Look! Why are the secondary corridors filled with the laughter of our primary brothers and sisters? Have you been whisked back in time? They are just the students of “Light Bulb” pre-experiencing the life of secondary. Their teachers, who put in vast efforts and warm caring, are only secondary students.
Light Bulb Club is an extracurricular educational workshop founded by Direc-tor Joy Zhuang, an A-Level student, and Assistant Director Kevin Xu, an IG1 student. Guided by their elder school buddies, Grade 5 students develop the extracurricular skills of creativity, problem solving and critical thinking, as well as the passion in exploring the real world and practicing their skills in real life. As the first major cross-school educational project in SUIS Pudong, it opens up the mysteries of secondary school to primary students before they set foot in real secondary classes.
Light Bulb Club opened Admissions in April 2019, launched its first classes in May, and currently has 40 students from all classes in International Grade 5. Our classes take place in secondary classrooms every morning before 9:00am. Our teaching methods and homework, for which we designed our own mark schemes, are both designed to resemble secondary academics. In addition, our weekly assignments of real-world experience not only strengthen students’ thinking skills, but also encourage them to dedicate their unique talents to the world.
Light Bulb Club currently offers 3 subjects: Society, Technology, and Art & Design.
The Society Workshop is aimed at helping students explore, analyse and solve various social problems. We discuss a different social problem every week, such as poverty, crime, pollution and healthcare. We use sociology, philosophy and psychology to analyse their causes, possible progressions and impacts, and students get to empathise many scenarios through role-playing. Then, after students research the problem using self-designed methods and each reach a conclusion, we use intense yet strictly-designed debates to challenge our different views, and eventually discuss a solution. Finally, students get to make their little dedications to society through charity work and other forms of real-world social service.
The Society Workshop is taught by Assistant Director Kevin Xu and Ariel Cao from Grade 8. Ariel has fantastic grades in History and Geography, as well as amazing philosophical thinking. Kevin is not only an expert in humanities and religion, but also a world traveler who has set foot in 24 countries.
The Technology Workshop guides students to enrich and apply their science knowledge. Through many experiments and failures, we create interesting little inventions that can move, fly, float and glow. We firmly believe that every child is born an inventor with limitless creativity and passion to explore, therefore they need to be encouraged to create, rather than soaking in the sea of schoolwork.
Our two Technology teachers, Doudou Gao from Grade 7 and Bob Wu from Grade 8, both have rich experience in what they teach. Doudou is familiarised with mechanics from fixing and testing sailboat components. Bob’s passion for technological innovation started from age 5, and provides a wide range of inspirations for students with his knowledge in military, city planning, transportation and other fields.
Art & Design
Come into the Art & Design Workshop, you’ll find yourself in a hall of beauty. Every week students discuss a different element of art, and search for beautiful inspirations in school, homes, the city and nature. From these inspirations spring wondrous, enchanting designs. This workshop not only develops creativity but also unique tastes of beauty for every little designer.
The Art & Design Workshop is led by two master artists from Grade 9, Lulu Lv an Louise Liu. Lulu had once won the honour of Artist of the Year, and dis-plays numerous artworks in the school’s corridors. Louise is also an expert in Manga, American comics and portrait sketching, and practiced CG drawing on her PC.
So far Light Bulb Club receives nearly unanimous praise from Grade 5 teachers and students who participate in it. Students are generally active in real-world practice and possess impressive individual thinking.
According to Co-Founder Joy Zhuang, “When we planned every lesson, as-signment and mark scheme, we had to consider carefully about many standards we set: How to both keep it interesting and make sure it trains a variety of thinking skills; how to enable students to experience the joy and pride of overcoming challenges, while not discouraging their interest through unrealistic standards. This process challenged the creativity and analytical skills of every LBC teacher. Personally I feel I have learned and gained more than my students.”
The Project Fair
On 21 June, LBC hosted the huge Project Fair in the library to exhibit various masterpieces made by all the LBC students. Unexpectedly all the staff and stu-dent visitors showed great passions. The fair was full of people. Numerous younger primary students observed carefully, felt impressed, stood there for a long time and were unwilling to leave. The LBC students, the designers of the projects, were standing next to their projects and presented their inspirations, ideas and whole processes of construction to the audience. “Is your Solar-Powered Barbecue Grill really gonna work? ” “Is your artwork inspired by Monet?” …… Faced by the younger students’ curiosities and questions, the older brothers and sisters of LBC answered them one by one patiently. During the process of interactive discussion and learning from each other, they not only improved their confidence and understood the force of good examples, but also received friendships. Our students all received praise for their excellent works. One of the visitors from Grade 1 loved some works so much that she hoped she could buy and keep the masterpieces. Countless kids said they want to learn from LBC students so they could be as creative as them in the near future.
At the end of the fair, the school hosted the solemn LBC Graduation & Award ceremony in the auditorium. LBC teachers rewarded their 39 students with certificates of completion for their excellent performances during studies. In her speech as student representative, Emily Chan (G5 Tiger) mentioned that she had a panic attack when she ever stepped into the tutor classroom because of the unfamiliar situation, so she kept herself timid. But the class was just so interesting and fascinating, she got involved quickly, became relaxed, found confidence and participated boldly. Emily really enjoyed every class at LBC, while she learned to make a stand to the world’s problems, to challenge herself, and to be brave to achieve her goals.
How would LBC continue to shine over more and more primary kids in the next semester? Co-founder, Director Joy Zhuang answers: “ We will enroll students from Grade 4 as well as Grade 5; we plan to launch classes at the beginning of the next semester rather than in the last 2 months, and increase the class periods for each subject. We will provide more weeks for students to make their own projects. As for the curriculum, we will organize and lead students in more real-world practice outside the classroom, especially for Society. We are also going to actively participate in the school’s charity activities, by raising money from auctioning students’ Art and Technology works in big fairs, and encouraging everyone to discover and advocate new targets for funding.”
Finally, as a summary of LBC’s ideology and a final note to students, Co-founder, Assistant Director Kevin Xu says: “As we all know, do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl to cover its light? No, they put it on a lamp stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. ‘Light Bulb’ is for lighting the wis-dom in hearts, making students be the light of the world. Learning knowledges and experiencing are just a starting line. For example, Society is about to make people face to the various problems which are existing in the reality, using their wisdom to analyse the origin, trying the best of abilities to find the solutions, and taking real action by themselves. LBC’s ultimate goal is to make the light shine everywhere in the darkness, to recognise the world clearly and take the responsibilities of a global citizen.”
Although they have finished the courses they picked, there’s no end for learn-ing. Learning is not just dealing with classes, assignments and exams. Learning is not just for applying a well-known college and finding a nice job. The ultimate purpose of learning is pursuing the truth. Presently, their transition to secondary school will be coming soon. They are going to shine as good examples before their younger brothers and sisters, and always remember what they are studying for. More importantly, they are the young generation who are going to lead the future for many, many years to come.
Nelson Mandela once quoted that “Education is the Most Powerful Weapon to Change the World.” Light Bulb Club, with support from the school, will con-tinue to foster excellent, knowledgeable, innovative youngsters through real-world education in the next school year.
We are the morning stars, leading the dawn of 2030! Let’s shine!