For the third project we did in tech, we used a software called FabMaker Studio to make printable 3D guides for shaped or almost anything actually. It is a very simple program, yet it can yield some amazing results. I chose the cube net pre made project. The instructions were very simple. All I had to do was drag 6 squares into their places and I was ready to print. When it was printed, it showed me clearly where I needed to cut and fold to make a cube. This was a really fun one to do, as it was so simple.
The second project we did in tech is testing regular cubes vs. cubes with trusses.
I built the toothpick cube version, and here is how it went. The obvious winner was the cube with trusses, as both of them were tested with a plate, and the cube with trusses had held up just fine, while the regular cube bent and almost fell apart. The regular cube was made with toothpicks and marshmallows, with the marshmallows at the corners to connect the toothpicks. The cube with trusses only used 4 more toothpicks than the regular cube, so it was a big improvement for a little cost.
For our first project in tech, we created an I beam. An I beam is superior to a regular beam as it distributes the force in a way that bending is minimized. The materials we used are cardboard, hot glue, rubber bands, tape, and a stack of books. For the regular beam, I created a strip of cardboard with six stacked on top of each other, there was significant bending in the normal one when put under the stress of a geometry textbook. For the I beam, I cut two strips of cardboard, and bent them in a way so it looks like if you cut a capital I down the middle. Then, I put the two middle sides together and hot glued them. Then I added two more strips to the top and bottom for support, and the I-beam was finished. When it was tested, there was little to no bending, and when put side by side, there was a clear difference.
The lesson Learn to Code 1 was hard at some parts, and easy at others. The first section was not that hard, and I learned it very quickly. The two main commands were toggle switch and collect gem, which I learned quickly and was able to get through the section quick. The second lesson was a bit harder because it introduced functions and it was hard to learn. When I finally got it down, I completed the section quickly. The third section, which I am still on, is REALLY hard. The teleporting mechanic is hard to get down and I am still yet to master for loops. Here is a really hard level that I did.
At first I thought that energy was electricity, but then I realized that electricity was only a type of energy. Then I tried to find the types of energy. I thought of electrical, elastic, mechanical, chemical, etc. Then I thought about a units of energy. One in particular is calories. Then I thought, when you ingest calories, what do you gain the ability to do? You gain the ability to do work. That is how I got the definition of energy, which is the ability to do work.
As you know every 5th grader has been working very hard to make our capstone projects perfect. We have finally gotten to the point where we recorded our presentations to put on YouTube.
The recording was scary. We only got one try and we felt like it had to be perfect. I trembled when I was speaking. But I think everything was good. I got some compliments after I presented which made me feel like I did good, and I think I actually did good.
I spent so much time memorizing my script and it all paid off. I think when I present live I will not have a script in my hand because I was fidgeting with my paper.
I feel super excited to present live. But I am also sad that Capstone is coming to an end. I had so much fun while doing Capstone. I hope you enjoy my project. The recordings will be posted here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaK8_Kco80tUpbM00NZ9FdQ
Or you can watch here:
Have you ever done a huge project in school? Well we just finished one at school. You would probably know what it is by reading my recent posts, but just to remind you it is called Capstone and it is a HUGE research project. I chose coding as my topic for Capstone. We are coming to the end. In this post I will recap the process of doing my Capstone project.
The first thing that happened was the project was introduced to us. Then we chose our topics. After that we talked about what was a good question and what was a bad question. That helped us with our next task which was making a main inquiry question. Then we found our sub questions. After that, there was a lot of research. Some of us finished quick and were able to answer our sub questions and main inquiry question after that. Some people had to do more research. When we finished our research and answered our main inquiry question, we started to make our scripts. Most of us finished our scripts pretty quick, so we got to move onto making our slideshow. Then came the revisions. The revisions had to be the most painstaking part of the whole Capstone project. The revision part was so hard. But after we got through it and practiced until the only thing we remembered was our script, we got to present it to other people. After we presented it to the class, we recorded our presentations.
When I get compliments on my slideshow it makes me feel like I did a good job. Overall, I just really love Capstone and I hope we get to do something like it in middle school.
It all comes down to this. The answer to my main inquiry question, “What is the impact of coding on the world?” Before I get into everything, here is some background information on coding. “What is coding,” is a very bold question, but I will answer it. Coding is a sort of language that people can read and understand. Code makes a computer work and do things you want it to do. If coding was not used for computers, your computer would just show a white screen. When you code the computer “understands” what you write and does something in return. Coding is inputs and outputs. You input a command, and the computer gives you an output. As Douglas Vermes, a computer scientist at the Scarsdale High School puts it, “In my mind, coding is making some sort of program or application that can run on your computer.” Coding can make websites and lots of things we use today. Let’s get a little deeper into how coding works. Coding works with on and off signals or 1s and 0s. Since modern day coding languages are very complex and do very intricate things, and the processor cannot understand such complex things, the computer is forced to convert the code into something called computer language or binary which is those 1s and 0s. Say I am coding in python and I press compile. Since python was built on C++, I thought that it converted the python into C++ then into whatever that was created in until it got to computer language. But what really happen is in python’s code, there is a command that instantly converts your coding into binary, which makes the whole process faster. To understand what impact coding has on the world, a reader needs to know how coding has transformed our everyday lives, how we have used coding has already solved big problems in the world, and how coding can be used in the future to solve some of the world’s big problems.
Have you ever called your friends on an iPhone? Coding has allowed you to do that. The way we can make phones work is by coding on the computer and then running the code on the phone. Phones can multitask too. You can shop for groceries while phoning a friend. Send an email while watching a movie. We can also track where people are on our phone. If you are a parent and your child goes out on his own or with friends. You can see where they are. In fact, coding has transferred our everyday lives in many other ways than that. Do you have a computer? If so, coding has helped create that too. The first very useful application was called spreadsheet. It did your calculations, documented data, and much more. That revolutionized computers. Guess what, it was made with code.
Another thing coding has done for us is solving a lot of big problems in the world. Here are some of them. There are some people that do very bad things online like create child pornography. Some people also traffick children. This is a huge problem for reasons you probably already know. But an organization called thorn can help. They put their code into participating sites, if the people who own the site find a bad image, they send it to the police. Then, they send it to the cloud. After that other participating companies take that image and use the thorn code to automatically detect the image and send it to the police. This results in faster catching of suspects and faster rescuing of victims. When someone has a bionic limb or a prosthetic, the prosthetic limb is connected to the nerves. When the nerve sends a command to the limb, the code in the prosthetic decodes the command and turns it into an action. We have also used coding to cure diseases. If we can decode the human genome using code, we may find some cures to big diseases in the world.
Using coding we will be able to solve huge problems in the future. We can use coding to monitor the temperature in the air and keep it consistent to prevent global warming. Current coding students can position themselves to help solve these problems by thinking logically and practicing coding. There are also big problems like the food crisis. Using coding we could just take all of the water in tons, and use coding to calculate how much water each 195 countries should get. Although, that could cause more water problems so I will have to change that plan. Coding could also help us with the overpopulation of our planet. All rocket ships run off of code, and when our planet gets overpopulated, we can send people to other planets using none other than, rockets.
In the end I learned that coding is a very powerful language that powers our life. Our Phones and computers are powered by code. Code has solved some very very big problems in the world and is yet to solve some big problems in the future. You can help with this too. I encourage everybody to start coding. That will make our task force bigger so we can solve more problems quicker. So, what will you do?
Have you ever been to Rhode Island? Well I went there for the weekend to do my site visit. My site visit was at a place called, “Rhode Island Computer Museum.” When I first walked in, it was a dream come true. Computers everywhere, Huge projectors, Typewriters. Everything. But I was surprised to see it was a small facility for a museum. Dan, a worker there greeted me at the door. We walked around and talked about all the types of computers that they had at the facility. What really surprised me was they had a very old computer that was called a “mini” computer that was the size of a refrigerator.
After we talked about all of the computers, I had some free time where I could play with anything and use anything I wanted. I used the virtual reality machine which was a first and it was SUPER weird. I felt like I didn’t even exist when I was using the machine. I also played with a piano that was projected onto a mat and it was actually working. Every computer they had, no matter how old, was working. That was very cool. Overall, I learned a lot about coding and computers and especially how technology has transformed our everyday lives.
In this blog post I will be talking about my interview. I got a lot of information from my interview. I interviewed Douglas Vermes, a computer science teacher at the Scarsdale High School. Before I talk about how my interview went, I want to tell you about the preparation of my interview questions. Creating my interview questions was a trial and error process. I wrote the first draft of my questions, had them checked over, and then I was told I needed to redo them. My questions just weren’t that strong. So, we redid them, and they came out really good. See for yourself: (The question that isn’t bulleted is my sub questions).
What is coding?
What is coding?
How did coding languages evolve over time?
Why are there so many coding languages in use?
How does the computer understand the code you are giving it?
What are the components in the computer that understand the code?
How do the parts take the code and turn it into an action?
How does the way the code is written affect how efficiently and easily the computer can carry out the actions?
How has coding already transformed our everyday lives?
What were some of the earliest ways coding has changed our everyday lives?
What were some of the recent or current ways coding has changed our everyday lives?
Are there ways that we all are coding in our everyday lives that we don’t even realize?
How has coding been used already to solve some of our world’s big problems?
How has coding advanced the field of medicine?
How has coding aided law enforcement?
How has coding allowed us to address global issues like food supply and clean water?
How might coding be used in the future to solve big problems?
What are some likely big problems that coding could address in the future?
What do you think it will take to make this happen?
What can today’s computer science students do to position themselves to work on big problems in the future?
The interview went great. It helped me get to the point I’m at now. I got some diagrams and papers to help me. My logic was that if my interviewee answered the three questions that go under my sub questions, I would be able to answer them. Then I could use all of the answers that I got for my sub questions and use them to answer my main inquiry question. In my next blog, I will be talking about my site visit at the middle school. So stay tuned for that.