Year end Reflection

I learned how to answer questions in more specific details and making sure I have evidence to prove my answers. I also learned to manage my time better and use class time more wisely and finally, I learned to organize my files in categories so my work is easier to find.


A fond memory in English class was working on my stop motion project because it was very fun and I enjoyed working on it with friends.


  • A tip for English would be to put effort into every single thing you do and take your time and don’t hand something in you are not proud of.

great chili cook off

Alyah, Naomi, Claire, Ethan.

Chili Chimps

Choosing a recipe. We needed something fast and interesting. We wanted to do something that would stand out but wasn’t to weird and complicated. We saw a recipe with pineapple on Pinterest however, it took about 3 hrs and we didn’t have that time. So we found a simple chili recipe and added the pineapple and peppers to make it interesting. We chose this dish because we thought that the pineapple was a new way of incorporating fruit into a chili. It was an original and new idea that I’ve never seen done anywhere else and thought it may give us some props for creativity. But the scary thing was, we’ve never seen this before. We didn’t know how this would work out so it was kind of nerve wrecking.

Making the chili. When we were making the chili it was a little stressful as we didn’t know how much pineapple we needed. Overall it went well and the end product was good however it took a bit to get there. Also we didn’t have a group name yet.

Judgment Day
On this day everything went pretty smoothly. We immediately got our chili on the stove to heat up and marinade the flavours together. We also got on to making our cheese braid which didn’t take much time but we waited and timed our cheese braid so it’ll be ready for when the judges arrive. We did multiple taste tests and decided as a group to figure out what spices to add and if we needed anything else. We ended up adding some water to our chili to make it less thick as well as adding chili powder, cayenne, cumin. When the judges arrived, we plated our dish and added a small amount of sour cream to help balance out the heat that the spices and jalapeño gave off as well as adding a sprig of parsley on top to add some freshness to the dish.

My Environmental Interactions

Automobile travel

In my day to day life, I will normally be in the car for only about 15 minutes. Every morning I get driven to school along with my 2 younger siblings. I don’t like that far from riverside, but it is too far for me to walk every morning. Most of the time I will pick up my friends who are walking to the bus stop but if i do catch them and we go to school together. I would be able to bus in the mornings but then my siblings do not have a way to get to school as they are younger and the school isn’t necessarily close. But on my commute home, I take the bus with my friends. I do enjoy taking public transit but there are many things that are good and bad about it.  A few things I don’t like about public transit is the fact that the buses may not even come. There’s always a possibility of it being late or not even showing up. This happened a couple times in the winter while it was snowing and i had to carpool with my friends to get back home. Another inconvenient with public transit is that it wont always take you where you need to go. For example, just this past Sunday, I went to MetroTown with my friends and we had to take a 30 minute bus and 20 minute train ride. There are some small distances that need to be walked in between averaging the commute to about an hour. But if we were to drive there, it would only take about 20 minutes. Taking any form of automobile travel effects both the Biosphere and Atmosphere because the cars release nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere and the biosphere because in order to drive cars, you need roads. There has been a significant part of our wildlife and forests cut down to make these roads.

Exfoliation bead use

I used to use an exfoliator that had small plastic beads in it that claimed to help your face be smoother and softer but that wasn’t the case. These small beads are being flushed down our drains and into the ocean. They are known to be made out of polyethylene which is commonly used in the production of plastic. Their small size makes them easily mistaken for small items that are commonly digested by marine life and because they are plastic, they will not dissolve and they will remain in either the fish or the ocean. The use if exfoliation beads effects the hydrosphere because they get released into our oceans and the beads impact the creatures living in the water. I stopped using this a while ago because I read that the micro-beads are not only bad for the environment, but also for your skin. I almost immediately switched to a more natural alternative, which was a sugar scrub.

Printer Ink

Because I am a student, I find myself carrying in my bag a lot of papers that were handed out to me by teachers and ones i have printed out myself. Printer Ink is incredibly bad for the environment because of the ingredients in the ink is harmful. Typically, printer ink is made of carbon black which is a produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as coal tar, ethylene cracking tar, and a small amount from vegetable oil. The cartilages that are used for the ink are often times thrown away and it is estimated that more than 350

million ink and toner cartridges are thrown out each year and that number just increases. The production of ink cartilages are so incredibly harmful to our environment because manufacturing a single toner cartridge releases about 4.8 Kilograms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere! A single cartridge! I find that we arent disposing of these materials properly therefor, there are hundreds and thoudands of pounds of ink cartilages that are sitting there and they can take nearly 1000 years to decompose because they contain resin which is a sticky flammable organic substance.

Using lights

I use lights everyday of my life. Without them we would be living in the dark most of the time and that is not ideal, but it wouldn’t kill us. Here in British Columbia, we get our energy from hydroelectric dams. They use the power of the flowing current and convert that to energy that we use in our homes and at school/work. I am very thankful that i have a sliding glass door in my bedroom so during the day i can just open my curtains and let in a lot of natural light

and it uses 0 energy which is great! Most of the time my lights are off but at night when the sun is down and you cant depend on the sun to provide you with light, you kind of have to use your lights. I always make sure i turn the light off when i leave a room so we don’t waste any energy. Recently we started replacing our traditional on/off light switches with motion activated ones. Its a very cool idea because if the sensor doesn’t detect movement for 5 minutes, it will shut off by itself.

Using plastic bags

In my household, we always reuse our plastic bags. When my mom goes shopping, she brings those large reusable tote bags for the groceries so that way we can cut back on the amount of plastic we use per day. We have also been using “ziplock” bags for a very long time and recently we have been buying plastic containers to keep our food in so this way we can reuse the containers. Plastic bags aren’t decomposable so they stay in our landfill and a lot of times they end up in our oceans and effects the marine life drastically. The 6 pack plastic rings from cans are a common item that gets stuck either around the neck/body of the creature or even worse, the creature will mistake it for food and becomes stuck in their stomachs as they cant digest it. Plastic bag use effects almost all of the spheres because in the production of the bags, greenhouse gasses are being released into the atmosphere, The chemicals and toxins in plastic bags will find its way to the soil which can kill off small organisms and plants living in the biosphere. And finally the hydrosphere because it may not effect us as much but more the marine life living in the oceans.

Where food is coming from

To be quite honest i didn’t pay attention to where my food is coming from until recently. I used to eat alot of processed food and things that weren’t good for my health or the environment. My family started shopping at organig grocery stores and farmers markets. This is great because farmers markets dont put their food through a huge process of ‘cleaning’ the fruits and vegetables with weird chemicals and wax coatings. Ive watched a few documentries on how we get our meats and the process is chilling. The animals are fed steroids to make the animal larger so there is more meat and more meat=more money. The animals are treated so poorly and so inhumane. They are slaughtered one by one and their bodies just roll off a conveyor belt and into a garbage bin. In these factories, they are producing mass amounts of greenhouse gasses that are incredibly harmful to the atmosphere and the biosphere because they cut down large amounts of land to make these factories.

In conclusion, i believe Humans are destroying the environment through ways such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, farming and industry, all of which produce huge amounts of greenhouse gases that goes into the atmosphere and effects the air we breath. If we want to maintain our beautiful planet, we all need to work together to do so. We only get one chance at our life on earth. So we better treat it right.







Connections-based Learning Artifacts – Engineering Brightness

Connections Based Learning

In our science 9 class this semester we were able to do many things that we couldn’t do in any other class. Instead of doing things like labs and small tests every week, we were able to help people who don’t have access to the same materials as we do. We were able to make a difference in the world and I think that’s what great about our science class. Here at Riverside, we are incredibly fortunate to collaborate with all these awesome people in the Dominican Republic and Nova Scotia. Our experience was really enjoyable and I really liked working on this life changing project with my friends.

Our group collaborated with another group in the class to create shakable lights using magnets. We decided that our group would work on fundraising money to help pay for the cost of the materials we would need to create the lights that the other group would design and create these lights. For fundraising, we created a Christmas themed photo booth in the library computer lab and it was actually really fun. Ashiana also created a video to be played during RAP to get the word out about the fundraiser. And our final tactic we used to get the word out, was through social media. We created a twitter and instagram page for out engineering brightness groups. We reached out to the riverside @rapidevent page an got them to post about our group to get more followers and to spread the word even further. We actually accomplished a lot and we were able to make a small profit. I personally think we could’ve done better on trying to get the word out and spreading awareness for the cause. Despite these feelings I have, I feel like we accomplished so much in such little time and that makes me really happy.

We did really well on collaborating ideas and working as a team to really achieve out goals. We had group chats on imessage where we were able to communicate with each other easily and quickly. We always had the proper supplies we needed and I honestly think no one has ever failed to bring the proper supplies for whatever project we were doing that day. There are a couple things we can improve on like the fact that we were trying to just do everything at once so I think if we ever do something like this again, we should try and be more time efficient.

Overall, I find the Connections-based Learning experience to be one that everyone should have the joy of participating in. In COL we are not only learning new and important science, we are able to use our knowledge to help those in need and I think that it absolutely amazing. I believe that Mr. Robinson taught it to us so well and the skype chats he was able to arrange for our class was a truly incredible experience.

How do cells multiply?

How do cells multiply?

In our science class we have been working a lot on mitosis, meiosis, sexual and asexual reproduction. We have also watched videos and listened to lessons about how organisms grow and develop whether its through embryonic of fetal development.

Asexual reproduction: Asexual reproduction is very different from sexual reproduction. In asexual reproduction, the offspring are identical to the parent. They are produced from a single organism and inherits the genes from that parent. Many organisms naturally form clones via asexual reproduction.

There are 5 different types of Asexual reproduction.

Binary fission – Where a single celled organism splits into identical copies. The parent is replaced by 2 daughter cells because it divides in two.

Budding – Some cells split through a process called budding. The offspring is smaller than the parent. The buds grow until they are fully developed nd they eventually break off from the parent

Fragmentation – Fragmentation is a form of asexual reproduction where a new organism grows from the existing organism. The organism may need to use this process if they have undergone a severe injury and need to preform this act to survive.

Spore Formation – Spore formation is generally seen in bacteria, micro-organisms and fungi. One of the cells enlarges and forms a spore sac where the nucleus divides and the daughter nuclei are surrounded with protoplasm bits to form daughter cells called spores.

Vegetative propagation – The process of forming cells using Vegetative propagation is a very different one. Special cells are found in the plants that develop into structures that form new plants that are identical to the parent.


Sexual Reproduction: When a male and female gametes fuse together to form a new individual organism which contains characteristics of both the parents, it is called sexual reproduction. There are a few types of sexual reproduction that is used throughout many different species. The offspring of the parents are genetically 50% their biological mother and 50% their biological father.


You may be wondering as I was, If the offspring is supposed to be 50% the mother and 50% the father, why don’t siblings look identical to each other? Well, to the answer is simple, your genes help to shape what you look like and even though your genes came from the same 2 people, they are not the same. Each parent passes down 1 of their 2 copies of their genes to their kid/offspring. And the copies that are passed down are given at random so they will almost never be the same.

The pros and cons to Asexual and Sexual reproduction

Pros of asexual reproduction Cons of asexual reproduction pros of sexual reproduction Cons of sexual reproduction
-Requires only 1 parent

-speed (Offspring can be created quicker and in greater amounts


-if a strand of DNA has been mutated, the same gene will be passed on to the offspring and will continue to be reproduced carrying that mutation.


-A completely new organism is created

-The organisms are able to change genetically and evolve.

-With the new organism formed, there is a chance that the offspring will not get any of the parent’s diseases



-required both a male and female which makes the offspring more susceptible to genetic disorders.

-the process of the offspring being birthed takes a long time. Ni guarantee that an offspring would even be born (still birth, pre mature)



Meiosis and Mitosis

In mitosis, this is the process of the cell splitting to create more, new cells. There are 4 main stages of mitosis. In class we use the acronym PMAT or ProMAT to remember the order. Prophase, metaphase and anaphase. However, there is 1 more step that is not included in the acronym and that phase is called interphase and it is just an important as the others.


Interphase – In interphase where there are currently 46 chromosomes, they duplicate and create identical pairs of chromosomes. The replicated DNA latch on to each other to form X-shaped chromosomes.


Prophase –  Prophase is truly where mitosis begins. In this stage, spindle fibers form centrioles in the cell and the nucleus disappears. Also in this stage, the X-shaped chromosomes stay attached and the centromere forms at the center as shown in the here.


Metaphase – Metaphase is where all of the X-shaped Chromosomes form a straight line down the center of the cell.


Anaphase – In this stage, the chromosomes move away from each other and begin migrating to opposite poles.

Telophase – The “final” stage is called telophase and this is where the chromatids or chromosomes move to opposite poles of the cell and as it pulls apart, two new nuclei are formed and the spindle fibers disappear.

Cytokinesis – Again Cytokinesis isn’t mentioned in PMAT but it is still important in the process of mitosis. Cytokinesis is where the cleavage occurs and the two cells split up making them 2 separate and individual cells. They are commonly referred to as the “daughter cells”. The daughter cells both end up containing 46 chromosomes



Meiosis may seem similar to mitosis with the phase names, but they are in fact very different. In meiosis there are double the amount of phases than there are in mitosis.

Interphase: Meiosis begins with the DNA being copied, which leads to two full identical sets of chromosomes.

Prophase I: The chromosomes become X-shaped chromosomes by fusing together with their copies and pairing up. They share DNA (recombination) and then again the nucleus disappears and the spindle fibers form.

Metaphase I: The chromosomes line up in the center of the cell and the spindle fibers attach to each  and every one of the chromosomes.

Anaphase I: The spindle fibers pull the chromosomes away from each other so now they have a mixture of genes from both parents on each side. But the pairs stay together unlike in mitosis.

Telophase I and cytokinesis: When cleavage happens and two daughter cells are formed.

The next steps happen to the two daughter cells. 

Prophase II: Each daughter cell carries 23 pairs of chromatid and they bond together into visible X-shaped structures. The nucleus membrane disappears. The centrioles duplicate and spindle fibers form again.

Metaphase II: They line up along the center of both cells. The spindle fibers attach on to them.

Anaphase II: The spindle fibers pull them away to opposite poles of the cell.

Telophase II and cytokinesis: Both cells have two new cells form within. In Cytokinesis cleavage happens and there are now 4 new cells. In males, they all have four cells are sperm cells. In females one is the egg and the other three are polar bodies. Polar bodies don’t develop into eggs.


Organism Growth

Fetal Development: Internal fertilization leads to Embryonic development which leads to fetal development. For example in fetal development there are three stages that are more commonly known as trimesters. A single trimester lasts approximately 13 weeks and after 39 weeks, the fetus is fully developed and ready to face the world.

First Trimester: In the first trimester is from week 1 to week 12. By week 9 the embryo has developed to a fetus. By this time, organ like the nervous system and heart are forming. By the end of the first trimester the fetus is only about 6cm long. Despite the incredibly small size, the limbs are fully developed. The eyelids are still fused shut and the baby’s ears are forming.

Second Trimester: Your second trimester lasts about the same amount of time from week 13 to week 26. It is in this stage where the fetus’ sex organs develop and other organs continue becoming stronger. The baby begins moving and is finally able to hear.

Third Trimester: It is in the Third Trimester where the baby is really just growing and becoming stronger and bigger. They grow hair and fingernails, their once fused eyes begin to open and close.  The baby has now come to the point where if he/she needed to be removed in the case of an emergency, the baby would be able to survive without the care of the mother.

     Pollination: Pollination is the transfer of pollen (typically a powdery yellow substance) to another plant for fertilization. Fertilizing plants is done involving the fusion of male and female gametes. There are many ways pollen can be transferred. Pollen can be transferred through bees, butterflies, moths, flies, hummingbirds, the wind and even humans. There are many pros and cons to pollination.

Pros Cons
-Maintains the race/species

-the plant does not need to create as much pollen

-eliminates bad recessive characteristics

-less immune to disease

-decrease in physical strength

-less adaptation skills

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First people’s principals of learning

First people’s principals of learning

In this chart, it shows the principals of learning. It talks about patience and time, roles and responsibilities and focuses on connectedness and reciprocal relationships.

I feel that these principles have a lot on common with our SSEP and engineering brightness projects. Here are some of the main points I find to be the most important.

  • Connectedness – While working on our projects whether it was SSEP or Engineering Brightness, we had to work together to achieve what we needed to achieve. The people in my engineering brightness group were truly great people and I feel we all connect really well. We are always collaborating ideas and talking about future plans and I really enjoy the sense of connecting as a group. I also like how we all come together as a class and connect and collaborate ideas off each other like in group discussions or talking to a teacher. I find connectedness to be very important.


  • Patience and time – Both our SSEP and Engineering Brightness projects took a lot of time and effort. Having to research the different techniques of fundraising and putting the effort to buy the supplies and trying to build something from nothing isn’t very easy. Luckily we have an awesome science teacher to help guide us through the difficult times and lead us onto the right path.


  • Recognizing the consequences of one’s actions – I find this to be important because there is always a consequence to your actions. Whether it is positive or negative, there is always something that happens after. In our Engineering Brightness or SSEP groups we always had to have the work we were assigned to us for that day or else we would fall behind


  • The well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors – In our case, this may have not benefited our land of families, but it may help the families of people in need. I liked our Engineering Brightness project because we used class time and supplies to help the people in the rural parts Dominican Republic where they suffer from light poverty. Also I found that this helped me learn that working together as a team, you can accomplish much more than what you would be able to do alone.


In conclusion, I think that a lot of the things we did regarding SSEP and Engineering Brightness relates to the first peoples principals of learning.