The Michigan Difference

Contributed by Brittany Tang

Michigan

After spending three weeks at the University of Michigan, I am starting to feel the energy in the air, the buzz of academia, the passion and excitement of being part of what is essentially a small city. The first week I dipped my toes into the academic pool of my classes. I got used to what was expected of me and how to succeed. After I felt sufficiently settled and comfortable with my studies I started searching for leadership positions and community service based clubs to join.

I ran for and was elected President of the Events Planning Committee (EPC) for the HSSP (Health Sciences Scholar’s Program) community. As the President, I help facilitate weekly EPC meetings, I design agendas and communicate with the representatives from each HSSP committee. I am also a member of the HSSP Community Service Committee. Myself, along with others in the committee plan service endeavors for the HSSP community: volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House for families with children in critical condition, volunteering at Indian Trails Camp for children and adults with disabilities, ect. I recently received an email from a 4th year MD PhD student who is working to establish an NGO to help provide health care for people in Uganda. A group of  students including myself, will be establishing a sister program for the undergraduate school to raise awareness for the NGO Progressive Health Partnership (PHP) as well as raise some funds. The link to the project is as follows: Progressive Health Partnership | People Helping People. I am also part of an organization called the VIEW (Volunteers Involved Every Week).  The mission of this organization is to “empower students to become educated leaders and create social change in partnership with local organizations and communities”. This club in particular, stood out to me because of its emphasis on global citizenship and community service. I am very excited to be part of the team!

Finally, from a more academic point of view this past week has been extremely busy because I am in the process of searching for undergraduate research opportunities. I sent out multiple applications for multiple research projects and I have had lots of very educational interviews. I am really enjoying the entire process of finding a project I am interested in researching to securing a place on the research team. I have yet to commit to a particular project, at the moment, however by next week I will have my research position. Overall, I think the most important thing to remember is that balance is so incredibly important. Attending university has really challenged me in a positive way and has allowed me to grow into the individual I endeavor to be. I hope to continue down this path of leadership, service, academia and research and I am very excited to see how this first year turns out!

To read more posts by Brittany please click here.

The Transition into University

Brittany on graduation day

Brittany on graduation day

Contributed by Brittany Tang

After taking the IB exams and graduating from high school, I was left with a lot of valuable time on my hands. This past summer has really given me the opportunity to reflect on the past few years, on my accomplishments and my failures and has also given me the insight needed to create a trajectory for my future.

What a great idea for university - a quilt made of all your old t-shirts!

What a great idea for university – a quilt made of all your old t-shirts!

I will be attending the University of Michigan this fall and will be studying at the college of Literature, Arts and Sciences. To keep with my childhood dream of becoming a doctor, I applied to be part of the Health Science Scholars (HSSP) living and learning community. To me, attending the University of Michigan is a huge change from attending other smaller international schools in the past. I am prepared to be outgoing, confident and diligent in my studies. I will be participating in psychology research as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). In addition to this, my classes consist of organic chemistry, calculus, 2nd year French and a health science seminar. I think that it is really important to get involved in extracurricular activities as well as seek out leadership positions during your first year of university. For me, keeping my mind busy with school work, service and intramural sports is integral in making a smooth transition into university.

I am very excited to start class, to be a part of open discussion sessions and to take detailed notes during lectures. Although the rigor of the school work is intimidating, I do believe that persistence and commitment can help one achieve ambitious goals!

Thanks for your post Brittany and good luck at university, we look forward to hearing all about it.  To see more posts by Brittany please click here.

Pom and Kong – future leaders of Thailand

Pom

Pom

Kong

Kong

How long have you studied at the Mechai Patana School for?

– Kong has been at the MPS for fives years and remembers Goldfish PLC, a Regent’s School business and social enterprise group that visited the school a few years back.

– Pom has been at the school for two years.  They are both in Grade 11.

The natural environment

The natural environment

Why did you come to MPS?

Pom – My mother told me about the school and when I came to visit I liked the natural feel to the school and how the students were learning.

Kong – I liked the school environment and the fact that the school focused on project based learning and gave the students many different experiences to learn from.

Mechai Patana students who have studied at Regents over the last three years

Mechai Patana students who have studied at Regents over the last three years

What is your favourite thing about MPS?

Kong – opportunities, e.g. the one term exchange with Regents School in Pattaya.

Pom – Learning to play the ukulele and having a ukulele band at the school, I like to learn about music and love playing it.

What do you want to study at university and what career would you like to follow in the future?

Pom – I would like to study languages and work as a guide, possibly have my own business for travellers.

Kong – I would like to be a linguist and have my own translation business.

Another one of those messages

Another one of those messages

How does the MPS help the students become global citizens?

Pom – The school focuses a lot on business and social enterprise and we learn how to give back to our communities.  We are also expected to be tour guides to visitors who come to the school and to think outside the box.

Kong – The school has taught me to be sharing and caring.

A future MPS student and global citizen?

A future MPS student and global citizen?

If you were a teacher what would you say is the most important thing about teaching young people?

Pom – It is important to teach young people how to help themselves and how to help others.  Most teachers in Thailand only teach about the subject.  At MPS we learn how to help ourselves and especially how to help others.

Kong – To teach the young people how to be a good person and how to share with each other and to care for each other.

Khop khun krup Pom and Kong.

 

Amazing Achievements…

Picture

Helen Keller, Samuel Morse and Christopher Columbus

Jonah, who is seven years old, came home from school one day last term and told us that he had to choose a person that had done something amazing in the world as part of his Amazing Achievements project.  He then had to research this person and put together a presentation for his classmates, their parents and visitors to the school in a few weeks time.  Bringing this task to the dinner table was interesting because as parents it is important to show an interest and to fully support your child in their school work but not to impose your own thoughts and ideas on the learning process.  It was vital that Jonah ‘owned’ the process and had the passion and enthusiasm to research and present on someone that he really aspired to.

Who would you choose for your amazing achievements project?  Who is your hero?

 

 

 

Of course my emotions and initial instincts tempted me to suggest the likes of: Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi… but I resisted and we took the approach of brainstorming his interests and things he likes to read and find out more about before making a decision.  His list went something like this:

Inventing things, science, poetry, animals, helping people…

After taking these ideas on board I did publicly suggest my ideas around the table, ‘wouldn’t it be great to do Charles Darwin, Dr. Jane Goodall or even better Wilfred Owen – it is the 100th anniversary of WW1 – what a great connection.’  After explaining who these remarkable people were and why I thought they had contributed amazing achievements I was not getting much enthusiasm from Jonah.  Jonah’s mother then suggested that he actually think more locally and choose somebody related to Thailand and possibly someone that may even still be alive and could be involved in the research process (a great idea).  So we then considered:

Khun Lek (Elelphant Nature Park), Nancy Gibson (Love Wildlife Thailand) and Khun Mechai Viravaidya (The Bamboo School)*

*Posts to follow soon on each of these inspiring people and speakers

Jonah started to show more interest and liked the idea of being able to actually meet the person he was researching and presenting on and having primary information – possibly even involve them in his presentation as well!  By the end of (an extended) dinner time we had discussed a wide range of ideas and possibilities and left him with the weekend to make his final decision and to come up with someone who he wanted to do his project on.

With a little help from the iPad, Jonah finally came up with Samuel Morse as his amazing achievements person.  He was intrigued by Morse code and how it works, why it is used and how and why and when it was invented.  It had really caught his imagination and the more he read and the more he inquired the more he realised that Samuel Morse met most of his interests and passions.  I must admit at first I was not that impressed with his choice of person but soon realised as Jonah used his research (including an e-mail to and a reply from the Samuel Morse museum in the UK) that this was somebody that achieved a lot more than invent the Morse code, that there was a personal tragedy that motivated and ultimately urged him to help others and improve the world that he was living in at that time. I enjoyed learning through Jonah and being part of his amazing achievements project and was an immensely proud father when I got the chance to see his presentation.

This type of learning draws on personal emotions and encourages intrinsic drive and outcomes – ultimately creating amazing achievements for the young people that have been involved and supported through the process.

Click here to see Jonah’s blog about his amazing achievements project.

Click here to see a video of Jonah’s presentation.

 

200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes

This is a geographers dream – imagine having this resource in your classroom or even better Hans Rosling himself come and speak with you and the students…

200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes

How has globalisation and interconnections impacted the economic and social development of the world’s countries over the last 200 years?

How and why has this development varied globally, nationally and regionally (locally)?

Will every citizen of the Earth be wealthy and healthy in the next 20, 50, 100 years?

How are places and people interconnected and why is this important?

“interconnect” (verb) (of two or more things) to connect with or be related to each other: The problems of poverty and unemployment are all interconnected.

DID YOU KNOW?

“interdependent” (adjective) depending on each other:  All living things are interdependent.

GLOBALISATION

Task 1

Place the following nine ways that places and people are interconnected in a diamond (1, 2, 3, 2, 1) rank order based on which ones you think HAVE had the largest impact on people and changing places and environments up until today (substitute any of them for a better example that you think is missing):

Digital technology / mobile devices
Languages, culture and traditions
World Wide Web (internet)
Economy and trade
Transportation and exploration
TV, radio and media
Politics
Education (literacy)
Tourism

*Please prepare a few sentences or add a comment to this post to justify your rank order / placements.

Task 2

Place the same nine ways that places and people are interconnected in a diamond (1, 2, 3, 2, 1) rank order based on which ones you think WILL have the largest impact on people and changing places and environments in the next 20 years (substitute any of them for a better example that you think is missing).

*Please prepare a few sentences or add a comment to this post to justify your rank order / placements.

Task 3

Place the same nine ways that places and people are interconnected in a diamond (1, 2, 3, 2, 1) rank order based on which ones you think SHOULD have the largest impact on people and changing places and environments in the next 20 years (substitute any of them for a better example that you think is missing).

*Please prepare a few sentences or add a comment to this post to justify your rank order / placements.

Things to think about:

Why are interconnections and inter-dependencies important for the future of places and environments?

How do people participate in an interconnected world?

How should global citizens participate in an interconnected world?

 

Why global citizenship scholarships are important

A young Manoj

A young Manoj

Manoj Chapagain is an amazing young man from Nepal.  He came to Regents School Pattaya in 2009 (thanks to Peter Dalglish and Dr. Virachai Techavijit) as a shy Round Square scholar and has just graduated this June from Year 13 with an IB Diploma score of 35 points, a fantastic achievement of personal challenge and academic achievement.  The best aspect of Manoj’s learning journey since leaving his home community and rural school in Nepal has been his enthusiasm and passion to have a go at everything at the same time consistently demonstrate high moral values and politeness to all those he meets and befriends.  To Manoj studying in an international school setting and with core values based upon the Round Square IDEALS has meant that everything has been an opportunity for him and a privilege to embrace and make the most of – which the rest of us often take for granted.  He is the perfect role model for fellow students and educators to have in a school – I only hope that my children have the opportunity to learn with and gain a friend for life like Manoj.  I know for a fact that Manoj’s fellow peers in his year group have gained as much if not more than Manoj himself by having him in their cohort for the last five years. #whoisteachingwho?

Manoj's old school in Nepal

Manoj’s old school in Nepal

Apart from the whole new country, culture, learning through English and having to live in a boarding house experience Manoj’s first major challenge was to speak at the Round Square International Conference hosted by Regents School Pattaya in October 2010 in front of 850 people and HM King Constantine, the President of Round Square. He did this superbly and was one of the most popular speakers of the conference.

We Walk Together

We Walk Together 2010

Having Manoj in the school allowed us to develop a community partnership with his old school in Nepal, something Manoj was very keen to establish. This was achieved through a social enterprise group created by Manoj and his friends called: Project Nepal. The group worked hard to fund raise to buy a number of computers for the school and were able to visit the school with Manoj at the end of June. Further below is a letter and some images from Manoj regarding the project.

To achieve the Global Ambassador Award a young person is required to complete their targets and personal reflections across all 16 Identities but must also commit to continuing to support and stay connected with their school or community beyond graduation as a global citizen.  Manoj has certainly done this and created a legacy that hopefully many younger students (and teachers) will follow and thrive from as they too challenge themselves to become global citizen learners and high achievers.

Who is teaching who?  Joyce and Ellen - part of the Project Nepal team

Who is teaching who? Joyce and Ellen – part of the Project Nepal team

Dear all,

I hope you all are well. I would like to share with you all a summary of a small project that I completed this summer with the help of teachers and students from Regent’s

I asked some of my friends and teachers to help me raise money to buy computers for my village school,where I studied as a little kid.  We came up with name ‘Project Nepal’. This started August of 2013. My friend Joyce and some other friends encouraged me and were willing to support me fully. Thus, We started doing fund raising events such as dodge ball tournament, computer game tournament and many other events at Regents. In addition my friend Joyce who helped me enormously to raise money by asking her friends back in Taiwan to donate money to this project. She has contributed the most to this project.All together we raised 3400 USD. Futhermore, Mr Alex(a friend of Peter’s in Bangkok and my friend too ) contributed 46250 npr to this project,totaling upto 364250 npr

New computers in the Nepalese school

New computers in the Nepalese school

The school already had a room that needed painting,carpeting ,a fan and many other things so when I got back to Nepal in ,I went to the village and started overseeing this.Now the room has 7 computer with UPS from project Nepal and other five computer which was donated to school by a cement factory. The installation for internet is still in the process.

2 weeks ago 5 students from Regents and two teachers visited the school, the computer lab,did an opening ceremony which was fun. . They stayed in my village ,in my home for two nights and it was amazing to see my friends in my village. Everyday we used to walk to the school where my friends used to play games,interact and teach English to the school kids.It was fantastic for me to see students from regents interacting with kids in my village. It felt great because I was part of the village school during my childhood and then I also became a part of Regents family. It almost felt like joining two family togethers. This is the first Project Nepal “PROJECT” and it was successful.

I would like to thank everyone for all their help! I would still like to continue with “Project Nepal” and help many other schools and poor kids in the future.

 Manoj

Mr. Bolland - a Project Nepal team member and also a Global Mentor

Mr. Bolland – a Project Nepal team member and also a Global Mentor

 

Process not content (not teaching to predetermined outcomes)

Round Square alumni learning with Baan Huay Sapad School in Chiang Mai

Round Square alumni learning with Baan Huay Sapad School in Chiang Mai

I do not believe in subject teachers, somebody that teaches Math or Geography, I believe that teachers teach people not content and have a passion and love for learning and sharing their knowledge and ideas with young people and helping them to become the best they can be for a life of learning and success beyond school and tertiary education.  Although formal assessment and examinations are important indicators and benchmarks I believe that the real indicators of a successful and dynamic education is the feedback a school collects from their alumni and what they are doing now (in other words measuring the distance their educational impact has travelled).  A school’s alumni are the people that have been equipped with the education that a school is ultimately delivering and are the best case studies or the legacy of the impact that a learning programme has had or is having on society – because surely education must be for the better good and not solely about predetermined outcomes and league tables.

I love this letter (link below) that has become a social media sensation, written to the students and parents of a Year 6 cohort in a primary school in the UK to accompany their end of year summative assessment results.  To me it sums up everything education should be about and how a school and its community should approach learning.  I would love to send my three children to this school knowing the commitment that they have to holistic learning and the amount of care given to nurturing confident young people to discover everything about themselves and the world around them – hats off to them!

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-28319907