To be an agent of change, I must inspire others to make a change by supporting the claim with evidence and reasoning. Some interesting things I learned about are: The Great Smog of London and China’s reliance on coal, which helped me understand the harm of coal. For example, The Great Smog of London was caused by coal burning and killed 12,000 people in 1952; currently, China is facing the same problem that London faced in 1952. One thing I found really surprising was that there are technologies that can reduce coal pollution and increase the efficiency, which made me think if the government can’t shut down all the coal industries, they can make the coal industries apply such technologies. Completing this project I learned that I struggle in writing a counterclaim and a rebuttal for it. For example, when writing my capstone essay, I wasn’t able to write a counterclaim until I got advice from a teacher. Before this project I used to think gasoline emits less pollutants than coal, now I think that both of them are not sustainable. The driving question impacts me or my community because being a bystander would not help with any situation. Looking back on Project Capstone, I realize that coal reduction can only be accomplished if coal industries and citizens adapt to sustainable practices, whilst the government has to enforce the laws and regulations. However, a big question I still have is: why was the Great Smog of London mystery left unsolved for 20 years?
During phase 1, I looked at many global and local topics that are related to the sustainable development goal. I chose coal burning because it is a huge problem globally, but is a much bigger issue in China. I curated more than 20 sources to gather information. I also surveyed people in Hutongs to get their opinions on coal burning that I wasn’t able to find online.
In phase 2, I had to write an argumentative essay to inform the readers about the harm of coal burning and what China has to do to solve it. I didn’t have much trouble with writing the introduction and the supporting paragraph. However, I struggled to write the conclusion because I didn’t know how to summarize the body paragraphs without being too repetitive. I was still able to write the conclusion after getting advice and feedback from my peers.
Phase 3, I had to make a short film to inspire the audience to make a change. I chose to do a public service announcement (PSA) because it can deliver the information quickly. After getting feedback, I realized the I wasn’t explaining the actions specific enough, so I added what are the benefits of each action.