Technology/Multimedia: Independent Discovery

Liger’s always different and so it was in round 5. Not just this class, every class. There were just so many things going on. So many trips and so many classes missed. To mitigate the result of missing classes, most of the essential classes gave students independence and the opportunity to do some self-learning and exploration. But each class had a different set of goals, or rules, if you may look at them that way. For Technology/Multimedia, it was to learn something new, develop on it and create a small project or product that demonstrates what it is. The only constraint was that the class only met for ONE WEEK in the whole round which was four hours, so we needed to really use our time in class wisely. Some of us even missed part of the time due to trips or other things. That being said, what did I choose to work on that I could learn and create a product out of in four hours? Pygame, a well-known Python module was what I chose to learn about and work on for the independent discovery, but not all in four hours though.

So what is Pygame? Essentially, it’s a module that allows you to create two-dimensional games with Python which would normally be hard to do without. There are other modules that allow you to do the same thing and are possibly even better of course, but Pygame’s like the first step, one of the simplest ones I can say. By knowing what Pygame is and having read the previous post about this class, you might be able to guess at why I chose this as the thing to work on. Well, 1. I already know some Python and this is based off it and 2. I love making games and this allows me to do so easily. So what was my goal or what was going to be my product? A game of course! But due to time constraints, I wasn’t sure if I was able to create a full-finished game or just part of a game. Since I knew that not much could be done in the given amount of time, I knew I had to work on it in my own time. Plus I had two trips later the week this was given to me which made me miss 2 hours of the class, so I had to start working as quick and as soon as possible.

Here’s part of my code.

The first step I took to making a game out of Pygame was to learn it as if it was learning another programming language. Well, I had to install it before I could use it of course, but that doesn’t matter. I started looking for tutorials on the basics of Pygame on its official site which didn’t prove to have many resources that were useful to me. It did have lots of documents and tutorials, but it was all in text and I figured it would be best if I looked for another way to learn. I tried avoiding texts because reading would take up much time, in return of little help. So I turned to YouTube. The first video that I clicked on was the ‘one’. It was just what I needed. The video was the first part of a 10-part series about making a game out of Pygame and it was created by the YouTube channel, Tech With Tim. He’s a great guy and he makes lots of useful videos and most of them are related to Python and Pygame which was exactly what I was looking for. After watching the first video, I started creating. I initially didn’t prepare or have an idea of what kind of game I wanted other than it to be a never ending game, but after watching the first video, I got the idea of recreating Hollow Knight by Team Cherry (Search it up. It’s a great game.) which at first seemed like a huge task, but I went with the idea anyway. After watching two videos, I stopped. I felt like I had what I needed to start. And so I spent the remaining time all on creating the game.

A screenshot of what could’ve been in the game. It got changed because of functionality problems, but I’ll add it into the game after I solve the problem.

It was the usual coding process. Think until you get an idea. Something you want to add. Code it into the game. If it works, carry on. If it doesn’t, try to solve it. If you can’t solve it, move on. Else, still carry on. Sorry I’m talking in code. As I learned more about Pygame and added more things into the game, the big picture became clearer. I wanted a game with the story of Hollow Knight, but what you do in the game itself is you fight against a single enemy and every time you defeat it, it becomes stronger. It’s a never ending game. I didn’t want it to have levels because it would take a lot of time to create and because I had little time. The process of coding and putting everything together piece by piece was as fulfilling and pleasurable as it had ever been.  My longing of wanting to create my own 2D game with keyboard controls, unlike Twitfall which was a text-based game, was fulfilled. In the process of making the game, I encountered many problems and some of them were so confusing that I had to check over it many times – more than I should’ve. But the bigger the problem, the more pleasure it would bring which was sort of the motivation for me to kept going. I would either solve a problem myself and it would satisfy me or it would be so hard that I had to search on the internet for help until I found answers to solve the problem and when I did, it would bring me even more satisfaction. After 2 weeks of coding, thinking, recreating, and discovering, I didn’t finish the game completely, but I had most of what I envisioned and wanted. Here’s the result:

What you see when you run the game.

In the game, you’re a knight. The Knight (from Hollow Knight) to be specific. You’re in an unknown place and the only other person, or rather thing, there is someone who looks like you, but bigger, evil, and demonic. Your only goal is to survive. Try to defeat the demon, but keep in mind that every time it gets killed, it becomes stronger. You wield the power of void, a magical and black substance. Deep inside, you’re a powerful and mad being. You’re only under control when your soul is in your shell. When you’re under control, you can unleash the power of void and use it against the demon, but when you die, your shell will break, your soul will come out, and it will haunt you. Overcome, which means kill, it and it will go back inside your shell. So basically, it’s a never ending game of killing and escaping. You have 2 powerful abilities. Void tendrils and vengeful spirit. You can dash and you can super dash. And lastly, you have a nail which is basically a sword. When you die, a darker version of you will appear and attack you. That’s all that’s in the game as of writing this. My plan is to add more and develop the game in my free time. Maybe one day it’ll become a big project. I hope so.

I need to admit that I’ve been obsessed with coding lately. I’ve been spending a lot of my own time doing code, specifically making games, which I find a bit surprising because I don’t conventionally put as much time into an academic subject as this despite of how much I like it. Unusual enough, I don’t even look at coding as a thing you do in school mainly for grades anymore. It’s been more. It’s become one of my hobbies. That’s because it brings me the type of pleasure that’s different from what I would normally get from my other hobbies or academic subjects. And in this fifth and last round of Technology and Multimedia, I was able to expand on my knowledge of coding, learn more about it, go crazy about it, and love it even more by creating my very own two-dimensional game. I will find a way to put this game up on this blog once I feel it’s ready. But that’s not going to be the end because I have lots of plans for it and I hope to see it grow into a big, personal project. Thank you for reading and have a good day (or night)!

English Literacy: Happiness Achieved in the Face of Apathy

You wake up, but you don’t get out of bed. You just stare at the ceiling. There’s nothing going on in your brain. No thoughts are present as if your brain had stopped working. It’s just a void of nothing when you try to visualize it. You just lay on your bed still and stare at the ceiling without thinking of doing anything nor do you do anything. You don’t try to think. You aren’t worried about life and you don’t care. You’re not sad. You’re not happy. You’re apathetic.

Imagine that everyday you’re like that. You’re just empty. The goals you had and were excited about seem to have become targets without reason and you don’t even think about why it is. You’re just a black simple dot on a white simple page of paper that is the world. There’s nothing else. That is what apathy feels like. Would you want to feel that way?

What is apathy?

Apathy is defined as the absence of emotions; a feeling of no enthusiasm, interest, or concern. It’s nothing, just emptiness and non-existence. Now apply apathy to a person and the result would be someone who doesn’t feel anything at all due to the absence of emotions. Their life could be a mess, they can turn on their computer, see that the report they spent an enormous amount of time and effort on is gone, even if it’s due tomorrow, and they still wouldn’t be sad. They would just accept the fact that they lost it and move on.

What can it lead to?

You are not to be ignorant of apathy. It’s a serious state of indifference and it shouldn’t be left alone. It should be rid of. Often times, apathy will trap you in its cage of ’emotionlessness’, then it will lure you gradually into depression. If you neglect it, you’ll find everything to be daunting when you finally crash into depression. There are ways to prevent or rather, mitigate this however. Someone who’s apathetic is like a dead light bulb. It just needs some energy to turn on! So if you’re in apathy’s cage, I implore you to use whatever energy’s left in you to try and break out of it! And this guide will give you the fuel you’ll need to tear those bars down!

Where does it come from?

Apathy can be caused by anything. Identifying the cause can be important. In the process of getting rid of apathy, it might help to identify the cause and then make changes based off it. It will help you out with deciding the things you want to change when you need to get rid of apathy. When you feel apathy, think about yesterday. It’s mostly likely that recent events are the cause of your apathy. Think about what happened before you became apathetic.

How do you know if you’re apathetic?

What you can do to know whether you’re apathetic or not is to compare, to look at the traits of an apathetic and see if you have them. You’re not interested in anything when you’re apathetic. You may be somewhat bored. There’s no rhapsody in you and you don’t have any concerns. You just feel nothing – emptiness and void. One of the easier ways to know you’re apathetic is when you get bored of the things you thought would spark the light inside you. Your hobbies don’t bring you pleasure anymore or hanging out with your friends is now a waste of time. Everything bores you. Just look at the traits of an apathetic and see if you have them. Look at the introduction of this guide, the traits.

How do you get rid of it?

There is never one way to solve a problem. Try to get rid of apathy in different ways or in ways you prefer – if you’ve ever been through it before. Getting rid of apathy means finding something that will interest you once more and spark that flame of excitement and motivation inside you. The initial goal is to create change, get you occupied and get you energized!

What I conventionally do first is do what I always enjoy doing – a hobby! Invest some time into your hobby and see if that brings you happiness – the pleasure you always found to be comforting. Although becoming apathetic means you’ve probably already lost interest in it, it never hurts to give it a shot and see again.

If that doesn’t work, what I encourage you to do is ‘kick it up a notch’. Make lots of changes. Change your routine! Change the order of the things you do in your routine! Reverse the order! Maybe all you need is some revitalization. Change your schedule and see if there are spaces left. If there are, fill it! With everything and anything. Spend time at the park if you live near one. Go to the beach. Run a marathon. Do yoga. Learn a new language or instrument. Whatever! Change things up! Just freshen up your schedule and live a new life with new energy!

Don’t stay inside too much, get some sun and fresh air! According to studies, spending time in the sun increases the release of serotonin, the happy chemical, in the brain, which makes you happy! This will somewhat slow down or even halt the process of you crashing into depression and get your a bit more prepared. You might even just become happy and not even become depressed. Try to spend about 10-15 minutes in the sun, you’ll feel much better! Or try to see if there are any free events in your area. Join them and meet new people. Make new friends! And ask them to the movies or to hangout. Building new connections can also make you happy and bring you pleasure. You just need to feel occupied and alive! Maybe get out, run around, and just have fun!

The best way to get excited again is to explore and discover something new; see what the world has to offer. If you’re someone who stays inside a lot, go hunting on the internet. Play a new game, start watching a new series, learn something new, read a new book, start a diary, listen to new music, just explore! There are more than enough things on the internet and in the world that’ll help you get excited and happy again.

Feel apathetic? Need some energy? There’s free fuel here! Whenever you feel apathetic or know someone who is, take a look at this short guide and see if it can help you. When being apathetic, keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to renew, revitalize and reorganize as well as get occupied! Switch things up! Change your gears! Even though apathy is the feeling of emptiness and the absence of emotions, you can always get rid of it and fill that hole of nothingness with excitement and ecstasy again. And this guide’s your help-out buddy!


Davenport, Barrie. “10 Ways To Snap Out Of Apathy.” Live Bold and Bloom, 19 Mar. 2019,
“What Are the Benefits of Sunlight?” Healthline, Healthline Media,

Math: Speed


Jack and Dan competed against each other in a round of running. They both ran a kilometer. Jack took about 8 minutes to finish the race while Dan took around 5. What’s their speed in kilometers per hour? Imagine if they ran for another 3 hours at half their original speed. How far would they go and who would go farther?

To find speed, we must take the distance and divide it by the time. In the case for Jack, it would be: 1 (kilometers) ÷ 8 (minutes). Do the math and you would get 0.125, so Jack’s speed is 0.125 km in a minute. But we want km/h. We just need to convert it. To convert it, basically multiply by 60 because an hour is 60 minutes, so 0.125 (km per minute) x 60 (number of minutes in an hour) and you would get 7.5 km/h. That is Jack’s speed in kilometers per hour.

Let’s quickly find Dan’s speed:

1 km (how far Dan ran) ÷ 5 minutes (how long he took) = 0.2 km/minute (his speed)

0.2 km/minute x 60 (number of minutes in an hour) = 12 km/h (his speed converted from km/minute into km/h)

Now how far would they go if they ran for another 3 hours half their original speed?

First I would find their new speed. That’s easy, just divide their original speed by two.

Jack’s new speed: 7.5 ÷ 2 = 3.75 km/h

Dan’s new speed: 12 ÷ 2 = 6 km/h

To find out how far they would go, we need to multiply their speed by how long they would run.

For Jack, 3.75 km/h (his speed) times 3 (time of running) would find out his distance. It’s 11.25 km. In Dan’s case, his distance would be 18 km.

So if they both ran for another 3 hours at half their original speed, Jack would run 11.25 kilometers and Dan would run 18 kilometers. Who ran farther? You know how to do this one, it’s Dan because 18 is obviously bigger than 11.25; just find the number that’s bigger.

ភាសាខ្មែរ៖ ទៀន៦ដើម | វគ្គទី១

“ណែ! ចាំផង! គ្នាមិនទាន់រៀបចំសៀវភៅហើយផង នាំគ្នាទៅចោលបាត់!” លីលីស្រែកចេញមកពីផ្ទះដោយភ័យខ្លាចមិត្តភក្ដិទៅចោល ។

ថ្ងៃនោះគឺថ្ងៃច័ន្ទ ហើយជាថ្ងៃបវេសនកាលនៅឯសាលារៀនរបស់លីលី ព្រមទាំងជាថ្ងៃតំបូងនៃឆ្នាំសិក្សាចុងក្រោយរបស់នាង ។ មិត្តភក្ដិរបស់នាង បានមកផ្ទះនាងដើម្បីយកជូននាងទៅសាលា ។

“យីលីលី! ម៉េចបានយូរម្លេស? ពេលយប់ម្សិលមិញ លីលីឯងរវល់ធ្វើស្អីគេ បាន​ជាមិនរៀបចំសៀវភៅ? ដឹងថាថ្ងៃនេះជាថ្ងៃដំបូងផង!” សោភាតបឆ្លើយដោយកំហឹង ។ សោភាគឺជាសិស្សដ៏ពូកែមួយនៅសាលា នាងមានចំណាត់ថ្នាក់ខ្ពស់ជាងគេក្នុងថ្នាក់របស់នាង ។ នាងក៏ជាមិត្តល្អមួយដែរ ។ នាងគ្រាន់តែមានទំលាប់ឆាប់ខឹង ប៉ុន្តែនាងមិនចេះខឹងយូរទេ ។

“គ្នារវល់និយាយជាមួយសង្សារ ពុំមានពេលទំនេរឡើយ!”

“លីលីឯងគ្មានសង្សារទេ! កុំមកកុហកយើង! ទោះយ៉ាងណា ក៏វាមិនសំខាន់ជាងការសិក្សាដែរ!”

ដោយធុញទ្រាំមិនបាន ចរិយាបានស្រែកពីចម្ងាយដាក់សោភានិងលីលីថា “អេ! បើរវល់តែឈ្លេាះគ្នាអញ្ចឹង តិចខ្ញុំឈប់ចាំពួកឯងឥឡូវហ្នឹង!”។ ចរិយាក៏ជាមិត្តរបស់លីលីដែរ ។ នាងគឺជាអ្នកដែលបើកបរម៉ូតូ ។

“​ចាស៎! រៀបចំរួចហើយ! គ្នាចុះទៅឥឡូវហើយ ។” លីលីស្រែកមកពីក្នុងផ្ទះជាលើកចុងក្រោយ មុនរត់មកខាងក្រោម ។ ដោយមិននិយាយអីសោះ សិស្សទាំងបីនោះបានធ្វើដំណើរទៅសាលារៀន ។

លីលីមានគេហដ្ឋានដាច់ស្រយាលឆ្ងាយពីសាលាខុសគេ ។ មានតែមិត្តរបស់នាងទេដែលរស់នៅម្តុំហ្នឹង ។ នាងមានម៉ូតូនៅផ្ទះ ប៉ុន្តែនាងមិនចេះបើក ហើយវាជាកម្មសិទ្ធរបស់បងស្រី ។ បងស្រីរបស់លីលីធ្វើការជាអ្នកគ្រប់គ្រងធានាគារ ។ គាត់វចេញពីផ្ទះម៉ោង ៤ ព្រឹកពីព្រោះធានាគារស្ថិតនៅឆ្ងាយ ហើយមិនត្រលប់មកវិញរហូតដល់យប់ជ្រៅ ។ ពេលខ្លះគាត់មិនមកផ្ទះផង ។ ដោយហេតុនេះ ពេលដែលលីលីត្រូវការទៅរៀន មិត្តភក្ដិនោះហើយជាអ្នកដឹកជូននាងទៅ ។ វាដោយសារតែមិត្តនាងចេះជិះម៉ូតូ ហើយក៏ដោយសារមិត្តនាងមិននៅឆ្ងាយពីនាង ។


សូមរងចាំសម្រាប់វគ្គបន្ទាប់ | សរសេរដោយ បញ្ញារិទ្ធិ និង មករា

Technology/Multimedia: A Short Video

In round 5, we learned a little bit about editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. After, we had to create a short video. For my video, I chose to use and edit footage from when we went to an event called International Day at ISPP (International School of Phnom Penh) a few months ago. The video is titled “Makara ASMR” because my friend Makara is in it, and I found “ASMR” to be funny and fit for the content, even though there is not actually any ASMR in it. Because the file size of the video is too big (even though it is a video that is less than a minute-long), I cannot put it put it in this post. But I have uploaded it to my Google Drive and made it accessible for whoever has the link to it.  And that link is here:

I had a lot of fun making this short video.

Technology/Multimedia: Coding (Python) Part 2

Python, python, python. It’s a snake! There is a snake called python, but that’s not what we’re referring to. It’s a programming language. Python 2? No, that was last round. It’s python 3 this round! So in this round of Technology and Multimedia, we continued learning the programming language of python, but we used a better, more updated version of it which was python 3.

So what’s changed in python 3? Python 2 and 3 are still the same, I’d say. There’s just a small difference. In python 2, the way you would use the print function is:

But in python 3, it would be like:

On the course of a week, we learned new functions to better expand our knowledge of python, opening new doors for exploration and experimentation. The first function that we learned was ‘define’ and it is a function that allows you to make your own functions using the functions that are already in python. It basically allows you to repeat lines of code by writing whatever you named the function, it’s just like creating shortcuts. The next two things we learned were python lists and dictionaries. These two are similar. A list does what it’s called, it’s a list. It’s a collection of items that has an order, is changeable, and let there be more than one of the same thing; duplicates. A dictionary is like a list except that it is unordered and does not allow duplicates. It took some getting used to the changes in python 3, but we were back to writing code and programming in less than a snap because we needed to put what learned to use. In exercises.

The second week, I worked on two exercises from Code Club, a website that has lots of projects for you to work on in different languages of code. The two I worked on were making a program that chooses teams and a rock, paper, and scissors game. When writing code in programs and exercises this round, I wanted and decided to make my own additions. Like 80% of the time, the functions didn’t work on first run which still made me frustrated, but that frustration wasn’t bigger than the satisfaction of them working on later runs which I loved.

At the end of the round, we had to choose another project from Code Club to work on. Whenever I write code or think about code, creating a game or a program always comes up to my mind. And so I took this opportunity to do it. The project that I worked on was an RPG (role-playing game). When choosing a project on Code Club, instructions would pop up and you would follow them. I followed the first step, which was copying the pre-made code for the project, but then I went off drifting and trying to understand code that I copied. There were comments talking about what the code below them did and I read every single one of them. They taught me new functions and opened the door of possibilities which means they gave me lots of new ideas. I went back and followed all of the instructions. Its goal was to make a simple maze game that was short and easy to play, but it wasn’t the type of simple I liked. So I made my own additions to the game.

It certainly took a lot of time, but I did it and I’m really happy about it. At around the same time I was writing and making the game, I was extremely addicted with and fascinated by a very artistic and wonderful game, Hollow Knight. It is a metroidvania and it was made by a team of two developers from Australia. What I love most about Hollow Knight is the lore and its art and a lot more. I’m still playing it as of writing this. I think it was the source of inspiration when I was writing the game and what drove me to make one in the first place. In the process of changing and making the game, I faced a lot of errors, of course, but the joy in fixing in was still there. There was one time when I lost the code and everything in it, so that was a, I guess I can say, a daunting and sad moment because I had made characters for the game and I had written the story of what was happening in the game. Rewriting the functions was hard, but it certainly wasn’t as hard as rewriting the story. That time taught me to save my code and also have a backup of it in a document and so I did that.

After a while, I finished the game and I made a map for it too (picture above previous paragraph). It’s called Twitfall. You, the player, wake up in a mansion. You don’t know how you got here in this cursed mansion, but you do know that you are stuck. The way you can get out of there is to escape its curse and to do that, you must use what’s inside the mansion. I put in an enormous amount of effort and time into this small project of mine and I greatly enjoyed the pleasure and happiness it brought me. If you want to play Twitfall, go to the end of this blog post and you will find links to it as well as the two other projects I worked on from Code Club. And if you’re going to play it, use the map to help you and always look at the commands when you think you’re stuck because maybe you haven’t tried using all the functions yet. I’m proud of the game and I hope you will at least get a little bit of fun and joy playing it. Lastly, I would like to say I loved learning a lot more about python, I loved that I still got frustrated with errors, still became happy when I fixed them, and that enjoyed making my own game. Thanks for reading!

Team Chooser:

Rock, paper, scissors game:


Map for Twitfall:

It’s called ‘The Woriun Mansion Map’ in the drive.

English Literacy: Happiness

In English Literacy, we had happiness as our theme. We read articles about happiness, learned what makes us happy, what doesn’t make us happy, how to be happy, and many other happiness-related things. A lot of poetry was also involved. We learned two new forms of happiness which were the Found poem form and the Golden Shovel poem form. Near the end of the round, we had to write poems. We could choose to write either of the two new poem forms we learned. I chose, or at least tried, to write a golden shovel form. The line I choose is from a song called “falling in reverse” by EDEN. The reason for that is because the song is so much different from any that I’ve listened to. It’s like a message and I really like it. So here’s my golden shovel poem talking about happiness. Enjoy the poem!

Line: “Don’t let the monsters inside your head become your fears.”

“Hollow Oxygen”

Stars fade and become forgotten in a matter of time, they don’t.

For flowers to prosper and flourish, its world had let.

 Every night, they come, the

whisperers of anxiety, you call them monsters.

Come out and sprout, don’t hide inside.

There is nothing that’ll make the sky fall in front of your

very eyes. It’s all in your head.

You come out. And with one deep breath, you look at them. In less than a second, you realize that nothing, but thin, empty spaces of air they’ve become.

It was then that you knew, you can always overcome your

demons. You look at the moon, it tells you, you are not afraid of your fears.

Don’t let the monsters in your head become your fears.

STEMgineering: A Project for Government School Students – Changing Cambodia (2018-2019)

Cambodia in the past few years, from my perspective, has developed so much. The economy has gotten better, education has improved, and more Cambodians have access to the online world. What I’ve been seeing a lot of and really like is Cambodia and its education involving more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). There have been more STEM festivals and events, giving the opportunity to many people and students to not only learn, but also share. It’s basically a chance for people to put up projects related to either any of the STEM categories for other people to see – a fair as I’d call it.

When a STEM fair takes place, schools that are not too far from it sometimes take the opportunity to send their students there when they have available transportation. That’s great, but what about the schools that don’t or can’t afford transportation or schools that are too far? Not a lot of government schools actually send their students to STEM fairs due to multiple reasons like some already mentioned, so their students are missing out on a lot of great opportunities to learn. The majority of Cambodian children go to government schools, but they, especially those in rural areas, don’t get to learn a lot of STEM. Shouldn’t all schools in Cambodia deserve the chance to learn STEM? A step towards solving that problem was taken in the fourth exploration of my second year at Liger. That exploration was STEMgineering.

Credits: Josh Lowry, our school’s photographer.

The goal of this seven-week project was to get students in government schools more involved in STEM, but it was emphasized on engineering in this exploration. The way we decided to work towards that was to create small, fun projects to show to the students. Those projects would have instructions, in both English and Khmer, on how to make something that is engineering-related. There were things we needed to keep in mind however. The main thing was that we needed to make sure the materials needed to make the product of each small project are Cambodian-friendly which means that it should be very easy to find and get anywhere in the country. Our target students were those between 3rd and 7th grade, those who weren’t too young nor old.

The first two weeks of this project, we spent time on learning engineering before we could make small projects about engineering. We learned about the basics, including but not limited to simple machines and the design process. We split into groups for the first time to try out instructions from a website called Instructables, a website made for people to make and share instructions for making different things. Part of our main goal was to upload the instructions we were going to make onto there. Because it’s such a great resource for STEM projects and other things, we wanted Cambodians to use it too, but the only problem was language. There were barely, or even no, Instructables that were in Khmer, thus our instructions were going to be written in both English and Khmer. We then split up into teams, brainstormed on what product to write instructions for, and started making the products. From 15 students into 5 teams of 3.

My team, after a time of thoughtful and fruitful discussion and brainstorming, decided to make a shooter, a simple, little gadget that can shoot things. And the first time we thought about it, safety was one thing we were concerned with, but we still chose it because we prioritized excitement and engagement above all. We wanted the kids to learn while also having fun, so to do that, we needed to make the workshop as exciting as possible, to get engagement, making them want to take part and falling into the trap of learning. After making a few prototypes of our shooter, we started writing instructions and making more shooters. While that was happening, we also came up with new designs for the shooter and that was because we wanted the kids to get creative as well, decide how they wanted their shooter to look while using the ones we made as models. Writing instructions took the longest because we needed to take pictures, translate it into Khmer, upload it onto Instructables, and print them out for workshops. After all of those things, we were ready to present them to kids in government schools.

To present the projects we created, we picked and went to different schools in Phnom Penh. Each workshop took around 2 hours to complete. The first thing we did when we got to a school was split the students into groups according to the number of projects and started the workshop. The five projects our teams had come up with, finally mentioning, were the PVC pipe trash bin, the popsicle bridge, the slingshot car, the shooter and the mini Ferris wheel. Some projects finished earlier than others and some finished way later. During workshops, we answered the students’ questions and taught them little engineering facts, too.

Me helping two of the students at Bambujaya during the workshop. Credits: Josh Lowry

The first trip was to a private school called Bambujaya. Despite it not being a government school, we still did a workshop there because Liger has done many projects with them in the past and we wanted to expose the students there to STEM, too. Our plans ended up differing due to the fact that the students were very young. We did not do the PVC pipe trash bin project because it wasn’t suitable for them and there were times during the workshop when we needed to get them to engage because they got shy. But apart from that, everything went smoothly and was a success. It made me very happy to see them happy, gaining joy from playing with their creations.

Credits: The facilitator of this exploration, Jakub Kukielka.

The second trip was to a government school. We did the workshop with around 60 fifth-graders and it went almost how we wanted it to. Some teams finished too early and some finished a bit too late with their projects, so that was one of the things we could’ve done better; time-management. The other challenges we faced included managing the whole group of students, communicating with them, and making sure everybody learned. It was my first time leading such many people in an activity and it was quite the task for me. My teammates helped students when they got stuck, answered their questions, and took turns deciding and helping them use tools. We had a lot of fun doing leading the workshop. In spite of all the challenges, the smiles they had when they finished their products made us smile. It was a very rewarding experience to introduce and teach them an almost completely new subject to them. Is this the type of joy teachers get at school? To change peoples’ lives? I’d say this trip was another success.

The STEMgineering exploration was one that was very fun to be a part of and one that was very successful. It helped me understand one of the many problems with the current curriculum of Cambodian government schools and made me think in ways I had never done before. Not only that, but it also created change in the lives of the students of the schools that we went to. To hear laughter and see joy in the faces of the students that took part in the workshops created by us Liger students was an experience that I’ll never forget. I hope that I will get the chance to be part of another exploration like this one again in the future because I immensely enjoyed being a change-maker and temporary teacher.

If you want to make a shooter or any of the things the teams did, you can do so here.

Math: Percentages

You’re walking in the mall and you’re trying to find a thick hoodie because you have a trip to the arctic next week. Some of the shops you’ve passed did sell hoodies, but they didn’t have what you wanted and the price didn’t match the quality either. You look to your right and spot a hoodie you like. It costs $25, but you only have $20. You’re about​ leave, but you see a sign that says “Special Offer: All is 25% Off!”. Now, you actually might be able to afford the jacket and avoid 3 more hours of walking and searching for another hoodie in another store in this gigantic mall. But how much is 25% off? How much is the hoodie now? And how much will you have left?

So the price of the hoodie without the discount is 25$. The discount is 25% off, so we need to find 25% of 25$. Then will you be able to figure out how much is left and how much the hoodie costs with the discount. 100% of the hoodie’s price is 25$, so 100/100 = 25$. 25% of 25$ isn’t known yet, but we know that 25% = 25/100 just like the 100%. To find 25% of 25$, just basically take 25$ times 25/100. We also know that 25/100 = 25 ÷ 100. This can be done using many different methods. Here is the one I’m using:

25 (the price) x 25 (the discount %) = 625 ÷ 100 = 6.25$ (25% of 25$)

Now we know that 25% of 25$ is 6.25$. All we need to do now is find the new price and then will we know if we can buy the hoodie or not. 6.25$ is just the discount. The new price is the difference of the normal price subtracted by the discount. So it’s done like:

25$ - 6.25% = 18.75$

The price of the hoodie now is 18.75$. You have 20$. You have just enough! Well lucky you. How much will you have left after buying the hoodie? I’ll leave that one for you to figure out. Just simple subtraction.

And that about sums up what we did in round 4 of math. We learned about percentages and to write a portfolio about it, I chose to create this short problem! I learned a lot about percentages as well as enjoyed it. It’s really fun to learn about, doing problems like these and it’ll make figuring out discounts (and solve other real life problems) much easier. The next time you visit a place that sells something you like and has a discount, you know how to figure it out! Thanks for reading!

Physical Science: Red Cabbage Indicator – Lab Report

Directions, the following were done chronologically:

    • We measured 20 milliliters of the following, each in different cups:
      • Lemon juice
      • Vinegar
      • Sprite
      • Water
      • A water-and-toothpaste solution
      • A water-and-baking-soda solution
      • Bleach
    • A small amount of red cabbage indicator was added into each of the cups
    • The lemon juice was poured into the bleach
    • The baking soda solution was mixed with the vinegar
    • The sprite was poured into the toothpaste solution


*The following image was used as the pH scale for the indicator


Using a dropper, my teammate squished and a few drops of red cabbage juice fell into the first cup which contained lemon juice. The color change that took place was what me and my teammates expected. The lemon juice went from yellow to pinkish red – the color of a peach – meaning that it was acidic. We used the pH scale above to identify the acidity of the lemon juice and everyone agreed that the level of acidity was somewhere between 1 and 2, so it was really acidic. This process was repeated for the remaining cups, below are the color changes and pH levels:

  • The vinegar turned pink and had a pH level of 2; acidic.
  • The sprite turned light purple and had a pH level of 3; acidic.
  • The water didn’t really change color, it turned into a very light purple. It had a pH level somewhere around 7; it was balanced.
  • The toothpaste-and-water solution changed from a very light teal into a darker type of teal, so we agreed that it had a pH level of 11; it definitely had base.
  • The baking-soda-and-water solution turned teal similar to the toothpaste-and-water solution, but it slightly lighter. It had a pH of 10; it had base, too.
  • The last one was the cup of bleach. It didn’t change much. It was still transparent, but in terms of color, it got more yellow; it turned into a very light yellow. My team met and discussed. We agreed that the bleach probably had a pH level that was between 11 and 12; it had a lot of base.

After finally identifying the pH levels of all the seven cups, we took the indicated cup of lemon juice and poured it into the cup of indicated bleach. The result was surprising to me, the color of the solution was similar to the bleach’s color, but slightly darker and it became warm. My team didn’t expect it, in any case of acids and bases, to become warm, but it did. The indicated baking-soda-water-and solution was then poured into the cup of indicated vinegar. Again, the reaction was surprising, the solution turned from pink and teal into purple and it exploded a tiny bit. The tiny explosion, or rather burst, was what was surprising. Three cups were left. We took the indicated cup of sprite and poured it into the toothpaste-and-water solution. Because the past two mixes surprised, we expected there to also be something new, but there didn’t seem to be any sort of noticeable and weird reaction. The solution just turned from light purple and teal to pink.