"We learned to see science from many sides, many directions."

2017 ASE
Hien Ban Mai from Vietnam

We experienced it with our whole bodies, and enjoyed it with every cell.
And we felt we grew with each cherished moment.
That is, every instant in YYGS was a shining jewel in my treasure box.

Weekdays in YYGS excited me because of the group discussion activities that followed the lectures given in the morning. "Using these glasses, you can see the rainbow!!! Hooray!" Blended with humor and excitement, the lectures gave us insight about new technologies and scientific research—be it astronomy, engineering, chemistry or biology. Then came the group discussion, in which I realized the importance of raising questions. With a mentor and group of about twenty students, we kept jotting down any questions we came up with and brought them to the table. "Can someone teach me how this formula works?" "Does anyone have any idea about how this carbon will be transported?" "The lecture was mostly about how good this new robot impacts children with autism. But what do you think about its disadvantages?" These open discussions helped us to clarify the specialized knowledge, to consider the advantages these ideas can have in our lives, and to examine possible drawbacks of them on both the environment and human society. We learned to see science from many sides, many directions.

On the other hand, the weekend was full of joy with a slightly different and special event—the simulation! This simulation project gave us a memorable experience about team-working. In the first meeting, facing members in my simulation groups—most of whom I had never talked to, I wondered how would we begin working together in just a few minutes! The answer was soon unlocked. Following the icebreaker—with the game that helped to tattoo our names in each other’s minds—we started our mission by writing down our own strengths and sorted them out. What subjects are we good at? Math, chemistry, or biology? What kinds of skills are we confident about? Leadership, designing or diplomacy? Although having hurdles in communication sometimes at the beginning, we soon found the rhythm in working on the tasks together. However, by talking with and observing each other, we managed to organize ourselves as a team and handled each new-coming task. At the end of the last day, we finalized our last task and.... realized that there was still more than one hour until the final deadline! "We have managed to work pretty efficiently!!" I can remember how proud each of our members looked right after the simulation, and yes, the experience has stayed with me, becoming a blueprint to work efficiently in a team.

Even after half a year has passed, those days still resonate in my mind. The morning waiting for each other in the front yard to together head for breakfast with roommates; the night walking down the road under the street lights with my friends after the capstone project, talking until we forgot how tired we were—it's just wonderful how these memories all make my heart warm each time I recall them. Even now, whenever I look at my YYGS notebook, I feel excited reconsidering the discussion topic and reliving into each lectures and seminars I took part in. With the skills I gained through the activities at YYGS, I confidently continue following my dream. Step by step.

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