I have finally completed my research and answered my main inquiry question (see Capstone 1 and 2). I have learned so much. For instance, I never knew the process to FDA approve a drug. I definitely didn’t know how complex that process is. I also learned a lot about the cons of vaccines. I knew the pros, but not so much the cons. I also learned a lot about the laws surrounding vaccines and how mis-information affects parents decisions about whether or not to vaccinate their child. Overall, I learned so much! I am so excited to take the next step forward and put together my presentation.
Today in class, we did a series of experiments. We tested how colored sugar reacted to oil, water, and white vinegar. The liquids were the solvent and the sugar was the solute. First, we had to make the colored sugar by mixing sugar and pink food coloring.
Then, we tested the sugar with the oil. Our hypothesis was: If we mix 1 tsb of sugar with oil, then the sugar will gradually dissolve and color the oil. Our hypothesis was denied. We noticed that there were tiny particles floating and there is a thin layer of pink at the top. We also noted that the sugar was NOT coloring the oil and that most of the sugar was at the bottom.
Next, we tested the water and sugar. Our hypothesis was: If we mix 1 tsb of sugar with water, then the sugar will dissolve and color the water. Our hypothesis was confirmed. The sugar DID color the water and dissolved rapidly. It took a little bit of time, but by the time we came back from lunch, (1hr), it was all dissolved.
Finally, we tested the sugar with white vinegar. Our hypothesis was: If we mix 1 tsb of sugar with vinegar, then the sugar will color the vinegar and partially dissolve. Our hypothesis was confirmed. The sugar did color the vinegar and dissolved rapidly, although not all the way.
Overall, I learned so much from these experiments and had so much fun getting messy!
Capstone is still going well. I have done my interview (see Capstone #3). Next, I am going on my site visit. For my site visit, I am going the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit Inside You. At first I wanted to go to a specialized exhibit on vaccines, but my mom and I couldn’t find any that were still open (or that weren’t in California!) So, we went with this instead. I think we are going to go on Saturday, June 1st. I can’t wait!
My site visit went really well! What happened was I went into the exhibit. There were a lot of people there, as it is open to everyone. I was amazed by the different diagrams and pictures. Even though I have been there before, when I was looking at the exhibit through fresh eyes, I was surprised at how much information there actually was. My mom took picture of the diagrams for me to review later. It was really fun!
I learned so much from this! Instead of learning about vaccine, I learned about the immune system and about microbes and that helped me understand the science behind vaccines better. It was really cool to look at this exhibit with fresh eyes and to learn so much from it!
Geography: I learned what geography really is/means. I also learned how widespread Immigration really is. I learned that many immigrants came to the US because big companies needed their labor to build railroads. I learned that a lot of immigrants came to America for the Gold Rush.
History: I learned a lot about the push and pull factors of the history of immigration and about the details that went into those factors. I learned that some immigrants came to America for more food and some because their voices weren’t being heard in society.
Economics: I learned that land=money and that most immigrants are very hardworking. I also learned that the US wouldn’t be the same if immigrants hadn’t come. I learned that immigrants mostly created their own businesses because no one wanted to hire them. I learned that immigrants had a bad reputations. I learned that illegal immigrants were shot if they tried to come into the country.
Civics: I learned that civics played a super big part in immigration. I also learned that most immigrants weren’t familiar with the idea of democracy. I also learned that many people came to America because we had better laws. I learned that laws were passed to keep immigrants from doing certain things or even entering the country. I learned that if you wanted to come to America you had to be healthy and strong. I learned that a lot of immigrants were sent away because of disabilities and illnesses.
Overall, I learned a lot from all of these presentations!
In class, we did science centers with our science groups. The first activity we did was called Create It! We had to sort beads by color and we observed the properties of the beads. We saw that the beads were hard, small, colored and square. Then we had to make a mixture out of the beads. We observed whether the properties of the beads changed or stayed the same. The properties of the beads did not change, but instead of one color, there were many.
Next, we did Sort It!. In Sort It!, we sorted mixtures, solutions and compounds into seperate piles. When we were done we had sand and water, sand and iron filing and salad in the mixture column. We put soda, sugar and water, and air into the solutions column and we put table salt baking soda and water into the compound column.
Next, we did Match It! In Match It!, we matched words and definitions. Here is what we learned: Physical Properties: a characteristic of matter, Mixture: a combination of 2 or more substances, Solution: a type of mixture in which one substance dissolves in another, Solvent: the substance that dissolves in another substance to make a solution, Solute:the substance in a solution that there is more of, and Dissolve: to break down into smaller pieces until it is invisible.\
Next we did Explain It!, In Explain It!, we made observations on the recipe of lemonade and then we wrote what we learned. I wrote that the hot water is the solvent, the sugar was the solute and if you add the cold water with the lemon to the hot water and the sugar, it’s a solution. I learned that you can mix a solvent and solute together add another liquid and you would still get a solution. I wonder if you didn’t mix the sugar and hot water, would the sugar still dissolve? If so, how long would it take?
Overall I learned so much from these activities and thought they were a lot of fun!
My Capstone is going well. I have gathered lots of research and am looking forward to gathering more. Meanwhile, I am working on setting up my interview. On Thursday, I talked to my mom about my interview and site visit (see Capstone # 4 when published). I am going to interview Dr. Herbert A. Newman, MD. I knew right away that he would be the best person possible (plus, I already know him). I am going to visit him in his office on Tuesday, May 21. My interview questions are:
Why did you become a pediatrician?
What advice would you give to a new parent about their decision to vaccinate their child?
What is your opinion on vaccines? Why?
Why do some people view vaccines as dangerous?
Have there been certain years where more people refuse to vaccinate their children? If so, what were some of those years and reasons?
Are you ever concerned about a certain vaccine? Why or why not?
Where are vaccines made? Are they all made in the same place?
What are the laws surrounding vaccines? Do you support these laws? Why or why not?
Is there anything else I should know, concerning my topic, that I don’t already?
I am so excited to conduct the interview!
I did my interview! What happened was: I went into my interviewee’s office. I asked him if it was okay for me to record the interview. He said yes, and I asked him my interview questions (see above). Everything went pretty smoothly except the phone rang in the middle of the interview, so we had to stop. It was a really good interview!
Overall I learned so much that I don’t already know about my topic and added on to things I do know. I also learned a lot about being an interviewer such as speaking clearly and slowly and to make sure that your interviewee understands the question. Overall I learned a lot from my interview and am now super excited for my site visit! (see Capstone #4 when published)
In class we are reading a the book Refugee by Alan Gratz. This week, we talked a lot about the theme of power.
In the beginning of Josef’s story, Hitler and the Nazis had the power. They could arrest Josef’s family or kill them at any time, place or setting. When Josef’s father jumps of the boat to escape being sent back to the concentration camps in Germany, Josef has the power within his family. His father is stuck in Cuba because of mental issues and his mother is starting to go a bit crazy. They are not fit to take care of the family. So, like it or not Josef is the one in power. Another time when Josef is in power is when he and some men on the ship take the crew hostage to try to get them to turn away from Germany. When the group captures the captain and then chicken out when the captain says he will send them back to the CC camps, Josef is the one who speaks up and acts like the one in power.
In the beginning of Isabel’s story, Fidel Castro had the power. He could arrest Isabel’s father anytime he wanted to. When Isabel’s mother is very sick, and the Bahamas police tell them that if they step foot on Bahamian soil the would be sent back, Isabel is the one to speak up and say “Does anyone have aspirin for my mother?”. When Isabel’s and her family escaped the Coast Guard they felt powerful. When Castro broadcasts that any family who wants to leave Cuba by boat can, Isabel and her family feel like they have the power.
In the beginning of Mahmoud’s story, the war has the power. It can kill anyone, at anytime, in any place. Mahmoud and his family feel powerful when they cross over the border to Turkey. They feel powerful when they finally get to Greece, when they crossed the Macedonian border, when they passed the Serbian border. The felt powerful when they deceived the guards at the borders. When they reached the Hungarian border they felt like they had power.
Overall, the theme of power is common throughout all the character’s stories.
My grade has started a project called Capstone. First we had to pick our topic. I chose medicine. I chose medicine because I am really passionate about it and really want to become a doctor when I grow up. Medicine is a really big topic and I had to narrow it down to make it a bit more reasonable.
The next step was to come up with a main inquiry question. My teacher told us to do a wheel to narrow our topics down. Then we had to choose one of the different parts of our topic to focus on, based on our questions for each category. For example, I decided to focus on the study of medicine. Then we chose the question that was the best in that category and used it as a base for our main inquiry question.
My first iteration of a main inquiry question was “How has the study of medicine advanced over the years, but then I realized that that question was going to stress me out. So, I narrowed it further.
My 2nd iteration of a main inquiry question was: “How is advancing medicine affecting children’s medical care”. Then I realized that that question would still drive me crazy. So, this time I really narrowed it down. I thought that maybe I could narrow it down to something like vaccines. And I did just that.
My 3rd iteration question was: “Why are vaccines considered dangerous?”. But that sounded too much like I already had an opinion. So, I tweaked my question a bit. In the end, my main inquiry question was this: “Vaccines: Are they safe or dangerous?” See the difference?
Then I had to come up with 5 sub-questions. My sub questions are: “What are the pros of vaccines?”, “What are the cons of vaccines?”, “How is mis-info affecting people’s decisions over vaccines?”, “What are the laws relating to vaccines?” and “What is the process the FDA goes through to say that a certain drug is safe?”
Overall, I am so excited to continue working on my Capstone and am excited to begin the actual research!
I finally finished my passion project! Last Wednesday, I started my final video, and since then I have been working about 2 hours on my video for 2 nights. Then on Sunday, I went all out and got the whole thing (almost) done in 8 hours. I had a lot of struggles during these 12 hours. One was that whenever I left Wevideo and then came back to it later, the page became “unresponsive”. This was really annoying because if I deleted the tab, I could be waiting for an hour for the website to become responsive again. Another thing was the edits. On Wednesday, I thought that I finished the video. Then I realized my video needed to be a lot more than what it was. By the time I was done editing, my video was transformed into something much stronger than what I had started with. Overall, I really enjoyed working on my passion project and am really proud of my final product!
Today I did my biggest experiment, does color affect taste? In the experiment, I poured apple juice into six cups. One third of the apple juice I dyed blue, one third I dyed green and one third I dyed red. I had two volunteers. They were each given three cups, one of each color. The cups were labeled A, B or C. A for blue, B for green and C for red. The volunteers were told to taste each cup with a sip of water in between each sip. They could taste each cup as many times as they liked in the time span of two minutes. Both volunteers liked A the best, and C the least. One of the volunteers said that she thought C was the strongest and B was the mildest. They both thought the the cups tasted very similar. Overall, this experiment was so fun for me and I learned so much from it!