Check in #5

My reflections on my Passion projects~

Overall, I think my passion project was about half of my original idea, which was to install other features into my jacket to make it more useful, but I did better on designing than I expected. The handwarmers were satisfactory too, and I liked how I made them scented, which was a last minute idea. Next year, I think I’ll try harder to confirm my passion project idea more earlier in the year though, because this year, it took me almost a month to confirm it.

The STEAM fair went pretty well, I loved interacting and presenting with/to the audience; I found it great because we all got the chance to practice public speaking, which is a much needed future skill. Obviously for next year, some adjustments to the set up of the STEAM fair would be great, but other than that, I think it was great. I think that if the STEAM fair was in periods of time rather than an all day event till the evening would be better too, because there were many participants including myself who were very tired after the event.

I do not currently have any plans to go further with the passion project I did this year, but I think if I could improve it, better packaging, and adjusting it to be even more environmentally friendly would work out.

As I’ve mentioned before, I took a while just trying to figure out my topic. I changed my topic around 4 times until I finally confirmed it, about 4 weeks before the passion project was due. And as for a layout of a plan, I didn’t have one at all. I figured as long as I have a stable way of showing my work (through a poster and website in this case), I would be fine, along with of course the physical handwarmers themselves. And in fact, this mindset did help me, because before I thought this, I was stressing over how I would even present, what I would write about, etc. But I just told myself to show it all on a poster, and in the end it worked out. I think next year, I’ll try my best to make my presentation even better, and decide my topic before its due in less than a month.

While presenting to the parents, students, and teachers, I always very on edge and a little nervous the whole time, but my heart also raced with thrill, from the reactions I received, and the little compliments made my ego balloon like 1593222 times.


Check in #4

June 5th, 2023

As I make a few last adjustments and add presentation, my passion project is slowly coming to a finish.

Firstly, I sewed a pouch from a cotton x polyester fabric piece, with a zipper too. This pouch will provide the handwarmers insulation, to keep them warm for longer.


Of course, I finished the glow in the dark logo by going over it again with some glow in the dark paint.





I made a poster to display the information about my handwarmers, that will be shown in my booth during the STEAM fair.




Lastly, I finished making the handwarmers, with the scent, and a fire logo sticker I made using the sticker cutter machine.

Check in #3

May 27th, 2023

I have made some progress on my jacket and handwarmers since the last check in. I also found a way enhance the handwarmers, and that is by adding essential oil perfumes (homemade of course) to them so they smell nice.

These are the perfumes I made with a few drops of peppermint and chamomile essential oils and water.

To make the logo stand out, I sewed on some white ribbon on the edges, and painted on the rough draft logo, even though it is very faint and hard to see.


I sewed on an another pair of pockets to the jacket, for the hands. I also added some decorations (flower on zipper, button on sleeve), and then cut out thumb holes, for the glove like feeling.



Check in #2

May 22nd, 2023

Welcome back to my homemade handwarmers! In this check in, I am pleased to say that I have bought ingredients to make sodium acetate from scratch- using some baking soda(acts as a base) and vinegar(acts as acetic acid). Then, I looked a video how to make sodium acetate, for reference. I tested it out, and after 2 times, I successfully made sodium acetate trihydrate crystals, as well as the supersaturated solution.

This is what happened when I added vinegar to a pan with baking soda in it.

The crystals formed on the edge of the pan!

Check in #1

May 17, 2023

Hello! This is my first check in. I am aware that I started my passion project very late, as the original was supposed to be due earlier. However, I was struggling with deciding on what my passion project would be, and there had been many changes and modifications from my original plan. Currently, my finalized idea is to create handwarmers, that are made out of sodium acetate, and design a jacket to display them in. I bought the materials for my jacket.

I managed to sew some black cloth on my thrifted jacket, where a glow in the dark fire logo will go.

Homemade Handwarmers

Handwarmers are useful for treating mild-moderate aches, joint pain, cramps, and stomach pain. My handmade handwarmers can be reused, by boiling the bag until completely dissolved (30-40 seconds) and slowly cooling it. Because of its many uses, instead of throwing the used handwarmers in the trash, it can be used to clean out rust, scales, and stains on metal surfaces, it can be poured out on to the concrete, sealing it, preventing water damage, it can be used to lightly season your potato chips, it is used for preserving food as well, because it prevents bacteria growth. Sodium Acetate has other industrial uses, such as textiles (as a photoresist), in the laboratory to study molecular biology and biochemistry, and as a buffer, when acetic acid (ex. vinegar) is added, to balance a mildly acidic pH level.

I made a jacket with scented, salt based handwarmers. They are scented with essential oils, which can be chosen between peppermint or chamomile. The handwarmers are stored in cotton/polyester pouches, for better insulation. There are separate pockets in the jacket; one for the handwarmers, and one for anything else. I sewed the zipper, buttons, thumb holes, pockets, ribbon, and fabrics all by hand, as well as painting the back.

Here, ingredients from miss vickie’s chips conatin sodium acetate. (Yes, I ate them)

Active ingredient: Sodium Acetate

Molecular formula: CH3COONa, abbreviation NaOAc

2D structure:

3D structure:

The salt that makes the handwarmers hot is a solution called sodium acetate, also known as hot ice. The substance that triggers the exothermic reaction is the sodium acetate trihydrate crystals. When the crystals are melted at a point of 58-58.4 Degrees Celsius, they dissolve into their water of crystallization. If the solution is cooled down, it is now a supersaturated solution. To activate crystallization, add a speck of sodium acetate trihydrate into the supersaturated solution, and doing so, a process called nucleation occurs. A small number of molecules form a pattern of the crystalline solid, continuing to grow until it has filled the mold of the place it is stored.

These are the materials I began with to create the jacket. Most were thrifted, or accessories I already had. 

These are the materials I started with to create the sodium acetate for my handwarmers, which I purchased from the grocery store. 

I  sewed the back cloth on, and  some ribbon around the borders to make the logo pop.

I sewed another pair of pockets, and added a little decoration, then cut out some thumb holes and buttons.



I decided to sew a pouch from some spare fabric (cotton x polyester) to insulate the handwarmers better, and for a soft texture. Then, I added a zipper as convenience.