This project was about the climate and how it is changing around us. We were already learning about this subject in humanities through our Model United Nations when Summer wanted us to begin working on this project. The goal of this project was to create an amazing piece that helps viewers understand what climate change is, in time for All School Exhibition. I was in a group of six people, through this group we created a visual map that demonstrates the temperatures, rising of sea levels, deforestation, and loss of coral. The time given for this project was three days. The first day we tried constructing the base of the painting, but the cardboard boxes we used didn't support itself like we thought it would. We then reused my Vietnam War painting to create the map. This only allowed us six hours to complete our map. It was completed just in time for All School Exhibition and it was a really fun opportunity to work with my fellow peers.
An Overview of the Domestication Project: In the domestication project, we started off by reading articles and watching videos about animals that have been domesticated. Before I continue further, domestication is when we take a wild animal and tame it to help us through our every day lives, or keep as a pet. One of the first videos we watched was about monkeys being tamed. They placed two monkeys in two different cells, then left a key in one and closed the door between them. In reach of one monkey was food, though it was far enough that the monkeys need to pull a rope to bring the food closer. The first experiment was to determine, if the monkey could do it on its own. He succeeded. Now the rope was further apart, and two monkeys were needed. The monkeys figured out how to get to the food, and had equal share. The last test was weather one monkey would share, if food was only given on one specific side. This was failed, and they learned that these animals will be harder to keep as pets.
After watching several videos similar to this last one, we began reading articles as well. An article that interested me was on Dingo's. These animals are very similar to dogs, but have different traits, that you wouldn't want as a pet. An example would be, they can be violent for no reason, and they have problems staying with families when let off leash. Dingos were mainly used in Australia where they herd cattle, though Dingo's also love to eat cattle. As you can see there are a lot of complications to these animals, but these scientists were still determined to have them help us. By learning about monkeys, dingo's, fish, birds, etc. we started seeing why animals were domesticated. Our class moved onto worksheets about how to domesticate a dog to hunt for food, and how to help someone in need. When Summer felt we all grasped the concepts we moved into genetics.
As someone new to genetics, I learned all about genotypes, phenotypes, homozygous, heterozygous, and punnet squares. All of these things were new concepts for me. I decided to go into Summer's office hours, and was then able to understand that we as people are made up of 23 chromosomes, which hold genes and alleles. I was able to grasp these concepts even more when our class moved into Meiosis and Mitosis. We started off with Mitosis, which is the form of reproducing skin and stomache cells. The process of this is through PMAT (Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, and Telophase). By fully understanding this process we played a sorting game on the computer, made short videos, as well as drew out the process multiple times. We then moved onto Meiosis, which is the production of sex cells. We learned the process of this was similar to Mitosis, but a bit longer: PMATPMAT (Prophase I, Metaphase I, Anaphase I, Telophase I, Prophase II, Metaphase II, Anaphase II, and Telophase II). We learned this concept the same way we did with Mitosis.
Once we had the basic forms of genetics down, we jumped back to our projects. We began forming ideas on how we were going to do our project, by writing down methods. We went through several drafts and peer tunes. We also refined out hypothesis, and predictions. We had Annotated Bibliography's growing, and we started collecting data. Some groups found data through forms, others through interviews, and studying their own animals.(I happened to do all three of those, which I explain below). Once we had all of our data collected we began working on Canva (a poster website), and began our infographics. We edited our data down to what was needed and placed basic facts on our infographics. Due to our teachers injury, we weren't able to complete a elevator pitch. But holding strong, we were able to put together an informative exhibition, that parents enjoyed.
My Project: For my domestication project, I decided I was going to learn about kneading. I had cats when I was little, but recently we just got a kitten. After my cat warmed up to our family, my cat began kneading. My cat was kneading the furniture, ripping things up, as well as kneading us (which if you have ever had a cat, is very uncomfortable). When starting this project, I decided I wanted to learn more about why cats kneaded. In each project we came up with essential questions, my essential question was, What variables affect frequency of kneading? Before I started my research I came up with a hypothesis. I thought that cats would knead more in the morning, on soft furniture, and with in close proximity to their owner. I found through research that cats knead more when they are younger, because the way they received milk from their mothers, was through kneading. It then becomes a habit, very much like us human beings when we are young and suck our thumbs. Later on when cats grow out of their kneading habits, they will still knead, but to create a soft bed for them to lay on. When the cats are wild, they will knead grasses, these grasses will keep them away from predators. By kneading they will still have a comfortable place to sleep. For a cat at your home, they will continue kneading, if you have any other animals in your house. On cats paws, they have scent glands in their pads, which will show other animals their territory.
Another method I took when looking at kneading, was I created a form for my peers to fill out. Through this form, I found overall that cats knead in the evening. Now I didn't further look into this, but through an educated guess, I believe cats will knead more in the evening because they have spent the majority of the day napping. This brings me to why cats knead. Now I mentioned a few reasons from research, but from my peers, they believed that cats knead when they are happy. When observing my cat, I found that the majority of the time spent kneading was while my cat was stretching. This then makes sense for evening kneading. Animals need to sleep a lot during their day especially cats, and for my cat in particular, I have noticed he will nap all day then run around the house late at night.
If I were to continue into this project, I would like to find out if my hypothesis for kneading in the evening is accurate. My research also brought on new questions like, why do cats prefer softer things to knead? I didn't look into weather cats knead more with in close proximity to their owners, because I felt this was a whole other project in its self. Maybe next time I can work better to see if this is true.