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Science Mini-Capstone

Inquiry: How to find spring constants and what effect they had on spring expansion.

Research: We read things online

Collaboration: I worked with a classmate and we got help from Ms. Echols.

Presentation: We made a board and presented at the science fair.

Reflection: We could find the same things but look at spring contraction.

See our project: ​
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Mini Capstone

Mini Capstone: DNA

Inquiry: I wanted to know DNA patterns.

Research: I researched DNA online and DNA structure.

Collaboration: Me and a bunch of my classmates showed off our DNA projects.

Presentation: My presentation was a 4ft model of DNA made of candy. It actually was the reason I got an A on the project.

Reflection: I wish I would have made the model sturdier.

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G9 Mini Capstone

Chloe Epstein





Inquiry- I wanted to know more about Pollution and how it affects the world in different ways so I could prove it’s existence to people who think it’s not a serious problem.

Research- We gathered information by using resources like the internet and teachers who knew about this topic.

Collaboration- Since focusing on a problem like pollution we were a part of the community because if we don’t do something about our polluted climate soon there will be no community at all.

Presentation- We both took turns speaking and tried to be loud and keep people interested. We were also well prepared when answering questions.

Reflection- I would’ve made our project more complex, for example, during the experiment we could’ve used different amounts of octane, types of gases, and types of plants.
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Reflection: the Finale

DNA Project:
Inquiry: We asked the question "how does DNA appear in our cells?"
Research: We had to go to multiple sites to find what was necessary for our essay portion of the DNA project.
Collaboration: Me and Makhi worked together to build the model of the DNA and to gather the resources necessary for doing so.
Presentation: For the board, we had to cut different boards and connect them in innovative ways.
Reflection: In the future, I would not make the DNA out of Twizzlers, as they got crusty and broke.
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G9 Mini Capstone

My most intriguing project of the year would be burning glass in order to make it bend. I had never done it and never thought it could be done. I still remember what I had made.

I wanted to know why does that type of glass is able to be bent when heated, would other class have the same ability to? When I was doing the experiment, I did gather and organize some data. Such as how long it took to actually be able to bend the glass, compared with the timing of my partner’s, Miranda Abazoski. I was part of a great community, which is my class for bio, we help each other, and just support each other when needed. Such as sharing samples, data, etc. I didn’t really do a presentation with that project, it was more of a discussed type of presentation if you want to say it. I enjoyed it, it was one of the first experiments I had done here at SLA, thanks to Mr.Sherif! What I would do differently would be to leave the glass longer in the flames so I can easily bend it more, I noticed that I had to put much force into bending it, because I had took it out too quick.

Overall the experience was great! Throughout the year, almost all the experiments I really did enjoyed.

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G9 Science Mini-Capstone

Dissection Portfolio

Inquiry - How is the human body similar/different to the bodies of other organisms?

Research - My group gathered information by dissecting the different organisms besides humans as well as looking up information from online resources.

Collaboration - I worked with my partners to help research more about the anatomy of humans, frog, and grasshoppers

Presentation - My group’s presentation was clear and easily understood by anyone reading it. All of the systems in the presentation were all clearly display via the chart of all of the bodily systems.

Reflection - I would have liked to make some of the information more thorough so we could have more to offer our class.

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Best Project This Year

This year we completed a lot of projects. My favorite project would have to be my favorite is the Evolution benchmark. The evolution benchmark expressed the core value on inquiry. We asked questions about certain turtles and their common traits. My group worked well on finding out about the different turtles. We asked around about different turtles that we could use and them used them in our presentation. Each person in the group did equal parts of the presentation. All of us knew the work and answer all questions we had. Link to presentation.
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Water Filter

Core Values from SLA From the water filter lab
-Inquiry: The question was can we make safe water filters with organic materials that are all natural and safe for the environment. 
-Research:  I researched what material filters water more from stones, dirt, grass and sand.. Then researched the best way to build a safe clean water filter that would be easy to  carry around and would still be fun. 
-Collaboration: I worked with my partner Brittany A. and David to make the filter. We each brought in one water bottle and made the filter.
-Presentation: I decorated my bottle to be a little silly with it, but with presentation we talked to the class about the findings we found about which filter worked better. Which was the sand and stone filter the water came out cleaner than when it started
-Reflection: This could be considered a deflection but , in the end we compared the pH levels of the water. 

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Genetic Disorders

The best project was the study and comparison of genetic disorders. The purpose of the project was to better understand how genetics influences our physical and biochemical identity.  Our group decided to compare adult and pediatric glaucoma.

Below is a summary of how SLA's core values relate to the project.

  • Inquiry: We wanter to know more about different types of glaucoma. We also wanted to know what it's like to have glaucoma and treatments.
  • Research:  We used official medical sites, articles and got help from a  professional in pediatric glaucoma.
  • Collaboration: I got the best help from every single person in the team. We had an opportunity to participate and share what I know and learn new things.  We found a way to have fun while doing the work we were supposed to do.
  • Presentation: Presentation was good.  We used a slideshow to explain and compare how pediatric and adult glaucoma. 
  • Reflection: If I’d do the project again, I’d probably use more pictures and go into more details, because glaucoma is a very deep topic.
Below is the project slideshow and the link is HERE.

Q1 Glaucoma BM Presentation (Table 1)
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My most intriguing project was the Science Fair Project

Mali and I wanted to know what really happens when you dye your hair and if what they say is true, that it damages your hair and gives you split ends. We also wanted to know if the damage could be repaired with natural oils.

We looked up the structures of the oils so we could find out what really makes them repairing agents. We also looked up what else they do and what was in them.

We were apart of the community because we found out that argan oil and coconut oils really do help hair and that dye really does damage hair. This especially helps people who are thinking about dying their hair but are questioning whether to or not.

We had many pictures in our presentation that were really intriguing to our audiences, and a great visual aid for the visual learners.

I would change the experiment to something less tedious.
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The most interesting project that I completed this entire year was the SFP water filtration and the follow up water filtration experiment in class. 

Inquiry: Before I started these experiments I wanted to know how to filter the river water using biotic filters. The reason I wanted to know this is because half of Philadelphia’s drinking water comes from the Schuylkill River. If we can find out how to improve the water using renewable sources then it will be very time and money efficient. 

Research: For research my partner and I explored plants and their root systems. We did this to understand why and how plants were excellent filters. When researched we found out that plants’ roots absorbed nutrients, phosphates, nitrates, and didn’t add any excess matter. We also researched turbidity levels and the normalcy levels for different water systems. We then looked at pH levels. 

Collaboration: In terms of collaboration I had a partner for the SFP, and then worked with my table group for the in class water filtration. My partner and I worked side by side the entire time together. For the in class experiment, my group all worked on different jobs to make the results come together. We even did the experiment again to retest the results and to add some components. I also collaborated with Mr. Sherif to help with the science behind the experiment. I had a couple of peer editors for my SFP writeup. 

Presentation: For my presentation I made a slideshow for the SFP with my partner. For the in class lab I wrote the data in my lab data book. For the SFP my partner and I also presented it to fellow classmates and scientists. 

Reflection: When I was reflecting I was thinking about the possible errors I made and future modifications. For modifications on my SFP I would use different types of plants for filtration. I would do this because from my research I learned that plants were the most effective natural filters so I would like to find the best plant for the river. 

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G10 Science Mini-Capstone

​My Science Fair Project

Inquiry: I wanted to learn about how stain removers work and how successful they are. I also wanted to find out what makes permanent markers permanent.
Research: I gathered my information by testing my experiment in the lab to get my results. I also did research to figure out the science behind. I organized my info in a chart and a graph.
Collaboration: I was a part of a community because I had help from my teacher and classmates with making and preforming my project. Also I presented to a bunch of other people during the Science Fair.
Presentation: My presentation strategy was basically me making up a script in my head and I rehearsed what I was going to say about my project.
Reflection: If I was to do somethings about my project differently I would add more trials with different kinds of stains. I would also change the colors of sharpies I used because I think that might have messed up my results. I would do more research for the science behind too because I found that part interesting.
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Mini Capstone - Bella Beato

My most interesting project was my SFP. I exploded balloons with chilled and room temperature alcohol in them and tested there combustion rate. Here is my write up and presentation. My project relates back to the SLA core values. 

Inquiry- I wanted to know what temperature of alcohol combust faster for safety reasons. 

Research- I used research to find out chemical equations and speed of molecules. 

Collaboration- Me and my partner worked together perfectly

Presentation- I made my slides clear and easy to read without a lot of words  

Reflection- If I were to do this differently I would use fuels instead of alcohols 
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            One of the most intriguing projects of the year for me was the SFP. This is because it was self instituted and I enjoyed watching myself grow independently. My SFP was really interesting because it was all question based. One day I was looking at the wall around my grandmother’s radiator and saw that a lot of the paint was peeling. I then went home and looked at my radiator and saw that none of the paint was peeling. This sparked my interests so it became my SFP. The internet was my best friend with researching and also real life observations. I did not co-work on any SFP projects but I did gain advice from a lot of members of my community.  I think my presentation was simple and sweet. The information was laid out placidly and it made it very easy to understand. If I were to do something differently then I would be more accurate with the data factors of my experiment. Overall, I thought I was very effective with achieving my goals in this project.                                                    
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G10 Science Mini-Capstone

Science Fair Project

I wanted to know why bacteria grew in different temperature. I gathered my information by researching my topic on the internet, and I also had a book that I looked through. I was a part of a commntity when I presented with others to scientists, I also got help from my teacher and classmates. My presentation was effective because I got to share my project with many people. I would change the places I swabbed and I would change the temperatures. 
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Science Mini Capstone

One of my favorite capstones from this year is the Q1 genetics

BM. During this project I discovered the innards of how genetics works.

Our team studied Leukemia. Leukemia is a term that originates from

the greek roots leukos, meaning white, and aima, meaning blood.

This condition can be critical because it is a cancer that harms

the flow of your white blood cells. White blood cells are necessary for

maintaining a healthy immune system. So this issue is of extreme

concern to me.

During the Q1 semester we learned various other topic on

genetics. I learned how to read and create a punnett square. I learned

about dominance and recessive; co-dominance and hereditary traits;



Our team had questions on genetics and on how leukemia worked.


I wanted to learn more about leukemia, so my team and I

researched what it was and what it did.


The team I worked with collaborated to discover the various

properties on Leukemia and genetics as a whole.


After our research was complete, we felt obligated to present our

research to the class.


Our classmates gave us generous feedback in which we added to our

knowledge of genetics as a whole.

Genetics Q1BM

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My most intriguing project was my Science Fair Project about analyzing the damage of hair dye and the healing effects of coconut and argan oil. 

​Inquiry- I wanted to know what really happens when you dye your hair and if what people say about hair damage due to dye is true. I also wanted to know if the damage could be repaired with natural oils like coconut and argan oil. 

Research- We researched about the repairing structure of coconut and argan oil. Coconut oil has vitamin E which helps repair the skin and hair. Also we looked up what else they do and what was in them.

Collaboration- We were apart of the community because we found out that argan oil and coconut oils really do help hair and that dye really does damage hair. This especially helps people who are thinking about dying their hair but are questioning whether to or not.

Presentation- We had many pictures in our presentation that were really intriguing to our audiences, and a great visual aid for the visual learners.

Reflection- I would want to go further with the experiment and learn if ethnicity effects the structure of hair strands. 
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Mini Capstone: Brandon Yam

One of the most intriguing projects I've done was my SFP. Relating to the core values, for inquiry I wanted to know how much bacteria actually gets on your food within 5 seconds of it being dropped on the floor. For research, I searched various of websites and looked into other projects from previous years relating to bacteria. For collaboration, I shared my information with my classmates that did projects relating to bacteria. For Presentation, I was effective by making eye contact with those I spoke with and gave them a sense of familiarness so it isn't awkward between the presenter and audience. For reflection, I would change the food I did. Instead of using fruits, I would use meats because of the bacteria that is in meat naturally. 
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Post Science Mini-Capstone

My most intriguing project was a recent project of mine, my SFP. I test rocket candy which is rocket fuel, I thought it was my best project this year. It's something that I am will to spend a lot of time with. 

Inquiry: I wanted to know which rocket candy burned the longest. 

Research:  I gather this info by making four solid rocket candies and lighting them on fire to see which one would burn the longest. 

Collaboration: I had a lot of helpers help me in the lab, preparing and helping me light the rocket candy. Also during the science fair, lots of scientist and teachers crowded around me and were very engage in what I was doing. 

Presentation: The design of my slide show was very creative and nice, and the fact that I had a video engaged the audience.  

Reflection: For my project, I would measure the heat of the flame and the intensity of the flame. 

Click here for my video of the experiment.  
Here is my slideshow. 
SFP Rocket Candy
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G10 Science Mini-Capstone_Kevin Courtney

Probably my most intriguing project for sophomore year of Bio-Chemistry has to be my SFP (you know me) project. 
INQUIRY: What I wanted to know was the rate of evaporation by doing the melting process on candy.

RESEARCH: I gather my information by researching what evaporation is and how it keeps you body cool.

COLLABORATION: I was part of my community by asking my fellow peers to taste the candy after the experiment to see if the candy was still cool.

PRESENTATION: The only thing that was effective if I knew what I was saying and did not stuttered. My presentation was great and I was given an achievement award for having one of the best SFP projects. 

REFLECTION: The only thing I would do differently would be still do the same trials, but do at least nine trials because every three trials use a different type of light bulb.

To see my SFP slideshow presentation click here 
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Science Mini-Capstone SFP

Inquiry- I wanted to know how long it would take for filter paper dipped in catalase to rise to the surface of hydrogen peroxide.
Research- i just put the slides in the order they are suppose to be in.
Collaboration- I don't know.
Presentation- I just winged it.
Reflection- I would Explain a little more.
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G10 Science Mini Capstone

​Reflection: Q2 Aspirin Lab

Core Values: 
Inquiry: I wanted to know if I could synthesize a common drug in a high school laboratory.
Research: I gathered info by checking temperature and toxicity every step of the way.
Collaboration: Given that I was the one in the group who did most of the work, I learned what it's like to be the only one invested in a project. Then again, I already knew.
Presentation: The smoke spectacle was a rather interesting presentation of my project to the class.
Reflection: I would plan out more and prepare better
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Biochem 2014 - Mini Capstone

The project I chose to reflect on was genetic illnesses from the first quarter, when we studied Glaucoma. 

Inquiry - I wanted to know some disease of the eye. We chose to study Glaucoma

Research -  we had a classmate in our group that actually has glaucoma, so we got most of the information from her.

Collaboration - We assigned to each member of our group what exactly we had to research, and then we put it all together in our final presentation.

Presentation - We took turns explaining each slide, with our classmate explaining exactly what glaucoma is and her experience. 

Reflection - I would probably go to one of my doctors and ask for more information to make the research more primary rather than finding the information online.

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