I&S – My Understanding of Nature vs. Nurture

The nature vs. nurture debate is considering what mannerisms humans are born with and which are taught. I have heard that humans are born with a fear of things that may harm them, such as sharp objects, heights, etc. I think this is considered instinct and is what will keep us alive. This is the same thing that is visible in animals, for example, why do dogs mark their territory? No human taught them to do that. Instinct. Many are scared of other things that aren’t inherently dangerous, such as spiders, dogs, insects, social anxiety, etc. I believe these fears are nurtured and learned from other people, experiences and stories. I believe that genes don’t directly change the way we act, it is how people say that people with a certain gene should act that rubs off on ones who have that specific gene. For example, caucasian people typically speak a certain way, then if a caucasian person were to speak “like a black person” that would be strange and somewhat unacceptable. Environment also plays a large role on how people act. For example, if a person comes from a very posh and proper family, they may have a tendency to sit straight with their back off the backrest of a chair or drink from a mug with their pinky finger separate from their other fingers. I believe that genes plays a role in the way we act but perhaps not as much as our environment does. I say this because if you were to take a baby and speak English to it from the beginning, the child would grow up speaking English, which is something that would affect their lives forever.

Chicken Wing Dissection


In a chicken wing, the tricep has to contract to fully extend the wing. So for the chicken to fold its wing, the bicep must contract.

The cartilage on the ends of the bone is very smooth to touch. An observation about the chicken wing is that there is skin between the shoulder and the tip of the wing. This is probably to help catch air so the chicken can fly short distances.

When the bicep contracts, the tendon that connects the muscle to the bone makes the wing to fold. When the bicep stretches, the wing will be fully extended. This is exactly the same in a human arm. The reason there is a radius and ulna is so that the end of the wing can move alone, without requiring the rest of the arm to move. These bones are very similar to the bones in our forearms, allowing our wrists to not only move up and down, but right and left as well.

To create a downward force, the wing has to move up and down quickly, but also be able to tilt backwards to slow the chicken down when landing. This is why the arm is connected to the rest of the body via a ball and socket joint. The ball and socket joint also is in a human’s shoulder. It gives us almost full motion of our arms.

The bicep is the strongest muscle in the human arm. When the bicep is contracting, flexed or being put under load, the arm folds. When you pick something up, typically you do it with the inside of your forearm facing upwards. The reason we do this is because it’s the easiest way to pick heavy things up. That is why our bicep is the strongest muscle in our arm.



Bass Line Challenge Music


In this unit, we have been learning about the Blues music style. We started by getting a bit of background knowledge of what the Blues was. Things like where it originated, who were the main musicians that played it, and why it was created. We then were assigned our first task. We were asked to research a certain musician from when Blues music was really popular, and make wall magazine about he or she. I studied BB King. Here is a link to my wall magazine. Now, we are looking at a few different parts of the Blues form. We are specifically learning about Blues chords, scales and bass lines, which this task was set for us as practice. In all of the three Bass Line Challenges, the right hand is playing triad chords. It is following the 12 Bar Blues format in a shuffle pattern, while matching the left hand. The left hand is creating the bass line, which makes it sound much more interesting and less plain.



With the first and second challenge, I didn’t have too many problems. But with the third one, I had a hard time remembering not to play some of the notes. Normally, if you go up and down the walking pattern from a C, you would play the last note. But a few times in the last challenge you aren’t meant to play the last note of the walking pattern, but go right to the next note. I had a hard time with this at first and had to re-try the last challenge a few times. There was also one other problem. That was that I was playing the right hand part too fast. It didn’t sound like a shuffle rhythm. The way I could fix all of these problems are playing both hands separately. Especially the left hand, because I thought it was harder than the right. After practicing the left and right hand, then I should have brought them together and practiced that, as opposed to practicing the challenge as a whole in the beginning.

Here is the link to my three challenge videos on Youtube.

Grade 7 Portfolio


Persistence is keeping with something, doing it until you succeed and not giving up or being discouraged.

One subject I think I showed this in was English. In English, we had to read a play, then add a few details to it, film it and then produce a director’s notebook explaining the things we added, why we added them and the planning for the costumes and such. The part of this process that required persistence was the filming. When one person didn’t get their line right or forgot to do something, we would have to completely re-shoot that clip of the scene. Here is the video that Julius and I produced.

Another class that I showed persistence in was design. We are re-designing characters that some people didn’t like. I chose to re-design Dora the Explorer. The part that challenged me was designing her. I chose to use an app on the iPad, because I thought it was going to be easier to create my character. Though I still think it was easier to do it on the iPad instead out of clay, I did run into a few frustrating moments that required persistence. On of these moments were getting the hair right. In the beginning, it looked like she had dreadlocks. Then, I smoothed it out and it became better. Here are a few pictures that I took along the road of re-creating Dora the Explorer.

Information Literacy

I think I effectively used my skills in information literacy. Information Literacy is the handling, organising, finding or generating information.

I used this skill in I&S, with my research for various projects like the project about empires, the timeline task, and our renaissance man comic book. Researching lots about facts and history was a large requirement for these tasks. We also had to cite all of our sources, and we had to make sure we weren’t copying anyone else’s work. I got nothing under a 6 as a grade for these tasks, meaning that I used my research skills effectively. Here is the link to the project about empires.

Another class that I demonstrated these skills in was art. We had to do a lot of research just like in I&S. The things in art that required lots of research were when we looked into French Realism and Genre Painting. That seems like not very much, but when writing about those topics, we had to compare them to other genres of painting, like romanticism, which I also had to research. Here is a picture of one of the pages in my art sketchbook.


This is another skill that I think I demonstrated and practiced during school well. Resilience is being tolerant when you fail, and trying again without slowing down.

One class that having this skill helped me in was math. Last year, I didn’t get the grades that I was hoping for in math. This year, I really wanted a change. Though it took a long time and a lot of effort for me to grasp some things, I kept with it and got the grades I wanted this year. So far, I haven’t gotten anything under a 5. I also showed resilience when we had to fill a chart in the algebra unit. We had a chart for our class, and when we finished a chapter of the textbook, we would fill a space in the chart with a sticker. At first, I was having a hard time keeping up, but I kept trying and worked hard. I didn’t miss the due dates, and finished the chart on time. Here is a picture of the finished chart and my grades for a pattern investigation.


The other example of resilience that I displayed was in music. In music, we had to practice Christmas songs. After 8 weeks, we would have to perform them for the class. Each week, we had to make videos displaying our progress and we had to set goals for the next week’s video. I had to do a lot of practice, because I chose a harder piece. Sometimes I would get a bit upset, because I couldn’t hit all of the notes, and it didn’t sound right. But in the end, I got good grades for the videos, and the ending performance was good. There are the ending grades for all of my videos. Here is the link to my last video.


Having good collaboration skills means that you can work well with many people and not argue, even if they aren’t your friend.

I think I showed good collaboration skills in PE in the dance unit especially. Trent and I made a dance to the song ‘Get Low’. We worked well together, I communicated my ideas and listened to Trent’s ideas. We ended up having fun, doing well and being synchronised. Here the link to the dance with Trent and I.

Another example of me using good collaboration was is science. At the beginning of our unit on the eye, we dissected pig’s eyes. This was pretty gross, and I was paired with Mia. It was quite hard for us because we hadn’t ever dissected anything in our lives. One person had to hold the eye, while the other one cut. This required lots of collaboration, and if we didn’t communicate with each other well, there was a chance of being cut. Here is a picture of Mia and I dissecting the pig eye.


For one skill that I could work on, I chose organization. Organization is being able to take care of yourself, without forgetting anything.

If I were more confident in my organization skills, I will leave all of my books and materials in my locker, only bringing home what I need for homework and studying. This would eliminate me from carrying such a heavy bag home and back to school, and it would be more healthy for my back. I don’t do this, because I feel that I might forget something, then have to rush it in the morning at school. One really heavy that weighs down my bag is my Japanese folder. Having better organization skills would help me most in this subject. This is how much I carry around each day. Today, my bag was quite light, though when I have more subjects in which I have multiple textbooks, it can get very heavy.

Mining for Our Devices: Where does it all come from?

The iPhone 6s 32 GB

The iPhone 6s 32 GB is produced by Apple. In Japan, in costs 61,800 yen. By creating a demand for these devices, we are causing Apple to source materials like tin, tungsten and tantalum. Since February in 2014, Apple follows and promises to follow a conflict-free material guarantee in their devices such as iPods, laptops and iPads. Tin is used in solder, which is pretty much a metal glue that is used on the inside of your iPhone to keep parts together. Tungsten and tantalum is both used in the electricity/ battery area. Tungsten is used for prolonged battery life, and tantalum regulates how much power is going to different parts of the phone. For example, when you open the camera app, tungsten will allow tantalum to take power to the camera to allow it to take the photo or video. These materials are used because they are the best at what they do. At least from the materials that we know of.


What Are the Impacts of Using These Materials from the Congo?

  1. Economic:
    In 2014, Apple has made a promise to all of their customers that they wouldn’t be getting tin, tungsten, gold or tantalum from war zones in The Congo. This had a economic effect on our world because Apple is the biggest and most widespread electronic company in the world. Now that they have gone conflict zone free, more people will follow in their footsteps and hopefully, become conflict-free. With more electronic companies becoming conflict-free, there are less children and forced workers working in mines for no profit.  

    2. Environmental: 

    When we don’t recycle our old phones and electronic waste (e-waste) properly, it can end up in landfills. Almost all of our old electronics end up in places like these due to poor regulation, law and people not knowing about how to properly get rid of their old device. If they do end up in landfills, the materials and leak into the ground water sources. But if you do have an iPhone that you want to get rid of, instead of just throwing it away, Apple has a system for recycling old iPhones on their website. Here is the link.

    3. Safety: 

    Though the use of these illegal mines run by armed military groups in the Congo in decreasing, there are still some left operating under the law’s radar. By creating a demand for these materials, the people that are working in illegal mines are forced to work long hours in abysmal conditions, which is very unsafe. Also, the military groups who run the mines have horrible punishments.

    4. Government: 

    The problems connected the use of conflict minerals has lead the American government to create new laws such as the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act. These laws are pushing the US based electronic companies to prove that they are moving towards not using conflict minerals and at the very least regulating their use of them.

    5. Economy: 

    Since U.S regulations of conflict mineral use have been put into action, the armed military groups controlling the mines in the Congo have reduced or disappeared significantly because of less demand from their mines.

    What Can You Do To Stay Away From Conflict Materials?

    To stay away from funding the armed groups in the Congo, we can purchase, raise awareness, donate, talking to companies and finding alternatives for and to companies that don’t source elements like tin, tungsten and tantalum from those mines.

    1. Purchasing: To help stop the use of conflict minerals, we should move away from buying electronics from companies that use conflict mines. Instead, we should buy from companies like Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Acer, Intel and HP. These companies are making good progress on going fully conflict-free.

    2. Raising Awareness: By raising awareness about the cause of military controlled mines in the Congo, more and more people will want to help in any way they can. You can do this by making flyers to put around the school, asking your IT department about what they think about conflict minerals and in general telling people about the cause.

    3. Donating: If you can’t raise awareness or purchasing from a different buyer, donating money to a campaign that already exists is a great option! Though there are many sites that you could donate to, the people behind the ‘Enough Project’ seem to be very passionate about the cause. If you do donate to this fund, the money will be going to helping the children get out of those mines and improving their lifestyle.

    4. Emailing Companies: Though many companies are going conflict free, there are still some that haven’t. If you want to change those companies, you could send them polite emails asking them things like ‘Where do you source your gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten for your products?’. The more people that send emails like these, the more the company will think about going conflict free.

    5. Finding Alternatives: A reason some companies use these conflict minerals is because they do something very well that serves a purpose in technology. You might want to do some research on alternative materials to these expensive materials. If you do find some options, ask a science teacher at your school about how to make the material, then if you have time, try it!


    Apple. “IPhone 6s 32GB スペースグレイ.” Apple(日本). Apple Inc., 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

    Desjardins, Jeff. “The Extraordinary Raw Materials in an IPhone 6s.” Visual Capitalist. N.p., 10 Mar. 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.


    Apple. “Apple – Specialized Disclosure Report.” Apple – Specialized Disclosure Report. Apple USA, 29 May 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

    @medwechuk. “IWaste: The IPhone Environmental Impact – Orchard | Blog.” Orchard | Blog. N.p., 06 May 2016. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

    By Sasha Lezhnev and John Prendergast | Nov 10, 2009. “From Mine to Mobile Phone: The Conflict Minerals Supply Chain | Enough Project.” Enough. Sasha and John, 2009. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

    Business and Human Right Centre. “Implementation of US Dodd-Frank Act Rule on Conflict Minerals: Commentaries, Guidance, Company Actions | Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.” Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Business and Human Rights Centre, 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

    ThinkProgress. “9 Things You Need To Know About Conflict Minerals.” ThinkProgress. ThinkProgress, 04 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

    Enough Project. “Conflict Minerals Company Rankings | RAISE Hope for Congo.” Conflict Minerals Company Rankings | RAISE Hope for Congo. Enough Project, 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.


Expedition Reflection

The activities that I enjoyed the most were mountain biking, rock climbing, talking to my friends and just being outdoors.

I did well at not going to bed too late, managing my luggage and packing the right things for the day.

One of the challenges that I faced was when I was going mountain biking and I had to stop a lot and wait for the rest of the group. For me, it was hard not to be anxious to get going because I like to go fast.

I learned that everybody has different needs, and that to work in a community you can’t judge anyone, and we all have to be flexible enough to change for different people and what they want.

Over the expedition, I grew more community minded because normally personal space isn’t a problem for me, if I want to be alone I can just go upstairs to my bedroom. But, over camp I did notice that living with your friends for a week can be difficult, because sometimes you might want quiet time, when your friends want to talk.

Expeditions are an important part of being in middle school because doing something different with your classmates might make you learn something about them that you didn’t know about before. Maybe you find out that someone you’ve never talked to before likes the same things as you.

A thing that I’m going to work on for the rest of the year is being understanding of others. Especially in sports. Sometimes I get a little frustrated when I get paired with somebody that doesn’t have the same skill level that I do.

Dragon Days Reflection

Designing our project was fun because I could collaborate with a pretty big group and we could be creative and brainstorm an idea that cold help the school.

I liked working in my group because we all had cool and different ideas and when we chose which one to use, it was often creative and interesting. We also all had experience in things like presenting so we could say what worked and what didn’t work from past experiences.

I think that I used communication and creativity quite well because I was coming up with ideas and then sharing them with my group to see if we could tweak it to make it even better.

One of the great moments along the way was when we were trying to land a bottle for our presentation and I landed one from the loft stair area. Unfortunately, we decided that I could have a few practice throws before we started filming.

One thing that I learned from another group was that you can never be too colourful. Most of the groups with big and colourful posters got a lot of people to come to their tables.

If I did this again I would do the same thing that I did today except make a giant poster to hang above our booth that way people would come and then we could start a conversation with them about our event plan.

I think that one place I helped with the most was the organisation of the slideshow and where to put the videos.


Kai W Art Reflection

I chose to draw my mom because I think she is often very happy an always smiling. She is important to me because she does so much for me and without my mom, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now. She has always been very supportive and I chose to express my ideas about her through colour as a happy and amazing person. I find that my mom is a type of person that is almost always happy and smiling. There are things that make her extra happy but my mom is naturally very positive. She is very supportive of me for example, she knows that basketball means a lot to me so, she came to all of the basketball games she could, and after the game she would talk to me about it even though she doesn’t understand the game very well.

The two pictorial elements I used in my painting were colour and facial expression. I used light and happy colours corresponding to the way I think about my mother and her personality. I used lots of bright colours to show happiness. I really like how artists use a kaleidoscope of colours in their paintings to represent an emotion. If it’s a sad painting, the artist might use dark colours. My other pictorial element was facial expression. I tried to shape my mom’s mouth into a wide smile to show that she’s a overall positive person. I also used extra bright colours on my mom’s face to make it look like she was very happy and smiling. The style of painting that influenced me was expressionism. This influenced me in two main ways. It changed the way I spread out the colours. Instead of having all the colours in an order and having them organised, I randomly selected places to put bright and happy colours. I noticed that a lot of famous artists did that with their paintings. It also made me want to have a more diverse set of colours on it because I noticed that I liked the paintings that had different colours everywhere because I could learn more about the emotion and thought put into the painting.

Fining a Symbol and What It Means

My symbol is sunglasses.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 9.58.40 AM

I think that sunglasses represent power in movies because whenever there is a top person of a association or anything, the leader is often wearing sunglasses. I think that this represents power because it is being secretive. The sunglasses are somewhat hiding the person’s face. People that are very important don’t want to be seen so if they wear sunglasses, it will cover part of their face. Sunglasses cover your eyes. People wear sunglasses to cover their eyes meaning that they don’t want people to see their emotion. It is hiding the truth about the person. It is often the bad guys that wear the sunglasses. It’s mostly when the person is preparing themselves when they are about to do something. When they have to put on a tough face, they are using sunglasses as a protection layer from people seeing his emotion. It is part of staying strong.

French Answers Thursday, May 12 2016

The relationship between the two people is that Mme Pelletier is Julie’s mom.

They are at the school supplies store.

She had get a calculator to translate in English class.

Mme Pelletier’s main concern is spending too much for school.

I think that it’s completely reasonable because going to school with a backpack is expect