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2018/19 March Week 2: Message from Nick West

This week I met Ying Zhang, president of a company called Ivy Maker, a company at the forefront of technology and its uses. Their goal is to use technology to empower, to solve problems, to invent, design and build. Ying celebrated the work of Dr Neil Gershenfeld, a professor at MIT who runs a class called ‘How to make almost anything’. This encourages students to collaborate and find digital applications with lots of coding and designing of hardware and software. Ying presented me with a walking robotic toy, designed and built using a 3D printer and if I plug it in to my computer I could hack into it and make it do whatever I wanted, dance, jump etc. and add parts such as arms. It is a very simple machine, but the potential is huge. If I had the creativity and the skills I may attempt it, but I did not have the opportunity for this type of learning at school. This necessary learning of critical thinking and knowing what to do when something goes wrong. An error or mistake is a perfect learning opportunity. Being able to take this risk and persevere will be qualities required in the future, your children are already benefitting from these. Maybe I will challenge one of them to program my robot!


Here at NACIS Shanghai we already work together with Ivy Maker and our children enjoy their enrichment activities and participate in different competitions including robotics. These opportunities echo our collaboration with MIT following the same cycle of designing, building, testing, displaying and then reflecting and improving given feedback and so the cycle continues. The skills involved are essential for the world we are moving towards and so it is exciting to see some exciting projects children are designing. Some students who work with Ivy Maker have created social responsibility apps, where they clean houses for the elderly but also teach them how to use a smart phone and use apps such as WeChat and Didi.

Last weekend the International Department of Shanghai Experimental School held an introduction meeting for parents of its graduating classes. The purpose of the meeting was to share with parents the experience of students in learning and choosing schools.

It is with great pleasure that one of our parents, Richard Zhu, a graduate of this school, was invited to attend the meeting and speak on behalf of parents of graduated students. He very proudly spoke about our school and introduced Nord Anglia Chinese International School during his presentation. What a marvelous advocate for us and we are extremely grateful for this support, and of course also proud to be educating his and your children at our amazing school.