TOK Task #12 – Math Scope

  1. What is the difference between a conjecture and a theorem?

A conjecture is one step shy of a theorem – it is the foundation of a theorem as an idea of a rule or concept is present, but not with the full supporting evidence. A theorem, on the other hand, appears to be fully supported with evidence and at least valid to a certain extent.

  1. In THE VIDEO  Eduardo Saenz de Cabezon uses the example of people being surprised that folding a normal piece of paper 50 times, will reach a thickness as high as the sun. He challenges us to ‘do the math’ and see that he is correct. What do you think meant when he said that Maths dominates intuition and tames creativity? Do you agree with this?

A large component of mathematics is based on theorems, which are supported by seemingly empirical evidence that is deemed logical. The Ways of Knowing reason (logic) and intuition are closely intertwined, and consequently, it could be argued that one’s intuition is based on logic, meaning concepts that could be derived from (but are not limited to) ethics and morals etc. Creativity runs wild, and logic and intuition then offers a framework to the mind when thinking, for example about creative solutions when attempting to find supporting evidence for a theorem. I agree with what Saenz de Cabezon said – I agree that maths does dominate intuition and acts as an indicator of what might seem logical at a certain time, for example when answering a maths question. I also agree that maths tames creativity, as creativity appears to work collaboratively with logic to form reasonable but simultaneously, possibly outlandish ideas and evidence.

  1. Saenz de Cabezon claims that the truths in maths are eternal. Do you think this gives maths a privileged position in TOK?

I think that this statement would only give maths a privileged position in TOK if the framework of TOK revolved around believing that logic is the supreme way that humans can know and learn. This is because in TOK, we are encouraged to think about how all Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge have their flaws and strengths. I think that the claim that the truths in maths are eternal is not entirely true. There are periods of time in between trying to find new evidence for a theorem if the previous evidence was discovered to be purely coincidental in its support to the statement.

  1. List any of the knowledge questions related to maths that came out of your discussion in class.

How objective can maths be?

Should maths be a compulsory subject at school? Who should be studying it?

What is maths?

What Ways of Knowing would be most applicable to maths?

How do we determine when maths is right or wrong?

TOK Task #11 – Art and Truth

All topics can portray a “truth”, even if they are not the same. The arts and sciences are inextricably linked, as science can sometimes explain the beauty of art, and art is often used to convey scientific “truths” to the common man. Truth is the conveyance of the honest tendencies and experience of the human condition – it is not simply what happened, but how events were perceived by humans, and what impact they had on those same individuals. Truth can still be depicted even if not through direct means, as ideas can be communicated through a variety of ways. Ultimately, the quality of a “truth” is measured by its ability to allow individuals to grasp and fully comprehend the extend of a historical occurrence, economic trend, scientific phenomena, mathematical reality, or emotional universality.

Artists carry a special responsibility to convey the truth, as the impact of their work gives them power. The truth expressed by the artist can defeat the lie, as ‘one word of truth outweighs the whole world’. Factually true statements can be found in a work of literature just as much as in science, but there is something unique to art. However, by trying to figure out the truth in art, humans may be diminishing it. There is a value of art which goes far beyond the passing on of ‘truth’.

Both the essays show that knowledge can be produced in different ways, but knowledge is most definitely produced in art. The arts and the sciences are reliant on each other as empirical information and comparatively subjective information must work hand in hand to produce knowledge. There may be previously established knowledge that exists, but knowledge established from art can build upon that. This means that there are multiple perspectives and approaches to each story, and there is not just one objective way of viewing something.

TOK Task #10 – “Group” Knowledge in the Arts

“Without the group to verify it, knowledge is not possible.”

The role of the ‘group’ in the production of knowledge is to confirm and verify the information. Verification in the production of knowledge is crucial if it is intended to be shared so it can be universally understood, at least to a certain extent.

This links to personal and shared knowledge as shared knowledge would potentially need to be confirmed or verified as true or empirical for universal understanding. Shared knowledge would need to be verified if it was something people had to understand to a certain level to serve a certain purpose, for example learning maths to become an engineer, or learning physics to become an architect. Personal knowledge does not necessarily have to be verified, as personal knowledge can be something such as emotions, and all emotions, while not all right, are all valid.

In the arts, there are many types of knowledge, such as conceptual knowledge, moral knowledge, and aesthetic knowledge. Conceptual knowledge allows humans to understand human-established concepts, such as our emotions and beliefs. Art can provide us with conceptual knowledge by eliciting emotions from humans and hence, making us aware of them. Moral knowledge is also an example of knowledge provided by the arts, as art can appeal to a certain cultural context and allow the viewer to become influenced or educated about an issue. However, moral knowledge generally builds upon our preconceived notions, and thus, moral knowledge is developed instead of created.

Claims in art are generally open to being shared and discuss. Usually, most people form opinions and debate over art, such as whether a created piece is art or not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion as the confines of art are not restricting. There is a lot of room for subjectivity in the arts, and consequently, not many definitive answers. Subjectivity and ambiguity in arts is what allows claims to be shared and discussed, as there is less of a “black or white” scenario.

TOK Task #9 – What Is Art?

Knowledge within arts is not objective & therefore not meaningful.

If knowledge is subjective, it is not meaningful because there are too many approaches and thus, diverges from the general sum of what is known and understood.

In the arts, it is difficult for a consensus to be reached about what a piece is about as it holds different meaning for individuals. When something is capable of eliciting different emotions for different people, knowledge about the piece cannot be formed as the way the piece is being perceived and approached is so different – it would not be easy for everyone to reach the same understandings, particularly if emotions affect the learning of knowledge. For example, Onement VI by Barnett Newman, was a painting that had a turquoise stripe separating two dark blue rectangles. Firstly, it would be difficult for most people to understand what the piece is, which means that the thoughts produced could not be knowledge and would be potentially superficial in terms of understanding. Secondly, no knowledge that is substantial can be reached because all the knowledge is stemmed from individual emotions. Knowledge from individual emotions are merely thoughts that have been generated after perceiving something. This knowledge cannot be transferred because it is not a total representation of what something is supposed to mean, and consequently, no widely accepted sum of what is known can be reached.

However, on the other hand, regardless of the source of knowledge absorption, there is a plethora of ways of knowing, subjective and objective, that make knowledge valid, particularly moral knowledge. If information produced is understood from subjective ways of knowing, then subjective knowledge is meaningful regardless of how opinionated it is, as it still provides us with certain cultural contexts and understandings about morals. Learning subjective ideas can be considered knowledge as learning about individual emotions can be related to learning about human psychology with a real life source. For example, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Irony of a Negro Policeman” is a piece of artwork pertaining to racial issues. The way we perceive the artwork may tell us more about racial issues from a different perspective, perhaps through the way Basquiat depicts this policeman. The artwork can allow the audience to gain a deeper understanding about the cultural contexts involved, and how race issues are prevalent.

TOK Task #8 – Intro to Natural Sciences

What distinguishes Natural Science from other AOKs? Identify any potential issues or questions that may arise when you consider your definitions.

In my opinion, the fact that Natural Sciences are the first fallback for any statement or claim because of its’ factual property distinguishes the AOK from other AOKs. From Naomi Oreskes’ TED talk on the topic of ‘why we should trust scientists’, a statement regarding the reason the Natural Sciences are our number one fallback when investigating and learning is because of the scientific method, meaning that we were taught that scientists follow a method that guarantees the truth of their claims, meaning that these methods are credible and can be relied on. Natural Sciences are also automatically the number one fallback for support for claims because of the factual quality of the sciences – we believe that science has the power to prove or disprove something because there is substantial evidentiary support, at least to a certain degree, that determines something to be true.

The primary question that would arise towards this definition is how true the idea that the Natural Sciences are all proven with facts is, considering that it can be argued that all scientific theories and discoveries are all opinions that have certain support that align at a certain time. This means that the facts are not substantially true, which can deter its reliability in terms of why the Natural Sciences is a primary fallback for most claims. Another problem about the factuality of the Natural Sciences is that they are inductive rather than deductive, meaning that scientists start with observations, from which they form theories from. This means that what we know, which is derived from scientific knowledge, is all based on their sense perception and how they saw a certain idea. This does not necessarily mean that the theory is true, even if there is evidence that just so happens to support it. This diminishes the factual credibility of the Natural Sciences, which is what humans are heavily reliant on when trying to be more credible with their claims.

TOK Task #7 – Faith and Intuition


Faith Knowledge
  • something that someone believes in (e.g. religion)
  • something that stems from an opinion
  • something that is learnt from external information → if taught, taught by what is determined to be ‘true’ at the time
  • can distract from reality → belief overtakes what is actually true and prevents someone from understanding/learning the full truth of some form of information
  • influences perception of something → pre-existing bias towards a certain belief causes an obstruction in acquiring information (ignorance)
  • knowledge is not always correct and the absolute truth, so when shared, false knowledge prevents one from understanding information to its truest
  • when sharing/acquiring knowledge, the language used to explain it can be difficult to understand which can result in inaccuracies when acquiring knowledge
Justifications as WOK
  • works collaboratively  with other ways of knowing to allow us to learn (e.g. faith is stored in memories as it is what we believe)
  • allows us to understand things from a certain perspective (e.g. someone sharing information pertaining to their faith and/or beliefs)
  • what we know is derived from knowledge from the past (developments in knowledge allow us to understand more)
  • works collaboratively with other ways of knowing to further enhance our understanding (e.g. cohesive language should be used when sharing information so knowledge can be universally acquired and understood)

TOK Task #6 – Memory & Imagination


Memory Imagination
Role in pursuit of knowledge
  • allows one to utilise prior knowledge to further understand something
  • what we learn is the definition of concepts we have previously understand (refined)
  • allows one to understand something in more vivid imagery to understand it further
  • cognitive biases → affects how we understand and know something when we learn it
  • we fill in the blank spots in our memory with ideas that may not necessarily be true/reliable (may be imagination)
  • faults in memory, problems pertaining to memory (e.g. Alzheimer’s)
  • makes it difficult for someone to fully understand non-abstract concepts (understanding of straightforward concepts being deterred by created ideas)
  • distracts from reality
  • fabricates certain facts when understanding/acquiring knowledge
Link between others
  • sense perception: we do not always recall things exactly the way they were when we originally perceived them
  • emotion: can cause a bias when recalling things from memory (e.g. traumatic experiences having influences on understanding)
  • language: one might not completely remember what someone said word for word, which may cause an alteration in understanding
  • sense perception: what we know allows us to experience imagination more vividly
  • emotion: someone’s mood can affect the way they believe or see something, and could potentially cause them to imagine something instead of actually seeing it
  • reason: almost acts like the counter of imagination, as imagination requires more creativity and reasoning may be more factual and straightforward

Despite the imperfections of imagination and memory as ways of knowing, the Areas of Knowledge have developed in such as way as to overcome them. Discuss this claim with reference to at least two AOKs.

In the arts, imagination is best employed to allow one to create something representative of a bigger concept in a visual way that can communicate a deeper message. Furthermore, imagination is also used in the interpretation of arts, where everyone’s individual mind and perceptive abilities derive different meanings from art depending on their personalities, and exposure. Imagination allows people to interpret difficult concepts or abstract concepts easier as it creates a visual aid of sorts to communicate a deeper message. On the contrary, imagination would be much more difficult to apply in a subject such as the natural sciences. In the natural sciences, memory would be a more prominent way of knowing as inventions are usually derived from prior knowledge, which is dependent on one’s memory and understanding. Also, it is important in learning the natural sciences that one understands the root concepts in order to further their understanding so they can apply it in the future. Without this base understanding, one’s scientific knowledge would be quite superficial and not thorough. This indicates that the respective ways of knowledge can not intertwine in between areas of knowledge. However, sometimes, utilising both memory and imagination can be helpful. If the examples of arts and natural sciences are used again, memory allows someone to apply previously learned skills in their art to imagine and thus, create more concepts. In natural sciences, imagination can be helpful when attempting to think out of the box for inventions or thinking about new ideas.

TOK Task #5 – Reasoning

Pure logic is only concerned with the structure of arguments. The validity of an argument is independent of the truth or falsity of its premises.

If something is logical, is it valid? Furthermore, what does it mean to be valid or have information that is valid? In terms of Theory of Knowledge, something that is valid is something that follows two premises and forms a conclusion.

In the natural sciences, validity is interpreted to mean that the result is something that agrees with what the scientific population has proven thus far and is what they believe at that time. Even if logical reasoning and deduction is utilised to make conclusions, the premises do not necessarily have to be true. For example, just because two premises form a sound conclusion does not mean that it is valid.

For example:

Premise 1: Eukaryotes are a type of cell
Premise 2: Eukaryotic cells have a nucleus
Conclusion: All cells have a nucleus.

According to scientific evidence this statement is not true despite the fact that the argument is valid. Both premises are true, yet this does not make the final argument true. This shows that the validity of an argument is independent from the truth or falsity of its premises.

However, on the other hand, the validity of an argument can also be connected to the truth or falsity of its premises.

For example:

Premise 1: The United States has a president.
Premise 2: The president lives in the White House.
Conclusion: The president lives in the White House.

This would show that the validity of an argument is related to the truth or falsity of its premises as in this case, both premises are known to be true. Therefore, the way the statements are interpreted is all dependent on the structure of the language.

TOK Task #4 – Vagueness & Ambiguity of Language

The vagueness and ambiguity of language always limits the production of knowledge.

In pursuit of knowledge, subjectivity and objectivity must come into play. However, what they both have in common is that both perspectives can be vague and ambiguous.

This claim states that vagueness and ambiguity of language always limits the production of knowledge. The term ‘production’ is vague in itself – by production, does one mean to generate knowledge? To convey and distribute knowledge? To interpret knowledge? The statement can be interpreted in many different ways and is still correct.

Being vague or ambiguous with language does not always limit the production of knowledge. For example, it is not necessarily limiting being vague or ambiguous with language in arts. Being vague or ambiguous in the arts allow the audience to let the art influence them in individual ways, which can be argued to be the point of art. A piece of artwork with two stripes painted on it would be considered ambiguous but it could impact people in different ways and produce different opinions and interpretations of it. These productions of knowledge are still valid regardless of the fact that they differ from each other because the art itself was created to be interpreted with influence from every individual’s mind.

On the other hand, being vague or ambiguous with language could limit the production of knowledge as well, for example in the natural sciences. If someone writes the methodology for a lab report with vague terms, the results produced using that method would be invalid because there could have been an error in the execution of the experiment as the method wasn’t clear enough. This could severely impact what humans know to this day and whether something is scientifically possible or not and cause a misinformation spread with humans.

There are limits to being vague and ambiguous as there are advantages to being vague and ambiguous. In the end, both are valid when it comes to the production of knowledge dependent on what the topic is. If the subject is more subjective, then being vague and ambiguous could work in its favor. If the subject is more objective, then being vague and ambiguous could be more harmful and limiting.


TOK Task #3 – Emotion in Science

The sciences are all about using reason to understand the world, there is no place for emotion in science.

There are many different ways emotion can affect the sciences – during the execution of experiments, understanding science etc. To determine how emotion affects sciences, one must understand what emotion entails. Emotion could mean the feelings one experiences when studying science, which can be affected by beliefs, past events, physical environment, incentives, or the feelings in general about studying science.

There is space for emotion in science because one requires passion to study and thus, understand the sciences more effectively. This means that one needs to have the motivation to commit and accurately progress through the learning process of sciences. Without emotion and passion when one studies science, the information will not be completely absorbed and learned to the best of one’s ability, which could prove to be a hinderance during the sharing or teaching of information. Furthermore, in fields such as psychology, emotions and feeling are important when it comes to sympathising, understanding, analysing and ultimately helping someone. It is important to understand that emotions have an impact on actions and to understand this, sometimes exercising emotion will help.

However, it can also be argued that there is no place for emotion in the sciences. Considering the fact that emotions can be influenced by belief, past events, physical environment, and incentives, the information or the study in the sciences can be negatively impacted if one lets emotion affect their thinking. If someone has religious beliefs that affects their view on sciences, for example evolution, this could have a negative effect on the results as it may be deemed unreliable or less valid because of their bias. Since the sciences are about using reason to understand the world, emotions can cause a serious negative influence on the quality of the science whether it be learning it or teaching it.

TOK Task #2 – “Even though there are problems with our perceptual systems, this doesn’t mean that knowledge gained from our senses is completely unreliable”

“Even though there are problems with our perceptual systems, this doesn’t mean that knowledge gained from our senses is completely unreliable.”

Knowledge gained from our senses isn’t completely unreliable despite the fact that there are problems with our perceptual systems, and perhaps that different people have different opinions.

These ‘problems’ with our perceptual systems could range from being deaf, blind etc. in terms of the five senses, but even if so, the use of their other senses cannot be invalidated when perceiving objects or notions as everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Also, the word ‘unreliable’ suggests that something is untrustworthy, but how can something be deemed unreliable if it is someone’s perception? It depends on the knowledge in question. 

This statement works in favour of the arts. Suppose that there is a sculpture and two people are viewing it. One is blind, and the other has senses that are fully functional. The blind person’s perception of the sculpture is not unreliable despite the fact that he cannot see the composition of it, but he can still feel it physically. This provides someone with fully functional senses with an exclusive perspective of how the sculpture feels. Simultaneously, the person with fully functional senses will experience one more sense than the blind person, but there might be an overwhelming amount of perceptive tools and thus, provides a different experience from the blind person. This knowledge is not completely unreliable because it is still a perspective, and it is important for perspectives to be considered when trying to judge something as subjective as art. In this case, perspective could be considered knowledge. 

Furthermore, perspectives are still valued in history, but it should be facts that dictate how our society acts upon different morals and ethics. If a soldier from WW2 gives a testimony, there is no way to define how reliable this is as he could be suffering from PTSD and thus, dramatise some events. This still doesn’t invalidate his testimony even if his perceptual systems were influenced as there is a level of bias, and this bias can be useful when analysing the different sides of the story in history in order for us to establish our own perspective.

Whether knowledge is reliable or not is highly dependent on what the subject matter is. However, the perspective, despite the problems in perceptual systems, is still valid as perspectives allow us to gain insight about the people around us, and that is knowledge in itself. Knowledge can be divided into quantifiable (e.g scientific data, statistics) and unquantifiable (e.g analysis of art) – if it is quantifiable, then the level of unreliability should be more heavily considered, but if it is unquantifiable, then all knowledge is reliable. 

DP Retreat (17/8-18/8) Reflection

Going into the DP Retreat, I didn’t really have any expectations. In the beginning, I honestly just thought that it would be another team building experience, and yes, it was, but it was more than that.

In those two days, I made more friends and built on my existing friendships. I particularly enjoyed the movie night on the first day, as I liked that we were exposed to a different way of learning TOK, which was through film (and the fact that there was popcorn didn’t hurt either). I also enjoyed that we were allowed to have free time – by this, I mean that we were allowed to have more time to interact with different people and develop friendships. I found myself opening up to some people and becoming closer to them, and also making some new friends, some of which were in my room. 

Personally, I believe that rooming with people I wasn’t close with was challenging. I didn’t really know any of my roommates, and I was scared that I wouldn’t get along well with my roommates and wouldn’t know how to talk or what to talk about with them. However, on the night of the first day, I was more confident and decided to get to know people better and make more friends, and thus, I began to put more effort into communicating and interacting with my roommates and eventually surpassed the border of unfamiliarity. 

I found the sessions we had on day 2 quite useful, as they allowed me to start thinking about my future and what I wanted to do. There was a good combination of fun activities and important information that allowed me to realise what I needed to do in order to achieve what I want in the future. The poetry workshop, the ‘failure’ workshop (Mr Smeed), and the ‘camping trip’ workshop were among my favourites as they allowed me to learn more about myself and my interests while thinking critically. Also, I enjoyed the TOK sessions about what I am and the world around me because it questioned almost everything I knew and allowed me to step back and take a clearer look at myself and my world.

Also, I really enjoyed the fact that there was a yoga session – it allowed me to think and digest what I learnt in the previous sessions more efficiently and cleared my head of all distractions and stress. The previous sessions were a bit content heavy and made my mind hurt and yoga was a good mindfulness activity that helped me keep my mind calm. 

The DP Retreat was an unforgettable experience that made me more aware of myself and my world, and also the people around me.  It made me check my privilege (i.e. poverty simulation). It made me more aware of what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, and that I have support around me. It also made me more aware that two years of the DP are ahead of me and that it will be tough, but will be worth it. 

TOK Task #1 – “If you cannot explain something, you do not know it”

“If you cannot explain something, you do not know it.”

With reference to the class activity today about knowing and explaining, in what ways might it be reasonable to suggest that people who disagree can both be right?

In reference to the claim itself, it might be reasonable to suggest that people who disagree and agree can both be ‘right’. This is because to be ‘right’ doesn’t always mean to arrive at the same factual definition, and that it pertains to beliefs. For example, some people with Christian beliefs may believe that abortion is wrong and that may be the ‘right’ for people that share the same set of beliefs. However, for atheists, for example, they may believe that abortion is a fair and justified choice, and to other people that share the same belief, this is ‘right’.

However, what does it mean to be ‘right’? Does this mean that one is correct, and that their belief or statement is true? To be ‘right’ could mean to have the current, widely accepted belief about something. To be ‘right’ means that to be appropriate; to know something as morally justified. To be ‘right’ is to follow the common thought that is perceived to be ‘right’ until it is proven opposite, and thus, is not considered ‘right’ anymore. I believe that what classifies as ‘right’ is ultimately what you choose to believe and that you think it is ‘right’. If you believe something is ‘right’, there is a high chance that your belief will not be swayed, because the way you have chosen to interpret something is how you perceive something to be ‘right’.

Therefore, this statement can not be reduced to being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. In the statement, the language itself provides many opportunities for people to believe if something is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. To explain is not limited to explaining something correctly and ‘factually’. It means to articulate an idea, even if this idea is absurd. Furthermore, there are limitations in terms of language as to how you can explain – just because you cannot articulate your idea does not mean that you do not know what it is. For example, in North Korean dialect, there is no word for ‘love’ – this does not mean that no one feels love, which counters the claim.

On the other hand, if we look at something as logical as mathematics, someone explaining a maths question needs to know what the question asks, and thus, needs to be able to explain it in order to teach someone else about it. This supports the claim that if you cannot explain it, you do not know it, because mathematics is very logical and one-sided (e.g. follows a set of steps), and if you know how to do it, then you should be able to explain it.

In my opinion, this statement heavily relies on the context given. ‘Knowing’ does not limit to only comprehending how to do something, it extends to meaning, purpose, intention etc. ‘Explaining’ does not limit to describing the truth and the fact. To be ‘right’ is not limited to having one overall, shared, belief, and therefore, people who disagree and agree can both be ‘right’.

Service As Action – Gr7-10

  1. How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?

In the ninth grade, I was part of the photography team. I signed up to shoot for some activities, the most prominent being shooting for the Habitat for Humanity hat painting activity. Being part of the photography team allowed me to grow as it fostered my individual skills and also collaborative skills. I was taught to use a camera and to improve my photography, and I began to see growth through the photos I was taking. I began to develop more effective communication skills as well, as I would work with some of my peers in the photography team during workshops to gain a deeper understanding. The areas I still need to work on would be on my commitment skills as I didn’t go to all the workshops I could.

2. How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?


In the tenth grade, I took part in Applause for a Cause, a musical production to raise money for the charity Worldwide Action, which allowed me to fuse my love for musical theatre to helping the community. I had never done a musical production at school prior to this one, and it was a challenge as this meant that I had another commitment I had to manage my time for. This pushed me to become better organised as I wanted to make time for rehearsals but also maintain my grades and relationships with family and friends. 

3. How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?

662A9722Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 9.14.08 pm

I joined the GIN (Global Issues Network) club The Reading Tree in the tenth grade, and became involved in volunteering activities such as the Kids4Kids sessions that happened very Friday. Further on in the year, I then became a collective member of The Reading Tree, and currently co-lead the Lower School Reading Buddy Program, now named Lilypad, in which volunteers read with Grade 1 students at CDNIS. To begin the program, I became a co-leader and was chosen by the previous collective and teachers of TRT. I then started working with the other co-leader to refine the lesson plans in order for the students to maximise improvement. I began a Skype group to communicate with my team and regularly emailed them to ensure that everyone was updated and prepared for the next meeting. I met with my co-leader and the Grade 1 teachers, Ms Sweeney and Ms Adams, to define what the goals were and how to make sure that they were eventually reached. This is continuous and I am still doing this. I know that this worked because I have seen progress in these children’s reading abilities as now many of them are able to read back to me and understand something based on inferences, demonstrating their refined critical thinking skills that have been fostered during this program.

4. How did you persevere in action?


In the ninth grade, my friend Eloise and I decided to take part of The Reading Tree’s K4K Just Write For Kids writing competition. The winners of the competition would have their books published and used in teaching materials for kids in Myanmar and for kids in the Kids4Kids program. We wrote and illustrated a picture book titled ‘Millie and the Magic Mirror’ and won the competition. During the creation process, there were many high points and low points, and we would keep working on the book by motivating each other and by gathering inspiration sources. We did this by reading some children’s books and eventually, asked for help. We asked the help of a published author, Dr Jennifer Ford, to help us with proofreading and she offered us improvements with the phrasing and syntax of the book. From there, we refined our work and submitted the book.

5. How did you work collaboratively with others?  


 In the seventh and eighth grade, I was part of the Junior Student Ambassadors. I worked with the club and teachers to welcome new students at the start of each academic year. I would collaborate with the club to schedule the plans and ice-breakers that we were going to do in order to familiarise ourselves with the new students so that they would feel more welcome. I worked with my group mates in individual committees every week in preparation for the next school year so we would have time to refine our plans and thus, make sure that the new students feel welcomed at their new school. 

6. How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?


In the tenth grade, I went on a CAS trip to Fiji, which involved building and working with children. I had to learn basic terms in Fijian to communicate with the people there, such as ‘Bula’, which means hello! When I was building and working in construction with the students on my trip, I had to maintain communication between them and the locals that were also helping. I solved communication and cultural challenges mostly by observing and reacting with actions if they were needed. I wanted to decrease the amount of confusion felt between the both parties, so I tried to be as inclusive as possible. This changed the way I think about the world because I realised that I had to be more open-minded in order to help and communicate with different people in the world. 

7. How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?


In the ninth grade, I was a Digital Ambassador, and I helped my peers with technology if needed. I co-represented the class and attended meetings to gain more knowledge about the technology used at school. My service influenced the target group (students around me) for the better because CDNIS uses a large variety of technology to aid students with their learning. The teachers in the IT department helped the students help others. Being a Digital Ambassador allowed me to grow my personal skills, such as communication and collaboration skills. I know that I have helped my community because I have learnt to employ my problem solving skills to help others, and helped them overcome a challenge. 

Design Inter[sections] Final Reflection

生意: Walks of Life from Eloise F on Vimeo.

The film above is my group’s documentary on economic hardships, and with that, it is important to reflect on the completion of the documentary creation process and how the film raised the target audience’s knowledge and understanding of how the theme of economic hardships influenced the central characters.

The film was about economic hardships and how individuals overcame such hardships – the common thread was that they all became successful business owners.The central characters in this documentary were all affected by economic hardships, but the businesses they had were all different – one opened a hardware business, one opened a tailoring business, and one opened a medical business. This was prominently shown through the narration provided in the introduction and the conclusion, along with context that heightened the audience’s perception on economic hardships in Hong Kong.

The interviews conducted provides a personalised opinion and history on how historical and economic hardships have impacted each individual, allowing the audience to understand this concept from a variety of perspectives. Along with the context provided, the audience was able to grasp what the documentary was about and how the past presents the future, and that we will all lead different walks of life. The use of design aspects played into the audience’s understanding of our topic, such as the use of subtitles – the subtitles allowed the audience to understand what the interviewee’s perspectives were with ease, heightening the impact of the film on the viewer.

The design aspects, combined with the multitude of perspectives introduced in this documentary allowed the target audience to gain a deeper understanding of how economic hardships influenced the three central characters.

PE Healthy Habits Reflection

Over the course of a semester, I have completed the Healthy Habits assignment. My original goals were to drink herbal tea and read a book/magazine 30-60min before bed, get 8-9 hrs of quality sleep at least 3x/week. It was also to take part in a physical activity 3 times a week and to cut back on processed food and increase real food.

I believe that I have definitely met most of these goals, particularly the fitness and food ones. I was less successful at the sleep goals, but I am presently working on that and am proud to say that my hours of sleep have increased from four/five hours to six/seven. I am still working on this goal actively, and am hoping that by the end of 2017, I will be able to reach this goal. I also was less successful at drinking herbal tea and reading a book/magazine 30-60min before bed because I would be extremely tired or in a rush to get to bed and thus, wouldn’t have time to relax. I am also working on this presently as I really hope to be more awake during the day so I can participate and absorb knowledge. 

I have reached my goal of taking part in physical activity 3 times a week and found out that I am quite fond of it. I began working out everyday with short HIIT workouts and saw results. I was feeling better, looking better and was more focused and motivated. I achieved this goal utilising many apps and workouts, such as the Nike+ Fitness app. It was very useful for me during the time as it would track my process and motivate me to continue working out. 

I have also reached my goal of cutting back on processed food and increasing the amount of real food I consume. As I was trying to reach this goal, I became more aware of what I was eating and would check the labels for things such as sodium, trans fats etc. and would gradually realise that some of the snacks that I consumed were absolutely detrimental to my health and therefore, would stop eating them. I also cut back on soda consumption, as that has a lot of sugar. Amazingly enough, I haven’t had soda in over three months! 

Overall, setting the Healthy Habits goals was a great experience for me – I gained a lot out of it and have become more physically it, happier, and more awake and ready to participate. I have also learnt to become more diligent as I began to respect and follow the goals that I set. I also developed my ‘willpower’ skills, as now I am more motivated to work out and eat healthier and sleep earlier, which has definitely helped me. My grades have improved and so have my relationships with my teachers and peers. I believe that I am going to keep on working on my Healthy Habits and strive to be the best I can be. 

Reflection On Heartbeats Design Unit (History + Design)

This term, the Design project is integrated with History class, and the task is to create a documentary film, so before I begin my project, it is imperative that I reflect on ways to improve.

From the Heartbeats unit, I achieved 7’s on Crit A and C, which were lower than the rest, and so judging from that, I need to work on my research and process journal more than the rest. However, personally, I believe that I need to improve on my process journal entries more as they were not cohesive enough. I can improve on my process journal entries by being more specific in the reflection of my application of skills, challenges, strengths, future plans and include more images of my work in my process journal. To measure that I have completed these in my process journals, I will utilise a checklist that incorporates all of the topics that must be discussed in order to ensure success, and thoroughly double-check my work before Crit C is due. This will help me grow stronger as a learner as I will learn to manage and deal with any obstacles thrown my way more effectively as it will be laid out in an organised matter.

Design Criterion D – ‘In A Heartbeat’ Reflection


This is my final heart valve prototype. The way it functions is that water can only go through this end of the prototype and out this section, labelled ‘atrium’ and ‘ventricle’ respectively. There are small downwards slits cut into the fingers of each glove that permit the water to go through. When the prototype is rotated, the water cannot go back from the ventricle into the atrium, as the string that I taped to the fingers of the glove pulls the fingers to the edge, and doesn’t let it move, and also because the cuts were extremely minuscule and there wasn’t a guide that directed the water into the slits.

I changed and added many components to my final prototype design, for example the information panel and the various labels and markings you can see here. I decided to add an information panel because when I looked back on my design specifications to make sure that my prototype fit these requirements, I saw that one thing I was missing was information about the actual heart. So, I decided to add a small panel with an illustration of a heart valve that I drew to inform my target audience, the seventh graders about the heart valve. This was extremely useful to them, as they gathered much of their information from the panel’s explanations. Also, I added extra labels onto the actual prototype to add to the and accuracy of the model. One thing that I would improve on if I were to create this prototype again is that I would use hot glue to seal the edges of the information panel better so that water wouldn’t seep through and cause the black cardboard to bleed over the paper.

Design Day Term 1

Grade 10 is the last year of the MYP Design project, and today, we had our first Design project of the year. This Design project is joint with Science, and we have to create a model of a valve in a heart, and so our Design Day was based around that and creating a prototype of a valve, which we then tested if it worked with water.

My group’s prototype was a design that we came up with when we were discussing who’s design to use. An image can be seen below (though rotated) – 


Our prototype consisted of six materials – a ping pong ball, a plastic sheets, tape, hot glue, rubber band and a PVC pipe. I think that the most efficient element in my prototype was the combination of a rubber band and tying it to the plastic sheet that was shaped as a funnel. This created the ‘one-way’ valve effect which made our design successful. The criteria that we had to keep in mind was simple: water must be able to only go one way. So, when we poured water into the ‘open’ end of our first prototype, the water went in swiftly like intended, and when we turned it around, the water flowed down the sides and there was no water on the inside of the plastic tube. 

My key takeaways from today’s Design Day can be seen in the video below:

As for what I would do if I could do it all again – I would most likely clarify my ideas and try to be more creative with my designs, as I forgot to consider some of the major ‘must-haves’ in my design, for example the ‘one way’ component of the valve. I also think that I could have been more creative as my final prototype draft design wasn’t very clear and the design would be very difficult to create as it had so many parts. I would have tried to make it more minimalistic but more efficient.

What I learnt from today’s Design Day was essentially more information on the actual project, what is expected of us and most of all – how to create an actual model and what to consider in order to have a functioning and interactive model with simple materials. 

CAS – What I’ve Done, What I Want To Do, and What I’m Going To Do

Action and service are crucial when determining what a good global citizen is. In the seventh grade, I volunteered to carol during Christmas as action – this not only helps the community around me, it also helps me develop self-confidence skills. In the eighth grade, on the CAS day, I signed up for making cards for children, deciding to use my artistic skills for good. In the future, I plan to do community service for Crossroads (in Hong Kong) regularly as personal enrichment and to help people around me. Also, I would like to do something more with arts, or with baking in the future, so I can use my skills for good.

Design Project Reflection


For this Design project, we were tasked with making a graphic novel creation from a few pages from a book, Empire of the Sun. Mine can be seen above. We had to spread our graphic novel creations over two A4 pages, but since there were time constraints, our Design teachers informed us that it was fine to ink only one page.

During the entire Design process, I have learnt many skills and techniques, mainly in Adobe Illustrator. Now, I know how to generate outlines using an Image Trace tool. I have also furthered my knowledge on drawing tablets and how to utilise them to the fullest extent. Technology, specifically design software like Illustrator, facilitates the communication of ideas as there is a large range of tools that can aid you in communicating a message, such as pen tools, shapes, fonts, graphics etc which can make your artistic process easier as you don’t have to tediously color everything individually if you have multiple copies of the identical object.

The use of visuals help reinforce a particular message and to reveal a particular meaning, specifically a theme (which is maturity, in my case), through expressions and close ups. For example, by using a close up on a character’s mouth as they speak, it can emphasise that what they’re saying is a crucial part of the story, which can leave a larger impact on the reader. Also, perspectives change through the use of visuals, both artistically and mentally. By artistically, I mean that different perspectives and conventions are used throughout visuals to, for example, make an object seem smaller or larger. By mentally, I mean that someone’s perception on a previous event could change after visually interpreting a story instead of interpreting a story from words as it helps build the environment and characters’ features.

There were many challenges I encountered throughout this project, mainly during the creating stage as I was quite new to Illustrator and didn’t really know how to use it. One of the biggest problems I had was using the Image Trace tool to develop an outline. This would be really useful if everything you drew was outlined perfectly, but in my case because of the amount of panels I had and time constraints, my outlines (drawn by hand) were slightly messy and hence, the Image Trace tool was not able to develop a clear and coherent outline (this was my fault). I overcame this challenge by manually outlining the scanned graphic novel creation by hand, which was slightly tedious, but generated clearer outlines.

If I were to do this project again, I would most likely arrange my time better, as I had to rush a bit of the inking process because I placed a lot of effort and time on the first panel as I believed that the first panel set the mood and hence, added more detail. I would also try to actually draw my graphic novel creation in Illustrator instead of drawing it on paper first, because it may save time and also, I will be able to develop my digital drawing skills, which could be useful in the future.

Design Day Post

Today, we had our first Design Day in Grade 9, and for this Design project, we will be making two pages of a graphic novel based off of the novel Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard. During Design Day, we started our Criterion A which involved understanding the entire project itself and interpreting it in our own words. We also learnt Adobe Illustrator basics, including how to make straight lines, varieties of curved lines etc. Here is a sample of what I learnt to do today –

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 1.30.28 pm

I already knew how to use Evernote as I had been using it prior to Design Day, but there were some features I didn’t know I could do, for example share a notebook online. I’m really excited for this Design unit as I am looking forward to interpreting a scene from a novel to a graphic novel!

Population Statistics With Gapminder & Correlations • [Geography of Canada]

Category: Economy

Indicator: Exports

Describe one of the correlations or lack of that you discussed with your group.

The correlation between of exports and income per person is that over time, as a country’s exports increase, the income per person also increases. For example, China started at around $1203 in around the 1970s with about 10% of GDP of exports. Then, in 2010, the income per person was around $10,040 with the exports at around 31% of GDP. Even though the changes in income is more drastic than the changes in the percentage of GDP, there is a change.

Suggest reasons for the correlation with some reference as to why it might be strong or weak.

As the amount of exports increase, the economy of the country strengthens because of the money it’s making from selling the exports to other countries’ that require these exports to accompany their citizens’ needs. However, sometimes, the value of money differs in different parts of the world, which leads to different developments and increases in income due to exports.

If there are any anomalies in your data on the graph suggest why this may be the case.

The anomalies in my data on the graph may be because a specific country or city may require more exports to increase the income per person due to economical, geographical, societal reasons (e.g. natural disasters: requires more exports to gain more economical wealth after damage and to increase income).

Are Increasing Rates of Urbanisation A Good Thing? • [Geography of Canada]

Are Increasing Rates of Urbanisation A Good Thing?

    There are two sides to every question, this being one of them. Increasing rates of urbanisation is a good thing because it allows the area occupied to grow economically and hence accumulate more global wealth and recognition. An example would be Mexico, as it changed over time from an agricultural-based country to one with a notable industry. Industrialised agriculture is one of the aspects in the developed industry. Also, it’s a good thing because more economic growth can lead to more funding for scientific research and manufacturing goods. Negative aspects of increasing rates of urbanisation is that people continuously migrating and reproducing in that area can lead to overpopulation, which can link to lack of resources and therefore, raising the rates of poverty. Another negative factor of increasing rates of urbanisation is that with the continuously growing economic growth, more factories will be built in order to manufacture goods that suit the citizens’ needs and international needs, which can result in pollution and thus, dirtying the environment around us, an example being in China. China has developed into an economical hub that has many trading relations and is quite wealthy, but due to all the factories causing immense amounts of air pollution, resulting in many deaths in children, adults and animals.

Geography – Choloropleth Map Question

How can people make choloropleth maps to misrepresent facts?

Choloropleth maps are used to identify average values of certain quantities in those areas through different shades of colors or different colors. The way they can be made to misrepresent facts is through misinterpreting the fact that just because a lot of people live there does not necessarily mean that place is developed. Also, a higher population density does not necessarily correlate with the level of modernization of the place.

What Is Geography? • [Geography of Canada]

Geography – what exactly is it? First of all, the subject itself, honestly, is pretty vague. It can be linked to many different subjects (it’s interdisciplinary), for example biology, maths, history, business, science etc. and there is certainly more than one way of looking at geography.

After discussing what geography is to each and every one of us, I have come to a conclusion that geography is the study of a horde of various things..

1. The physical features and characteristics of the Earth, for example natural and organic features/phenomenons like mountains, bodies of water (lakes and seas), climates, weather, and unchartered areas.

2. The collective function of people and natural features, for example the impacts on the world based on the One World implications, or S.E.E.P. (Social, Economical, Environmental, Political), which is basically how something affects the world socially, economically, politically, environmentally, morally, or ethically. Also, relating back to the One World implications, it’s how they act during the study of (human) geography, for example how climate change can affect the Earth environmentally by the migration of humans and animals as a result of their habitat or home deteriorating.

3. The discovery of patterns and how they are observed or studied, for example settlement patterns and how the distribution of humans and culture affects patterns geographically, for example Buddhism being more common in Asia than other places in the world.

4. The study of geography allows us to organise and research many different kinds of aspects of geography and provides knowledge to others about our world and everything around us (geographically).

However, even after the discussion, I still have a few questions.

1. What are the different types of geography?

2. Why is geography so crucial in our lives? Why do we need to know about it?

3. Why do we need to know the history of the geography of the world if what’s happened in the past, well, happened?

4. According to the discussion today, geography pretty much seems to impacts everything, from material things to natural features of the world or phenomenons. Does it impact everything, if not, almost everything?

Waste Not, Want Not Survey

Hi all,

Recently for our Design unit, our task was to design a package for a piece of CDNIS merchandise of our selection. I chose the luggage strap, and the packaging can be seen below (CLICK THE IMAGE, IT’S ACTUALLY A GIF)


ezgif-3256314219I’d really appreciate some feedback, so if you have the time, I’d really like if you left some feedback here. Thanks so so much!


Criterion C & D – 16 Bar Melody Summative (Cinderella’s Dance)

Cinderella's Dance - Natalie K 8B ©

Criterion C – Thinking Creatively

I’m just going to start out by saying that this was not an easy task for me to compose this melody, it took a lot of time and I made several decisions that impacted the outcome of the entire melody which I deleted and started over again. I wanted to create a generally happier, more upbeat feel so I left the key signature in major and used generally higher notes to create something that you could dance to at an elegant ball or something of the sort, hence the title ‘Cinderella’s Dance’. I experimented with different instruments to see which sounded the most elegant and ‘floaty’ but each one I chose either sounded too light or too loud and heavy, so I stuck with piano because it was a mixture of both: just in the middle. I made the tempo 140 because I thought that 120 was too slow and would sound a bit like a dragging, upbeat melody, which wasn’t what I wanted. I also tried using 160, but that was too fast and it took away the ‘dance’ feel from the entire song, which was what I was aiming for and think I achieved. I kept the time signature at 4/4 because I think that it was the most appropriate time for the melody to go. I attempted to change it around but I think that the bar had too many notes or too little, so I settled for the original 4/4 time signature.

Criterion D – Responding

After about a day or two of attempting to create a melody that sounded nice and ticked off all the boxes in my mental checklist for this composition, I’m happy to say that I’m quite proud of my melody. It came out the way I wanted to, and I reckon that if it were maybe softer and slower and generally ‘floatier’, it would be something Cinderella could dance to. However, I think that there are some parts that weren’t totally perfect, like the harmonisations, because some sounded off but after a few listens, they started sounding okay, so I was unsure of whether I should’ve changed them or not. I think that my strengths with composing melodies is that I know exactly what I want something to sound like or a theme I’m aiming for and I don’t compose randomly, I usually have a whole plan. I’m also usually easily inspired, in this case, I started thinking about the Cinderella theme right after I saw the trailer, and I thought it would be interesting if I could compose a piece that sounded a bit like something you would hear in the movie. However, a weakness that I possess is that sometimes I dream too big, and when I can’t exactly execute my plan, I get frustrated and lose patience because it doesn’t sound the way I want it to, so that’s something I need to work on if I were to do this again. Also, if I can’t get something to cooperate with what I’m trying to do, I tend to feel like I want to give up, an example being when I was trying to add the chord progressions to my melody. I kept on forgetting that the chord progressions were in the bass clef, so I labeled all of them incorrectly and mixed up the different Roman numerals with each other. However, I fixed my mistakes and eventually learned how to label them properly and correctly with practice. When I first started composing this melody, I was extremely annoyed over the fact that it didn’t sound the way I wanted to, and that it sounded more like a children’s song than a dance. Then, I started to experiment with rests and different note values and eventually, I came to the final draft of my composition.


Waste Not, Want Not (Pt. 3)

My participation today was good/excellent, as I listened attentively to what the teachers were saying and I asked my peers questions when I was unsure of where to find a button in the SketchUp toolbar or how to do something, like creating a hole in one of the surfaces of an object (7). My collaboration was good/excellent because I worked well with my group and we had little to no conflicts and if we did, we compromised on what we wanted to do, such as generating a design for our apple (7). My effort was good today because I tried my best to do a good job when using SketchUp, when designing my fruit container object etc. but sometimes I got frustrated and felt like blaming everything on my computer (6) . My time management was good today because I sometimes got off track when I was writing iFolio posts and when designing objects, such as when I was writing this blog post, I started talking to my friends about un-related things (5). In the future, I will make sure that I am in an environment where I will not be disturbed so I can work well and efficiently, and learn to control my frustration and take things slowly and relax.