Reflection : Mark Tay Hao Yang says....

Pre-camp reflections

Read the introduction, objectives and theoretical background to the project and then answer the following questions:
  •      What interests you about this project?
  •       What do you want to learn by doing this project?
  •       What questions do you have about this project?
  •      What do you personally want to have achieved by the end of this project?
            I find the project interesting as it involves to completely different segments, where I will be able to explore two entirely different fields, which will allow me to have exposure to various projects, rather than just one project throughout the camp.
            Firstly, I want to learn how learn how to extract caffeine from drinks and learn how to make a ball go to its optimum speed. At the same time I also want to learn the various physics concepts involving speed.
            What is the practical of extracting caffeine from beverages?
            I just want to have the experience of carrying out these small projects and to be able to be enriched by it ans also to have fun during the process.

Reflections on Plenary Sessions

For each plenary session, consolidate your learning by answering the following questions:
  • Earthquake research on the coral reefs in Sumatra       

                I learned how sedimentography and stratography can be used to tell how long ago an earthquake or tsunami happened, how many waves there were in a tsunami, and roughly how far apart they happened. When a tsunami strikes, it leaves a layer of sediment on the ground. When geologists cut the ground, they can see the number of layers of sediment to find the number of waves, the distance of the sediment layer to the surface to tell how long ago it happened, and the distance between two series of sediment layers to tell how far apart it happened.

            Corals can be used to tell when a mega-thrust earthquake happened because when a plate subducts, it will pull down the ground around the tectonic boundary. When rocks catch onto the other plate, the plate will start to bend and fold, with tension building within it. When the pressure is too great, the plate will snap back, causing a huge earthquake. At the same time, the ground will also rise back to its original height, and coral growing on the underwater islands will be exposed to open air, and therefore die. Geologists can use uranium to analyze the age of the coral, and therefore find out how long ago the earthquake happened.

              I also learned how geologists study the underground of specific areas. They use stations with Global Positioning System (GPS) to monitor the area, so that the stations can observe any seismic waves that are happening. Geologists also use airbursts at sea to cause waves which hit the seabed, and then rise again. When the data of the waves are analyzed, geologists can tell if the seabed is crumpled or smooth. If the seabed is crumpled, it means that a mega-thrust earthquake is building as the subducting plate will pull the earth, causing it to fold. 

    IT for Animation 

             I learned that there are three main types of animation - stop motion, 2D animation, and 3D animation.

              Stop motion is done by using real items and taking many shots to create a smooth motion - about 24 frames per second. Its advantage over the other types of animation is that there is no need to draw every frame, which saves a lot of effort on the part of the producers. 

               2D animation is done by drawing out every single frame and the putting them together to form the animation. 2D animation takes a lot of time and effort, and is expensive as well. The first 2D animated movie that was done traditionally by drawing on paper is Lion King. 

              3D animation is also done by using real items, and then adding effects on them to form a more 3-dimensional image.I also learned on how mathematics can be used to create more realistic special effects for movies, such as geometry, calculus, linear algebra, and other math principles.

    Innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology 

              In this plenary session, we learned about the various inventions that were created through the use of nano-technology. The uses included killing bacteria, freckle treatment, odor and menstrual relief cards, cleaning water, colored contacts, bracers that cannot be seen, collection of fingerprints, and bio-compatible bone replacements and items that allow better blood flow.

Reflections on Applied Project Challenge: Your Accomplishments
  • Discuss how the project has deepened your understanding and broadened your awareness of the selected discipline.
  • What do you now understand about this discipline that you were unaware of at the beginning?
  • Describe how what you have learned from doing this project can be connected to what you are learning at school.
  • Describe how you can apply what you have learned from doing this project.
  •  At the end of the project, what new questions do you now have?

           The Fastest Ball Challenge has taught me that sometimes we can't just follow our common sense, but must also consider the various concepts of science to understand. For example, at the start of the experiment, I thought that 45º would be the angle that the ball would go the fastest, as the impact wouldn't be very great and at the same time the velocity would be quite a lot as well. But as it turned out, 30º degrees turned out to be the angle in which the ball could travel across the horizontal plane quickest.
           The Extraction of Caffeine from Beverages taught me various scientific concepts throughout the experiment. For example, when we were separating the tea and dichloromethane, the scientific concept of compatibility of substances and solubility was used. We also learned about the use of infrared in checking the purity of the substance collected and also how to read the graph to check the purity.
            I learnt about vectors, and it also reinforced my understanding of energy. The caffeine extraction also taught me that experiments, even as simple as this, takes very long. It also taught me various uses for chemicals.
           As we are doing physics next term, I can apply the energy concepts of what I learned here into my studies and learning in school. I will have a greater understanding than before of this area of physics which may greatly help me as we move into this topic. 
          As for the extraction of caffeine, what I have learnt can be applied as general knowledge, and can also be used as I study chemistry next year.

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