Developing Leaders Around You

The Law of Explosive Growth: To Multiply Growth, Lead Leaders

Whenever you are leading a group of people you want there to be growth. This growth might show itself through work getting finished, ideas being created, or almost anything productive that grows the team. Adding growth is great, but multiplying growth is even better, and that’s a big idea; “To Multiply Growth, Lead Leaders”. In TALONS we’re given a unique opportunity to work closely with other leaders. This might mean stepping up into an even bigger leadership role, yet it also creates opportunities to be led. Since we have so many leaders, we ourselves can lead those leaders around us, and multiply growth. This is crucial because as leaders we always want to find the best solutions and work together as a team, and in a team, with lots of leaders, we can use all our abilities together and multiply growth instead of just adding growth like any followers. Take our trips for example. We have job leaders, committee leaders, and overall leaders. The overall leaders are leading the other leaders. So instead of that first leader having to guide everything and simply add growth to our trips, now we have the other leaders stepping in as well and leading their smaller groups. This goes on and on to the point where we can maximize our efficiency as a group. Normally people can’t plan a trip in a few hours yet year after year TALONS does exactly that. That’s why multiplying growth is so crucial, and we do that by leading other leaders, or by having leaders lead us. It’s all a cycle.

Leaders: Think Differently

Leaders are different than everyone else. If everyone was the same there would be no such thing as a leader. However, there are leaders and what separates them from other people is the way they think. Leaders think differently. There are many ways that leaders think differently, and in some way or other leaders utilize all of them when they lead. For example, leaders see the big picture, or maybe they’re creative and strategic thinkers, or maybe it’s the way they think unselfishly and shared, or realistically and reflecting, but no matter what they do leaders think differently. There are many ways of thinking, and if I want to become a better leader, I need to get better at all these different ways of thinking. Right now, I’m mainly a realistic, strategic, and big picture thinker. These are the ways I think differently as a leader. However, If I want to grow, even more, I need to strengthen other ways of thinking like focused, creative, and unselfish thinking, all three of which I struggle with. Being a leader is about growing as a leader and to grow as a leader thinking differently is key. When I plan a cultural event with other people you always need to think differently. This year more than ever with new events, we had to solve problems and work together. Unselfish thinking (Three cohorts working together on one event), big picture thinking (making sure everything is ready the night of movie night), and shared thinking (keeping everyone on the same page with meetings, etc.) were all a big part of our success as a collective, and each of those was a way we as individual leaders had to think differently.

Thought About Modeling: Work on Yourself More Than You Work on Others

Nobody is perfect. As a leader, you do your best to run your team smoothly. This takes communication and building those around you, so you can get the best out of your team. Since you work a lot on your team, you also need to make sure you work on yourself. If you can’t model it then why should you be telling others to do it? Leaders need to constantly grow as well, and you do that by putting work into yourself. That’s why you need to work on yourself more than you work on others. You can’t expect someone to listen to you and let you lead them unless you model what you want them to do. In TALONS we’re all leaders, but we’re nowhere near perfect. The TALONS model uses the Grade 10’s to help teach the Grade 9’s. That’s because the 10’s have the experience to lead. They worked on themselves the previous year and now can properly model what needs to be done. Your Grade 9 year is where you can really work on yourself as a leader. You learn how to work together, how to communicate, and how to get work done. Then in Grade 10 you know what you’re doing and can model for the Grade 9’s what was modelled to you last year. In Grade 10 we have lots of the skills we need to lead, but we continue working on ourselves as well. This whole “Developing Leaders Around You” is proof of that. We’re not perfect, and we always need to be growing as leaders.

Compassion: The Ability to Hear What Another is Attempting to Put Into Words Without Judging

Compassion is something every leader needs. A huge part of leadership is understanding those you work with. If you don’t act compassionately towards those you work with you can never be a good leader. It’s one thing to have someone follow you due to your authority, but it’s better when they follow you because they respect you. Compassion allows a leader to connect with those around them. When a leader connects with their followers they can work together better and have the team run smoothly. That’s why compassion is so critical for a leader. For me, this comes up a lot in soccer. You have to understand each other and their ideas to work together well. If you don’t connect, you can never be good teammates. On and off the field compassion allows the team to bond, and helps us work together. This can also be applied to TALONS teams. When we’re planning leadership events, everyone has different ideas. As a leader, if you aren’t compassionate, you’ll never be able to understand what your team members are trying to say without judging them. However, if you are compassionate you can truly understand them and their ideas. Maybe they even have an idea that would turn out amazingly, but you never would’ve known that without compassion. That’s why compassion is so important in leadership. You need to be able to listen to what others are trying to say without judging because that allows your team to work well together.



TALON Talk 2020 “How does oil added to soil affect the growth of bean plants?” Colby Ng

Hi  Everyone,

I chose to do a science inquiry on “How oil added to soil affects the growth of bean plants?“.

Please watch the video attached below and comment!

Thanks, Colby Ng

Colby Ng’s Jewelry Making In-Depth Project

Hi everybody, my name is Colby Ng and I’m a Grade 9 T.A.L.O.N.S. Learner.

I chose jewelry making as my In-Depth Project this year because it was something brand new that I never would have pursued without In-Depth. In Jewelry Making you have to heat, cool, shape, hammer, stamp, solder, polish and so much more. Behind the scenes of every jewelry piece, you’ll see mistakes, hard work, tools, and learning. I learned so much and ended up with some amazing pieces of handmade jewelry.

Please click on the images for a clear close-up image.

This copper bracelet was the very first project I completed. I wanted to make it original so I engraved the bracelet with TALONS 2020. It may not be perfect, but that’s the whole point of handmade jewelry, no two projects will ever be identical.

This silver ring was my second project and is my first attempt at soldering. I bent, shaped, stamped, and polished this silver ring, and to finish it off I soldered it together and created my first ring.

These twisted copper rings were my third and fourth projects. I spent time twisting together two separate pieces of wire, and then hammered them flat to get the shape. I wanted some design, so I also went over the metal with a diamond file creating come indents and imperfections. After some polishing, they turned out great and these were some of my favourite pieces I made.

This was my fifth and final project of my In-Depth. My sister and I collaborated on making my mum a homemade Mother’s Day gift. I had to twist copper wire into different words and ended up with a great gift.

I’ll continue doing jewelry making after In-Depth is over and hope to keep learning more.

For more information you can check out my previous In-Depth posts, or if you have any questions I’ll be answering them in the comments below.

Thanks for checking out my Jewelry Making In-Depth Project!



These last few weeks I think I’ve perfected working at home. 

I’ve continued working hard and doing my best, and I’ve done a lot. I’ve continued doing research online using youtube videos and finding helpful websites (best ones have links below). Jewelry making is a fun break from doing normal schoolwork, and I’ve been able to work on projects consistently. I’ve also continued and started some cool new projects along with getting more supplies. I visited Micheals, made some rings, started a mother’s day gift, and so much more. I also ran into some problems along the way, but I’ll get to that in a bit. 

At first, I continued on my old projects. I buffed out all my jewelry and cleaned it so that it was super shiny again. I spent a while doing this and might need to buy more steel wool. In the end, all the jewelry was super shiny and looked brand new again. I also started looking into some cleaner and finish I can use on the jewelry to stop it from losing its lustre, but I’ll look more in-depth for that next time along with getting some advice from my mentor. 

Next, I decided to start on some new projects. I spent time stripping some wires for the copper inside, and I thought it would be good enough for jewelry making. I tried to make a bracelet out of the wire, but the problem was it wasn’t solid copper, it was actually very thin wires bound together and I wasn’t able to use it. In the meantime, I spent time practicing how to flatten metal with an old USB cover I had. This was just a good way to help me practicing flattening out some metal as if it was a project. After this, I knew I had to get some metal to work with and after waiting a few days I was able to go to Micheals. I bought 3 meters of copper wire because I knew I could do countless projects with it. 

At first, I started on a bracelet. I hammered and heated, but then after a while doing this, I got a text from my friend. He had seen the twisted copper ring I made and he wanted me to make one for him. I figured I could continue the bracelet later, so I started on his ring. I took two lengths of copper wire and twisted them together. For this, I got my Mom’s help and I used a drill and pliers to twist the two metal pieces together. After this, I spent a long time heating the wire and hammering it into a flatter shape. When I was happy with how flat it was, I got to sanding the piece down. This always takes the longest and it’s hard work but eventually, I finished. Next, I got my friend to measure his ring size with a measuring tape, and after another round of heating, I bent it into shape. I sanded one final time and after it was all shiny I was done. I did have some problems with this project, but I’ll talk about that in a bit. 

My other project was the start of my Mother’s day gift. My mom doesn’t wear a lot of jewelry so I decided to make her a decoration. using nails, a wooden board, and some copper wire, I bent the copper around the nails to spell the word love. It was my first try so it wasn’t perfect, but I’ll continue doing my best so I have a great gift for her on Mother’s day. 

My mentor has also been there whenever I need it, but I’ve been able to lead my own learning very well. I’m super thankful that I learned all the basic skills with my mentor at the beginning because now I just have to implement them in slightly different ways when I try something new. Sometimes this doesn’t always go right. For example, I learned the hard way why we always heat the metal before twisting, hammering, or bending. I was working on a twisted ring project with my copper wire I bought and I ran out of butane fuel. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem and decided to bend the ring into shape anyways. This was after spending hours twisting and hammering, along with buffing and shining. After using a ton of energy bending the ring into shape, the copper wire actually broke and I had to start from scratch again. I knew that heating was important before, but this taught me how heating the metal makes it MUCH easier to work with. I learned my lesson and didn’t make that mistake again. (I also bought more butane) 

For my final presentation, I am going to be putting together a picture essay/slide show. I’m going to showcase all the different jewelry I’ve made in a slideshow/picture essay. Then, in the end, I’ll show a sped-up video of how I made some of the jewelry. I have a special camera that’s great for macro shots that can show all the detail in my projects. Altogether it’ll be great to show what I’ve learned and people can better understand how jewelry is made. 

Coronavirus is a tough challenge to work through, but I’ve done my best. 

Here are some pictures of my tools and projects: 

  1. My tools 
  2. All my projects 
  3. My newest ring (left) compared to an older ring (right) 
  4. My first attempt at a Mother’s day gift 
  5. Some coating and cleaner I’ve used 
  6. The broken pieces of a twisted ring from trying to bend without heating 

Below I put links to the websites I found most interesting and useful. 

How Cuban Links are Made: 

Jewelry Making with Copper Wire: 


Can’t wait until next time… 

Ecological Footprint

My Ecological Footprint is 9.25 hectares


National Canadian Average: 7.5 Hectares

I’m 1.55 hectares above the national average.

World Average: 2.75 Hectares

Devon: 6.75

Evan: 9.35

Ruby: 8.10

Hailey: 10.5

Mel: 6.95

Compared to my other classmates and both national and world averages, I’m above average when it comes to my ecological footprint. I hope that in my two weeks I’ll be able to reduce it and be able to get below 9 hectares.

Twelve Actions That Increase:

  • If your shower is usually more than 10 minutes or your bath is full, you get +80
  • If you flush the toilet every time you use it your get +30
  • If some of your clothes were bought brand new for you or by you, you get +100
  • If you usually spend some time travelling just with your family in your car, you get +100
  • If you usually spend more than an hour on the computer and/or watching TV per day, you get +70
  • If none of the food you usually eat is organic, you get +40
  • For each time in one week that you eat non-organic beef, give yourself +20
  • For each time in one week that you eat non-organic or factory-raised chicken, give yourself +15
  • For each time in one week that you eat non-organic pork, give yourself +15
  • If all your garbage on a typical day would fit into a cup, you get +30
  • If wild fish is part of your diet, you get +40
  • If some of the food you usually eat was grown in BC, you get +20

Five Actions to Reduce My Footprint, Why and How I Can Reduce my Footprint:

  • Showering for 1-2 minutes or filling the bath ¼ full

I chose this one because I feel like it is a big change for me to make. I normally take longer showers because I find it relaxing, however it makes a significant impact on my footprint. If I can reduce this aspect of my life and shower less, I can reduce my footprint.

In order to reduce my footprint, I am going to try taking shorter showers. Instead of taking 10 minutes, I’ll aim for around 2-minute showers.

  • Flush the toilet not every single time

I chose this one because it’s the most do able. I can easily monitor when I flush the toilet, but a small change like this can easily reduce my footprint. This still will be a different change for me, because I don’t do this already.

In order to reduce my footprint, I will flush the toilet every few times I go to the bathroom instead of every time.

  • Buy local grown/raised food

I chose this one because I do a lot of my family shopping due to Coronavirus, and I can make decisions on what to buy and what not to. Sometimes when I shop with my parents, I don’t bother to look where the food is made or farmed. I can easily change this by paying more attention and I can make a better impact.

In order to reduce my footprint, I will try and buy local meat and produce whenever I go shopping with my parents. I’ll look and be more considerate about where my food comes from.

  • Produce less garbage in a day

I chose this one because I feel like I have many unnessesary garbage items and I could reduce them to have a better impact. Items like granola bars, and snacks that are single use are easy to get rid of, and I don’t need to eat them. If I focus on eating items without wrappers like fruits and vegetables, I can reduce my footprint.

In order to reduce my footprint, I’ll eat more foods without wrappers, and focus on using recyclable items like paper and cardboard.

  • Eat less meat every week

I chose this one because I cook for my family and make meal decisions occasionally. Due to this I can decide to cut out some of the meat products because my dad and I eat a lot of unnessesary meat. I feel like this one will be the hardest, and I wanted to choose it to see how much I could improve.

To reduce my footprint, I will try and eat less meat products and cook meals that require vegetables and other substitutes instead.

Changes That Were Easy to Make

Producing Less Garbage –

I found this change extremely easy to make. I didn’t produce much garbage to start with, so reducing a bit more wasn’t a problem. I think I had the most success because it was a small change for me. I had the ability from day 1 and it was an easy change to make.

Not Flushing Every Single Time –

I also found this change easy to make. Not flushing was easier for me because once again it was a simple change. I had to do less work than usual, and besides having to explain to my family, I was able to easily accomplish this.

Buying Local Grown/raised Food –

Buying local grown/raised food was an easy change to make. Even though it was a considerable change, I had an easy time doing this. When I went shopping with my parents, I paid closer attention to what I was picking up. Due to corona, my parents wanted my sister and I going into the stores instead of them since they are at risk. I looked and bought local grown things instead, and since I only went shopping a few times in two weeks, I was able to accomplish this.

Changes That Were Hard to Make

Eating Less Meat –

I found this change hard to make because it was a big change for me. My family and I tend to eat a lot of meat. Whether it’s chicken, steak, or pork, my dad and I especially eat as much of it as we can. Over the two weeks I had problems adjusting and I eased myself into it. I did manage to eat less meat, but I still ate a lot. I think that meal planning helped, and I was able to make things like enchiladas or a pasta dish, but overall, I had a hard time because it was such a big change for me.

Showering for 1-2 Minutes –

This was another change that I found hard. There were two things that made it so hard for me. Firstly, I enjoy having long showers. I prefer longer showers because they help me relax. Secondly, it was a big change, and with any big change problems arise. At first it was very hard trying to change from long showers to short ones, but I found that having colder showers also helped. Overall, the two weeks were a challenge, but I was able to accomplish having shorter showers, maybe not 1-2 minutes though.


Family – My family was one obstacle that stood in my way. When it came to eating less meat, it was hard to explain to my dad what I was doing. My family was confused by some of the things I was doing whether it was super-fast showers, or not flushing the toilet, and that was an obstacle I had to overcome.

Preferences – My personal preferences also stood in my way. Taking shorter showers was different to me. The first few days were hard because my personal preferences got in the way. If everything was easy, I would’ve been doing it already. In this way, my preferences held me back the most and challenged me.

Lifestyle – Certain aspects of my lifestyle also stood in my way. I don’t usually eat only vegetables. My dad and I are intense carnivores, and we’ve been that way our entire lives. Changing something like that was trying to change my entire lifestyle. It was hard and definitely an obstacle for me.

Future Steps

In the future, I hope to continue reducing my footprint. This whole activity has taught me how much of an impact I have on the environment. I will continue to try and reduce my footprint by using my same 5 strategies, and work on them going forward in life. I also hope that I can continue making small changes that help out the environment and continue doing the things that I was already doing right. I realize that I have an above average ecological footprint, and I hope that if I continue to follow some of my reduction steps, then I’ll be able to reduce my footprint to an average Canadian Level or even less.


Until next time…

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment Reflection #4: The Indian Act Socials Presentation

Socials Presentation: The Indian Act


For this project, I was put in a group with some classmates, and we had to research and present an issue surrounding the First Nation’s Peoples of Canada. Our group chose to research the Indian Act and how it has affected Canada. We collaborated in and out of school and split the project up. Then we put it all together and created a class presentation (Powerpoint) that ended on a discussion. We discussed our opinions, and how there are different views on the Indian Act and how it is both a bad and a good thing depending on your perspective.

1. I identify and discuss bias in research sources.

While researching such a controversial topic we knew that there would be different biases. To combat this we researched from both perspectives. We found that not everything was black and white with the Indian Act. In our presentation, we discussed the good and the bad and then we started a class discussion about what everyone else thought. That’s how I identified and discussed bias in my research sources.

2. I go beyond google and use databases to find scholarly research sources.

When researching for this presentation, we didn’t want extremely biased sources, so we used the school’s databases. Certain websites the school had were perfect and in our bibliography, you can see how we used them. We knew that the school’s sources would be less biased than most of the internet so we tried to use as much of the school’s sources as possible. Altogether I used much more than just google when researching for this presentation.

3. I ethically use content that is not created by me by using Creative-Commons licensed audio, video, or images, and by properly citing these resources in my work.

All we did was source content that wasn’t our own, and use creative commons. In our actual PowerPoint, everything is cited to the website we got it from. We put links to all the websites and also created a bibliography. We didn’t want to unethically use content so we also used creative commons for some images. That’s how I cited all the work in the presentation that wasn’t mine, or I used creative commons.

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment Reflection #3: Electricity Science Lab

Science Electricity Lemon Lab


This science project was one of our group Science labs. I had to collaborate with 4 other students and organize, design, and carry out a science experiment. We created an experiment to test if liquids or solids produced more electricity (Juice or Fruit). We then researched and designed our experiment both inside and outside of school. After that, we carried out our experiment and wrote up our paper on what we found.

1. I used digital spaces to plan and execute collaborative projects with my peers.

While planning out our lab, we needed more time to work. We had planned and talked in school, but we decided to set up a video call where all of us could continue to work on the lab at home. We started a video chat and planned out what materials to bring, what procedure to do, and everything we could before the actual experiment. This was how I used a digital space to plan and execute part of my science lab.

2. I constructively build upon or synthesize the ideas of my peers.

Since this was a group project we split up the work and did it all evenly. When we were designing the experiment there wasn’t any one way to do it so we ended up brainstorming on facetime. Whenever someone had a good idea like using multiple fruits instead of just lemons, we used the idea and built off it. We even added multiple fruits and multiple juices as a way to build off a previous idea. The whole project was like this and we rolled with whatever good ideas came up.

3. I enhance the impact of my research or presentation through the creative use of technology.

At the end of our experiment when we were doing the lab write up, we used online research as part of our lab. When we were explaining why liquids give off more electricity than solids, we were only given papers and textbooks as sources. However, not all of our findings could be explained with only those sources. So we went online and did research to enhance our lab report even more. We went to explain electrolytes and ions in water with the online research that we couldn’t have done with just the textbook. We ended up using those sources to help ourselves more than we could’ve without them.

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment Reflection #2: ZIP Project

ZIP Project: Persuasion

Zip Proposal:

Zip Notes:

Zip Final Artifact:

Zip Final Artifact Notes:

My ZIP project on persuasion was a passion project. We were given two weeks to research a topic. The topic could be anything as long as you could turn it into any inquiry project. For my topic I chose persuasion, and my question was “What are the key elements that allow you to persuade someone into agreeing with you?”. I spent a week doing research on this question, to get the clearest understanding. After I knew the answer to my inquiry question, I decided to show what I learned about persuasion my writing a persuasive essay on why students should be given less homework. Then I did a presentation one on one with a few different classmates to teach them about what I learned while they evaluated me. Finally, I learned about my classmates passion projects and gave them an evaluation and feedback like they gave me. 

1. I attribute credit to ideas that are not my own by preparing a Bibliography/Works Cited and by using in-text citations.

I credited my research in my bibliography and in my work. I have my bibliography attached above at the bottom of my notes and I used that throughout my research. each section of research has the information from each source and I make sure to credit the sources in that way. I also created a bibliography in my final essay and cited sources throughout my essay as proof.

2. I look at controversial issues or topics from opposed perspectives to gain a more complete understanding.

Through my research I learned that to properly argue or persuade someone, you need to understand the opposing point of view. When I was writing my final essay I research both why homework was good, and why homework is bad. I had to gain a complete understanding and then argue why my idea was better. I make notes of this in my essay research, and also in my actual essay when I have concessions.

3. I respond to the work or ideas of my peers in a way that is compassionate and productive.

At the end of ZIP, we did peer evaluation sessions. At first, I presented all my findings and taught my classmates about persuasion while they gave me critiques and feedback. After I got all my feedback from several people, I watched my peer’s presentations. During this time I also helped critique what was good and bad about their presentation and gave them ways that they could improve. Through this, I responded to the work of my peers in a compassionate and productive way.

4. I determine and use the most effective medium to present my work.

After my first week of research on persuasion, I had to choose a way to show my learning. I decided to do a persuasive essay because it could help me show all the skills I learned and it was easy for other people to understand. Basically I had to decide what way I wanted to present my learning, and I chose a simple and effective persuasive essay.

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment Reflection #1: Eminent Project

Eminent Person Project: Douglas Jung

Eminent Speech:

Eminent Research:

Eminent Blog Post:

The basics of my Eminent person project was to find an “Eminent” person and complete a project about that person. An “Eminent” person is someone who has made a significant and positive impact on society, and my “Eminent” person was Douglas Jung. Douglas Jung was the first Chinese Member of Parliament in Canadian history, who was also a veteran, and also a lawyer. He fought for Asian-Canadian rights and helped lead Canada towards the diverse nation it is today. I had to research why Douglas Jung was “Eminent” and find out as much information about him as I could. I put together weeks of research and created a blog post about Douglas Jung. After that, I wrote and presented a speech in class, and also participated in “The Night of The Notables” where I had a presentation station about Douglas Jung. Those were the basics of my “Eminent” person project on Douglas Jung.

1) I tailor my work to appeal to my intended audience and use language and visual design elements appropriate for them.

I did this by condensing all my research into understandable, and interesting formats. I spent weeks collecting all my research, and I had to find ways to shorten that research down and present it in appealing ways. For my speech, I took the most important and interesting things that Douglas Jung did, like his time in World war Two and his work for Canada and created a story with my speech. Then with my learning center, I used the poster board and the locker bay to set up a visually appealing area for me to talk about Douglas Jung. (See pictures) 

2) I design my work with consideration given to aesthetics, and design, such as consistent colour schemes, symmetry, or organization of visual elements, and overall layout.

The best example of this is my learning center. I used a poster board as my centrepiece and designed everything around it. I used the lockers to hang up photos, and people could walk into my station and be surrounded by different things. They could look around while I talked and ask questions when they saw something interesting. All the pictures were spaced evenly, and my actual poster board was set up in three sections. World war two on the left, Parliament in the middle, and his work as a lawyer on the right. Each section had lots of photos and a quote with small amounts of information.  

3) I critically assess research sources for Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Purpose.

Throughout my research, I used both databases and googled websites. I CRAP tested the google websites to make sure they came from reliable websites, whether that was the Candian Encyclopedia or news articles, I checked through each resource to make sure it was reliable. If you look at my bibliography you can see that I cited my research sources and that they are CRAP tested. Some of the resources I found weren’t good enough so I didn’t include them in my research. 

4) My work demonstrates a positive, productive, and empathetic worldview.

This entire project was all about showcasing a person made a positive impact on the world. In my research around Douglas Jung, I learned how he helped change Canada from racism and discrimination, into the diverse nation it is today. He helped in war, he helped refugees, he helped immigrants, and he helped all Canadians as a member of Parliament. I then took all the information I learned and helped teach the people around me how one person was able to do so much good. Douglas Jung promoted a positive, productive, and empathetic worldview, and I was able to show that throughout my project.