Creativity: Watch Charging Stand

Summary:

Recently I was fortunate enough to get a smartwatch as a gift. However, there was an issue I encountered with it. The simple magnetic puck type charger that the watch came with was very finicky. It was a challenge to connect the watch with the charger consistently. I looked online for a solution and saw several magnetic wireless charging stands for watches, however, they were priced 50$ and upward. I decided to make my charger stand instead. 

 

Design Process: 

I opened up Fusion 360, my 3d modelling software of choice, and designed a charging stand I found appealing. I went with an angular design, to contrast the curved design of the watch. I measured the magnetic puck charger and created a hole for the charger to fit within the stand. I carved out channels for the charger cable so that it could be guided out in an orderly fashion. 

 

I printed out the charger in 3 different parts, all in a light blue. I used a bit of super glue to fuse the parts. I placed the puck charger within the slot, and it friction fit, without any issues. The magnet on the charger was relatively strong, so I decided to add a tilt on the platform where the watch rests. The tilt makes the design more visually apeling and makes the screen easier to read when it’s charging. 

 

Learning Outcomes: 

 

The first primary outcome was “demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process”. It was a challenge to design a functional yet visually appealing charger. Since the chargers I saw on the internet were not the aesthetic I was going for I did not have much reference material to make my charger. 

 

The second primary learning outcome was “Identify your strengths and develop areas for personal growth”. I had already had experience with the 3D design however I rarely make designs that have to function with preexisting electronics, so it was a new challenge for me. 

Photos: 

This is the 3D design of the charging stand

Walking with Protesters

Sri Lanka’s economic situation has led to thousands of protesters demanding change, nationwide. While my family and I cannot join in on the protest, we could still watch the protesters and photograph what was occurring.

My mother and I walked around 4 large protests near our house, one by independence square, by the prime minister’s private residence, by the Rajapaksa theatre, and by the Town Hall. The whole walk was only 6km, however, we took our time.

Map of where I walked, and where the main protest groups were located.

 

Protest at Independace Square, the street lights were turned off, to try to disperse the protesters.

 Learning Outcomes: 

(#2) Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, and develop new skills. This was the first protest I have ever attended. It was eye opening to me, and changed my perspective on the roles of Government, and the power protesters can have.

(#4) Show commitment to and persevere in CAS experiences. Walking around town while protests were occurring was a challenge, we had to make plans, and determine the safest way to walk around.

Stage Management

Summary: 

Twice a year, the school holds a Gala, one in spring and one in winter. However, due to covid 19, there has not been a gala for the past 2 years. However, restrictions being lifted allowed the school to organize a spring gala. Along with the performers, a stage management crew was needed. In total there were 5 stage management crew members including me. 

 

There were 2 whole days of rehearsals, in which we needed to create a plan on how to organize, move, and set up the stage for each performance. Each of the 21 performances required different setups, and everything needed to go smoothly.

 

We created a document in which we clearly outlined the required chairs, stands, instruments, and mics. We also stated which person had to deal with which item to limit confusion. We also had a booklet with a hand-drawn layout of each of the setups, noting down the microphone, stand, and chair placements. 

Our stage management plan

To help us with the placement of the items, we had to “spike” the stage. This involved taking pieces of duct tape and marking down the placement of items for each performance. We developed a system for labelling the spikes using different colour markers for different items. 

Me adjusting the mic stand (Credit Senaya)

The actual day of the Gala was very stressful, we made sure to check everything, and make sure everyone knew what their jobs were. We had some issues during the setup of a few performances, one of the mic stands was broken, and had to be switched out. 

IB learner outcomes:

This whole 3-day experience taught me a lot: The first primary ib learner outcome was “Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.” Stage management was very challenging, it was extremely tedious to create an organisational system in which everything was accounted for. However, I did develop organizational skills, and the ability to develop detailed plans and strategies. 

 

Next to the learning outcome was “show commitment and perseverance in CAS experiences”. The whole 3-day process was 18 hours of work, it required a lot of perseverance, and commitment, as the entire gala performance depended on us. 

 

The final main learning outcome was “Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.” As a group, we were able to collaborate and develop our plans together in the most effective way. Without teamwork, we wouldn’t have been able to have effectively operated as a stage management team. 

 

Relaxing after a successful Gala performance
The stage management team creating a planning document

Service: Recycling and Sustainability

My service progress:

  • Since the start of the service semester, the service, recycling and sustainability, has achieved a lot. 
  • We have restarted our collection of paper and cardboard from each room within the OSC campus, to be sent for recycling. 
  • We cleaned and reorganized the recycling room, to allow us to store recyclables more efficiently. 
  • We also did an audit of the rooms, to figure out which rooms required new recycling boxes. And we also began reviving the biogas plant. The biogas plant produces gas when water and food waste is placed into it. Bacteria break down the food, creating gas which we can burn to cook food. However, because of covid restrictions, all the bacteria died off, and it has to be revived. This is done by putting cow manure into the opening, re-introducing the bacteria. 

Main Learning outcomes:

#3, Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience. We planned out how to revive the biogas plant, how to efficiently collect recyclables , and how to organize the recycling room. These were all service based actions, and they all were planned out. 

#4 Show commitment of an percenerace in CAS experiences. For 4 weeks, our service group has been putting cow manure into the biogas plant, to revive it. We also have consistently collected recyclables from every room, every week. 

Creativity: Tool Organizer

Summary:

A large part of my childhood was spending time in Denmark, with my grandfather, helping him fix his summer house on Orø. It allowed me to discover my passion for creating things with my hands. One of my favourite creations I created with my grandfather was a raft created from planks of wood, and large sheets of polystyrene. After my grandfather passed, I inherited a bunch of his tools. They spent most of their time in a toolbox, which was cumbersome to store, and made finding tools difficult. However, I decided I wanted to eliminate this issue, by creating a way of storing my tools in a way that was easy to access.

Process: 

I started this build by laying out all my tools on the floor, I measured the footprint that all the tools took up, then took 3 pieces of wood, and cut them to 110 cm pieces, I screwed them together with metal brackets. It was mounted to the wall with 8 drywall anchors and 6cm screws. After this, I decided the best way to mount the tools to the board was with custom 3D modelled and printed pieces. To 3D model brackets to hold the pieces, I had to take photos of the tools and import them into fusion 360, as a canvas. Then I had to design a custom fit bracket for each of the 30+ pieces mounted on the wall. I printed each of these pieces out and then screwed them into the wall using 1.5 cm screws.

Learning Outcomes: 

The 2 main IB outcomes were #2 and #4. Firstly I demonstrated that challenges were undertaken, developing new skills in the process. Creating the tool organizer poses several challenges, such as how to mount a solid wood, heavy tool organizer to a wall. I also learned several new skills during the process. Such as how to 3d model custom brackets, to fit a 3D object. I also showed commitment and perseverance, as it took several days to 3d model and 3d print all of the 30+ brackets for each tool. The whole process took several weeks.

Week Without Walls: Day 4&5

 

Summary: Day Four

Day four of WWW was easily one of the most exhausting days. After breakfast, we headed off into the forest on several hour hikes. While the hike was not necessarily long in distance, it was a lot more challenging because of the roots, rocks, and mud obscuring the path. We stopped off at a rock face, where we saw pitcher plants. Plants that are designed to trap and dissolve insects who fall into their base. We continued on our hike, we arrived at a large opening where 2 waterfalls connected into a larger creak. In some of the various rock pools, there was the same skin eating fish, we encountered the day before. After spending about an hour exploring the open area, we headed back to camp. On the hike, we saw several species of frogs and insects. We saw the “first plants” on earth. 

Sunset on day 4 of Week Without Walls.

 

Summary Day Five:

Our final day began with an option bird walk. After breakfast, we packed up our rooms and headed down in the jeeps down the steep and narrow cliffside. On the bus we slept, edited photos, wrote reflections, and snacked. We stopped at the service station for lunch, where I got a finely seasoned subway sandwich. We arrived back at school around 4:00.


Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, spotted in the afternoon, day 5.

IB Learner Outcomes: 

#4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences. The hike we did in the forest was a clear demonstration of perseverance. The hike took several hours, and we had to cover uneven and rocky terrain. 

 

 

Week Without Walls: Day Three

Day Three: 

Day three of my week without walls adventure began, as usual, with a 6:00 wake up. We spotted a rather large peacock perched in a tree, the warm morning light hitting its feathers. Straight after breakfast, we departed off to the rainforest ecolodge. Our second location for our down south trip. However, there was a slight issue, as our large 20 person buses could not make it up the windy narrow hillside roads, so, we had to disembark our enclosed and ACed buses to enter some open-top jeeps for the remaining hour of the trip. It was a huge climate shock to be in the cool humid hill country, com0ared to the dry and hot environment we were in before. On the way up we stopped several times to admire the vast view of the valley, from the cliff sides. We also noticed new wildlife around us, including several deer crossing signs. 

 

After making it to the hotel alive we had lunch and got our room sorted out. At 4:00 we headed into the rainforest in search of “fish therapy” where a certain species of fish eats the dead skin off your body. The fish were a lot larger than I experienced. Some fish were easily bigger than my thumb. The feeling was nothing like I had experienced before, it was the strangest sensation. We finished off the day with an incredible 3-course meal.

 

IB learning Outcomes: 

“Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences” Today, by trying new activities, such as hiking in a rainforest, taking jeeps up a steep mountainside, and putting my feet into skin eating fish, I demonstrated commitment to CAS experiences. By putting myself outside of my comfort zone I was able to experience new adventures.

Week Without Walls: Day Two

Day Two Summary:

Day Two was easily the most action-packed day of the whole trip. We woke up at an early 6:15 and started our day with a comprehensive bird watch, accompanied by tea and biscuits. Straight after breakfast, we set off to Sithulpawwa. When we arrived at the parking lot we were greeted with boars, an elephant and a sambar deer, all of which seemed comfortable around humans, and were searching for food. We hiked up to the temple which faced a large portion of the untouched Yala national park. We continued exploring caves that contained statues of the Buddha, and bats. We had to hike up to visit the second temple. It was not easy as it was mainly on rough terrane, and rock sides. We saw several birds on the way down, including a crested serpent eagle. 

After visiting the temple, we made our way to Bundala national park, mainly known for its birdlife. We saw hundreds of birds, and some endemic, endangered and rare birds. Here is a list of some of the most memorable birds:

  • Blue-tailed bee-eater

    Group Photo after Hiking up Sithulpawwa
  • Crested Serpent eagles
  • Painted storks
  • Whistling ducks
  • Osprays
  • Water Cocks
  • Egrets
  • Yello waddled lapwings
  • Spoon Bills
  • Open Bills
  • Great thick-knees
  • Water Hen
  • Black Headed Ibis

At 6:00 when the park closed we headed back home, arriving in time for dinner. After some downtime we did another night walk, this time going even further. We stopped to gaze at the stars and the sounds of nature. 

 

IB learner Outcomes:

I demonstrated that challenges were undertaken and that I developed new skills. Hiking up to the second temple at Sithulpawwa, was very exhausting, as it was a steep climb, and in mid-day dry Sri Lankan heat.  I learned new skills in photography, being out in a national park in a jeep, allowed me to experiment with different techniques and allowed me to improve my photo-taking skills.

Photos I took at Sithuupala and Bundala:

Week Without Walls: Day One

 

Whistling Ducks & Ducklings

Summary of Day One:
Part of the OSC experience is WWW, Week Without Walls, where we take learning beyond the classroom. I participated in the “Down South” trip. Where we explored the south of Sri Lanka, in two different locations, Back and Be

yond in, Kahandamodara, and Rainforest Ecolodge. We departed for Kahandamodara at a reasonable 9:00, significantly later than some of the other WWW groups. We arrived at Kahandamodara just in time for their infamous rice and curry. After some downtime, we ventured over to an estuary. On the way, we passed plenty of birdlife, including whistling ducks and ducklings.

Playing the game “Kings” at the Estuary

We were not allowed to go swimming into the estuary, because of strong currents and the possible threat of saltwater crocodiles. However, that did not stop us from having fun playing in the sand, dipping our toes into the warm water and admiring the vibrant sunset. We also spotted several birds of prey soaring over us, and some smaller birds foraging for insects in the sand.

After dinner, we went on a night walk. We searched for whatever amphibians and insects were lurking in the night. We learned several tips and tricks on how to take good night photos, by changing lighting, exposure time, and angle. We tested our newfound skills in photography on some lizards, and spiders we spotted.

 

IB Learning Outcomes:

The main IB Learner outcome that was targeted on our first day of WWW, was #1: “Identify your own strengths and develop areas for personal growth”. On the first day, I was able to identify my strengths with photography. The day posed different opportunities for me to identify my strengths in photography, such as seeing those whistling ducks. I was also able to identify some areas I wanted to focus on. After taking some close up photos of insects during the night walk, I wanted to improve my abilities to do so.

Another learner outcome that was targeted was “demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively”. During the night walk, there was a lot of collaborative work, such as spotting insects, providing lighting, and giving advice on camera angles. The collaborative work allowed us to take more and higher quality photos of the animals we spotted.

Kithulgala Hydropower

Within November 2021, our grade went on a 3 day IB orientation trip to Kithulgala. We combined the typical IB orientation trip with a science component. On Thursday, our second day at Kithulgala we explored the science aspect of the trip.

For the first part, we visited a small local hydropower plant. This was an interesting experience because we were able to see all the concepts we studied in physics, in action. We were fortunate enough to view the 2 turbines generating 2,000 kW of power. We asked one of the local technicians about the specifications of the turbines, such as the head height, and flow rate, which are essential to the generation of power. We later used this information to calculate the efficiency of the turbine, which we discovered to be about 80%.

On our way down to the bus, we stopped at a large hydropower dam being built for a hydropower plant several kilometres down the river. It was fascinating to see the same properties of the small scale hydropower plant, at a large scale. We used some of the information we were able to observe and research to calculate the potential amount of energy the large power plant could generate.

After lunch, the science groups separated and the physics group set off to generate our electricity from a small turbine we placed under flowing water. We did several experiments to determine the effect of head height on power generated from 2 different turbines. We found that the Pelton wheel turbine produced a lot more power than the Francis wheel, it was about twice as efficient. We used our data to calculate the potential maximum amount of energy we could generate from our water flow. And we calculated the efficiency of our turbines, which was about 1%, which is expected if you look at the number of inefficiencies within the system.

Our exploration into hydropower was aided by our trips to hydropower plants, and our investigation into the effects of flowrate and head height on power generation.