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In our 4th (final) attempt of the ecodome we put in less soil so the layer is thinner which may provide more oxygen to the grasshoppers. The plant we put in this time is different from the one from the 3rd attempt because we wanted to see if grasshoppers are able to survive with any type of plant to eat. We put 3 of the plants and it is all bigger than the one from our last try. We are planning to put 2 grasshoppers tomorrow to test it out. We didn't spray any water because we thought that the soil was already sort of moist.

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This is the planning we did before making the ecodome. We didn't make any further changes when we actually started to build the ecodome. We decided to put more plants and lettuce rather than oatmeal, and also put soil that is not that moist, but rich.

Observation

Both of our grasshoppers where found alive and we let them go after we opened it. There were way less water vapors surrounding the container. There weren't any mold and we could see some parts of the leaves eaten by the grasshopper. The plants seemed like they grew over the week, and the grasshopper sort of ate the lettuce. When we opened the ecodome, the grasshoppers were sticking onto the plants.

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Conclusion

I think the mold was not created because we didn't put the oatmeal in this time. Also, the grasshoppers had plenty of food such as lettuce and plants to eat so they didn't die. We didn't put extra spray of water into the soil which is why there weren't much water vapors. When we opened to ecodome it was not so moist because we didn't include water sprays to the soil.

Reflection/Research

Since we didn't spray water to the soil, there weren't water vapors. I think this may be another reason why our grasshoppers were alive. Due to research, grasshoppers live in dry areas. They can eat any type of plant, so we didn't have a specific way of how we picked which plant we are going to put in. Next time we are planning to add less soil and more plant to make a similar environment to where the grasshopper normally lives in nature.

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Observation

When we opened the ecodome 1 grasshopper we put in was dead. It was very moist with water vapors surrounding all around the container as shown in the pictures above. Some plants were alive and some where dead. It seemed like the grasshopper didn't eat the oatmeal both during the first and the second time. There was less mold compared to last time but there was still some oatmeal on the dry sand covered in mold. The dry soil also became sort of wet because of the water vapors. It seemed like the grasshopper didn't eat anything because the plants were not eaten.

Conclusion

The mold was created even though we put dry soil in half of the container. I think this is because we put the plastic wrapper because it collected more water which dropped to the soil. Also since the oatmeal only causes mold and the grasshopper doesn't eat it we are not going to put it next time.

Reflection/Research

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After the first design we made some changes to our ecodome. We first divided the base soil into two different kinds because we thought that the soil was too moist for the grasshopper. On one side we put the white dry soil and covered it with oatmeal. On the other side we put it the original soil we used in the first trial and plants for them to eat. We set up a boundary with flat rocks. Also we included plastic wrap and covered the top of the moist soil. This is to gain water on the wrapper once the water evaporates and it would eventually fall back to the plants to provide water.

 

  1. From the research, preparation and the debates themselves, what did you learn about the art of persuasion? Please explain.

From the debates I learned that persuasive voice, good reasoning, accurate data, and counterclaims are what makes a persuasive argument to win a debate.

  1. How do you establish credibility as a debater? Explain fully.

As a debater you establish credibility by using reliable sources, numbered statistics, expert opinions, and real-life narratives.

  1. What surprised you the most about your debate and/or the debate experience?

What surprised me the most is how much I got passionate in the topic during the debate. I got to participate actively in the rebuttal to challenge the opponent and it was surprising how I had to think creatively to get an idea.

  1. What were you most proud of in your own debate?

I am most proud of my work of finding reliable sources to create a whole argument and persuade others about the airplane. I also got to learn more about counterclaims and how to write about what the opponent might say.

  1. What would be your next steps? Or in other words, what would you have done differently?

Next time I would spend some time practicing the speech and making it sound more interesting to engage the audience.

This is a planning doc for my debate with all my research, sources, and claims.

Self Assessment

Peer Assessment

In ELA we had a big writing assignment where we had to choose a topic that we are interested in to write a informative essay. I wrote about how ants communicate because I thought it would be an interesting topic to write after reading the book 'Empire of the Ants' by Bernard Werber. One of my biggest achievements during this assignment was that I really learned a lot about ants and learned the "formula" for writing an informative essay. The part I struggled with the most was finding sources and time management. The sources in the databases didn't have enough facts to support my writing. Also, it was challenging to find all the sources for a few week and finish writing the paper few weeks after. Next time, I would decide on my 3 body paragraphs first before I start research because some of my notecards were useless in the actual essay. This is the link to my informational essay.

Observations:

When we first looked at our ecodome after it was left for a few weeks, it was all covered with mold. The 2 grasshoppers were dead and we dumped everything out. When we opened the lid it smelled stinky. As we observed the ecodome before throwing it out, we could see that the mold was all over the parts where we left food. The plant was still alive but it didn't seem like the grasshopper ate the plant. The amount of water was pretty much the same. Also, there were lots of water vapors around the sides of the container also caused by water.

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Conclusion

Reflect/Research:

Snake plant converts a lot of CO2 (carbon dioxide) to O2 (oxygen) at night by photosynthesis. Grasshoppers usually eat fresh wheat leaves, corn leaves and other vegetable plants. Most grasshoppers prefer dry open habitats with lots of grass and other low plants. I think the grasshoppers died because they had lack of food which was covered in mold and the environment was too moist.

 

Our ecodome had to be built in any way so that it contains at least 1 grasshopper/cricket still alive few weeks after the ecodome is sealed. The picture below was a first sketch of what we thought would make a good ecodome for our grasshopper to survive.

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We included plants to provide oxygen. We chose the plant by looking at the size and estimating how much oxygen it would produce. We had ⅓ of the container filled with soil for the plant and the grasshopper to live in a comfortable space. We put 1/3 so that the roots of the plants are covered in soil. The soil we chose was selected by the color and how moist it was. We chose a dark moist soil from the area that the plants were planted. We put in 2 grasshoppers because we thought 1 would have a lower chance of surviving by it's own, and 3 would be to many because they might have no more oxygen to breathe. We put in 4 worms to make the soil rich and make the environment closest to the nature as possible. We included a small amount of water in the cap of a water bottle for the grasshoppers to drink, and covered the soil with food so that the grasshoppers have enough to eat and don't fight over food.

Some chances we made during the actual building process was that we put a specific type of plant that also produces oxygen during night. We also added a small branch so that the grasshoppers can move around in different heights inside the container.

 

What did you do?

In ELA we worked on writing a newspaper article on whatever topic we wanted. We learned how newspaper articles were structured, the context, and the format. I wrote about the HCMC Korean Youth Orchestra because I was participating and thought that it would be good to know more about the Orchestra. I had to interview people like the conductor, a student participating in the orchestra and a parent sending their kids to the orchestra. This was also a new experience to ask questions and quote it in my writing.

What did you learn?

I learned how to write an informative writing without any fluffs. In newspaper articles, it is important to keep it short and simple using more facts than descriptive adjectives. At first I struggled on writing it like an article because it was the first time writing a journal. I could learn a new type of writing and I liked it because the way to write it was pretty straight forward.

This is the final newspaper we created.

How was Q1 for you?

It felt like quarter 1 went by really fast. I had lots of memories with my friends and developed academically. I learned new skills to write, observe, and think creatively. In ELA I typically liked lit circles because it was better than last year where the activities weren't so entertaining and they are repetitive. I had no real struggles in Q1 and I mostly enjoyed it. It was sometimes tiring to get more expectations because we're in 8th grade. I certainly felt that we had more work to do, but it resulted in high quality of learning.

MINIMALIST POSTERS


RESEARCH PROCESS

  • How did it go conducting research? Triumphs? Challenges?

The research was challenging because the information about Pascal was repetitive and it was hard to find information about certain categories such as what triggered his curiosity and how did others influence him. However throughout the project I got used to using the databases to get accurate information.

  • What did you learn about yourself when you had to take notes?

When I had to take-notes I learned that it was challenging to put the information in my own words. I used different strategies so that I have one row with direct quotation and another row with the information paraphrased. I learned that paraphrasing is really helpful when I start on my actual paragraph writing because it is easier to understand.

NARRATIVE HOOKS

  • What insights did you gain about narrative hooks that you may not have been so aware of before?

I used to think that narrative hooks are only to hook the reader so that they become interested in my writing. I now think that narrative hooks not only engage the reader, but they also help our writing to get more professional and polished.

  • What narrative hooks did you experiment with in your writing?

I experimented variety of sentence length, descriptive adjectives, and using strong adverbs. I used short sentences at the front so that it catches the audience and creates a mood. Strong adverbs helped the sentence be more descriptive and suspensive.

VLOGGING

  • What discoveries did you encounter as you were vlogging? (copy & paste from your reflection)

While I was vlogging I could fix my writing where it was not so fluent. Also when I included background music in my writing sounded more like a book.

Historical Narrative 1

Historical Narrative 2

Historical Narrative w/ Musical Accompaniment

Reflection VLOG

What is your BIGGEST TAKEAWAY (BIGGEST LEARNING) from our Revolutionary Thinker’s Project?

I think my biggest takeaway during the project is my writing skills.. Learning how to use narrative hooks is one of my biggest achievements because it made my writing look professional. I also learned how to paraphrase a large idea of information into my own words.

LINK TO MY FINAL ZINE