Rope Puzzle

Introducing, the latest of our CYO projects: The Rope Puzzle!

We first used saws to draw off pieces of wood, put holes in those pieces of wood, then threaded string with beads and cones through. It was very fun to make, as using the drills was really entertaining! I was REALLY challenged to use the string and thread it through the cones and beads, it was so hard! During this project I learned how to use power tools (Saw and Drill). If I was to build another of these, I would attempt a different type of string or bead, to see if it affects the outcome.

Wearable Tech

I found the wearable technology project challenging, but fun. During this project I learned how to code and sew with conductive thread. However, despite my struggles I was still unable to thread a needle by the the end of the unit. I found the coding relatively easy once I got the hang of it. However, I don’t think that I probably could do some more interesting coding, or make something a bit cooler of a design with my light so on my pencil case if we had a bit more time. I overcame my fears when we initially started coding, because that was something that definitely frightened me a bit, it just took more practice. We first tried with the SOS challenge, and I took what I learned from that with morsecode, and made my pencil case say my name.

Pencil case

Today during CYO we finished the first part of the Light Pencil case, the pencil case.

Overall the pencil case was pretty challenging, testing a skill that we had learned less than a week earlier. How ever, the sowing machine was such a godsend and it helped speed up the process a lot. I had a lot of fun learning how to sow, no matter how challenging it may have been. Sowing was also such a great skill to learn, and I am sure that it will be very helpful later on in life.

3-d Keychains

In class early last week we had the task of using tinkercad 3-d printing software to create keychains with our names that were convex, so that we could hydro dip them. Hydro dipping is the task of spraying whatever colors you want in a bucket of water then dipping your keychain in the water (watch you fingers!) and the result was a multicolored keychain!

CYO jumping frog Orgami


What did you think of it?

It was kinda interesting at first, but then it was really fun, and you had a real sense of accomplishment afterwords

Were you successful?


What was challenging?

Folding the frog! Argh!

What was easy?

Nothing really, it took time and patience

How could you improve it?

I would probably try to find a lighter battery that didn’t weigh it down as much, or I would find self powered LED lights

Deven’s historical fiction vignette


This is outrageous! One minute I’m the moneymaker in our family, the one who supports us, the one who makes the dough, but I come into the factory and the boss wants the wife and kids in here? Outrageous! I’ve lived a life, I’ve seen things, I can afford to waste away in a sweatbox, but what about them? Poor Rich, only 9 but he’s doing so well in school! He always comes home, so proud, so so proud, to show us his latest new word he learned at school. His hands should be writing essays, not making toys!
Then Eleanor. Oh sweet, sweet, Eleanor. I can’t imagine coming home from the factory, and not getting a fresh home cooked meal, or a new shirt. She may have lived a life as I have, but a lady’s place is at the house, not at work! Making pies, fixing shirts, not making toys, and fixing mishaps! She wants to work. She wants to prove to the world, that she’s a part too. Her and her friends (who all have gotten jobs) gather every night to talk about “the future of women” I forbid her to go to those meetings, to no avail. She said I was just like them. All of them. The generators of this system of sexism and stereotypicality. She said she was going to break out. She was going to make her life count.
As I went to collect the eggs from the chicken coup something happened.

One chicken was feeding a baby chick some of the feed.

This of course didn’t make sense. It had hidden the egg from me. It was tired of wasting its talents in an unappreciative coop. I had to do something. It was to powerful an example for the other chickens.

Aboard the Alanine
The Alanine express runs day and night throughout all of Virginia. It ships coal from place to place dropping off some of its load at each stop. Although, sometimes it doesn’t arrive with all of it. “Hey kid what’re you doing up here?” The railway drivers may be nice, but the security guards sure as hell aren’t. “If you’re ever gonna come up here again, it’s gonna cost you!” Extortion and bullying were their strong suits.

Mom doesn’t like me doing this kind of job, but what choice do I have? Mom is like the Alanine, a fuel-less and steaming beast, that works day and night, always ready to dish out smack, our spankings for our troubles.
She yells at the girls when they complain about hunger, but I can see the stress in her eyes and the sadness, at the fact that she serves the rich food, but can’t serve us.
I was woken by Abigail, the youngest one. “Pee-tah there’s a man at the door who wants coal” I was frustrated that she couldn’t do it herself, but a customer’s a customer. We debated over the price for a while, but this weirdo paid in francs, a newbie I guess. My friend wants me to come with him and work at his bosses factory, but I want to use my talents to the fullest, I don’t want to be stuck in a box all day, wasting my time in an uncomfortable space of darkness.
Sitting on the park bench, chatting with Carlos had become tradition “You really should join me man, the coal train is a risky business” but I didn’t want to.

“You should join ME, the coal train gives better pay!” It is a better pay, but there is also the emotional and sleep tax. I yawned. As easy as a workshop is, I will remain a free man.

More Money

This is NOT worth it. 2 dollars a WEEK? Come ON! That’s barely enough to buy today’s food! With Ma unemployed and Jerry a long way from money, I’ve got no other choice. Mr C says we’re lucky that such young people like us are able to get jobs in his factory, and everyone who asks for a raise is FIRED. Life at my station is pretty boring. I wish Jerry was here. He’s the funny guy in the family. The big jokester. I can’t space out for long. Back to the drawing board. Well, sewing board. Why is jerry so lucky? He gets to go to school while I sit in my squalor. Mom says it’s because he’s “gifted” dad says it’s because that’s all the budget holds. Whatever.
Is there anything I can do to raise my wage? With all that’s going on at home, extra money would be great. Dad came back from the bar looking stricken. Not again yelled ma. She continued to yell at him again and again. You’ve lost it all again!

Stupid dad. More overtime to work off his debts. Great. Then something occurred to me.I left the workshop during break and ran to school. I had to get jerry. Come I said. Do I need my books? He asked. Sure I replied. Extra money I thought. We walked into the workshop. Is this another? Mr C asked. His cold hard voice cut into my skin. Yep, this is him sir, plus, he’s gonna sell his books! jerry turned to me with the sad look in his eyes. He had realized what was happening. Well then, all take these, you take him to a station and get to work! Said Mr C. I took him, I was carving he was breaking rocks. I showed him how to put it at a certain angle to break. His sad look remained the entire time.

You’re mad at me right? Well, pretend each of these rocks is my head,

then it’ll get a lot easier.

But it never did.