Capstone #3

Hi, I promised to keep you posted, so I am back! A lot has changed since my last blog post. Basically, I already finished my Capstone. You are probably wondering, “What Jane how is it already done and why didn’t you blog about it?!” Well, in my situation, I haven’t shared it yet, but I finished my movie.

If I haven’t already mentioned this, capstone gives you three ways to present. First, Ignite, which is 3 minutes. After last year’s traumatic Ignite scene, I was definitely NOT doing Ignite. Second, there was a TED Talk, which is 3-5 minutes. Like ignite, you have to memorize the scripts and TED Talk.’ But, there is a twist. I do not like memorizing, so I did a movie. A movie is 3-6 minutes long and has no memorizing because it is a movie. I chose that, of course. (Same with the other half of the class)

Poor lonely Ignite.

Anyway, after I interviewed my expert, I had to take all my research and notes and create a script for my presentation about it. That took a long time, which is why I haven’t posted in a while. The script was the most challenging part because I had to create the script with my narration plans, photo plans, and slide timing. After I finished my script I made my movie on Adobe, which was very fun. I chose Adobe because We-Video (The other way to present if you did a movie) was too complicated, and Adobe is very clean and simple.

One annoying and challenging part was how my movie came out over time so I had to edit it, and download it-which takes 5 minutes-FIVE TIMES. Anyway, after I finally fixed my movie, I uploaded it. And here I am!

Overall, I am so excited to share my movie, and I am very happy with the final result. Researching about Sunsets and Sunrises was very interesting and challenging, and I learned a lot. Now that the era is finally over, I just want to say, thanks for staying with me.

Capstone #2

I am now finished with my Capstone interview, which means I am 1/3 done with the Capstone era. I thought of interviewing a few people who specialized in or studied sunsets/sunrises and weather, and soon enough I chose someone who worked at a University, plus they wrote an article I liked.

The first part of the interview process was finding a person and setting it up. After I chose the expert, which was someone named Stephen Cordfidi, I asked Ms. Boyer to email them, requesting the interview. My email looked something like this:

Hello, my name is Jane, and I am a 5th grader at Heathcote Elementary school in Scarsdale, NY. 

I have a simple request. In school, I am studying for a very important project before Middle School. My topic is Sunsets & Sunrises. I wanted to ask if I could possibly interview you for my project? Interviewing someone will help me get the best information for my presentation. 

I understand if you might be busy, -this isn’t a forceful message- though I would appreciate it if we can plan something in an email, phone call, or zoom. 

Thank you, Jane 

After two days, I was excited to find out that they had responded to the email Ms. Boyer sent. We then needed to plan a day to do the interview, which was a struggle.

It was on a Monday that I received their response to the email, and on the following Wednesday, I would have surgery and probably wouldn’t be in school until the next Monday, which was the day Interviewing was due. I was planning on doing my interview the next Monday, (sadly) but thankfully it was changed to the next day, (Tuesday) after that!

Another thing you need to do before an interview is write down interview questions. I had already written mine with my research, though I looked over it to make sure they were good questions. Writing the questions was my favorite part because I had many in mind.

My least favorite part was writing down notes while I was doing the interview. Since Mr. Cordfidi was an advanced expert, he answered the questions in a bit of a confusing, or should I say more advanced way, so it was hard to write down. Also, he spoke really fast and I didn’t have time to get through all the details. I still liked interviewing him though, it helped me get more information about my topic in an ‘advanced’ way.

Keep you posted,


Capstone #1

In school, I’m starting a very important project called Capstone, which every 5th Grader in the whole direct has done every year, since 2016. Capstone is a project where you get to choose any topic and research and take notes about it. You also have to interview a person that has to do with your topic -like a professor or someone who specializes in your topic.- Then you gather your information and make a presentation. I feel nervous about doing this project because it is the biggest and most important project before Middle School.

Anyway, for my topic, I chose sunsets and sunrises. I chose this topic because I really am interested in sunsets and sunrises, and I want to know how they are made. At first, when I chose this topic, I thought there weren’t going to be any good resources, but it turns out there is much more than I needed.

After you chose a topic you have to think of a keyword question for your topic and start research in a digital notebook. My question is, “What is the science behind sunsets and sunrises? How do they work?” because I really wanted to know how they work. After I made a digital notebook and wrote down notes from the resources.

I also thought it wasn’t too hard to brainstorm a few sub-questions because I already knew what I was going for. But something that was challenging was finding specific answers from websites, for my sub-questions, because most of the articles were about the same thing.

I am still working on finding someone to interview, but I already found some choices. The way I found someone to interview was, that I found professors or people who are experts in my topic, and I found their email, website, or social media. I found someone from NOAA and wrote an introduction, -which is a request email to interview the person.-


Immigration Presentation Reflection

My class and I had a big project to do that included interviewing someone who immigrated to America and then making a story in a slideshow about it. This project was very fun and I learned a lot more about the person who I interviewed, which was my dad. I interviewed my dad because he was one of the only people I knew who immigrated to America that I could contact.

I learned that many people from all around the world immigrate to America, probably more than I expected. From seeing my classmate’s presentations and learning about it, many people came to America from all around the world for better life and learning opportunities.

First I had to ask my dad many questions like an interviewer would, and then take notes. After I took notes I put them into a script, then used them as inspiration for my slide show. Instead of using We-Video for my story like most of my other presentations, I used another platform called Adobe. I like Adobe better because the transitions and slides are better, and it is easier. It also unblurred photos, which was very helpful. I still like Adobe better, but there were some problems with it too.

Something that surprised me was that when I was in the process of making my slideshow, Adobe had many unexpected problems. The photos that I uploaded were glitching, my slideshow lagged and crashed my Chromebook more than once. In the end, I ended up liking Adobe less than I did at the start.

Overall I loved making the Immigration project and my slideshow ended up being a clean, thorough, and detailed story about my dad’s immigration journey. I think this very fun, even though it was difficult at one point.

Here is my final presentation. Bye!

Refugee Response Q&A

Why is Walleed not scared? Why does he not get super frustrated? Does it seem like he doesn’t care?

I think Walleed acts like he isn’t scared because he is probably in shock, and overwhelmed by everything. His family’s apartment was hit by a missile, there were many bombs, they were being shot from their car, and had to walk so many hours. He usually doesn’t get super frustrated when bad things happen because for a long time so many tragic things have happened it probably sucked all the emotion and hope out of him. He probably does care on the inside but he doesn’t want to show emotions. It is very hard for young kids like him to go through all this, it must be hard for him.

I wonder how all of these kids get the confidence to do things, and how they get so brave?

I think how they get that confidence is because they are going through so many serious and life-changing things they need their confidence and hope to keep going. Josef was so desperate to get off the boat to Cuba, that he had the confidence and bravery to slap his dad. Isabel was also very brave to jump off the boat to save a person because her grandmother had died drowning. Mahmoud was brave and confident enough to go from being completely invisible to stay alive to being the opposite of invisible to try and save himself and his family. They are very brave because either way again, they have to experience war and bombs and being close to death, which is how it already makes them even braver. 

Rube Goldberg #2

Rube Goldberg Process:

A lot has changed since I did my first blog post and sketch about the Rube Goldberg machine. First of all, I was having problems with my sketch and build design, so my sister and I decided to combined and work together in our dining room. The dining room had a good, closed-in space with enough hard floor, and surfaces. This was perfect for our build.

The problems at first were building the first part of the build. We didn’t really know what to expect, and it was hard to figure out what would work. Natalie and I knew that we could incorporate many simple machines, especially pulleys. Some other simple machines we had were incline planes, wheel and axles, wedges, and one lever. We soon decided our simple machine would start with someone pulling a rope and our simple task ending by pouring water and food into cat bowls.

My success at first was getting materials. It turns out we had much more than we needed and we didn’t really need to buy much, besides a few pulleys and dominos. With a little help from my mom, we had already gotten more than halfway through the build on Saturday. We built it by testing each little section and making sure it works, then putting them together.

My first sketch was not very useful anymore so I decided to make a new one after we could scope out the new build design. I liked it way better than my first one, and it was laid out well. The next day we finished and tweaked up the build, and then we had to test it. When the build was finished, it had 16 steps in all, with more than 6 simple machines.

The problem afterward when we were testing was that we realized some things didn’t exactly work in the slightest way. At first, the bouncy balls going into a cardboard tube, in the beginning, got stuck, so we had to get smaller ones. Second, we had to re-do all the dominos with a spacer because it wasn’t spaced correctly. A lot of the angles were re-put and spaced out. When we got onto our 9th try we realized that in the ending when we added weight on one side of the pulley it made the other side not pull down. To fix this, we had to even out the weights by putting magnets on the cars, (The first side of the pulley,) and then taking away some food and water.

My successes were that it worked! In the end, we got it correct on our 10th try. We got many good recordings and explanations for our we-video in the future. Overall I had a great experience building and planning the Rube Goldberg. It was very fun and exciting and I learned a lot.

Here are my final sketches!

We-Video Process:

My We-video was a rushed and short, but complicated process. Natalie and I finished our Rube Goldberg shortly after we planned a way to put our videos, photos, sketches, and everything together cleanly. In the end I am very proud of what we have accomplished and done. It’s the end of the era!



Rube Goldberg #1

My class and I have been recently starting a major process on a Rube Goldberg project. A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex build that causes a simple task, like flipping a light switch, opening a door, etc.

My problems in the start were how I was really stuck in the beginning. I had no idea how I was going to start my sketch for the build and the materials I needed. My first plan was making one with my sister, which would be hard because there had to be double the steps in the Rube Goldberg, and I had a hard time getting along with her. We decided on making the last part of our Rube Goldberg – the task that the machine has to complete – fill a cat bowl with food. My sister said my part had to fill a water bowl, which I didn’t want.

Though I did have some successes. I soon later found out I had a lot of useful materials for the build like dominos, cars and car tracks, building blocks, balls, and many more things. I also am good at drawing, and very creative so I was confident in my sketch.

I was feeling confused, and it was kinda overwhelming with so much to do, but I was pretty excited.

Later I had more problems. My sister and I were not working together well and we had a bunch of quarrels. We were fighting over if it should be in the basement or not, which I think it obviously should. We have cats, and the basement has a good space that wouldn’t be messed up – my cats are not allowed in the basement. – Later on, we ended up leaving each other to work alone. NOW THE BASEMENT IS ALL MINE HAHA.

Anyway, I ended up finishing my sketch after a long night of work and headaches.

I was very frustrated while making my sketch, because I have limited materials, while my sister needs materials for her Rube Goldberg. Soon enough I thought of some ideas, but I’m not entirely sure they will work.

The process is still a work in progress, and hopefully, things go well.

Here are my Rube Goldberg machine sketches!


Constitution Project Reflection

I think the purpose of this project was to advance my learning with research and presenting, while also helping us learn more about important history. I think this because I had to do a lot of learning and researching while being independent. I also think it practiced my presentation skills because we had to present our final projects. I learned a lot about history while researching, (And the Constitution projects in general) and history is important. I loved this project a lot, and it was very interesting and fun while challenging in some parts.

The first part of our project was choosing our topic. My Constitution research topic is Important events that led up to women gaining the right to vote. I chose this topic because I wanted to learn more about Women’s Suffrage, and important Women’s Suffrage Events. Next, we had to answer research topic questions and fill out a planner. After we researched and took notes about our project. I think this part was hard because we had to choose and take notes about specific topics and choose them on only 3 websites. It was fun but challenging. I learned a lot. One interesting thing I learned was that there is a women’s suffrage flag, and the women suffrage represents the following colors: Purple, white, and yellow. 

After we took notes and research we had to take our notes and make them into a script. This was also very challenging because the timing of the script overall had to be less than 2:30 and more than 2:00. Each script slide/paragraph had to be more than 6 seconds, and less than 15. It was also very hard to put my notes into a script.

Then we made a slideshow for our project and notes. We had to add photos onto each slide that connected to the topic of each script slide. This was challenging because each photo had to match, even though there weren’t specific photos for each topic. We also had very direct instructions for the slides. For example, only up to six words on the slide. Another example was it had to be a good quality and centered photo, while it had to look neat. I had the most problems with my slides in all of this project! At first, I got the photos and organization finished very quickly, but then I soon realized that a lot of my notes were out of order and wrong, so I had to fix them up. I also realized I had a few problems with my introduction slide, and my third slide, so I fixed it up. I ended up moving down a photo and deleting a whole slide. It was also pretty hard to get the timing right.

The last thing we had to do was Screencastify our slides/presentation. Screencastify is a recording app. It was really hard to get the recordings right, and I had to re-do them many times because I had messed up reading the script in the recording, or just stuttered. Other problems I had were switching the slides while recording, and finding a quiet spot to record. In general, I loved the project and it was very interesting while challenging in some parts. This project helped me learn so much about the Constitution and Women’s Suffrage. Overall I loved it, and I had a great experience.

You can listen to my presentation here:


Saving The Earth Tips – Reflection

Going onto the website, National Geographic Kids, I have learned and observed a lot. Today I was looking into Saving The Earth Tips. It had information about saving the animals, tips to reduce your plastic use, ways to stop Earth from pollution, climate change, and many more resources. Some of the main ideas I think the purpose of these sites and articles are about helping make the world a better place. An example of one thing I had learned, was about half the world’s sea turtles accidentally eat plastic and other trash! That is why people should not litter trash on beaches, because it is bad for sea turtles and many other animals. Another thing I learned is that Americans use about 500 million plastic straws a day, and they’re one of the top 10 trash items found during ocean cleanups. That is not good, and we should really stop using that many plastic straws. I prefer metal straws or paper straws. One last thing I learned was that some food and clothes are made with pesticides—chemicals sprayed on crops to kill bad bugs. Pesticides can kill bees, which is a bad thing. In conclusion, I learned and observed a lot. These sites are very interesting and tell important things.