Finally, the third round of building my eco-dome is over! Like my last two rounds of building, I researched to know more about how an ecosystem works and how I can make this ecosystem benefit the crickets. This time, I decided to put only one cricket in because I thought it would be too risky to put another one as in my prior trials, all the crickets died eventually.

 

Comparison (2nd and 3rd)

 

3rd Eco-dome Observations

Pictures of My 3rd Eco-dome

 

Throughout the three rounds of creating a self-sustaining habitat, one piece of valuable information I truly learned is that for organisms to adapt to a new area, even if it may be a familiar condition to them, it takes a lot of work. It takes time for one to get accustomed to the new place it belongs to, and for that to occur, everyone needs to become a whole and work together.

After building our first eco-dome, we started our first rebuild, which means to start all over again while trying to troubleshoot some issues we had with our first one. This time, I tried to add more of each component inside the eco-dome to make a better environment for the crickets and researched a little bit to know a bit more about the crickets before building my eco-dome.

Video of Conclusion For 1st ECODOME

Comparison (1st and 2nd)

2nd Eco-dome Observations

2nd Eco-dome Pictures

Although I tried to put some salt inside to eliminate some humidity, I wasn't able to find a way that I can put salt inside without it being prone to get eaten by the crickets. Consequently, I'm still thinking of a way to put it inside and this time. Next time, I'll try to plant some fruits since I also found out that crickets are unable to swim and that they usually get their nutrients and water from succulent plants and fruits as well.

Recently, grade 8 students started a project called the eco-dome project in Science, which is building a self-sustaining environment to learn about how ecology works. Given that we are only permitted to use natural resources like water, plants, and soil, we bought a container in order to design our own self-sustaining environment. After we finished building our eco-domes, we put in crickets, which are alive organisms, to observe how they can adapt to its new environment, whether we have built a hospitable habitat and to learn how ecology works.

Design & Actual Ecodome

Observation Table

Pictures of My Eco-dome Inside

A piece of information I learned while observing my eco-dome from time to time include the fact that putting food for the crickets inside the soil is better than placing them outside since mold starts to form on them when they are exposed to the air inside.

The most challenging part of the Journalism unit was writing my article down after gathering information. For some reason, I kept writing my article in an essay form when I was required to write a formal newspaper article, and little did I realize that this would be a huge barrier that I had to cross. Just to add, another difficulty that I faced was designing the newspaper so that it would really look like a formal newspaper since it was an area that wasn't in my interest area and some of the members of my team were having trouble expressing their opinions and thoughts on how we can design it.

In my opinion, the greatest achievement of this quarter in ELA was that I was able to create a survey for my Journalism project and have the courage to send it to students in our school. Although this doesn't sound like a grand achievement, for me, sending something to people seemed absolutely challenging for me, which is why I think I'm feeling a lot of pride towards being able to achieve this.

This is the link my newspaper article.

My goals for next quarter include performing a solo in the Winter Concert that will be held in December, continuing to be in a decent ranking for Mathletes, do well in my school work, just to name a few.

For several weeks in Social Studies, I worked on a project called the Renaissance Faire. In this project, the whole grade was required to select a specific topic which they would create visuals and an interactive activity based on it to give a brief overview of the Renaissance era. My partner and I decided to focus on Famous Sculptures and we created a presentation that briefly explained the characteristics of some of the renowned sculptures and a collage that displayed pictures of some of the most well-known sculptures. For the interactive activity, we decided to have play dough ready to let the visitors create a sculpture that resembles one of the sculptures we introduced them or something on their own that demonstrates what they have learned in our station. 

Although this project was time-consuming and stressful in many ways, I think I was able to learn a lot of things at the same time. During the process of creating the visuals and the interactive activity, I learned that without understanding the material completely, it is almost impossible to create something that I will use to teach other people. As a result, I always need to understand my topic thoroughly so that I would be teaching things that are accurate and useful, not something totally nonsense. I also learned that whenever I have some kind of project that would be presented in front of many people, there always should be a certain item that is eye-grabbing because many of my peers told me that they were a bit frustrated because they didn't get a lot of peers coming to their tables, and I noticed one common similarity that they didn't really have an object that can really grab people's attention. From this observation, I also realized that the reason my station had some people coming at all times was that I had play dough, which was something not a lot of stations had. 

For about two classes, the whole class did a role playing game together based on the Renaissance era. Everyone each had a role, or a job, that would have existed during the period. For me in the game, I played as a laborer who was not a part of the guild and had a dissatisfaction with it. Because lower class laborers were not allowed to form any guilds when they were actually important as much as the higher classes, my goal was to protest to the Medici family to give equal rights to the lower class.

 

During this game, I learned that the social pyramid during the Renaissance was very cruel and strict as it was in other places. I realized this especially strongly when I had a chance to confront the Medici and request what I wanted. Medici, instead of giving what I asked for, replied to me, “Get a skill and you’ll be treated as something,”. Another thing I learned was that the upper-class people were really charge of everything. It is because of the upper class that Florence, a city greatly influenced by the Renaissance, was able to develop at such a quick rate since the rich hired people such as scientists and artists to work. As a result, many topics at the time were able to be expanded and grow significantly. Although it is not the rich people who came up with the inventions, if it weren’t them who hired talented experts, the experts would not have been able to show their skills and produce monuments which are renowned and considered valuable these days.

 

To give my general opinion on this activity, I think it was a game which you could learn a lot and have fun at the same time. Although everyone who participated in the game has not actually been to Florence, we were able to get a glimpse of how the Renaissance era worked by resolving conflicts, trying to meet our goals, and thinking about how people would have done to get what they wanted. I’m not sure if this happened to everyone, but personally, I think I was able to improve on not getting afraid of speaking in front of people because it was something that I always had trouble with, and through this activity, which involved a lot of speaking, I was able to get over with it a bit.

Our Team's Planning Document: Click Here

Day 1 Reflection
Day 2 Reflection
Day 3 Reflection

What did you do today? How?

Today, my group and I started our final draft after thinking how the elements we chose connect to Hundertwasser's style. We did this by reviewing the elements of Hundertwasser's paintings and what we should be aware of when we actually begin working on our final piece.

How do you think your group members went?

I think my group member has been efficient at all times. She not only worked hard but tried to help others and made sure that we both were on the right track. As a result, we were able to get everything done on time without any work left that we would have to do for homework.

What do you think of your progress so far? Why?

I guess my individual progress so far has gone pretty well because I was able to gain a lot of information about the materials my group and I are using such as thin cards, knives, etc. Also, I finished my work at all times by the end of the deadline and always communicated if I couldn't. In addition, I came up with unique designs that are connected to Hundertwasser's style for the surfaces of our project.

What is your group plan for next 5 classes?

Our group plan is to continue working on our final artifact and purchasing or getting any materials we need. We are also going to revise our plan if needed, and continue making the reflection videos for every class.

Day 4 Reflection
Day 5 Reflection
Day 6 Reflection

What did you personally achieve today? Describe.

Today, I mainly worked on tracing the shapes of our elements onto the thin card and cutting them out. I also worked a bit on designing the surfaces of our shapes.

How did the rest of the group do? Did they all have jobs and assist with the progress of your sculpture? Explain.

My team member worked very efficiently by always making sure we were both on track and tried to suggest ideas for our designs. Although she wasn't able to help on what I was doing because she was plastering some shapes, she worked hard on what she was doing. While she was plastering, I also tried to blow up some nets for bigger elements of our project.

What challenges did you face today?

The main challenge we faced today was on how we are going to make the shapes. We found out that the method we have used during the past sessions involved a lot of steps that took a long time. We had to cut out the nets, trace the shape of the nets, design and glue the tabs together. It was pretty obvious that if we continue working like this, we wouldn't be able to meet the deadline even if we stayed after school to work on it.

What are your last steps/plans to complete this task? (2 classes) 

My group currently is planning to stay after school on April 21st so that we can work more on our project. If we think it would be difficult to finish by the due date even with this extra session, we are going to do some at home or schedule another session. Also, because we found some pre-made boxes that can be used as parts of our project, we are thinking of plastering them. Lastly, we are planning to buy some velcros that we can use for some parts of our project.

Day 7 Reflection

Day 8 Reflection

EXTRA EVIDENCE

DAY 9 Reflection

FINAL GROUP TASK

 

EVERYTHING ABOVE CAN BE FOUND HERE AS WELL!

Hundertwasser Inspired Painting

Hundertwasser Lollipop Trees

Hundertwasser was an artist renowned for his lollipop trees in his paintings. These lollipop trees, I think, represent freedom because the circles inside each tree aren't perfectly drawn but are mostly irregular. Since the circles aren't accurately drawn, it seemed to me it was drawn without too much thinking about whether they're big or not, squiggly or straight to give an idea that not everything has to be perfect but can sometimes be sloppy and unusual- just think freely. Another opinion I have about these trees is that they are a symbol of infinity. Although not all, many of his paintings' trees have a lot of circles inside and sometimes, it is even hard to count them. I connected this to infinity because infinity is something that continues forever and the circles seem to be continuing where we cannot see or reach whether they are countable or not.

Freedom in this painting was expressed by the irregular circles inside each lollipop tree. Because the circles aren't accurately drawn, I thought that Hundertwasser wanted to tell us that we are locked in people's opinion that everything should be straight and perfect. However, nothing straight exists in nature. It's a place where unlimited kinds of things exist.

Hundertwasser Quote Poster
Hundertwasser Spirals + Description

 

 (THE ELEMENTS IN HUNDERTWASSER'S PAINTINGS)

Hundertwasser Canvas Painting Reflection
Canvas Painting Process

Final Canvas Painting (Behind Library!)

In English, the whole 7th grade worked on charity videos that support different organizations established to help people in need in Vietnam for the Dragon’s Apprentice Plaza Sale. After everyone has finished their videos, we voted for the top 5 videos of all that would be shown in the sale since not all could be shown. The purpose of the videos were to convince people to advocate the charities the videos are talking about and spread awareness of these charities.

 

To briefly explain the steps, first, we chose the organization we were interested in, planned our video, filmed or recorded, and finally, created the video. The organization I chose was the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, an organization that helps those in need including trafficked children, street kids, and more. I chose this organization because it not only rescues children from danger, but also provides a safe shelter, education, and happiness. I’m sure that there are a lot of good organizations that work hard to help people just like Blue Dragon, but I felt that this organization is a group that I can really trust and rely on than other foundations. While doing this task, the most enjoyable part for me was researching because I got to find a lot of interesting and unexpected facts about the group. For example, I learned that the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation is a group that has transformed the lives more than 65000 children. Although I knew that a significant number of children would have been rescued since it is a group founded on the year 2003, I never knew that they have already rescued 65000 people. This fact motivated me to work harder on my video so the audience would be convinced and eventually donate to this charity. On the contrary, the most boring and challenging part was actually creating the video because I couldn’t think of how to present the information and pictures. But, from this, I learned that planning is extremely important and is basically the only way for you to finish your task quickly and anything done without thorough planning is just a waste of time. If I had another chance to do this assignment, I would plan out everything before actually starting, for sure. Also, I might try another format for my video just to see if it is more convincing than my first one.

 

A time I might apply the things I learned today could be whenever I receive a project that involves a lot of research. For example, if I get a task similar to this project, I could first research as much as I can, organize the facts and plan how I would present it, and then actually move on to the final step, which is basically creating the project, instead of just jumping onto the last step after skipping multiple important steps. Another way might be to just help a friend who is struggling. If he/she is having trouble because of not planning carefully, I might just advise that he/she should go back to the first step and do some quick planning.

For two classes in ELA, we worked on creating tutorials for the 6th graders on the Dragon’s Apprentice Project so that we can give advice and some tips that might help them throughout their project. Before we started, we were divided into several teams that focused on different areas such as organization, time management, etc. My team chose to work on time management and organization. To explain our planning stages, at first, we thought of just making a video of each of us talking about 3~4 ideas relevant to our topics. But later, because we thought it would be to lame and boring, we switched to making a video that includes both talking and actions. To be specific, we decided to actually act out the situations that you don’t want to get yourself into altogether, point out the negatives that would occur when some kind of situation occurs and tell some tips on how to avoid it from happening.

 

Unlike my assumption that my team would have many problems when doing this mini project, we actually didn’t. To still point out one, it was filming our situations because some of my teammates (including me) kept laughing in the middle of filming, which made the whole team start over and over again. Because we were constantly restarting when we had only a limited amount of time, we finished filming at the last minute. From this, I learned that although having fun is important, I should always keep in mind that I shouldn’t have too much of it so that I would still stay on task. To tell the most enjoyable part, it was when we were choosing the ideas we would talk about in our video. I think this part was fun for me because many of my team members were keep coming up with strange and unexpected ideas that were irrelevant to our topics, which made all of us laugh and have fun. To be honest, I was actually worried that we wouldn’t actually come up with real ideas that we would discuss, but luckily, later, we stayed on task and successfully came up with the three main ones we were to discuss. Another part that I had fun was when we were filming because like I mentioned, people in my team were constantly giggling. If I had another chance to do this project, I would like to film everything including the bad situations, for sure, examples of good situations, etc. I think formatting our video would be more interesting and fun not only for the audience but us, the team, too.

 

One way for me to apply what I learned today in the future is to use the them whenever I have team projects. For example, I can remind myself whenever I have one that I shouldn’t laugh too much when filming so that no time would be spent on filming the same time over again. Then, probably, my team in the future wouldn’t have to struggle in filming just because of me. Also, I can just tell what I learned from this to my friends who are struggling in team projects and just help them out by giving some advice. This way, I could remind myself what good teamwork is and help someone at the same time. Or, I can just make something like a slideshow on the things that I learned and share with people. Either way, I would help people not to experience what I did.