During the week of March 19-26, four high school students selected by Science, Math, and Technology Education Center to participate in the North Carolina International Science Competition (NCISC) are traveling to Beijing, China to present their research, meet students from other countries, and experience Chinese culture. This blog highlights the journey of these future science rockstars of North Carolina! Today, we hear from one of the adult travelers on the trip, Steve Hill who is Executive Director of North Carolina’s Eastern Region: STEM East. See more pictures and updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
First of all, I want to think the SMT Center and Burroughs Wellcome for providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain insight into the education and cultural characteristics of China. Traveling with our US students allowed us to learn about the high-level research happening at our native North Carolina schools, but also to learn about the students on a more personal level. As we traveled together we gleamed from our students their impressions and ideas for improvement of our country’s educational system. As delegates, we collaborated on future projects that could involve student sharing with peers and other potential projects. Personally, I hope to introduce my own children to Drew, Amy, Forrest and Edward so that they can engage in conversation about education endeavors with peers instead of just an overly protective father.
While in China each group was assigned a university student translator. Our translators even gave themselves American names to make it easier for us. These students engaged in detailed conversations about Chinese/American education and cultural activities. Abby, Tom, Veronica and Victoria represented their country extremely well and provided our group with the best experience possible. Abby and Tom spent most of the time trying to keep us on schedule and out of trouble as we Americans liked to stray down side streets and linger too long in places.
Abby did a wonderful job as our tour guide during trips to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. Her personal knowledge of her country’s history was impressive and the ability to adjust our schedules as needed was equal to that of any diplomat. We often volunteered to host her and the others as visiting students to the US.
Read Steve’s posts on his experience at the Science Competition…