Maya's Digital Portfolio

artist statement

Dear Durango,

The reason that I decided to create this college is that it matters that we all get to go back to normal. It matters that we can learn in a regular way. Masks are the way that we can keep people safe and the way that we can end this pandemic. I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of not getting to go to school and see my friends and learn from what the teachers are saying instead of just dragging my way through the school year. I want to get scheduled at my job and go to the movies again. I’m sure that all of you are also very over this. Many people believe that masks don’t do anything. However, it is scientifically proven that if you are wearing a mask that is designed the right way it will protect you and others from the virus. I know that I am being harsh but I’m a 16-year-old girl stressing about money and work and not even knowing if I get to go to prom or my best friend's graduation. This is sad, and yes there isn’t much that we can do to completely stop it, but it is important that we try. It’s important that we protect ourselves and others. So wear your mask, social distance, and please, please don’t go to parties. :)


Maya Olivier


1. Pick one of the four Essential Questions below and answer it. At the end of your answer, describe what beliefs (if any) you held at the beginning of the semester in relation to that Essential Question and how your understanding related to the Essential Question grew as a result of the work you did in this course.

1) What is the biochemical nature of SARS-CoV-2? 2) What is the relevant biochemistry for preventing or treating a COVID-19 infection from SARS-CoV-2? 3) How can the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 be understood chemically? 4) How can the lens of chemistry be used to inform societal practice and policy designed to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2?

How can the lens of chemistry be used to inform societal practice and policy to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2?

2.How did your knowledge of science grow through your work on the project? You can reference: Specific scientific concepts or facts that you learned Skills you developed related to doing science or engineering Understandings you developed about the way science is done or the relationship between science and other aspects of society?

My knowledge grew a lot through this project. The big concepts that I learned were what is COVID made up of? How does it spread? How does COVID duplicate in the body? And why we wear masks and how they work to keep the virus out? The major skill that I learned throughout this project is mostly the research skill. I feel that because we were online for most of this project, I found myself having to research a lot to understand the assignment and get it done. I also learned the different societal perspectives on wearing a mask and why some people wear them and why some don’t. ​

3.This semester in Chemistry we focused on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 because of their obvious relevance to our lives. In doing this we studied some ideas that would traditionally be studied in biology class, some that would be found in a physics class, and some that would be found in a chemistry class. We also read far more news articles and spent more time looking at scientific papers than is typical for a high school chemistry class. The trade-off is that we did not cover as much chemistry content as you would typically see in a chemistry class and we did not do it in an order that is most advantageous to learning chemistry. Please evaluate this pedagogical decision and state whether you believe the benefits of this method outweigh the downsides or not.

I think that this did have some downsides. Just because I had already learned about some of the things that I learned in biology. Although I did like learning about COVID I think that we could have focused on the chemistry side a little more than we did.


Leetaru, Kalev. “Mask-Wearing Guidance: A Timeline of Slow-to-Shift Messaging.” RealClearPolitics, 22 May 2020,

“COVID-19: Considerations for Wearing Masks.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,