Capstone #5 Answering My Main Inquiry Question

A few days  after our interview and site visit were due our research was due. On the day the research was due I was really nervous and excited to start my final project. I wasn’t more excited than nervous or more nervous than excited. Like on a scale, if you to put 5 pounds on each side the scale would be balanced, right. That’s how my feelings were. But before we started the final project we had one more step, and that was to write an essay answering our main inquiry question. Before we started writing it our teacher gave us advice on how to write it. She said that we should list the three top things in you topic, in my case it would be the top three improvements of ski racing. But I wanted to something a little different because the top three are obvious because they are in my main inquiry question. They are technology, safety, and the medical field. So I decided to do the top improvement in each category. I think it turned out pretty well. I hope you think the same. Here it is:

Have you ever wondered how professional skiers got so good? It is due to many reasons including medical reasons (fitness and health) and technology (right equipment/good equipment). Once I found out that I had an obsession for the sport of ski racing I decided to start researching it. Then, when I was researching I found that not only the skiing itself has improved but other things have improved, like the safety. Then after I researched a little more and had a few discussions with my dad I came to the conclusion that the three most important improvements in the sport, are technology, safety, and the medical field. This is how I came up with my main inquiry question, “Which medical, safety, and technological advances have most improved alpine ski racing?”

Perhaps the biggest advancement in skiing is technology. Technology is the root cause of all improvements in skiing. But I decided that technology is too broad to be the top improvement. So I started researching all the technology improvements and eventually I decided the biggest improvement was the boots. One reason I think this is because the boots used to be made out of leather. Now they are made out of plastic. And as you all know plastic is a lot more stable than leather so it is much easier to turn with the new boots. Another reason why I think that the boots are the most important improvement is because now the buckles and straps are way more advanced. Now you can easily push your shins into the front of the boot so your weight is forward. The straps used to be so bad that there was so much space in between your leg and the front of the boot so your legs would automatically go to the back of the boot so that means that your weight is back and when your weight is back you are out of control. Technology has improved ski racing so much and in many more ways.

In my opinion safety is the second biggest improvement in skiing. Safety, like technology has improved on and off the slopes. But the biggest improvement in safety is on the slopes. It is , of course the safety netting.You know, there’s a reason it’s called safety netting. Back in the day you could go through the safety netting like it was a spider web. And there was only one layer of it. Now the safety netting is like a weak fence and there is always 2-3 layers of it. Just to show how much it’s improved, in the 20th century there were 13 ski racing deaths. So far in the 20th century we’ve only had two ski racing deaths and though we had one last year the one before that was in 2001. So obviously the safety is a lot better.

Again this is due to opinion but I think that the medical is the third most important advancement in skiing is the medical field. Like safety and technology the medical field has improved on and off the field. It has improved in the treatments, the health, the fitness and they also have helicopter flying over the course in case someone gets hurt. But in my opinion the most important medical advancement is the treatments. For example, To treat a  torn ACL they used to cut a big gash in your leg for the operation. Now they just use a tiny needle to poke a hole in your leg for the operation. Let’s just say that a torn ACL took 2-3 to heal back then, now they only take 8-9 months to heal. This shows that the medical field is so much more advanced now than it ever has been.

The technology, safety, and medical field have improved so much over the years. I know you agree with me on this, but if you had to order what you think to be the three most important improvements, what would your order be?


Capstone #4 Site Visit

The next step in the process of the Capstone project is finding a site visit. For the site visit we basically go somewhere that specializes in our topic and ask for a tour and then maybe ask some questions about your topic. A lot of people found theirs quickly. Me, well I had a couple of good ideas for it, like the medical department, or a ski hospital. Sadly those are in Colorado. There were a few good options in Vermont. But that was still a five a hour drive. I couldn’t think of anything else so I decided to go to a ski academy in Vermont.

A week went by and I couldn’t find a good time to do it. Bu then I found a good time to do it. Memorial Day. As we approached Memorial Day I realized that I had a soccer tournament, a baseball tournament, and my whole family was coming over. Then I watched Memorial Day pass like a fly. Now I was starting to get desperate because the site visit was due in two days. Then I did what needed to be done. I told my dad that the academy wouldn’t work, I told him to take me to a ski shop 20 minutes away. He agreed to do that so off we were to a ski shop, the day before the site visit was due.

When we walked through the door at Hickory and Tweed the manager was waiting for us. My dad had called him on the phone early to tell him about my project and ask if he could show us some things around the shop. Before we got started I told him a little more about my project. Then, to get started I asked him to show me some skis from a long time ago and some skis from now. The difference was huge. We went on like this for a while me asking him to show me something from now and a long time ago. He had some things for safety, like the binding and the helmet. No medical things though.

I think the site visit was very helpful. It helped me so much with my research, especially technology. There was so many thing to compare from back then to now. Hickory and Tweed also had some good improved safety showings. Not as much as technology but the information was very useful. Though for medical purposes I didn’t get anything out of it. Like I said in my last post, I can’t wait to start my final project.


Capstone #3 Interview

If you have read my earlier posts you will know that my class is doing our Capstone projects right now. To continue from the last post I have decided that my main inquiry question will be, “Which medical, safety, and technological advances have most improved alpine ski racing?” My five sub questions are,

“How have safety standards improved?,

How has the fitness of the skiers improved overtime?,

How has technology improved to benefit the skiers?,

What event have led to improvements that affected alpine ski racing?, and

What medical, safety, and technological issues are we planning to fix now?”

The next step after choosing our main inquiry question and sub questions is finding an interview. To help with our research we have to interview an expert on our topic. At first when I was looking for someone to interview I couldn’t find anyone. I looked through tons of articles but I couldn’t find anyone. I’m lucky I have a dad, though because when I asked him to help me try to find someone he found someone right away. He found a former US ski team coach who he knew personally. His name was Ron Kipp.

Now we had to email him to ask him if we could interview him. Amazingly he said yes! Then we scheduled a time for the interview. But you can’t do an interview without any questions so I got to work making my questions. Once I had finished all ten of them I went to Mrs. Edwards so she could tweak them a bit. That she did, I thought my questions were really good. Then the day before the interview I asked my dad to check over the questions. He kept them the same, mostly. The only major change he made was that he took out one of the questions because it was too similar to another one of them. Here are my final nine questions:

1 – What were your responsibilities as a coach of the US ski team and head of the alpine sports education for the USSA? What are your responsibilities now at Squaw Valley?

2 – How has the performance of skiers improved this century, and to what do attribute the improvement?

3 – How has technology contributed to the improved performance of skiers?

4 – How has improved medical knowledge and care affected the performance of skiers?

5 – How have improvements in physical fitness and training affected skiers?

6 – What is the ideal physical training regimen, both on and off the slopes, for an alpine ski racer?

7 – What events have led to improvements in the sport (death / crash causing change in safety regulations, of introduction of parallel slalom increasing viewers, etc.)

8 – What current medical, safety, or technological issues do you feel need to be addressed to further improve the sport?

9 – What do you consider to be the most important advancement in the sport of alpine ski racing?

As I was preparing to make the face time call, I realized how nervous I was. I hadn’t realized how nervous I was until that moment. Once he accepted the face time I just started staring at him for a few seconds. I had no clue how to start. Luckily he saved me by starting the conversation. After a little small talk I got right into it.

After the interview was over I looked down at all the notes I had written. I got  mostly what I expected but his answers to questions 6 and 7 really took me by surprise. For question 6 his answer was that the skiers mostly do excersizes that look like skiing every day. I was expecting for him to list all that the skiers do every day. But instead he only gave type of excersize they do. For question 7 his answer was going to the 35 meter ski. I was surprise because I thought he was going to go into all this stuff about the olympics and Ulrike Maier’s death. I was expecting him to say events that have affected the sport not the actual skiing.

Overall I think the interview was extremely helpful and it will make my project much better. I can’t wait to get started with the final project! Bye!


Pollo a La Brasa Misti Restaurant

Today my grade went on a spanish field trip with our spanish teacher Senor Johnson. We went to Pollo a La Brasa, a restaurant in Portchester NY. We had five people to a table and each table was served four dishes. The first one that was served was the lomo saltado. The lomo saltado was meat and rice. I liked that one a lot. The next one that was served was the pollo saltado. That is chicken. I also liked this one but not as much as the lomo saltado. The next dish was the tallarin saltado de carne. This one was meat with noodles. I love anything with meat in it. The last one was the pescado al ajo. This is the fish. I didn’t like this one very much. But also, with the water was served another drink, the chicha morada. This drink was a little too bitter for me. Overall I think my favorite dish was the lomo saltado. I had really fun at the restaurant and I hope I can go back soon!


Capstone #2 Choosing My Main Inquiry And Sub Questions

For our capstone project the second step after choosing the topic is finding the main inquiry question. The main inquiry question will drive us through all our research. Once I decided to do my topic on skiing I started doing research for my main inquiry question. The first one I came up with was how the technology has improved because technology these days is way more advanced. Then when I met with my teacher she suggested that I do, “How does the right equipment help your performance?” I liked that one too. After a few days of research I started leaning toward the technology one because the equipment one goes under technology. I was about to make my final decision when I realized that I can make something even broader than technology. Something that technology goes under. My inquiry question would be, “What key elements have positively affected the sport of ski racing.”

Once we found our main inquiry question we had to find at least 5 sub topics. Because of my experience with ski racing 3 ideas came up to me right away. They were, safety, technology, and health and fitness. Then later on I came up with how events have changed the population of fans. But I was having a little trouble coming up with a fifth one. So I asked for a conference with my teacher and she gave me plenty of ideas. But then we both realized that I was mostly focused on health and fitness. She suggested that I change my inquiry question to something related to health and fitness. I liked that idea because the main reason why the skiers are better than they were back then is because the health and fitness is better. So I changed my inquiry question to, “How have safety, medical, and technological advances improved alpine ski racing?” I’m still researching to find 5 sub questions for that inquiry question but I’ve found 3 already. They are, “What effect does the improved fitness have on the skiers,?” “What effect does the improved safety have on the skiers,?” and “How has technology improved to benefit the skiers?” I hope I can come up with two other great ones. Until next time, bye.


Where I’m from

Every year at my school we have a poetry festival in April. Well the time has come. Usually we all make different poems but this year because we’re in fifth grade we all made the same poem. We all made a Where I’m from poem.

We had a couple of weeks to finish it so I decided to take my time on it. I didn’t want to do something similar to other peoples. At first I thought of doing an accross stick poem. But when I tried it I didn’t like so much. So I decided to do a recap of my day and have it rhyming. I started and ended with the same stanza of my bed because I like my bed very much. Around the same time I hung it up on the wall for everyone to see Mrs. Edwards took a video of me reciting my poem. Here it is:


Capstone #1 Choosing A Topic

Skiing and golf have been my passion since kindergarden and I’ve always wanted to do something related to those two sports for my Capstone project. But now that Capstone has has came along I’ve added some other things to my list.

From the start of the project I was deciding between four topics. Skiing, Golf, Shoes, and I-phones. Pretty early on I cut I-phones because I’m not really a technology person. It doesn’t interest me. Eventually, after a little time I cut golf. I have huge interest in golf but it just doesn’t seem right for Capstone. So just like that I’m down to two. I’m really having a lot of trouble deciding between the two. But I actually think it won’t make that much of a difference if I choose either of them because one of the inquiry questions I came up with for skiing was, “Does the right equipment help you make a better performance?” That is very similar to shoes because I could ask if shoes help you do better in the sport the shoes are made for.

I’m still fighting between shoes and skiing but I’m 80% sure I’ll do skiing. Researching will help me perform better in races. Until next time, bye.


Rocketry Presentations

Today my rocketry group had our presentation in front of our parents on our whole rocketry unit. The unit lasted from September to today. This morning before the presentation I was really nervous because last night when I was practicing I kept messing up. If I keep messing up practicing with myself then good luck presenting in front of the parents. Today while the 5E rocketry overview group and Rocket’s inc team were presenting, my nervousness kept on building up and up. When my group’s turn came up I walked over to the screen and then turned around to see the parents. That moment is probably the moment I was most nervous. As my group members were talking and as my turn to talk came closer I dreaded it more and more. When my turn came I started talking and amazingly the words came out perfectly. Soon, I got into an unstoppable flow and time flew by. Before I knew it, I had finished my first 3 slides. We went through the our second rocket slides and my next slide was the first of the third rocket slides. Now I was full of confidence and sure enough I did well on that slide, too. I felt like a machine. Finally, when I finished the slideshow with my last slide and when the audience applauded I felt really happy and it was a great moment for me. I learned an important lesson from this experience. It is, it is ok to be nervous because you’ll always do great no matter what. Here is the video of my presentation: