STEM Project reflection


  • How my project was successful/not successful -e.g. What went well and what didn’t

During these three weeks, we’ve been working on our science crest project, which includes the final product, bibliography, and working process. I consider my project a half success. The positive response is I improved my time management skill during this time and what my final project achieved is really close to my initial plan. The tasks are separated according to sections, I started with a single section a day, so I finish the whole project just two days before it is due. It provides more time for me to revise so I might continue to use it in other subjects as well. One thing I can improve is put the research results into my own words. Indeed, I spend most of the time researching, the process of selecting the useful sources already took a lot of energy from me. To revise it, I can try to combine several sentences into one and revise a little next time.

  • What have I learned through this whole process? – science and personal skills

Through the research process, I gained a varied range of knowledge of dinosaur engineering, as well as the broader implication of genetic engineering in the future. It is also a chance for us to adopt new application skills, such as building a computer simulation. One of my classmates used Minecraft to build an architecture model, which is really intriguing. The real goal of these studies is understanding the relationship between genetic change, development, and anatomy that underscored one of the most wonderful evolutionary transitions of all time. Moreover, the improvement of my time management prevents me from procrastinating. Overall, this project brings a lot of positive benefits to me.

  • What impact might the results of my project have on other people/the wider world?

The aim of my project is to examine the possibilities for humans to recreate dinosaurs and other extinct animals using genetic engineering and evaluate the ethical decision behind it. The wider importance of it is what is the future trend of genetic engineering and what can the development of this technology bring to humans and the earth ecosystem? Hopefully, the project does not only provide knowledge for the readers, the morality piece can also cause the readers to think deeply. Whether recreate dinosaurs is a plausible decision, both for humans and theses extinct animals.

  • What I would have done to improve my work?

Establish a more complete working system so I can better prepare for the research. For instance, categorize the sources and cites them before I closed the website. I took a lot of time on sources citing since I can not find some of the websites I used. Putting them into a doc is a more convenient way I can do to reduce extra time.

  • What should I do to develop the project in the future?

The research question was changed a little by Ms. Parker, so I should consider an appropriate research question by myself next time. Consider the broad range and research direction of it. Next time, I want to try something new next time if I have plenty of time. Maybe a computer simulation can produce more fancy products. It takes extra time for me to learn new application knowledge though…





A doll’s house: The symbolism of tarantella


  • Ibsen uses the motif of the ‘tarantella’ to communicate the evolution of Nora’s relationship with Helmer over a period of time, potentially ending with the dance. Nora learned this form of dance on a trip to Capri for which she borrowed money to help Torvald recover from his illness. Thus this dance is a symbol of recovery and happiness for them. However, the dress is discovered in ruins after Krogstad comes in and plans to destroy Nora and Torvald’s relationship which suggests the approaching destruction of their relationship. Mrs Linde encourages Nora by saying “it’s only the trimming come away here and there” suggesting that it can be “put right” with a bit of work. However, the fact that Torvald doesn’t like the sight of mending lying about which is a metaphor for their relationship, suggests that he wants everything to be perfect and cannot possibly stand anything wrong in a relationship. When Nora senses that everything is going to go wrong, she asks Torvald to tell her “what to do” keep her right as he always does, suggesting her desire for their relationship to back to being the way it was, seemingly perfect. The wildness and the tempo of her dance indicate her last wish to be her husband’s puppet and try to ‘recover’ their relationship or capture the happiness as in the moment in Italy. The tarantella is thus used as a motif to show the development of their relationship, it’s end coinciding with the end of their relationship.
  • The costume serves as a theatrical symbol for Nora’s persisting desire to obey Torvold as she continues to fulfill his requests – as Nora expresses that Torvold wants her to wear the costume as a Neapolitan Fisher Lass to the ball. Literally, this is Helmer dressing Nora up as a doll, and figuratively, Helmer expressing his control over her. Furthermore, Nora tells Ms Linde “Torvold can’t stand the sight of mending lying about,” not just depicting the extent to which Nora goes to please him, but reinforces Torvold’s intolerance of the presence of ‘feminine’ activities and unfinished, imperfect things – tying with the theme of patriarchy and reputation.

    Torvold’s desire for control and correspondingly, Nora’s lack of complicity to give it to him is expressed through when Nora practices the tarantella dance. This is in contrast to the symbolism which the dress holds – representative of the Nora’s submission to Torvold and the image they intend to present to public. Nora “snatches the tambourine out of the box … then with a bound she leaps forward.” Helmer immediately comments “not so fast!” and “not so wild!” but Nora responds she “can’t help it.” The way which Nora performs the dance is theatrically expressive of Nora’s emotions and desires via her movements, disregarding the gentle and feminine-like nature of the dance she is supposed to follow instead. Nora’s conscious choice to ignore Torvold’s comments are illustrative of her growing independence or lack of care to listen/please him.

    The costume and upcoming dance also references the time which Helmer and Nora went to Italy, as Nora says “Torvold made [the dress] for me down there.” This was also where Nora disclosed she had secretly borrowed the money from Krogstad – what the explicit conflict of the entire play revolves around. Toward the end of the act this reference is expanded upon as Nora says to herself “then twenty-four hours till the next midnight. Then the tarantella will be over. Twenty-found and seven? Thirty-one hours to live.” The theatrical event of the ball is representative of what Nora plans to do next, which she is currently scheming and foreshadows a big occurence – the build up to the ball as a metaphor to a big reveal after a countdown.

    The ball itself is also associated with formality, class, and a place of social gathering. The dance and costumes are representative of the statement which each person/couple wants to make. Hence, the ball could be theatrical symbolic of a physical place to establish image and impression to society.

Serena Williams Controversial Caricature: a racist representation?

View image on Twitter

My own response:

Others comments:

  • I can understand why some people believe this caricature is a reasonable satirical criticism of Serena’s unprofessional behaviour on the court. However, I think that it can be interpreted as highly offensive because there is a long history of racist comparisons of black people to animals- such as monkeys or apes, which this caricature does exaggerate and portray to an extent (the large arms in comparison to the body, the stomping / animalistic behaviour, the huge facial features). The context and history of racism, especially in America makes it so controversial despite the artists intentions. I think what also could enable viewers to think this is racist is that the picture contains two other white/light skinned characters in background which are drawn normally. Their lack of exaggeration to their physical features serves to portray them as rational or normal. Furthermore, the detail of the pacifier and the dialogue “can you just let her win?” could be interpreted that Serena acts as a baby – infantilising or giving her an animalistic quality – and perpetuates the stereotype of bad behaviour from dark skinned athletes or that women are overly emotional.I think the nature of caricature is that it has an inherently exaggerative quality – when it is applied to exaggerating a feature associated with racial discrimination it can be considered offensive. Context is is important so if not known, this might not be recognised as racist at all.
  • I believe that the caricature at the heart of this controversy is a reasonable satirical criticism of Serena’s unprofessional behaviour on the court (as one of the most influential players in the world). However, the racial issue being talked about in the article does not rise with the depiction of Serena’s exaggerated African features but with the blonde hair drawn for Osaka since it sends a different message: that the white have the upper hand and overpower the black people. Perhaps if the cartoonist had remained factually correct, this cartoon wouldn’t have sparked such controversy.

Visual Irony in PSA Ads

Example analysis from classmates:

Some questions about satire:

  • The ad of the child being held by his supposed mother is ironic in a way that the purpose of the ad is to inform the public that social media campaigns that deliver us a sense of goodness and charity by liking an image of an issue, making us feel as if we are doing something good for the planet, does not benefit anyone else except ourselves. The use of visual and verbal irony of numerous positive thumbs up next to a situation full of despair along with the statement “liking isn’t helping”, connects the use of social media online and how useless it would be if it was in real life, thus proving the point.
  • The Visual Irony is in the literal visualisation of likes as the thumbs up and how the way they position themselves around the struggling mother and child, they almost seem to be supporting the behaviour, when instead they should be holding out their hands offering support. This contributes to how digital likes on an image doesn’t contribute to actual help. Simply standing around someone in need of assistance does nothing but draw others to the scene, but until someone takes action the act may as well not have been done.

First stage reflection

Links to working progress:

We started to work on our project after we decided on our research question(it may change and further develop through the research process). My research question is Could we ever create the Jurrasic park? I consider it an intriguing topic and I am feeling passionate. When the movie series of Jurassic Park and the world are published, the recreation of dinosaurs in real life and the development of this technology has always been a question to the scientist. My aim is to research whether the formation of the ecosystem of dinosaur is possible nowadays or the future.

The content is mainly divided into four categories- technology/ morality/ science and exploration. I brainstormed the elements I need to know as a background under these categories in order to develop my own understanding. The final product of my project might be a poster or diagram. These two are the most interesting and attractive form that I can think about. However, when I was still selecting my product form, my feedback mates gave me some really insightful advice, such as an online stimulation. As far as I am concerned, it is pretty challenging for me to do so, I may concentrate on the quality of appearance rather than its content, so I decided to spend more time researching and developing stage.

To let it to become creative and attractive, I will revise all the useful information I gained in the first stage and transform them into a complete system. From the very first stage- the development of genetic technology to how can dinosaurs survive in the recent environment. I will add the additional creative element when I am designing the infographic and layout of my product.

One of the obstacles I met during the process is choosing the topic. From my mood board, you can actually see a broad range of topics but none of them became my final research question. I was busy wavering between all the topics presented, but the rolling snowball activities really pull me from the dilemma. I received many ideas and finally started my topic.

Outline preparation slide

Comment and questions:

  1. I really like this choice of presentation, I think it is well-fitting for your aims of the project and ties in skills from many different subjects. I wonder if you will make a diagram digitally or on paper? I think a computer simulation could extend that idea, although it might be quite challenging.
  2. I like how creative this project idea is! It’s gonna be really easy for you to be interested in and enjoy doing a project that you know is about something you really like, that’s so smart. It’s such a good idea and I cant wait to see how it turns out 🙂

Answers and thoughts:

  1. Well, computer stimulation is a really good suggestion, indeed, it will be really challenging and I do not have such experiences before. The form of the final product is the one I am most struggling with, perhaps the final product of this topic should be related to technology and logic, I will brainstorm a little…
  2. Choose the topic that you are interested in means you have more passion for research, to construct your inner ideas. That’s why I choose this topic, it is quite newfangled and it includes a broad range of subjects. However, since the inspiration came from the movie, less data are provided, most of them are hypothesis…

2020.5.13 class reflection

One moment that you think best illustrates the style of the comic overall and the mood it intends to create in the story:one intriguing feature in this comic is the chiaroscuro and the arrangement of the panel. The producer illustrates a gloomy background using shadows. We can not actually see the facial expressions. It signifies a deeper layer of the setting as well as the mystery of the troll witch to the audience. The whole story is expressed in an oppressive and odd mood due to the addition of shadows. Moreover, the arrangement of the opening panel indicates the function of the character, it quickly gives the audience an impression of the character. We can see pestle and motor on the right panels so we can infer the character has a job related to strange drug production.

One moment that you think is a particularly powerful example of comic language being used to create character/relationship:These is a list of panels that I really like. The troll witch is telling the story of a pair of sisters fighting against trolls, seems like she is telling it from the third person’s perspective. However, she is the main character – the ugly daughter in her story. It is a reflection of her action when she revealed her inner intension and thought in a third person’s story. It sounds a little bit biting to me as she talks about herself in a mocking and ironic tone. Therefore, I consider this piece of embedded dialogue triggers her act of giving flowers to reproduce beautiful babies, whether it is because she feels regret or dislikes herself. It may be a guess, but the use of colors and chiaroscuro in the comic overall well displays the mood and tone of the story.

Learning from the transition process

We mainly did three things during the transition process: complete IB subject form, select our main area of interest, and talk to subject teachers. However, I entangled the most when I was selecting the IB subjects and my future possible career.

I struggled with selecting future careers since I do not have a specific future plan yet. However, I believe many students might face this situation, and the inspiration will come at any moment during the next two years. Despite the general trend of selection, I also struggled on whether to choose bilingual instead of English B HL or should I choose art subject instead of double humanity. It all came to an end after I had a discussion with my university advisor. My selections include all the columns and it is a relatively composite package. He set me a task about visiting campuses that I am interested in before we meet next time. The subject selection process is an invariable decision that you can not easily change during the next two years. Careful choice can reduce your future pressure, whereas sloppy choices will only make people regret it. I hope I won’t regret my selections.

Another thing about the transition process is to adjust your learning attitude in order to enter your “IB life”. In other words, it means no procrastination, maintain a positive attitude even if you do not get a good score, and ask questions whenever you are confused. From the beginning of this semester, I’d adjust my learning environment and adapt to new systems, since it is completely different from my previous school system. I hope after the transition process, I already well adapted into the UWC learning system and can achieve higher in the next few years.