Changing Cambodia 2016-2017

My fifth year at Liger just ended, which means it’s time for another Changing Cambodia post! This year at Liger, I had the guts to get out of my comfort zone, and get involved in projects that would help me in the future, and change Cambodia. I took a break from film making and did some awesome projects that helped Cambodia change, little by little. Two out of five of my explorations really did change Cambodia. They are Iron Deficiency Anemia and Climate Summit.

The first exploration that I had this year was Iron Deficiency Anemia. We were studying about the disease, Iron Deficiency Anemia, and worked with a company called Lucky Iron Fish to help solve this problem around Cambodia. We spent the first four weeks doing research about the disease, the problem with the disease around Cambodia, and working with the Lucky Iron Fish team to plan workshops for people in Siem Reap. The Lucky Iron Fish is a company that makes fish-shaped iron ingots that would help to give enough iron for people’s daily requirements in people’s food by just cooking the fish in a pot. We went to Siem Reap with the Cambodian Operations Manager of Lucky Iron Fish and spent 2 days, doing 4 workshops to the people around Siem Reap. We distributed about 300 iron fishes and about 50% of women around Cambodia has iron deficiency anemia, so that means, we could’ve helped about 150 people with this disease.

The other exploration that I had was Climate Summit. In this exploration, our main goal was to have a summit where high school students around Cambodia be delegates of 6 different regions and discuss ways to keep global warming under 2-degree Celsius. We were working on planning the event and make sure everything goes smoothly. We had teams that reached out to people. There is a team that works specifically with all the physical stuff that is connected to the event. I was on a team with 3 other friends. We were the “scientists.” It’s not part of the Climate Summit simulation to have people talk about scientific stuff but we want the participants to absorb as much information as possible. It was a really hard task for me to take but I’m glad I did. I had to do research, contact people, and turn all that into a presentation that isn’t boring for the audiences. I ended up giving a 15 minutes speech and I had a fun, little activity at the end. I’m more comfortable with showing a film in front of 1000 people than going up to speak to 70 high schoolers but I did it. By the end of the day, everyone was impressed with our work and they got a lot of new information about something not a lot of people talk about in Cambodia. We also did one for the whole senior cohort in Liger. So what did I change?! I helped to spread the words about climate change so people can help to be more aware of it and they will do things to try to release fewer emissions. There is a quote that is something like, if you throw a rock into the water, you will not just hit and stop, it will keep going down. So, we educated about 70 people and it doesn’t stop there. They will spread it to their friends, families, and others.

There were things I did that will be changing Cambodia hopefully, next year, like the waste management exploration and the Khmer Rouge. That will be in my sixth year “Changing Cambodia.” It wasn’t the easiest for me to take on all these challenges for myself, to do more writing, public speaking, critical thinking, and research but I’m so glad I took my chance to do it. It had been a great, fifth year at Liger, and also my first year of high school as a 13-year-old. Next year will be better.

The circulatory system

We started the year in Biology class with learning about the circulatory system. We started by watching a video by Bozeman Science and learning new vocabularies. Your heart has four chambers. There is no start to the circulatory system because it is circular, meaning it repeats the procedures over and over again until you eventually die. How the circulatory works are the deoxygenated blood that comes from your body through the veins enter the Right Atrium(RA) of your heart. Then it goes through a valve and enters the Right Ventricle(RV). The RV pumps the deoxygenated blood to the lungs to get rid out of carbon dioxide and get oxygen. The oxygenated blood comes back to the Left Atrium(LA) and it filters through a valve to the Left Ventricle(LV). The LV pumps the oxygenated blood to your whole body.

VEX robotics Exploration

This is the time I’ve been waiting for, to finally join a robotics team to compete on the world stage but this time it’s not the First Lego League robotics, it’s my first time joining a robotics competition and I’m joining the VEX robotics competition. The competition was hosted in Taipei, Taiwan at the Taipei American School(TAS). To make this trip happen for us, we need to fundraise because we need way more money than what our school is able to provide to us. I was on the “Fundraising team” which is about contacting people, working on the website, talking on the phone, meetings with companies and other complicated stuff. The other students are working on, 1) designing the robot and 2) coding it. It might sound like little work but it is not easy to code, nor designing. My fundraising teammates and I reached our goal! The robot is not quite ready but we still went to the competition. We took off on the 1st of December. It was a long flight and we also got delayed for half an hour. That day is also the day that I experience my first ever McDonald’s bite. The next day is the competition day which is really nerve-racking for me because we are representing Cambodia and everyone is watching us LIVE on ustream.com. The first day didn’t go that well. We had 7 disqualify rounds and we won only 2 rounds. That means we ended up getting number 31 out of 36 teams which are pretty bad. The disqualify matches are just for the other teams to see how good we are so we can go to the finals if they chose us as their alliance. We got a load of emails from our friends back in Cambodia telling us to keep going, don’t give up and encouraging us to be optimistic. The people at TAS was kind enough to tour us around their labs. It was a great experience seeing everything and seeing all the project their students are working on. After that, we left TAS, got some noodles with dumplings and went back to our hostel. We got back to our hostel and we got straight to fixing the robot and the code. We worked until near midnight to fix everything. The next day, we went back to TAS and we were waiting to find out if one of the top 8 teams chose us to be their alliance. Here’s the unfortunate thing. We didn’t get chosen which means all the work we did the night before had gone to trash. Since then until 12 pm, we were watching the matches and they were phenomenal. At around 12:45 pm, it was the award announcing ceremony and guess what, we got an award. We got the “Judges award” from all the judges. They voted for us because they appreciated our work and they love our passion for robotics. We were done at around 2 pm and we went back to our hostel to prepare for a trip to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. We saw the guard changing, an amazing art gallery, and other fun stuff. The highlight of the trip to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall was seeing the guard changes. After that amazing visit, we went to the Guang-Hua electronic plaza. I was surprised at how big technology is in Taiwan. After that busy and fun day, we need some dinner so we went to a night market and tried out a lot of new foods. The next day, we went to a national park and hiked to a waterfall. I decided to continue the hike to the top of the mountain. We reached about 780 m up in altitude. We were INSIDE the clouds! We came back down on a bus that we need to wait in a line that is about 25 meters long. By the way, we haven’t had lunch yet. Later on that day, we went to Shilin Night Market to shop before we leave to go back. That basically was our trip to Taiwan. It was a lovely time there and I will love to go back.

  • The trip starts here. We took off at around 1:30 PM. I really love the view I got on the plane.

Algebra (Linear and Quadratic equation)

We started the year with Algebra in math class. We started learning about Algebra 2 years ago. This year we are taking it to the next level. This year, we started doing Linear and Quadratic equation. We learn 3 ways to solve the problem. The first one is factorization. The problem would be in a form like this, y= mx+b or ax^2+bx+c. We would try to take pieces  out until the question is down to a form like this (a+b)(x+y) or (a+b)(x-y) or (a-b)(x-y). Whatever comes out(e.g. (x+2)(2x+5)) it always be equal to zero (e.g. (x+2) = 0) then we would find the value of x and plug in the value into the equation and try to find the value of y. Another way to solve the problem is the quadratic equation. The quadratic equation is -b +or- the square root of (b^2 -4ac) over 2. We know which one is a, b and c from the quadratic form(ax^2+bx+c). For example, 5x^2-4x+11. 5 is the value of a, 4 is the value of b and 11 is the value of c. The third way is to graph it on the graphing calculator or people call it TI-84. It was a great and very hard chapter to learn but it was fun.

Khan Academy is one the resources I used to practice.
Khan Academy is one the resources I used to practice.

The play Pygmalion

In English literacy class this year, we are focusing on writing. The first unit of the year is about a play called Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. We were learning about identity. You might ask “why are we focusing on identity?” The goal of this unit is to write an argument essay about Eliza’s identity which is the main character. The question for the essay was “Did Eliza’s internal identity changed?” We read the whole play and we do something called “Text Dependent Questions.” Text Dependent Questions(TDQ) are questions that our learning facilitator, Claire, made for us to answer. While answering those questions, we are also practicing writing using advanced words, meaningful and short sentences and answering the questions clearly. Alongside with the TDQs, we also do other things like making our own vocabulary list, Characteristic tracker(this really helps us with our essay because we have all the info in one place) and planning our essay. We also got putted into groups and we were ask to make a fun, little project about the story. I was in a group of four and we were asked to compare one quote from Act IV and one quote from the end of the play which shows changes in Eliza’s identity. We decided to make a Scratch project and animate to show the difference. We also look at a model essay about “Did Mr. Doolittle(Eliza’s dad) internal identity changed?” This morning, we submitted our essays to Claire. In conclusion, it was an amazing play and it was fun to read, learn and write an essay about.

Link to my scratch project that I made with my friends: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/122896912/#player

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This is us in the “Green room” learning about “Quote sandwich.”

ISPPMUN 2016

This year, I decide to do it again. I decided to take on a challenge of joining ISPPMUN once again. This time, I had much more time to prepare. Last year, I only had 1 week to prepare but this year I had about 3 months to prepare for this three-days conference. It started on Friday 28th, 2016 at around 5:00 PM in the Black Box theater at the International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP). There are about 300 participants in this year ISPPMUN. There’s 13 schools in total, 6 from Vietnam, 1 from Singapore, 1 from Siem Reap and 5 from Phnom Penh(including Liger). There are 14 students from Liger that joined this conference, 2 in General Assembly(GA) and 12 in Junior General Assembly(JGA). I am the delegate of Belgium this year. The three topics we had was:

The question of large dams in South-East Asia

The question of equality in access to education

The question of protecting animal rights across borders.

It was a great experience just like last year. Now, I said to myself “I’m doing this thing for the rest of my LIFE. Not my school years but my LIFE.” I have the best chair and deputy chair ever. They were so nice. This year, I finally know what I’m doing in MUN. We had great debates. I made a lot more speeches and Point of Information(POI) than last year. Both of my resolutions passes. This year, I am the Main-Submitted which mean, I need to make speeches, answer all of the questions I was asked and a lot more nerve racking things. There’s FIVE resolutions and FOUR of it passes which was very impressive for my committee. My resolution was about the question of equality in access to education. It got 14 out of 14 votes for it to pass so I felt pretty good about it. The last thing I want to talk about is the Quiz Night! It was a great experience meeting older people, networking, answering questions that we didn’t really know, work with other people and it was a fun thing to do after TEN hours of debating. Overall, it was worth all my hard works and it was just getting better than the previous year. I really want to do it again and I’m signing up for next year ISPPMUN and other MUNs.

Iron DeFISHiency exploration

The first exploration of the year for me is what my group like to call “Iron DeFISHiency.” I didn’t spell that right on purpose. In this exploration, we worked with a company called Lucky Iron Fish. They make fish-shaped iron ingots for people that have iron deficiency anemia. Now you get why we like to write “Iron DeFISHiency”?  We did a lot of research to get some background knowledge about iron deficiency anemia and Lucky Iron Fish. We had a bit over 3 weeks to get prepared before we leave to Siem Reap to have workshops with villagers in rural areas. We had 4 workshops in two days. We tried to make the workshop less boring as possible so we had skits, posters, test taste, cooking session, Q&A etc. We think we did a very good job in the workshops and everyone was super proud of these 12 teenagers that spend their time researching and trying to change Cambodia in a positive way. Besides all that, we also visited a couple of museums, the largest religious temple in the world or more well-known as Angkor Wat, hike on a small mountain, went to see a circus for the first time in our lives, went to the famous Pub Street and night market and other fun activities. We all enjoyed the trip and learned a lot. This is personally, one of my favorite exploration so far in Liger. Every exploration has a product and we have countless products. One of the product was a video that Lucky Iron Fish will use when they are doing workshops and that video is about anemia, the solution and what people think about the iron fish.

  • One of our members, Lux, flew the drone and we got some shots of people holding up the fish

Disclaimer: the video is for Cambodian audiences so it is in Khmer. I am working on an English version of it.

 

Film Making Independent Discovery

This year, I decided to continue my passion, film making but it’s not just me who is doing it. My friends, Neang and Marady are doing it, too! So we collaborate and write some movies and shoot it. We were trying to participate in a film festival and we didn’t have time to make all so we only made one. In this independent discovery, we were writing movies, planning the shooting and talk to the actors and edit the film.

Check out my video!

https://youtu.be/mSwS02l-mts

Disclaimer: The film is in Khmer(Cambodian language) because it needs to be in Khmer for the film festival.