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

Category: Science

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 #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.

River Field Study : Data Collection 3

November 20th

Wenyu River

It seems that the people who owned the site left a little present for us! A fence has appeared there, spanning half of the river to under the bridge. This makes data collection harder for other groups but our two quadrants aren’t in the space that the fence extends to. Well, it’s okay anyways. Our data scored a 0 for both quadrants. Not a single ant in existence, but we found a dead ant just outside our quadrant 1. For a few minutes we pulled away at the  leaf litter but we didn’t see any bugs. In Quadrant 2, we couldn’t find it. A lot of leaves had falled and our quadrant was completely invisible, except for the noticeable patch of green grass.

Fence 🙁

Quadrant 1

Quadrant 2








Our data we collected so far. Our last data collection was in October and it was way more active by then. In October there were ants and in Quadrant 2, there was a glitch. Sorry about that! But regardless, it was more active and wasn’t covered by that much leaf litter.

These two are way different from in September when it was crawling with bugs. In January, I think that maybe we’ll have not a lot of bugs still, maybe 1-2 ants.

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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