Choosing a Topic – Capstone #1

Way back in 3rd grade, I learned about Capstone, since my brother was in 5th grade at the time. I tried to think about it, but couldn’t come up with a good idea. Somewhere around the middle of 5th grade, I decided I thought I wanted to do my topic on the Bermuda Triangle, but when I learned that each student has to do a site visit, I decided maybe the Bermuda Triangle wasn’t the right topic.

My mom and I discussed it, and pretty quickly, I decided I wanted to do something related to the brain, like how memory works.

But after doing some research, I changed my mind (again). I was searching up something about the brain, and an article showed up. It was something about how drugs affect the brain.

I thought it was very interesting, so I did more research on it, and eventually I liked it better than my other topic on how memory works, so I crossed my other topic off my list.

Soon, however, I realized I needed to narrow my topic down. Did I want to do marijuana’s affects on the brain and compare the affects of different ages? Or did I want to talk about alcohol’s affects of different ages? Or maybe compare both: Does marijuana have worse effects on the brain, or does alcohol?

I was having a really hard time deciding, and while I was, I crashed into yet another topic: How does video games affect the brain? It really didn’t help.

I felt surrounded by different topics, it took me a long time to decide which topic to pick. I picked my topic on marijuana vs. alcohol: which one is worse for the brain? I finally decided this because at the middle school there was going to be an exhibit about how drugs affect the brain, so if I went, it could really help me learn more about my topic.

My 1st Scratch Project

When this project was assigned, I immediately started thinking how many scratch to tynker projects I wanted. Did I want 3 scratch, 1 tynker? 3 tynker, 1 scratch? 2 scratch, 2 tynker? Eventually I decided I wanted 3 scratch, 1 tynker, because in my opinion scratch is easier for me (tynker does all the work for you without explaining it well enough).

So at home, I went to scratch, and then I realized that I couldn’t sign in because I forgot my username. So I made another one, and started my project.

I started a pong game, because I thought that it would be easy but also fun.

When I got back to school, I asked Ally what my username was. Everyone has similar usernames, the only difference is your name. So, Ally knew what my username was, and luckily it worked. Thanks, Ally!

Now the only problem was that the project I started at home was in my other account, and I didn’t want to remake it because I already added A LOT to it.

So I kept on working on my pong game. I added blocks so that when the blue ball touches them, they disappear. If you make all of them disappear, you win!

Hope you like it:

My Tynker Project

I had a really hard time deciding what tynker project I wanted. I tried to do a platformer game, since the one with scratch didn’t work, but it was also too hard. I couldn’t really think of anything, so I tried the tutorials.

After thinking about it, I did another kind of story thing, like my 3rd scratch project. Only my tynker one is less complicated, because I am better at scratch than tynker.

I don’t think this one is really good, but I think it’s okay. I hope you do too.

My 3rd Scratch Project

After I came up with two scratch projects, I considered what I would make my 3rd one like.

I decided I wanted to make it a little more complicated than my first two projects. But I didn’t know what it should be. Maybe it should be a platformer game of some sort. I wasn’t sure. But I couldn’t really think of anything else.

Eventually I decided I wanted a platformer game. I started it, but halfway in I realized it was too hard, and that it probably wouldn’t be done in time. So I brainstormed new ideas.

Then I remembered a featured project that was kind of like a story, so I decided to code a story. I wanted to have a castle theme, so it is about a prince and a princess.

Here it is:

My 2nd Scratch Project

After I liked how my 1st scratch project was going, and started working on my 2nd scratch project. I logged into my original account, the one without my pong game. I saw that I had made a scratch project before, and I liked it so I decided to make it my 2nd scratch project. I went inside and added some things, though.

My second scratch project is called My Virtual Pet. You get a dog as your pet, and you can play with it and feed it by clicking on the objects. If your dog is too full, drank enough water, or isn’t bored, your dog won’t eat, drink, or play. But if your dog gets too hungry, bored, or thirsty, your dog will faint.

This project isn’t that complicated, but I hope you like it:

“My Time at Heathcote” – Ignite

This Ignite was a practice one for Capstone. For Capstone, you could either do an Ignite, or a Ted Talk. So we started practicing, to get what it feels like to decide which one we wanted to do for Capstone.

An Ignite usually has 20 slides, 15 seconds each, 5 minutes long in total. But since this is our first Ignite and just a practice one, our Ignites were only 7 slides, 15 seconds each, 90 seconds in total.

We could choose any topic we wanted, as long as it was about us, and it was a story. I was a little unsure of what I wanted to talk about (I explain this in my Ignite), but I eventually got an idea from Mr. Casal.

I did my Ignite about my time at Heathcote; the good times, and the bad, too. I also talked a little about middle school; my hopes, and my feelings.

On the day, I was very nervous. I spoke kind of fast, so my slides didn’t exactly match with my words since I rushed ahead. But, I hope you still like it:

Debatable Issue – Should we be More Focused on Underwater Exploration or Outer Space Exploration?

Our teacher Mrs. Edwards assigned our class a debate project. She split our class into teams, in our reading/writing groups. My reading/writing group consisted of me, Ally, Kevin, and Sam.

Each team got to choose their debate topic. The choices were: Should animals be kept in zoos? Should people be more focused on underwater exploration or outer space exploration? Should we ban plastic bags? Should you drink tap or bottled water? Should we be more focused on protecting sharks from humans or humans from sharks? Kevin and Sam wanted to pick Should people be more focused on underwater exploration or outer space exploration?, but Ally and I wanted to pick Should animals be kept in zoos? Eventually we let Kevin and Sam have their first pick, but the second and third pick would be ones Ally and I wanted.

Mrs. Edwards used sticks with everyone’s names on it to pick which group would go first. But, there was another group that wanted to pick Should people be more focused on underwater exploration or outer space exploration? Luckily Mrs. Edwards chose Ally first, so we got our first pick.

After everyone chose a topic, we started reading articles that were in our debate bin. We couldn’t decide what side we would be on during the real debate, because we all wanted to be on the outer space side.

We had a lot of arguments, but with the final debates nearing closer we decided Ally and I would be on the outer space side, and Sam and Kevin would be on the underwater side.

We had few practice debates because we always were in different places with different schedules and other things to do.

But our final debate went better than I thought it would.

Check it out:

Rube Goldberg #7 – Fails, Successes, and the Video

We hypothesized how many fails we would have to get to one success. All our guesses were off. Ally guessed 4 fails, I guessed 6 fails, and Hana guessed 24 fails. At the time, Barbara wasn’t there to guess. The real number of fails was 8. We got 2 successes, because during our first one we were too loud so we re-filmed a success.

I feel bad for Barbara because she missed it, but then she got to edit most of the video, even though she wasn’t there to start it. She got most of the credit (technically she gave it to herself, but she deserves it). I think Barbara made the movie on iMovie, because I think she was more used to it.

Our video starts off with me explaining the steps, then we show the fails, and then the success.

This is our final video:

Here are some videos we watched for inspiration:

Audri’s Rube Goldberg Monster Trap

Magnets and Marbles!

Rube Goldberg #6 – Cooperation

During this project, our cooperation wasn’t the best. We fought a lot, and that caused us to get distracted. There were times when we were really frustrated and angry at each other, but there were times when we compromised. I think we could of cooperated more, but I feel like we were trying really hard already.

Also, being in a group of four meant we fought more, but I’m also glad we formed a team because we got to know each other a lot more, plus this was a great learning experience.

Overall, I think out of ten, with ten being the best and one being the worst, I would rate our cooperation a seven. I would rate it a seven because we didn’t cooperate that well, but it was really hard because we were in a group of four. If I was in a group of two, however, I would rate it a six or five.

Rube Goldberg #5 – Challenges

The biggest challenge we had was when Hana’s brother got the flu. We were close to finishing building our machine when he got it. Hana’s parents didn’t want us to get the flu from Hana’s brother, so they moved the machine to my house. We had to rebuild the whole machine at my house, and we were running out of time. Hana’s basement was bigger and emptier, so at my house we had to squeeze the machine so it would fit, and we couldn’t keep it there for long.

And a few days after Hana’s brother got the flu, Hana got it, too. Hana’s mom gave Hana’s iPad to Barbara’s mom so Barbara could work on our video, since we recorded everything on Hana’s iPad. We used WeVideo, since we already knew how to use it, but we found out that WeVideo is a whole lot easier to use on the computer. So while we were using the iPad, we had some trouble.

I think that the challenges effected us, but we tried hard to overcome them.