Like many Grade 8 students around the world, Jeremy N frequently logs online with the aim of becoming a social media superstar. However, instead of wasting his time with selfies, vlog rants, or similar such content that makes adults roll their eyes, Jeremy is instead employing the medium for loftier uses.
The International School of Beijing (ISB) student’s Square Physics Youtube page has become a resounding success on the video platform, taking a fun and clear eyed approach to explaining the complicated subject while also showcasing experiments and pointing out physics’ place in our daily lives. It’s one of the many student success stories that will be on display at ISB’s Innovation Expo. Slated for November 19 from 10am – 4pm at the international campus’ dome, the event will feature forward thinking projects, inventions and art readied and crafted by some of ISB’s most creative students, while also boasting professional displays from established, cutting edge players in Beijing’s arts, design and entrepreneurial scenes.
ISB Middle School Principal Dr. Jon Hill says the event is an ideal way to help students connect their studies with the outside world. After, all when homework is assigned like a chore, and when classwork feels disconnected from life off campus, students are understandably left with little motivation.
“It helps them understand that what they’re doing is authentic, otherwise they’ll think ‘Oh I’m doing this at school but it’s not real life’” he says. “We want our students to think of themselves as artists, as inventors, and if they see themselves doing that and joining in with a wider community involved in the same kind of work, then they’ll understand that. And the innovation expo will give them a nice audience, where some of those professionals will come in and can see what the students have done and ask questions about it. It gives them an authentic audience for the work they’ve done.”
Aside from Jeremy’s workshop about his Square Physics Youtube page, the expo will also feature two “upcycled” fashion shows, for which students took discarded garments and restyled them with trendy looks. There will also be robotics workshops, an aperture photography workshop, and more.
Among the displayers from the professional community will be an automatic obstacle avoidance robot Tyrannosaurus from Danke of Beijing Maker Space, 3D printer work from ISB’s copy centre, and virtual reality demos from Tsinghua University.
Hill sounds particularly enthused about Tsinghua’s VR display, explaining that when he met with the university’s expert on the subject she showed him a futuristic display for which the wearer can don goggles and examine the intricate details of a digitally represented human heart.
“She was manipulating a pumping, beating animated heart with a pen and, on one nearby screen, we could see what it looked like from her vantage,” says Hill. “And it looked like the heart was just hanging in mid air… It’s a fantastic way to understand the geometry of the heart.”
When asked if an event with such displays and guest speakers could help inspire students to pursue certain careers or post secondary avenues, Dr. Hill says: “Possibly, though I don’t know if that will be an outcome from one six hour event. But there might be a spark, an “aha” moment where they realize their work is authentic, and a professional comes up to them and engages them in conversation in what they’re working on.”
He adds: “One conversation might set them on a new path. You can’t design or plan that, because it should happen organically, but we can always hope that it does happen.”
For more information about the event and a detailed schedule, click here
This post is sponsored by ISB