For my Capstone project we also needed to do a site visit. At first I thought a site visit was when you visit a website. But that wasn’t the case. I actually had to go somewhere and then it made more sense. I did some research and found that the Smithsonian National Zoo has elephants. When I googled google maps to see how far the distance is, it said it was 5 hours! I was surprised but shocked at the same time. I was sad also because I knew my parents weren’t willing to drive me to Washington D.C.
When I met with Ms. Edwards, I asked her where I should go for my site visit. We started researching on where I should go and then I thought of the Bronx Zoo. Then I searched if they have any elephants. Unfortunately when I went through the animals they didn’t have elephants. Then Ms. Edwards told me an idea that my friend Corina did. She said I can do a Elephant Cam. An Elephant Cam is a live stream of a habitat in a zoo to see the activity of an animal. What I did to record this was to take a picture. I don’t have a phone so what I did was screenshot it. It has really fun taking pictures of elephants.
Today at 2:30 pm I had a interview with an elephant behaviorist, and her name is Gay A. Bradshaw. For the interview we tried sky-ping but it didn’t work for some reason so I couldn’t see her. But that didn’t stop me. We got to question number two and something happened on Skype so it hung up. We tried again and she said it was best for us to finish the rest of the questions on call. So that was what we did. I also audio recorded it so that it was much more easier than taking notes. I asked Dr. Bradshaw 10 questions relating to my topic about elephants. These are my 10 questions,
Why are you so passionate about elephants?
How do threats to elephants make you feel?
How do the threats that African and Asian elephants face differ?
How does The Kerulos Center help stop elephant abuse?
Do you collaborate with any other wildlife conservation group to help elephants? If so what are their names?
How have the number of elephants changed since people have been interested in helping to save them?
Does the government also spend money on helping elephants?
How does elephant poaching affect the economy?
Do current laws adequately deter poachers? How can laws be improved?
What can kids do to help elephants?
When Dr. Bradshaw gave me the answer to these questions, she gave me detailed responses. I used some of her responses for my information. She was also very nice about giving her time to a fifth-grader answering my questions. Some things that she told me about elephants were that she doesn’t call wildlife conservation groups in that name. It was fascinating on how she thought of a different perspective on wildlife conservation groups. She also told me that her center is opening up a center for bulls(male elephants) in Georgia. When I heard this I thought maybe I could go to Georgia, but then she said that it doesn’t open until the summer or next year I think it was.
I also learned about more stuff that I couldn’t find on the internet. It was really fun meeting her even though I couldn’t see her. I hope I can meet her again about elephants. Either way this experience was fun because I actually interviewed someone for the first time and I couldn’t believe she could answer all of my questions. I can’t wait for my site visit!!!
We started doing our inquiry question and sub questions and I was really stuck. The inquiry question was the hardest part of Capstone. It took me 3 days to think about and then Ms. Edwards met with me about my inquiry question. My inquiry question is “How do threats that African elephants and Asian elephants encounter compare and how can humans improve their lives?” I am pretty proud of my question and think there will be a lot of researching to do. We started our sub questions on Monday and we worked on them throughout the week. So far I have 6 questions and I think that it is a pretty fair amount. These are my questions:
1.What threats are Asian elephants facing?
2.What threats are African elephants facing?
3.What wildlife conservation groups are working on behalf of elephants? What are they doing to help?
4.How can awareness be raised to help elephants? What can I do to help elephants?
5.Why is ivory so important to make merchandise?
6.When did poaching and threats to elephants start?
My class is working on the biggest project of the year called Capstone. We first have to choose a topic that we are really passionate about and want to learn more about. I have been choosing between a lot of things though. Two out of the five topics I chose were contestants. The first one was about aquariums and how they affect marine life. When I asked some of my friends if it was good, they said I should change it. I wasn’t to sure if I wanted to change it because I know a little bit about it. But when I met with Ms. Edwards she thought that I should consider changing it. I chose my second one which was about elephants instead and I think that I chose a good topic.
This is my poetry reading for the poetry festival. I chose this poem because it was meaningful as well as it was the theme for the 5th Grade. I chose the background because we were given a choice to pick any background we wanted.
Last month we started a new unit on immigration. Ms. Edwards told us that we were going to make a 11-12 year old kids immigration stories on a website called WeVideo. My immigration story took place in Tours, France. Everyone in my class was a made-up person from a country where lots of people immigrated. After we chose and typed our scripts it was time to film. First we needed to find the photos we wanted. After that we had to find old things for our props. We took pictures and narrated our stories instead of actually acting it through the end. We took pictures all over the school. Like one was the courtyard and another was the garden. After we collected our photos we put them into WeVideo. Actual editing was the hardest thing because I wanted it to be perfect. Because at first it was 10 mins long. But then I realized some of the stuff wasn’t necessary in my voice over. And finally I am done. I liked this project because it was fun to do with a group.
On Thursday March 16, my group(me, Abby, and Corina) taught our second and third lesson. When we taught our lesson a kid who didn’t come came that day, so we had to teach him everything the rest of the group learned. At this point 2 of our students were making the Sphero say weird stuff and making the Sphero hit the wall. Abby, Corina, and I were a little irritated, until they finally understood how to use the commands. Lesson 3 was more of a challenge than a lesson though. We used a ramp for the challenge. The challenge was for the Sphero to roll up and down the ramp and make the Sphero use colors, sounds, and other actions while making a trianlge. When they finished, we played a game called Pong for a few minutes and then our For Ms.Boyer’s class, our students cooperated and we had so much time for a game. Even though they went through the second and third lesson like that, they were okay with what we came up for them even though it was easy for them. Out of all the lessons we thought, I thought that the second lessons were at least better than the first one.
On 3/8/2017, we had our first Sphero Lesson. For my lesson, my partners were Abby and Corina and we were doing an triangle. We did our classes with Mrs. Cooper’s class and Mrs. Boyer’s class.
For the first class we did a grand entrance for our Sphero(Lavender) and then we told them commands and then they explored for 5 min. After that, one of our students was mumbling “this is so stupid” and lots of other things. We ignored all the negativity and continued teaching but we didn’t have time for a fun game. For our second class we did a bit better in teaching and our students were eager to learn about Spheros. And at the end they loved the game we played.
I think our 2nd class was better than our first one because we realized our mistakes in the first one and improved in the second one. The 1st class was okay because, I think we messed up our wording’s for explaining which commands our which and etc.
For our final performance, I wore a black and white dress. We danced the Waltz and the Swing. I thought it was a little fun but it was nerve wracking. This is how it went, we come out with the other classes, we wait for Mrs. Boyer’s class to finish, then Mrs. Cooper’s class to finish and then we go. Since there is about 60- 70 kids there were 120- 140 parents and 240- 280 eyes on us. What I thought was the most stressful was when my partner and I got to the front and danced. I thought I would do something wrong but there were only minor things that no one saw. I told my parents and they didn’t see it. After that I had ice cream at home and went to sleep.
Today I met with my partners and… It worked! Only 50 -55 tries, but it was worth it! We got the iMovie done, also. For this blog post, I am just going to write about the experience of making a Rube Goldberg Machine. First of all, for us it was the most stressful thing ever. What we did to calm ourselves was we took a two-min break every so often to pet Jojo(Danielle’s dog) and then get back to work. Our moms told us to take a break because, we were thinking so hard and our parents felt sorry. We did what they told and it actually worked.
Secondly, our experience with creating, wasn’t so great. We searched through about 5 websites (I only remember 3-4) and then came up with the idea. We started looking into the idea and thought it wasn’t possible without two domino effects, but we started giving our ideas and thought about it and we came up with it.
Lastly, building and testing the machine was hard. Building was hard because we couldn’t find some things that we needed so we changed the plan a bit. Testing was not so great, either. Testing the machine was hard because if it didn’t go right, you would have to test it over and over and build it again until it succeeded.
Since this is my last blog post for Rube Goldberg, I want to thank Danielle’s mom for giving up her kitchen table and the moms for supporting us!