Sunday, September 28, 2014

Learning from Across the Ocean

          Before we had our chat with Jamie, we watched another video of him explaining how early textiles in mills worked. He used a lot of terms that we were unfamiliar with such as roving and slubbing. We looked up the definitions of all the words we heard to make sure we knew what he was talking about in the chat and we could use some of them when talking to him. We also went on the website of the museum he works at, MOSI, to gather some background information. Using everything we already knew about the mills we planned some questions we might ask Jamie during the chat.
          We learned a lot during our chat with Jamie. He went to a couple different parts of the exhibit
Picture of the machines packed tightly in the mills
to show us about the mills. He first showed us the hand loom which was used during the cottage industry. Families would spin their own cotton to make cloth using the loom and it took a lot of effort. The children would prepare the cotton by straightening it with wire brushes. Then the mother put it on the loom for the father to weave it. It could usually take weeks to make a single piece of cloth. Soon the water frame was created and it was crucial in the transition from the cottage industry to the factory system. It spun multiple threads at a time and was used in mills to make multiple peices of cloth much faster than the hand loom. A lot of people got jobs at the mills, including children, to support their families with money and to fuel the high demand of cotton. However, with the cramped conditions in the mills, there were definitely downsides to this. Without proper ventilation there was a lot of cotton dust in the air that workers would breathe in everyday and it would eventually build up in their lungs. Illness could spread very easily with workers all touching the same machinery that others did. It was very loud in the mills with all the looms going and would cause workers' hearing to deteriorate overtime. There were also many accidents that happened all the time in the factories due to all different kinds of things like getting caught in a machine or being in the way of a large moving piece. Some were just as simple as slipping and falling. The mill owners didn't care very much about the conditions of their workers and fatalities because they really just cared about their profits. They even used orphans as workers so they wouldn't have to pay them. All they had to do was feed them and give them a place to sleep. Eventually in the early 1900s, they had children going to school for a couple hours each day to get educations.
          I liked doing a chat with an outside expert who knows so much about what we are learning about. It definitely helped to see the machinery that was used and to be able to ask him any questions we weren't sure of to help get a better understanding. It wasn't too hard to take notes while he was talking I was able to pick out the most important information he shared. I got a couple pictures of what he showed us that are somewhat clear. Sometimes the quality of the video wasn't great and it was hard to make out what he was saying becuase it was repeatedly freezing for a couple seconds but that didn't take away from the overall experience and issues like that didn't last long. I would like to do something like this later in the school year with other topics we learn about.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our Own Mini Museum

Being a museum curator can sometimes be a difficult job. There's a lot you have to take into consideration when creating an exhibit many people are going to be seeing and judging with their own personal opinions of what makes a good looking exhibit. It is important that you display key information quickly in a short few sentences.   In class, we split into small groups and created our own little exhibits on different topics from the Industrial Revolution. Our group's was about steam powered transportation and controversy over it. It was titled "Steam Powered Transportation: Now We're Getting Somewhere". Earlier we had written what we thought was a good process a museum curator should go through when creating a presentation. We made sure to follow after those steps as best as we could. We received six sources for our topic and the first thing we did was analyze each one and pull out important information the reader should know in order to understand the topic better. We created descriptions for each source describing its purpose and providing information connecting back to the main topic. After we figured out approximate sizes of each piece being displayed (they all needed to fit on a big piece of paper we were provided with) we needed to figure out the order of them and how to display them. The exhibit starts with a diagram showing how the steam engine works to make the viewer familiar with it since it was mentioned through the rest of the exhibit. After that, there was a map of metal and coal production which were important for industrialization and creating steam engines. Then, there was a timeline of many locomotives that were built that flowed through the middle and side of the paper. After the timeline was a painting of a steam powered train and a debate about the effectiveness of steam engines. Finally, there was a letter about the greatness of the steam engine with important quotes taken out and enlarged. We constructed our exhibit before displaying it for the whole school to see and learn from.
Our presentation
"Steam Powered Transportation: Now We're Getting Somewhere"
There were four other groups that had different topics. The first was titled "Spinning into Slavery". It was about slavery in the U.S. and its involvement in mills. After the start of the Industrial Revolution, slavery increased by a lot because workers for cotton and textile mills were in high demand and helpless people were used to make mony off of manufactured goods. The second one was called "Spinning a City". This one was about the advancements of textile mills. The textile loom had been created to be able to weave clothes faster. Textile mills were powered by steam engines and helped produce a larger amount of clothing for people while making it easier for workers. The third one was called "Pollution of the Revolution". Big industries and more machinery being created meant there was more waste and fuel that needed to go somewhere and the Industrial Revolution brought on a lot of pollution making rivers gross and flooding town streets with polluted water creating an environment that was not fit for living in. Finally, the fourth one was "Condemning the Innocent: Child Labor in the Industrial Revolution". As you can tell from the title, this one was about the use of child labor in industries. Most workers in cotton mills started when they were under 10 years old. Children needed work to support their families and turned to the mills as a convenient place for a job despite the poor work conditions and health risks they faced.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Steam that Powers a Nation

In class we have started to learn about the Industrial Revolution. An important question we have been focusing on is "What was 'revolutionary' about industrialization?". There were a lot of different aspects that can help answer this question. Answers to the question can be split up into smaller categories which are people, technology, resources, and transportation. The industrial revolution was very important in advancing all of these different parts of life and has shaped the way we live now. A lot of things we have in our lives today were a result of industrialization back in the 18th and 19th centuries. I will be talking about how people and transportation were very revolutionary at the time.

A model of the seed drill invented by Jethro Tull
The Industrial Revolution brought on improvements and changes in people's lives. With agricultural advances, more food was available for everybody which increased life expectancy and overall population. This also meant there were less infant deaths because mothers were healthier. With better technology, there wasn't as much need for child labor so more children were able to attend school and get educations. Farming was changed a lot with industrialization. There was better quality and quantity of the products. People started building structures called dikes which sheltered the farming land from the sea. Farmers used a more efficient way of planting seeds by using a seed drill and planting them in rows instead of scattering them randomly which wasted land. People rotated crops, mixed different kinds of soil, and used manure as fertilizer to renew the soil and improve the crop yield. Another major change was the enclosing of farming land  that was formerly shared by peasant farmers. With this and newly developed technology, farmers were able to farm more land and produce more crops with less workers. This meant that peasants were not needed as workers and were kicked off the land and had to live in the cities. There they helped to fuel growing industries during the revolution.

Steam Powered Locomotive
Before the Industrial Revolution transporting goods and people was more difficult and took much longer. A very important invention in the revolution was the steam engine. It worked by boiling water and creating steam that out pressure on a piston that would move some object, usually a wheel. The way peopled powered the steam engines was with coal to heat the water. The steam engine powered a lot of large vehicles such as boats and locomotives. It made transportation much easier and more efficient. Before the steam engine, trains were powered by water wheels and went very slow. Thanks to this very useful invention, train tracks no longer needed to be next to bodies of water. Vehicles could now travel faster so cities were able to get resources transported to them in less time. Also, with the steam engine powering boats too, they no longer depended entirely on weather conditions and could travel at consistent rates.

Monday, September 8, 2014

There's Always Something New to Learn

In class recently, we did a couple of activities on our electronic devices. The purpose of what we did was to show us how to use online sources to find reliable information. We learned how to search for information so that we can find the right answers we need.

Our first activity we did was called a Google a Day. It gives you random questions that you have to look up the answers to. It helps you learn how to search for specific information and find the correct answers in a certain amount of time so you earn points. The faster you answer a question correctly the more points you get. What was fun about this game was learning random facts you never knew before and working together with my group to find the answers. It was also frustrating when we looked on multiple sources and each one had a different answer and we couldn't figure out which one was right. I learned that organisms are organized in groups called clades. Here is the link to a Google a Day

Accuracy, Authenticity, and Reliability are all important to have when using a source for research. Accuracy is how correct or precise information is. A source needs to have the right information so you can trust it and you are able to use it. Authenticity is how genuine the source is and if it is legitimate. A source that is authentic is focused on the type of information it has and is trustworthy. Reliability is how much you can trust information. Reliable sources are usually created by people who have received professional education of the subject the source covers and can be trusted to provide correct information. In class, we went on a website about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. This was not a reliable source that could be used in class because the author only shows this information because it is an interest of his. He was not professionally educated in it but he created a website so he could share what he is interested in with the world. A source that should be used for research in school is made by someone that focuses on that specific topic. Here is the link to the website for the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Student's Take on School

Hello and welcome to the blog of Cassie Wolfe, high school student. The purpose of this blog is to serve as an online portfolio showing all of my work in honors history 10 throughout the year.

There are many characteristics that can make a teacher great and stand out from the rest. I’d say one of the most important things a teacher can be is understanding of their students. If you are a student and may be having troubles at home or with your physical or emotional state it is great when you have a teacher that will make your time at school easier. The last thing you would want is more stress and work on top of the troubles you usually cannot control. Teachers need to understand that every student is different and we all have our own personal lives we need to deal with. Another important trait for a teacher is to be welcoming to all their students and allow them to ask any questions or get extra help at any time. It is much harder to learn if you are scared to ask anything or are unable to get any help. In the past all my favorite teachers have been fun and welcoming and made the classroom a better experience for all the students in it. They made it seem okay to ask any question whenever you wanted or to set up the way you learned so it is better for you specifically. We are each individuals that should be able to learn in a way that suits our needs.

A popular author and youtuber, John Green, has recently made a YouTube video that was an open letter for students returning back to school. In the video he said that students should be grateful for the education they receive and that it is our duty to repay society when we are older and to do something that benefits it. I definitely do agree that our school system is something to be appreciated because we are lucky to have this privilege. However, I don’t believe that it is our duty to do great things with the education we receive. We can do whatever we want with our lives we shouldn't have to contribute to society just because we live in it. I know people pay to keep my school running and give me this education but there’s still a lot of problems with how our schools are run that nobody seems to be fixing. Society needs a lot of fixing and there is a good chance I will grow up and do things to try to change it for the better but I do not absolutely have to contribute to it. Some hopes I have for this year are to work harder and procrastinate less with important work. I often lack the motivation to complete assignments from school and I’d like to change that this year. I can stay more organized and think of how I’m going to feel once I finish something and get it out of the way.I also play field hockey and this year I hope to try my hardest and improve my stick skills and stamina. During conditioning I will do my best until the end so I can improve my strength and stability. One last hope I have is to make sure I stay in touch with all my friends and not to lose any of them.