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Axolotls Making a Splash

by Mike Gordon

First, my position on axolotls: literally the most adorable beings on the planet. I love the little smile they have, and baby axolotls look like little toys.

The transition to online learning was hard at first but is slowly getting better. Originally it was hard to focus with so many distractions around me, but after some practice, I can stay focused. Just in time, as my school just went full-virtual teaching.

On Friday, I started about imaginary numbers. The name was familiar, but it is very interesting to learn about them. The idea that i stands for the square root of negative 1 is mindblowing. Another interesting topic being covered at school is airbag chemistry. Before this month, I had never seen an airbag in person, nevermind understand the workings of one. The fact that any error in the detection system can make or break a person’s life is fascinating.

We also have been learning about essential nutrients and the feeding behaviors of animals. An example of an essential nutrient is sodium. Sodium is needed for nerves to send/receive messages in the body and for muscles to contract. While having too much sodium can be bad, having too little can be fatal.

A unique group of elephants has carved an ancient salt mine. By using their tusks, they cut paths through the mountain. After using their tusks to vacuum up chunks of salt, the elephants grind it up between their molars. They can eat up to 20 kilograms in a single sitting. My favorite Zoom background is a video of a chimpanzee bouncing up and down.

My favorite class was the Mathematics of Pokemon. This class was very cool because it took my favorite game franchise and explained the math behind it. Another fun class was The Second Carthaginian War because it explained the story of a name I’ve heard before, Hannibal, and also provided another side of Rome, before its empire, which was very interesting.

The most memorable class was Help Solve Climate Change. This class took something I’m interested in and taught me sustainable ways of solving climate change. By paying a dividend to families to pay for fossil fuel usage, most families gain extra income. I also learned that the most effective way of stopping climate change is to lobby Congresspeople. Mr. Gage also gave us a cool resource that automatically figures out your state’s Congress members and writes a letter to each of them automatically.

All in all, this year’s Splash was very memorable and was executed perfectly under the constraints of the pandemic.

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