Waste Water Treatment Plant

On September 29th 2015, a group of students in a new learning environment called ‘Innovation Lab’ visited a Grass Island Waste Water Treatment Plant in Greenwich Connecticut. During this field trip we identified different kinds of tools that they used to make the sewage water clean. There were multiple different processes to making the water clean. First, all the sewage water with all the solid pieces of garbage went into a machine that separates the solids by the liquids. Then it the excess water moves to another area, into a different machine that cleans the water and removes the bacteria. The water is then more clear and looks like drinking water. Although, if you do drink it, you could be stuck in the bathroom for four days.

Here’s a picture of the site that we visited and all the different areas to where and how they clean the water.

In my opinion, the field trip was really interesting. Looking at all the different machines was really interesting and seeing how things work is really cool. The workers most likely think in a different way, and have different perspectives of how important our clean water should be. If I asked an arrogant person about how they felt about the process of cleaning water and if clean water in our oceans was important, I feel like they would say no. This would probably either be because they don’t watch the news or is aware of our polluted oceans. I wouldn’t be ‘that person’ that would say something like that. I care for the oceans and ever since I was little I would bring bags to the beach to pick up the garbage I find on the beach and in the ocean. Surprisingly, I found a lot of plastic in the water. This isn’t good because the plastic is just floating around ocean and it can end up anywhere. If it ends up on land, it would take about 450 years to decompose. Some bottles of plastic can even take 1000 years to biodegrade.


Useful and inuseful digital tools

For the past few days of school, tomorrow Friday September 18th will be our tenth day of school. It seems like a little bit but it feels like it’s been two months already. For the first couple weeks we’ve been using different digital tools to educate ourselves in a different way. At some points, having online resources is good; but in other points it may not be. An example of a really good digital tool I’ve used so far is the Desmos Calculator. It is basically a graphical calculator and it’s so easy to use. I actually like this calculator better because the hand held calculator has way too many steps and it’s confusing to use. Also I lost mine last year and it’s too expensive to get a new one so that’s also good. Here is what the website Desmos looks like:

ok you can make anything from functions, linear equations and so much more. You can even make shapes like this, if you know how to. I don’t I found this off of google images but this is possible:

Another really good Digital tool we’ve used so far that I like is Google Docs. I basically use Google Docs everyday. Whether it’s for my personal writing or for school work it is very useful. You can also share your documents with other people so it’s a great source for teachers to use to see their students assignments. Here is what Google Docs’ platform looks like:

Screenshot 2015-09-17 at 3.13.54 PM On Google Docs you can do multiple things. You can make a powerpoint on Ethos, Pathos, and Logos if you wanted too. You can make a spreadsheet for something or a form for something. Or you could simply make a document for your English class essay. Google Docs is also a great platform because it saves all the stuff you do without even having to click ‘save’. I really like Google Docs better than Microsoft word and I think very soon it is going to be used more than Microsoft.


An example of a really bad digital tool (in my opinion) is the Graphical Analysis app on the Chromebook that we were required to download for STEM. I think that this app isn’t very good because it’s very difficult to use and I don’t really understand it. I think for me to like this Digital Tool more, I would have to get personal help with it from a friend or a teacher because all it is, is that I honestly don’t know how to use it. Here is how the Graphical Analysis App looks like on the Chromebook and maybe you might understand why I am saying what I am saying.

Screenshot 2015-09-17 at 3.22.44 PMFor one, I’m also not very good at reading graphs and that is also another reason why I don’t like this Digital Tool that much. Another Digital tool I don’t like that much is Google Docs. I know I’ve said that I really like Google Docs, and I do so this might sound a little confusing. Google Docs is a great network to create your work and share it or just have it saved somewhere, I love Google Docs. Except when there is a reading assignment that is shared to us or a Assignment in general that we have to read and only do online, it gets really annoying.I know that now, society is moving towards technology since now cars can drive by themselves and there are hoverboards and new creations that has to do with technology but I don’t think having everything online is a good idea. Looking at screens for too long can make you tired and your eyes hurt and if you have to read and highlight and comment on articles or do assignments online it also makes it harder. Especially if you are a type of person who likes to highlight things and write notes on assignments that are in your hands rather than in front of you on a screen.

High Tech High, is a school in North Bergen New Jersey filled with kids who want a change in their educations. Whether they think what they are learning is boring or if their learning style isn’t how they would want to learn, they didn’t want the traditional learning where teachers stand up in class talking and ordering their students to take notes. High Tech High is a school that has an education that is moving forward.

In the documentary about the school, there were multiple students who had changed from the beginning of the school year to the end. This new teaching changed how students thought and changed how confident they were. Confidence in things such as talking in front of people, talking to the teachers who looked a little intimidating and confidence in themselves. Each student learned differently and had different skills in there classes. Failure + Failure + Failure = thinking and trying. The fact that one student in the movie decided to re-due his project from a failure and try, try, try again was something I don’t really see everyday at school. After he redid his project and it was successful he had felt good for a life time and put his project with the rest of the other students projects.

In this school, with the way our education works, you don’t ever see this. Instead, you’ll see somebody getting a good grade on a project, test or essay and be happy about it for a little bit. Then, you will see them throw their work out and never think about it again. In the movie one of the teachers asked some of his best students if it’s more important to ace a test or let me teach you more about how to succeed in life. All of his students said to ace a test. I think if somebody asked a group of students at our school the same question they all would’ve said ace a test too. The reason to why the students had said ace a test, was because they had said that you could learn more about succeeding in life in college but first to get into college you must ace the test. Ironic Isn’t it? It seemed as if most of the students at first believed that it is more important to pass and not know anything then fail a few times and learn a different way. I think if one teacher asked a group of kids at the GHS who is not in Innovation lab, the same question they might say the same thing; “Ace the test.”

I loved the movie, I thought it was exactly what we needed. We needed to see see something that’ll makes us feel like, ‘hey, I think Innovation lab will be as great as that’. I thought the people in the movie were scared and shy at first but then, they grew and became determined, and thought outside of the box. I hope that the same thing that happened to them happens to me; to become smarter, stronger. And possibly a student that doesn’t draw inside the lines, but out.

Here is a picture of the notes I took from the remembrance of the movie and re-watching the trailer:

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Am I Even Good Enough? #writersblock

The problems of writers block consists of one constantly trying to create a piece of work that they have no idea how to plan. Or, even know how to write.This constant thought of “I’m never going to think of something to write” leads writers to become insecure of there work and think; “Am I even good enough?”

Writing naturally comes easily to me. Except, when I actually want to write something, there is nothing to write about. I’d start something but never actually finish it. some people soon start to become pretentious, it’s not about you anymore but how you need to write something so you can prove to, not only yourself, but others that you can fight writers block. Sometimes for different people, it’s all about impressing someone. You could say, “I need to fight writers block to impress somebody”. Or, you could think like me, and say, “I need to fight writers block because writing is my passion.” Trying to cure yourself just to prove a point or to impress somebody else isn’t a very good idea. I mean yes, you might get a few high-fives or cheers from your friends but in the end you won’t feel that good about yourself if your main goal was to use your passion as a way to get compassion from other people. 

Trying to write something, whether it’s a short story or poem, when you have no idea, not even one,  to write about can be really hard. Except you should never lose hope. The last time I had writers block was near the end of 8th grade. I couldn’t think of anything to write but I figured out why. I wasn’t crestfallen or distressed, and I think those are mostly the times when I actually am successful at writing a poem. I write when I’m mostly not in a good mood or have had a bad day and I think, since I started writing in second grade, I haven’t written one poem that was in the least bit happy or cheerful. 

Every artist writes about different things. You could write about how you feel, how you see the world, the weather and maybe how pain relates to thunder. You could be a best selling author and still sometimes get writers block. No matter what you write or who you are, everyone at least experiences writers block one or two times, and that’s okay. Some days will be good days, and some day will be bad days, but every day is a new day, and you never know, maybe today is the day you will finally be able to write what you can write.  

Towers and Teamwork

Today was the second day of school, I’m part of a program at school called Innovation lab and we do different activities and tasks. Our school year will be so much more different than the regular core classes other students are taking. In STEM class today, which is math and science, we had a challenge. The challenge was to build a tower with twenty six pieces of pasta, a meter of tape, a meter of string and a marshmallow. The marshmallow had to be on the top, and you didn’t have to use every piece of pasta or the meter of string if you didn’t need it.

The point of the task was to see how tall you can get the tower with the marshmallow on the top without it falling. With my group, I learned that working together under pressure with a bunch of people you don’t know can be very difficult. Especially when you only have eighteen minutes that feel like ten. The greatest challenges I went through were getting the tape to stick on the spaghetti sticks. Our group also had trouble with figuring out how we were going to make the tower tall and where we wear going to put the marshmallow.

But in the end, no matter how hard it was, it was all worth it because we got the tower to work and still have the marshmallow on the top without it falling. It may not have been the tallest tower at 10 cm but it was a good enough height for how much effort we put in. I believe that my group also did a very good job because we didn’t fight and nobody really took over our group. We all worked together and put in our ideas and we all got along.