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我的中國之行 Wǒ de zhōngguó zhī xíng

Traveling is something that many like to do during the break from school, and Mrs. Reynolds is no exception. This summer she traveled 16 hours by airplane to China to teach at a summer STEM Camp for a month with a program called VGCC. In her first two-week camp, Mrs. Reynolds worked at the International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen, and brought the SeaPerch program to a middle-school camp. She lived in an apartment right across the soccer field from the campus and worked with other US teachers to bring STEM to the students in China. In the second two-week camp, the team moved across town to the Mission Hills areas of Shenzhen and worked in the Bromsgrove School. This camp was a boarding camp, so all students, chaperones and teachers stayed in the beautiful Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen. During this camp, Mrs. Reynolds taught a class of second and third graders, a class of fourth graders and a class of fifth–seventh grade students each day. One session was called Underwater Robotics, and the students learned about SeaPerch, as well as other water-related activities. The other session was Magical Robots where the students worked with Spheros and Ozobots. During all camps, different space-related activities were integrated throughout.

While living in Shenzhen for the month, Mrs. Reynolds was able to learn a lot about the Chinese culture and how the students in China learn compared to students here in the US. Shenzhen is the fourth largest city in China, with over 13 million people. It is also the tech capital of China and is the fastest-growing city. At the end of the second camp, Mrs. Reynolds and several of the other teachers traveled to Beijing to see Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the 2008 Olympic Village. Other highlights of the trip included learning a few phrases in Chinese, mastering chopsticks, trying out some new foods, touring the Mission Hill Golf Club and walking the Jack Nicklaus Master course, and traveling up the tallest building in Shenzhen called the Ping An Finance Centre. At 599 m (1,965 ft) it is also currently the fourth tallest in the world. One important thing she learned is that Fortnite is international, and all of her students loved the Floss Dance! Mrs. Reynolds hopes to go back again and share even more about STEM and space with the students. She also hopes to bring additional teachers with her.