Sunday, September 28, 2014

MOSI Google Hangout!

     Last week, our history class was lucky enough to talk to historians at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, England over a Google Hangout! Before we did this, we prepared for the Google Hangout in several ways by investigating the MOSI website and learning about some of the machines we expected to see, watching a video sent to us from the person showing us around the museum that introduced to us some more machines used during the Industrial Revolution, and drafting questions that we could potentially ask during the live chat.

     After the live chat, I learned that the textile process was a much harder and dangerous job than I had anticipated. There are so many things that could go wrong in simply using a machine that could result in amputation, death, or, in one case, being cut in half at the waist. One of the most frequent health issues was inhaling dust and fibers from the various machines in the factory and therefore have health issues in the future. I also learned about the ways the industrialization of textile production impacted families. A lot of the time, families did not know what they were sending their children to do when they sent them to factories. The factories were portrayed in a much more humane and "home away from home" type of way than they really were. When families did eventually know what the factories were like, they avoided them at all costs. However, when poverty got the better of many families, they were desperate enough to send their children to work kin the factories for the money.

     Overall, I gained a much better insight into factory working during the Industrial Revolution when talking to an outside expert because I was shown what each machine actually looked like and how they worked. My only negative thought on this experience is for the lag during the live chat. I would definitely be interested in doing this again!

Here is a screenshot of a video my teacher put together of the live chat (I didn't have any good pictures to put up). If you can't see what's on the SMART board, it is a piece of art depicting a room in a factory during the Industrial Revolution.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Museum Curator

            This week in history class, we did an activity entitled “museum curator” in which several groups of students created posters concerning different aspects of the Industrial Revolution and put them on display for other students to learn and take notes from.

            The process of analyzing sources for the creation of our poster was not necessarily a difficult task, but it took time to analyze each source and take notes on them, and the analysis is a very important part of curating because one must know basic information on their subject before having to create a project on it. My group’s exhibit was about transportation during the Industrial Revolution, and our sources included a canal map of Great Britain in 1800, a picture of what it looks like cutting a railroad line, an excerpt from a man’s journal explaining his first experience on a steam boat, contrasting quotes on the coming of the railroad debate, a diagram showing how a steam engine would work in the 1800s, and a timeline of innovations in transportation during the Industrial Revolution. We titled our exhibit “All Aboard”. We titled it this to connect the many new innovations made during the Industrial Revolution and our subject, transportation. In coming to our exhibit, we hoped visitors would learn about the many inventions in transportation made during the Industrial 

            I learned many things when visiting other exhibits during this activity. The other subjects I learned about included child labor, living conditions in England during the Industrial Revolution, tools used during the Industrial Revolution, and cotton production. For child labor, I learned that children were torn from their families to work in factories, with terrible conditions. This is appallingly unjust and cruel towards the child workers, and does not set them up for a successful life. The living conditions in England during the Industrial Revolution were just as appalling as the child labor. During this time, rivers in London were nothing but a shallow, brown liquid. Tools used during the Industrial Revolution included many innovative items from the time. This included inventions
 such as the Almond Loom and the Spinning Jenny. Cotton production was an enormous innovation in the Industrial Revolution, and was one of the main sources of income. It was imported and exported to many places and was required almost everywhere.
          The Industrial Revolution was a very important time period in our history, and must not go 

unnoticed. Many of these innovations assisted in the moving forward in our history.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why You Never Trust the Elusive Tree Octopus!

            Last week in History class, we were taught how to use online resources appropriately. This included how to tell a genuine website from a fake one, and how to properly use a search engine. There are many details to consider when doing research, and to get the best results one must take them all into consideration.  

            In order to improve upon our search engine-using skills, the class was assigned to complete an activity called A Google a Day, which can be found here: A Google a Day is a challenge that Google puts out on a daily basis in which one is given a question and they must answer it by using Google search. An example of a question is “The Indian river basin that includes approximately 25% of the country's area is bound by what mountain range to the south?” The process of discovering the answer was both fun and frustrating at times. The fun part was finally being rewarded with a correct answer, but the frustrating part is not being given instant gratification with the answer, and having to actually work for it. During this process, I learned a lot more about how to effectively search Google, such as using the “-word” tool. For example, if you wanted to research Homer’s The Iliad, but not want anything from The Simpsons coming up in the search results, you would search “Homer – Simpsons” to eliminate any Simpsons – related search results. Going along with the theme of unwanted search results, there are several things one must look for in a website to see whether or not it is genuine; accuracy, authenticity, and reliability. To know if something is accurate, one should always compare its information with the information of something that is known to be genuine, perhaps a college website. In order to make sure that a website is authentic, make sure that its information is cited and not plagiarized. It is always a good idea to make sure that someone actually took the time and effort to create something. It shows that they care about their topic and also know what they’re talking about. To know if something is reliable or not, a good indicator is the ending of the website URL. If the URL finishes with “.gov” of “.edu”, the website is more than likely reliable. If not, it is a good idea to be cautious about what may lay in store. The information could be completely inaccurate. One such website is for “The Endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus”, which can be found here: This website is clearly not genuine just from looking at the title, and it includes many other flaws which make one think that it is fake. For example, the websites cover photo is clearly a photo shopped octopus in a tree.

            After learning about the many details that go into using a search engine and finding out whether or not a website is genuine, I feel much better about finding genuine information, and I hope you have found this enlightening as well.
The so-called "Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Industrialization: Revolutionary or Not?

Last week in History class, we explored the various ways in which people, technology, resources, and transportation helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. The essential question, or question the class will be trying to answer within the unit, is “What was ‘revolutionary’ about industrialization?” This post will focus on how technology and resources were revolutionary in their own individual ways.  
Primarily, technology helped fuel the Industrial Revolution because a new way to use and produce electricity was discovered by using steam and coal. Electricity has clearly been revolutionary within the past two centuries and has helped revolutionize the way people accomplish tasks, especially today. Technology also helped fuel the Industrial Revolution by decreasing manual labor, meaning that tasks were accomplished much faster and with much greater ease. For example, it became much easier to print a book using a printing press than it was handwriting it from beginning to end. Technology not only decreased manual labor, but also helped create new jobs, including coal mining, working in cotton mills, and doing canal work. Technology was an innovative way to advance industrialization, and without it, the world would be a much different place.
 Access to more resources initially made industrialization revolutionary by increasing coal production. Coal was a very important resource in the harnessing of electricity, and therefore shaping the world’s industrial future. The Industrial Revolution also brought about the concept of mass production, which helped produce a larger amount of basic necessities to a larger number of people.  Having better access to more resources also helped in the creation of medicines, which in turn helped increase the life expectancy of the time by a stunning margin. Having access to more resources such as agricultural products helped farmers create more effective farming techniques, which in turn helped to distribute much larger amounts of food in a much smaller amount of time. Access to more resources helped the Industrial Revolution progress very effectively, and without these resources, the world would be in a much worse condition than it is currently in.
The Industrial Revolution was a ground-breaking era of modernization. Technology helped fuel the Industrial Revolution by utilizing electricity, decreasing manual labor, and creating new jobs.  The Industrial Revolution was innovate in the area of resources by having increased coal, mass production, medicines, and farming techniques.
This is a video we watched in class on the Industrial Revolution:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Will Play That Double A No Matter How Bad It Sounds!

            Hello! My name is Thomas Gray, a sophomore in high school, and this is my Honors History 10 blog. This blog is by no means an official source for a reliable account on history, but I will do my best to provide accurate accounts and unique opinions on what I will be learning. It is an absolute necessity that all of the information posted on this blog is one hundred percent accurate. This means that I must be taught very effectively, and there are several things that can help a teacher to do this.

Primarily, and most importantly, the teacher must be very knowledgeable about their subject and any subjects related to it. For example, a physics teacher should know a lot about math, and an English teacher should know a lot about history because those two subjects intertwine in many ways. This way it is easier to make connections and therefore know more about the topic. Teachers can also break down some formal boundaries in order to understand their students better and to get a feel for their learning style. This doesn’t mean getting together outside of school with students, but it could mean treating students like family, making us want to come to school. Another thing that makes a teacher great is diversity; have diverse classroom activities that won’t let the students’ minds wander away from history. Create a stimulating environment that will let students potentially have fun, but be learning at the same time. Next, great teachers utilize all the tools available to them in order to teach effectively. Why should we use a heavy, outdated textbook when we have a world of knowledge known as the internet just inside our pockets? One last thing that can make a teacher great is open mindedness. If a student has an abstract idea or opinion, don’t just brush it off and continue the lesson. Allow them to express their opinion, and respond in an appropriate manner. I have experienced this quality (and most of the other qualities I mentioned) in a few of my previous teachers. However, there are still two qualities that teachers have had in my past that have benefitted me. One of these two qualities is amiability. It is important to be friendly as a teacher because you need to make your students want to come to your class and learn, not resent it. Being easy to relate to is also important because students will view you as more than just a teacher and they will be more comfortable around you. That being said, good qualities aren’t going to boost grades (although they will definitely help). Something that can be done to support me and my grades this year is being specific with directions and maintaining a structured class because I do best in that type of environment.

            One of many reasons as to why I am excited for this school year is because of a YouTube video in which John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars, describes many ways in which kids should be excited to go back to school, and not dread it. This video got me thinking in a completely different way, and made me excited to learn how to improve our world.  One thing Green said in that video has stuck with me ever since. He said that students everywhere have a duty to use our education to do great things. I completely agree with this statement, and want to help develop a world that will thrive. However, this can only be accomplished if I set goals for myself. One of these goals is to get nothing below an eighty percent on everything assigned for school. This will be incredibly difficult for me, but with enough hard work and studying I’ll be able to do it. A musical goal for this year is to be able to play a double A above the staff on the trumpet. This will require many hours of practice and range extension exercises, but I know I can do it. Thinking into my future, I would ideally be a professional trumpet player or music composer/arranger, but very hard work is required right now so that I can get to one of these positions later in life. I have a feeling that this will be a good school year, and want to get as much out of it as possible. I am prepared to work as hard as possible to make this year my best one yet.

The ninth note in the picture below is what I want to be able to play by the end of the year:
above Treble Staff note images
"Above Treble Staff Notes"
 Website URL: 
Watch John Green's video about returning to school: