For my independent studies project, I first chose to research the speed of light because I was interested in why is it the fastest thing in the world and what it was. Later on as I was researching I found that there were lots of connection between the speed of light and the theory of relativity so I changed my general topic to Light and Relativity. I had a few essential questions that drove my research on and on top is my presentation.

Who calculated the speed of light and how?

At first Galileo had the idea of measuring the speed of light but his experiment was to simple and the technology was not advanced enough to calculate the speed of light. Throughout the next 300 years there were many other scientists who tried to calculate the speed of light and in 1983 October 21, 299,792.458 km/second is the adopted value for the speed of light.

What are photons?

Photons is what light consists of and how we can see light. Photons shows both particle as well as wave characteristics. They have 0 rest mass and they can travel at the speed of light.

How can we see light?

There is a wide range of wave lengths and the only range that the human eye can see is from about 400nm to 700nm. The rest we cannot see.

Why can’t there be anything faster than the speed of light?

Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light because as something reaches the speed of light, its mass increases and it's harder to move a heavier object and as you approach the speed of light, the mass would approach infinity and the energy required to move that object would be infinite. But that's not possible and thus it is impossible to get something traveling faster than the speed of light.

What is the theory of relativity?

In 1905 Einstein came up with the special theory of relativity and 10 years later in 1915 he came up with the general theory of relativity. In which he stated that mass distorts spacetime which is felt as gravity.

What is length contraction and time dilation?

As you reach the speed of light length contracts and time moves slower until you reach the speed of light, time altogether stops.

How does gravity affect light?

Since mass distorts spacetime and that is felt as gravity, light has to follow the warp a bit and will lean a bit towards the mass. Thus the light will curve a bit when it is nearing a massive object.

Does a black hole affect light?

A black hole has a lot of mass and its gravity is very strong. Within the event horizon of a black hole, the escape velocity is equal to the speed of light. So when light is within the event horizon, since nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, nothing even light itself cannot escape from a black hole.

After all of this research, I feel like I've learned a lot more about the theory of relativity which will be important in future studies. I am very proud that I mastered the ideas and concepts and created a presentation that included a lot more than what I set out to do. I still have more questions about the topic and I'm sure I will research and learn about it in the future.


C.S.I stands for Color, Symbol, Image. My C.S.I word is Industrial Revolution.

Industrial Revolution C.S.I - Industrial Revolution


I chose the color orange, brown and grey because I thought that orange represented hard work into the sunset. The brown represented raw materials used during the Industrial Revolution and grey represents machinery. My symbol for this C.S.I is a gear, representing the small parts inside the machinery. My image is a old train. Trains was a main part of the Industrial Revolution because of the invention of the steam engine.

I learned that designing a vehicle that can move without external forces is..hard. What you thought could work, can't and what you thought could never work, works. If I did this project again, I would want to focus more on the wheels while designing. A major issue my group had was the wheels were unprepared and the choice of wheel material wasn't very good. Law number one is very important, an object at rest will stay at rest unless a force is acted upon it. This means in order to move something, you have to have a force acting upon it or else it will never move. Acceleration depends on the object's mass and the net force acted upon the object. Meaning, a lighter object will require less force whereas a heavier object will require greater force to move it. Law number three says for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I would change our vehicle to be bigger, more stable, and maybe incorporate wings. Our original idea was for the vehicle to clide but sadly, it didn't work. I want to try different forces to push the vehicle. For example, I really want to try rubber band powered vehicle or some sort of contraption that moves by itself (this idea requires much more time). Or if different body shape or material will affect the travel distance. An aerodynamic design maybe will travel further.

We have a teddy bear on the vehicle, when the vehicle hits something and stops, the bear will fly out because of inertia. An object moving will keep moving unless a force is acted upon it. The less the mass of an object, the less force it is required to move the object. Our vehicle's design is fairly light and will require little force to move it. The balloon of our vehicle demonstrates Newton's 3rd Law. When an object exerts a force on another object, an equal and opposite force will be exerted. The balloon has air pushing outwards and the air outside pushes the balloon/vehicle. Thus resulting in a moving vehicle.


So far I've learnt about gravity friction, inertia, and Newton's three laws.

Gravity is a force that pulls matter together. Which is the reason why we can stand on Earth. Friction is the force that two surfaces exert on each other when they rub against each other and inertia is the resistance to change in motion. Example: While riding a car, the car stops but you feel a pull towards the direction you were going. The more the mass, the more inertia. Example: You swing a empty backpack versus a heavy backpack, you will feel thrown out by the heavier backpack.

Laws in my own words: 

1.) An object at rest will stay at rest unless a force is acted upon it and an object that is moving at a constant velocity will keeping moving at a constant velocity until a force is acted upon it.

2.) An object’s acceleration depends on its mass and on the net force acting on it.

3.) If one object exerts a force on another object, then the second object exerts a force of equal strength in the opposite direction to the first object.

In our vehicle, we need to keep in mind of Newton's 2nd Law and friction. Newton's second law states that an objects acceleration depends on its mass and the net force acting on it. The lighter our vehicle is, the less force required to move it. If there's too much friction, our vehicle won't move but if there's too little, no traction and the vehicle won't move either.


Displaying Dream Team Newton Vehicle Part2 - Ideation Page 1- (Design).png



Today, we worked on Hour of Code. We had to make things get to a place by writing code but not by writing the "code" but using scratch like blocks containing the code to program the character. I got through the 20 levels for tutorial pretty quickly because I have experience with scratch and this is like scratch. It was also very easy to understand the code because I did a bit of coding before.






Today, we officially started our paper mache sculpture project. I made few big spheres and then taped them together, and made them one to make the body of my dragon. A problem that I had was to make the body have enough thickness. I solved this problem by making smaller cylinders then flatten them and stick them to the side of the body. It was very successful and now my body of my dragon is 90% done. Next, I started on my neck but then felt like it looked more like a leg and could be a leg than a neck.


Sculpture so far

Currently in Art, we started our paper mache unit. We have to make a dragon but with some characteristics of other animals.

This video is helpful to people making the body of a dragon that's a bit bigger. For example, mine is a body of a horse and so it will be a bit big. This video is a time lapse of a Hippo. You can watch it slowly or watch it a few times and you'll see that this guy made a few small spheres, then combined them together to get a bigger shape which resembles the body.

This video is also a time lapse, specifically showing the process of making the head of a dragon. The guy is adding the horns by creating holes in the head, then sticks the horn which is made of metal wires wrapped with paper, inside, then smoothing the outside and making it look "whole"

For more detailed tutorial like videos, follow this link --> Tutorials

I really like his sculptures, he does all sorts of animals and a lot of dragon ones which I love! Surprisingly, this guy's name is also Dan which is cool.

For our realism unit, we had to draw a surreal handscape for our final project for the surrealism unit. In the early stages, we practiced different techniques for drawing a hand. We had a negative space hand where we drew only the spaces where the hand was not at, a shape made hand. Using geometric shapes, we constructed a brief structure of a hand to understand how the hand works and how it looks realistic. Last, we drew a blind drawing of a hand, only looking at the hand and not at the paper, this helped us observe small details. We also researched about surrealism so that we have background knowledge when we draw our handscape.


In our handscape, we were meant to be demonstrating a good understanding of surrealism and that we can apply it. We also had to be able to draw and tone a realistic hand. While researching, I was inspired by a random image that I was searching about surrealism (African Sonata). It was about an elephant but with a tuba as it’s head. My colors and background were greatly influenced by my colleague Ka Roi, we sat next to each other and often exchanged ideas and thinkings therefore influencing my artwork.

Describe briefly how you created your work. What materials did you use?

At first, I started the drawing with the tree, then a general drawing of the octopus. I spent a lot of time on drawing the hand, then toning the hand realistically. Then I branched out from the fingertips into branches. Lastly I worked on the background, there I used a variety of materials ranging from chalk to watercolor pencils.


I am very happy with my hand toning, I think I did a great job making it look real and separating the darks and whites. Another thing I’m happy with my work is my choices of material for the branches and tree stumps. I used the watercolor pencils and the way the color is presented looked like a real branch.I liked my decision of making the ultimate background galaxy like because I felt that if I put the setting on Earth, it’d be too normal and not unique. On the other, next time I can draw the octopus more realistically then put on the color or else like this time, I put the color on first and when I wanted to change it, it was harder to change. I also should have a better color plan because at first I did have a color plan but then I decided to make everything black and white but then i changed my mind again and I had to choose colors along the way without testing them. Next time I could make the middle ground contrast with the hand because both are shaded so it doesn’t emphasize on the hand that much.


I found creating the hand fairly easy. I practiced drawing a realistic hand a couple of times so it was easy. Toning was also made easy with the help of an app that showed contrast of a photo. On the other hand, I found creating the background challenging, at first it was hard for me to decide what my background was. Afterwards, I found dealing with the yellow chalk very difficult. It affected me in all ways possible, it stained my hands which then touched my artwork making other parts yellow. While framing the artwork, it stained the black paper which made me very irritated and accidentally framed the art work a bit tilted.



Promise me tomorrow
By Dan Dan

Suddenly, a perfect circle of light was shining on me from the heavens. “Was it really Jesus?” I thought. I stood speechless and awestruck, not knowing what to do when I felt my shoulders being tapped. I spun around and there stood a green creature. I sized him up,  about three feet tall, buff looking but not a potential threat.

“Hello, Werner you can call me Bastian. I am from a place further than anything you can imagine.”

“Hi, Bastian, what do you want?” I spoke with caution.

After a bit of chatting, I felt relaxed and he seemed to be a nice guy, I was expecting all hell to break loose but it didn’t. He talked about his past and why he went on this expedition to Earth. Then, the critical question struck.

“I did a bit of research and I found that your grandparent’s generation were all Catholic but when it got to your parents generation, they became protestant? I’m in charge of religious beliefs and ideas sector of our research group and it was troubling me so I came to Germany to ask you why?

I led him to a clearing in the middle of the wheatfield and began my explanation.

“It all started around 1500s, many people including  were angry at how the church was ran but couldn’t fight against it or else they would be declared a heretic and be burned to death.”

I paused and drew a man with a cross representing the church and on the other side drew more people with hayforks representing the common people.

“Among them, a priest named Martin Luther was protesting against the church and it’s ways of corruption. Such as selling indulgences and simony. Indulgences is a slip of paper that you can buy from the church that relieves you or friends or family from one’s sins.”

I drew a slip of paper with a cross on it, indicating the indulgence paper. This drawing suddenly sparke my memories.

“In fact, my grandmother had a sin and my grandfather bought two indulgence paper for 45 coins, 25 each but five coins less for two. He bought one for my grandmother and one in case of an emergency. My dad later killed people while battling with the prince’s armies during the rebellion. My grandfather urged him to use the indulgence but as the protestant he is, he refuses to use the indulgence paper. It’s still kept by my grandfather till this day.”

Looking at the ground ready to draw again when Bastian produced a beautiful leather notebook and placed it on the ground.

“Draw everything in here,” he said, “I will be needing these later to fully explain to my colleagues. I also want to meet a protestant, is it possible for me to meet your father later?”

Tears instantly flooded my eyes and I shakily shook my head. Guessing what might of happened, Bastian said sorry and asked me to continue.

“Tens of thousands died while fighting against the prince’s armies, including my dad. Martin Luther was responsible for my dad’s death. He sided with the prince’s just so that he can get their support in Lutheranism. Many of us rejected it and stuck with protestantism.”

I shielded my eyes and looked at the sun and noticed that it was two hours past school start. I made a naughty boy decision and decided to stick around and not attend school today, maybe after I tell them that I met a green creature, they’ll think that I have a fever and keep me at home.

We spoke from sun up to sun down. Everything from Jan Hus to Catherine of Siena to Desiderius Erasmus. Bastian was a curious little green creature, he asked many questions and made me tell him about the 95 theses and that Martin Luther stuck them to the church doors five times. He even tried to make me write down all the 95 theses on his notebook; which I didn’t because I don’t even remember all of them. I made him promise me to meet again tomorrow but all I was left with was a piece of paper from his notebook.

“Sorry Dear Werner, I have been called to head back to where I came from. I hope that we will meet again in our life but that might not be possible given the circumstances. Your help has been helpful to my research and I wish you a good life.”


Unluckily, I had to go to school that day for I had no more green creature as an excuse.