Nerdy Derby

Today in class we did an activity that was called Nerdy Derby. The activity was when we got to make our own little cars and race them. I did mine with my best friend Samantha and we made ours very pretty. We called it the Color Convertible because we covered it in rainbow order pom poms. While making the car we had to learn how to construct a car and make the wheels be stable. To put the wheels on we had to use these things called axes which were almost little skinny straws and you hot clued then to the bottom of your car. We needed them because the wheels wouldn’t be able to move without them because you had to stick them on. After everyone had made their cars and designed them, we got to race the cars. Ours was very fast and I am guessing it was fast because it didn’t have much weight on it. Except it made me think because we raced a car that had a million heavy things on it and that car beat us. I was wondering if maybe we did need a little bit of weight. We didn’t add anything though because we loved how ours looked and if their was a beauty contest, ours would totally win. (In my opinion)

So B. It

With my partner in class we are reading the book So B. It. This book is by Sarah Weeks, and it is a social issue. In this book the main character Heidi faces many problems. Our teacher gave us these questions to answer about our book.

  • Think of one character and a challenge or difficulty she faces.
  • How does this affect how this character interacts with the world?
  • How does it affect how the character thinks or behaves when she is alone?

Heidi is a twelve year old girl that has a mother who is disabled. The mother cannot do anything for herself. So, I think that in a sort of way Heidi never got the childhood a normal child would have. She and her next door neighbor Bernie are very close. Bernie and Heidi share the responsibility of her mother. The problem with Bernie though is that she had agoraphobia. She can’t go outside so that means that Heidi does all of her shopping and things like that. Another challenge she faces is her mother has a twenty six word vocabulary and she has one word that the mother only knows what it means. That word is soof. It haunts Heidi every night and every day to know whats it means. She keeps bothering her mother to ask her what it means but her mother never answers the question. So, Heidi goes on a journey to find out what soof means.

These problems that she has really effect the way she acts to the world around her. Since her mother is disabled and Bernie has agoraphobia she has always been very caring and understanding of her mother. I think that if I ever had a mother who was like that, I would be nice in front of her but get very frustrated at times. Like I said before she didn’t exactly have the perfect childhood. She was always cleaning up after her mother and doing everything for her. She never got to be a kid. Also, she is a very brave twelve year old. When I said that she is going on a journey to find out what the word soof means I meant that she is going a long away to Liberty, New York. She is going their because she found some pictures of what she thought was her mom at a disabled home in Liberty. She knew that maybe if they had her name in the files, the owner would know her and what the word soof means.

That shows how because of this problem, it made her a very independent person. These difficulties also affect the way her actions are when she is alone. When she is alone she doesn’t get very frustrated or upset because she has learned and taught herself to keep control of her emotions. Except sometimes she does get frustrated. I think that Heidi has the right to get frustrated because most of her life revolves around her mother and her mother’s disability. Heidi never got to do something for just herself. Although, Heidi is a great person and especially daughter to her mother because of her mother’s disability.

 

Filters

In science we are studying all about pollution and the importance of clean water all around the world. So, we made groups and each group is supposed to design a filter that can make the water a lot cleaner. Everyone in the class started off with trying out three different materials that can filter the water. The first material we tried was a screen. I had doubts about the screen because it had big holes in it so all of the bad contaminants would just go right through with the dirty water. I was right because nothing changed when we filtered it. The next filter we tried was a coffee filter. I was very excited about it because I had a feeling it would work. It would definitely take out a little bit of color and also take out the microbes. This one worked but not as well as I thought it would. I don’t think it worked because it was very thin so it didn’t absorb lots of the color. After that we tried out sand and gravel. They are two materials but they had to be together to work as a filter. This one worked the best. I think it worked the best because it would first go through the sand which would soak up some of the microbes and some of the color, but when it when through the gravel it took out all of the microbes that were left.

After trying out all of those we had to make a design. Our first design we were proud of but when we started talking about it we realized that it wouldn’t work. We recognized that our first design wouldn’t work because it had way too many materials that would just absorb all the water and not come out. So we made our second design and we knew that it would work.

When we started making the filter I made a mistake and took the stopper out of the bottom of the bottle. It made all of the sand and gravel we put in fall out. It was a huge mess!!! That was one of our biggest struggles. Our design was at the bottom of the bottle it and gravel and on top of the gravel it had some sand. On top of the sand there was a coffee filter. We thought that that would get some of the color out of the contaminated water. At the top of the cup we put some of the screen and in the screen was some gravel to add some purpose to using the screen. When we tested this filter, the filtered water was graded a three out of one to five (five being the worst and one being the best). It took out all of the microbes but didn’t fully take out the color of the water.

After that we made a second design. My group thought that using cotton balls would soak up all of the color. So our next design used the materials cotton balls, coffee filters, and gravel. I had more faith in this design than the last one because of using the cotton balls. The cotton balls were a great addition to the filter. When we tried out this filter it did work, but then we had the idea to use the filtered water we just made and then put it through the process again (our water was double filtered). That made it even better. This water was a two and very close to being a one. I think that if we kept on going it would have been completely filtered. Overall both designs were really good and it was a great experience and really made me think about how I could filter water.

Documenting is an important part of the process.