Million Dollar Genius

    Million Dollar Genius on the History Channel shows the stories of people who found a problem in their daily life and wanted to make something to help, including the Head Blade, Fox 40 pealess whistle, and the Java Jacket (coffee sleeve). One thing all of the inventors have in common is that they all weren’t inventors to start out, they found an issue, had a vision, and after lots of thinking made something incredible happen that changed many peoples daily lives for the better. They also almost lost all of their money doing this but stayed so very committed to their idea.

I think Million Dollar Genius is really inspiring because it gets me to think in ways I have never thought before, also it shows how committed people really are to what they think is a good idea, no matter how many times they fail they won’t give up. I learned that you should always stick to what you believe is a good idea because you could end up a millionaire. For example, Ron Foxcroft inventor of Fox 40 pealess whistle was a high school drop out, he was a referee for basketball, and didn’t like the standard pea whistle. After working for over 3 years on prototypes, he finally found something that worked. He almost went into bankruptcy, but stayed committed. The problem was, no one wanted to buy it. Then he had an idea which got him 20,000 orders. He was in business. Ron Foxcroft and many other million dollar geniuses taught me to always stick to what I THOUGHT, not what someone else THINKS, because you could up like one of them: A Million Dollar Genius.

Westward Expansion Infographics

In social studies we have been studying Westward Expansion. Our assignment was to make an infographic all about Westward Expansion (right), and another on an event within Westward Expansion, I chose Louisiana Purchase (left).

Louisiana Purchase -- infographic Westward Expansion

When we were first assigned this project I had no idea what an ‘infographic’ was. As we learned more about the assignment I learned that it is a image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. I spent a lot of time working on how to make it look visually appealing, and tried to find pictures that represented the topic well.

5B Arcade

For about a month or two my class has been creating an arcade. Although it is not a class assignment, we have been using indoor recess periods right before lunch to work on it (and sometimes during class). We have been 3D printing, sculpting, duct taping, sketching, and carving to make an amazing arcade with all kinds of games. We were inspired by Caine’s Arcade. We had a twist to our arcade which was that instead of whack-a-mole, we made a game kind of like human-whack-a-mole. Instead of whacking moles that pop up, you throw paper balls covered in tape (for safety) at people standing in a big cardboard box and you try to hit the targets that are on them. Another game that we mixed up was, skee ball. We made it a lot harder, and we put duct tape over the part where you roll the ball to score points, so that no one would cheat. We made up some games too!

All of our games are handmade. We are really proud, it takes a lot of effort and everyone has to help out, we even have people working on the security! We also created prizes and tickets. It is such a fun experience and everything is turning out great! Our arcade is really coming together nicely, and I hope our imaginations will stay creative, and I also hope that we continue to work well together as a group.

The snow finally came!

It finally snowed this morning! It wasn’t all that much snow overall, but at least it was something. There were some flurries here and there, but no snow, until today! Some people had made hypotheses about it being the warmest winter ever, but I guess they were proven wrong. I can’t believe the temperature was seriously in the 60s in the middle of December! I am not a big fan of snow overall. I would much rather be on vacation in Florida, but it would be strange not to have snow throughout the winter. I do like having snowball fights (you have to admit you always end up falling over laughing and having fun), and also sledding is fun, so those are some bonuses. But I can’t stand the cold! For example, it is so hard to wake up in the morning, and you get chapped lips, staticky hair, and you are always shivering (well, at least for me). Also, it is a hassle to get your coat, hat, and mittens on, and then take them off, and then put them on again. Overall, I was just excited to see the snow!

Science is really cool!

So far this year in 5th grade I have really been enjoying science. My absolute favorite part of science was rocketry where we have been brain storming, designing, and building rockets. We had our first launch on Wednesday, Nov. 4th. The first launch wasn’t that successful. In 2 out of the 6 groups the rockets ended up having an air leak, they didn’t launch since the air just kept leaking out. One of the rockets broke into two pieces when the group members tried to pump air into the rocket. 3 of the groups had lift off of the launch pad, but didn’t go very high. Oh, and I forgot to tell you what the rockets were made of. Every group had to use a plastic bottle (soda, seltzer, water, etc.) for the body. But you could use as many bottles as you wanted, and any kind of bottle you wanted. The wings could be made of cardboard, styrofoam, or wood, what ever you wanted and you could put as many wings as you wanted, Ms. Boyer suggested that we use more than 2, you could even have a second row of wings. And the nosecone, you could be so adventurous with the nosecone, you could 3D print it, make it out of any type of paper, or you could even use a party hat. My group made our first rocket out of: for the body we used a Vintage Seltzer bottle, for the wings we had 3 of them and we used cardboard and then reinforced it with balsa wood, and for the nosecone we cut a circle out of a manilla folder and then made it it into the shape that we wanted it in, and last but not least we used a lot maybe even too much duct tape, we used sparkly, tie dye, rainbow, and much much more. Our rocket didn’t have lift off of the launch pad because, we cut the end off of the first bottle that the air was going into and stuck another bottle of the same type right into it. We did this because we thought that the air pressure that came out would be stronger. But instead,  the air leaked out. This is what it actually looked like:
     On Nov. 9, we had our second launch. Everyone’s rocket was successful, but one group’s rocket didn’t have lift off of the launch pad. Their rocket had a leak at the top where they put their nosecone. They sealed it very firmly with hot glue, but somehow it managed to leak. I forgot to mention that this time we didn’t just use air, but we also used water and then pumped air into the rocket for extra force, we put 200 ml of water and 90 P.S.I. of air. It helped a lot! I will post a video of the rocket launching later. I don’t know why I can’t put it on this post. Anyway, here are the changes my group made: we figured out the flaws, and got straight to work. This time we didn’t cut the first bottle. We used a Smart Water bottle, and then on top of it we put the top of a Sprite bottle that was cut but it didn’t matter that it was cut because no air was going into it, we just used it to make the rocket bigger and, also because the nosecone fit perfectly onto the top of it, but the main reason we used the Sprite bottle was because, we were going to use another Smart Water bottle but we couldn’t get it immediately and we were running out of time. We also added another wing so we had 4 of them. But we kept the nosecone. Our rocket was very successful, it went 24 meters into the sky, we figured that out by converted the degree that we found out by using clinometer, with a special kind of graph. That is about it for what I know as of now… I am really enjoying rocketry!!
Design Challenges – towards the beginning of the school year we started doing different design challenges. The first one we did was to use index cards and build a stable structure/tower, after it was completed we then measured to see which groups was the tallest, and then we laid something on top of it to see who’s was the most stable. A strategy that our class found was to fold the index card in half so it is like a triangle and then lay it on it’s side. Design challenges are really fun! After we are finished with our rocketry unit we are looking forward to doing more of them!