Katherine

when the sky is darkest you can see the stars. except beijing is polluted. :)

Category: I am a thinker (page 1 of 2)

Science Inquiry Project – Data Collection Update 5

March 7
Wenyu River

It’s March, and the winter has not left yet (the groundhog was wrong)! We didn’t see any bugs in our quadrant 1. Quadrant 2 was nowhere to be seen except we felt the crunchiness of the dying leaves beneath our feet. Although we did not see any bugs, this data collection wasn’t for nothing. We now have a visible trend, with our predictions being somewhat accurate. Our predictions were that the number of arthropods during winter would decrease, and that has proven to be true, with a smashing 0 on everything.

updated data table

On a happier note, life is springing back. Along the riverbank, many people reported seeing spiders crawling about in the grass. We actually managed to catch a few, five to be exact. The first one seemed to be missing a few legs. This is a sign that bugs will be returning soon, which will give a little more insight into our trends for this year.

Spooky scary spiders send shivers down your spine

waohhhh its me

 

Science Inquiry Project – Data Collection Update 4

January 25
Wenyu River

As January rolls around, winter is still seeping into the wildlife. No signs of birds and most of the plants have died. Truly depressing (not really.) We are doing our monthly data collection again. Last data collection was kinda…. disappointing, to say the least. First of all, last time we had no signs of life, except for 2 spiders scurrying around in the grass.

Quadrant 1 was very… blank. Like last time, there were no signs of ants. (Remember the fable about the Grasshopper and the Ants?) It reminds me of that. Hopefully, the ants are just in their little holes, hibernating (or resting) the winter away.  I hope when Spring comes, they return and we can collect better data.

Quadrant 2 was the same results. Even though we didn’t find the quadrant. As previously mentioned, there were green leaves surrounding our quadrant. This time, they have all died, the brown leaves crunching and blocking the quadrant. Last time there were signs of spiders, this time there’s none. Compared to the start of this inquiry, with wildlife chittering and chattering all around, to this bleak nothingness. It really has changed with the seasons, hasn’t it?

 

Project Collisions: Blog Post #2

This is our prototype 1. We made a parachute out of a bag and attached it with string. The string was pretty big.

The drop was not very… successful. It flew down fast, but the parachute did stop it a little bit, increasing the time it took to fall. Most of this came because the parachute was too long and we couldn’t expand it enough. It did not have a great force rating as it kept missing.

Next time, we would add more parachutes or make a larger parachute.

Project Collisions: Blog Post #1 [Insert creative title here]

January 7th, Project Collisions Launch

Eggs and messes. A perfect combo, because today we were supposed to drop an egg. An egg drop. Great. And messy at the same time. Regardless, it was only 5 meters, and we had to use specific materials, like newspapers, army men (huh), etc. And we had a budget of 600.

My independent first designs were odd, to say the least.

My first design was this:
A balloon (120)
Newspaper (120)
Tie up (60)

There are multiple reasons why this design wouldn’t work, mostly with the balloon. With the balloon, the egg couldn’t possibly fit in it, and the newspaper would act as cushioning, but at the same time weigh it down. It would be thrown like a sack, and quite roughly, it would break.

My second design was mostly a joke:
A balloon (120)
Army men x72 (480)

 

 

It would not work either. Army men were surprisingly crushable, but I thought this idea would work, similar to that of a sea urchin and its shell. The spikes would poke through and allow the army meant to “stilt” it up in a way. But it still wouldn’t go down slowly, as eggs were extremely fragile and there was a risk of the army men coming in contact with the ground, and the force would poke the army men up into the egg and crack it.

Then with a group, we made another design. This one used newspaper to make a parachute as well as wrapping the egg in layers of newspaper, with string attaching the newspaper through paperclips. As it was dropping, the parachute deployed well and then it fell relatively fast, but it seemed to be a smooth landing. It was successful and I think it’s partly because we had wrapped it in a lot of newspaper and paper, both of which don’t exactly “break”? The parachute was light and connected by paperclips well, and nothing fell off. During that time, our first parachute broke, but we had bought too much newspaper, so we made a bigger parachute which proved effective.

Next time I would find a way to use a different design, to increase the variety of materials we could use, to see what type of effects on the egg they would have.
This launch project was about drone delivery, and I had a lot of ideas. I was thinking about dropping edible food and goods, as those might be high in demand, and who wouldn’t like food delivered to their door?  🙂

Through this project I hope to collaborate with my peers, make effective and efficient ideas, but most importantly, have fun!

The Mystery of the Enlarging and Shrinking Eggs

So, to sum things up. We did an experiment involving eggs, vinegar, water, and corn syrup. First, you pop two eggs in vinegar to dissolve their shell, and then wait 24 hours. Afterwards you put those two eggs in water and corn syrup separately and wait. When you take them out after 24 hours, the one in water should be swollen and the one in corn syrup will be shriveled. (h-heh, shriveled eggs.)
and like… shriveled heads from Harry Potter.

investigative design

investigative design + data table

observations + final model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My design is repeatable by another person because I have a procedure that states very clearly what to do and have an appropiate model as well. The investigative design says the liquids are vinegar, corn syrup and water. It also states what inquiry question topics we can observe! As well, it shows my prediction for what would happen. An improvement would definitely to be writing down the amount of liquid used and more specific instructions.

When I first watched the phenomenon, I thought that there might be air bubbles inside the egg escaping and going inside. However, it is much different after I weighed them, with their weight changing from around, not being the same, like my prediction. Also the egg in water didn’t float, because it should’ve if it had air bubbles. In corn syrup it turned from 75.4 to 51.56, which obviously shows it getting lighter, and 75.4 to 100.25 in water. After looking at the experiment, I believe that the egg membrane allows certain molecules to pass and certain not to pass with the size of the particle. Sort of like a netting? But a tiny microscopic one… So, in Karo Syrup, the glucose was to big to get in so water molecules went out of the egg so it shrunk, sort of an explanation for the watery consistency of the corn syrup (but it also did separate into layers), and how in the water, it enlarged because stuff couldn’t get out of the egg, but water molecules could flow freely in between the two.

This is called a selectively permeable membrane and apparently can also be seen in cells, letting nutrients get in and other things that might be useful to the cell. This is an effective way to sort things automatically as some molecules will harm the eggs while other molecules the egg needs. A cell is like an egg, with a membrane. The egg’s white fluid can also be like the cell’s cytoplasm and the yolk is like the nucleus. The nucleus contains genes, as does the egg. Some differences are that the egg can have a small baby in it and develop into a chicken while the nucleus cannot “hatch” a baby, but it can duplicate the cell.

Material moves in or out of a cell by passing through the membrane and the movement of matter is based upon particle’s sizes! Water molecules are smaller than sugar molecules so water can pass through the egg’s “netting” but glucose can’t.

 

 

Shrunken heads eggs for life and expanding eggs.

What? So What? Now What?

What? So what?

One of the issues we’re dealing with today is the mass extinction of many species. This is caused by habitat loss and pollution, while poaching also plays a part. In this article, it states that “Recent studies in Europe have demonstrated that the species currently at highest risk of extinction most likely got that way because of human actions 50 to 100 years ago.” This shows that we are the problem. We are the ones who are affecting all these animals. And without a lot of animals, ecosystems can collapse and biodiversity decreases. Another problem is plastic pollution. Plastic cannot be biodegraded, so that means it’s there for a long time and in the meanwhile, can harm animals and us, through consumption and strangling.

Now What?

I can take initiative by using less plastic wrappers and containers. To help endangered animals, I can take part in clubs, like Roots and Shoots to help them! I can also spread the word to everyone and also educate people.

 

Bigmama’s

 

psst – hey kid, check this out!

The Fifth F is for Fail

A while ago, we were supposed to write something about the development of humans throughout the years and make a visual representation of it. So I made a poster! In the beginning, I thought about just making a poster and pasting the graph into it but then I thought, what if I made it a flip poster? So I put down my idea and let my peers tell me about it. I had a bit of trouble with the trading range symbol and they helped me out and explained it to me. So I changed a few of my icons and they helped me with ideas.

closed flaps

open flaps

So this is my poster! You can open the flaps to see the individual icons and things. It is a bit faint, but that’s only because it’s scanned. Each image I used it about the time era it represents – The Chauvet Cave for the forager time, as it was painted by foragers, some wheat for the farmer age as it was a crop, a train for the Industrial age because they developed new forms of technology, and finally, a mega city for the future.

 

 

The explanation for the icons can be found here.

 

From Foragers to the Future

Forager

For the foragers, I chose a slab of meat, a foot, a hand with a mouth, and binoculars. The slab of meat is to represent how foragers got all of their food from hunting and foraging. Their diet consisted of all-natural items like berries and dear meat for example, but the meat are easier to see because bones can be preserved. Also, foragers got around by walking and running, without using any other means of transportation except for the occassional raft/boat. A foot is the symbol of running and walking. I also used binoculars to symbolize that they could only trade as far as they could see. I used green because ironically, this time was when the humans were most “green” with their usage of energy, and that green is the symbol of nature.

Farmer

I chose toast, horse, a scroll, and a market to symbolize the farmer times. The toast is made up of bread with an egg, because these two are the products of farming, wheat and eggs from a chicken. A horse is used to symbolize a classic horse and carriage which was their form of transport back then. The paper and quill is to symbolize the usage of letters back then, and the developing of language. But at this time, only wealthy people could afford books and to read. The market is their trading “spot” and that trade was a common thing nowadays, especially if you produced goods, like bread.  The color I went with was tan, because that was the color of wheat and other crops, and it was also the color of wood, which was a resource starting to be used.

Factories

This time area is us right now. I put some fast food, a plane, a speech bubble, and the whole globe. Food was hard for me since I didn’t know what food we ate right now till I remembered that fast food is very popular in America. So I put that down instead of packaged food, which I was going for. I also used a plane, since we use planes to travel to different areas for vacation. For the communication, I put a speech bubble. This is kinda like our messaging sites, but we still talk to each other and lead very social lives, so we can use that for both reasons. The last one is the globe. I chose this because it reminded me about how countries trade with each other, importing and exporting goods to each other. So our range of trade is pretty wide… heh. I chose a deep red color as it’s kinda the color of rust? But it’s close to black (which is the color of our skies in the future, shush) and I feel like this means that we’re getting closer to polluting the earth? And it’s the color of smoke. The style used in this one is more sketchy, which emphasizes the use of a drawing program for it (which signals advances in technology.)

Future

I struggled with this a lot. For food, I chose a bug. But it looks oddly glitchy… maybe it’s to do with 3d printing food or the use of technology in food? The second one for transportation, I chose a hovercar. This may not be what I was aiming for, but I didn’t find any other icons. It symbolizes how we’ll develop cars to do a multitude of things though. For the communications, I chose someone Facetiming another person. It really is vague, but maybe we’ll develop some sort of wireless technology that allows us to communicate with anyone in the world? The last one is a screen with stocks on it and demographics, which allows us to monitor trading. I believe that in the future, maybe with a click of a mouse, we can trade instantly? And get the items shipped to our house in no time. For this one, I tried to look for ones with many shapes and I chose the color blue since it reminds me of being connected, and blue is a calm color, as if we’re totally immersed in our digital world.

 

This may not make sense because I haven’t posted my poster yet!

 

Science Inquiry Project – Data Collection 2

October 25th

Wenyu River (as always!)

We went out to our quadrants as usual, by the banks and near a tree. In Quadrant 1, there were considerably less ants than before, with now having only 26 when last time we had a whopping 48! Last time as well, there seemed to be more centipedes (at least 3) but now there seems to be none. Huh… weird. Maybe it’s because of the cold coming into Beijing?

In Quadrant 2, there were 7 spiders, more than last time. Maybe it’s to do with some foliage in our quadrant? There was an abundance of grassy weeds growing, more than last time. And we spotted 5 ants and 5 other unidentifiable bugs. They were pretty small and seemed to be in a hurry.

As for the activity chart, Quadrant 2 seemed to be more active than Quadrant 1, even though there 9 fewer bugs in our quadrant! This was because the spiders were fast and scurrying about, while the ants in the other quadrant were moving slowly and lethargically like they were drained of energy.

Since this is my first post about the Wenyu River, I’ll give you a little bit of info! We split into groups and got an inquiry project, which was asking a question about the Wenyu River. Ours were about the number, specific numbers, species, species number, and activity of bugs in our quadrants! We want to see how they will change throughout the year.

(Sorry for no photo- I will update once I get the photo)

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