Capstone Blog Post #1 – Main Inquiry Question and Sub-questions

In our class, we are doing a project called Capstone where we think of a topic and come up with a question and sub-questions. My topic is the architecture of homes beginning from the early 1900s so my main inquiry question is how the architecture of homes has evolved over time in the U.S. beginning from the early 1900s. Students also come with about five sub-questions, a sub-question is when they think of a few questions that fit in with their main inquiry one.

When I was coming up with my main inquiry question, I knew that my topic was going to be the architecture but I didn’t know how to form that into a question. For instance, I came up with different questions but then I just thought that I wanted to learn how they evolved over time but I could not do starting from when America was founded. As a result, I did it from the beginning of the early 1900s. Also, when I knew what my topic was going to be about, I then brainstormed possible main inquiry questions but I had to listen to how others did it first. 

During the process of coming up with my main inquiry question, I had some challenges. To illustrate, I wanted to do houses in the U.S. but it might have not been enough information to come up with five sub-questions. This is important because if I did not have enough 

I have learned that as a learner, I rush things and don’t take much time. For example, when I was coming up with my topic, I hurried and didn’t carefully think about what I wanted to do. This is important because when I rushed, I didn’t think about if my topic was too broad or if I even wanted to do it. Thus, when I was coming up with my five sub-questions, I wrote them down but I should have taken more time on wording them. This shows that I hurry things along but now I know that I should take time on my work.


Rube Goldberg: Decision Making

In class, we have a science project where we build a Rube Goldberg machine. Rube Goldberg is a man who made machines to accomplish simple tasks, using simple machines such as an inclined plane, wedge, screw, lever, wheel, axle, and a pulley. 


It took quite some time just coming up with an idea for our Rube Goldberg Project. I am working with two other people: Morgan and Mia. In the beginning, it was difficult for us to compromise on one simple task for our machine to do. One person wanted to make lemonade as our task, the other people in our group wanted to come up with another idea. The people that wanted to not make lemonade thought it would be too hard and complex, instead, we wanted to smash a watermelon. 


The person who wanted to make lemonade helped realize the other people in the group that it would be too hard. At last, everyone compromised on making lemonade, which is ten steps long and has four simple machines. It took us some time to make sure our task met with the expectations. To meet the expectations we had to have eight steps and three simple machines, to exceed we have to have at least nine steps and at least four simple machines.


Our simple task will have a marble hit a few dominoes which will hit a ball to go down a ramp. Then the ball should go on a lever and hit another big ball which will go down a wedge. A ball will go down another wedge to hit a water bottle connected to a string with a packet of lemonade powder on the other side. Hopefully, the powder will pour into the pitcher than all you have to do is mix.

A Long Walk To Water Reflection

In class, we read a book called A Long Walk To Water. It was one of the best books I have ever read because when our teacher was reading it to us, I was really into it. 

The part that impacted me most is when Salva met with his father after nineteen years. This is because that part of the story was a huge change for Salva since he was waiting to meet his family for so long. Another part that impacted me when a young boy saved Salva’s life. When Salva and the other boys from the refugee camp were crossing the lake, Salva was about to get shot by a soldier but a young boy saved him.

A possible message that the author (Linda Sue Park) wanted to convey is that there is always hope whenever times are tough. This is shown when Salva thought that his whole family could not be alive but when he went to Sudan, most of his family was alive and well. 

I think that there was symbolism in this book when water shot out of the ground. This symbolizes hope literally coming out of nowhere like the water that would save a lot of people. 

One Valuable Estimation Jar

23 children. One jar of candy. Estimating the amount. But only 14 days. At Heathcote Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY, it was only fourteen days away from Halloween! Down in the fifth grade wing, in Mrs Cooper’s classroom, she was introducing the estimation jar. Whoever estimated the exact amount of candy or the closest amount, won the whole jar. In maths, the class was learning how to estimate, so this was great timing and really fun. All of the students of Mrs Cooper’s class, participated in the exciting event. According to Morgan Greco, a student of Mrs Cooper, “I think that it was very fun and I would love to do it again for another holiday.” Kaitlyn Shedroff, also a student of Mrs Cooper, won the estimation jar!

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Soaring Rockets

Rockets. They are flying into the clear sky. People are screaming. Nosecones getting stuck into the ground. On the morning of October 17th 2019, students from 5Cooper and their parents gathered to see the launches. Everyone came together in the field of Heathcote Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY. The students did this because they were learning about rockets and wanted to see what their own creations would turn out like. Everyone was broken up into groups and came up with group names: The 4 Rocketeers, Flying Saucers, The 3 Musketeers, The Astros, Shooting Stars, and the Astro Rockets.


Just like real engineers, they did not go straight into building a rocket. First, they made an inspiration board to be inspired by other successful rockets. A week later, they designed their rockets and gathered materials. Then, they built their rockets. Every group’s rocket shot to the sky so high. According to Morgan Greco a member of a rocketry group called The Flying Saucers, “It was a great experience because we worked with people we would not usually work with. It was exciting to see how high our rockets went.”

Rocket Launch 2

    We launched OUR SECOND ROCKET! The thing that stands out most is that our rocket went pretty high because we had a longer nose cone. All the rockets went pretty high and when I looked up almost all of them went higher than a tree near the field. My job was to launch the rocket and that was really fun! I was a clinometer reader for two groups, The Flying Saucers, and the Astro Rockets. When I was using the clinometer instrument for The Flying Saucers, I think I may have not got the exact height. This rocket went a lot higher, I think it was because we had a longer nose cone. 

    Our rocket went 143ft rounded from 142.7! I think we will keep the size of our nose cone but I want to change the size of our fins. We had pretty big fins and that adds weight so I think if we use smaller fins our rocket would have went higher.

    When we were launching we were all collaborating and we only did things if the whole group would agree. Since Tom was not here, we agreed that he would get to choose loads of things in our third design. As well as collaborating on the launch we collaborated on graphing the data for how high our rocket went. 

Rocket Design 2

    My group and I had come to our second rocket design. We had seen that the rockets that went pretty high had long nosecones. Also, there was more space for aerodynamics. So, we changed the nose cone from a short one to a long one. 

    When we were designing our rocket, the thing that went well was that we let each other speak their minds. As well as things are going well, some things were a challenge. An example of this is, we did not agree on everything. But, in the end, we came to an agreement of what we thought would make the most effect. 

    The thing that went well was that we worked together as a group to build our rocket. The thing that was challenging was that we did not agree on the colors of the rocket but then agreed on grey and blue. 

    When we were designing the rocket we collaborated and shared our ideas before we wrote anything down. We almost always collaborated on everything. When we had a disagreement we would have a vote and the majority would win. But then we would make sure that they got to choose something else.

Rocketry Design 1

When I found out we were going to be making rockets, I was so excited! I found out my group was: Mia, Micah and Tom. First, we would have to design our rockets. We agreed on most of it but some of it we did not agree. We first designed our rocket on a big piece of paper. We kept changing the fins and the shape until it was right. We pretty much agreed we were ready to start listing possible materials for our rocket. We wanted to have a light rocket, so we chose: cardstock, thin cardboard and coloured tape. We wanted a thin body. Our fin design had a flat body, to be sturdier. We took a long time designing. We made an inspiration board so that we won’t forget our ideas. There was no right or wrong. We had done some research the past few days so we put it all on the board. 

I waited for the day to build our rocket, and it finally came! We used our inspiration board. On our inspiration board it had different designs for each part of the rocket (body, fins, and nosecone). We had PVC pipes to mold our rocket around. Our first rocket was too tight on the top and too wide on the bottom. We quickly made a new one and it was just right.  Mia made the nose-cone and Micah made the fins. Tom and I made the body. Altogether, we glued our fins down. We used hot glue… HOT! We finished! Now we have to launch it…..

Rocketry Launch 1

Our group (The Four Rocketeers) had finished designing and building our rocket. It took us a long time to finish designing our rocket. I was so excited about the launch. Right before we went outside, we got our rocket and content notebooks to record the data and unexpected turnouts. Clinometers are an instrument that captures angles. The klinometer readers went 50 feet from the left and the right of the LaunchPad. The clinometers readers pointed to the instrument why are I think our rockets were one of the highest. 


The first group’s rocket went so high then landed straight on the nosecone. I hope that our next rocket launch will go even higher than our first.

A Poem

A poem is more than just words,

A poem is more than just rhyming,

A poem is more than just a shape,

A poem is more than just fancy writing,


A poem is inspiration,

A poem is everything,

A poem is  the world,

A poem is YOU!