Friday, 23 June 2017

Canada's Toxic Chemical Valley

In Cedar Ridge's Grade 9 Geography Class, we were to watch a video on Canada's Toxic Chemical Valley. We were to understand the problems that others are facing in our backyards and ho we've done nothing to help, nothing to understand, nothing to support. For us to stand here safely and forget about the struggles of others and those others are in our backyard, its heartbreaking and I couldn't imagine how the people of Sarnia, Ontario must feel.

The video's purpose is to show people how horrible, unsafe and chemically harmed Sarnia has become. The people of Sarnia have protested and have many concerns for themselves and for their children.

The first thing you notice as soon as you enter Sarnia, Ontario is the smell. A horrible smell that is the Chemical Valley. The Chemical Valley is responsible for the production of gasoline, plastics, pesticides, fertilisers, cosmetics and a whole bunch of chemicals that our society relies on. This is where 40% of Canada's petrochemical industry is located. 40% in one is alone.
In the estimate, for 2013 alone, the petrochemical industry will generate $24 billion in sales.

"I've been affected by cancer in my family and friends and loved ones so much. I would like to see chemical valley exposed more than it is now. I'd like some more health studies to be done. People all over can see how ****** up the situation is, because it's something a lot of people understand, and they don't see every day."

Vanessa Gray, a citizen in Sarnia, ON on what drove her to try and make a difference?

To conclude, the Toxic Chemical Valley is our neighbouring city/town and we have done nothing to help. If we don't act now, Canada will have a serious issue to deal with in the future.

Carolyn Callaghan (Presentation)

Carolyn Callaghan PhD in wolf ecology who currently works at the Canadian Wildlife Federation visited Cedar Ridge High School's Geography Class. She did a 45-minute presentation on caribou in Canada and these are some of the highlights.

I've learned many interesting facts about caribou that I would've never thought during the presentation.
Did you know that the Caribou's hooves are bigger in the front than the back?
I know what you're thinking, it's crazy! This helps their speed dramatically. They are the fastest terrestrial mammal in the world. I had learned so much during this presentation and it was great to learn more about the Caribou of Canada.

Thursday, 1 June 2017


People in Sweden are trying to make their place a better, safer and brighter environment. To do that, they are focusing on sustainability. People are wondering if their street, community, and country, is sustainable? Area's like this are losing their energy and not using it in an efficient way.

"We are trying to save energy and use it in a smarter way."
- Katerina Pelin
Director of Environment, Malmo.

In countries across Europe where sustainability is an issue, there have been some solutions. An example, in which Sweden is trying to develop is by transforming a wasteland into an eco-district with public transportation, renewable energy and recycling plastic and paper.

"I call this a hedonistic sustainability. It's like you can live a good life and you don't really have to think about it."
- Katja Wessling on the eco-district transformation.

A very efficient and smart way people of Malmo, Sweden are using their own household trash is to fuel the district. Instead of a waste truck coming by once a week, these chutes allow you to throw your garbage at any time. Another efficient way that Sweden has progressed, is by developing an application for an iPad which monitors energy usage throughout your home or apartment. This helps because you can adapt to your consumption of energy by looking at the results through the app.

Some ways Ottawa is considered or can be considered sustainable is by using more public transportation, the LRT, bicycle lanes, and a garbage chute. Ottawa is creating the L.R.T and is encouraging more people to use public transportation to free the highways. This will cause less traffic on the 417 and less pollution. Bicycle lanes is also a great way to remove cars from the road and it's great for exercise. Ottawa has many bike lanes in downtown which is a great start.
Garbage chutes would be perfect for the city of Ottawa so we can remove garbage trucks off the roads and cause less pollution for the future.

Public transportation such as buses and bicycle lanes are easy for Ottawa to implement into our city mainly because we already have. The L.R.T has been a project that Ottawa has been working on for a long time and will be opening in 2018. There have been a couple problems and setbacks on this project making it difficult but the L.R.T is a great way for people to get to work quicker and will help with the traffic issue. The garbage chute will be the most difficult for Ottawa to implement into the city because it will cost lots of money which we font have right now because of the L.R.T and will be a major project. I think the garbage chute is a great idea to develop in the future but not at this moment.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Parks Canada

Forillon National Park

Forillon National Park is located at the outer tip of the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec
Coordinates: 48.83191, -64.25139

Forillon National Park offers many experiences by the sea, along cliffs, and in the forest. Do you prefer a quiet stroll across a beautiful ocean? Go snorkeling and discover marine life you've never seen before? Or, do you prefer looking at the unique homes by the ocean side? Forillon National Park gives you the opportunity to do all of these wonderful experiences and much more. 

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is located in the west of Calgary in the province of Alberta. 
Coordinates: 51.49684, -115.92805 

Rocky Mountain peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, perfect mountain town and village, outstanding wildlife and scenic drives all come together and that what makes Banff National Park. Canada’s first national park of the nation’s park system. Over three million people a year visits the park for a variety of activities including hiking, biking, skiing and camping in some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain scenery. 

Grasslands National Park

Grasslands National Park is located near the village of Val Marie, Saskatchewan
Coordinates: 49.24577, -107.73252

Hope you'll bring your jacket because you will experience the wide-open plain as the prairie winds breeze through the thick grass beneath the clear skies. Sit at a heartwarming campfire or spend the night gazing at the brilliant stars. Ready to time travel? You're going to the past and gazing at the rare dinosaur bones to entertain you and your family.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Assignment Reflection Question

Assignment Reflection Questions

  1. What are three things you have learned from your assignment?
I myself didn't learn that much from this assignment. Most of the information and data that I placed into my assignment was information I have learned before. The little things that I learned was where my father attended university or where my mother worked before reaching Florida or maybe the fact that my grandparents travelled all through Europe. I might not have learned much from my assignment but I learned a lot about others. Their family history and their journey to Ottawa. I think it was a great assignment to learn more about your family and to get to know others better.

  1. Why would someone want to settle in Canada? Give three reasons and explain your answers.
There are many reasons why someone would be looking into settling in Canada. One reason is that they’re escaping a war zone or an unstable area. They think it’s unsafe to live there for themselves or their family and want to live in a more peaceful area. Another reason can be for your occupation, a better opportunity to find a job or a better job financially. Finally, larger country. A larger country can settle into many different categories. Larger community, more things to do or even better schools for your children. These reasons are why I think people would want to settle in Canada.

  1. What would three obstacles be for someone new to Canada? Explain how they could overcome these obstacles.
For someone who has just arrived in Canada from an outside country there would be some obstacles as they’re settling. Language barrier is the main obstacle that people have been interacting with. As they are new to the country the may not speak English. With this, it will be very difficult to find a job or for children to attend school. A solution that may be thought of is language school for themselves and their family. The language school will teach them the necessary parts in the language to help them.
Another obstacle someone might face is finding a job. For someone new into the city and may not speak the language, it's difficult to be employed as people in the 21st century in Canada are looking for English and French speakers who have attended a University they are familiar with. A solution that most people are doing now is attending school. They are attending school to get the credentials they need to become employed as the people are looking for any opportunities to take.
Access to transportation can be essential in that it will make access to education and employment far easier. The driver’s licence may not be recognized in your new country and once again language barrier can make understanding or even finding useful local public transit services a hard task. The good news is that in most major cities transport companies often provide multilingual information services and timetables. It's a good start!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Geography Day1

Something that stuck with me today in our "Day1 of Gr9 Geography class" was not being able to utilize out phone during class. We were supposed to figure out the population of many countries. It's not the easiest when technology is not by your side. I learned that Saint John and St. John's are two different cities in Canada. After day1 in geography I can tell it will be a LONG term.

Monday, 5 December 2016

The Adventure of 21st Century Literacy, Summative

The Adventure of 21st Century Literacy

This year, I, Harout Karamanokian took a grade 9 English and Business course called 21st Century Literacy. This is a great course that works on two courses Business/Tech and English which are composed to teach high school students the literacy skills needed in our modern century. During our course, we have learned and incorporated many skills aside from Business and English. We acknowledged our classes skills and worked on writing, oral communication, media studies and design software. We have created a digital portfolio to keep track of our work throughout our 21st-century literacy course.
Visit the blog with this link here:

During this course, I believe my creativity and discipline helped me obtain strengths as a learner in an orderly fashion. Not only did I gain strengths, I also worked hard to obtain my weaknesses, and to transform them into strengths. With our teacher, Shauna Pollock’s help, I got to work on contributing to class ideas and to reach into other classmates minds in our school. I got to work on the aspect of contributing to class ideas from an excellent idea, a reporter at random. The teacher would then assign a random classmate/reporter to answer a question given. The aspect of reaching into other classmates minds was to separate from a “group” and to join others that we have not contributed ideas with.

Looking back, every week on our weekly task lists would have a theme for us to retrain to. These themes would help us stay organized and to improve the specific skillset/theme that was assigned. For example, themes we had throughout the course were responsibility, initiative,  respect etc.. The themes helped set goals for other students who were lacking some of the skills set for the week. I, for example, wasn't too great with individualism. A reason why I had an individualism goal was because the time I spent with two specific classmates. Rather than learning new things and picking out of other classmates minds, I would stick with the comfort zone and not reach “outside of the comfort zone”

Our class worked a great amount on a tragic book called King Lear. Written by Shakespeare, but by being known as the best tragic book to be made. We didn’t have enough school time to have a unit on the topic but it was a great way to bring out special skills needed. We worked on our poetry, and poem analysis for this unit. I never had the confidence to speak out loud in class. Whenever we would have an open read aloud, I would never be the first to jump into character. However, I think that our presentations on our specific scenes addressed to each student in the class helped gain my confidence into speaking more clear and fluent into an open scenario.

   Cedar Ridge also had a unit on All-American Boys, which was integrated with Globe Read Aloud Slow Chat. This was a very inspirational and emotional book about police brutality involving two teenagers, one happening to be an African American. Rashad: an African American who was brutally beaten by a cop after accusation of theft and assault on women. Quinn, a white teenager who was a witness to the beating and pretended to have never seen it. The book itself brought many emotions during the read aloud. Listening to the feelings of the characters and the charisma used to infiltrate the book was amazing. Our teacher, Shauna, would have us answer questions in a tweet format (140 characters) and share it with other classes amongst North America.

   I think 21st Century Literacy has helped me in many ways, from corresponding ideas differently to just overall completing my goals I have assessed for this term. I have learned many things and different strategies to use in my later life. Looking back, 21st Century Literacy wasn’t just a course, it was reality and this reality changes me. I can highly recommend this course to many others and was grateful for attending and completing an amazing course known as “21st Century Literacy”.