For the last few months at SIS, I have been given a great pleasure to be a member of SIS STEAM class, which I found to be one of the most fascinating courses I have taken in high school so far. Since there were no other courses with so many different aspects from a variety of areas including science, technology, math, art, etc., STEAM has been a very special experience for me. It not only made me more interested in technology and art, which I had almost zero interests before, but also taught me valuable lessons that I could apply outside of class such as teamwork, creative thinking, and designing.

 

Now looking back at the STEAM class, I am able to recall some of the most joyful moments and those that weren’t as good as expected. First, let’s start with good things. Through collaborating with my group members and as a whole class, I gained more sense of being a part of a community that gears together for a common goal, which in this case was an OkGo project presentation. I think this was a turning point in myself more so because in the past, I rarely participated in group projects as engaged as I was this year. I definitely think this was a good beginning for my transition although there’s still a long way to go in terms of being more proactive rather than passive. Moreover, from this class, I developed my skills in various subject areas such as technology, art, and even photography. I really enjoyed designing specific parts of the project while adding my artistic style to them. The reason why I could be successful in that may come from the fact that I am a highly detail-oriented learner. I also had a great time posting photos and videos of our progress on Instagram. I tried to post at least one photo or video every class so that I could share our progress with all classmates with great footages. Combining all the aspects of myself, I developed a strong sense of myself as an independent learner who can find a way of my own while still participating in the project as a group. I think that is a highly sought-after skill for a future IB scholar and a member of any community I may be part of later in life. Lastly, I discovered that I was able to reflect on myself pretty accurately, meaning without much fallacies. Throughout the course, I was able to go back to my old reflections and tried to find ways to improve what I was struggling on and could improve. I will continue to develop this skill in my life so that I can know what I have to improve and act accordingly.

 

Now is the time for my less confident areas to share: what I “failed” at. Personally, I used to find this word intimidating. Whenever I thought of the word, I automatically connected my academic and personal struggles that I wasn’t able to fix or overcome. But, in this class, I learned that it didn’t necessarily mean what I referred it to. Instead of being afraid of failing again, I think I focused more on why I made those mistakes and what I could do differently to not make the same mistakes again. Just like any other event outside of class, STEAM was also a struggle for me. For most of the time, we were virtually left at our own wills and abilities to complete the project on time without direct supervision or procedures to follow. For a person who was used to a guideline of “how to”‘s, I actually found this class to be very different from others. Not only had I created something from scratch to a minute-long sequence, but I also had not many experiences of group projects. For these reasons, I had a few clues of what I could do to be productive at all time. Fast forward to a month before now, I was in a more comfortable situation then. I could prepare materials that I needed in or outside of school, participate in group discussions at times of struggles and even share some good ideas with my group members. Other than that, I had several issues of understanding of the sequence, for which I had to be constantly reminded of what exactly I was in charge of and overcome the dilemma of blank start–a situation in the beginning where I couldn’t find a way to start working even though I felt I had some vague ideas. As a group, we made a lot of changes in connecting each individual parts into one sequence partly because we didn’t have a ton of interactions and sharing-progress-times in class. But of all, what I found to be the most challenging in STEAM was my passivity. Because I was a silent student, I think my group members found it more difficult to approach me, thus reducing the effectiveness that could come from more group discussions and brainstorming. Moreover, I honestly think I didn’t do my best to overcome my passivity and become more proactive and adjust to what was valued more in group projects. If this were an individual project, I would have had an easier time creating, designing, and synthesizing the sequence by my own. But since this was project that required everyone’s constant participation and more open-mindedness, I think I had more struggles. But now I know what I can improve on, I am certain that I could do better next time, which moves us to the next topic–what I would do differently next time.

 

So in the future, I would like to join more group acitvities, whether it be science, math, or art, so that I can really start to explore what I love the most. Because my previous assumptions that I were a 100% history geek met new challengers, I may have to have a greater sense that there are more things out there that I may not even have thought of. Another thing I would do differently next time comes from what I could improve on in the group project. Because now I know what consequences ineffective time management and group time could bring, I would definitely spend time more wisely and be a more active participant of any activities we do as a group. Foremost, I learned that a group project is after all not that bad as I thought before. If there is a chance like this in the future, I would definitely take that opportunity and make all the “what-I-would-do-differently”‘s come true. So thank you SIS STEAM for this amazing opportunity. It’s been a wonderful first semester here at SIS. Now for the last time, SIS STEAM ROCKS!