Handed a cardboard tube from her teacher, Jasmine Jewel Penstone-Miller was told to go and create something with it. A challenge that was accepted by Jasmine Jewel and her classmates at Lèman International School Chengdu, with no clue how, or from where, to begin.
It was a class discussion that suddenly prompted the floodgates of creativity to open.
“I was completely stuck, I couldn’t think of anything,” Jasmine Jewel said.
“But then we talked about turning the tube into something you really like to do.”
A task originally intended for university entrants, Hack the Tube was an exercise developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who send students their acceptance letter in a silver tube. Once enrolled, MIT’s admissions department invites new students to “hack” their tube by turning it into something fun, artistic or creative, rendering some spectacular outcomes.
The baton has also been passed on to students at Nord Anglia Education (NAE) schools as part of its collaboration with MIT to enhance STEAM learning. Students across NAE schools rose to the occasion with zeal and determination, including Jasmine Jewel. She responded by letting her passion for playing the violin guide her and decided to turn her tube into the stringed instrument.
Starting out with a two-dimensional prototype made only out of cardboard, Jasmine Jewel challenged herself, hacking past the boundaries in her mind to create a three-dimensional piece that could play tunes. Support in the form of sound advice from her teachers helped her along the way.
“My music teacher heard about my idea for the Hack the Tube challenge and handed me her extra violin strings. It got me thinking; maybe I can get the violin to work, put it on pegs and tune it,” Jasmine Jewel said.
Finally, she added a tiny microphone with an attached wire that when plugged into a speaker amplified sound, resulting in an impressive outcome.
Information Communication and Technology teacher Cynthia Reneau, who supported Jasmine Jewel and her classmates with Hack the Tube, said thoroughly questioning students helped to build their ability to look at a situation from new and creative angles as well as their determination to succeed.
“When they have questions we question them back to see if they can figure it out [on their own],” Ms Reneau said.