Daily Report 20160729

July 30th, 2016

Morning Classes

Badminton

Campers were full of energy on the last day of camp. Each camper took a racket from Ms. Jin, the teacher, and warmed up before play. Since it was the last time the teacher would be with the students, Ms. Jin organized a tournament for the campers to participate in. It was a culmination of all the hard work every camper had put in this week. From serving to learning the right way to hit the shuttle, and finally working as a team, the campers truly showed the teacher that they had learned a lot from her class. After the first game in which Ms. Jin’s team with Kitty and Jason won, Victor and Ze Hao stepped up their game to defeat them in the second hard-fought game. The class unfortunately had to end, so the teacher surprised her students with a game of dodgeball.

Chinese Advanced

Campers of all three Chinese classes flooded into Chinese Basic’s classroom. They sat down by class and started chatting about the performance. You could see that they were a bit nervous but quite prepared for it. In the classroom, the three classes with three teachers worked together to finalize their live performance later tonight. Each student re-read their poems to their teachers. Their poems were not only beautifully copied down but also eloquently recited. Furthermore, the class practiced the lyrics of the TFBoys song they had prepared. Some campers were so excited that they decided to jump into the middle of the class to dance. Ms. Zhao then played some music in the class for the campers to dance to. The class was full of zest to show their parents what they had been able to learn in just a couple days.

Afternoon Classes

RPG Game Maker Workshop TGW

Class today was laid back since all of the campers had been so efficient in the work earlier this week. Because of this, Kathleen allowed the campers to play online RPG games for the duration of class. Additionally, they shared their games with each other and challenged each other to beat them. The games were quite complicated with interesting stories to them. The gameplay, moreover as noted by many students, was actually quite fluid. Victor’s game about a young adventurer finding his way through a new mysterious world was riveting and many campers found themselves spending quite a bit of time trying to complete it. In the end of it all, Victor told his fellow friends that his game was actually unbeatable. This comment was followed by lots of laughter. Class ended with goodbyes and beaming faces most likely thinking about all the happy memories of the past three weeks.

Daily Report 20160728

July 28th, 2016

》Morning Classes

Chinese Reading and Writing

Campers in Chinese Reading and Writing class learned about the seasons of a year. They learned about spring or 春天, summer or 夏天, fall or 秋天 and winter or 冬天. Each camper used a calligraphy pen and dipped it in ink to practice writing these complicated characters. Ms. Li first showed her students the correct stroke order and the way to write each stroke correctly, then the campers followed. It took a bit of practice, but soon every member in the class got a handle on these characters. After this exercise, Ms. Li gave each of the campers some of her favorite poems to read. The campers read through these poems and chose one of the poems afterwards. They were then told to rewrite them on paper and decorate that paper to match the meaning of the poem. This exercise was to help the campers practice their writing skills with characters that they most likely had not seen before. Alex wrote and memorized his poem about the strength of bamboo, while Catherine wrote about spring. Both were beautiful poems. At the end of class, each camper presented their poems and also memorized a song by the TFBoys to sing together.

Afternoon Classes

Chemistry in Life

Today in Chemistry class, campers used zinc and iodine to create a crazy reaction. By adding these two elements together, the campers were able to make pink colored smoke inside their Pyrex flasks. After the reaction, Andy and some other campers noted that the reaction made the flask quite warm. The teacher explained that heat was a byproduct of the reaction. Next, the campers cleaned their flasks and combined water instead of iodine with zinc. The teacher said that this reaction created a white smoke, however it was not obviously visible. Finally, the teacher introduced the idea of tracking fingerprints. The students learned two methods of making a fingerprint mold. The first used iodine and the second only used the rays from the sun!

English Drama

On the eve of the performance, every camper devoted their heart into the rehearsals, aiming for perfection in every expression and action. The atmosphere of music and lights further ignited the campers’ passion in their performance and realistically rendered the feeling as if they were already on stage. Thomas, the teacher, took no remiss; instead, he demanded greater excellence. He made adjustments over and over again to the campers’ posture, gestures, expressions, and even the greatest detail. It is evident that Thomas and the campers hope to bring a fascinating performance to all of us tomorrow. Let us look forward to it!

Daily Report 20160727

July 28th, 2016

Morning Classes

LEGO Engineering Workshop 2TGW

Through the doors of the classroom, you can see campers gathering around the map, engaging in intense discussions or testing their lego car to missions with great intent. The atmosphere was effusive. Yi Ma, Andy and Jason Pan’s team was carrying out an experiment for mission 5. This mission calls for the lego car to turn a pinwheel according to certain instructions, causing an object attached to the pinwheel by a string to fall down. Yi Ma‘s team first modified their lego car; they attached a robotic arm to the basic car structure and connected a surface plate to it. Next, they programmed the car to beat the pinwheel and make it turn after traveling a certain distance. However, this method is low in efficiency as it is very slow, therefore the team continued applying different modifications to their car. Meanwhile, Jason Zhong’s team was also trying out mission 5; they installed a stick to turn the center of the pinwheel, effectively increasing efficiency, but this method has very high demands of programing accuracy. Campers must ceaselessly modify their lego car and program their moves to complete respective missions. Each mission yields certain points. On Friday, the teams will engage in a contest. During class, campers are free to use their vivid imaginations to achieve their goals. This activity not only trained the campers flexibility, but also built up their teamwork skills.

Afternoon Classes

Public Speaking with Visual Aids

In today’s class, Eddie, the teacher, started off by sharing the PowerPoint slides for the campers’ speeches that they are still working on. He gave some constructive feedback on their content and structure, then asked the campers to refine them during their free time. Next, Eddie projected a video that introduced how to improve their speeches. It explained that subtle changes in pitch, volume and tone are very important; they must be adjusted according to whichever impression a speaker wants to leave on his/her audience. After that, Eddie showed the campers another video about stress relief during public speaking, which described how to respond to different situations and problems that might arise during a speech. It also gave some tips about how to deliver one’s opinions to the audience in an artful manner. After watching the video, Jean Louis, who has already finished creating his PowerPoint slides, took the lead and gave his speech about super heroes. His clear and concise PowerPoint slides and well-organized speech received great applause from his fellow campers and Eddie.

Daily Report 20160726

July 26th, 2016

Morning Classes

Chinese Basic

In today’s Chinese Basic class, the teacher, Ms. Zhao, brought some special cards that contained different combinations of Pinyin. She then introduced a knowledge contest to help campers review the pronunciation of all sorts of Pinyin combinations. This not only elevated the campers’ enthusiasm, but also their pleasure of learning. In the contest, which is a personal battle, the winner of each round stands up and walked behind one of the other two campers who remain seated, competes with a chosen opponent, until she/he loses and exchanges seats with the new winner. After the contest, Ms. Zhao wrote the characters on the cards that she gave the campers on the blackboard and urged them to write the characters they were assigned to on a blank card using color pens. Theodore wrote “田” (farmland) using green, Samuel followed writing “水” (water), while Eileen imitated a hollow “木” (wood) using two colors. It is evident that both the teacher and campers enjoyed this fun and relaxing lesson.

Super Invention AKHK

After briefly introducing different types of microscopes yesterday, today Alejandra moved on to guide campers to create their own microscopes by using glue, connecting cardboard and projecting mini lamps. Austin first secured a piece of magnifying glass in a hollow cylinder, then installed it within a protective layer, making up the body of a simple DIY microscope. Alejandra also prepared some observation slides for the campers. If they created the microscope successfully, they would be able to see a magnified red dot projected on the wall after they slip the slide into an indentation in the microscope and turn on the projection lamp. The process of making their own microscopes effectively heightened the campers’ knowledge of the basic structure of microscopes and their imaging principles. Campers not only increased their tactile skills, but also stepped into a whole new world of science.

Afternoon Classes

Chinese Crafts

In today’s Chinese Crafts, the campers continued honing the craft of making “Chinese rice-dumplings” that they learned yesterday. The campers started working meticulously from the minute they received the craft papers. Kitty proved to be very adept at this; she was the first to finish making two delicate “Chinese rice-dumplings”, for which Ms. Fu praised her. Later, Ms. Fu took out needle, thread and cloth, which were quite novel for the campers. Under the campers’ eager questioning, Ms. Fu revealed the major project for today — sachets. She guided the campers step by step, from pushing the thread through the needle eye to sewing and smoothing the edges. Even Benjamin, the youngest in the class, fixated his gaze on the teacher’s movements and worked with his own needle and thread to follow her instructions. After trying to sew small sachets, campers created bigger sachets on their own. What a brand new experience for all of them!

Daily Report 20160725

July 25th, 2016

Morning Classes

Photoshop

On the first day of the third week, the first lesson of Photoshop began in a quiet building. Under the instructions of Thomas, the teacher, students started to grasp a few basic techniques. From creating files to importing pictures, cropping and a series of other operations, campers took their favorite pictures to a whole new level. Lawrence, who loves “The Fast and the Furious”, chose Rio as a background picture to touch up. First, he surfed the internet and found two beautiful scenery pictures that conveyed a vibrant Rio style. Next, he imported these photos into Photoshop and started embellishing them. Through splicing the two photos together and designing the layout for word fonts, he completed a fascinating Rio poster. Meanwhile, under Thomas’ guidance, Roger successfully eliminated the watermark from a picture of the Sydney Opera House that he downloaded from the internet. He speeded up the process using render and several keyboard shortcuts. Photoshop not only allowed students to familiarize themselves with its techniques and gain hands on experience on manipulating pictures, it also sparked their creativity and imaginations.

Afternoon Classes

Ping Pong

In the afternoon, the campers had their first Ping Pong lesson in the Ping Pong room. As they watched yellow and white balls bouncing back and forth on the Ping Pong table, campers eagerly raised their bats to try the sport. The teacher, Ms. Jin started with how to hold the bat. She explained and demonstrated the difference between forehand and backhand shots. Under the help of a serving machine, the children went to combat one by one, trying to return the forceful shots delivered by the serving machine. After some practicing, Ms. Jin guided students to play matches with each other. Mike, who has learned a bit about Ping Pong before taking the class, received particular acknowledgement from Ms. Jin and even proved to be a competent opponent to her. Although Samuel had just started learning today and still has a lot of room for improvement, his earnest attitude moved Ms. Jin. Other campers also took to heart practicing and then helped Ms. Jin pick up the balls scattered across the floor in order to prepare for tomorrow’s class.

Daily Report 20160724

July 25th, 2016

Weekend Activity

Longfeifei Olympics

Today was the Longfeifei Olympics. The campers started the day with a theatre workshop called “The Magic Animal.” With available props and costumes, campers formed three groups and were asked to create magical animals. Through a series of other activities, the groups ended up creating their own original scenes using these animals as characters, some drawings they did to help choose the setting of their stories, and ideas from a group brainstorming to choose the conflicts of their scenes. They were highly engaged as they performed their scenes for each other.
After lunch, Longfeifei Olympics continued in the Gym with three activities: 3-camper 4-foot Jump, Floating Ping Pong, and a Relay Race. After this, the campers received awards and gifts for both today’s Olympics and yesterday’s Su Zhou scavenger hunt. The day ended with a movie accompanied by soda and popcorn, dinner with a special dessert and an UNO competition.

Daily Report 20160723

July 23rd, 2016

Weekend Activity

Trip to Suzhou

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Today the campers had two main activities in store for them. After the drive to Suzhou, the driver brought the campers to a Da Liang Farm. Here the campers picked some of the food products that would be used for their lunch. From cucumbers, peaches, tomatoes, to eggs the campers truly had a blast doing this. The campers were surprised at the end to a session of mini lobster fishing. After having a lunch, the campers loaded back on to the bus to drive to a nearby garden which was owned by Qian Long Emperor during the Qing dynasty. Not only were they delighted to see the beautiful architecture of the garden but also because of a scavenger hunt made by their counselors. The campers were notified to look for paper notes in plastic bags that could be turned into prizes. Andrew lead the highest scoring team to eventually collect eleven of the prize tickets! Finally after the campers had settled down from the hunt, they went back onto the bus and headed home.

Daily Report 20160722

July 22nd, 2016

Morning Classes

Chinese Advanced

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This morning, campers of the Chinese Advanced class were overjoyed to have the second class in a row of calligraphy. This class was again paired with Chinese Reading and Writing and Chinese Basic to further develop all three of the class’ skills. Yesterday the campers were taught basic strokes like ‘Pie’. Today the campers worked on writing phrases with more difficult characters. This exercise made the campers combine all of the practice they had with strokes. It was quite a challenging task, as some of the characters were strokes the campers hadn’t learned yet. However, each camper kept their confidence up and their brush moving until all of their papers had been filled. Lucius showed a unique ability to write some of the more difficult phrases and his name. Class ended for the campers with a movie called CJ7 about a young peasant boy meeting an alien dog.

Afternoon Classes

English Drama

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Today was the last day of rehearsal for the campers of English Drama before their big performance. Thus, the afternoon class was all about polishing the work. This class’ fourteen minute adaption of William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra was outstanding. After the first runthrough the campers sat down as Thomas, the teacher, reviewed notes of improvement for them. These notes varied from projecting louder to keeping hands still in one scene. The campers addressed the notes with stunningly improved performances on their second runthrough. They delivered their lines with the correct amount of passion and fluency. Jenny and Amelia played Cleopatra flawlessly, receiving the least constructive criticism from Thomas. They showed power and anger through facial expression and sadness with posture. In addition, Ines performed Octavia without any help from a script, and finally Lawrence, as the clown, kept his fellow campers and councilor smiling throughout the play.

Space and Rocketry AKHK

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Class began with quite a few videos about space. Some of them gave interesting facts about our solar system while others were filmed from actual space. The last video seemed to fare the best among the campers. This video filmed an astronaut showing how to perform simple tasks such as brushing her teeth and going to the bathroom in space. She explained that since everything floats in space, you have to use a plastic bag for water and swallow the toothpaste after you are done. The campers were highly interested in how astronauts go to the restroom. There were quite a few giggles from the campers as the astronaut explained how the minuscule toilet functioned. After these videos, Alexandrea, the teacher, reviewed some of the science vocabulary taught throughout the week. Shu Jun was able to define propel first, and Justin defined Newton’s third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. After this game, the campers left the classroom to fire their DIY water rockets and calculate their peak of flight with their DIY altimeters. Justin’s rocket’s parachute unfortunately did not open on his turn, but soon the teacher found a fix by pulling the chute out before take-off.

Daily Report 20160721

July 21st, 2016

Morning Classes

Chinese Reading and Writing

Campers in Chinese Reading and Writing show a keen understanding for spoken Chinese language. In this class, these campers are instead taught more about the written side of Chinese. After three days of learning new characters, Ms. Li shocked the campers this morning with calligraphy brushes and black ink. Today’s class consisted of calligraphy class and a Movie afterwards. Chinese Reading and Writing class actually joined with two other Chinese classes into one room for this special lesson. The campers learned how to correctly hold the calligraphy brush vertically and also began with writing some basic strokes. The first stroke most of the campers learned was ‘Heng’. It took quite a bit of practice for all the campers until they continuously could write it correctly. Following some practice with other strokes, the campers learned how to write their own names. Tyler’s Chinese name is Tai Le and he was able to write it beautifully after a couple attempts. To finish today’s class, Ms. Li played an animated Chinese movie for all three classes to enjoy.

Afternoon Classes

Persuasive Public Speaking

Unlike in Tedx class where campers learned about all different types of speeches, Eddie in his Persuasive Public Speaking class teaches, as the name suggests, about the art of persuasion through speech. For today’s class, the campers finished memorizing their speeches and eventually performed them in front of the whole class. However before this, the campers were treated to an animated video inspired by one of Carmine Gallo’s books teaching them nine tips for public speaking. These tips included being passionate, telling stories, including humor, having jaw dropping moments, etc… After this lengthy but fun video, the campers eagerly raised their hands to share their speeches. These ranged from Coby’s talk about the negative impacts of phone addiction, Troy’s serious speech about the faults with the death penalty, and Anne’s speech about eating healthy. John stood out in the class by memorizing three of his speeches.

LEGOEngineering Workshop 2TGW

The campers in LEGO Engineering Workshop were excited to have a generally relaxed class today instead of their more structured lessons. Class began with a game of Mafia in which one of the campers was chosen as the mafia member and one as the detective. After this intense interactive game, every camper was given the opportunity to build their own creations with LEGO without using a manual. Campers worked together in groups to quicken the construction time of their creations. Lou Ze Hao, Henry, and Keane all built a black castle with double doors and a roof. They worked with cogs to make the doors move. On the flip side, Eileen and Kitty worked hard to build a multicolored school. Class ended off with a game of Heads Up, a popular app game, where Victor seemed to excel with seven correct guesses.

Daily Report 20160720

July 20th, 2016

Morning Classes

Puppetry Art Exhibition

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Class began with an unusual number of new campers today, as they had switched over to this class. While being a day behind, these new faces eventually caught up while the other students added details to their puppet sketches. Ms. Mahya, the teacher, required each camper to draw a sketch of one’s puppet before cutting or sewing. This was to prevent any irreversible mistakes and also so everyone would have a plan during the construction phase. Mahya brought in quite a few different cloths as material for the camper’s creations. She had solid colors and patterned cloth with stripes, spheres, combinations of colors, etc… Most campers used the solid color cloth to build the body while using the more complex cloth for detailing. Coco, for example, used yellow cloth and striped cloth to make her interpretation of a minion from the movie “Despicable Me”. In contrast, Sean created John Cena, the world famous wrestler. After each camper had finished sewing their creation together, they finally added the strings to transform it into a true puppet.

LEGO Robotics Division Workshop (Intro) TGW

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In LEGO Robotics Division Workshop TGW the campers learned how to use LEGO Minestorm to program a robot to do different actions. Today heavily focused on how to use the Minestorm computer application when you want to make the “brain” of the robot do different things. Katherine went around to each group of two to offer private help teaching the program. Tony and Henry’s group figured out the program surprisingly fast and were one of the first to begin building an alarm for a door. This alarm was constructed from the Minestorm brain and sensor to detect movement. The campers programed these two pieces to work in unison by attaching the sensor to the brain. This contraption worked by sending a signal of movement from the sensor to the brain. The brain of the robot would recognize that someone had walked through the doorframe and begin beeping. After a bit of fun with the alarm, the campers were introduced to everything else Minestorm LEGO could do. For instance, you could make the robot spin, beep, detect movement, or follow a path based on light waves. The class ended with excited campers ready to build whatever contraptions Katherine had in store.