Full STEAM Ahead: NAE students gear up for their trip to MIT

Nord Anglia Education
WRITTEN BY
Nord Anglia
24 April, 2018

Full STEAM Ahead: NAE students gear up for their trip to MIT

“I don’t understand how robots work, and how they have artificial intelligence. So when I go to MIT I want to find out more about that”
Maithili Parekh
Year 6 student, Nord Anglia International School, Hong Kong
Full STEAM Ahead: NAE students gear up for their trip to MIT It’s the week they’ve been waiting for and they’re revved up and raring to go. Our students will be flying into Boston from far and wide this coming weekend for STEAM Week @ MIT – a unique, five-day long event packed with STEAM-related challenges, learning and adventure at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).   

It’s the week they’ve been waiting for and they’re revved up and raring to go. Our students will be flying into Boston from far and wide this coming weekend for STEAM Week @ MIT  – a unique, five-day long event packed with STEAM-related challenges, learning and adventure at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The event, which runs from 29 April – 5 May is designed by MIT and Nord Anglia Education exclusively for NAE students, and forms a key part of our collaboration with the world-renowned university to enhance STEAM curricula in our schools.

STEAM Week @ MIT will give students an opportunity to work with the university’s professors, researchers and students in a series of hands-on workshops covering robotics, coding, gaming, music production, biology, medicine, product design and more. The aim of the programme is to enhance students’ appreciation and understanding of STEAM subjects in action and expose them to new developments in these areas. They will also learn about cutting-edge research and discoveries taking place at MIT. 

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Four students from each school attend STEAM Week @ MIT, which meant students had to compete fiercely to earn their spot as one of the chosen ones. We followed Nord Anglia International School in Hong Kong (NAIS HK) to find out how their students got selected and what they’re most looking forward to on this trip.

In order to qualify for a spot, 80 students entered a “Hack the Bottle” challenge where they were asked to think creatively about how they could reuse a single-use plastic bottle.

“Last year we did a ‘Hack the Tube’ challenge, which was a cardboard tube they [the students] had to hack or turn into something different,” said Darren Sutton, NAE-MIT Programme Lead and Computing Teacher at NAIS HK. “This year we did a ‘Hack the Bottle’ challenge… It was linked to the work we did last year on pollution and recycling, specifically plastic oceans.” Sutton will also be attending STEAM Week with his students.

Sutton says the idea to hack something is a prominent aspect of MIT’s culture. The ‘Hack the Tube’ challenge, for example, came about from the acceptance or offer letters the university sends out to students in tubes. “People take the tube and hack it, or turn it into other things. A culture sprung up, informally, although it’s not directed by MIT,” he said.

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Three Year 6 students, Maithili Parekh, Kyle Yuen and Joseph Ooi and Year 7 student Philine Kotanko have been selected to represent NAIS HK, and they worked extremely hard to earn their place. Kotanko said her winning entry to ‘Hack the Bottle’ was directly inspired by the Greener Skies challenge set by MIT this year.

“I made a plane powered by a portable charger. We learned about cars that use batteries instead of blowing carbon dioxide into the air. It made me think that if it’s possible to do it with cars, why is it not possible to do that with planes?”

The rundown of events for STEAM Week promises to pack a punch. Having seen the schedule, all four NAIS HK students have picked out an activity they’re most looking forward to experiencing. For Kyle and Joseph the Boda Borg, a challenge where teams of three-to-five people work together to figure out how to escape from a room, is an activity they’re keen to tackle.

“I’m quite excited to overcome the obstacles that await us and the difficulties we will face,” said Ooi. “I wonder how we’ll think of ideas to help us overcome the challenges.” Philine and Maithili on the other hand, are keen to learn more about robots.

“I don’t understand how robots work, and how they have artificial intelligence. So when I go to MIT I want to find out more about that,” said Parekh.

We’ll be following all our students at MIT next week. Stay tuned and follow us @Naeducation to learn more about this exciting event! #NAEMIT