Capstone #7: CapCon! 2017 Share

Now since I’m done with my final presentation and done practicing, I get to present in front of the parents. My teacher split the class up to present in different rooms. For all I know, I presented last in my class and some people went to the auditorium, some went to the library, and some went to the computer lab.

First we had the moving up ceremony, then, for 15 minutes, we looked at the digital experiences in the 5th grade wing because after that all I have to do is walk into my classroom. I knew I practiced a lot but I was still a tiny bit nervous because I was going to be recorded and if I messed up, then every fourth grader next year will see so I told myself to speak slower. When it was almost my turn, I told myself not to worry. I just had to smile, speak slowly, to not bore the audience, and finally to not look at my index cards too much. When it was finally my turn, I went up and gave my TED Talk. I think that it went pretty well but I just messed up on one word which I guess is okay. Once you start and get the hang of it, everything is fine. In the middle where I talked about my site visit and interview I stopped being nervous. After I was done my parents told me that I did great. Even some other people in the audience told me that. I really happy that I actually did it! Many students in my class were like,”Hey, Capstone is over!” But then I would remind them that we still had to write our final blog post which is what I’m doing right now.

Overall I think that Capstone was a great experience and It helped me with my public speaking skills. I learned a lot about a topic that I was super interested in. I hope I can do something like this in middle school!

Capstone #6: Working on my final project

After all the research and everything, we finally get to work on our final presentation! We got to choose from an ignite, a TED Talk, or a digital experience where you just watch the video with them talking in the background. An ignite is a talk in front of a presentation with only 12 slides, with 15 seconds on each slide and so the total time is three minutes. I felt that I didn’t want to be rushed so I crossed out ignite. Then there was the TED Talk. I kind of wanted to do the TED Talk in the beginning of Capstone where Mr. Casal told us the different types of presentations because I thought that I would have more freedom to show what I learned. It had to be 5 – 8 minutes long, which was fine with me, and you could have as many slides as you want. So I chose the TED Talk. Also, I didn’t want to do a digital experience because I like presenting in front of people to work on my public speaking skill.

Working on it was kind of tough but also at the same time not that tough. It was tough because I didn’t know what to really do and want pictures to put on it. But it wasn’t that tough because Mr. Casal shared us a presentation showing what to put on each slide for an ignite. He also said that you could use it for a TED Talk so that’s what I did. I had to find a lot of pictures and two days before we had to present to the parents, I added a video demonstrating what the da Vinci surgical system looks like and how it works.

I presented to my class a couple of times and they gave me feedback that helped me a lot. For example, they told me to speak slower. Presenting to your classmates is good practice for when I have to present to the parents. Overall I think I am ready to present in front of the parents!

Capstone #5: Answering my main inquiry question

For capstone I have to answer my main inquiry question. My main inquiry question is “How is robotic surgery revolutionizing the field of medicine?” We also have to answer it in an essay format. At first I thought that it would be super hard and I was really stressed and worried. After a while, when I actually started my essay, I realized that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. My sub questions actually helped me lot. My introduction is decent but I had a pretty hard time coming up with a good hook. My body paragraphs are okay, and , my conclusion, well… I have to work on it a bit more. My essay is going pretty good and I will use all of the answers for my TED Talk. I hope I do well during the TED Talk. 

Here is my essay


Have you ever thought of robots giving surgery? Well, when I realized that it is a real thing, I was super interested. Robotic surgery is my capstone topic. I chose it because I’m interested in robotics and medicine so the topic I chose is just right. Robotic surgery is surgery, using robotic systems. Robotic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery. That means that instead of making large incisions, the surgeons actually use miniaturized surgical instruments that fit through a series of quarter-inch incisions. Right now, the da Vinci surgical system is the system that most hospitals use. My main inquiry question is “How is robotic surgery revolutionizing the field of medicine?

One way robotic surgery is changing medicine is that instead of the surgeons standing right next to the patient, they are sitting at a console away from the patient. About one to two decades ago, doctors wanted to invent something where a doctor can sit somewhere in the US, for example. And the patient would be in Europe, for example and the doctor would be able to give surgery to the patient even when they’re in totally different places. So if there is a war and a soldier gets hurt, then he could get surgery and the doctor wouldn’t get hurt in the hospital if it’s under attack. In 2000, the American company Intuitive Surgical made the Da Vinci surgical system. Maybe soon, some company might invent something like the doctors wanted to decades ago.

The second way robotic surgery is changing medicine is that it has many improvements from the past. Some improvements from the past are that there is shorter hospitalization, reduced pain, and discomfort, faster recovery time and return to normal activities like soccer. There are smaller incisions, resulting in reduced risk of infection, reduced blood loss, and minimal scarring. Robotic surgery has developed throughout the years. Miniaturized instruments are mounted on three separate robotic arms, allowing the surgeon maximum range of motion and precision. The da Vinci’s fourth arm contains a magnified high-definition 3-D camera that guides the surgeon during the procedure. The camera is really detailed, so the surgeon can see everything inside the patient’s body.

The third way robotic surgery is changing medicine is that it’s better than human surgery. Surgical robotics is one of the new technological advancements that are revolutionizing healthcare. For instance, laparoscopic surgery is turning major surgeries that usually leave scars and keep patients in the hospital for several days into fairly minor procedures. A recent study by surgeons at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington showed that a supervised autonomous robot could perform soft-tissue surgery better than a human surgeon. This is a big leap on how technology is changing healthcare in the 21st century.

I hope now you know how robotic surgery is revolutionizing the field of medicine.


Field trip to SMS tour

ButToday the whole fifth grade of each Scarsdale school went to the Scarsdale middle school for a tour of each person’s house. When we got there we went to the auditorium. Everybody got separated by their house. For example, one part of the auditorium was Butler, another one was for Popham, another one was for Fountain, and last but not least one was for Cooper. After the principal and the new principal next year gave their speech and the S.O. (Student Organization which is basically a student government where they raise money for charity) President and Vice President gave their speeches we each followed out house counselor to the house cafeteria. Also, some houses went to other places like for example Popham went to the courtyard and they got to run around. Then for Butler, the house that I’m in, we each got split up in the cafeteria to go to either class. Mrs. Cass, the house counselor for Butler told us that the first class you go to now is most likely to be the one that you will go to first in September and so on. I first went to the science class, we asked some questions and then we left. Then we went to the math class and we basically did the same as in the science class. Next we went to the social studies class. The teacher was really nice and a lot of middle schoolers passing by told us that she barely gives us any homework. Last but not least we went to the english class. We were a bit behind schedule so we only talked about english and our summer reading for a shorter amount of time than the others. Then some middle schoolers led us back to the auditorium and from there, just like when we got here, we went by school and got back on the buses and went back to Heathcote.

Going to Pollo A La Brasa Misti Restaurant

Today our whole fifth grade went on a field trip to a restaurant called Pollo A La Brasa. It was a peruvian restaurant meaning the food is food that peruvians eat. We went there because Senor Johnson,(our Spanish teacher), said that we all worked very hard for the past two years so this was his gift to us. Before we went, we practiced saying the dishes that we will be served and other words that we might use to communicate with the waiters and waitresses. Senor Johnson said that this will basically be our final exam to test how much Spanish we know. He also told us to speak as much Spanish as possible.

When the buses dropped everyone off, and I got off the bus, It seemed to me like the restaurant wasn’t bad. I could smell the food and it smelled really good and my stomach was growling. When we got in we got assigned to a table with two, three, four, or even five people. I got with Ryan and Joning. My mom was the parent supervisor at our table.

The first thing to come was the appetizers, the lime and bread. I had a little bread but I was just waiting for the main dishes. The next thing to come was chicha morada. Chicha morada is a drink with cinnamon, purple corn, and more. Then came the actual dishes. First was Lomo Saltado. It was so good! It was my favorite. There was beef, some garlic and other vegetables, fries, and of course rice. I ate a lot and so did everyone else at my table. We literally gobbled everything. Next was Pollo Saltado and that is basically Lomo Saltado but with chicken instead of beef. It was also pretty good. Then came the Pescado which is fish. That was my second favorite. The last dish was Tallarin Saltado de Carne which is beef with noodles. That wasn’t that bad.

Overall I’d say the food was really good!

I think this field trip was really fun because I got to taste food that I never got to taste before and it was a really good experience. I’ve never done anything like this before.



How I feel about going to middle school: Butler

I just got my house for middle school. The houses are Popham, Fountain, Butler, and Cooper. I wanted to get in Popham or Fountain but I got in Butler. I was kind of depressed at first but then I got over it because I just thought, “I’m just going to think that all the houses are equal.” I didn’t want to think that some houses were better than others.

I feel pretty excited about going to middle school because there are lot of things that are different from elementary school. One is that you don’t have to want in a line. You can just walk from one place to another by yourself or with your friends. That’s also a benefit of middle school. Another thing that’s different from elementary school is that for each subject, there’s a different teacher so you get to switch teachers. Also, Butler and Fountain are sister houses.We have the pool party together before we go to middle school to see who’s in your house. Also we have P.E. together.

I’m so looking forward to middle school!

Capstone #4: Site Visit

For my site visit Dr. Greenberg, who is also the person I interviewed let me put on clothes that surgeons wear, even the hat, and “sneaked” me into a large room full of robots.

He and his colleague, (I forgot her name), showed me the Da Vinci surgical robot. First you have to press the on button, obviously. Then you choose which body part that you will be doing surgery on. Next, you push and roll the robot on front of the place where the patient lies down. You use these handles to place the robotic arms over the place where you are giving the surgery. For example, the stomach. When performing surgery with the da Vinci, there are miniaturized instruments that are mounted on three separate robotic arms, allowing the surgeon maximum range of motion and precision. The Da Vinci’s fourth arm contains a magnified high-definition 3-D camera that guides the surgeon during the procedure.

I got to hold the these pretty long and sharp at the tip tools that the surgeons use to make a cut on someone’s body. Eww. Surgeons have to deal with it unless they don’t like their job.

They also showed me the place where robotic surgeons sit to give surgery. That place is called the console. I sat at the console and took a game/test. It’s where you use tools to pick up colored rings and you put the rings on colored cone shaped things. You had to match the color without bumping into anything. I must admit, I was pretty bad at it, but it’s my first time. Also, it was all VR (Virtual Reality) which means that I could look around but not in reality. At the site visit I learned a lot about how robotic surgeons use the robot to give surgery. Overall I was very curious about like every thing I saw and I learned a lot about the robot.


This is me playing the “game”.            This is me holding the tools            This is me turning the robot on.


Capstone #3: Interview

For capstone, each person had to have an interview. First, I look around on the web and tried really hard to find someone. I searched up robotic surgery hospitals and clicked on one, and it took me to a Mount Sinai page. I looked around and found this guy call Ahutash Tewari. I tried to contact him but he was way to busy. And plus, his office already closed. So then I searched him up but it said that he wasn’t available until like June 2nd or something. That’s way after the site visit is due, so I kinda gave up on him. After two days my mom came home saying she printed out a list naming people who are robotic surgeons at the White Plains hospital. She said that I don’t need to go to New York City, I could just go to White Plains. So then I just looked through the list and found this doctor named Aaron Hagge Greenberg and so I contacted him. I called his office number and his receptionist picked up the phone. I talked with her and told her that my project is due on the 22nd and she was nice so she said that he is free on the 15th so I said Okay. After 30 minutes somebody called, my mom picked up the phone and talked with her. After she was done, she told me that Dr. Greenberg would like to give me a tour of the robotics and I was so happy. I was so glad that I actually found a interview and site visit.

At the interview, I was in his office and I had my notebook to take notes on what he said. His answers were super detailed and my notebook holds everything that he said. After each sentence, he would wait for me to catch up. Then he would keep going. He was great at answering my questions and I learned a lot. My notebook is stacked with information that I will put in a google doc.

Here is a cool fact that I learned.

About one to two decades ago, doctors wanted to invent something where a doctor can sit somewhere in the US, for example. And the patient would be in Europe, for example and the doctor would be able to give surgery to the patient even when they’re in totally different places. So if there is a war and a soldier gets hurt, then he could get surgery and the doctor wouldn’t get hurt in the hospital if it’s under attack. In 2000, American company Intuitive Surgical made the Da Vinci surgical system. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Overall I think that the interview was a great experience and that it was really interesting.

Below are my interview questions.

  1. What is Urology?
  2. What made you interested in urology?
  3. In your biography it says “he practices all other areas of general urology including complex kidney stone disease and robotic surgery.“ Can you explain what that means you do on a daily basis?
  4. Do you practice more general urology or spend more time in surgery?
  5. What exactly is robotic prostate surgery?
  6. How does urology robotic surgery compared to traditional methods?
    1. Fast? Slower? Easier? More accurate?
    2. Do you still do traditional, non robotic, surgeries?
    3. Do you enjoy one method over the over?
  7. Is robotic surgery more challenging than traditional?
  8. What are the benefits of robot-assisted surgery?
    1. Or: “What are your top 3 pros/benefits?”
  9. What are the cons of robotic surgery?
    1. Or “What are your top 3 cons?”
  10. Is robotic surgery safe? Why?
  11. What are some popular surgical robots? Why are they popular?
    1. Are they good too? Or just popular? Is there a “better” one that is less well known?
  12. Technology is always improving, so I’m sure medical robots are too? How?
    1. Can you give me 3 examples of anticipated or expected improvements in the future?
  13. Will traditional, non robotic, surgeries ever stop completely?
  14. Is there anything else that you want to add?

Below is a picture of me and Dr. Greenberg.


Capstone #2: Choosing a main inquiry question and choosing sub questions

For the second part of my capstone project, I have to choose a main inquiry question and five sub questions. My main inquiry question is how are robots revolutionizing the field of medicine? I chose that because I want to research about things like how robots change the world of medicine. Surgery is medicine. But robotic surgery is a whole another level. There are many different types of surgery but robotic surgery is unique. I’m interested in things like that because I want to know about how robots give surgery. 

Here are my sub questions.

Sub question #1: What is robotic surgery?

Sub question #2: Is robotic surgery safe?

Sub question #3: What are the pros and cons of robotic surgery?

Sub question #4: How does robotic surgery compare to traditional methods?

Sub question #5: How is robotic surgery improving from the past?


Poetry Reading

This is a video of me reading my “Where I’m From” poem. The 5th grade chose this theme. I really like this poem because it reminds me of the toys I had when I was little. I chose the background because it looked cool.


Enjoy my poem reading!