China’s Struggle to Have More Blue Days

While researching China’s air pollution, I have learned a tremendous amount of information that I’ve never known before. One specific example of what I’ve learned is that even though the Chinese government was trying to reduce industrial pollution, 14,727 out of 20,775 factories are emitting more pollution than permitted. This indicates the amount of attention and effort needed to make more blue days in China.

To make our world a better place without pollution, I have reduced my electricity usage by turning off the air conditioner during the night. The reason why saving electricity is linked to air pollution is because factories burn coal in order to produce electricity. But if we reduce the usage of electricity, there would be less coal needed to burn.

For my whole life, I’ve believed that China could never become an air pollution free nation. However, now that I know China’s potential, I think China can reduce the amount of air pollution and become a clean country.

While I was conducting the survey, I kept in mind to exclude any personal questions because I wanted my interviewee to feel safe and comfortable. While I was interviewing, I have always had a bright smile on my face. Also, I actively listened to my interviewee to make him/her feel special, needed for my survey.

If I could do my Capstone project differently next time, I would love to create a documentary where I could put all my thinking in it. Since I only had 5 days to plan and create my film, I felt as if my documentary was rushed. Also, I would want to put some interviews in my documentary to make it more feasible.

I really want the next grade 8 students to know that Capstone project is a project that would challenge the person’s passion for his/her project. Capstone project really requires a lot of passion, effort, and thinking. I really want the next 8th graders to put more consideration while choosing their perfect choice. Good luck new generation!

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Ready.. Pull.. RELEASE!

My partner (Isaac) and I decided to use the simplest way of creating our catapult. The real reason why our catapult was simple was NOT that we were lazy. It was because I wanted to prove that products, using basic materials, instead of sophisticated materials, can perform better than a fancy catapult.

The most important thing that I’ve learned by doing the catapult project was the importance of function. Functions explained not only the ability of the object’s distance, it also determined the height where the catapult was placed. For example, f(x) = x(x-2) tells us that the catapult’s thrown object would reach 2 m and the catapult would be placed on the ground.

The most challenging aspect was the building process. Since my catapult was a bit too simple, it barely had any function to maintain its balance when fired. To solve this problem, I had to add additional sticks on the catapult in order to stabilize the recoil of the catapult. In the end, my catapult performed outstandingly.

If I had to make another catapult, I would definitely use a different design. The only thing that I would keep is the motor of the catapult, which is the binder clip. The binder clip represents minimalism and it is simply astonishing. However, I would change the catapult’s outer design. Instead of making a light-weight catapult, I would use heavier, stronger wood to increase it’s throwing ability.

As mentioned earlier, this project helped me to fully understand the meaning of the quadratic function (height, distance, and time).









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Journal #4

In order to make the best quality polymer that would fit our subject, we needed several prototypes. In the end, my group has created three polymers. Prototype 1 was a typical super slime. When tested, there were pros and cons of this polymer. The pros are: it is sticky enough, transparent (looks nice), easy to make. However, there was a significant need for change. The super slime was very weak when the pressure was added. There were pieces of polymer falling off when we tested it, which was very disappointing. It even broke apart completely in a trial. So we figured out that it was not a good idea to use super slime as our final polymer.

Our solution to the problem of: ‘super slime breaking apart too easy’ was to add guar gum. Guar gum is a powder-like substance that increases the density of the polymer, which means it would not break apart easily. Based on our information we had, we’ve created prototype 2, which we added a huge amount of guar gum. It was a mistake to add such an amount because the basic feature of stickiness was completely gone. Based on our errors, for our prototype 3, we added an adequate amount of guar gum, which had a golden balance of density and stickiness.

We decided to use our third prototype as our final result. We called it the Super Roller Cleaner. With our final product, we tested if it was suitable for our product. With bits of pieces of tissues on the platform, we rolled our final product, hoping it could stick to all remains on the platform. As we knew, it was successful. Since prototype 3 had the ability to both stick to materials and not break easily, my group decided to use prototype 3 as our final product.


This is our process for developing the final design:


1. Place 100ml of PVA solution into a clean plastic cup.


2. Add 40ml of Borax and 5.4 grams of guar gum at the same time to the cup and mix the solution quickly.


3. Add more Borax solution or PVA to balance the slime.


4. Cover the polymer onto the rolling part of a roller brush’s surface evenly.


5. Test the effectiveness of the product and repeat steps 1~4 until feeling content.


The future recommendation I have for my final product is to try using as many materials we have access to. This is because our group only used three materials: guar gum, PVA, and Borax. In this way of using numerous substances, we can have more trials, which will give us more of a valid data.


The part I felt interested in our design process was how polymers reacted to such materials like guar gum. As I felt our polymer becoming dense, I had visions of microscopic molecules forming a line but becoming thicker because of the guar gum. I was truly amazed to think about polymers reacting to materials. I felt interesting in our design process when my team had the opportunity to test different polymer and use the newly gained information to create new products ourselves.

Finding the golden proportion of materials was very challenging. For example, if I put a bit too much guar gum, my product would be too dense. But by struggle, I’ve learned the importance of trials and errors because the more trials we had, the quality of our product would change. I also realized that we needed more time for ‘improving’ and ‘planning’ in order to reach my goal.


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The Clarisse Effect

“No one knows anyone” (Bradbury, 20). Imagine living in a world where everyone is a mindless robot that is brainwashed by the government. In this world, loyalty and obedience are more important than imagination and creativity.

Dystopian novels are written when authors want to express his/her opinion about the government, society, or even technology. Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury in 1951, which was during the Cold War (the tension between the United States and the Soviet Union). During the Cold War, citizens of the United States of America feared communists, also known as subversives, wiping out American society. Not only did Bradbury feared communists taking over his country, he was also worried about televisions (technology) because he thought that the way people communicate and entertain themselves could change in a negative way.

People might claim that the theme of this book is ‘dangers of governments’ (because of the Cold War) or ‘dangers of technology’ (because Bradbury was afraid of the negative changes that could happen). However, in my opinion, the theme of the book is ‘the importance of truth and individuality’ because there are numerous pieces of evidence in the book that supports my claim.

Clarisse was the one and the only individual that made Montag question himself; made him curious. She was different from everyone in the society. And it was her individuality that changed Montag to a different person. “Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?” (12). Clarisse progresses by asking Montag questions that made him ponder. “Are you happy?” (14). Montag’s immediate response was yes. However, Montag realizes that he is not happy when he faces the truth. “He was not happy. He recognized this as the true state of affairs. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back.” (16).

Clarisse not only made Montag acknowledge that he was not happy. She also showed Montag the truth about the world, where love was just a fantasy. With a dandelion, Clarisse claims that if a person gets rubbed with a dandelion and if it rubs off, the person’s in love. “What a shame”, she said. “You’re not in love with anyone.” (26). At first, Montag refuses to admit that he is not in love with anyone. But then, truth hits him real hard… “The first time we ever met, where was it, and when?” (46). The curiosity that Clarisse implanted in Montag’s brain reached its limit. Montag had to question his wife where they met and when. “I don’t know” (46). Montag realizes that his wife does not even remember where they met for the first time. “And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain he wouldn’t cry… he had begun to cry, not at death but at the thought of not crying at death.” (47). Montag finally realizes the dirty truth about the society he had been living in. All thanks to Clarisse.

“I’m still crazy. The rain feels good. I love to walk in it.” (25). Again, Clarisse shows her distinctness by doing something unique. But this time, it is different. At first, Montag didn’t seem to agree with Clarisse, saying that he would not do that. However, Montag’s growing curiosity made him follow what Clarisse had done. “And then, very slowly, as he walked, he tilted his head back in the rain, for just a few moments, and opened his mouth…” (28). It was creativity and curiosity that was inside Montag now, which I think is the most important evidence that that supports the theme ‘the importance of individuality and truth’.

As I was reading Fahrenheit 451, I realized that I was somehow similar to Guy Montag. Since I was little, I had an issue of not being open-minded. I did not easily believe what someone else told me. However, time played the role of Clarisse. I became mature year by year and I started to admit that I was a person who needed self-improvements. To think back in time, I think it was my friend Jun Young’s individuality that really woke me up. Even though I was not necessarily nice to him, he forgave me every time and he was very patient. He knew that his individuality could make me a better person. As if it was planned, I was shocked by his attitude and I realized that there were people who were actually suffering because of me. Thanks to Jun Young’s patient and forgiving individuality, I can proudly stand straight.

In Fahrenheit 451, it was Clarisse’s individuality and the truth that changed Montag forever. The author, Ray Bradbury, used dandelion and rain as the starting point for Montag realizing the actual problems he had with the society. However, if Clarisse never appeared in Montag’s life, what do you think would happen to Montag?





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Science Journal 3

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Science Journal 2

“Imagine yourself vacuum cleaning the entire house. Changing the wire port is not your only nightmare. You also have to clean the dirty, old, smelly filter. However! By using the SYTec Cleaner One, all your concerns have vanished!”

After the blood splashing debate on whether we should make a punching bag or a ‘cleaning tool’, we’ve finally made our decision. We’ve decided to create a Special Roller Brush, aka, SYTech Cleaner One.

Not only does the Speical Roller Brush helps cleaning easier for people, its unique feature of polymer makes it outstanding.

Attached to the roller part of the SRB(Speical Roller Brush), the polymer is capable of sticking onto every single piece of remains on the platform. The SRB is suitable for cleaning floors, furniture, various platforms, and more.

The SRB would be a perfect cleaning tool for everybody ranging from students to housemaids. Generally speaking, among all the clients, housemaids would be the most capable target audience.

Polymer characteristics that would best fit our model will be the super slime. The super slime’s weaker ability to stick onto materials would be the main reason why it would be the most successful material for the SRB. Boogers and goober, for example, compared to super slime are too sticky for our wanted polymer characteristics. Also, among all the polymers that I’ve tested, the super slime stayed in its form for the longest time, which is also important for maintaining the brush’s structure.


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Science Journal 1

Science Journal 1


Susan (my partner) and I had an experiment on Monday and Wednesday, investigating the physical and chemical properties of the polymers we’ve made. A polymer is a very large chain-like network of monomers (relatively small molecules). It was truly interesting to see how polymerization occurred during our investigation

Out of three polymers that we’ve created, super slime caught my attention the most because it was relatively ‘smooth’. Unlike other polymers (boogers and goobers), super slime was the densest polymer, meaning that there were less teared-off particles on my hand.

Throughout our journey, we’ve also encountered that there was a link between synthetic (made by chemical synthesis, man mad) materials and natural resources. Rubber, for example, was made mostly by sap from natural rubber trees; plastic is made mostly of carbon, which also comes from a natural resource, which is oil. People use rubber and plastic in many different ways. Rubber can by physically transformed into tires and rubber bands and plastic can be used as water bottles and pipes.

Of course, none of this (rubber bands and plastic water bottle) would’ve happen without any chemical reaction to the natural resources. As mentioned earlier, I’ve experienced polymerization during my experiment. Polymerization is a process in which monomers combine chemically to produce a polymer. Sap from rubber trees, for example, is filtered, then mixed with acids in order to produce rubber. In this case, polymerization occurs when filtered sap is mixed with acid. The acid mixes with the chemical combination of the sap, forming long chain of monomers.

Polymer by SY Shield Uhm



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Obsession, Now a Confession

It started with the hope to expel illness,

to protect my family,

to protect myself,

now it became a tradition


Love & Peace

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Who Am I?

As I read I Am the Cheese, I knew that I had to make a movie trailer for my multimedia post because there were epic scenes and dialogs. I Am the Cheese is mainly about the protagonist, Adam, discovering his lost memories with the help of Brint, his so-called ‘guide’. The scenes and dialogues include Adam discovering his true identity, which is also the climax of I Am the Cheese. While I was making my movie trailer, I realized that my video was not entertaining at all. The lack of entertainment made me film outside and inside my house, which worked out smoothly. I also put some effort on the texts to make them synchronize to the music.

“I wonder who the doctor is talking to, this somebody he calls Paul. Who is Paul? I know I am not Paul. There is another name I know about but I can’t think of the name now and anyway… I know, of course, who I am, who I will always be. I am the cheese.” (Cormier, 229). At first, I had no clue why the book was named I Am the Cheese. However, I figured out that the name I Am the Cheese was a part of the lyric of the song: farmer in the dell. “The rat takes the cheese… the cheese stands alone.”. Adam is the cheese. He stands alone. This quote is an emotional quote that made me pity Adam. His identity, home, and family disappeared from his memories.

I was truly inspired by this book. Not by Adam nor the author, but by Adam’s father, David. “He was intrigued by the power of words, not the literary words that filled the books in the library but the sharp, staccato words that went into the writing of news stories. Words that went for the jugular. Active verbs that danced and raced on the page.” (120). My parents spontaneously told me that words had power. A power that could change the world. A power that could change people. It was true. David Farmer, Adam’s father, and a journalist had exposed an evil organization to the government. This was the riskiest move that David made. Even though he was proud to do the right thing, he never knew what could happen to his family in the future. If you want to know what happens next, read the book!


Song: Jorge Mendez “Late Night Stories”

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The French Revolution

A journal by a peasant named Enzo Emperaire

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