The early morning of May 1st not only marked the start of our Labour Day holiday, but also the return of Changsha WES Academy’s Team ONE back to China. Ms. Sabrina Wu (the Vice-Principal of the Bilingual Section), representatives from the school office, together with the team members’ parents warmly welcomed the returning children at Changsha Huanghua Airport.
Team ONE members featured with teachers and parents at Changsha Huanghua Airport学校代表及家长们在长沙机场欢迎小将们凯旋
Team ONE members featured with representatives from Management of WES Group at Shanghai Airport玮仕集团管理层代表在 上海机场送去慰问
On April 27-28 2019, the 12th NSL Stem League concluded at the Reed Arena of Texas A&M University in Houston. A popular competitive team race amongst the middle schoolers in the US, participants put together their own cars in teams and participated in races against each other. The 12th NSL League consisted of a total of 10 Chinese Teams playing against more than 40 champion teams from all over the United States of America in a battlefield of speed, fighting for the glory of being crowned the champion of the league.
The league events were scheduled over two days, and were jam-packed with many exciting events such as the presentation of Data-driven Research Projects, a public showcase of Team Images, a presentation of Business Operation Plans, as well as challenges such as the Race Car Control challenge, and Aerodynamics challenge, as well as other speed-centric challenges. At the same time, there were also pioneer teams who were involved in two new events: Programming ROVERS as well as UAV competitions.
2019 年 4 月 27-28 日，深受中学生喜爱的纳斯卡大赛在休斯顿知名工科学府德克萨斯 A&M 大学的 Reed Arena 落下帷幕。在此次比赛，共有10支中国车队迎战美国各州的 40 余支冠军车队，在飞驰电掣中对决切磋，为光荣与梦想而战。
This was the first time our students participated in an international event, and it was indeed a very challenging experience for them. Though they tasted the joy of success, they also had a taste of the frustration of failure. Nevertheless, it is of no doubt that they learnt a lot from the process.
Now, let’s listen to our students sharing their feelings and personal gains from this competition.
KITTY（ Team Captain）
The American league has concluded. I am happy and relieved.
We came in as champions of the Pit-Stop Maintenance competition, as well as champions of the Linear Acceleration Race, and runner-up for Data-driven design. As this is the first time we have participated in an international competition abroad and we were all inexperienced, I think this result is quite satisfactory. We have all done our best.
Compared to our experience in the preliminary competition held in Shanghai last December, there were some similarities in the competition processes, but some differences in the amount of energy required from each team member, resulting in greater fatigue. The competition schedule was tense and the pressure felt was much higher than before.
As the team captain, I also had to communicate very often in English, which was a great challenge for me. There were, however, no serious disputes between team members and opponents this time, and I am very pleased about that.
I was also a lot busier this time when compared to the Shanghai preliminaries. My main job was to manage the schedule and coordinate relations between teammates. As the exhibition counter this time was much further away from the arena — separated by a wall and a long flight of stairs — time management was much more important, and I had to make sure I kept a close watch on time and kept my teammates on time.
Finally, as a team, we would like to thank the school, our teachers, and of course, our sponsors. We’re sorry that we did not win the overall championship this time, but we will work hard and strive to win it next time!
This time, I felt that rather than being afraid of crashing the car, we needed to test the car properly so that we would not need to fear it being hit.
We need to become more adaptable and flexible, and be able to come up with a new plan or adjust our racing strategy as things proceed, maybe even choose to team up with other teams to bring a greater advantage to our race. Adjusting the weight of our vehicles is also a consideration I would like to take next time.
I felt that this time, our preparation was still a little inadequate. I was also consistently exhausted due to the time difference. This is something we have to consider and adapt to the next time we participate in foreign competitions.
I gained a lot of experience from my participation in this competition, but I also experienced a lot of difficulties. I lost things, and did not manage myself properly.
We were not fully prepared for this competition, and easily panicked in the many unfamiliar situations we had to face. However, I’m proud of the team for pulling through and always managing to solve the problem in the end. There was, however, still a lack of team spirit. Rather than sharing the blame, we would blame each other when there was a problem, and become angry when we were reprimanded by the teacher. We should be more considerate of the feelings of others, and adjust ourselves to be in a better condition to fully enjoy the competition.
I believe that we had the capability to aim for the overall championship, but we fell flat when we underestimated the strength of our opponents. In addition to that, due to the fact that we had appeared too strong before the actual rounds were held, many teams worked together to challenge us.
Whilst we made many mistakes for a variety of reasons, I’m looking forward to the next competition where we can succeed and fulfill our revenge match!
The opponents in the 25-meter race were really strong, though we finally managed to beat them by a narrow margin, leading by about ten meters (haha, just kidding)
The competition was very exciting, and I was very anxious throughout, in fear of making unforgivable mistakes. However, given my experience during this league, I think I will be less nervous next time.
HANK（Driver & Engineer）
The US finals are over, and it has proved to be an extremely challenging experience. We had won three games in a row at the start, and got arrogant, resulting in the US teams banding together against us by spreading the rumors, thus affecting our performance in the next two games. There were also several setbacks along the way, such as quarrels between team mates, as well as people not following the original arrangement and plans.
I learnt that we should not look down on others even if they appear to be weaker than us. Even though we didn’t win the overall championship, we still consider ourselves ranked first in our hearts.
During the practice sessions, some troubles did occur as tensions rose, tempers were lost and blame was pushed around the team. However, these were all resolved in the end, and I hope that we can win the overall championship in America next time. Let’s keep working together.
We have done our best, and I hope that you would forgive us for not obtaining the best overall score this time. We will work even harder next time!
During my time in America, I gained a lot of experience. For example, how the team should be united and understanding, as well as how to deal with the relationships between teammates. We can give in in some occasions instead of insisting that we are right, and consider the perspective of others as well.
Success is something to be proud of, but failure is just as valuable. Be it the joy of success or the tears of failure, they are all gifts for our journey of growth. Let’s wish them all the best!
About NSL 关于美国STEM大联盟杯
The National STEM League (NSL) is a Project-Based-Learning approach that helps students learn the skills to thrive in a team-orientated atmosphere whilst learning practical applications of Mathematics and Physics in real world situations. There is a place for all students to contribute to the team through race engineering, coding and automation, design and fabrication, graphic design, marketing, community outreach, as well as data-driven design projects that encourage students to follow their own interests.
美国STEM大联盟杯（National STEM League，以下简称NSL）是美国最具创新和深受学生热爱的STEM活动之一。NSL以纳斯卡赛车为原型，学生通过运营一家属于自己的科技赛车公司，担任不同的角色（车队经理、工程师、赛车手、商务外联、设计师、媒体公关等），学习50学时全PBL（问题式学习）设计课程来完成各项挑战。在奥巴马政府期间，NSL从全美2000多个STEM项目中脱颖而出，被评为全美四大优质STEM项目：最具课程完整度、最具有效性、最具可复制性。