I2P Makey Makey Balance Board Challenge


What is Makey Makey?

Makey Makey is a simple invention that turns everyday objects into control keys for programming. Using the Makey Makey board, alligator clips, and a USB cable, the Makey Makey can hook up to the computer’s Scratch program and read the program from there. Makey Makey is designed for everyone who is willing to apply their creativity to engineering.

Which programs can you use to program a Makey Makey?

In most cases, people use Scratch to program a Makey Makey. Scratch is graphical programming software that is easy to use — click here for the link.

Other projects you could create with Makey Makey.

I would create a piano out of different everyday items, such as coins or pens. If I finished that, I would try to create a control pad for game such as Tetris.

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 11.34.04 PM Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 11.34.08 PM

What went well?

Our simple Scratch program worked and succeeded in resetting the timer whenever the balance board touched the ground. We also managed to create a scoreboard for recording down the seconds that the user managed to stay on the balance board.

What didn’t go so well?

The aluminium foil on the balance board and on the floor kept ripping because people were walking over it or we were handling it too roughly. This caused the circuit to cut off at some times and caused the program not to work. This video was recorded after someone ripped one side of the aluminium foil, so one side of the balance board did not work so well. We fixed it afterwards by using new aluminium foil.

What improvements can you make if you had more time in the lesson?

With time, I think we could’ve recorded down the top three scores. Currently, the computer just lists out the times that the user gets, but it doesn’t sort the scores into top 3. Also, the program right now doesn’t have a stop. If I had more time in the lesson, I would add a stop to after 10 or so tries, and then list out the top 3 scores within those 10 tries.

Letter to Future Sixth Grader

Hi there! I’m Sonia, and I just finished Grade 6. Grade 6 is known for many very fun things, such as the PEAK trip, the Greek and Roman Day, the Water Gala and many more. In the beginning of sixth grade, you might feel rather shy; uncomfortable with the new campsite. But in the beginning of sixth grade, the teachers will guide you through the lockers, the classrooms and the schedules. After the first couple of weeks getting used to Middle School, you’ll feel absolutely fine. In Semester 1, you get to have two spices: either Art, Media/Study Skills, Drama and Old Testament. All spices are really fun, and I especially enjoyed Art and Media. Also, core classes, which are math, science, language arts and social studies are separated into two classes. One includes math and science, another includes social studies. In math and science, you get to do many fun labs and math activities. For science, first you’ve got to go through the learning part, then you have those really fun science labs where  you get to see the effects of density, states of matter, and the earth’s heating cycle. In math, you get to pair up with your group to work on math problems and do class activities on graphs and data. Grade 6 Math and Science class is super fun!
Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Ancient Greece CYOA – Reflection

My CYOA was based on the Trojan War. It takes the perspective from a made up Greek brother of Patroclus, cousin of Achilles. Me, Andrea and Emily wrote about how Ireneaus, our made up brother of Patroclus, always was so jealous about his brother always having Achilles’ favour. Our story talks about how Ireneaus makes choices whether he wants to fight for his nation or fight for his dreams of joining the great city of Troy. Our planning of who was writing which line was very well organised, because we had a small trap branch that Andrea could do, and the longer branch that actually led to a happy ending was split between me and Emily. I wrote about how Ireneaus would choose to fight for Troy and become a great general, but ending up dying in every way. Emily wrote about how Ireneaus would choose to remain a general and flirt with the Trojan princess, Polyxena. Andrea would write about how Ireneaus would fight for his nation but die trying to win Achilles’ favour. It took us a couple days to plan out the entire map of the story, but we finally split the branches equally after a couple arguments of who would do the general side.  Then Andrea was the first to finish her branch, then me, and Emily finished her branch the day before it was due. Even though me and Andrea had to do some pushing on Emily’s progress, we managed to finish it in time, and we even managed to lengthen our paragraphs so we had more information about the choices that we provided. In the end, we were very satisfied with our final product. Click HERE to visit our CYOA.

Greek and Roman Day – Temple Building Reflection

For Greek and Roman Day, I worked with Andrea to build a temple for Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld. We named our temple “The House of Hades” after the novel by Rick Riordan. Our main colours for the temple were black and red since black and red were both death like colours. We found that we could use glue sticks as our columns, covering it with paper. Then we had a template for the temple frieze, so I started to draw the complete frieze and colouring it with black and red. It took me two days to complete the frieze template, which gave Andrea enough time to cover all 16 glue sticks. Our 16 columns were to be stuck on the base, then the roof, which was a rectangular based triangular prism made from cardboard. We didn’t glue the roof to the columns because people needed to use the glue sticks for the mosaic project. That was one of our biggest problems because our temple collapsed since the glue sticks were taken away.

That was what I wanted to say if we had a chance to change our temple. Instead of using glue sticks, we could have used better items like fat marker pens or just stuff the inside with fluff or make cardboard columns so it would be stable. Our temple fell in the end because people had to pull out the glue sticks in order to proceed on the mosaic project. The statue needed a bit more work, because the Hades statue was rather too tall for the roof, so we had to cut a bit of his feet off then slant him so that he looked rather deformed. Part from the major problem on the columns and the minor issue for the statue, I think our temple was cool. It may not be realistic since there might not be black marble or red marble.

End of Year Reflection

Language Arts and Social Studies:

This year is just one out of the three years in Middle School. Compared to fifth grade, sixth grade seems to start a whole new life, a different one then the rest. But one of the many things that haven’t changed about me is that I never really read non-fiction. Notice all the books on my book list have been fantasy books. All those years in Upper Primary, when my teacher told me to start reading non-fiction, I never really did it. Same in sixth grade, I just keep reading fantasy. So far, I’ve read the House of Hades twice, The Serpent’s Shadow thrice, the entire Inheritance Cycle series, and I’m finishing The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel series too. The books I read also affect how I write, because I’ve always admired how the writers always write in such a detailed way, exploding the moment, but at the same time they don’t go off topic. Reading fantasy also just inspires and sprouts some more ideas about writing in my mind, like how I could mix two series together and make a new story, or perhaps jumble together all the series that I like and make a fan-fiction story.

Reading the Percy Jackson series have also sparked my interest in Greek mythology. We’re now studying the Greek culture and their legacy, and I’ve noticed that the civilisations that we are studying follow what time they existed. For example, we started with evolution and mutation from science, at the same time we also were studying about hominids and their scientific names. Then we moved on to the geography of Mesopotamia, then the great Egyptian civilisation. We skipped studying about ancient India and went on to reading about ancient China and their great philosophies. We studied their old dynasties and read about how the old dynasties fell to the newer ones. After the ancient Chinese, we started studying about the ancient Greeks. Later on in the year, we’re planning to study the ancient Romans. You can notice that first we studied about the hominids, and they were the very first to appear in the world. Then it was Mesopotamia, then Egypt, China, Greece and finally to Rome. It all follows the timeline. All the civilisations we have been studying all focus on the seven characteristics of civilisation. We studied the ways that the ancient Egyptians lived, read about the ancient philosophies of China, compared the different hominid species far before time, studied the map of Mesopotamia and listed what benefits they had from their location, and saw how important the gods were to the ancient Greeks.


This year, we learned many new things for math, such as box plots, new algebra technics and so on. We reviewed some things that we learned before in fifth grade, but we also added on to the knowledge we already had. As a mathematical thinker, I think I am one of the ones that understand the fastest when we learn new things. When we learned the box plot, I was one of the first to understand what the first and third quartile was. Compared to last year, I think my precision and modelling have stayed the same, but in fifth grade, I had found problem solving difficult. Now, I think I’ve overcome the problem solving difficulty.


Last year’s science was nothing like sixth grade science. Last year, we just learnt about variable and how they could affect a experiment. This year, I think that I really started to go in depth about the science around us, density, states of matter, boiling point, the water cycle and so on. This year, for science, I enjoyed it because I really actually started learning something that I found cool. As said from above, I think that it’s strange, how in the beginning of the year we learnt about mutation, Darwinia and all in science. At the same time we were learning about the evolution of humans and how scientists found evidence that humans came from apes. This somehow connects because I think the teachers want us to apply the knowledge from science and put it as a puzzle piece into what we were learning in social studies. I think throughout the many labs of science, I think my observing level has increased because of how much understanding we have to take in while experimenting the labs.

Work Habits: 

I think my strongest in work habits is organisation, working independently, meting deadlines, reflecting on work, punctual and respecting the class rules. I think my weakest is contributing in class and probably working with others. These two work habits have been my biggest struggle because I always find it hard to always to contribute, coming with answers like I was born to do it. Also, I’ve found from experience that you can’t really trust someone with a important job when they aren’t like you. When you do it individually, you see everything your way and you see it as what you satisfies you. In a way, it’s sort of selfish, since it’s saying that you will only be satisfied if it’s in what you think is good. Over the year, I’ve tried teaming up with my friends whenever a group project is available. I would try and understand more in depth of what I was being taught, so that I could contribute more in answering the questions.

Overall Grade 6:

This year, the most highlighting part is probably PEAK because it was so well planned, and I had a lot of fun with my friends in Beijing. I’m most proud of is changing myself, making myself different from what I was when I was in 5th grade, or in general, when I was younger.  The most challenging of all was the change from my friends in 5th grade to 6th grade, and the actual difference of the two campuses. Before sixth grade, whenever I saw Middle School, I saw a American local kind of school, with very clear borders on who was popular and who wasn’t. Now, this year, I had to adapt to this American local looking school with the clear lines of who was popular and who wasn’t. The moment I realised I was in Lantau house, and all my other friends from fifth grade were in all the other houses except for Lantau, I knew that I had to try to fit in. Now, I have found friends that are much better then the ones I had in fifth grade, which is a great relief because I always seemed to have less friends during fifth grade. I look forward to camping in seventh grade, where we get to choose where we want to camp.

Local Winds

During the day, the sun heats up both the oceans and the land. Both land and water are good heat absorbers, but the water is a slower absorber then the land, and so the land soaks up more heat, causing low pressure over the heated air above the land. Because the water has colder air then the land above the seas, then the colder air attracts the higher pressure. During the day, the cycle continues, as the low pressure moves on to the seas, then it turns into higher pressure because of the colder air. When the higher pressure gets to the land surfaces, then it becomes lower air pressure because of the heated land. The sea breeze is the wind that carries the higher pressure to land, causing it to drop down into lower pressure.

During the night, the whole cycle reverses. Because the land is a good and fast absorber of heat, it also releases heat faster then the oceans. When it comes to night, and the sun stops heating the waters and the lands, the lands quickly release all the heat that they absorbed during the day, becoming cooler to touch since in the day, it would be burning hot if you touched the heated ground. While the land releases the heat, the waters do the opposite. It keeps the heat longer, releasing it slower and steadier so that the water temperature would be more then the land temperature. Since the oceans are more heated then the lands, then the lower pressure would become attracted to the oceans, while the higher pressure settles among the land areas, where the air is colder. The cycle continues, just as it does at day, but with the reversed way. Land breezes would be the wind blowing the low pressure air from the seas to the lands, where it becomes higher pressure.

Coriolis Effect Reading


1. What is the Coriolis effect?

The reason why the winds and currents in the Northern hemisphere turn right and the winds and currents turn left in the Southern hemisphere

2. What is subject to the Coriolis effect?

The winds and the ocean currents. The Coriolis effect causes the winds and ocean currents to steer in one direction depending on which hemisphere.

3. What is the direction of deflection in the Northern Hemisphere?

In the Northern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect makes objects turn right, or clockwise. So the direction of deflection would be counter-clockwise, or left.

4. What is the direction of deflection in the Southern Hemisphere?

In the Southern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect makes objects turn left, or counter-clockwise. So the direction of deflection would be clockwise, or right.

5. What happens if pilots do not correct for the Coriolis effect?

Then their route would veer one way depending on the hemisphere. If they were in the Northern hemisphere, they would veer completely off track towards the right side. If they were in the Southern hemisphere, they would veer completely off track towards the left side.

“Inside the Walls of Troy” Review

“In the beginning of the book Helen deceives her husband and sails off with the stunning Prince Paris. At first Cassandra, Paris’s sister has a lot of hatred toward Helen. Later on she can’t help but start to like the beautiful and friendly young woman. This book is all about the growing friendship of two women inside the walls of Troy.”

This caption from the reviews of the book Inside the Walls of Troy by Clemence McLaren really summarises what the book says. I agree with this caption because in the sentences, it also says much about the expressions and appearances of the characters.

“In the beginning of the book Helen deceives her husband and sails off with the stunning Prince Paris” From this sentence, you already know that Helen had been forced to marry her husband, or Menelaus, and later fell deeply in love with Prince Paris, which we know is stunning in a handsome way.

“At first, Cassandra, Paris’s sister, has a lot of hatred toward Helen.” From this sentence, you know that Cassandra loathed Helen because of some apparent reason that would be described in the book. You know that this book will also write from Cassandra’s perspective, describing her feelings as she predicts the future of her city, Troy.

“Later on, she can’t help but start to like the beautiful and friendly young woman.” From this sentence, you know that the hatred between Cassandra and Helen starts to cease and that Cassandra, just like the other Trojan women, are attracted to Helen. You can interoperate that something is happening, and that Cassandra would probably help Helen with her problems.

“This book is all about the growing friendship of two women inside the walls of Troy.” From this sentence, you know that this book would not be from the mens’ perspective, but from the womens’. You also know that there won’t be much description about the battle outside the walls of Troy, but the battles inside the walls of Troy. You also know that this friendship between Cassandra and Helen need time to develop, for it says “growing” friendship.

Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection and Radiation


  • Conduction is the transfer of thermal energy between particles of matter that are touching.
  • Transfer of thermal energy is called heat
  • Conduction is one of three ways that thermal energy can be transferred.
  • The particles of all matter are in constant random motion
  • Particles of warmer matter have more energy and move more quickly than the particles of cooler matter
  • Thermal energy moves through matter
  • In the example of freshly baked cookies, the cookie sheet transfers thermal energy to the cookies that make them bake
  • Some examples of conduction: Cup of hot drink, a hot iron, camp stove



  • Convection is the transfer of thermal energy by particles moving through a fluid (either a gas or a liquid)
  • Convection is one of three ways that thermal energy can be transferred
  • When particles in one area of a fluid gain heat, they more more quickly, have more collisions, and spread farther apart
  • Result: decrease in the density of the particles
  • Particles rise up through the fluid, when they transfer their thermal energy to other particles of the fluid and cool off in the process
  • With cooler temperature, the particles sink back to the bottom because of increased density
  • The cycle repeats after, and this cycle is called the convection current
  • Examples of convection: the water cycle


Thermal Radiation:

  • Thermal radiation is the transfer of thermal energy by waves that can travel through air or even through empty space
  • Thermal radiation helps the sun’s heat reach earth
  • From a fire, radiation goes through the air and onto your hands, warming your hands
  • Thermal radiation is one of three ways that thermal energy can be transferred
  • Radiation is the only way of transferring thermal energy that doesn’t require matter
  • Everything radiates thermal energy, even objects that aren’t very warm.
Conclusion Questions:
Why are metals good conductors of heat?
All types of metal have running free electrons. Electrons are the tiny stuff that make up atoms, that make up most of the world. Metals have molecules and electrons running free within them. When heat reaches them, the heat makes both the molecules and the electrons run wilder. When the electron gets infected by the heat, and it touches a molecule, the molecule would also be start to heat up. With the electrons to speed the heating process up, metals make good conductors of heat.
Why does hot water and air rise?
When water or air is heated, the molecules of the fluid  start moving around much faster, and so the density of the fluid decreases until it becomes less dense then water around them or the air around them. When things are less dense then water, they float. It all follows the Principle of Buoyancy, which is: “Objects immersed in a liquid are buoyed up by a forced equal to the weight of liquid displaced.” This means that when the buoyant force is greater then the force of gravity, then the object would float. Same with heavier objects. When the force of gravity is greater then the buoyant force, then the object would sink. In this case, because of the Principle of Buoyancy, when water or air is heated, it rises or evaporates.
Describe how thermal radiation is transferred from a campfire to you.
Since heat itself is a form of energy, and energy can move through any distance, then it means that heat can also move through any distance. Heat or energy have different ways of releasing themselves into the world, and one way is the thermal radiation. The heat becomes heat waves (if it’s hot enough) or just radiation waves and reach out to anything around it. As soon as it separates far enough from the heat source, then the waves (if it’s not hot enough) would dissolve into the air. If it does hit the object around it, then the object would feel warm because of the heat that the heat source is providing. In this case, the heat source is the campfire and the object that is in it’s range would be you.
Conduction = Solids.
Conduction is the process where molecules inside solids are heated up so that they release heat when something touches it. For example, when you’re stirring something over a stove with a metal spoon, and you leave it there for a few minutes, then you would realise that when you come back, the metal spoon is a lot more hotter. This is because of conduction. Conduction not only can happen to solids’ molecules, but also to liquids or gases. Metal especially is good conductor of heat because of the free electrons that are running all around. Conduction can happen to liquid or gas because when you conduct liquid, you’re warming the particles inside the liquid into gas, on which liquid becomes gas and gas dissolves into the atmosphere.
Convection = Liquid
Convection is mostly to do with the Principle of Buoyancy. When the liquid is heated at the bottom, it causes the hot fluids to rise up because the buoyant forces would be greater then the gravity force (since the density of the fluid has decreased). Then when the fluid starts to go away from the heat, then the gravity force would take over and then dragging it back to the bottom where the cycle starts over again. Convection is best for only liquids and gases, since both of those have rather loose molecules, much more free then solids. So when the hot fluids go up, they don’t get stuck like solids, or rather the molecules cannot exactly move in solid mode. Both liquid and gas are fluids, and convection only really happens for fluids.
Radiation = Gases
‘Radiation’ comes from the Latin word ‘radius’ meaning ‘spoke of a wheel’. Radiation can be strongly seen in deserts, when it’s hot enough to make heat waves ripple in the air. Each source of heat radiates heat, even humans. Radiation only happens mostly through the air. There’s a common question: How does the sun’s heat reach us if the sun is so far away? As we know, heat itself is a form of energy, and energy can move through any distance. So that means heat can move through any distance, which is really how the sun’s heat reaches us. The sun radiates heat just like any other heat source so that the waves reach us. For the heat waves to reach that far, the heat source has to be really strong like the sun. Radiation waves are commonly seen in the air around us, where the energy from one heat source travels in waves to another object.