"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

Pleasure reading

Title: Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Page: Whole book, re-reading it.


“For you, thousand times over.”

  • At the very beginning of the book, when Rahim Khan calls him from Pakistan, Amir recalls his memory of Hassan saying this quote. He also remembers what he had done to Hassan back then with the memory. Contrastingly, at the end of the book, Amir says the exact same thing to Sohrab. This implies Amir’s determination to pledge he would act to Sohrab as Hassan used to do to him.


  • Hassan and Amir used to play with slingshots. Back then, when Assef tried to harm Amir, Hassan protected him with his slingshot, threatening that he would shoot the shot in his left eye if he continued bullying Amir. At the climax of the story, when Amir was deadly punched by Assef, Sohrab hit the slingshot on Assef’s left eye, which was the part that Hassan would have aimed to.


  • Hassan congenitally has harelip from his birth. This was a characteristic that best represented Hassan at first glance. Baba called a doctor to heal the harelip, but it did not work. At the end of the book, when Assef beats up Amir mercilessly, Amir’s lip splits into two as if he has a harelip. The connotation in the harelip is sacrifice. Hassan sacrificed all his life for Amir, and even though Baba tried to change Hassan’s position, Hassan’s faith did not change. In addition, when Amir gets beaten by Assef while protecting Sohrab, his lips were split into two pieces. When he sacrificed for Sohrab, he eventually got the harelip.

Pleasure Reading

The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Page number: 163


From the beginning of the book to where I am now, what Amir had done to Hassan and how Amir and his father suffered the influence of the war were the main contents. Throughout the chapters, I found some points that might contain deepened thoughts.

  1. Blue kite

The most potent kite was the blue kite when the kite fight happened. When Amir cut the kite, Hassan ran to where the kite would drop and caught the kite. I felt the kite might represent a tear falling from an eye, and Hassan is the one who keeps that from falling down.


G9 Engineering Project_Reflect & Share

Reflect and Share

My final product

Why the product did not work?

Hypothesis #1 – Something was wrong with copper and aluminum strips

As I mentioned before, due to the absence of copper and zinc strips, I made the strips by taping copper tape and aluminum foil on a metal board. Since the strips were not made by accurate and professional machines or people, I could not determine whether the strips were suitable for this device. This is why I could not avoid the possibility of strips having a problem.


Hypothesis #2 – Voltage from the lemon battery was not enough to run a motor

This is the initial concern that I have considered from the beginning of the project. I was optimistic about this obstacle as I believed the motor would work, but the speed of the motor might be slow. Speed does not need to be fast in the carousel, so I ignored the problem.


To find out which one was the problem that disabled the product, I used a voltmeter to measure the voltage produced in the circuit. If the voltage is not observed, there is something wrong with the strips. If the voltage exists at a low rate, the lemon battery or the number of lemons is not enough to produce enough voltage to run a carousel. If the voltage is high, everything gets totally wrong, and there is a problem that I can even define.

Running the voltmeter told me that the problem was in the lemon battery not providing enough voltage to the carousel.


I used three lemons to actuate the carousel, but it still did not work.

Then, I came up with a question, “Will the product work if I put enough lemons in the circuit?”


Research about “Will the product work if I put enough lemons in the circuit?”

I found a post of a student that questions precisely what I asked. The student was doing a lemon battery experiment and tried to run a motor with the battery. She increased the voltage by 12.98V using a serial connection method, but the motor, which works with a single 1.5V battery, did not work.

Staff from the Korea Institue of Energy Research gave a reply to the question. What he said is:

A certain amount of voltage and electric current is required when running an electric device. In your case, it seems that the circuit’s voltage is high enough to actuate the motor as plenty of lemons are serial connected. Then, the problem would likely be in the intensity of the electric current, as it is expected to fall short to operate the motor.


My analysis

Rephrasing the word from the staff, even though the voltage was high enough, the intensity of the electric current might fall short due to the increased resistance. This is happened because of a special relationship between the intensity of electric current, voltage, and resistance.

Ohm’s law explains the relationship between the three components. Specifically, the first formula [V=IR] shows if the voltage is constant, the intensity of electric current decreases when resistance increases. Using the serial connection, the voltage was high enough in the lemon battery. However, resistance also increased hugely because it took too many wires to create a serial connection. Consequently, the intensity of the electric current cannot increase.

Therefore, to answer my research question, it turned out that increasing the number of lemons would not help running the motor as while voltage increases, resistance also gets more extensive and does not let the intensity of the electric current increase.


Reflection on my skills

I had a clear division of success and struggle throughout the project. The successful part is 3D modeling the pieces. Although the project requires precise and accurate measures and calculations, I modeled 5 works without a significant error. This allowed me to save time and use it in other sections. The field that I need improvement in is assembling the pieces. It was obviously the most challenging part. I took multiple classes to straightly align the shaft of the motor and pillar. It took 30min-1hour to stick horses on the bottom of the roof. Throughout the project, I acknowledged that my weakness was in manufacturing skills. I might spend less time planning for further projects while providing more building time to cover my manufacturing skills.

G9 Engineering Project_Create & Improve

Create and Improve

Steps to make this product (also posted on Develop and Plan)

  1. Model the parts that need to be 3D printed. Send it to the 3D printing request site.
  2. Assemble the 3D printed parts.
  3. Stick horses on the roof and immobilize motor to pillar using a glue gun.
  4. Make lemon battery with copper strips, zinc strips, wires, and lemon.
  5. Connect lemon battery and motor.

1.  Model the parts that need to be 3D printed. Send it to the 3D printing request site.

Diagram of overall parts

Parts that need to be 3D modeled & printed:

roof, horses, base, pillar, and frame


1) Roof

Measurements: 12 x 12 x 2.5 (cm^3) [(length) x (width) x (height)]

The shape of roof is simply dodecagonal pyramid with a hole on the bottom-middle. The hole is for the pillar to be assembled.

2) Pillar

Measurements: 2.7 x 2.7 x 11.5 (cm^3)

The length and width of the pillar are accurately calculated in order to exactly fit the hole on the roof. Inside the pillar is hollow as my plan to immobilize motor together with pillar is to fill glue stick inside the pillar, heat up the shaft of the motor, and stick it to pillar.

3) Base

Measurements: 12 x 12 x 5 (cm^3)

Unlike the roof, base is designed with hexagonal shape, as dodecagonal column does not give space to make a hole to pull out the wires connected to motor. Every hole in this piece is precisely measured for motor. The cylinder hole is to grab motor and two square holes are for pulling out wires from the base. The rectangular hole on the cylinder is designed in order to connect wire to the bottom of motor where the parts that need connection are.

4) Horses

Measurements: Cannot be defined (Approximately, 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 (cm^3), including the height of long pole on its back)

Four pieces with same model were printed. They are the most complex pieces in this product. Due to its complexity and small size, few legs were broken while removing supports.

5) Frame

Measurements: 7.5 x 19.8 x 7.5 (cm^3)

Two hemisphere holes are designed to put lemon on it. They will hold the lemon juice being spilled on the floor. The parallel holes on the hemispheres are to put copper and aluminum strips. Thereby, the lemon battery device can be organized neatly.


2.  Assemble the 3D printed parts

Assemble plan 1) Roof + Pillar

When assembling the parts, accurate measurement was the most critical condition to success. I gave 1mm difference of thickness between the hole and the pillar. Fortunately, it fit so rightly that I did not need to advise design or put additional work.

Assemble plan 2) Base + Motor

This image clearly shows the usage of holes on the base. Also for this one, measurements should be precisely calculated for the hole that motor comes in. It worked well too.

Assemble plan 3) Assemble 1 + Assemble 2 + Horses

The horses are stuck with glue gun. However, since a glue gun also melted the roof, it led the bottom of the roof to be bumpy. The final step of carousel part was the most struggling section in manufacturing works. The reason is because the shaft of the motor should be placed on the center of the pillar exactly vertically. After I made first try, I acknowledged that without the condition, pillar will spin in an odd angle with gigantic vibration caused by unbalanced movements. At the end, I filled the pillar with glue stick, heated the shaft of motor, and used the heat to melt the glue stick. After glue stick cooled down, the shaft of the motor was fixed. It somehow worked, but it was not satisfying enough. Some minor rattling sound and movement were still observed.


3. Stick horses on the roof and immobilize motor to pillar using a glue gun.

Pillar + Roof + Horses

Bumpy bottom of the roof is shown on the image above. The image also shows two holes have identical size which allows them to be fit perfectly.

Pillar + Motor + Base

The actual process of using the holes on the base. All of them were designed carefully and thoughtfully in order to avoid re-printing pieces which takes considerably more time and resources.

4. Make lemon battery with copper strips, zinc strips, wires, and lemon.

Copper and aluminum should be connected, other two wires are connected to motor. That is how to create electric current flow by transforming potential energy from lemon pieces to electric energy. Detailed information about how lemon battery works in Define and Inquire.


5. Connect lemon battery and motor.

This is the end of making process. As I did not plan to make a switch, the device should operate when the wires are all connected. Whereas the photo above shows that the product is not working appropriately though every components are placed alright.



The device did not work. As the carousel worked well when powered by AA battery, the reasonable problem is on copper and aluminum strips or deficient power supply of lemon battery.


To be continued in Reflect and Share about why the device did not work.

G9 Engineering Project_Develop & Plan

Develop and Plan

Applying and reflecting on the pros and cons of Define and Inquire, I came up with two designed ideas based on the precedents researched. One is from the first steam engine, and another is from the potato clock (fruit battery). I skipped developing an idea of a second precedent, a solar panel light bulb since I believed it was way too simple and would not be able to put or show enough effort in the product.

An idea generated from “the first steam engine.”

This product essentially displays energy transfer in the first steam engine how it works.

In this mechanism, energy transfer starts from heat energy, turns to gravity potential energy, and ends with kinetic energy. In the process, due to heat and cooling water that is added repeatedly, the water turns to steam when heat is added, and it comes back to water when cooling water is added. Since steam has a considerably larger volume than water, the volume inside the tank repeats, increases, and decreases. Consequently, the piston moves vertically up and down.

By controlling the torch, users can decide whether to expand or contract inner volume. Thereby, users can directly observe how energy transfer works and where it is used.

On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to move considerably in the simplified and reduced structure. It might turn out not to show any operation, which is a complete failure. Besides, it is complicated to build the system.


An idea generated from the “potato clock.”

This idea is mainly originated from the potato clock. The only difference is the usage of electricity. Instead of actuating clock, it runs a carousel that tallies with the objective of this project, to make a device that can entertain children.

The product is designed as the image above, Two (or more if needed) fruits with zinc and copper strips plugged in are connected to a motor inside the base of the carousel. Then, using specially designed gear, a vertically spinning motor horizontally runs the part of a carousel where horses are attached. The gear is called bevel gear, which allows transmitting the direction of mechanical power happened between two shafts.

This device would mostly be made by 3D printing, as it demands high quality and accurate measures.


The decision between two options & the reason

My final selection for the project is a “fruit-powered carousel.”


The reasons for selection are:

-The model of the first steam engine seems to be so complicated that I cannot finish the project in 2 weeks. Fruit-powered carousel has a higher probability of success.

-Considering the objective of the project, fruit powered carousel better fits the purpose as it is a nice toy for young children and at the same time, educates straightforward about energy transfer. Whereas, the model of the first steam engine is too dangerous for young children to play with.


Planning/ Specifying the product

Materials: 3D printer & filament, 1 motor, 5 or more wires, two pieces of fruit (lemon is recommended), glue gun, two copper strips, and two zinc strips.

Techniques: 3D modeling, scientific knowledge about the reduction-oxidation reaction (redox reaction),  some knowledge about electronics.

+additional note: I found out that ISB does not have copper and zinc strips. There was nothing about zinc but for copper, instead of copper strips, copper tapes exist. Through brief research, I figured out that aluminum can play the same role as zinc in the redox reaction. So as an alternative, I am planning to work with taping copper tape and aluminum foil around the thin metal boards instead of copper and zinc strips (supervisor staff told me that it is the only kind of thin metal in Fab Lab).


Steps for creating the device
  1. Model the parts that need to be 3D printed. Send it to the 3D printing request site.
  2. Assemble the 3D printed parts.
  3. Stick horses on the roof and immobilize motor to pillar using a glue gun.
  4. Make lemon battery with copper strips, zinc strips, wires, and lemon.
  5. Connect lemon battery and motor.
DP_G9 Engineering Project

This is a link to a document file with all the images that are supposed to be in this document.

Due to the poor quality of the photos, I am attaching this file.

G9 Engineering Project_Define & Inquire

Define and Inquire


Follow a design process to conceptualize and engineer a device that demonstrates your understanding of energy transfer.

Design, build and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another format of energy.

  • Show energy transfer
  • Respond to a clear purpose and user
  • Be original, durable, and safe
  • Consider the environment
  • Function
  • Look good


Quick brainstorming:




  • First steam engine

Energy transfer: Heat -> Gravity potential -> Kinetic


The first steam-powered device was a water pump which Newcomen devised. By applying the principle that the volume of water increases hugely when it becomes steam, Newcomen’s device repeats heating water up and cooling down so that the piston would move due to its volume change. But due to its poor efficiency, it was not used right after it appeared in the world. It was developed in 1698 by Thomas Savery. It used condensing steam to create a vacuum that raised water from below and then used steam pressure to raise it higher. Though Newcomen’s first steam engine was not appropriate to use in real life, it is an excellent example of using energy transfer and pressure.


-Clear purpose to teach users about how the first steam engine works.

-Effectively demonstrates the process of energy transfer.

-Looks professional



-Cannot be sure whether it is safe or not.

-When applying this idea, there is a high chance of failure due to its complexity and size.


  • Solar Panel Light Bulb

Energy transfer: Solar Energy -> Electric energy -> Light energy


Solar panel light bulb mainly consists of three components: light bulb, solar panel, and wires. The solar panel converts solar energy to electric energy using the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect essentially describes that sunlight produces electrons when it hits an object. Applying this principle, the solar panels can convert solar energy to electric energy. When the electric power is created, it flows through the wire and lights up the light bulb.


A solar panel is the upmost frequently seen renewable energy. Whereas other types of renewable energy require complicated technologies or massive-size producing facilities, solar power is convenient and straightforward to use on various occasions.



-Responds to how energy transfer happens.

-Considers environment, additional knowledge for users about renewable energy.

-Provides light to users.



-Too simple; not challenging.

-Cannot develop innovative and fascinating products when applying solar panels.



  • Potato Clock

Energy transfer: Chemical potential energy -> Electric energy -> Light energy

For the general name of this device, a fruit battery would be more appropriate. This device’s most significantly used principle is the reduction-oxidation reaction called a redox reaction. Each copper and zinc strip is poked in the potatoes and creates a current flow that allows using chemical potential energy inside the potato. This happens as copper has a property that it prefers to lose its electrons, and zinc has the property to gain electrons flowing freely. The current flows and electricity are produced since potato, copper, and zinc strip are connected with wires.



-Clearly shows energy transfer

-Uses renewable energy (eco-friendly)

-Can be applied to various devices by changing electricity usage from the clock to other products.



-Needs some rarely used materials such as zinc and copper strips.

-Cannot be sure whether the power from the fruit battery will run other devices that require higher voltage.



DI_G9 Engineering Project

This is a link to a document file with all the images that are supposed to be in this document.

Due to the poor quality of the photos, I am attaching this file.

Dec. 12 / Pleasure Reading

Title: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Author: Mark Haddon

Page: Finished

I finished the book with a help of an audiobook. I continuously listen to a soundtrack that reads the book, which helped me a lot in saving time. Since I had enough time, I actually read the book, though.

In my opinion, the moral of the story is “just do it rather than staying still.” In the story, the main character Christopher has autism which is a mental disorder that gives whirlwind changes to a patient’s thought mechanism. Even though he sometimes showed some frustrating behaviors caused by autism, he ultimately succeeded in his goal and got the things that he wanted to have. What he did was brave and courageous.

While I was reading, I could not fully understand why Christopher chose to live with Mother rather than Father. It is certainly frightening for Christopher to know Father’s action of killing Mrs. Shears’ dog because she gave more attention to Wellington than his family. It is reasonable that Father expects Mrs. Shears to help him instead of the divorced wife, but it is not her duty to care about him. The action that he showed was presumptuous and violent. However, except that, Father showed his dedication to Christopher and he did all he could for him. In comparison, Mother cheated on her neighbor, Mr. Shears, and ran away, leaving Christopher and Father. However, after leaving them, she wrote letters continuously to Christopher in order to lessen her guilty and justify what she did to Christopher and Father. Comparing two parents, Father was normally patient and thoughtful but he was too stressed at the time he killed Wellington whereas Mother was usually irresponsible and tries to justify her faults.


Dec. 3 / Pleasure Reading

Title: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Author: Mark Haddon

Page: 48

I am still reading the very front part of the book. Though I haven’t read the part Christopher dealing with this incident, I was able to predict what is going to happen.

In the chapters I read, I could see some evidence that Christopher misses his mother a lot though he himself did not know that he does. For example, while he was talking about where his mother has gone, he mentioned that he sometimes looks up to the sky and thinks about his mother still exists as a small molecule and would come down as rain or snow. He unconsciously revealed his sincerity, wanting to believe that she exists somewhere. Furthermore, it was also shown up in chapter 73 that he remembers that his mother said, “You are going to drive me into an early grave.” He did not mention it clearly, but in his tone of speaking, I feel like he feels guilty for his mother’s early death and thinks it is partially his fault. Through the hidden evidence in the story, I was able to predict that during Christopher solving Wellington’s death, he might get his mother’s vacancy off his chest. Specifically, I strongly feel like the author will use rain/snow as an object that symbols Christopher letting his burden go since rain/snow stands for remaining Mother’s trace and it allows readers to feel the visual effect of letting something go.

My objective is to read about half of the book during the weekend. To figure out whether my interpretation is right or wrong, there is no way but to read more chapters.


+) Additional ideas

How is it possible that Christopher was blocked to resume detection by his father but solve the mystery?

He often shows inappropriate behaviors but I don’t see this as a severe stage of autism. If the author is not talking about people with autism still being the same person as others, what is the moral that the author trying to express through the character Christopher?

Nov. 23 / pleasure reading

Title: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Author: Mark Haddon

Page: 7

So far, since I started reading 10 minutes ago, I don’t even know what is going on. All that I can say is that the main character Christopher has autism and he is going to struggle being witnessed as the last person who contacted the dog. I wonder how the child with autism can get through this struggle.

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