Have you ever wondered how flashlights work? I have. And I didn’t figure it out until yesterday. The inside of a flashlight is exactly like the circuit’s we’ve been making for the past week. So the way to make a flashlight is to make a simple one LED light circuit, put it in a PVC pipe, flick the switch, and there you go, you have your flashlight. But are not taking a direct path to the flashlight. First we have to draw a diagram. I am currently working on my diagram and from what I can see it will actually be a working flashlight!


Break Out

Last Friday in class we did something called a breakout. A breakout is a fun activity where there is a box with 4 locks on it. There are clues for the combos all over the classroom. The goal is to break into the box before the time runs out.My team wasted a third of the time having no clue what the combos. Then we had a good idea and we tried but it didn’t work. Then after a few minutes we found something else that could be the combo. But the person putting in combos misheard us say the combo and put in the wrong one. But soon we found out it wasn’t the wrong one when the lock popped open. That was lucky!

We found the next two combos hidden in the same piece of paper. 3 down, 1 to go. The fourth combo was in an essay that Mr. Calvert gave us. I found what we thought was the combo. We tried it and it didn’t work. We wasted another 10 minutes trying to break that code. By then I was certain that the combo I found was the right one. Sowe tried it again and this time it worked! We broke into the box with 50 seconds left on the clock.


Capstone #7 Final Presentations

The last step in the Capstone project is actually performing you final project in front of the school and the parents. On Monday I performed in front of two other classes, a 1st grade class and a second grade class. Performing in front of the 1st grade class I wasn’t nervous at all because it was my sister’s class and I had already practiced in front of her multiple times. So I thought, Hey just another practice. The second grade class I felt a little more nervous though. Then on Tuesday I performed in front of the parents. I had to perform inĀ  the auditorium and I was not happy about that because I don’t like performing in big spaces.

Performing in front of the parents was actually way easier than I though it was going to be because I knew almost everyone out there so I knew they weren’t going to judge me. I had so much fun doing this Capstone project and I hope we could do it again sometime in the future.


Capstone #6 Working On My Final Project

The step after the essay on answering our main inquiry question is working on the final project. Through our whole Capstone experience I have been looking up to this step the most.

Before we started the project we had to decide if we were going to do a TED TALK, IGNITE TALK, or a presentation without you there to explain it. I immediately ruled out the presentation without you there because for people to understand what I’m talking about I feel like I have to be there. After a little more thinking I ruled out an IGNITE too because earlier this year when I did my IGNITE I didn’t have the best experience, also with a TED TALK you can go on and on about what you’re saying. In an IGNITE you only have 15 seconds to finish what you’re saying on each slide, and I feel like I need more time to explain. So I went with the TED TALK.

Now it was time to start the project. I quickly thought up of each slide. Once I had the title of each slide I started writing the script. When I finished the script I thought I did a decent job. But I wasn’t sure of it so I went to my teacher. She tweaked a few things here and there. Once I got the script how I wanted it I started putting pictures into the slideshow, based on my script.

Finally after a lot of hard months my project is done. Now all I have to do is memorize my script and do the actual presentations. Until next time. Here’s my project:



Ellis Island

A few months ago my fifth grade class finished our immigration projects. For this we all had to write a story of an immigrant traveling through Ellis Island to America from somewhere in Europe around the year 1900. Anyway, we learned a lot about Ellis Island during this project, so yesterday we went to Ellis Island as a fifth grade field trip.

Once we got off the bus in New York City we took a ferry to Ellis Island. On the way to Ellis Island in the ferry we passed the Statue of Liberty. It really was an amazing site. Once we got off the ferry at Ellis Island we went strait for the museum. First we got a tour of the whole place. We got to do some of the tests the immigrants did, like the legal inspection. After the tour we had free time to wander around around the first floor. We visited the sites and read about the immigration.

The next thing we did was watching the movie. The movie was very similar to our immigration projects. It was about the whole process of getting through Ellis Island. After the movie we were free to eat lunch. We had packed lunch for ourselves before we left so we were good to go. After lunch we went to the place where everybody who went through Ellis Island names were carved on the wall. We got to look for any of our anscestors names. I found one of mine!

Overall I though this trip wasn’t that bad. My favorite part was definatly looking for our anscestors name. I had a lot of fun doing that. I recommend you going to Ellis Island. Have fun!


Coding #1

For my first coding project I decided that I wanted to make it on scratch. I also decided that this project would be a no tutorial project. I ended up regreting that idea. I couldn’t come up with a good project. After a lot of thinking I decided that I would just use a tutorial. But right before I pressed the tutorial button I came up with an idea I liked. I would make a Where is Waldo game.

My first step was to find backrounds for the game. I went on to the web to find very crowded pictures so I can hide Waldo in them. My plan was to have three stages for the game, so I got three crowded pictures. Then, after I uploaded them to scratch I made more backdrops saying Find Waldo, Level one, You found waldo, Level two, level three, you win, you lose. After I made the backdrops I went back onto the web to find a picture of Waldo. When I found one I liked I uploaded it to drive. Then I duplicated twice so that I would have three different Waldo’s for the three different stages. Then I made it so that when a stage would pop up Waldo would show and you would have to find him. I also made it so that when you clicked on waldo a backdrop would appear saying, “You found Waldo!”

Once I had my game done I decided to add one more thing. I would add a countdown so that it was possible to lose. At first I set the countdown to 45 seconds. I gave my computer to my mom to see if the game worked. She beat it with six second left on the countdown so I changed it to 40 second instead of 45 seconds. I also made it a little trickier to find Waldo. My game has turned out very good. Here it is. Hope you like it:


Coding #3

For my third coding project I decided to make another scratch project. I’m starting too get pretty comfortable with scratch. For this project I have no clue what to do. I asked my mom for good ideas. She told me to make a breakout game. I liked that idea.

To start, I did everything I did for my pong game. But then I added 5 rows of 11 bricks each. I then made it so that the ball would bounce off the bricks and kill the bricks. If 1 brick got killed the score would go up by 1. If you got 55 points then you win.

During this project and my others on scratch I’ve had some annoying and big problems. This project I made 1 brick, put the codes in and duplicated it 54 times. But then I realized that I needed to add something to the brick. I did this but then realized that all the bricks needed this. So I had to duplicate it another 54 times. This happened 5 different times. It was very frusturating. But all of it was worth it because my game turned out well. I think it is great and I hope you do too! Here it is:


Coding #2

For my second coding project I decided to use scratch again. I think that scratch provides you all the blocks useful for making a game.

I wanted to make a pong game. I started off with the tutorial. I know there is a tutorial for a pong game but from my experiences on scratch I decided I could make one without the tutorial.

First I found a back round I liked and a paddle and ball. Next I made it so that you could move the paddle with the arrow keys. I then made the ball move, bounce off the walls, and bounce off the paddle. Now I had my base. Next I would start adding some of the parts that you don’t really need but I would like to have.

The most important of the ideas I had to make my game better is the lava at the bottom of the screen. So I made that first. I drew a red line at the bottom of the back round and filled it in with red. Then, I clicked on the ball and went to scripts. I coded, “If touching color red Stop all.” This means that if the ball gets by the paddle and touches the lava then you lose and have to start over.

But in a game where you can lose, it’s only fair that you can win too. The first step I took is making a variable called score. I made it so that at the beginning it would set score to zero. Then I made it so that if it was touching paddle it would change score by 1, so every time you hit the ball your score would be added by 1. Then I made another back round. I wrote, “YOU WIN,” I named this back round you win. Then I went back to scripts and made it that if your score is 30 it would change the backdrop to you win. In other words, if you hit the ball 30 time then you win.

These are the full details of how I made my game. If you don’t understand it then play it. If you do understand it, well, still play it. Hope you like it! Here it is:


Coding #4

For my final coding project I used Tynker. This project I just wanted to make something simple. I chose to make it simple because with my experiences on Tynker I know that the blocks they give you are not very useful.

This project I decided on a rock band. It’s simple but still fun to play with. I started off following the tutorial. The tutorial showed me how to make the sounds. After I finished the tutorial I started adding some more instruments. Saxophone and flute were two of them. Then I had to make a sound for the instruments I added. After I did that my project was finished. All you do is click on the instruments and they’ll make a noise. Hope you like it. Here it is:

Now that I’ve made four projects, at least 1 on Tynker and Scratch I have concluded that I like Scratch more. On Tynker I think there are better and more sprites to choose from. Also on Tynker the tutorials, I think are much easier to follow. But Scratch is better in a big way. I think in Scratch all the blocks they give you are useful, unlike Tynker. This makes it much easier to code.

I had so much fun in our coding unit and I hope we can do it again. I just love the concept of a making a game or project. This has been one of my favorite units and has inspired me to do more coding.

When I’m coding, I’m happy.



Today my group and I performed our final debate. We were debating over if we should protect sharks from humans or humans from sharks. Me and my teammate Eli wanted to take the side of protecting sharks from humans. But the other team, Giana and Will chose it first. So me and Eli were stuck with protecting the humans from the sharks.

While we were gathering information on the topic to prepare for the final debate we found that it was very hard to find good evidence. We had to go through a great number of articles and websites to find what we were looking for. Meanwhile the other team was gathering information in the blink of an eye. Things weren’t looking so good.

Before the final debate we did some practice debates. Two of which were in front of the class. On the 2nd one in front of the class we realized that we were very sloppy. We were not following the organizer(which tells us when to say our reasons)and we would go back and forth countering the same reason why yelling at each other. The debate was in under a week. We needed to whip into shape, and fast.

Two days before the final debate Giana got sick. She wasn’t there the next day either. Because of this my team was two days short. But then Giana showed up the next day. That’s when we she dropped a bomb on us. She told us that we would be debating today. But we weren’t ready at all. We practiced the two quick times before the debate.

“Chomp, goes the shark as it bites into human flesh,” I said. This is how I always start the debate. I rolled through the introduction. I mentioned the three reasons and then when I finished the intro I sighed with relief. For now it was there turn to say the their intro and I wouldn’t be speaking for a little while.

After Giana said her intro it was Eli’s turn to state our first reason and evidence. He did a pretty good job with that. After they stated their first reason and evidence it was my turn to go. I countered there reason and then stated our second reason. It went on like this for a little while until they stated their third and final reason. I countered it and then said our conclusion. At the end of the conclusion me and Eli said in unison, “We need to stop the sharks.”

I think that our group did very well in the end. The final debate was our best by far. It was way better than the ones that weren’t organized when we were just shouting at each other. We also did a very good job of hiding our nerves.

Though we did very well we still have a few things to work on. Both sides of the debate gave very good evidence but some of it wasn’t good. Like when we said we can’t afford to have our own species getting killed. Also I feel like we could have looked up from our paper a little more.

Overall I think we did very well. Here is the video. Tell me what you think.