GOOD NEWS 喜 报 热烈祝贺玮希ONE车队 斩获美国STEM大赛大奖
Congratulations! The students from Changsha WES Academy Bilingual Section, as one of the China teams, has obtained two gold medals and one silver medal in the Junior section of the American National STEM League 2019 US finals held in Houston.
喜报！喜报！长沙玮希国际学校双语部的学子们，在此次美国STEM大联盟杯（National STEM League，简称NSL）的美国决赛现场，代表中国队斩获初中组的两金一银的好成绩！为祖国争光，为学校争光！
Dazzling results cannot be separated from the sweat and hard work of the team members, and the support of the school and parents! Besides the happiness of getting the awards and honor, there are many moving stories and worth to share with all. Starting today, we will publish three reports, each from the perspective of parents, students and teacher instructor respectively, to review the whole experience, the ups and downs of the students participating in this competition.
First of all, let’s welcome the representative of our parents — Hank’s mom, to share her reflection and feeling. (The following text is provided by Hank’s Mather.)
“I am Hank’s mother, his position in the team is the racing car driver. This trip, I am also the accompanying journalist, logistics supervisor and life teacher of the competition, thus I followed through the whole race schedule. I must say that the whole process is like a soap opera, and you never know what will happen the next second, what will be the result. It’s thrilling!”
After three months of training and preparation, the children finally were ready to go. Sitting on the bus towards Changsha Huanghua airport, they were so happy and full of confidence. At that moment, they did not know their trip to the United States was not as smooth as they had imagined, and the journey was full of twists and turns and hardships.
Because there is no direct flight from Changsha to the United States, the team needs to transit at Shanghai, and the whole journey would take 32 hours, that made all felt it could be very tiring. But to our horror, all the batteries needed for the race and some maintenance tools were detained in the Changsha airport with some reasons. This made the children almost broken down. These were the best tested batteries and the most convenient toll that they have used. The children were all cracking down. “How are we going to compete?” At that moment, we felt there’s no hope. However, Mr. Victor Liao, the teacher trainer remained cool and calm, and told them to rest assured that there would be a way to solve. I think this is the best part of the head coach, Mr. Liao. He planted a seed of hope into each of the players’ and at the same time, he started to make countless phone calls. Finally, we managed to get 16 original batteries on time.
Battery Issue 电池波折
And then, when we arrived at the US customs, well, Hank left his passport and the second lap air ticket on the plane. I was so anxious that I scolded him. Mr. Liao comforted him and advised him to learn from this mistake and we should deal with the problems rather than panicky. Fortunately, with the help of the staff at the airport, we gotten his passport back and were just in time for our next flight.
The next day after we arrived at Houston, Mr. Liao went to the mall early in the morning to purchase the tools that were detained by the security in Changsha. And after we arrived at the hotel, Mr. Liao seized the time to lead the children to debug the car. The team members were also very accommodating too, despite the discomfort of the time difference, kept on practicing till they were satisfied before they took the rest. I can see that the children were all prepared to win the competition to the best they could.
On April 27-28, during the STEM league finals in Houston, each member of our Team ONE played his own role without any reservations. As the head coach, Mr. Liao not only have to ensure that the overall direction of the participation was on the right track, but also paid attention in respecting each and every child’s unique personality.
Team ONE won the first event – the Pit Repair race by an absolute margin. During their practicing time, there were still some unhappiness among team members. However, once on the field, they were immediately fully revived. They worked well as a team and won the race! In the evening, Mr. Liao took them to a meeting to review — each member summarized what he had done well and what was not enough that day, as well as some things to pay attention to the next day. I really felt that they were behaving like adults, and were all thinking clearly. They were all behaved like a general demeanor.
第一场的进站维修赛，Team ONE以绝对优势夺冠。练习时还有情绪的队员，一上赛场立马满血复活，第一次团队合作, 旗开得胜！晚上廖老师带他们开会复盘——每个队员总结当天自己做得好的和不足的，以及第二天要注意的一些事情。我真实地感觉到他们像成人年一样，个个都思路清晰，个个都有大将风范。
The third day in the United States was one of the most intense and exciting days of the tournament. From 6:30 in the morning, some of our team members rushed to the race track without even taking breakfast. The Speed Challenge Race was one of the events that the players thought that we were good at, and thought that we could win. But, we ended up have to change batteries twice within the first five minutes, as both batteries were low. CATHY, Team One’ engineer, was usually the most sedate of all team members, broke down. The Captain, KITTY, immediately embraced her, patting her shoulder to comfort her. Fortunately, the racer EASON, who was well trained, won the championship in 18.9 seconds after a miraculous comeback in the last lap.
As we were cheering for the success, we were told there might be something wrong with the sensor, that the readings might not be accurate, and that the results might not be valid. (After checking the background data, we were finally told that the result was valid.) The racing driver EASON, usually the most cheerful child, broke down when heard of the good news. The players gave EASON their encouragement: “Eason, you need to calm down, you shouldn’t let your emotional control you!” I could not believe my son said that to his teammates. When I saw the children’s tears, I felt unspeakable pain. But that’s exactly what growth is, it’s the experience of the soul, and it’s just as important as being a champion. The competition is not just only a technical battle, but also a battle of mentality.
Following up was the Lap Number Race, and after running a dozen laps, accident happened again. The left front tire flew off. Fortunately, our engineers were quick enough to fix the fault, and we finally won a third place in the single event. And then, in the 25m Linear Acceleration Race, our representative, the racing driver KEN, out beaten his opponent by about almost 10 meters and won the race without any doubt.
During the endurance race, CATHY, the Team’s Chief Engineer, lost control of her emotion. After a confusing situation, Mr. Liao quickly adjusted the team member’s role and Hank was appointed to take over Chief engineer temporarily. Too bad that the repairing procedures for the spare parts were not too successfully, Team One lost the chance of winning. KITTY, the team leader, performed very well in this competition. She told the team’s data-driven design process (DDD) in fluent English, which was well received by the judges. The team won the runner-up of data-driven design process (DDD).
After the competition, the team members were exhausted, feeling tired and simply sat on the ground, eating plain bread with water. However, they were happy. Being the only team representing the Central China, Team One of Changsha WES Academy, won Two champion and One second place, not only made our school proud, and also bring glory to China! More importantly, I think, the children have gained a rare life experience.
这次比赛，长沙玮希国际学校Team One 作为中国华中区唯一一支初中组车队，收获两冠一亚，为国争光，为学校争光！更重要的是孩子们收获了难得的人生体验。
The success of the children is attributed to Mr. Liao, who regards his work as his life. He keeps improving his skills and respects every child. The success of the children is also inseparable from the attention and support of the management team of Changsha WES Academy. WES provides an international competitive platform for children to grow!