Sunday, March 30, 2014

Double Digit Birthday

It was my birthday and I turned TEN!!! I was so excited to become double digit!

I had so many birthday cakes that I can't remember them all. My best birthday present was Faos. She is a golden lab puppy from FAO Schwarz in NY! It's from my mommy & daddy. Faos is the sister of Sol, the chocolate lab puppy I got from Santa last year.

Did you notice my hair? I got it straightened as part of my birthday present. Thank you to all my friends who celebrated my birthday with me!

Lights Off!

Last night at 8:30 p.m. was Earth Hour!

We shut off all the lights and lit up lots of candles around the house. Because we couldn't turn on anything that needs electricity, we sat by the candles and took turns making up silly ghost stories!

Every year for one whole hour, people around the world conserve energy and protect the sea & forest by turning off all their lights and use as little electricity as possible. I like playing in the dark so Earth Hour was very fun for me every year!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Light & Sound

I made a Pringles pinhole camera obscura! All you need is a Pringles container (first eat all the chips!!), tin foil, marker, cutter, tape, and a push pin. When you look through the "camera", the image is upside down! But you need LOTS of light or go outside when it's very sunny. That was how the first camera was invented!

I also made an old-fashioned string telephone. All you need is 2 plastic cups, a push pin and some kite strings.

Make sure you keep the string very taut! When you talk into the cup, the sound waves made by your voice go along the string as vibrations and send your message to the other cup!

I learned about the anatomy of the ear and the eye through a fun website. You even get a quiz at the end!

I thought it was very cool that there're hair cells in the cochlea and they carry messages to the brain.

My favourite fact about the eye is that you need the brain to translate the message from the eye. Otherwise without the brain, the image is upside down!

I was playing with my horses and I realized that they made pretty shadows!

What are shadows? When a solid object blocks the path of light, a shadow is formed because light cannot pass through the object. The shadow changes shape depending on the direction of the light. Light travels in straight line but can be bent in a prism or in water.

What do you call light bouncing off a fact book?
A reFACTion!

Readings & Websites:
Glaring Light by Anna Claybourne
Ear-Splitting Sounds by Anna Claybourne

Friday, March 14, 2014

3.14 Happy Pi Day!

Which one is a billion: 1,000,000,000 or 1,000,000,000,000? Is a billion a thousand million or a million million? We found out from the Numberphile website that it all depends on whether you're using the short system (base 1,000) or the long system (base 1,000,000). We, in the English speaking world, adopt the short system.

For her Pi Day presentation at Wed Club, Serena tried to convince her audience that the names given to the numbers in the long system make a lot more sense. Think about it, a billion, according to our short system, is 1,000 to the power of 3 - shouldn't "bi" (as in bicycle) have something to do with 2?? And a trillion (tri = 3) is 1,000 to the power of 4, so why is it a "tri"??

In the long system, a billion is a bi-million, 1,000,000 to the power of 2. A trillion is a tri-million, 1,000,000 to the power of 3. Logical!

Watch this video to decide which system you like better!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Anne Frank - A History for Today

I went on a field trip to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre where we saw the exhibit of Anne Frank - A History for Today.

The exhibit showed pictures and stories about Anne Frank and her family and the Second World War. I really like the small model of the secret annex where Anne and her family went into hiding with the Van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer. It's hard to imagine being stuck in this tiny place for 2 years. (You can explore the Secret Annex online at

We saw some artefacts from people who survived the Holocaust. I realized that so many people didn't help the Jews during the Holocaust but the people who did were truly compassionate. For example, a doctor saved a man's life by writing a note saying that the man was too sick to work, so he didn't have to be sent to a work camp.

After the field trip, I read a graphic biography of Anne Frank. It was a very good book and it illustrated many facts about Anne that I did not know, like how she did not get along with her mom while in hiding, and that she was a very outspoken girl. Anne did not like Fritz at all! Anne had to share her room in the secret annex with him. He stayed up late and he hogged the bathroom!

The book also gave me a sense of what happened during the war and how absolutely terrible it was, especially for the Jews.

I also read a book called "Rescuing the Children: The Story of the Kindertransport" by Deborah Hodge and watched a movie called "Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport".

"Kinder" means "child" in German. The Kindertransport was a rescue mission by the British government and the Quakers to take the children, mostly Jewish, out of Germany and to Britain where they would be safe. Parents were not allowed on the Kindertransport which made it a very sad experience for everyone. About 10,000 children were saved by the Kindertransport. Many of them did not see their parents again.

It was very sad and surprising that only one out of 32 countries from the Evian Conference responded to the plea of the Jewish people.

I hope that nothing like the Holocaust will ever happen again.