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.”   

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.

 

Say No To Drugs

It has been a while that the exploration associated with drugs prevention were creating educational videos, writing down lessons, and brainstorming ideas for the workshops that will be held in the four provinces on the issues of drugs. I was assigned to be the mentors for Prey Veng province. 

On the 19th of March, our mission in Prey Veng began. We leave schools at around noon and arrived at our target around 5 in the evening. We began to look at the location that the workshop with be run and make sure that we have all the supplies that we need. 

On the next day, the workshops began at around 7:30am. We divided the audience into four groups then each mentor took them and starts their lessons. The activities in the workshops went so smooth. I saw a smile on everyone face. It made me happy. Beside their engaging in the events, they also learned a lot about the issue of drugs. I am sure that each and every one of them will be another change agents and continue spreading the awareness of this problem. After the workshop, our next activity is to reach out to villagers at their home and invite them to come and watch our educational video at night. As a result, around 60 people came for the movie. 

The 21st is our last day in Prey Veng. Like yesterday, we start the workshop at the same time, did the same activities, and we receive a similar result. In both days, there are a total of about 190 students participating. 

Say No To Drugs. Spread the words. 

 

 

 

Now They Can See Again_Khmer Sight Foundation

On 18, November 2017, I was there in my homeland, volunteering in a very important mission. The mission is associated with the organization called Khmer Sight Foundation. My friends and I were there in Chbar Jros, Kampong Speu, to help with translating, organizing, helping, and making the events to go smooth. The essential idea of the events is to check the villagers eyes sight and if a surgery could be done, Khmer Sight Foundation will provides it for free. We were there helping the foreign optic doctors to translate some of the advice to the patients and making them feel comfortable. We communicated very well with the patients and at the end of the day, we help to find more than 10 patients to bring for their surgery. 

On the way back to school, we brought 5 prioritized patients that their eyes are in a very serious state. We brought them to the eye clinic located near the independent monument and were also there helping to doctor with their procedures. As a Cambodian, we were taught to help people until the mission is done. So, we were there near the patients until they get their surgery. I felt so happy helping them and especially, bring their sight back and actually, lighting up their world.  

Nightmare of Cambodian People| Killing Field

On October 13, 2017, I went to the place where many Cambodian, who experienced the Khmer Rouge regime, are afraid to go, the Choeung Ek Killing Field. I went there with two friends, Sreyneang and Kimseng and two teachers from Melbourne Girls Grammar school in Australia, Nathalie and Matt. It was hard for me as a Cambodian new generation to visit such a painful, and crucial place. I visited it once and I already experienced it. Before I went there for the second time, I am aware of the events and things that I will see. But everytime I step in the killing field, I felt like I was in the regime and I can see everything that happened on this place. Last time I visited it, there is a tour guide touring us around the campus. This time, I get to use the audio. It is a very different experience. By listening to the audio, it dig me deeper into my heart and I felt more pain as I listened to victims explaining and sharing their own experience. How would you feel walking on the grass and stepping on the place where ten of thousands of Cambodian includes, intellectual, soldiers, women, and kids were executed. Sad, depress, miserable, sorrowful, and more feeling causes me to stop the tour. But, I kept reminding myself that I have to be strong and I should continue my journey in this because by learning about it, I can prevent the history to repeat itself. As a change agent, I would change Cambodia and won’t let this horrible events happen on my country again.    

                

     

Ignorance Needs To Be Stopped_TEDxISPP

I am a 14 years old boy who is curious about my country. I see my country differently from other people. I see many immense issues that need to be solved while some people look above and ignore it. Cambodia is a very beautiful place and everyone is friendly. I can describe all the positive things about Cambodia all day long, but I can even talk longer about issues that have been ignored. 

I am one of the TEDx speaker spotlighting the issues of illegal fishing and the decreasing of Cambodian ocean biodiversity. I was there suggesting different idea and are focusing on turning the illegal fishermen into algae farmers. I believe that algae farming can be an alternative livelihood for those competitive fishermen and beside making punishing them, instead believe in them and accept them as a victims.  

I was there reminding people about our country and as a new generation, try to solve and prevent those problems to happen. Don’t ignore those problems and instead, finding more issue to solve. 

Check out the video: Introduction to Algae Farming In Cambodia 

I AM A Businessman_Startup Weekend

On 16 September, 2016 I and other classmate participate on the first day of Startup Weekend. But, what is actually a Startup Weekend? Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.

This year the Startup Weekend topic is about education. It was so great to join this incredible events. On the first day just was just an introduction. Participant were all playing ice-breaking game so we all are happy and get to know each other better. On that day we also break into teams just to let out some idea about business and pitch to the judge. They gives us crazy idea such as sunny toilet, pizza cat, sad sandwich etc. So the first pitch need to reflect to those topic. Then at last participant we giving opportunity to do the pitch to everyone about the plan that they come up to change the education in Cambodia. So, some people were talking about building an app, website, games, songs and activities. For me, my idea is to include STEAM activity into our learning curriculum. After everyone pitching their idea, it is time for voting. The judge choose top ten best vote and that idea will be past. Unfortunately, my idea didn’t past but it was a really good experience. That was all about the first day.

On the second day, everyone were divided into teams to plan out the business model (business plan) and going out talking people to find the data. My team name Sna Dai Seavpov Khmer (SSK).  For my team we are working on building the apps and website for Cambodia authors who had less opportunity to sell their book to sell it to Cambodia students through bookstore. On the same day I went outside and try to interview local book store to find out what types of book that sell most. I find out that I learn so many things in this event. Many main skills like Collaboration, networking, dot connecting, communication were some skills that I gain from working with teammates and going outside and meet new people.

Last day everyone is still working for almost the whole day again. We need to make the presentation for the judge. So, at about five in evening every team are taking turn to give a presentation about the business to the judge. Then it comes the voting time. Again, unfortunately my team is not in the top three that the judge choose.

It was a fantastic experience for me and I will join this event again next year.

 

 

Changing Cambodia 2015-2016

Changing Cambodia is a really big, deep, and meaningful word. For myself no matter how big or how small the change is it still change Cambodia. When I was born I dream to change Cambodia. I think not only me who dream like that. Every Cambodian people dream to change Cambodia. Choosing real potential children that future will change Cambodia that what Liger Learning Center do. This year I think I making more changes compare to last year. So now I would like to list down what are my changes and explain.

Phnong Indigenous Minority- The biggest I’ve make in this Exploration is creating a two langue book that describe the life of Phnong people. This book is already publish and this book helps to preserve the culture and the tradition of Phnong Indigenous Minority. Inside the book there full of information about the forest, culture, tradition, believes, life style etc, of Phnong people. To be one of the members that involves with making the books I do felt really happy and proud of myself. To create a book is not an easy thing to do. You need to go and interview people to gather true information and putting all the data together. It difficult but me and the whole group can achieve it. I finally think that this power book is enough to help preserved that culture and tradition of the Phnong Indigenous Minority.

Crime in Cambodia- One of the biggest change I’ve made in this Exploration is creating the manual the laws system in Cambodia. Not every Cambodian students know about the laws system in Cambodia. If students want to learn about the law system, the court system it difficult for them because normally the information is written for adults to read. But for this manual is written by kids for students and adults. Also in this Exploration we make the video about the illegal fishing in Cambodia. This video is telling the true about how big issues now in Cambodia about the illegal fishing and what can government help to solve the problem. Generally in this Exploration the changes I’ve make just creating the manual and video that describe the laws system in Cambodia and the illegal fishing in Kep Ocean. Sharing the information to other people is increasing the other people knowledge which I called change.

Cookbook- In this Exploration the main idea is to create the cookbook for the senior students. To be in the designing team I help to design the layout of the book. This book now is only for Liger but soon if this cookbook really work our team will share it to the public. This book is full of traditional Cambodia food and foreign food. If this book is out in the public I think it will be a grateful resources for Cambodian people to use. I think working in this team make me becomes an agent that help preserving tradition food of Cambodia.

Games Around the World- This Exploration don’t really much about learning and understanding the concept. But this it one of the fun Exploration I’ve taken this year. This Exploration is about finding outdoor games from many parts of the world and especially Cambodia. The changes I made in the whole Exploration is about making the blog that share to everyone in the world. This blog helps sharing the outdoor games from one place to another. I don’t know much about outdoor games in Africa or South America but I can go into the blog and learn about it. Also I can share the tradition outdoor games of Cambodia to the world. The funniest this I did in the Exploration is about learning and playing new games from Africa, Europe, America etc,.

Entrepreneurship- This is the last Exploration for me. In this Exploration I learn many skills about how to becomes a successful entrepreneur and how to start a well working business. After learning in this Exploration I think I have the basic and I believe in myself that I can start my own small business. Even though the chili sauce business don’t really work but I think it still a good business. My main role in this Exploration is in the food development team. It is so fun and I really happy to cook the chili sauce for the team to sale. One of the change I made in this Exploration is to increasing my family economy. I used the knowledge I learn in this Exploration about added value so I tell my mom to change her business for a bit. Usually my mom sell drinks and almost every store in the high school sell drinks. But I told my mom about learning the Entrepreneurship and tell my mom to buys staffs that difference from other store and is popular. Then it work, I felt really and a really thankful to JEFF.B.

Google Science Fair- This year is my first time to join the GSF. My project is to used the steam to create electricity. As most of Liger students know this objects helps Cambodian people who’s cooking rice and boil water to charge their cell phone and have the light while cooking. Even though it this year it still the theory but I believe it will make a huge changes to Cambodian people.

Being A Young Star_On TV

On 15, August 2016 I and my two other friends were interviewed by the television program called “Be Smart Clean Environment.” The main question that I need to answer is how renewable energy helps to decrease the pollution in Cambodia. It was a really tough questions and we need to do it in Khmer. But finally everything worked really well. I chose the topic about the biodigester and my other two friends chooses the hydro power and wind energy. It takes me about a week to get the idea and finding good reasons to support the main idea. Finally I got this.

 

I get to talk about biodigesters and how it can be an effective way to solve the renewable problems in Cambodia.

I positively think that Biodigesters will be the great renewable energy that can decrease the pollution in Cambodia. But first what is a biodigester? Biodigesters are a type of renewable energy that uses the animal’s poo to create gas, which is used mostly for cooking and lights. I think that Biodigesters are a great solution. Let’s check out some benefits of using biodigesters. They save money, save time, are green and make a better environment and are good for people’s health. Let’s see how it also helps to decrease pollution. Most Cambodian people use firewood to cook. While cooking, you can see a lot of smoke caused by burning the firewood. Imagine how bad for your lungs it is if you breathe in all that bad smoke from firewood. But if you cook with the gas from a biodigester, it is harmless to your health. What if the smoke spread outside of your home, to the air? That will 100% create the pollution. But if we used biodigesters instead of cooking with firewood it will make our environment clean. Another connection to this. Where does firewood come from? All firewood comes from cutting down huge trees in the forest. If we stop using firewood and instead use biodigesters there will be less trees cut down. Trees are a great natural resource for us humans. No matter small or big, trees are an agent that help to clean the environment. If trees are cut to make firewood then we are losing the agency whose job it is to clean the environment. So if we start using the biodigester more, trees will not be cut down and our environment will become cleaner. Ergo, if we start using biodigesters, it helps to decrease the pollution and our environment will becoming greener. 

 

When the interview started I got frighten and scare. But after getting involving with the MC and the camera I get really comfortable. Therefore, finally everything go smoother than what I expected.

Ministry Day

On 12/01/15 Liger Learning Center there a big event about sharing what special and sharing the Liger curriculum to 34 high school directors in Phnom Penh and some people from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport. Every students have their own sections to presents about. I am working in Red room with the subject about STEAM activities. There also 5 other friends who working on STEAM activities. My speech is about the objective of sharing STEAM activities, introduction of the past STEAM event, painting challenge and built the boat challenge. In this section 90% of the sharing is in Khmer.

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Objective of sharing STEAM activities

To share practical ideas of STEAM activities for government schools.

  • Resource light activities across different ages and group sizes
  • Ways to motivate schools throughout the country to engage students
  • Ideas for on how to encourage communication and interaction between different schools
  • Examples of STEAM activities for Government School

Introduction of the past STEAM event

In Liger we do a lot STEAM activities. At the end of the November the a big events about STEAM activities that includes painting, performance, Rube Goldberg Machine, Scratch.

Painting Challenge

This is the painting challenge. Students were divided into groups and painting on the big painting board. Students have to includes at least two or more STEAM activities in their painting. For my team we includes technology and engineering. I felt really happy to join this events. This events giving me more skills about painting, working with my partner, thinking and creativity.

Build the boat challenge

  • Students use natural resources (sticks, leaves, rocks, no plastic) to build a boat
  • After designing and building their boats, students can compete to see which boat can float the longest or carry the heaviest weights
  • This activity is culturally relevant as boats are in important part of many peoples lives in Cambodia.
  • Learning outcomes include buoyancy and propulsion, and science, engineering, and art.

 

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I felt really happy that this events is happened. I share a lot about STEAM and I hope there will be other events that similar to this and I am sure that all the directors were proud of us too. 

my pic