Hello Everyone, here’s the weekly update on the exciting adventures in China. Well to be honest this week was a bit slower, traveled around a little less and spent more time within the school grounds doing some readings and a bit more work. We continued to work on our origami robots and on our own personal theme projects, to get ready for the subsequent weeks.
On Monday, we got a chance to showcase our origami robots that our team made. My team stuck to a marine animals theme where we showcased the form and movement of marine animals (and a penguin) using origami and servos with arduino. Same with the other groups, it was interesting to see what everyone had concocted throughout the week and to see all the different possible motions of the different origami pieces. Some chose to vary speed in accordance with a specific emotion tagged to the piece, while others simple had such a wide range of motion! It was fun to see the everyone’s creative juices flowing. The following task have us created a single origami piece which needs to have minimum 10-15 movements! A daunting task, but fun nonetheless. Our idea is to use a combination of animals to make a cockatrice, a mythical creature and try to incorporate as many movements into it as possible! Hopefully, it goes well! (Fingers crossed)
On Tuesday, we took a trip to the Geely showroom, and took a look at the innovations that the company had gone through. Geely is sort of a parent corporation of multiple automobile companies including Volvo, Lotus and other brands. We got a chance to look at their past iterations of cars, all the way from the 1940s all the way till today. We also caught a glimpse of their plans for the future, to have flying cars by 2019 (this was actually part of their presentation slides), so I guess there’s really something to look forward to in the coming year! But in the more recent future, they showed us some concept models of the cars that they have in the innovation piplines, which showcased the design thinking process of these vehicles. Cool cars, cool beans.
On Wednesday, we had our second TFI trip to 湖墅学校. We had a chance to sit in for one of their lessons as well as played some frisbee together with them! How classes are conducted is that there is a main teacher that goes through all the activities and mutliple teaching assistants to encourage and help the children who have difficulty following the class. The class focused mainly on teaching reading and writing while incorporating more interactive activities such as singing songs and reading aloud together. To me, teaching speical needs children was difficult, I sat there with some of them trying to interact with them and helping them with their work, but sometimes they ignore you and I couldn’t really understnad what some of them are saying, but for the teachers there, they are so patient and so caring they try and encourage every student to learn as much as they can and it really amazes me how giving some of these teachers can be. It is also really heartwarming to see the stuednt follow through the class and encouaging to watch them complete their work together. This was the first time I’ve interacted in a teaching situation with these kids and them having a shorter attention span was something I did not expect, it really was an eye-opening experience for me, but its something I would want to do again, maybe back in Singapore?
The later portion of the day, we spent playing frisbee with them! Being someone that enjoys playing sports and being around kids, it really was an enjoyable experience. The kids are so full of energy and spend most of the time running around and chasing one another. I played some passing games and a game of catch with them and it was really fun to be around with them.
Over the next few days we spent most of our time aiming to complete our Origami project. We worked on making 2 main types of motion origami, 1 was a cockatrice, and the other was a pair of legs. The cockatrice had quite a fair bit of motion for us to play around with, what with the wings, tail and feet and having that wide range of motion we were able to mimic some really cool movements. The pair of legs, we had it perform some basic military footdrills just for the heck of it! In th end, it was really fun trying to come up with new ideas for movements, and watching them come to life was a rewarding experience.
Overall, this week was pretty quiet, what with all the projects and project preparations that had to be done. Nonetheless, it was still fun figuring out how to work the origami, and spending time with the kids was no doubt an enjoyable experience. Looking forward to the next week already!