Explorations are project-based experiences during which students work together in groups to explore a relevant, often complex question, problem or challenge. This project-based learning is almost always enhanced with intensive activities that involve student immersion in real-world experiences outside of the classroom.
This school year, I have a yearly research strand project that will be a focus on the concentration of the chemicals in the Bassac River, I will only focus on Phosphate and pH chemicals for now. I think this project is very crucial for Cambodian citizen, especially, the community that lives around the Bassac River because they all get the water from this river. Therefore, the community could be at risk due to a high concentration of the chemicals. So this research would allow us to confirm the quality of the water and whether it is safe or not for people to use this water for their living. Recently, I had a trip to Resource Development International (RDI) to collect the bottle samples that will be used to collect the water sample. In addition, I will partner with them to do a chemical analysis for my water sample. Lastly, I expect that the research project will be completed before the Khmer New Year.
The second unit 2 of our Ap Biology course was mainly about a cell. From my background of learning at Liger for 6 years, I exposed a lot to the science field related cell. For the introduction part of learning about each organelle’s function was mainly review. However, after completed the cell unit there were so many exciting concepts that I enjoyed learning about. The new concepts that I enjoyed learning the most were the signaling transduction pathway, cellular respiration, fermentation, and photosynthesis. Cells are smart and really complex to understand, especially, the concepts listed above. But how each processed form was really unique and precise. For instance, the process of signaling transduction pathway is that in order for a reaction to happen it requires a different step; the ligand has to bind with the protein receptor which creates another process of reaction. And the process in the transduction will continue to create another reaction until the final step for the cell to response the signal. At the same time, we had a minilab of fermentation. We set up an experiment of yeast and different sources of sugar and placed it together in different flasks. After two hours of experiment, I saw the ballon with air inside which was carbon dioxide. Furthermore, we had another mini lab to understand the concept of photosynthesis since one of the product from the light-reaction was oxygen. So for our experiment, we set up a leave inside the water and leave it under the sunlight. It turned out the lab was working, I was surprised when a small so many tiny bubbles which indicate the oxygen as a waste product from photosynthesis.
This post will be updating about my business model competition with the Chek Rom Lek project. After our hard work doing our business validation with authors and students we had finalized our idea. Chek Rom Lek is an online sharing platform where students and researchers can conveniently access resources (reports and e-books) in the Khmer language. As a team leader, I was able to drive this business idea and my team into a final round of the competition. We were able to present this idea in front of nine judges and a few hundred audience members. I was proud of my team and all of the positive spirits that we all kept going to push forward. But the most important thing was the exposure to try out new experience and overcome the challenge. The lesson we gained from this project was a phenomenon, it was just a starting point to exploring in the business world. I can not wait to continue Chek Rom Lek project and help to improve literacy education in Cambodia.
Even though this exploration called Animation it doesn’t mean that at the beginning of the class we go straight to do animation. The animation is a slow process to lean and it required a lot of skills such as drawing, write story, storyboard and more. This exploration last only for 7 weeks, so we do not have much time to learn everything skills but we tried our best to learn as many skills as possible. As a part of the animation, it is essential to know how to draw because when you understand the process of drawing, the moment of the human body it will easy to do animation. Moreover, for our first 4 weeks, we just focus on drawing, we want to be a good drawer first before we learn about animation. We learned how to do a live drawing in 60 seconds. What we really want to do with live drawing was to be able to construct the line and understand the human moment. It was a new skill for me but now I feel more comfortable than before for drawing the movement of the face and body especially doing a live drawing.
For my first exploration of the school year in 2017 it was Animation. We worked with the company called ithinkasia, we had a teacher from there to teach us about drawing and the process of animation. Two days in September 2017, we had a trip to ithinkasia. We had an opportunity to walk around the office and understand some of the processes of the animation. We also had a chance to do bouncing ball animation where we used a software called Open Toonz.
This year I involved in the exploration called Carbon in Cambodia. In this exploration, we tried to calculate our school carbon footprint and tried to find out whether Liger is neutral or not. In our class, we divided into three small teams such as International Polar Bears, International Carbon Footprints, and Green School. International Polar Bears was a team who participated in a polar bear competition where we tried to come up with the solutions to help to reduce the carbon emission. International Carbon Footprints was a team that worked on calculating the student’s emission. Green School was a team who worked on calculating the carbon emissions in Liger. So we tried to calculate the carbon that we released every year and compare it to the tree that absorbs that carbon. As a result, in order to make Liger as a neutral school, we need to plant about 6,000 more trees to balance with our carbon emissions. What I love about this exploration was that we were independent and at the end of the week the teams came together to educate each other about our progress. I was involved in the International Polar Bears project, we came up with the idea of reducing the food waste in our campus. So we set up a three weeks experiment where we calculate the food waste and turned it into a carbon emission.
I had gone on a trip for the Khmer Rouge project. Reading through articles and watch the videos was not enough to explain the truth of the history. So we had a trip to Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey to interview the victims and the soldiers who worked for the Angkar. I went to the museum at Siem Reap that founded by one of the solider from the Angkar. I saw a lot of weapons, the weapon that caused the war and destroyed my country. So the guy who was a soldier was our tour guy, he guided us to Oddar Meanchey, the place where people buried Pol Pot (Saloth Sar) and Ta Mok. We interview a lot of victims there who has experienced the Khmer Rouge regime, I can imagine what was like to be a victim at that time. So after Ta Mok past away after we discovered the place the house turned into a museum, it was a huge house surrounded by the mood. It was a great experience to hear different perspectives from the soldiers and victims who experienced the regime, it even better for my understanding of Khmer Rouge after the trip.
Khmer Rouge was a big part of Cambodian history, the regime happened for 3 years 8 months and 20 days. It was an unforgettable history that every single of us has to understand and learned from it. We could not do anything about it, besides, understand about our history and keep create changes in Cambodia. It was a sensitive project where we have to understand the misery that Khmer Rouge did it to our ancestors. They treated the citizen just like the animal where our ancestor worked 12 hours long from sunrise till midnight and having three spoons of liquid porridge with a small amount of nutrition. Imagine you were one of those victim how do you feel. After learning about the history of Khmer Rouge I was taken aback, I was shocked after watching the videos. Everyone was really upset, depressed about what the history that destroys the whole country. But this exploration had taught me one important lesson which understood my own history as a Cambodian citizen. Moreover, this exploration was a serious and sensitive experience so I have to feel passionate about this. Keep pushing myself, no matter what happened during the regime I have to learn about it and accept the truth. Our product after learning about the history, we created a hole to represent the place where the Angkar buried the victim, created a questions wall, print out the picture of the victim who suffered in that time, and lastly, the painting of the worker at the rice field.
In the exploration, we try to find the change maker that make the change to the community and the world. For our first project, we try to find the entrepreneur change maker which mean they are making money but also to the world. When we found out who we gonna reach out to we need to do some research about that person so that we feel confident to say that person is a changemaker. After we do some research we started to write the email in a formal way. It’s really challenging for me in the first time because I never reach out to someone that I never know them before. Also, they are the entrepreneurs so we have to put a lot of work to make the email catch their attention. We reach out to many kinds of people in different countries. Some people that I reach out to is difficult like Nick Woodman, he is a founder of GoPro. So I don’t that he receive my email or not because he is a busy man and really hard to reach out to. For the second project is a similar process but except we find on the social enterprise that is a changemaker. Through this exploration, I had learned a lot and it improves my learning to the next level. I had learned so many projects from the change maker around the world and in Cambodia. Our major intention of reaching out to the change maker is to improve our network skill but also we ask the permission to record the video. We use the video to distribute to other young change maker and inspired more people to make the change in their community especially Cambodia. We had put it on our own blog but we also have our own Youtube channel that has all of the interviews.