Champions! Online Portfolio

The Champions! Project is a project all focused in on one person in history or present that you think is creative, collaborative, resilient, and compassionate. In total, we had to do 8 small projects on the champion, as listed below. In many ways, you had to think creatively whenever constructing these 8 small projects in order to try and write from the champions’ perspective. For my Champion!, I chose Isaac Newton. Why is Isaac Newton creative, collaborative, resilient, and compassionate? Let’s brief a little first about who Isaac Newton is. Newton was born on Christmas Day, 1642. He was known for figuring out the law of gravity/three laws of motion, founded calculus, solved how tides shift, breaking apart white light using a prism, and inventing the reflecting telescope. As a scientist, Newton required an immense amount of creativity to excel above all other scientists. While sitting under an apple tree and watching an apple fall, Newton saw a universal mystery instead of just a fruit. Creativity was also required to invent the telescope. Not every man can depend on their study of optics to build a universally used telescope. But even Newton could not have accomplished everything by himself. With collaboration, through friendship and trust, Newton managed to successfully complete the Great Recoinage of William III in just three years with his friends. If Newton had not joined the Royal Society nor worked with them, his reflecting telescope may not have gained fame in the end. And sometimes, things in Newton’s life didn’t go right. Almost at once, most of his closest friends died all in around 2 years, including his mother. Mentally breaking down from stress, grief and physical strain, Newton broke into a breakdown in the 1690s. While others might have given up once their friends had gone, but Newton never gave up. He picked himself up, which required an immeasurable amount of resilience, and continued with his works. His compassion to teach others about the great thing he’d discovered also lead him to become one of Cambridge’s most famous professors. Even while lecturing to empty halls, Newton always found the love for teaching others in Cambridge. In total, Newton might’ve stayed at Cambridge for over 40 years of his life, half the time teaching, and the other half studying or learning. Newton’s dedication to science is one of our world’s greatest gifts. This is why I chose Isaac Newton for my Champions! Project.

Map, Timeline, Facebook Profile, Free Choice, Press Conference:

Nomination Letter, Journal Entry, Poems


Unit 2: Reflection

Unit 2: Challenges of a Growing Population

Of the entire world, China is the country with the highest population so far. With a whopping around one billion people living in China, China has been facing overpopulation problems ever since the country started to thrive economically. From this unit, I learned that as a country, China has experienced many droughts throughout its history. These droughts led to famine which eventually rose the death rate, or the amount of people who died every year in the country. China has many ways of achieving to its ultimate goal, to reach zero population growth. One example was the One Child policy, where every couple was only allowed to have one child in their lifetime. This rule was commonly seen as a unfair one because in accidents like a gas leak, some couples’ only child would be lost in the explosion. Even now, China’s one child policy still holds, but the bonds have loosened slightly. Even though the one child policy was cruel, it’s efficient on moving China towards it goal on achieving zero population growth. From this chapter, we also learned that China has problems with its growing population because with more people, the demand for energy use rises rapidly. Therefore, if China could control the population growth, then it would lessen the demand for energy use.


As a learner, for Unit 2 I would aim for the same badge that I got in the last unit, the second highest one with the gold tier. I’m not sure what it’s called this unit, but in Unit 1 it was call Bartolome De Las Casas badge. I hope to achieve this by reading thoroughly and actually understanding the key points of what the chapter wants to teach me. Then I’ll write down the key points and study deeper into it with my notes.


In the Unit 1 reflection, I set a goal for Unit 2. I wanted to try to determine if China’s population is decreasing at all. I also wanted to challenge myself to find the reason why China’s population topped the highest in the entire world. And I have found evidence for both goals. In my first goal, I saw in the TCI textbook that the one child policy did decrease China’s population, which meant that on a graph, the slope would start to drop a little. I found that China had many ways of trying to achieve zero population growth, whether it was about the one child policy or the Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Either way, I did find out that nowadays, China’s population is starting to get under control. My second goal was to find out why China’s population was the highest. I gathered the evidence simply from what I learned in Unit 1. China’s geography is very suitable for settlement, which meant that along the coast, near south east China, economy would rise quickly as to because of the easy trading by sea. Some of the most populous cities in China are along the coast, for example Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen or Guangzhou. So when there’s a fertile place, it attracts people to settle there because they might find better jobs there. Since China’s east coast was rich with fertile soil, the most of China’s population condensed all in the coastal regions, resulting high population. (Picture taken from TCI Chapter 30 – China: The World’s Most Populous Country)





Just last week we had our fall parent conferences. For social studies, we discussed about class presentations, challenge by choice options and how much time I was spending each night on homework. We’ve only had one class presentation in quarter one, so there wasn’t much to say. But my teacher did mention that in semester 2, there would be a presentation on whatever subject the student wanted. I immediately chose three options: stellar, mythology or computer science. And then in quarter one, the Challenge by Choice options were introduced, on which the teacher, Mr. Pierce, suggested me to go to extra field tripes or reading/other clubs. Finally, we talked about how much time I was spending on homework every night. You can see a essay I wrote last year about “Is over scheduling of activities after school harming students?” that can elaborate about why a student might have little time to spare for homework. I told my parents and teacher that I spent about 1.5 – 2 hours every day on homework, and Mr. Pierce pointed out that I wasn’t paying attention to the time limit in the planner. The time limit was the fact that each sixth grader should only spend 60 minutes on homework, seventh graders should only spend 70 minutes, and eighth graders should only spend 80 minutes. Since I was spending too much time on homework, Mr. Pierce suggested me to start relaxing and actually learn how to use time carefully and smartly. As a goal for quarter 2 and the rest of the year, I plan to use time more quickly and efficiently to leave some time to sleep.


Hong Kong: Occupy Central

Here are three main links about Hong Kong’s Occupy Central.



RTHK Hong Kong Radio Station

Occupy Central can be recognised as a civil disobedience movement from China’s offer of limited democracy. It started with China’s offer to let them chose three representatives, then Hong Kong could chose from those three as their chief executive. Hong Kong disagreed to that offer, and protests started to rise, demanding democracy. At one point, one organisation threatened to block the main finance roads, such as Central, Admiralty or Causeway Bay. From peer pressure, they started early on September 28, when they meant to start on the first of October. Main roads in places of finance were blocked off by protesters, and the police started to chase them out for those who worked in these places. Protesters refused to budge, so the police used tear gas on the crowd. This caused uprising and stirred anger within the protesters, and ever since, they’ve been constantly causing traffic problems.

Many people, including me, noticed that most of Occupy Central’s protesters are students or people with low economic status. This means that most of the older generation people agreed to China’s offer. I personally think that most protesters are youngsters because the current world has been heavily influenced by America’s viewpoints. Most of the younger generation think that America is like the best country in the world, with nice human rights and democracy. I would say they’re only looking at one side of the story. They’ve never seen through other countries’ perspectives, like China or Russia. When Hong Kong students see that China wants to limit their freedom of democracy, they take on America’s sayings of democracy and start chaos within the city. What most protesters didn’t see is what happened to countries who fought with themselves about democracy. Below is a picture that is drawn about what happened to these countries.America's Democracy

Even though I know fairly well about Occupy Central, I’m still confused about a few things. First of all, if Hong Kong really does fall apart from this protest, and they plunge into war, will China react? I understand that currently China isn’t doing anything about this protest, and I understand why. But if one of their most economically trading cities have self destructed, then will they do anything? Will they stop the fight by taking control over Hong Kong? Or will they leave the city to its own battle? Another question I have is how does Occupy Central affect the economy of Hong Kong? I know that tourism has rapidly dropped ever since the movement started, but does it affect the trading/insurance companies? First, I’m going to try and ask my parents about these questions, see if they know. If they don’t, then maybe researching online would help. A final way is to just read the local newspapers.

Relating to the picture above, here’s a link including illustrations of opinions from a protester’s perspective about the Umbrella Revolution.

South China Morning Post

Unit 1: Reflection

Unit 1: Maps and Geography

The first unit of social studies was titled “Maps and Geography”, so expected, we learned a lot about maps and geography. Our unit started off with one of the main questions: In ten years time, will people still be using paper maps? Debates were risen about this question, which led us to the next part. We questioned ourselves about what maps include. From that, the KTW (Know, Think, Why) Chart was born. In this chart, we listed what we know about maps, what we think we know, and why. This chart helped us a lot through the unit. As homework, we were assigned to complete two packets from the textbook. Personally, I think these packets really challenged what you learned from class, helping us improve on the test. Then we looked at what makes a good, interesting, informational map. One website that showed us lots of interesting maps was a website called 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World. The picture below was taken from the website.

Map of Europe Showing Literal Chinese Translations for Country Names


That was one of the most enjoyable parts of this unit. I really loved how enjoyable our teacher made this class really interesting, fun and engaging. I really liked how even though the assignments or homework might take some time, the class is unique and enjoyable. I also really like how there’s a lot of systems, like the China Chair, the Current Events Slips, the Elysium Field thing, and the Prize Box. Some may be bad, like the $2 box, where if you lose something you need to pay in order to get it back. The money goes to the charity.


Another cool system that our teacher made was the Badge Award, given out after each unit. For this unit, there are four badges: the Neil Armstrong badge, or exceeding above standards. Bartolome De Las Casas Badge is like meeting expectations, with three different tiers like Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Ferdinand Magellan Badge, which is like approaching standards, also separated with Gold, Silver and Bronze. And the Marco Polo Badge, which represents the developing badge. I was given the Bartolome De Las Casas Gold badge. I agree with the badge I was given, because I hadn’t expect such a low badge, but I also think I don’t deserve the Neil Armstrong badge. From the grades from the assessments and the work habits, I think the Bartolome De Las Casas badge was the most fit for me.


While studying for a test, I found that taking notes on all the main points of the textbook just didn’t work. It was tedious work, and sometimes I didn’t get what the main point was. So instead, for the summative, I studied by reading the two chapters and doing the reading challenge. I especially like studying with the reading challenge because it questions you like the actual test. Similar to last year, I found that using the reading challenge and reading through the chapters again can be really useful when studying for a test.


For Unit 2: Challenges of a Growing Population, I want to set a goal to try to determine if China’s population is decreasing at all. I also want to challenge myself to find the reason why China’s population topped the highest in the entire world.