother, and my weak and far younger brother. This is my outlook on the French Revolution.

After the French Revolution, there were many things that had changed, and some things that stayed the same. After the revolution, there was a less society and power difference. For example, the first and second estate had lost lots of its wealth and power, as there were now no feudal dues, and noble titles were abolished. Now, people were born free and had equal rights. Another thing that had changed was the taxations. Before, the first two estates didn’t have to pay taxes, even though they had far more money. After the revolution, the first two estates (those that survived the revolution) were basically equal to the third estate and had to also pay taxes. A third change was that before, the king had absolute power. He could choose to do whatever he wanted, to make whatever laws he wanted, and to elect whoever he wanted as officials. Now, almost four million people could vote for who they wanted.

Although there were many changes, there were a few things that stayed the same. One thing that stayed the same was that the majority of the population were peasants and farmers. The people were prospering, which lead to the population growing rapidly. Because of this, there was a higher demand for food and goods, so farmers/peasants were still played a major role in France. Another thing that stayed the same was the economy. Before the revolution, the economy was in ruins, as the king would often waste lots of the money on luxuries and going to many wars. After the revolution, the French economy was also in ruins, as the economy was still recovering from wars, food shortages, and uprisings.

Death by French Revolution

The French Revolution started 1789. and caused the ancient regime of a monarchy to be turned into a democratic version of France. There were many causes of the French revolution, and the main causes were the economic status, the injustice of the taxation, and the lack of equal rights. The French economy was in ruins, as the king was greatly in debt due to funding wars and heavy spendings. This led to a meeting called the estates general to discuss the king’s debts. The injustice that the king only taxed the third estates made the third estates mad, and they left. When the third estate tried to return, they were locked out, so the third estate went to a nearby tennis court and swore an oath that would lead to a new government that had some say in how things ran, eventually leading to many different governments and events. Another reason was that the king was a weak leader, and many people didn’t want him to be king. Furthermore, the king often didn’t want to take part in politics and worrying about the country, and many of the people didn’t fear him.

Control is impossible

Throughout history, humans often are greedy and try to seek control over nature by predicting or overcoming it. However, despite many attempts, nature has yet to be outsmarted and out-predicted.The Endurance, narrated by Alfred Lansing,, is a story of crewmates trying to survive a boat crash near Antarctica. Throughout the book, it is clear that the book is trying to tell everyone that it is not possible to have complete control over things in nature regardless of how hard you try.

Even though you try to plan out everything in nature, there will be times where the situation is beyond your control, and you are helpless. Throughout the book, the author often shows quotes from journals that they were unable to do anything about their situation, and can only hope that the situation would change. For example, Macklin, a crewmate on the Endurance, wrote that the pack was “taking us we know not where, and in spite of any efforts we may attempt to make… But we are in the hands of a Higher Power, and puny mortals that we are, can do nothing…” (Lansing, 171). This shows that even though Shackleton spent “almost four years…and countless hours had gone into planning and preparation” (Lansing, 21), the crew were still helpless and couldn’t do anything about it. This example was a real-life situation that actually happened and shows that nature can be unpredictable, and sometimes you won’t be able to do anything about the situation. Even if you try to plan it out, you could still be hopeless. When building the ship, the builders built it planning for the ice. For example, “[The Endurance’s] bow, where she would meet the ice head-on, received special attention… She was designed… so that every joint every fitting ross-braced something else for the maximum strength” (Lansing, 22), but later still was destroyed due to the unaccounted for high pressure of the ice. This means that even though the actual ship was planned and built specifically for the occasion, there were factors that were out of the people’s power, no matter how hard they try to work. This real-life example shows that there will always be something out there that we are unable to do anything about, even if we try to plan for it.

Some people prefer to go with how things are. Others try to seek control. However, those who try to seek control over situations may not necessarily be able to gain it. The Endurance, narrated by Alfred Lansing,  is a book that talks about a real-life situation showing readers that it is not always possible to predict and overcome what nature has in store for us.