Interview 1 – Capstone #3a

For my interview, I met with Mrs. Edwards, and we went through different articles and contacted two people from the articles.

One of the people we contacted replied, and said we could interview him! His name was Marc Palaus, and he was a neuroscientist. I was SO happy that one of them replied!

I researched more about Marc Palaus, and I found this* (scroll down to the end to read more).

Mrs. Edwards and I came up with 10 interview questions to ask Marc Palaus.

  1. Why did you choose to be a neuroscientist?
  2. What made you interested in studying video games’ and how they affect the brain?
  3. What are the cons of playing video games?
  4. What makes video game playing addictive?
  5. What role does age play in the effects of video game playing on the brain?
  6. How can you minimize the negative effects from video games?
  7. Based on your research, what recommendations do you have for children playing video games?
  8. Based on your research, what recommendations do you have for older people playing video games?
  9. Based on your research, how can video games possibly be used for people with diminished brain functioning like someone who has had a stroke or someone who has Alzheimer’s?
  10. How can parents help with their kids’ addiction?


I wrote an outline to help me.

Mrs. Edwards helped me print everything out and get it ready for Tuesday, May 15, the day I interviewed Marc Palaus.

When Tuesday finally came, I was VERY nervous. I had a lot of thoughts going inside my head. What if I mess up? What if he never answers when we call him? What if he changes his mind and doesn’t want to interview me?

At 8:40, I shakily walked down to the computer lab. Mr. Casal helped me get everything ready for my interview. Then, he called Marc Palaus through Google Hangouts, and my interview started.

When I first started, I was VERY nervous, but the more I got into the interview, the more relaxed I got.

There was only one thing that didn’t go too smoothly. During the interview, there was a screen recorder that was recording the whole thing, so if I missed something I could go back and look at it. However, the screen recorder stopped recording. Luckily I noticed it before it was too late. Other than that, though, the rest of the interview went smoothly.

I learned a lot. Now I know that controlling your time spent on video games is very important.

After the interview, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest.


*click on it, it’s about an article Marc Palaus helped contribute to, but if you’re too lazy to go back up, click on this (it’s the same link)

Ellis Island Field Trip

A while back, we had an immigration unit. We researched a lot about immigrants, and a main research point was on Ellis Island. That was where all the third class immigrants got inspected. After all our research, we took our research a made a video about going through the whole journey as an immigrant. We were the actors, and it was pretty cool. Anyway, I learned back then that eventually we would be going through Ellis Island like an immigrant. I thought that was really exciting.

When the day we went to Ellis Island came, I was really excited. Our class split, and I sat with Mrs. Cooper’s class, and I was with a group with Barbara, Ally, Hana, Giana, and our chaperone, Barbara’s mom.

We finally got to Ellis Island after an hour and a half bus ride. We went inside a museum, and it was really cool because a ranger showed us around (The Baggage Room, The Registry Room, The Stairs of Separation) and he made us feel like real immigrants. We had free time, and during free time we could walk around to see the exhibits. I liked how there was self guided exhibits. The exhibits were on different subjects, some had immigrants talking about something like their journey, some were about the journey that the immigrants had, etc. We ate lunch outside on stone tables, and we had more free time after that. We also watched a short movie, kind of like the ones we made during our immigration unit. The movie was all about Ellis Island.

Eventually we took a ferry back to the buses, the same way we came, and the ferry took a route so that we could see the Statue of Liberty! She was smaller than I anticipated, but she was still a really amazing sight. I took a bunch of pictures of her, and here’s one:

I think this trip was really cool and fun, and I’m glad I went on it.

Pollo a La Brasa Misti Restaurant Field Trip

For a taste of some Spanish dishes, we went on a field trip to a Peruvian restaurant: Pollo a La Brasa – Misti Restaurant. We tried five dishes: pollo saltado (chicken with rice), lomo saltado (steak with rice), tallarin saltado de carne (steak with noodles), pescado al ajo (fish), ensalada de verduras (salad). We also tried a Peruvian beverage: chicha morada.

Each class split in groups who each sat with a chaperone or at least near one. I was in a group with Ally, Giana, and William M – so without a chaperone! At the restaurant there wasn’t enough tables, so one of the groups split and sat at different tables, so we had to make room for William L. and Eli.

We had worksheets with questions to ask every person at our table. The questions were asking if you like the food, which food was your favorite, if you liked the chicha morada, and things like that.

All the food was great! But my favorite dish was probably either lomo saltado or tallarin saltado de carne (probably because I like most steak dishes).

Overall I think it was a great experience!

Choosing a Main Inquiry Question and Choosing Sub Questions – Capstone #2

Now, if you read my first post, I wrote that my topic was on alcohol and marijuana and how they affect the brain. However, I changed my topic.

In my first post, I also said how I came across the idea on video games and how they affect the brain. Well, I reconsidered that idea, and I decided to use it. Why? Partly because it’s more of a topic on kids (not teens), and partly because I think it might be more interesting and easier.

I revised my question, though. At first when I revised it, I made it about how watching videos and playing video games affect the brain, so it was not just about video games. However, when I was thinking about the topic, I wasn’t sure if I could get enough information on the part about watching videos. On the other hand, if I compared both, then my main inquiry question would be a level 4, and even though I could get a level 4 on just video games, it would be harder to find that type of question. There are 4 levels of types of questions, level 4 being the best.

I think for my Capstone project, I’m going to make my question about how video games affect the brain, because I’m not sure there’s enough information on watching videos to last me 2 months. My final question is: How does playing video games affect the brain, and how can you make minimize the negative effects?

After I came up with a main inquiry question, it was time to come up with sub questions. Sub questions are littler questions to help answer the main inquiry question. I already started on my sub questions, so it was just a matter of revising and editing them. I came up with six of them, but I combined two together.  My final sub questions are: What are the pros of playing video games? What are the cons of playing video games? What makes video games so addicting? How can you minimize the negative effects on the brain from video games? What role does age play in the effects of video game playing on the brain?

I don’t have a ton of information and I’m not really ahead, but I’m also not lagging behind. I think I’m doing okay so far, but that could change real quick…