Kelly Yu – Final Reflection

How did I succeed / fail?

I think we achieved success in various ways. First and foremost, we were able to implement the five specific disciplines of STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math — in our Ok Go Project. When we were planning for the sequence of our rubes goldberg machine, we took these five disciplines into consideration. For example, the robot, which we decided to use initially, was part of the Technology aspect; the basketball hoop and the dartboard was part of the Art aspect; the building of catapult was part of the engineering aspect; the magnet ball board decorated with led lights was part of both Technology, Art, and Engineering aspects ; the whole process of the assembling the materials in order to make the sequence flow was part of the Science and Math aspects. Secondly, I personally think that our teamwork was harmonious and efficient. I constantly worked my way throughout the entire process to be a good independent learner and collaborator, in order to avoid being a deterrent against the finishing of our project. Finally, I think we succeeded in that we tried. Although we encountered numerous challenges during the process, we attempted to overcome them, which we sometimes did. Still, whether we achieved our goals or not, we weren’t afraid to try and just go for it. We knew that the most important thing was to do our best, and so we did, which is why I think we were successful.

The most evident failure is that we weren’t able to finish making our rubes goldberg machine. We faced several difficulties regarding the engineering aspects, and we were running out of time. Our original plan was to showcase our final product to the rest of the student body during assembly or AMPed fair; this was cancelled due to the time constraint. It’s sad that we weren’t able to accomplish our final objective of constructing a working rubes goldberg machines, but I’m still proud of how far we reached towards that goal, and I hope we can attain it next time.

What would I do differently?

If we were given the chance to do this project once again, I would change several things. First of all, I will try to use my time more efficiently. In the beginning stage of this entire process, I feel like there were a lot of time wasted that could have been used more wisely. For example, instead of using up the entire class period on checking if a certain part of the sequence works or not, we could have also checked if the entire sequence will work together. Secondly, I would put extra effort on designing the sequence (and building the prototype), because I experienced troubles that arose due to the lack of practicality of our original design. This dilemma directly led to the lack of time and perfection. Thirdly, I would add more of technological aspect. Initially, I was going to create an animation that would be combined with the vortex, which would have been a crucial addition to the Technology aspect; however, since the glue on the vortex kept on melting, causing the vortex to fall apart, I wasn’t able to make the animation.

Overall, I really enjoyed doing this project. I learned a ton of things on the way and it has been a memorable experience. This was also my last time being in STEAM class, but I hope I can continue to do engineering in the future.

Brandon STEAM Reflection #Final

How did I SucCeeD?

We succeeded in the construction of the whole diagram and staying to our due dates however personally, my success was implanted in the completion of the crossbow while incorporating not only a mechanical front but also a design-oriented front as well.

In the previous reflection, as a smaller group, we discussed how to and committed our time to the one minute video which was finally finished. That in its self, felt like we conquered an impossible task and secured a huge success for this semester.


How did I SucCeeD?

We succeeded in the construction of the whole diagram and staying to our due dates. However personally, my success was implanted in the completion of the crossbow while incorporating not only a mechanical aspect but also a design-oriented presence as well.

In the previous reflection, as a smaller group, we discussed how to and committed our time to the one minute video which was finally finished. That in its self, felt like we conquered an impossible task and secured a huge success for this semester.


How did I FaiL?

In the first reflection, written during our less productive time during the first project, I personally discussed venturing to grow my leadership and communication skills by communicating to the group and its connection with fluidity while keeping team members on task since it was a present problem. Despite this, I believe that in this regard, I failed. For most of the time we were working, we had straggling members. Furthermore, while explaining the process to other members of the class, the people I was trying to explain to required multiple explanations to somewhat understand what I was trying to convey.

Moreover, as a group, we failed to bring forth a comprehensive product and was forced to abandon ship because of time restraints. This is really upsetting for us as individuals in the group because most of us dedicated a lot of time to the construction of this beautiful ship and when we were slightly off of the finish line, we were forced to completely release. The feeling of unfinishedness does not leave the satisfactory feeling I was expecting alike to the excitement of finishing the first part.


What would I do DifFerEntLy?

First of all, I would strive to finish the first project well before the final due date and urge others to do do the same for time itself was a huge restriction for this final portion of the project. Another notion I would change would be to make the overall project simple enough that we can achieve the project swiftly and efficiently while making it fit within the expectations of the project guidelines. Moreover, I would plan for additional time to finish the ultimate result because all throughout the project, we kept on extending our personal due date because of arising and unpredicted situations.

Joshua Kim Final STEAM Reflection

For the last few months at SIS, I have been given a great pleasure to be a member of SIS STEAM class, which I found to be one of the most fascinating courses I have taken in high school so far. Since there were no other courses with so many different aspects from a variety of areas including science, technology, math, art, etc., STEAM has been a very special experience for me. It not only made me more interested in technology and art, which I had almost zero interests before, but also taught me valuable lessons that I could apply outside of class such as teamwork, creative thinking, and designing.


Now looking back at the STEAM class, I am able to recall some of the most joyful moments and those that weren’t as good as expected. First, let’s start with good things. Through collaborating with my group members and as a whole class, I gained more sense of being a part of a community that gears together for a common goal, which in this case was an OkGo project presentation. I think this was a turning point in myself more so because in the past, I rarely participated in group projects as engaged as I was this year. I definitely think this was a good beginning for my transition although there’s still a long way to go in terms of being more proactive rather than passive. Moreover, from this class, I developed my skills in various subject areas such as technology, art, and even photography. I really enjoyed designing specific parts of the project while adding my artistic style to them. The reason why I could be successful in that may come from the fact that I am a highly detail-oriented learner. I also had a great time posting photos and videos of our progress on Instagram. I tried to post at least one photo or video every class so that I could share our progress with all classmates with great footages. Combining all the aspects of myself, I developed a strong sense of myself as an independent learner who can find a way of my own while still participating in the project as a group. I think that is a highly sought-after skill for a future IB scholar and a member of any community I may be part of later in life. Lastly, I discovered that I was able to reflect on myself pretty accurately, meaning without much fallacies. Throughout the course, I was able to go back to my old reflections and tried to find ways to improve what I was struggling on and could improve. I will continue to develop this skill in my life so that I can know what I have to improve and act accordingly.


Now is the time for my less confident areas to share: what I “failed” at. Personally, I used to find this word intimidating. Whenever I thought of the word, I automatically connected my academic and personal struggles that I wasn’t able to fix or overcome. But, in this class, I learned that it didn’t necessarily mean what I referred it to. Instead of being afraid of failing again, I think I focused more on why I made those mistakes and what I could do differently to not make the same mistakes again. Just like any other event outside of class, STEAM was also a struggle for me. For most of the time, we were virtually left at our own wills and abilities to complete the project on time without direct supervision or procedures to follow. For a person who was used to a guideline of “how to”‘s, I actually found this class to be very different from others. Not only had I created something from scratch to a minute-long sequence, but I also had not many experiences of group projects. For these reasons, I had a few clues of what I could do to be productive at all time. Fast forward to a month before now, I was in a more comfortable situation then. I could prepare materials that I needed in or outside of school, participate in group discussions at times of struggles and even share some good ideas with my group members. Other than that, I had several issues of understanding of the sequence, for which I had to be constantly reminded of what exactly I was in charge of and overcome the dilemma of blank start–a situation in the beginning where I couldn’t find a way to start working even though I felt I had some vague ideas. As a group, we made a lot of changes in connecting each individual parts into one sequence partly because we didn’t have a ton of interactions and sharing-progress-times in class. But of all, what I found to be the most challenging in STEAM was my passivity. Because I was a silent student, I think my group members found it more difficult to approach me, thus reducing the effectiveness that could come from more group discussions and brainstorming. Moreover, I honestly think I didn’t do my best to overcome my passivity and become more proactive and adjust to what was valued more in group projects. If this were an individual project, I would have had an easier time creating, designing, and synthesizing the sequence by my own. But since this was project that required everyone’s constant participation and more open-mindedness, I think I had more struggles. But now I know what I can improve on, I am certain that I could do better next time, which moves us to the next topic–what I would do differently next time.


So in the future, I would like to join more group acitvities, whether it be science, math, or art, so that I can really start to explore what I love the most. Because my previous assumptions that I were a 100% history geek met new challengers, I may have to have a greater sense that there are more things out there that I may not even have thought of. Another thing I would do differently next time comes from what I could improve on in the group project. Because now I know what consequences ineffective time management and group time could bring, I would definitely spend time more wisely and be a more active participant of any activities we do as a group. Foremost, I learned that a group project is after all not that bad as I thought before. If there is a chance like this in the future, I would definitely take that opportunity and make all the “what-I-would-do-differently”‘s come true. So thank you SIS STEAM for this amazing opportunity. It’s been a wonderful first semester here at SIS. Now for the last time, SIS STEAM ROCKS!

Paul Kim – STEAM Final Reflection

How did I succeed?

I believe I did a pretty good job of collaborating with my teammates to productively produce our sequence. I tried to continuously seek out for help and never hesitated to give any kind of support to my teammates. Also, when I was confronted with challenges, I tried to be a complex thinker by finding the problem from its root and by narrowing down the possible solutions to that problem. The best example could be seen in the process of attaching the LED lights to the pipe-way for the magnet ball to go through. I used white LED lights and 3-volt battery to lit up the way that the magnet ball was going to go through. When I connected these LED lights to the battery, some of them had poor connections or simply didn’t seem to be working. Through continuous trials and errors, I learned that 3 LED lights were the maximum capability that the 3-volt battery could hold at a time. This realization made the process much easier. Building the catapult is another example of my success. By understanding the principles of a catapult, I incorporated calculations of the height and the distance, two vital elements in making the catapult work properly. In the aspect of collaboration and complex thinking, I believe I showed a proficient performance.

How did I fail?

Even though I do feel like most of the things that I built individually or with my teammates are mostly successful, I believe we also had some failures in the overall picture of our sequence. In the team project with Kelly, Joshua, and Leo, we had some complex devices that we built to incorporate in our sequence, but we didn’t quite succeed in smoothly connecting the elements together to make our sequence flow in one. Also, due to time constraints, we were not able to finish our second and final project where we had to build a Rube Goldberg Machine with the resources we had and built from the previous team projects. On the other hand, I learned a lot from these failures and I am confident that I would certainly do better next time. We learn from our failures.

What would I do differently?

If I could do this whole process again, I want to make good use of the Sphero ball. Even though I attempted to use a coding application to control this device, I couldn’t explore the full capability of the Sphero ball. However, I do feel very proud that I used different approaches such as 3d printing and simple coding to apply this device to our overall sequence.

Final STEAM Reflection-LAURA

How I succeeded:

I feel that I took up a management role in my group during this project. Though my group was going through a rough start,  and I was struggling to painting my cool, I emphasised the importance of effective communication in my group and then we were definitely working a lot better together. During this project, I not only successfully guided my group through the project, but we/I also had a lot of success with the actual building/filming. For example, though the vortex took really long to make, it worked well and was pretty sturdy(and when it broke we were able to fix it). I think i did a really good job of bringing the best of my brainpower/ideas to the group, as well as being to problem solve easily. For example, during the brainstorming phase, I came up with as many ideas as I could, and tried to come up with ways to link them together. Another example is when we were working on the final showcase and I suggested that we should use a zipline instead of a pulley system and made it a reality. As for problem solving, we encountered a lot of obstacles as a group, but I was able to solve many by thinking logically, testing things out, and eliminating the problem area. For example, in the process of building the vortex, I had to figure out where we should place the tubes based on where the ball would come out. Whenever things wouldn’t line up due to the size of our frame, I found a way to make it flow. 

How I failed:

I honestly wouldn’t say we entirely failed this project, we just ran out of time. Also since this was very challenging, we had to experiment and fail before we could try again, and succeed with newly acquired knowledge. I feel like I personally failed at was not effectively communicating with my group at first, which delayed our building process because we were never on the same page. Another thing I failed at was also not making enough of my amazing ideas a reality, and this is something I regret. We had so many ideas of contraptions of what we wanted to make, but instead we let some things limit us. Also I feel like I failed by not finishing things for our class sequence in time. 

What would I do differently:

Something I think I should’ve done from the beginning is to have created a organised plan for the sequence, instead of improvising like we did. This would help keep us on track, and we wouldn’t  have encountered so many problems when we were filming. Also, I would have taken a different approach towards working with my teammates because I think we all got a little too frustrated and that got in the way of our project. Lastly, even though our sequence was pretty good, I would like to have made it more artistic and creative(which means instead of just making easier contraptions, I would like to experiment more and create something that is not only beautiful but also quite complex).

Final reflection-Barbara

How did i fail?

This entire project was created for us to fail. It’s been really challenging, many things went wrong in all of ideas we did not encounter one flaw we although we encountered about 20 flaws. But these failures were not completely failures more like road bumps that we went through. The one failure i would say would be that we didn’t have time to finish and showcase our work. But our “road bumps” our flaws in our building were normal and expected because you can never get anything built or done spot on in one try, we were suppose to fail in order to succeed. Our flaws that we faced were not having the right materials because there was none left or we ran out like, spray painting was not done perfectly, our ideas that we were excited about and built but could not contribute because of not connecting it into the sequence. our vortex , things kept falling, the marble would get stuck in places that we never knew would get stuck on, just little flaws like that, that made it difficult to move pass but in the end things worked out and it was not a complete “failure”, it was all a matter of time and that we did not have enough of.

How did we succeed?

 Initially there was no “I” in this scenario because throughout this semester it has always been a group effort. How we succeeded together? Well I believe that team work  is what we mastered because having 3 people in a group is hard to really get anything done as fast as we would of wanted it. With all of our corporation we managed to rebuild a a meter and a half slide vortex, and further add adjustments to make it 2 times as better. Another thing i would have to agree that we did we, was problem solving because there were many times where we initially thought of an idea and when it came to take the action, we discovered its flaws and that took problem solving. For me this is where the “i” aspect comes in because i figured myself being the one to reassure and fix things when they break or fall apart. I was the one who came up with other alternatives (building wise). I another thing i was great as was my dedication for my part, because towards the end we did split up and I felt as i was the one who would keep trying to rebuild and keep going until i was done. to be honest i never said i was patient or the most calm but i was mostly determined to keep going because i would not have been satisfied otherwise. A quick example of this that involved my determination and problem solving was when i was stacking dominoes, i had to figure out a way to save the dominions that i have already set up from not falling over so i didn’t have to restart, eventually i found a way to solve that problem after it falling over multiple times i had the DETERMINATION to try again until it was complexly done…..we had to fail in order to succeed……

what we could have done things differently?

To be fair, there are so many other ways we could’ve approached our sequence. We would of been a lot more organised with our plan because at the end we were most improvising it wasn’t easy and that resulted in us having to stay later in school because we were not, actually i wouldn’t say we weren’t organised, but we had encountered so many problems and encountered so many new things thats we had no other option but to improvise. I would change how we approached our sequence when we were setting and building for the production of our video.

Last Reflection- Sumin

To end our OKGO project, when I look back, it took us a whole semester to come to an end. Even though we didn’t get to perform it in front of an audience, I think it was pretty successful because of the effort and creativities that we’ve put in to this. At first, I, we, our group had all the things pictured and how it will turn out only looking at videos on youtube. When our group actually got to the process when we had to take it into actions, it was way harder than we thought it’ll be. Things didn’t work out easily, I had to make second third drafts, break them apart and put them all together. As I continued this, our piano got better and had achieved our goals by making our piano, which was one of the main part in our project. All the keys were surprisingly working really well, and our group members and I also decorated with covering with black paper and drew over it with correction pens. I can’t say our piano was perfect, amazing because we took a long while to finish it and we mostly had it done as it got closer to an end. However, despite all these facts and failures, our group didn’t give up and used our time effectively of what we had. I came to school earlier, stayed late and I truly believed that it will work if I think more collaboratively with my group mates and we did. Finally, we finished our steam project, with an success by the abilities of thinking collaboratively, managing my time (as we got closer to the end of the semester) and with the belief in myself and my team.

As I mentioned earlier, this project was pretty much a success for me. However, I failed a lot to step up to an end. And I think I failed in time management because the first few months we spent few month only planning out, drafting and didn’t get to work. We had difficulties in dividing our jobs so our whole group always worked on one thing all together which didn’t help. So when we got to the filming process we had a lot of difficulties because we didn’t have anything organised. The amphitheatre was unavailable because there were things going on which we should have organised it at first place so we had to find another place that we can flip and we were all falling down. We ended up coming to school earlier and filmed it in the first floor which thankfully worked out. So to conclude,  for the failure of this project was time management and organization.

If I go back time and get another chance to work on this project, I will use my time more effectively and will draft it more specific and with details. Our group had an idea of what we were gonna do but it took a long time for us to take into actions. I will also think more wisely because we only mostly contributed our effort into one sequences when we had a fill in a whole stage. I regret not doing as much since I realise that our piano was actually good and we could have taken it more from that.

After all, I am proud of our group with what we ended up and it was a fun project as my first and last steam class!

Second Reflection, Megs

How did I succeed? I honestly don’t know where to start. I think there were a lot of high moments for my group. But personally I found that there were some surprising successes. First It’d probably be the very brainstorming. I don’t want to take full credit for our design, it was constantly evolving as we went on. But I like to think that I set the tone and the basis for our project. I had encouraged a certain vibe to our sequence, drafting our very first plans. Then the further along we went the more and more the project seemed to fall apart, I had contributed to reworking the plans, re drafting, re writing. But my main success I think was when we had to plan for the rest of our sequence, after the piano was constructed. I had to catch up and work on the rest of the aspects of it. Even though we got behind with this, the lights, the drums, I still tired to pull ahead and work on them as soon as possible. I know our time management was not the best but personally, I feel I succeeded in creating a vision and charging ahead to fulfill it. I had even come to school early and stayed late just so we could film. I feel that even though I hadn’t really contributed to so much of the physical work, and was refined to smaller aspects, I was in charge of the vision and the problem solving. And I feel I definitely brought it in that department.


And what did I fail in? Well, that parts easy. We had come up to several bumps in the road. It got especially bad when trying to film finally. We changed our choice of venue from the amphitheater it’s self to the whole first floor. We had to accommodate the newest part of the sequence. We came to school early, stayed late. We were panicked. I think the major thing we failed with, me in particular was time management. I didn’t really prioritize the project as much as I should have and set it on the back burner, which hindered our project production a bit. I didn’t do too much of the heavy work the main aspects until the final weeks. I was preoccupied with the piano and the prototypes I didn’t pay too much attention to the main sequence or seeing if everything would work well. But the last two weeks we pooled all our strength and I personally, pulled through and did as much as I could. Even with all our small failures, the piano not working, misprinting, reprinting keys, the failure of the slide, learning the lights. All of it was sudden and I had to pull through to do my best.


Next time, what I’d do differently would probably try out new things. We stayed in a certain comfort zone and didn’t have the courage to do even bigger and more audacious things. Our sequence wasn’t outside of the box enough. I’d like to blame time and resources for it. But I can only blame myself. I wanted to make a project that was manageable and looked good, doing things we were certain we had the energy to do. But now looking at it, the piano was good, but we could’ve don’t so much. The drums were basic, easy, inventive, but basic. We could’ve done so much with the time and space but at the time of drafting I missed the mark and realized before it was too late I could’ve made it so much more spectacular. I’d like to go back to the drawing board and just try to come up with a sequence that made people say “Whoa” I underestimated my team and myself. I could’ve pushed further. But I am happy with how our sequence turned out, I’m happy with my efforts in the last two weeks, I’m happy with my vision and my music and my sequence coming to life. And I am very very happy with my team.

Javier Vaquer Final Reflection

How did I succeed and fail?

In steam class this year I succeeded by focusing on building the ramp and letting my other group members focus on the piano. The ramp was one of the most important things of the sequence. The piano also turned out really well and really good looking cause they painted it. I failed in steam this year by not using my time wisely and doing everything the last minute. The first months of classes we didn’t do anything cause we thought there was so much time but in the end, we ran out of time and didn’t have time to perform it. That was my fail in steam this year if did it again next year I would have used my time wiser.

What would you have done differently?

If I did it again next year I would use my time wiser instead of fooling around at the beginning of the semester. One thing that I would have changed is the video project, I think the video project was a waste of time and that we should have spent all the time preparing for the final presentation instead of spending so much time in the video. If we would have done that then we would have had enough time to prepare for the presentation.


STEAM(okGo Project) First Reflection

So far in STEAM, my group has made 2 and a half prototypes(and  sketched out many ideas). We started with the brainstorming process. We jotted down all out our ideas on a big sheet of paper and from there we picked out ideas that we thought would be a good fit for our filmed sequence and developed them further. By this I mean sketching them out, labelling parts/materials, and writing the steps.

The sketch for our “Vortex”

The two parts of our sequence that we have made a prototype of are the automated crossbow and the “Vortex”(Its a collection of different tubes at different heights that balls of different sizes will go through). We had brandon make the crossbow since he is the expert in archery.  meanwhile, me and Barbs started working on the  “Vortex”.  This was quite challenging even though it was prototype because the parts had to be in a specific position for it to work. Lastly, we started working as a group on our small scale sequence plan.

We built our prototypes out of what was available in our classroom/school. This includes cardboard(very useful), tin foil, wooden sticks, string, and a glue gun(also very useful). We also used scissors and a small saw. As for our ideas, our number one source was our combined brains and creativity(though we did also look at Pinterest and youtube). It is very likely that we will be using all those materials as we continue this project.

Even though we’ve had our struggles, I am proud of the work we’ve done so far.  Even though it can be messy, our group is doing a good job because our work includes details. I also really like the ideas we come up with our combined creativity. Another thing I like about our group is the fact that being creative also helps us solve problems that we encounter along the way.

Designing a sequence is definitely an exciting project because we have a lot of room for creativity. Creating a sequence of reactions is definitely something I’ve daydreamed about before(it makes me think of Home Alone), but I never realised how frustrating and challenging it would be. The most frustrating thing is finding a way to link our different reactions together. The key to overcoming these frustrations is to just spend time brainstorming possibilities and talking them through with your group. Building a prototype is a bit easier, since we are building them based on the designs we made. However, when something doesn’t match up or doesn’t work like we wanted it to, we ask ourselves a lot of questions like “Why doesn’t this work?” and “What changes can we make in order for it to work? ”. In my opinion, communication and questioning are essential for our project to be successful.

From now on, one thing I think we really need to work on as a group is to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to the ideas we’ve developed. What I’ve found out while working with my group for this past month is that there are always misunderstandings between us. This is because when we come up with an idea we don’t explain it/talk about it enough, therefore, we all have different perceptions of the idea. Continuing the process this semester, it would great if we were all able to have the same ideas in mind.

One thing I’ve noticed about myself as a collaborator is that I tend to take charge/ leadership of the group. I try to get us going, and ask questions to provoke more in depth thinking(on the behalf of all three of us). When we encounter difficulties or disagreement, I try to motivate my group mates to get past them. As a designer, I always try to think outside the box, but I am also reasonable to an extent. I also think that the theme/ overall look of our room is a very important aspect of the project. As a learner, I find that I process information a lot better when I see it written down.

I work differently from my classmates when it comes to the organisation or prioritisation of tasks of the project. For example, though some may disagree, I think it is better to have the whole sequence figured out before starting to build. That way, we can prevent any mistakes later on when its too complicated to change things.

As for a personal goal, I would like to work on trying to manage the work load better, and being done with things on time. I think to do that, as a group we need to already plan what we will be done with by the end of next class. Also we need to be able to come in during our free time to continue working if we’re not on schedule.

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