Coding on Scratch

Hello and today I am going to talk about my Ted like Talk. My Ted like Talk was coding on Scratch. Scratch is basically a coding platform where you can make anything you want with no real life coding experience. Scratch is powerful, yet surprisingly simple once you get the hang of it. You can also learn a ton about coding that could maybe help you in the future. A Ted like Talk is when a person gets on a stage and talks about what they were passionate about. For me that was Scratch. In my Language Arts class we did mini Ted talks that were about 5 minutes long.

In order to prepare for my talk, at first I tried to make the slides on scratch to make them seem animated and cool, but my parents said it was too complicated so I switched to google slides. Click on this link to see my slides. Slides link In google slides I added different pictures of the coding blocks and other pictures of other things related to coding on scratch. After that in order to remember what to say I wrote a script. You can see the whole script is you click on this link. Script link I spent hours on the script and in total it was 1,200 words. Then I signed up to present for a couple days later giving me time to practice.

When the time came I printed my script and displayed my slides on the TV. Then I started presenting my Ted talk. The hardest part was reading the script and keeping eye contact with the audience so sometimes I would skip over parts of the script. I was also very nervous the whole time. Then I went into scratch and showed the audience one of my games. It was called escape the baddies. This game wasn’t that complicated so it was sort of easy to understand. In the end, I think a Ted like talk was a good idea to end the school year and it taught me a lot about speaking to an audience.



Stock Market Project

In the last two months of school, my Language Arts class did the stock market project. The reason we did this project is because one of the protagonists in the book we are reading, The Westing Game, Turtle Wexler also follows the Stock Market. The Stock Market is a form of gambling. What you do is you buy a share of a company and hopefully the company will make more money than it did when you bought the stock. Then you sell your stock and make a profit. The trick is to buy low and sell high. Seems simple right? The problem is knowing if a stock is going up or down. What investors do is they look at the news and other sources to try to find out if they will make a profit on the stock. In our game, each person had an imaginary $20,000 to pretend to spend on stocks. We then kept track of our stock on a spreadsheet that looks like this

As you can see these are the stocks I invested in. By the first week not much changed, I had made $30. Then things started to go down. Tesla started losing money and their stock started going down super fast. Also MOMO and GoDaddy were not doing so well. Although Apple and Amazon did cover up for some of the damage, I lost about $650. This was the same with the second week. Tesla, MOMO and GoDaddy were all doing even worse, but Apple and Amazon were doing pretty well. The third week came and things were slightly better. Tesla started recovering, but MOMO and GoDaddy were still doing terribly. The good news is Apple and Amazon were doing great and they were covering up for my losses. In the end, I lost only $170. Finally, it was time for the stock market game to end. Things have gone great! Tesla was doing insanely well and was almost up to $200 dollars per share. Sadly MOMO and GoDaddy did badly, but Amazon and Apple also did super well putting me at a total of +1107 dollars!

In fact I won the most money in my class so I got a handful of candy! I would recommend the stock market for anyone willing to spend money to get more money in the process.

The Last Cuentista

First I will talk about a book I read called The Last Cuentista. In The Last Cuentista. A girl named Petra wants to be a storyteller just like her grandma. On earth a comet is about to blow up earth so Petra, her parents, and her little brother leave her grandma behind and hop on a rocket ship along with two other rocket ships to travel to a new planet. One of the ships doesn’t make it off the ground so Petra’s ship and the other ship leave earth for another planet. The trip will take 370 days so Petra and her family are put to sleep by the cog which will keep their bodies in the same condition as before. But on the journey the Collective takes over and kills all the adults. The children are reprogrammed and lose all of their memories, except Petra she then makes friends with some of the other kids because they like her stories. She is tasked with exploring the new planet but she also meets an old scientist. That old scientist was her brother who had come out of the cog 50 years earlier, but he doesn’t remember her. One day she escapes and then finds the other ship and lives happily ever after. The book has a really large emphasis on keeping stories alive. For example, Petra wants to be a storyteller, and when she leaves earth, she is tasked with remembering earth’s stories. Although the collective tries to forget about the past and erases, everyone’s memories except Petra’s. Petra tells stories about earth and stories created by earth to the other children and she can officially call herself a storyteller. I also told a story of my own that is about my Grandma and how she became a doctor. I interviewed her and wrote my story.

After reading the book I thought about what my ideal planet to live on would look like and be like. Chris and I teamed up and thought about our  planet together. We thought of a planet called Ohio. I have a whole separate post on Ohio if you want to check it out. First, Chris and I discussed how Ohio will work and all the cool things in Ohio. Then I started writing about Ohio, at first it was hard but then I got the hang of it and wrote a lot. Then I drew a picture of what Ohio looks like. Then my drawing and my writing was posted on the wall, by my classroom for everybody to see. I was very proud of myself and my hard work.

A few days later, a teacher named Peg Gignoux came to DA. At first I didn’t know why she was here, teaching art in a Language Arts class. On the first day, my class put on some aprons and we got assigned to some tables. In front of me there was a weird gel pad, a roller, a plastic bag, some leaves, some paper, and different colors of paint 🎨. Eventually I figured out how to do everything. First what I did was put a little paint on the gel pad.  I could mix paint if I wanted to. Then I would use the roller to spread the paint across the gel pad. A little paint goes a long way. Then I’d put leaves on the painted gel pad in an array I wanted. Finally I would put a piece of paper on the gel pad and firmly roll the roller on the gel pad. There were many different pieces of paper to choose from like printer paper, dictionary paper, music, paper, and more. It was super fun trying out all the different combinations and making some really cool designs. Then we would put them in our bags for storage. The next day we were collaging. The paint supplies were gone, replaced by the glue supplies. First we folded a big piece of paper into a certain shape. Then in a certain spot I would cut out my designs from the previous day and glue them to make a cool design. The next day we did the same thing but to the outside. I cut out a hole to see the inside from the outside.

After that I added the cover and the letters. It looked super cool! 

In conclusion I think reading The Last Cuentista was a good idea because it set me up for reading the Westing Game. In The Last Cuentista  I had to look for clues to understand the true meaning of the book. This was even more important for the Westing Game because there are so many little clues that will help you later on in the book. Also The Last Cuentista was a very interesting book with a lot of plot twists to make it fun to read. I will highly recommend this book to any young reader who wants a good Sci Fi book to read.


La Ciudad de Durham

Yo me llamo Jackson y voy a hablar de Durham. Yo tengo 12 años. Yo vivo en Durham, Carolina del Norte. Mi cumpleaños es de 12 de diciembre.

Primero en Durham, puedes visitar el Jardín de Sarah.P.Duke. Puedes ver las flores, caminar, descansar y tomar fotos. En mi opinión el Jardín de Sarah.P.Duke es colorido y bonito. ¿Te gustan las flores? ¿Te gusta descansar?

Segundo en Durham, puedes visitar el Museo Nasher. Puedes ver las pinturas, caminar, comer en el café y aprender. En mi opinión el Museo Nasher es colorido y moderno. ¿Te gusta el arte? ¿Te gustan las pinturas?

Tercero en Durham, puedes visitar la tienda SouthPoint. Puedes comer en restaurantes muy deliciosos, comprar en las tiendas, caminar es los jardines y hablar con tus amigos. En mi opinión la tienda SouthPoint es muy moderna y divertida.
¿Te gusta comprar? ¿Te gustan los restaurantes?

Asimismo, en Durham, puedes visitar el Teatro Carolina. Puedes ver películas, dormir, comer palomitas de maíz y escuchar música. En mi opinión el Teatro Carolina es muy divertido y emocionante. ¿Te gustan las películas? ¿Te gustan las palomitas de maíz?

Finalmente Durham tiene mi casa y la universidad de Duke. También, en Durham hay muchos edificios, museos y restaurantes muy deliciosos. Yo creo que Durham es muy moderna, bonita , divertida y limpia.

Gracias por tu atención.

Virtual Reality in Spanish. By Jackson

Virtual Reality in Spanish. 

By Jackson 

Last week in Spanish the class did an activity that I never knew even existed. At the start of class we got some glasses to wear. These were not ordinary glasses, instead they were virtual reality glasses. A VR headset is glasses that have screens for lenses so it feels like you are actually in the game. The virtual world is 360 degrees so you can look in any direction you want like in real life. Also, you hold motion controlled joysticks that are like hands in the game. The first day of using the VR headsets we logged in and we learned how to use the headset in an app called First Steps. In First Steps, we are in a futuristic room with a lot of color and objects flying above your head. There is a narrator that tells us what to do and what buttons to press. The narrator tells us how to hold the joysticks, how to look around and do different stuff in virtual reality. The next day we played a game that had something to do with Spanish. At first it was hard because I didn’t know how to tighten the headset so everything was blurry. Eventually I got it to work. Once the game loaded I was on a train talking to a friend that I haven’t seen in a while. The friend was just an AI with everything he said preprogrammed. The VR headset had microphone so I could actually talk which was pretty cool. It felt like I was actually in a Spanish Speaking country. After talking with the AI I got off the train and I was in a train station. The station  was very detailed so it was very believable. Then I walked outside and into a taxi. Sadly I had to stop because doing VR for an extended period of time is bad for your eyes. I think I learned a lot of Spanish and I hope I can do it again before school ends.

My Ideal World: Ohio

My Ideal World

By Jackson

If I could live on any planet in the universe I would live in Ohio. In Ohio only me, my friends and everyone in my family except my sister live there. This planet is not the shape of a ball, instead it is in the shape of Ohio. 

The leaders of Ohio are called the admins and they are: Me (Jackson) and Chris. The admins have a type of magical ability in Ohio. First, anything we want comes true. For example, if I want a million dollars, it comes true. The admins also own War Thunder, Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, and Among Us. We also have access to all the memes in the world. We can also make new ones with our real life talking Grumpy Cat. 

In Ohio there is no gravity instead people are magnetically tethered to Ohio. At any point you can make your tether longer. The planet orbits a neutron star giving us 1,000 terabytes per second of internet. 

In Ohio’s wildlife, cats and dogs are everywhere. Ohio has lots of birds, at the top of the food chain are the Broski Birds. The Broski Bird resembles and basically is a fighter jet. The Broski are loyal to Ohio and its people. In Ohio’s environment free food is everywhere. You can find any good food imaginable. There are also an abundance of $19 Fortnite cards on trees. And one of the oceans is a crater filled with all the video games and game passes in the world. Another feature is that the land expands on the will of the admins so Ohio is infinite. 

The weather of Ohio is superior to earth. For starters the oxygen level is 30%. Ohio is a great monopoly in diamonds because about every two weeks it rains diamonds. There is a reason why this is not lethal but I will explain this later in the writing. Sometimes it also rains candy. 

The life of a native Ohioan is very awesome. Since there are only friends and family in Ohio there is no pain unless the admins want it. Also, there is no death unless the admins want it. All of the residences have custom mansions with beach or lake front property. In addition, since we are all pro gamers all of the residents’ pronouns are ‘broski’. The best of the infrastructure of Ohio is instead of roads and such there are portals so you can teleport anywhere. 

People sometimes wonder, “How does Ohio defend itself?” Well this is how we do it. First, we have an almost infinite amount of nuclear weapons and lasers that can blow up anything. We have the Broski Birds that fight for us. Also, we are immortal. The best part is when times get desperate, we have the technology to make a clone of our neutron star and launch it at a planet or galaxy. 

You can visit our planet, you just can’t live here. 

DA Field trip to the NC Museum of Natural Science

It was a cold morning on January 27 2023, but not ordinary. The DA 6th grade went  on a field trip to the NC Museum of Natural Science. Once we were on the bus it was a 30 min bus ride to the museum. My favorite part of the field trip was the Underground NC exhibit. In this exhibit I could see a lot of cool gemstones. It was the first time I have ever seen an emerald in person. One of the emeralds was 1,000 carats, that is equivalent to 100 million US dollars. I also saw meteorites that have struck North Carolina. There were other gems and stones in the exhibit that I have never seen before, it was very interesting. 

My other favorite exhibit was the Nature’s Explorers exhibit. In this exhibit there was a fake NC marsh and you can use the sign to find cool objects in the marsh like a bird nest or a cool flower. Although my favorite part of the exhibit is the fish tank. In the fish tank there were real life fish with very long mouths. Since I was at the exhibit at 11:00 I got to see the staff feed the fish. It was fun watching the fish fight for the food. 

Overall I learned a lot in the museum and I had lots of fun. I recommend anyone willing to drive to Raleigh to give the museum a try.

Thanks to the DA teachers for the image.

Window or Mirror

I just read a book called The Wild Robot by Peter Brown that takes place in the future  when humans have invented robots. I have had this book sitting on my shelf for a while, but what finally motivated me to read it is an extra credit assignment for Computer Science. After reading this book it is definitely one of my top ten favorite books. I love how the story goes and the images are very good. Therefore I highly recommend this book to a reader of any level.  

I would say that this book is a window book because it kind of explains the island from the animal’s perspective on a fictional island. Also it takes place in the future and the main character is a robot. Usually I read window books because I like to read futuristic books or fantasy, also mirror books for me are hard to find.

The Red and Blue Coat

These past few weeks I have been working on my Wisdom Tales Project. The book is written by Heather Forest but the stories inside are from around the world. The story I did my project on was called The Red and Blue Coat. The Red and Blue is a African Folktale originating in the Congo. 

In my project, I decided to do a Scratch project. Scratch is an online platform where users upload code projects using block code. Other users can see your work. In this project, the among us character is the trickster and the other people are the two friends. In the story, the friends each see a different side of the trickster’s coat. They get into a big argument and it ruins their friendship. The moral is to look at the other person’s perspective. Probably the hardest part was getting the trickster to walk down the path realistically. My personal favorite part is when the trickster wins.  It took me about 3 hours to complete. I think my project is very interesting and people should watch it. Be sure to read Wisdom Tales. The morals are great.