Category: Science

Bottle Or Tap? – The Story of Drinking Water

Do you drink bottled water? Or do you drink water right from the tap? Sometimes, countries do not have clean water coming from the tap, but most countries do. So why do people still drink bottled water in the USA? And why are people scared of drinking tap water even though it has been proven to be safe to drink? And how exactly is bottled water made and recycled or dumped? We’ll take a closer look now.

20140513-170851.jpg
Photo Credit: Musician’s Muse Via Wikimedia Commons

I first got interested in bottled water VS tap water when I watched a video on youtube called “The Story Of Bottled Water”. It showed that bottled water isn’t always as clean as it claims to be, how the bottles themselves are created and other main points that water companies don’t tell you! Large companies make us buy bottled water by doing two things, scaring us and seducing us. On the Aquafina logo, there is a picture of the sun and large mountains, but guess where aquafina’s water comes from? The same place tap water does! But the cost can be up to 1,000 times more! That is how these large companies seduce us into buying their products. They also scare us, by saying that tap water is unclean, or showing us “tests” in commercials. Which are sometimes completely false. Also, did you know the Americans produce 1 billion bottles of water a day? And you finish 1 within 2 minutes? Is such a waste of bottles necessary?

Another reason tap water is much better than bottled water is because bottled water just might not be as safe! From this article on the Daily Mail, I learned that bottled water doesn’t go through as many tests as tap water does. So your very own tap water that you are scared to drink, might be healthier than the expensive bottled water you buy! This was actually proved in a study by people in Cleveland after a water company publicly stated “At least it’s not Cleveland’s tap water!”.

20140513-170826.jpg
Photo Credit: Eubulides Via Wikimedia Commons

So where do the bottles themselves come from? From this post on WiseGeek, you can see that plastic bottles come from fossil fuels, which are a non-renewable material, and the plastic that it creates, can never decompose when it is put in a landfill! So think about how the bottles themselves are made, not very Eco-friendly huh? So say that you recycle them, what do you expect? That they be turned into plastic bottles again? WRONG! In the US, they get taken to India, where they are turned into smaller parts to be dumped into another landfill. And in Hong Kong, it gets turned into bricks to build more buildings and destroy more animal habitats!

20140513-170839.jpg
Photo Credit: Ranveig Via Wikimedia Commons

Some people say that bottled water is cleaner, but that is just how it looks on the outside. Companies decorate their bottles to make them look nice, but is a beautiful bottle that you’ll drink out of for 2 minutes worth all that trouble to the environment? Companies buy land to drill oil and take water from, which highly impacts the living standards of various animals and plants. The life quality of animals is terribly changed in those areas.

We have to act now to make our world a better place! If we stop drinking bottled water, factories will stop creating them and emitting poisonous gasses that create air pollution and acid rain which causes water pollution, and if we stop the factories, will there be any more people drilling for oil and disturbing the animals’ way of life? No! Let’s work together to make this world a better place, and we can start by saving money to drink tap water! It’s a win-win situation! People have to stop drinking bottled water if we want various issues to start to stop! Even one person can make a difference.

So, if you don’t trust we now, this article from The Good Human will probably convince you to. Because we have to stop bottled water. Just by refusing to drink bottled water for a day, you save some fossil fuels, and if everyone stops for a day, you would have saved enough oil to power a million cars. So think about it. Just think.

Lantau Trip 2014


A Slideshow Showing All Of Our Great Memories

For the last 2 days, I’ve been on Lantau Island with the rest of the 5th Grade. We went to Lantau Island to disconnect with the city, and learn more about the environment, and the issues that the environment is facing. We stayed at the YWCA Sydney Leung Holiday Lodge and went to Mui O and Pui O. Our guides were from a company called Ark Eden, which is a charity dedicated to preserving the nature, but also offer tour trips in Lantau. I was part of Group B, which didn’t have my best friend in it. I was slightly disappointed at first, but I forgot about it after the first few minutes! I did a LOT of stuff and I want to share some of the great memories with you!

Leaving SIS
Leaving SIS

Pui O
After going through customs, we (Group B) went straight to Pui O. Pui O is an amazing place, and is inhabited by… WATER BUFFALOS! They were everywhere! Originally, the buffalos were imported from Vietnam for farmers to use to grow rice. But when the farming stopped in the 1970s, the buffalos were set free and now roam around Pui O. They are fed by the locals, but they also find food for themselves. One group of buffalos has Billy the cow, who was saved years ago from dogs by locals, and thinks he is a water buffalo. I got to pet Billy, which was really quite fun.

Billy The Cow
Billy The Cow

Our guides for the day, Tom, Sue and Dina split us into groups when we got to a saltwater marsh. With Tom, we learned about the berm, which is a group of plants that hold the soil together near the beach, and start the freshwater marsh. The berm was very interesting, with strong roots and defense systems in each plants that held the soil together, and didn’t let the tides destroy the marsh. Dina taught us all about Water Buffalos, and with her, we learned about how they group and about their different habits. Dina knew a lot about the buffalos, and what she said was really interesting. Finally, we looked at birds with Sue, and observed them to see what kinds they were.

Visiting The Berm
Visiting The Berm

We then went to the beach, and we had a BLAST! We changed into our swimming gear and ran straight into the big ocean. It was fantastic! We had a water gun war, boys versus girls, and we won! But the girls falsely claimed that we “quit” and that they won! How crazy is that!?

The Beach
The Beach

We then went to the saltwater marsh to look at fiddler crabs and fish for other marsh animals. When we got there, something WILD happened! Two buffalos ran into each other and started fighting either for territory or for females. They crashed and we had to slowly walk away, but they ended the fight shortly afterwards. Dina and Sue then took us into a Mangrove forest, and we saw a few fiddler crabs. The males had 1 gigantic claw! We then fished for tiny sea animals with Tom, but we let them go because we were observers. I saw a lot of tiny animals and netted a few too! When we had to go, Tom suddenly licked a piece of poo after someone dared him to do so, which set everyone on a wild frenzy!

Finally, we walked past a river to a mountainside area. Where we again split up. Dina told us about various issues the buffalos and cattle of Lantau were facing. One of them was that people were crashing into them and blaming them for the car accident, which led to the government taking a group of cattle to Sai Kok and a group from Sai Kok to Lantau. The cattle are now in critical danger. Tom and Sue took us up a quite steep path to a little abandoned rice plot, and we learned about 3 kinds of native trees. They were very cool.

Afterwards, we packed up and went back to the YWCA camp!

The YWCA
The YWCA Sidney Leung Holiday Lodge was an amazing place to spend a night. Although we had to make our own beds, it was a really cool place. We all sat down on a row of steps to hear who was in our dorm, and it felt slightly like a game show because whoever got the key was “the lucky winner!” I got put in a room with Jackie, Bryan, Brook, Boey, Long, Alex and Hoon. After making our beds (we’d find out we did it awfully wrong), we put together a shower schedule and after that, everyone went to play British Bulldogs, which is an awesome game.

We had dinner in the dining hall, and although food was quite good, there was not quite enough. We had to share average sized plates of food, but it was just a fun time to chat and relax. I learned that I was going to “die” the next day, and meet CHARLIE THE POOPING GIRAFFE! And afterwards, we watched A Bug’s Life. It was a good movie and all was great… Until what I call DOOM!

Eww Boey!
Boey Trying To Touch Jackie After Licking His Hand

We went back to our dormitories and we all found a way to chat through the balconies. Some people even climbed out to get into other people’s rooms! But we slowly got tired and Mrs. Huiet had to come over and teach us how to make a bed! I read with a flashlight for a while afterwards but I got bored soon, so I stopped, and the first cry came… Alex was slightly sobbing because he missed his mom, but he stopped quite soon, until someone bursted out crying like a pig’s cry! I tried to find out what happened, but I was too tired to really care.

“Wake up… Wake up Felix! Brook is singing We Are The Champions!” Is the first thing I heard that morning. Alex woke me up but Brook’s loud singing woke up everyone in the dorm room and everyone else in every other dorm room! We had 3 people walk in and shout at him before 6:00! I thought about taking a shower, but I decided against it to count how many more people would come in!

In the morning, we cleaned up our rooms, and I did someone’s bed for them! People were “tired”, and didn’t want to do anything! I chatted with Devon and other people through the balconies, and learned that we had allegedly talked about “gay stuff”. And people were listening to us through the wall. I found that it was strange that they couldn’t name ANYTHING we talked about other than “gay stuff” and said that they didn’t know who said what. Just strange… I turned around and saw Jackie, and he tried to get me away by sticking out his tongue at me, and I pouted to make him go away, just for Brook to try to push us together! We ALMOST KISSED!

Afterwards was breakfast, and it was quite fun, except people were all obsessed with the toast and everyone finished up ALL of the two loaves on each table! I made a ham sandwich and I liked the tasty butter! I really loved the YWCA, but going to Mui O afterwards was even better!

Mui O
The next day, we packed everything up and went to the beautiful seaside town of Mui O. We got new guides, Jasmine and Kristen. They took us to a horribly polluted beach filled with trash from the great pacific trash patch. We wrote down the things we picked up for the ICC, or International Coastal Cleanup. We put our trash into one giant recyclable trash bag, and I got to be the person who recorded what we got.

Beach Cleanup
The Beach Cleanup

We then took a long, long hike up to Eden Rock, where Ark Eden is based. Did you know that poisonous caterpillars were extremely distracting when you’re trying to listen to someone about a gigantic hill you are about to climb? Well, I found out that very day. At Eden Rock, we met Ark Eden’s 8 dogs. I only remember Lucky, Spicy, Smokey, Belle and Radar. The other group got to walk them, but we didn’t. Now, to the interesting part! Jasmine told us to gather and she explained how we would go up the mountain to plant trees. At that exact time, poisonous caterpillars decided to start swinging from trees, and it really distracted our conversation!

“Ok… I’m going to die now.” was what I first thought about when I saw the dirt path leading up to the slope we were going to climb! It was so steep! I walked, or stumbled up steep paths, held ropes to climb up rocks, and even jumped across someone’s grave! The part with the rope was extremely hard, especially when we were stumbling down! The roads at the end were the worst! You had to run down because it was so steep and there was rain and mud EVERYWHERE! When we got to the top, Jasmine showed us how to plant a tree from saplings using Aaron’s sapling. We had to take the plastic sheet off, pour fertiliser into the soil, put the tree in, and then add mulch, which is just dead weeds. The views were spectacular though! I found that this was actually quite fun, but I didn’t think so when I was half falling down from the mountain when trying to go down! I had to get help from Aditi! But when I finally got down, I realised that I had actually done it, and I was so, so proud!

Planting Trees
Planting Trees

We then walked back to Eden Rock to learn about the Eco house, and go composting. We split up into 2 groups, and 1 went with Jackie, an old lady who works at Ark Eden, and the other went with Jasmine and Kristen who taught us how to compost. I went with Jasmine and Kristen first, and we went to see Charlie The Pooping Giraffe, who was actually a severely limped pig. He was limped because when he was a pet, he was taken up the mountain every day, which pigs aren’t supposed to do. We then learned how to compost, and it is surprisingly easy! All you have to do is get leaves, weed and some buffalo poop (which can be replaced). You pile them up into a container, and then you’ve got yourself a compost bin! With Jackie, we went to see the Eco house, which is a house made with recycled materials, and uses as eco-friendly products as possible. There, we found different labels about 5 main points that they used to determine what to do with the Eco House: Energy, Food and Water, Waste, Eco Products and Greening. The house had a lot of interesting things, and we were introduced to Soap Berries, which are berries that when rubbed with water, produce a soap like substance. We then had a little chunk of a sweet organic desert, and left for home! We really had a great time in Lantau, and we demonstrated all of the ESLRs, by really acting mature and appropriately.

Learning How To Compost
Learning How To Compost

The Eco House
The Eco House

My Student Led Conference

Last Friday, we had a student led conference, which is like a parent conference, except it’s led by students! I had to create a keynote that showed my learning to my parents, which was quite fun to do. I also had to find pieces of work that I worked on during the year, and I also had to talk about my goals that I set at the beginning of the year, and set new ones for the last weeks of school. Boey and I sort of worked together because we gave each other ideas for what to do. 

Mainly, I talked about what I’ve learned this year, I also talked a lot about having the oppotunity to have a blog, and more importantly, a school issued iPad, at such a young age. I also talked about my goals. My original ones were to make 1 true friend and to double check my work, which I often fail to. I achieved these goals, and is set 2 new ones, the first one was to learn 5 more complex ideas of physics, but I would like to know more especially about quantum physics. The other one was to talk to people in a respectful tone, which I do pretty well. 

The conference was an overall success in my opinion because I showed my learning in a variety of subjects by showing videos I made, tests I took and my various journals. I also enjoyed just showing how school was like to my parents! I hope we get to do that next year!

My Keynote

The Water Cycle

The water cycle is a cycle in which water becomes water vapor and then liquid again. Recently, my class has been studying a lot about our planet, and we had to create something to show our knowledge of the water cycle. So I create a Doodlecast pro. I think it’s quite informational and I hope that you enjoy it! Please give me some feedback I’m the comments!

Pendulums

This week, we’ve been learning all about pendulums. Pendulums are weights that are hung from a fixed point, for example, a chandelier and a wrecking ball would be pendulums. We did 4 controlled experiments, which are experiments where 1 variable, which is something that could change the results of the experiment, is changed, while the rest remain controlled. The variable that we change becomes the independent variable in the experiment. So what is a dependent variable? A dependent variable is the result of the experiment. A trick I use to remember this is that the dependent variable depends on the independent variable. For example, if I changed the mass of the bob, which is the weight at the bottom of the pendulum, the mass of the bob would be the independent variable, while the rest are controlled variables.

The first experiment was having a penny hung to a 38 centimeter string, and releasing it at a 90 degree angle, and counting how many cycles it makes in 15 seconds, the result after 32 trials (tests) were 12 cycles, so each cycle had a period, which is the time it takes to complete 1 cycle, of 1.25 seconds.

The second experiment was changing the bob’s mass, by exchanging the penny with a quarter. But still using a 38 centimeter string, and releasing it at a 90 degree angle and using 15 seconds, the results after another 32 trials, were still 12 cycles. So the bob’s mass didn’t affect the results.

The third experiment was changing the release place, we changed it to releasing at a 45 degree angle, and reused the penny and kept the length as 38 centimeters. The results were the same, so we came to the conclusion that most of the variables don’t affect the results, but we still had one experiment to do.

The last experiment had each group having 2 pendulums with strings of different lengths. The results were that the longer the length of the string the fewer the cycles, and the shorter the length of the string the more the cycles. We then made 2 graphs, one pictograph, and one coordinate graph. I thought that the length would not effect the amount of cycles, but I was wrong. Here are the graphs for you to see.

20140407-180138.jpg

20140407-180202.jpg

And here are some pictures from the experiments!

20140409-081541.jpg

20140409-081546.jpg

20140409-081555.jpg

Digestive and Urinary Systems

Today, we showed our Digestive and Urinary Systems assessments. We learned everything by reading and watching Bill Nye videos. Mrs. Huiet showed us everything rather than just reading, which made us understand the information, rather than just memorizing it. I got generally positive feedback from my peers. They said I spoke clearly and quickly, had nice visuals, had good humor and had accurate information. I did get one wish though, it was that I spoke too quickly and unclearly, I also had a piece of inaccurate information, where I said the urine goes through the urethra into the bladder, but it actually goes through the ureter. I will be more careful with my information and pace if I have to do another assessment. I thought mine was pretty funny and interesting but I laughed at a certain point due to a funny minor edit someone put in my script.
I worked hard on it and spent a lot of time reasearching, but I should really have double checked my work. I missed some minor details that could make mine more interesting, so I will ask Boey for help, and definitely double check my work.
Here is my assessment!

Circulatory and Respiratory Systems

A week ago, we had an assessment for the first part of our science unit, The Circulatory and Respiratory Systems! The assessment was to create a video, song, presentation etc. to show your knowledge of the systems. I made a video with Doodlecast pro. I think I explained everything well and my voice was loud and clear, but my design was quite messy. I could have put the names of the systems on another slide but I put them next to the pictures, making them squished. Anyways, here is my presentation! Please give feedback via the comments section!

Science Assessment

After a long time of learning about the circulatory and respiratory systems, I made a video to prove I understood how the body parts worked together and that I understood the vocabulary. I worked alone because I thought it was quite easy. But it proved to be harder than I thought. I used Doodlecast pro because it makes my videos look very professional. Here is the video.

Measuring A Saturated Solution

Today I measured a saturated solution. The solution I used was a saltwater solution. I used a paper filter to separate the solution and some sodium chloride that couldn’t be dissolved because the solution was saturated. Then, I weighed the solution and it was 61 grams. I took away 50 because the water was 50 grams and my assignment was to find the mass of the salt in the solution, and I got 11. So my final answer was 11. I thought this assignment was very fun and interesting.

Here is a picture

20130925-150425.jpg