7th Grade Science Conflict Minerals Essay

The minerals used to build the technology used in everyday life, are conflict minerals and are associated with many issues particularly in the eastern part of Congo. The main minerals used in technology such as cell phones include tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold. These are called conflict minerals because they are mined in places like the eastern area of Congo, and are smuggled into other countries by armed groups to make the technology that you use today. Tin is used as a soldering agent for circuits boards, tungsten is used to make cell phones vibrate, tantalum is used to store electricity and finally, gold is used to coat the wires inside of cell phones and other technology. Gold is used because of its resistance to corrosion, electrical conductivity, ductility and lack of toxicity. Tin is used to coat lead, zinc, and steel because it prevents corrosion. Tantalum is used as an electrical capacitor because of its thin dielectric layer which can withstand high electrical capacitance. Finally, tungsten is used to make phones vibrate because it reduces exposure to electromagnetic radiation when radio frequencies are used to receive and make calls. All of these materials are obviously crucial for making the iPhones used today. However, the safety issues that are associated with the mining process of all these materials endanger the lives of the people mining them greatly.

There are many safety issues that are linked to the mining process of the elements listed above. These issues are affecting the lives of all the people working in the mines, which are often young children trying to earn enough to survive. The average life expectancy of a miner in Congo is about 40 years. This is partly because of the dangerous and life-threatening silica dust in the mines. In an LA Times article silica dust is described as “suffocating”. There are many pieces of evidence that prove that this is an issue, such as “…the air in the tunnels is thick with suffocating silica dust.”, “…children as young as 6 years old have worked in its tunnels.”, and “…the average lifespan of a Cerro Rico miner is 40 years.”. All of these quotations prove that the miners working in these mines are endangering their lives only to earn only a little bit of money. This is just one of many mining-related safety issues that affect all who work in these dangerous environments and conditions. And our consumption of technology that uses these conflict minerals doesn’t help the issue because the more we buy and use technology that includes these minerals, the higher the demand for the minerals, which forces the miners to work harder and produce more minerals.

Safety issues such as this one can seem too big for students in YIS to do anything about it. However, there are little things that we can do that can help the situation improve even a little bit.  YIS could begin promoting and encouraging students and teachers to recycle their technology when they are not being used anymore. We could do this by putting up posters that explain the importance of the situation and what we can do to help. Recycling the materials inside of the technology would help the situation because the more recycled minerals there are to use, the number of conflict minerals that technology companies are decreased. This would connect to the issue of mines being unsafe for the people who work in them because if more people recycled their phones, they wouldn’t have to work as much and put their lives in danger. Larry West from ThoughtCo says that “For every one million cell phones recycled, we can recover 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 33 pounds of palladium, and 35,274 pounds of copper; cell phones also contain tin, zinc, and platinum.” This goes to show how much this solution could help the problem. If the YIS community decides to do this, it will be a great step towards our technology being conflict free.


  • “Dynamic Periodic Table.” Dynamic Periodic Table, www.ptable.com/.
  • ENOUGHproject. “Conflict Minerals 101.” YouTube, ENOUGHproject, 18 Nov. 2009, www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF-sJgcoY20.
  • Merchant, Brian. “Were the Raw Materials in Your IPhone Mined by Children in Inhumane Conditions?” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 23 July 2017, www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-merchant-iphone-supplychain-20170723-story.html.
  • “The Uses of Tungsten Alloy in IPhone.” The Uses of Tungsten Alloy in IPhone-Tungsten Alloy, www.tungsten-alloy.com/tungsten-alloy-iphone.html.
  • West, Larry. “Why Recycle Cell Phones?” ThoughtCo, 23 Sept. 2016, www.thoughtco.com/why-recycle-cell-phones-1204065.

Unit 2 Art Reflection

Overall, I am quite happy with the way my project turned out. I think that I did a pretty good job at carving the actual plate, because I had no experience in the area and I was having a lot of trouble at first. I am very happy that all three of the countries that mean most to me are represented in this piece as my cultural influence. Russia is represented in the design because the pattern is split in three parts, similarly to the Russian flag. The Japanese flower motif in the middle represents Japan, and the stripes at the top and the bottom represent America, similar to its flag. All these countries are very important to me, because my mother is Russian, my father is American and I was born and raised in Japan. I feel that the placement of each these features also tell something because Russia and America are represented at the top and bottom of the pattern, and the Japanese motif is in the middle, to symbolise Japan meeting in the middle of both countries, like my parents did. For my personal interest, I chose to add “rest marks” on some of the lines to subtly hint towards music. Music is very important to me because whenever I wasn’t feeling very well, or I was just having a bad day, I would always listen to music to help me through anything that was happening to me. For example, if I was having friendship issues or I felt pressured by something at school, I would turn to music. I think I could improve my cultural influence slightly by making the Russian representation a bit more clear. I feel that if a person were to look at my artwork and analyse its cultural influence, Russia may not necessarily be something that they would come up with. I feel that I could improve the personal interest portion of this project by also making it a bit more clear. If someone was looking at it, they might think that I added it for aesthetic reasons because rectangles are not generally associated with music. However, if a person looked at it a bit more carefully, they might be able to understand the intended meaning behind it.

I am very happy with the way the interlocking aspect of my project turned out. I think that it is pretty much consistent and accurate in terms of how the lines connect with each other. I feel that the lines at the bottom and top of the pattern connect well because they create a diamond shape when you put them together which contrasts well with the smaller diamonds on the sides. I chose five of my pattern prints to be magenta ink on black paper, and the remaining four to be black ink on magenta paper. I chose these colours because I feel that they contrast well when put together. I chose to only use two colours in my project because I felt that it would add a level of simplicity but still have a standout feature with the bright shade of magenta. I feel that my colour plan is balanced and displays a good example of unity because the colours contrast well against each other and are repeated to keep a uniform look.


French Coat of Arms Reflection

I feel that this coat of arms symbolizes loyalty to my friends and family. I used the fleur de lis to show this. Although the fleur de lis shows loyalty to France and its traditions, I feel that this could show loyalty to other things in people’s lives. I chose to use black and white instead of using colors to show that I like more traditional and simple things and that I have a slightly reserved personality rather than a very outgoing personality. I put the interesting swirl design to show that I also have an interesting and fun side of me as well. The motto that I chose was “In Omnia Paratus” which“Ready for Anything” in Latin.


Art Unit One Reflection

I think that I improved a lot on my drawing technique and skills. Before this project, whenever I tried to draw any human facial features, they would look very much like a cartoon character’s eyes, nose and mouth. But now, whenever I draw facial features, there is a huge difference from what they used to look like. I also think that the way that we learned the different techniques was very effective. We watched videos that were suggested by Mr. Reed on the Art Wiki on how to draw realistic facial features. I feel like this was a very effective way of learning the techniques because you could actually see how people’s hands were moving, how they held the pencil, etc.

If I were to redo this project, I would make a point to take my time with all of the different elements and details of the process. During the project, I would sometimes feel like I was rushing particular parts so that I could catch up to the other people in my class. This made a big impact on my self portrait. You can see that I rushed especially near the mouth area because there is a mark of where I kept on erasing a bit to hard and using the blending stump a bit too vigorously. This made the paper tear, making it harder to draw, erase and blend. Another reason that I was rushing my self portrait was because I had to start over for the same reason of rubbing too hard. This meant that I had to hurry the entire process all together to catch up to where I should have been. Another thing that I would change if I were to do this project again is to watch more of the suggested videos by Mr. Reed. I feel like I was very anxious to start the work on my portrait that I didn’t practice drawing the different facial features enough to know the way to properly draw an eye, nose or mouth realistically. Although I do think that my self portrait’s facial features look realistic,  I feel like the whole thing doesn’t look entirely like me or my photo which probably means that I should have looked more at the photo than just drawing from memory. But overall, I am very happy with how it turned out.

Our statement of inquiry for this unit was “The process of artistic creation can lead to self-discovery”. I feel that the two words that describe me the most as an artist in this unit are communicator/collaborator and commitment. I showed my skills as a communicator during this unit while I asked different people for their opinion on the work that I had done and asking them how they think I could further improve the placement, shape, proportion, shadows, highlights and three-dimensional aspects of my drawing. Also, I learned that I work the most effectively when I am sitting with other people while I work and collaborating with them for their ideas and suggestions. This really helped me because it made me look at my drawing through a different perspective which helped me judge my drawing in ways that I did not originally think to. For example, one of my classmates suggested that I look at the tiniest of details such as where I should start blending and how hard I should blend. This came especially useful to me especially because my photograph had a shadow along half of my face. My first thought was that this would be an easy part of my portrait because all I would have to do is shade in half of my face and not worry about any of the facial features on that side. But as the unit progressed, I realised that it was much harder than I thought it was. In my photograph, you can clearly see some highlights on that side of my face and even part of my eye. This proved to be a challenge for me especially for the placement and shape of the highlights and my eye. I feel that I showed commitment as an artist in this unit because I persevered throughout all the things that I had difficulty with and made sure that I only produced the best work possible. Another way that I showed commitment to this project was by coming to open studio before school. This really helped me not only because I got extra time to work on the project, but it gave me a chance to ask a variety of people about my drawing like the people from other classes that I don’t work with.

*Photo coming soon!

French Textbook Answers Pt. 2

Complete this conversation between Rémy and Louise with the correct contractions with à.

  1. à la
  2. ou
  3. le
  4. la
  5. à la
  6. ou

Answer the following questions.

  1. Name three French comic books.
  2. What kind of North African music is popular in France?
  3. What kinds of activities can you do at an MJC?
  1. Astérix, Tin-Tin, Le Chat
  2. Rap et Raï
  3. Dessiner, Etudier, Faire du Sport

Listen to this conversation, then say whether the statements that follow are a) vrai (true) or b) faux (false).

  1. Thomas’ favorite activity is reading.

    2. Manon is not a very good soccer player.

    3. Thomas plays soccer a lot.

    4. Manon only likes activities that she can do with friends.

    5. Thomas and Manon both prefer to read magazines.

  1. Faux
  2. Vrai
  3. Vrai
  4. Faux
  5. Faux



French Textbook Answers


Say whether you like or dislike these things or activities.

  1. J’adore lire bande dessine.
  2. J’aime bien regarder la television.
  3. J’aime etudier le français.
  4. J’aime bien dormir.
  5. J’adore manger les frites.
  6. J’aime surfer sur Internet.

Use the correct form of the verbs to complete Vincent’s journal entry.

  1. Je m’apelle Vincent. Mes amis Karim, François et moi, nous aimons les BD et les magazines. Karim aime lire le journal. François et moi nous n’aimons pas lire le journal. Moi, j’adore dessine. Je dessine bien. Karim et François n’aiment pas dessiner. Ils dessinent mal. Ils préférent écoutent de la musique. Et ils adorent chanter!

Tell whether these sentences are a) logical or b) illogical.

  1. B
  2. A
  3. A
  4. B
  5. B

Final English Project Reflection

I think that the first graders enjoyed my story. I think this because they seemed to be very engaged in the story and the illustrations. From the first grader’s feedback , I think that next time that we do a project like this I will make the story have less words and more detail. The purpose of this project was to teach a first grader a life lesson or moral with a myth. I think that the first graders did not quite understand the morals because when I told them what I thought the moral of the story was, they didn’t seem to understand what I meant. But overall, I think the project went quite well.

English Myth Project Evaluation


Today in class, I finished my myth diorama. The project was initially supposed to be a book but I wanted to make a diorama because I thought it would be more interactive and easier for a group of people to read. I think that I used my time wisely while I was making this project because I was done before a lot of people in my class and met most if not all my expectations in my design specification. I am pretty much happy with the final piece but I think that it would be better if it was bigger. I think that the grade one’s will not be able to operate the book easily because you have to switch out the scenes and match them with the correct background. I tried to fix this problem by adding numbers to the corners so that they could match the numbers on the ground to the backgrounds. I hope that the grade one’s will like my diorama and be able to operate it.

English Myth Project: Creating the Solution


Today I worked more on my English project and I think that I am finished. Next, I will need to look at my design specification and see if I have met all of my expectations. The photos above are my finished illustrations. The first picture is the cover of my “book”. The second picture is the first scene of the story when the man is about to cut down the bamboo tree. The third picture is the second scene where the five princes are asking for Kaguyahime’s hand in marriage. The fourth picture is the third and final scene where Kaguyahime is travelling back to the moon.