Technology Interview with Parents

I have interviewed both my mother and father to learn more about how they, as knowledge seekers, gained their knowledge in their generation. Both my parents have different experiences when it comes to their knowledge-seeking due to their location during schooling. Compared to me, schooling systems between our generations have drastically changed, not only that but the types of schools we’ve attended are different too. I will be focusing on how my parents and I learned from elementary through college.

My mother flew to America at 15 and began school there, however, it was vastly different from how it was back in mainland China. My mother started elementary school in 1982 and started right off with practice sheets and memorizing facts. Once starting middle school did she then began to study through textbook memorization. There were no projects implemented and extracurriculars were taken over by math and literature classes. Starting high school was a similar process. Though technology such as calculators and stationary monitors were present they were not allowed to use them as a means of gaining knowledge until my mother flew to the US to begin learning there. Once she started high school in America was when she was allowed to use “modern” technology such as calculators and stationary computers. In order to save information from the computer, she was storing information on she would have to upload it onto a floppy disk in order to retain it. This way is much more difficult than the simple iCloud space implemented in MacBooks and USB ports that are accessible to any laptop. The technology was similar in college but now cell phones (flip-phones) would be implemented into their daily lives.

My father’s experience is similar but different due to the fact that he flew to America at 18 in order to attend college there. In elementary school (1978) it was similar to where practice sheets and memorization were present but students were not allowed to use pens until fourth grade. If a pen were to be used the pen would be an ink pen. (one that needs to be dipped into ink or refilled every once in a while) Since my parents both went to the same college the experience in learning through technology was the same.

After hearing stories about the limited use of technology I became a little bit more grateful for the tools that aided in my learning process. Thinking about not being able to use certain tools may make me crazy. I attended a monastery school when I was younger, the learning style in that tradition was through self-learning, where kids would get a mat and indulge in their own creative abilities through toys such as blocks, memory cards, and organizational games. This teaches kids through a more independent route where I did not start off by learning how to memorize idioms and equations but how to instigate my creativity and individuality. As I grew older I continued to register into private Christian schools (due to its high GPA turnout) this is where I began to focus more on literature. I’ve always wondered how I’ve learned to read so quickly when I was younger ( in pre-school I could read charlotte’s web) I believe it’s due to how the technology I’ve been presented with fueled my want for knowledge. TV and children’s programs (such as PBS) were one of my favorite things to watch when I was younger due to all the fun facts that I would hoard inside my brain. I would always indulge in independent learning and, like a stubborn elementary schooler, refused to learn by the teacher’s rules. However, I was never given iPads, or laptops, or calculators in class it was similar to my parents in the sense of worksheets and writing practices. I’ve only ever used those types of technology once I’ve entered ISB. We’ve used laptops for mostly everything, especially in 2020 with the whole world trapped in a pandemic.

Is Ignorance Bliss? TOK Debate Reflection

Arguing for is ignorance bliss: The key argument for the proposition team seemed to be ignorance could be bliss. Though what they were arguing was very hard to debate for they did begin to stray away from the main purpose on how to make bliss certain. Instead of rebutting and shutting down statements the opposition had made, they continued to debate in a circular form. This is where the opposition would make a statement then the pro argument would continue to question the opposition but not use that question they formed as a way to strengthen their argument. The arguments the pro team made always had an “if” allocation towards it, not pertaining to the “is” purpose of what they were arguing towards. Other parts of their argument also affect a minority of people. While yes, these lives are as important as others the opposition (con side of the argument) discussed issues that affected the mass majority. An example is when they argued towards children being exposed to sexual predation. This would be a good argument if they were arguing for something other than their topic; it would also be good if the ignorance didn’t affect a wider population. Total ignorance of sexual acts and predatory behaviors can be detrimental to children’s awareness of danger. Children may get abducted or unknowingly sexualized due to their total ignorance towards the whole subject of sexual predation.

Arguing for ignorance is not bliss: The arguments made from this team were focused on the populations and focused mainly on wars and current events. They made many claims on a wider population making it seem more important and urgent. There were some points that the opposition have not argued against from the other team which may have led them to not having a strong enough argument. There were also mistakes in the organization of the speakers; where the con team mistook the 3rd speaker as the final and was not able to finish off properly.

I agree that to an extent that ignorance can be blissful, however, the team that agreed with the motion argued for ignorance could be bliss. If they had argued for the actual motion I believe that they could’ve done a lot better, more than how well they formed their points already. I believe that the motion, ignorance is not bliss, had won this debate. This may be due to many factors: the experience of the debators, the motion, and preparedness.  While revisiting the debate through video i found the opposition team to be more passionate about their subject, appealing towards pathos, they also quickly found holes in the other team’s arguments and quickly pointed them out. I do have to agree that the pro side of this motion did an amazing job for such a difficult stance on this topic. However, this may be from my own bias of beliefs, I do wholeheartedly agree with the opposition team in the fact the ignorance is not bliss.

(TOK) Ways of Knowing – Language

Some ways of knowing, ways we can understand the world around us, are more likely to lead us to the truth than others. Out of the eight ways of knowing, language is more likely to lead people to the truth. Language is known as the method of communication involving language conveyed through speech, writing, or gestures. Language is the most common way of relaying knowledge and is heavily relied on due to its dependability. Though language barriers, such as cryptic phrases, vocabulary, and terms referencing to experience, affect communication flow, everyone will be able to understand the other when the language is conveyed carefully.

Language is how humanity obtains and relays information and has been used for millions of years. (For the context of the information spread through this way of knowing, we will assume that the information being relayed is correct.) There are a few ways to communicate, with speech being the most common. An example of different communication methods through speech that relays information could be through questions and answers. A typical case of this example is when one asks about prices at a store or supermarket; the responder would relay information clearly to the person asking the question; a simple 5 dollars or 75RMB would suffice. Because the question was answered undoubtedly, knowledge will be achieved in response to the answer. In the case of correct information, language is one of the most common and reliable ways of obtaining knowledge, primarily when delivered transparently.

Though language is how we humans communicate, there are cases when knowledge relayed through language is not clear, leaving people confused and frustrated with the lack of clarity. An example of unclear communication is poetry. Poetry is an art form, and similarly to other art forms, it relays a message that needs to be deciphered. Poetry is represented through text or speech and may leave a sense of confusion—a poem that is well-known for their cryptic ways of language is “Metaphors.” This literary text uses metaphors to illustrate pregnancy; however, reading or hearing the poem for the first time will leave the majority of audiences dumbfounded. It contains the context needed to be able to understand the meaning, such as the feeling of being pregnant and the understanding of vocabulary such as “ponderous,” “tendril,” and “new-minted.” These words would be troubling to understand from an audience not well versed in literature. The vocabulary may be incoherent and the poem never clearly states its reference to pregnancy. Therefore no knowledge gain is displayed.

Though language may be cryptic and hard to understand for certain people, I believe that language is a way of knowing that can lead people closer to the truth. The defense for language has a repetitive argument: as long as communication is relayed clearly, everything will be understood. I agree with that argument. Poems, such as the example above, are purposefully cryptic; that is its goal. If it were to be clear with its message, everyone would understand and gain knowledge.

497 Words

TOK Pre-assesment

Introduction: Hi I’m Jacey.


Question: What do you know for sure, and how do you know it?

As humans, we have the cognitive ability to separate and filter out differences we come across in everyday life. Whether these differences are the faces we pass by, color, or even the light and deep tones of voices and machinery. We are designed to spot and designate differences to their own special compartment. Since pattern differentiation is our strongest suit, how does this mental organization affect our knowledge?

Similar to patterns, knowledge is separated into categories, mainly two: Right or Wrong. Information we believe is right is generally known as knowledge. Wrong information, however, is not seen as knowledge whatsoever. How does this refer to what we know for sure, and how do we know that this knowledge, something we know, is correct? Information given to us is usually separated into right or wrong. Most questions (not philosophical ones) have right or wrong answers. The right information is then turned into knowledge, but how do we know if it is right or wrong. Cultures, religion, and family background can determine whether two people think something is common knowledge. One common discrepancy is through history. One family might believe in the theory of evolution, while the other believes in the six days (seven if you count the day of rest) god took to create earth and humanity. Which one is correct? Which one is something we know for sure, and how do we know this? Evolution may be backed up, but it is still considered a theory; The Bible may sound unrealistic, but its teachings are still used in the world today.

Our minds will designate information into the right or wrong category depending on how we are taught it, how it is given to us, and how often it is presented to us.

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Engineering Project Update 3



This ^^^ is the beginning of the music box. I started to saw and sand down some keys that will hit the glockenspiel pieces.

This was the “finished” product of my music box. Of course, this project has not finished but it was because of the lack of time. Everything that was planned out was in perfect order it was just the amount of time that stopped the production.

Engineer Project Update 2

Music Box Plans

This is my design for my music box. Sizes will be tweaked a bit as we progress.

Music box bottom

Above is the diagram of the bottom section of the music box where it is storage space.

Frozen notes

Above are the notes that were supposed to be for the drum of the music box. They were in the notes of the chorus of “Let it Go” from the movie “Frozen.”

Music box top

This is the diagram for the case that is on top of the initial box that is supposed to be storage. The top box is the box that holds the drum and the glockenspiel.


9th Grade Engineer Project

Our job is to make a toy. When I was younger I was infatuated with something called a HEXbug so not I want to see if i can make one as well and change a few things as well.

ThiI is a video where someone else created their own HEXbug.

DIY Hexbug Nano

STEAM Project: Tiny Dancers (A Homopolar Motor)

After some thought in my project, I have thought about making a music box/ Hexbug track that will have the Bugs move around in a track that is built onto the music box while music plays. I also might add the twirling ballerinas for effect.

These are where I got my notes for the music from.

let it go music box (printed)

Polymer Journal 4


Prototype Observations

Prototype Observations Strengths for this Prototype Limitations for this Prototype
Prototype 1:

Noodle slime

The polymer was to stringy, it wouldn’t stick together and would fall apart, just like homemade noodles The prototype wasn’t too sticky and was very stretchy. It couldn’t stick together at all so when it would have to stick onto pans it would not work
Prototype 2:

Noodle Slime 2

The polymer was very similar to the first noodle slime however it was thicker It wasn’t very sticky It could not stick together and was too thick to be able to stretch
Prototype 3:


This slime was too sticky and wouldn’t hold itself It was very thick and sticky The polymer was too sticky and wasn’t stretchy at all. It would break apart right away.



Prototype Claim

Use evidence from above observations to complete.


Prototype # __4__, called _____Heat Reduct∞_______________, was most effective for meeting our goal because:

It was thick but stretchy and was sticky enough to attach itself onto pots and pans, it was very durable and had a great grip.


Method of Final Design

Give a summary of how your final product will be made.

Make sure you list the steps and amounts used.



  • 30 ml PVA
  • 88 ml Glue
  • 118 ml water
  • 15 ml warm water
  • 5 ml borax
  • 900ml Beaker
  • Cup




  1. Mix PVA with glue in beaker
  2. Add warm water
  3. (Additional: Add food coloring)
  4. Mix
  5. Add borax into separate cup with water
  6. Add borax mixture into the beaker.
  7. Add 10 ml of PVA
  8. Add 5ml Borax
  9. Mix
  10. Add 15ml Borax
  11. 15 ml Glue
  12. Mix
  13. Add a spoon of Gelatin
  14. Add 10ml of laundry starch
  15. Add 1 ml of borax


What was the process like?  What was challenging?  What was interesting?  What did I learn?


The process was very difficult. We initially wanted to have slime be able to cover over someone’s hand as if it was a glove. We tried various ways to make the prototype perfect but in the end failed and had to go back to the drawing board. We then all decided to go with a polymer that could be molded into any shape the customer wanted it to be so it would be able to grip the pan, pot, or cup, perfectly. We played with our, materials and how much we used so being able to find something that was useful was a bit difficult. We then tried going to the internet for some solutions but then found out that we could never trust the internet. In the end, we were successful in what we made and was able to have a perfect conclusion even though it wasn’t what we wanted in the beginning.

Polymer Commercial 


Polymer Journal 2-3

Our Goal:

The goal of our polymer project is to help people who cook, bake, or touch anything hot with their hands feel safe.

Target Market Audience

Some Examples:



Parents with small kids





Teachers/Businessmen/Shop Owners

Pet Owners



Target Market Audience How will this help them?
Target Market Audience #1:


·       Adults


It will help them by being able to touch the burning pan, hot skillet or anything that’s hot without burning or hurting themselves.
Possible Target Market Audience #2:

*just in case you have more than one target market audience

·       Anyone handling anything hot


The same with the first targeted audience.


Describing Our Polymer

We want the Physical Properties to include:

  • Stretchy
  • Non-stick
  • Resilient to heat
  • Thick


Polymer Characteristics We Are Looking For

Polymer Characteristics Why this is important
Boogers Stretchy When you are handling a hot pot, you will be able to wrap the polymer around it.


Thick When holding something hot you don’t want a thin layer of anything to protect you from the heat.
Gloop Not sticky This is so the polymer doesn’t stick to the pan or item that was held up with the polymer


Our Plan to Develop our Prototype

*Prototype = sample or model


1st we will…                                                    

Create the prototype by mixing different solutions into the mix

     2nd we will…

Test it onto real hot pans and pots

3rd we will…

Try to see if our product could be thick and stretchy at the same time


Shape the polymer and redo it to see if we wrote down the correct instructions


Our Method for Testing our Prototype: How we’ll test it to see if it works

Method Why we chose this/How this will be effective
We first wrapped our polymer around a mug that was filled with hot water. We chose this to examine how much the polymer could hold and if it would slip.
We held a pan that has been on the stove for 5 min with the polymer We did this to see how the polymer resisted heat for long periods of time
We then held a hot pot with the polymer We tested to see if the polymer could hold the weight of the pot and not slip or melt.


Polymer Journal 1

Synthetic VS. Natural

What are synthetic materials?

They are materials that are not man-made.



Give 2 examples of synthetic materials.




What are natural resources?

Resources that are found naturally


Give 2 examples of natural resources.

Fossil fuels



Polymers and Where They Come From

What is a polymer?


a substance that has a molecular structure consisting chiefly or entirely of a large number of similar units bonded together




Give 2 examples of synthetic polymers and the natural resources they come from

Synthetic Polymer #1



What natural resources does this come from?

Animal horns or animal milk, insects and trees

What would we use this synthetic material for?

Mostly everything in our lives

Synthetic Polymer #2


What natural resources does this come from?

Horse hooves and bones

What would we use this synthetic material for?

Sticking things together.



Chemical Reactions


How do natural resources go through a chemical reaction to become synthetic materials?

*important words to think about…polymerization, monomer, polymer


•Their natural state has been processed and chemically changed through polymerization to turn into a synthetic polymer.


What is a monomer?

•A monomer is a molecule that is able to help in the process of polymerization


What is polymerization?


•polymerization is a process of bonding monomer molecules together




Sources I used:,,


Swanson, Debbie. “What’s a Monomer?” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 8 Mar. 2018,