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




Qiming Niu


Lost. That was the first thought I had in my mind when the drifts stopped. My feet, my bare feet, were burning on the scorching hot ground of Dubai and yet hope was nowhere to be seen.


Hamburgers, fries, steaks, fruits, etcetera. Which one is better? I was sitting on an old-fashioned chair in a strange-looking room lit only by a single torch. The room looked somewhat Arabic, with all the decoration and stuff. I was just about to reach for a hamburger when…

“Avarda Kedavra!” There was a flash of green light and everything went, well, green.


“Attention, attention! Please evacuate the drifts and go to the exit immediately! This is an emergency. I repeat, this is an emergency!”


The bright sunlight burned painfully against my face. I tried to adjust my eyes to the radiation, but somehow, I couldn’t.  Interesting, interesting, interesting, I wondered. I’m about to die and I can’t even open my eyes?! Suddenly, a feeling of grief and guilt hit me like a cannonball. If I die, my parents will be devastated and probably will follow me into the underworld – “No!” I was surprised I voiced this word aloud. Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t work. I need to die like a man, not a coward. Blood poured into all of my body parts and I opened my eyes, ignoring the vicious sun. I-


That was all I managed to say.  I was not at all in a strange room with dinner and the Thief of Death, Voldemort, about to brake in. I was… whatever.

A drift. Indeed, I was in a drift, at a strange…

Then I remembered, it was the Aquadventures Waterpark. And I was completely alone.


What is happening? How am I supposed to get out of this mess? And most importantly, where in the world are –

I pushed those thoughts out of my mind. Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t work.

I looked around; there was a water slide about a hundred meters away, but that was too far away; my feet would have been burnt to ashes (or about so) by then.

Lost is in the forest. Lost is in the desert. But have you ever heard of lost in a waterpark?

I took another glance at the surroundings. It was at that moment that I noticed that (I know, I’m using too many “that-s,” that’s because I’m scared and excited – scared and excited… hmm) there was a towel booth only about ten meters away. Yes! Feet burning, heart thumping, I slowly took my foot out of the water and… Ow! My feet immediately retracted back into the water even without the brain’s permission. Focus, focus! This time, I put all my energy on my feet and, grunting with the effort, I managed to keep them crudely on the ground. I took a step forward. The pain was incredible, but I bit my tongue and moved forward, counting one two, one two. One two, one two, one-yes! I had reached the towel booth! I took two towels out and with a slight “whoosh,” they landed right beneath my feet. Instantly, I felt much better. But what next?


“Mmm. This is so tasty!”

I look at the clock. It was half past six at the Aquaventure Waterpark in The Palm, Dubai. [I took another sip of my slushie] Time to get going. The experience I had had in the afternoon was almost fatal, but it also taught me a few important lessons: one is that nothing is given for granted, two is that you should always keep cool in unexpected scenarios, and finally, never stay away from your parents in tourist attractions, or… you’ll be sorry. But before I go, I want to finish the story off. Ready?


I tried moving forward with the two towels; it didn’t work.

“Are liu that kead – what’s your name again – o yeah Qiming?”

I turned around; it was an Arabic man in his mid-30s, wearing a red uniform. Somehow, I knew that he was the head security guard.

The Purr-fect Insulator™

Cup Insulator Design Challenge

The Purr-fect Insulator™

Qiming Niu


Purpose of Experiment: Design a Cup Insulator

Hypothesis: the decrease speed of the temperature of water with the insulator will be slower than the speed without the insulator.

Materials: Aluminum Foil; Cardboard; Felt; Velcro

Experiment Steps: Imagine this – you buy a hot drink from the cafeteria, you happily stride back to your classroom sipping your hot drink, and then, after you got back to your classroom, the drink is cold! But, don’t freak out, we are here to help you! Our brand-new, test-approved model has had great success, when it comes to hot drinks. Don’t believe us? Let’s dive in to the experiment.

First, we planned out our model with sketches, and then made a prototype out of paper. After our teachers approved our prototype, we started to build our model. Making the cover was… fairly easy. We cut a piece of cardboard into the shape of the lid of the mug, wrapped it with aluminum foil, and then used popsicle sticks to make the “handle”. But then came the challenging part – the most challenging part of making the cover – how to make the “handle” stick onto the cover. We first tried to use hot glue to stick the two pieces together, but no mater how hard we tried, the two pieces still won’t stick together properly. Suddenly, an idea came to my mind (at this, I have to give some credit to my partner, Nathan, and Mr. Gabi), how about using masking tape to stick the “handle” and the cover together? So, we tried, and it… worked!

Next came another challenging part – even more challenging than the previous challenge – how to perfectly cover the body of the mug, whilst also making it removable. So, after lots of thinking, we came up with our “body,” which is basically cutting a piece of felt into the shape of the body of the mug, wrap it with aluminum foil, and then cut some of the left-over felt into two small rectangular pieces (which can go through the handle of the mug), and then hot glue the edges of the two rectangular pieces with Velcro. Finally, we hot glued the cover onto the “body.” And the model is complete! Now, we only need to test it. The temperature of the water in the mug without an insulator after 10 minutes is 92°c – 71.1°c (total loss: 20.9°c). The temperature of the water in the mug with an insulator after 10 minutes is 88.4°c – 76.0°c (total loss: 12.4°c).

Conclusion: Based on my experiment, the mug without the insulator lost 8.5°c more than the mug with the insulator after ten minutes. So, my result is consistent with my hypothesis. Why? Because Aluminum foil is made up of aluminum (as the name suggests), which has reflective properties and acts as a barrier to light and oxygen. As a result, the foil reflects the thermal energy back to the mug.

Open Thinking: Would other materials work better, such as rubber or wood? Moreover, if we had more time with the same materials, we would have added some decorations to make it look better (if we had more materials, we would, undoubtfully, had made our design better).

Welcome to Your New Blog!

When you blog you create posts and posts are categorised according to your subject. Some categories have already been set up for you. If you need more categories you can add them as needed. It’s important that your posts have the following:

  • An engaging title – this should not include the name of the subject since this is referenced in the category.
  • Body – this is where you share your learning. This can include text, images, embedded videos from Dragons’ Tube or elsewhere. You should always consider how your post looks to your audience. Is it engaging? Do they want to keep reading?
  • Category – select one that has been set for you or add a new category. Posts can have more than one category e.g. Humanities and Myself as a Learner

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