Monday, August 24, 2009

Julie's wishlist for birthday and Christmas

  • warm pajamas
  • 8G+ jump drive
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
  • The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
  • The Skrewtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  • aquarium plant food for the new bamboo plant I got from SWE (just a little bit)
  • an SD card for the new video camera I got from SWE

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Physics Camp 2009

Guess I had better write about this camp before I have completely forgot it, with Calculus and Physics figures replacing it.

The major goal of physics camp was to create a theme park (a map of the park and three working rides). So the first day, the kids had to come up with a them for the theme park and a logo (instead of a patch). My team had a lot of great ideas and it was hard to narrow it down to just one. We eventually decided on Marine Land (like the ocean, not the military), but none of us could figure out how to spell Marine (I don't think I have quite gotten it yet), so we would use the theme of Marine Land but give it a better name. I thought of Oceania, and I was strangely reminded of 1984, but none of the kids knew about that. After much brainstorming and compromising we came up with Oceania Reef (which has a nice ring to it, even if it does remind me of 1984).

We then had to work on our logo and our commercial. We decided that we would do a compare and contrast thing for the commercial and we would have a crab holding up a piece of coral saying "Oceania Reef" for the logo. I divided up the team into the artists and actors. The actors set to work on the commercial and the artists started drawing the crab. I was so excited for that crab, and it was a really good looking crab. The artists finished the crab, after having a small crisis, of completely using up a blue pencil to the point where it could no longer be sharpened, but we still needed the pencil, fortunately John's team was nice enough to share with us.

The actors had been making good progress on the commercial, but needed a little bit more help, so we got the whole group together, and had them preform for us what they had so far. It was a really great commercial, it just needed a bit more structure, so we worked it out together, and it was a fabulous commercial. We won top logo and I think that we won best commercial, but I can't remember, some of the other teams had really cool commercials too.

The next day we started work on our theme park and we had the great idea to have the park's midway be in the shape of a hurricane, or a long spiral descending into the ground. We then divided the park up into different areas, such as sponge bob, hurricane, pirates, tropical paradise and atlantis, just to name a few. We started adding rides and attractions to the park on the sketch on the white board. We then started working on a draft, and got some major things added to it. Then we put it all on the real thing. It started to look really cool. By this time, the rides had also begun to be under construction. We also did our four 1 hour missions. It was a crazy hectic day!

On the third day, we went to Lagoon, and that was fabulous. We went around with the kids to different rides and just had a blast. To start off the day we got to have a glass of water on the white roller coaster and try to keep as much in it as possible. We also got to take washers and stuff on the rocket and see them in free fall!

Last day, and time to finish up the theme parks. We had some crazy last minute rushes, but in the end it all worked out well. The rides were pretty cool and our map was amazing!

We had the two hour mission, eek! and we didn't do so well. We were in the cockpit and we had a lot of missed switches and stuff. And then on the space walk, the satelite was turned off mid repair, so nothing worked. Eek! But we had a great time during the mission!

Then it was time to judge the theme parks. Mr. Williamson came up special from Pleasant Grove's Space Education Center as a special judge. Ed, Lois, and Maren were the other judges. And our team won the theme parks! We totally had the best theme park! I love Oceania Reef! It was such a fun week!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Academy Camp 2009

Academy Camp was a while ago, but I guess that I had better update my blog with it.

I loved Academy Camp. Academy Camp was the first Delta team that I had and I was so excited. Delta in the language of math means "the change in." I really wanted to teach my campers how to find the slope of a line and have that be one of our cheers. I also wanted to make a patch in the shape of a triangle, because in Greek, the symbol for delta is a equilateral triangle. At Academy Camp we went by call signs instead of our real names. I couldn't decide a call sign, but I finally decided to just go with what I love and my call sign was "Calc" for calculus.

I had a younger group of campers, but they had so much energy with them. We started off the camp by deciding what we wanted to be known as and they decided that we should be the "Delta Dinos". I then taught them how to find a slope and I would ask, "What's the slope of a line?" and they would reply "Delta Y over Delta X." I was so proud of them!

Our patch did end up in the shape of a triangle, probably because of team leader pressure. It also had a giant nest with lots of dinos in it, and an explosion, so that we could do the "dinomite" cheer.

The first day we started with missions, and that was scary (normally missions are on the second day and we have time to practice before the missions), but my campers did fine. They got to choose their own positions and that worked out pretty well, the kids were in the positions that they wanted and they liked being there.

On the second day we went to Dive Utah. That was fabulous getting to go underwater in scuba gear and it was an amazing experience getting to breath underwater. At camp we have a whole bunch of conversation starters, and one of them is what super power would you want to have? I have always answered be able to breath under water and this week I was able to experience my super power with technology. It was awesome. (Sometime when I have lots of money to spend on wants, I am going to do some more scuba) All of the kids loved it too, and a lot of them want to get scuba certified.

While one team was at Dive Utah, the other Team Leaders were teaching classes to the other teams. My class was called School House Rock and I taught about the importance of an education. I started out with a hard test for them to take and I wanted them to get questions wrong. Then I asked them why they did badly on the test, and then I asked them why it is important to study. Then I talked about different ways to study and the kids made a list on the board of different study methods. I then taught the kids how to use cornell notes, and the importance of taking notes. (Most people are one of three different types of learners: auditory, visual or kinesthic; however normally people are a mix of the three and not just one. So when we take notes we combine all three learning methods into one beautiful experience. We hear the teacher lecturing (auditory), we see what we write on the note page (visual) and we are moving our hand across the page (kinesthic). Notes are also important because they give you something to study with.) Then I let the kids retake the test, and they all improved. I talked about why we should study for our tests, because then we will do better than we originally could. Then I talked about why it is important to get a good education and then I told the "Story of my life":

I set a goal for myself to get a 4.0 in all of secondary education. I knew that it was something I could do, I just had to be willing to work for it. I didn't have a job in high school, so that I could do my homework and have time to study. Some of my friends did have jobs and they had all sorts of money in high school. They could go spend $100 shopping and not even worry about it. They could often go eat fast food for lunch, and I was stuck with school lunch. I wasn't able to have all of these wants in high school, and sometimes it was hard. It would have been nice to have that kind of money during high school. However I was able to keep up my good grades and they didn't get as high of grades as they could have. Some of them could have gotten much better grades but they chose not to do their homework in the remaining time of day left to them after school and work. They wanted to play. I was able to do my homework and still have time to play.

These friends have probably graduated high school making somewhere between $2000-$4000. That is a lot of money. However, because I had a good GPA and good test scores as well as many extra circs I was able to receive many scholarships. I got the full ride scholarship at Utah State. I have also gotten many additional scholarships. My schooling should be completly paid for for my first year at least. For one scholarship I got to go eat a fancy lunch at the Salt Lake Hilton. It was really cool, there were waiters and many people walking around. It felt really cool. Then during the banquet, I got to go up to the front and they gave my a check for $1000. They just gave it to me. It was really cool. I estimate that I have recieved upwards of $20,000 for my schooling. I have recieved so much more money than my friends who had jobs. Education really does pay, and this story was just in high school. Can you imagine what the differences will be in a few years? When we both have jobs and I am making so much more than they are because I have a better job that I got through education?

We also went to Camp Williams. We got to go to the LRCs and do the repel tower. It was cool watching these kids do so many hard things.
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