Capstone Blog Post #6 – Working On Your Final Product

Working on my final product has been challenging, I needed everything to be perfect. When I started writing my script, the challenge was giving my presentation some personality. Since I chose such a fun topic for Capstone, I couldn’t have a boring script beacause that would not only put everyone to sleep, but it would ruin the purpose of my topic. I chose to do my Capstone on Yogibo so that I could have fun doing my research, and I did, so I needed show that in my presentation. I had to think of a fun opening statement. It took a while and I watched some TED talks to see how they structured their introductions. The opening statement is so important. I had to figure out a way to engage my audience in a fun way that got them excited about Yogibo. I realized that comfort is one of the main things about the product, so I thought I’d pose a question. “Are you comfortable right now?” I thought that would be the best way to start because it might catch the audience’s attention, and most likely they’re not feeling too comfortable in school chairs…especially parents!

Then I decided it would be a good idea to use my Yogibo in my presentation so that I could demonstrate some of its great aspects and also do part of my presentation relaxing comfortably on it. I also brought in an ordinary beanbag so that I could show the differences between a Yogibo and a standard beanbag, and what better way to do that than to play a game! I decided to play a game where you have to find at least five different ways to use the ordinary beanbag. Trust me, this game is a lot harder than it sounds.

For my final presentation I decided to do a TED Talk with an iMovie rather than with a slideshow. I thought this would be better beacause I have more experience using iMovie and I didn’t want to press the space bar on the computer to advance my slides every 30 seconds. This ended up being a huge mistake beacause when I started rehearsing I had to take a lot of extra time to make sure that what I said matched up with the timing on my iMovie. This is a risk, so wish me luck!

Capstone Blog Post #5 – Answering My Main Inquiry Question

Answering my main inquiry question (How has Yogibo’s new, fun and colorful technology affected the way people relax?) took a lot of research and hard work, but in the end it was worth it because I learned so much. The articles and videos that I found on my topic were a huge help, however those resources couldn’t even compare to the knowledge I gained while on my site visit and at my interview.

The way I figured out how to answer to my main inquiry question was, I first took notes on all my sub questions and when I was finished I put all my notes in paragraph form, then revised and edited them. I never really thought about it this way, but if I hadn’t answered all my sub questions first, this project would be ten times harder beacause you would have to do a lot of extra work, that is not worth the waste of time. On the other hand, if you do it my way all you have to do to answer your main inquiry question is take all the answers you have from your sub question put them all together, and mush them around a little. I hadn’t done this yet when it was time to write our script, which you would think might be a bad thing, but it turned out to be much easier, beacause my script answers my main inquiry question!

Capstone Blog Post #4 – Site Visit

Recently, I went to my site visit at one of Yogibo’s warehouses. Although this wasn’t their main warehouse, I still learned a lot! The warehouse I went to was in Brookfield, CT since this was the most convenient location for me. Ed, who runs the warehouse greeted me and gave an informative tour. Ed and his staff taught me how to fill and cover a Yogibo. I learned all about their different products and how they are transported to Yogibo stores and to buyers. One of the most interesting things I learned was how they have developed a safety feature to protect customers (especially children) from suffocating inside a beanbag. The safety feature is a zipper that can only be opened with a specially designed paper clip. This was invented as a response to a child suffocating in another type of beanbag (not a Yogibo). The child was able to unzip the beanbag and crawl inside. Yogibos now have this special clip that only they employees know how to use. After a Yogibo is filled with beads, the clip is removed locking the zipper.  It can only be unlocked when the clip is inserted.

Safety feature on the inside cover of a Yogibo.
Safety feature on the inside cover of a Yogibo.

While we were touring the warehouse, Ed showed me a few Yogibo products that have been discontinued. This was interesting because I got to hear the reasons why some products succeed and others fail. Sometimes they know the reasons, sometimes they just don’t. A lot of the products that have been discontinued have been improved upon, and then end up doing well! It might be a major change or just a slight difference to make it work better for the customer. The Yogibo Tot is one of their discontinued products. They found that when a young child sat in it they sometimes tipped over since it wasn’t very stable. It was redesigned as the Yogibo Pyramid and it is a big hit for younger children because it is really supportive and safe.

Capstone Blog Post #3- Interview

Last week I had an incredible interview with Director of Retail, Mary Pat Joseph, and Events Regional Manager and District Manager, Mike Delgado at Yogibo. They were so informative and answered every single one of my questions! They helped to guide me in an amazing direction with this project, and I can’t thank them enough. They taught me so much about Yogibo, and gave me amazing information that further intrigued me in the company. The coolest part about my interview was that we sat on Yogibos while we talked! I think it was the world’s most comfortable interview!

Mary Pat and Mike were busy interviewing sales people for Yogibo’s new store at The Westchester when I arrived for my interview. I had to wait for a while, so I spent time talking to their project manager who had come down from New England with them. I can’t remember his name, but he gave me a lot of information and was really nice. He went through all their products with me & I got to try everything out! Then I played a long game of catch with one of their sales people. Mary Pat and Mike later explained that they make a big effort to hire fun and engaging people at Yogibo. Mary Pat said that Yogibo is a happy product and that their employees really represent that idea. They want everyone that works for them to feel important, have fun, and know how to juggle!

Fatal Flaw

In class today we had a discussion lead by our amazing intern Ryan about the fatal flaws of characters in the book The Thief of Always. We learned what a fatal flaw is and other examples of fatal flaws in other books we might have read. She gave us an assignment to write a blog post on what we think is our fatal flaw and how it gets us into trouble and how we might be able to fix it. I have way too many fatal flaws, but I decided that in this blog post I would write about how I am constantly talking. It gets me into trouble at school because I interrupt the teacher sometimes and occasionally talk when we are supposed to be quiet. I get into trouble at home through my fatal flaw because when my mom or dad is on the phone I interrupt them, or when they are having a private conversation I start talking to them in the middle of their conversation. I even get in trouble with my friends through of my constant chatter because I can get super annoying, and they don’t always like that.

I can resolve my fatal flaw by never talking again… JUST KIDDING! I could never last, and that would be even more annoying because I would be ignoring everyone. One (real) way I could try to fix this fatal flaw is, by sometimes actually LISTENING rather than TALKING. Another idea is, I could spend one day trying to monitor my chatter. I could not speak unless spoken to, which would be crazy hard for me considering, well, I am me, so I think I should cross that one off. I don’t think there will ever be a way to conquer this fatal flaw, because again, I am me. But, there is one thing that works… If you yell at me to shut my mouth. : )

The Circuit Has Closed

The Heathcote Arcade has come to an end. We (as a class) have worked so hard and and have built it up from nothing.  Making final touches to present it at the HExpo (Heathcote’s Maker Fair) has been stressful, but incredible to see it all come together. Our class basically separated into 3 parts towards the deadline when everything needed to function properly, be finished and ready to be used. The 4 parts were: Technology – Where people worked on The Heathcote Arcade Website (check it out at!), Scratch, and Tinkercad. Art – Making signs to advertise the arcade and the games, also making finishing touches to the games. Building – making sure all of the games work properly, adding on to the games to make them a huge success (which they were!), and of course bossing the people in “the art department” around by telling them exactly what they want them to do, and telling them, “DON’T MESS UP!” There was also a group that was in both the building and art group, they were the ones who made prizes. I think I was in all the groups because I made prizes, I helped build games, I made signs for games, and I used Tinkercad too!

Now the hard part comes, what do we do with the arcade?  Today we had a discussion about it, and we thought that we could leave it for the incoming 5th graders next year, or maybe we could teach kids what we learned from this. Also, we could make an arcade club where we teach other kids how to make one and you would be able to make your own arcade games! Another idea was, “why don’t we just do it one more time?” This idea was a little ambitious but I’m sure we could make it happen. As all these ideas piled up, it just got more unclear on what to do next.

This experience opened up so many new doors for me, and I feel so proud about what we have done. The collaboration and creativity put into this, according to teachers was very sophisticated. Even though our classroom was extremely messy over this period of time, I am 100% sure it was worth it!

Capstone Blog Post #2 – Creating a Main Inquiry Question and Sub Questions

Since I love my topic so much it wasn’t difficult for me to create my main inquiry question (MIQ) and 5 sub questions. My main inquiry question is: How has Yogibo’s new, fun and colorful bean bag technology affected the way people relax? For this question I tried to think of different adjectives that described Yogibo, and tried to use sophisticated language. I also thought of what part of the company interested me most, and if it was too big or too small of a question for this project. For my 5 sub questions, I thought about different areas of the company that interested me. These question have to be related to my main inquiry question though, so I can use them to help me answer my MIQ.
Sub questions:
1. What is so different about a Yogibo than an ordinary bean bag?
2. What kind of technology is used to create a Yogibo?
3. How has Yogibo made relaxing fun for children and adults?
4. How do Yogibo’s bean bags help to aid people living with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder?
5. To what degree does Yogibo’s care for the environment influence customers’ opinion of their brand?

For my first sub question, I thought of a question that people might have about what makes Yogibo so special and the whole reason why I chose this as my topic instead of an ordinary bean bag company
For my second sub question, I thought of a way to give a further explanation for my MIQ.
For my third sub question, I thought to myself the whole point of Yogibo is to have fun and be together, so I decided to write a question about that.
For my fourth sub question, I started to think of something outside of Yogibo that I was interested in and tried to find a connection between that and the company. Something I am interested in is the medical field. After a little research I found that Yogibo plays a huge role in helping to aid people living with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder. The tactile feel of Yogibo products and its body support design helps to comfort and relax children on the spectrum.
For my fifth (and last) sub question, I thought of something within Yogibo, but not really related to my MIQ that I thought was cool and was interested in.
I am so excited to learn all about Yogibo through my questions! And I think it is the coolest, most fun, and upbeat company that I have ever known!

Capstone Blog Post #1 – Choosing a Topic

Capstone: A big inquiry based project that every fifth grade student participates in.

These last couple of weeks have been stressful for me for a few reasons, one of which is I couldn’t choose a topic! When we needed to pick our topics, I was totally ready. I had my main research question and all of my sub questions due ahead of time, but then when it came to having resources, I knew that I had to change topics. The topic I had chosen was on the brain, which is very ambitious, considering I am in fifth grade, but what can I say is I want to be a neurosurgeon. I knew that I had to change topics because all possible resources for my topic were above a collegiate level and I am in fifth grade so there is no possible way I could comprehend what information they were delivering. Then the hard part came, picking a new topic. The worst part of this process was the pressure I was feeling. What if I can’t find a topic that I think is interesting? What if I can’t finish in time? I kept thinking these things to myself, and wasn’t thinking that every night when I fell asleep worrying about my topic it was right in front of me. One of the only things that really interested me and was a fun topic to study. And that is when I made my final decision, Yogibo. Yogibo LLC is a very original company that takes bean bags to a whole new level. I have one in my room and it is the most comfortable thing ever! Unlike a normal bean bag a Yogibo conforms to your body and supports your lumbar spine. It is designed to be extremely light weight and space efficient. Another thing I find interesting about Yogibo is that it is very international. Every part that is used to make the finished product is made in a different country, and then assembled in the US. The coolest thing about Yogibo is that it supports and designs their products to aid people living with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder. Also, Yogibo isn’t just a bean bag company, they offer a variety of colorful pillows, frisbees, ottomans and more. I think that Yogibo is a very interesting and cool company, when I thought of this topic I knew it was perfect for me, and didn’t doubt myself once.

Stay Cool at CoolMess!

Have you ever made ice cream? Well I did! CoolMess in New York City is a very upbeat environment with colorful signage that you just have to take  a picture with, and the best part about it is… you make your own ice cream! You can create your own “MESSipe” (that consists of 3 toppings) or choose from one of their MESSipes. I chose to make the S’mores MESSipe, but with a twist. S’mores MESSipe: Chocolate base flavor, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and chocolate chips. My twist on the S’mores MESSipe: Vanilla base flavor, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and Oreo cookie crumbs. I did a twist on this flavor because I am not a huge fan of chocolate ice cream, or chocolate chips in  my ice cream, and don’t get me wrong I love chocolate, just not always when it comes to ice cream. It was astonishing to watch the creme turn into ice cream, and then eat MY OWN ice cream! At CoolMess I learned many things, one of which was you can never have too much ice cream, and the other you can never be too ambitious.

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We’re so ‘Googley’!

 In our classroom 20% time is a fraction of the week where you can tinker with your imagination to create something amazing! Actually, Google made up the term ‘20% time’, in their policy is they let their employees use a portion of the week to make something aside from their assigned projects that they think could benefit Google, or they can use their imagination to create something that they are passionate about, we thought this policy was really cool and thought we would use in our classroom environment.
    Recently in my 20% time I have been working on which is a online 3D modeling tool where you can design anything you could ever think of and then download it for 3D printing. I created a water bottle that looks pretty simple but is actually very complex. The picture below isn’t very detailed but I think you get the point. On my workplane all of the separate pieces that will all end up going together are on the same workplane, but I have to print them in phases so the 3D printer doesn’t get too confused and mess up. For example, I already printed the body of the water bottle, but still have to print the cap and then the cap that goes into that. Overall, I used many cylinders, and thread generators (which is basically a screw, I used it on the top of the body and on both caps). It was not that simple, and I did have many bumps along the way. One struggle I faced was, finding the right measurements so it could fit onto the 3D printing and so all the pieces could fit together. Another one was finding the thread generator (It took so long). I am really excited to see how the final product will turn out!
    In one of my previous posts I explained about my class arcade that we do in our 20% time. And what is an arcade without tickets? So, the tickets to win prizes and to play games were already made, but we are making a claw machine (I don’t have any finished pictures of it) that will pick up a wad of tickets that either could have no value, little value, or ‘ YOU HIT THE JACKPOT’ kind of value. In this picture there are tickets that have tens on them, there are also tickets with 50 , 100, and 500 points! They are all color coded so it makes them easier to sort. Lee and Jared C. are the creators of this game, and I think they did an amazing job! I love to help out with this project by either making the prize to go in it, or helping paint. This is a really cool project!
    Skee Ball is an arcade classic, and of course we had to put it in our arcade… so we did! On the bottom left is a photograph (side view) of this game. In this picture you can see Matthew getting ready to play while Jared C. is setting it up. This game is like any other classic skee ball, you roll a ping pong ball up a ramp and try to get it into the holes that contain a certain amount of points. On the bottom left is a photograph of the Skee Ball sign and directions on the side of the game.This is probably one of my favorite games in the arcade so far!


I feel so lucky to be able to have this amazing privilege in our classroom! I hope we continue to be creative, and keep making fun and unique games. We are having so much fun stretching our imaginations and being little engineers. Google has really inspired us with their really cool ideas, and now that I’m getting all these awesome ideas I feel so ‘Googley’!