Guiding Change Agents

Technovation, a worldwide technological and entrepreneurial competition, allow participants to code a prototypical phone application and practice doing business management in order to solve a controversial and real-world problem. “Girls for a change.” It is a project with the vision to spur social innovation and spread it out among the girls, to raise the awareness of this issue to those that discouraged to do so by society. Since the program is for young and bright female youth, I was not able to attend this fascinating project.

 

At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, I and the other students were introduced into a new interesting project called “Technovation Mentoring”. Our academy needs eight volunteers to be a Technovation mentor for the Liger club. Joining this project will mean that I will invest my time and effort in helping my team to achieve their goals and to be apart of the movement and the force to allow more girls in the fields of technology. I realize that all over the world, girls, a noun that means a female child, were restricted to opportunities that were not given to them because of who they are. I see it as a problem. I want to combat it and that gave me the inspiration to be apart of Technovation.   

 

It sounds like a very beneficial and great opportunity for me. But that was just the first interpretation. Here are the details. In order to be certified as a Technovation mentor, we need to take a two full weekend mentor training. When the program start, at least eight hours of our week should be spent on helping and guiding the team, that exclude hours spent on trips and personally hours associate to this project. There will be a lot of weight on my shoulder if I decide to join this project. I want to help and be a part of it, but also I am very busy. I spent a lot of time, thinking about this opportunity. I thought about my other projects and upcoming events. With such a difficult decision, I self-evaluate how passionate I am on different projects. I weigh the impact different projects provided and with a week of deciding, I chose to seize this opportunity.

 

I am the business mentor for my team of five second-cohort female students. All of them had joined Technovation before, so I expect them to understand the process and work hard; giving me less pressure. However, three of them won first place in the National Pitch the previous year, which give more pressure to our team since we wanted to own that title again. I wanted to strengthen the connection with my team, provide the team with help and guidance and inspire and motivate them in the purpose of modeling the process of learning that will help them as change-agents, in the future.

Working with them would be my honor.

 

The first week of Technovation started off like usual. But, our first meeting was a little bit awkward and especially when it took four hours. As their mentor, we went over a few points about Technovation with them. We showed them the overall schedule and how we imagine our journey would look like. We have them brainstorm our ideas for the project. By cooperating with them, quality behaviors and bright characteristics started to leak out. They are really smart, collaborative, enthusiastic, and determined. That made me confident that our excursion will be smooth. However, I also noticed that they’re lacking self-awareness and communication. They stumble upon the barrier of recognizing their problems and needs and communicate it out to the team or the mentor.    

 

With the project started at the beginning of the year, we were struggling. We were stuck trying to stay on the right track and be on the same page. We were unorganized. Our progress is slow. Action needs to be taken in order to solve this problem and make our team run better.

As mentors, we had them organize their work. We had them evaluate themselves to find the different problems and tasks they need to solve or complete. They create a detailed to-do list and that had improved the organization within our team. During each meeting, they need to update to us their progress.

 

Weeks passed by and we are almost at the end of our journey. Now, we all know each other very well: we were like a family. We managed to turn our ship the right way. Even on the school break, when they are supposed to relax and rest, they are still working. Some of them work until 10 or later, to finish up this project qualitatively.

About five seconds before the submission is close, we had our final pitch video, demo-video, drawing and screenshots of prototypes, and the source of code submitted. We had greatly achieved the most difficult stage of our journey. But there are more to come. We need to also pitch our project to professional judges, so we need to get ready for the upcoming event.

We work and we rehearse together. We spent the nights and weekends preparing even though most of our work is completed. We confidently passed through the mini-pitch and was ready to continue to the national pitch.

It’s a long and great journey with them. Throughout the project, I had recognized that I had been a better communicator, risks calculator, and a motivator.

There can be a very great idea but it is meaningless if you don’t communicate it out. I had gain more confidence in approaching people informally and professionally. I had tried to encourage others to try being in their discomfort zone and try to communicate because communication is a path that will link us all together.

I started considering different opportunities as a chance to learn opportunity-cost. There will be a lot of opportunities offering to you but that doesn’t mean that you should take all of them. I learned to carefully make my decision based on my schedule and needs. I learned how to make most of the given chances; to receive the fullest potential of each opportunity.

Lastly, our team made many unforgettable moments. There is an unconditional bond built between us. There were times when we were happy, sad, scared, worried, celebrating, and more. Mentoring my team allow myself to actually learn a lot of different business aspects academically and soft skills internally. I had tried to motivate my team in different ways to energize them. They worked very hard and to be able to pump their rolling wheel, it is a great achievement for me.

 

Our journey ended at the last stage of the program, the national pitch. We spent a lot of time preparing for this event. Days. Night. Sweats. Tears. They had presented their well-prepared pitch. They had answered the difficult questions. They had stood up in front of hundreds of people. They did it all. Our journey ended with the first place junior division national pitch winner. It is very special to them and most importantly, it is even more remarkable seeing my team exchange their determination with the awards.

I am so proud of them.

 

Technovation allow me to learn and explore more in different skills. It is a very new experience and I had learned a lot from it. I got to work with young change agents. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I hope that I had made a positive influence on them in different ways. I believe in the action of empowering others through role-modeling. I envision them to change the world using the experiences they learned from this project. Like a formula-1 race, I am the pit stop worker, changing wheels for the racer so that they can finish the race safely and successfully. I establish change through assisting and displaying change-agents characteristic to future change agents. “Girls for a change.”   

Opportunity To See Again

The Khmer Sight Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers free eyes’ services include eye surgery for Cambodian people. The Khmer Sight Foundation had been helping the Cambodian people for many years already. A lot of people, especially the elders were very grateful for the organization because they help to bring back their eyesight. 

During every eyes’ screening, many potential eye surgery patients will be selected. Some of them are afraid to do the surgery. So in one of our videos, we had showcased the convenience and painless process of the surgery. Another video, we had interviewed many patients who did the surgery about their experience and we would share it to the potential patients so that they won’t be scared to come to do the surgery.

In addition to the video that we had created, we had also successfully organized three eyes’ screening and got a lot of potential patients that the organization will help to make them see again.

I love helping my society. Being able to see patients feel surprised and happy after they can see again is a very influential moment for me.

Khmer Modeled United Nation

I had participated in many Modeled United Nations (MUN) events before. It allows the participants to discuss real-world issues professionally that follows the United Nation guidelines and protocol. Being able to participate in the discussion had influence myself to be more open and expose to many more problems; but, I want more: I want to lead the discussion. Being able to interact with other delegates and communicate with them in English had helped me in English public speaking skills; but, I want more: I want to interact with others in Khmer – our native language.

This is my second time chairing and leading the formal discussion in Khmer, it’s my second time in the Liger Khmer Modeled United Nation (LKMUN).

It feels very specials and challenging at the same time to lead and authorize the mockup United Nation meeting in Khmer. I think is it essential to make those concerning issues and using the different United Nation protocol in our language because that will diversify the different perspective on the topics. In addition, this will also give the opportunity for more people to being able to give their opinions on the varied issues.

 

 

 

Wheelchair of Wonders

This is more than an engineering project. I went through a life-changing moment with the successful completion of our product for this project. This is the Disabled Animals project. It is a project where we built products to help disabled animals with their mobility.

At first, we wanted to create prosthetic limbs for animals. Since this particular topic is not the specialty of neither our facilitator nor our team, we had the mission of collecting necessary information for building prosthetics. We contacted and visited many places. The students took the lead and handled all of the communication. We then visited the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, VSL clinic, Animal Rescue Cambodia, and the Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society. Even though we visited many places, we still needed more information so we started reaching out to other people globally. We had video conferences with an animal wheelchair expert from the United States and collaborated with two engineering students from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

After speaking to many different people, we decided to shift our idea of the product. Our new goal was to build a wheelchair for an animal instead of a prosthetic. With our new goal, we started looking up different designs on the internet and found a few that were suitable for our project. Within the coming weeks, we’ve found the animal, took the measurements, and made the first prototype. We tested our prototype with the animal for weeks and weeks and, at last, we had our final design.

We delivered the wheelchair to Quinn, the dog. We put her in the wheelchair and expected her to move and walk smoothly. However, she was just standing still. It was her first time using the wheelchair so she might have been a bit shy. Then, she started to happily walk. From our observations, we could see that she was satisfied and comfortable with her customized wheelchair.

Being able to see her walk smoothly on our wheelchair without dragging her two back amputated legs was an unforgettable moment for our team.

Now, we are working on helping out more animals, including a cat with a spinal injury and a dog with two disabled front legs.

 

Preparing For SAT_ Literacy

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will help to determine student’s future study. The higher a student scored, the higher the probability of opportunities being offered. I found my struggles in the literacy part of the SAT. Throughout the practice tests, I had always scored higher in math. Now that knowing what I can improved, I had spent a lot of time on the language and writing part of the test. It was hard at the beginning because there’s no one correct answers in the literacy compared to math. It requires us to think critically and to make many connections. I’ve been using Khan Academy to help myself with some grammar and language practices. My literacy scored had improved almost every time I take the practice test and I am hoping to do well on the real test. It’s hard, but I’m not giving up.   

Khmer Sight Foundation_What can be improved?

For the past year, Liger had been working closely with Khmer Sight Foundation to have to bring back the vision of Cambodia people, help them to see better. Khmer Sight Foundation is a non-profit organization that offer free eyes-surgery to Cambodian people with eyes’ problems. Many Liger’s students had volunteered to help Khmer Sight Foundation with translating and assisting the doctors. Some students even got the chances to volunteered twice or three times. This year, we had realized that we can make bigger impact and help to the Khmer Sight Foundation. From the experience on different screening, we’ve discovered different error that we can fix to better the experience of the patient during the screening. We start this round by contacting with the Foundation and brainstorm ideas of how we can improve the screening experience. We thoughts of many ideas and we even get the chance to meet the representative of the foundation to discuss our idea and to get their opinion about it. At last, we had finalized some main goals we want to get done for the Khmer Sight Foundation. This project will continue to another round the next step would be to actually implement our ideas on an actual screening and to look for more feedback.      

Math MAP Testing

There is so much room for me to improve in math. In the second term, I was asked to take the MAP Math test again to track the progress I’ve made since the last time I took it. I was a little nervous, not really secure because I think that I might not do very well this time. But, it turned out that the work I’ve put into practicing and working on problems in Khan Academy or using a textbook had made a very big improvement. The last time I took it, I was placed around the 80th percentile and this time I took it, I scored in an approximately 97th percentile, meaning that I scored higher than 97% of the people who take the same test. This results clearly showed great progress and that means I don’t have to take MAP MATH test again.  

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ nwea map

S’more Lab

Throughout the past two months, in our chemistry class, we learned a variety of topics regarding balancing molecule, Lewis dot diagram, states of matter, and more. Along with the lessons, we also worked on many labs and out of all, the S’more Making Lab would be my favorite. At the very end of round two at school, we were learning about the chemical reaction and start off by learning limit and excess reactants. To help our learning, our facilitator decided to bring the S’more Lab to the students and that really cheer us up. S’more is a well-known snack among our foreign facilitators. It comprises of marshmallow, cracker, and pieces of chocolate candy. In the lab, our facilitator would give us a different amount of the ingredients and would have us identify the limiting and excess reactants and calculate the percent yields of it. At last, besides learning, we even get to make our S’more and eat it. The one I made was so delicious and I am hoping to have more lab that is similar to this. What a great way to have students participate and learn a “not fun” topics.     

Cell Job Interview

The second unit for our advanced placement Biology class is Cell. The cell is the fundamental unit of life that reproduce to pass on genetic material. We just started this unit and we had learned about the three domains of a cell and the two different type of cell: prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

The first assignment for this unit is the cell job interview. Our facilitator assigned each of us an organelle and we have to do research about it. My organelle is cytoskeleton. Cyto means cell so basically is the cell skeleton. It gives structure to the cell.

As cytoskeleton, I won’t apply for the position of a maintenance worker. I structured the cell so I know clearly how to fix it when there is an issue. The whole cell company would go bankrupt without my presence because without cytoskeleton, the whole cell would have not to structure and would collapse, making it hard for other organelles to do their job. I brought in with me construction gears. I was accepted for the job and is very excited to be a part of the cell company.         

Flame Test Lab

I always thought and would not say that chemistry is fascinating or either fun to learn. The periodic table, the chemical reaction, and the sub-atomic isotope, those are just some confusing topics taking part in chemistry. However, there is always a silver lining. I believe that mindset can be changed. Chemistry is a very complex branch of science. Started in the new school year, I felt nervous coming to chemistry class because I know that it will be confusing and hard to learn. Actually, it is true for the first week. But, after knowing that there will be the lab, and with a clear understanding about the concept that was taught by the teacher, I felt more confident.

 

Before the first school holiday, I was extremely excited for the lab of a flame test. It sounds fun but at the same time dangerous. Before the lab day, our teacher had gone over the safety rules in class, making me more excited. The lab itself is probably the coolest lab I’ve ever experienced. We get to use a different compound of sodium chlorides and use a bunsen burner to heat up the molecules of the compound that will be making it emit a different color. Copper chloride is the coolest because it emits out color blue-green and turquoise. The lab is very interesting, and at last, we all have to write the report for it.