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

Argumentative Essay

Did you know that 165 million tons of plastic fill the world? Furthermore, of that plastic, only 9% is recycled? Plastic has affected the world in many ways. It has helped our economy but also damaged the environment. That’s why governments should ban single-use plastics as it reduces plastic contamination, saves other animal species, and helps the economy.  


First, a ban on single-use plastics will reduce plastic contamination. Ella MacArthur Foundation estimates that in 2050, there will be 937 million tons of plastic compared to 895 million tons of fish. That’s more plastic than fish, and it’s mostly because plastic has increased by 20-fold in the last 50 years. Plastic may have changed our lives, but it has also ‘overpopulated’ EarthWhen we tested the PM 2.5 from burning single-stick of plastic in science class, the P2.5 went above the largest value on the device. Plus, plastic also releases many chemical toxins (e.g. BPA and PS oligomer, shown by the College of Pharmacy in Japan) and takes 1,000 years to decompose. Imagine how much a ban on single-use plastic would do. When Washington put a 5-cent tax on plastic, it reduced plastic by 85%. That’s a lot of plastic reduced just through a simple ban, and Washington’s only a state in the US. Banning plastic by governments worldwide would do a great and just thing for the Earth and reduce plastic contamination by a lot. 


Secondly, single-use plastics harm other animal species and eventually, us. Over 1,000,000 marine animals die from plastic pollution, annually. But, that’s only in the ocean. 318 animal species extinction were A cause of pollution 318 animal species wiped off the surface of the Earth never to be seen again, because of pollution. Many, from plastic pollution, or worse, plastic ingestion. A 2019 case study proved that 100% of animals dead on the UK coast had died from ingesting plastic. So could humans. As humans eat other animals, which eat other animals, and some of those may have eaten plastic. For example, maybe the tuna you ate for lunch had eaten other animals that ingested plastic. WWF has even shown that a person consumes 5 grams of plastic a week. When you ingest plastic, the plastic doesn’t digest, it stays there until it kills you or until you die. We could end up like the animals on the UK coast. 


Finally, single-use plastic contributes to the loss of economic value period now some people may say that a ban on single-use plastic actually damages the economy because we rely on plastic so much. The Earth Policy Institute does say that we use 1 trillion single-use plastics every year, 2 million a minute, so yes, we do rely on plastic. However, plastic damages the economy more80-120 billion US dollars’ worth of plastic material value is lost to the economy each year. An example is California. California has spent 25 million dollars on landfill discarded plastic bags and 0.5 billion dollars to prevent entry of plastic in waterways. A ban on single-use plastics would save these problems and save the economy. Plus, the ban would be directed at single-use plastic, not all plastics. This way it won’t affect the economy as much.  


A ban on single-use plastic is important and takes us a step closer to saving the Earth. Imagine a world where plastic is everywhere and where the only species on Earth is us, humans. There would be no vibrant colors, no wildlife, no nature. It doesn’t sound like a happy place, and yet, that could be the future world for us in our grandchildren. Plastic has done good but also abominated our world, our home, our Earth. After all, no one wants plastic to take over our planet Earth, to destroy it. It’s what a ban on single-use plastic will prevent. It’s why governments should ban single-use plastic as it will save millions even billions of animal lives, reduce plastic contamination, and Lastly, save the economy. 

Reflective Blog Post

In the second project of product design, we created prototypes that would be able to detect a smell. The prototype that I created was based on a plant, it’s called the Smell-gical plant. It has some tentacle-like things that are made out of plastic and a pot-shaped base. There is also a painted half-sphere on top of a tube leading to the smell detectors and a transmission chip. The transmission chip receives the smell and sends it to the data screen which then shows what smell you are trying to detect.

Something I would change if I got the chance would be to organize my time better because, in the end, I didn’t get to finish my prototype. As I spent the entire first-class trying to find out how to make a pot shape out of cardboard. One tip I would give future students is to organize your plan really really well because it helps your project by a lot.

Overall, I think this was a fun project. I had fun playing with upcycled materials and trying different creative ideas for a smelling prototype. I also hope future students have fun too with this project.

Lightbox Reflection

For our first quarter in Product Design, we were challenged to create a lightbox that featured a special place — one that we missed or couldn’t visit due to the coronavirus.  For my lightbox, I chose to create a Lake Tahoe scenery. I would go there almost every year during winter break to visit my hometown and my friends back in America. We would ski together, a great way of celebrating winter break and Christmas!

This is a view of my lightbox from the back.

This is a bird’s eye view of all my layers that went into the lightbox.


This is my lightbox.

Lake Tahoe has really clear, blue skies with beautiful stratus clouds. There were also breath-taking snow-peaked mountains that were dotted with trees. I also really enjoy skiing. I wanted to recreate the beautiful image of Lake Tahoe and show my love for skiing.


An important feature of my lightbox was Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator is a software that allows you to create shapes that will be laser-cut out of the laser-cutter.  All of my layers were made with the Laser-cutter and Adobe Illustrator out of wood. Using Illustrator, you can use icons or shapes to create a specific design that you want. An example of my layer using Illustrator is the layer with a skier. In this layer, I first used a skier icon from Nouns Project. Then, I used the eraser tool in Illustrator to create a hill out of a specific sized rounded rectangle. Next, I expanded and transformed my skier into the ideal shape I wanted. Finally, I merged the skier and the hill using the pathfinder tool in Illustrator.

An important skill I learned was a painting technique. In 3 out of 5 layers in my lightbox, I used trees. For my mountains, I didn’t know how to make realistic looking miniature trees. I tried many different types of ways of painting on paper and found out the perfect way to make trees. I dipped my paintbrush in water to get the tip of the brush pointy and painted small dots to create a speckled look on the mountains. This created a mountain from far away with many trees on it.

A challenge I had to overcome was choosing which place to create a lightbox on (brainstorming). Normally, I have a hard time choosing but this time was harder as I knew I could only create one lightbox. I came up with 4 ideas; Australia, Maldives, Africa, and Lake Tahoe. All 4 places had some connection to me in some way and were all very close to my heart. In the end, I chose Lake Tahoe as it was near my home. It also reminded me of memories of home and friends.

One thing that I would change about my lightbox is the layers with the cable cars. I created the white snow and trees first. Then, I used a black pen to draw some cable cars. The first time I drew the cable cars, they were too big. I had to repaint the layer with white, paint on the trees again, and restart. However, different from my thoughts, the black pen’s ink smeared and created a purple to black color hint in the white. I couldn’t afford to repaint because it would get too thick so I had to continue with my layers. If I had the chance, I would completely repaint it and use a new layer.

Overall, I think that this lightbox was a success. I really enjoyed creating it and had fun playing with Adobe Illustrator. One suggestion for future students is to double-check your work before putting your file from Adobe Illustrator onto Mr. Layman’s folder. A lot of my classmates had to re-print their layers and cause a little waste of resources. I hope future students have fun with this project!

Newsela Summary

Happiness does not make you lazier, study has proven to show that happiness actually increases your work productivity. Also, happiness benefits society improves your health, makes you choose less risky choices, and be more respectful! The purpose of life is for happiness and yet while our world has developed and we have gotten richer, we haven’t gotten happier :(.  Happiness doesn’t mean your magical or can live forever, it just brings advantages. It is something everyone wishes for their loved ones, a purpose for life.

Habitat Mini Project

1. What is your biggest take away from 6th-grade science?

My biggest take away from 6th-grade science was that I learned about the CER and how different living organisms interact with each other in an environment. I also learned new keywords like symbiosis, commensalism, and many others. I really loved the fact that I was able to do a topic on animals because I absolutely love and adore wild animals.

 2. What would you like to work on for next year in science?

I would like to work on my explanations and the CER. I would also like to continue studying animals as a topic because it would be great fun and a fascinating topic!


This is my Thinglink, enjoy!

Our Stories Make History: Final Product

In the unit Our Stories Make History, I worked on creating primary sources so that people would understand what it was like during the coronavirus lockdown. I also learned about the reliability of sources – learning to know which source should be trusted and which shouldn’t. I created a final project using things like timelines of emotions, diary entries, images, and others.

I organized my project on Thinglink because I created some assignments like the collage online and I only had a black and white printer. I thought that it would be easier to create and for people to see because if you created it on paper, the paper would be easier to break. Thinglink is also fun because you can just click the buttons and the information and everything will show up.

I think that this primary source will be good for future people because they will know what it felt and was like during the coronavirus, it would kind of be like Anne Frank’s diary.  They will understand what we had to do (wearing mask, etc.) and how we learned through staying home. Also, people could improve on the mistake we made and this pandemic would not be ignored, it would make people more cautious. It would be good for future historians because this could help them learn more about the past — our now — and what it felt like during this pandemic. Future 6th graders could also learn from this because they would be able to know what to do if this happens again and how to learn most effectively.

Being able to create a primary source for the future is really exciting because it could become an important part of history and prevent humans from making more mistakes like this time.  During this process, my skills for writing diaries improved a lot (I used to not know how to write a diary entry correctly). I felt that finding evidence in articles and learning to understand which articles were trustworthy or biased were challenging. I felt most proud of the final outcome because I hope that it will serve a good purpose in the future and it will be something that will help me remember about this journey.

I hope you enjoy my final project for this unit!

Thinglink Project:

Performance Project:

Creative Performance, Dancing Emotions

This is a dance routine that I created and was made on iMovie. This routine shows some of my emotions during the coronavirus outbreak.


Dear Abby Letter: Character Conflict

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         October 15th, 2006

Dear Abby,

I moved to America from Taiwan, so my family is Chinese-American. My parents speak Chinese but I don’t. I have two sisters; one bigger than me called Lissy, and one smaller than me called Ki-Ki.

This year is the Year of the Dog, and my parents say that this year is meant for you to find your best friend ( since a dog is a mans best friend) and finding yourself (means deciding what your values are and what you want to do when you grow up.)  I searched this entire year for careers/jobs I could do when I grow up and now it’s October!

I entered the science fair with Melody — another Chinese-American like me — but we did not get a prize. I auditioned for the Wizard of the Oz as Dorothy but I got cast as a munchkin! I also entered an entry in the “National Written and Illustrated Awards Contest”, but the results haven’t come out yet. The Year of the Dog is almost ended! How will I find my future career before the year ends?


The Chinese-American Job Seeker

Early Humans and Us Reflection

In the Early Humans and Us project, one thing that went really well is was that I had a lot of fun researching my topic and I learned a lot of new things that I didn’t know before like how to cite sources I used and about early humans and their lives.

I think that one thing that didn’t go so well is time management because I come home late every day of the week due to classes outside of school so, I sometimes didn’t get as much work done as I hoped to complete.  Also, I had some problems with technology because I was new to most of the sources we used.

If I could restart this project, I would give us(students) more time because most of the time working on this project, I would feel stressed because I would often feel like I’m racing against time. I would also change my infographic because it had too many words and not enough pictures.

Early Humans and Us Project

In the Early Humans and Us project, everyone chose a topic—there were three topics, diet, community, and technology— to research on.  I chose the community topic and then created a project on Thinglink with the research I collected. We were to include 6 buttons; one button for a self-created infographic, one button for an Early Humans primary source, one button for a Modern Humans primary source, one button that had an oral reflection connected, and one button that had a list of all sources linked(due to technical issues, I couldn’t complete the last button). Overall, this project was a success and I really enjoyed it.

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