Students take a more hands-on approach for studies

The North East Asia Math Competition (NEAMC), the Science Olympiad, and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) national tournament are programs recently made available to SIS students in order to provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to different environments.

NEAMC is an annual international mathematics competition for students under the age of 15 years that will be held at the Western International School of Shanghai this year in Shanghai, China from March 3-5. Students who will compete in this year’s NEAMC were selected on Oct. 16. In preparation for the NEAMC, students meet every Wednesday at school to practice solving different math problems. The NEAMC consists of an individual round, in which each student is tested for skill, a team round, in which students collaborate to solve questions, and other activities, in which students visit a temple to solve related math problems while socializing with participants from other schools.

“I had a pretty fun experience last year so I decided to participate again this year,” said Brian Lee (9), selected participant in the NEAMC. “I’m also passionate about math, so I wanted to participate in extracurricular activities that will [give me the chance to display my skills.] The NEAMC gave me a unique opportunity to meet people from other schools around the world that also shared the same talents and interests in math.”

Students can also partake in the Science Olympiad, a science competition in which participants take a test for one of the four following subjects: chemistry, physics, biology, or general science. This year, it will take place on Nov. 6. Although anyone who wishes to compete can apply for next year’s Olympiad, the Science Club largely organizes the event, and the majority of participants are members of the club. The main event of the Science Olympiad is the individual test, but group activities also allow students to work together in completing a given task involving quick critical thinking abilities

“I competed in the Science Olympiad last year because I wanted to challenge myself,” said Jeffrey Heo (10), Science Club member. “I wanted to try my best and solve questions that sparked my interest. I had never collaborated with others while learning science before the Science Olympiad, but I was able to learn that everything was better if we all worked together to solve science problems. I walked away from the competition with a reinforced passion for science and a third place plaque made of glass.”

Students can also gain hands-on experience through participation in clubs such as FBLA, a club designed for students interested in learning about how free enterprise works. The club is currently preparing for a national tournament that allows students to explore and present business ideas that demonstrate their potential as future leaders of businesses. Since FBLA has more members than it can bring to the national tournament, a preliminary round was held on Oct. 22. Students were given the task of creating a company to solve their perception of Korea’s greatest issue. The students had to carefully delineate their plan and then successfully propose it to the executive members of the club. One team proposed a company that would combat income inequality between the sexes. The company would implement programs such as care systems for the children of workers to further empower working moms.

“I want to participate in the tournament because the tournament allows me to get a taste of what doing business in real world situations look like,” said Timothy Kim (10), FBLA member. “Hands-on approach is a lot more effective in learning what business is like and knowing what’s in store for potential careers in that field. It’s also interesting to know what my father does at his workplace.”