KIS Partners With MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives
Beginning in 2014 Korea International School has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) to offer KIS students an opportunity to explore and extend their learning. This winter, KIS offered workshops for the first time since January 2020. MIT students created weeklong applied learning workshops focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) applied learning open to middle and high school students.
Interest in the MISTI workshops was high. Priyam, a high school student, signed up for a biology session as soon as registration opened. “Everything in the world that you can see is connected to biology,” Priyam says. He knew the workshop would be innovative and engaging. Another high school student, Celine, is also passionate about biology and chemistry and was excited to learn wet lab techniques. Because she is interested in studying biochemistry or pharmacology, Celine was grateful for the chance to conduct experiments similar to those she will run in university.
MISTI workshops are designed to encourage students to take learning risks. While some students joined a session that matched their interests, other students decided to try something totally new. One middle school workshop used design thinking to meet the social and environmental needs of imaginary fish clients, with the task of designing and constructing a new fish tank. “I like to make things and be creative,” says Kaiden, a middle school student. That the session also offered practice using a 3D printer and laser cutter was also a draw. Middle school students Emily and Stanley also appreciated learning more about programming and using CAD, Onshape, and Adobe Illustrator to design – both enjoy the artistic aspect of design and the versatility of design programs.
MIT students often join MISTI to give younger students experiences similar to those that sparked and deepened their own learning. Arthur is an MIT student who recalls how lab access and a mentor during his high school years helped him discover neuroscience. As one of the biology workshop leaders, he hopes the session showed the many applications of biology and introduced potential careers to students. Cindy is a 2021 KIS graduate studying artificial intelligence at MIT and joined MISTI to co-lead a session centered on probability and game theory. She saw her high school self in the quiet students in her workshop and realized the importance of connecting with students to encourage engagement. Cindy also appreciated how her workshop participants applied information to problem solve in new ways. KIS MISTI coordinator Katherine Noll reflects on how MISTI and other KIS applied learning opportunities empower students. “When students explore beyond their current level of understanding in a supportive, inquisitive environment, they develop the confidence to ask questions, collaborate, and problem solve,” says Ms. Noll.
KIS values opportunities that bring our community into conversation with other learners and thinkers. After the weeklong workshops, MIT students remained at KIS for another two weeks to support teaching and learning across all divisions. Partnering with MISTI was an excellent start to the new semester.