At the end of each academic year, we are asked to write a reflection on the following questions: How did I think about change? How did I raise awareness about necessary change? How did I try to promote and encourage change? How did I develop the possibility of change? How did I actually create change?
Does anyone know about the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen? He has been leading Cambodia for over 30 years and obviously he has done things to make great changes for our country. Many people might think that the only way to change a country is to become a president or prime minister. Actually, every individual can change the country. Every little change we make can sum up and shape the country. For me, I continuously make small changes, little by little, by changing myself, changing others and changing my community. In my 5th year of school, I mostly made changes through my Explorations and projects that I was involved in with other students or even alone. Some are just my personal thoughts for the future that I haven’t fully developed yet.
My most proud Exploration of the year was VEX Robotics. Engineering and technology are my passion and robotics best involved in both fields. VEX Robotics is a global robotics competition that require every team to design and program a VEX robot to compete against other teams. We went to a competition in Taiwan where most teams were from Asia. We had a team of ten members with three smaller groups, programming team, mechanic team and fundraising team. I was associated with programming and mechanic team and it was challenging for me but I love it. Even though some of us has competed in FLL, a Lego Robotics Competition before, but VEX is more challenging and advanced competition that most of the experience is new for us. We were facing many challenges while the time was short. We had only 5 weeks to ready for the competition. We were the first Cambodian team who ever compete in VEX. We were so proud of our team, we got a judge award even though our robot wasn’t fully functioned. By joining this competition, we displayed others that Cambodian people can make a robot, and can compete with others team, bringing pride to our country and most important of all, we inspired Cambodians to involve more in robotics. We were interviewed by Geek in Cambodia and Sabay news wrote about our team in their website. Not only that, our robot was exhibited in STEM Festival and Maker Faire where most high school students were invited. We saw a lot of curiosity and interesting from the students and we were glad that they got some inspiration from us and our robot. What if they were had opportunities like us to learn about STEM and touch, feel and learn about robot? They would feel exciting. It would love it and become their passion. It could pushed them to learn more. As our country is a developing country, we has a big gap in STEM that lead to development. By focusing in STEM in education, the gap would be fill quicker and the development would be improve in a faster rate. To end this point, our experience and knowledge we earned could be use to fill the gap of our country, our knowledge could use and develop our country.
Climate change is threatening species around the planet called Earth. Climate change is warning us with all the big storms, drought, flood and more. It would continue if we not slow it down. As it to say, there is a positive correlation between the amount of greenhouse gases and the global temperature. The more greenhouse gases we emit, the more global temperature rise. From countries, companies and individual, we contributed to emit greenhouse gases everyday. From eating meat to traveling by airplanes. This is really important for everyone to know about the causes and the solutions of climate change. So, we have an Exploration that is called Climate Summit. This Exploration were organizing and run a mock of United Nations Summit on climate change. This is a special event because the event was organized by students and for students. We invited Grade 9 and 10 students from many schools around Cambodia to join our event and negotiated to make pledges for reducing their carbon emission. During the event, we had a representative of Secretary of United Nations, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, scientists just like a real summit and the students were the delegates for different regions. They were divided into different regions such as US, European Union, Developed Nations, India, China and other developing countries and to make their pledge for reducing their carbon emission. We wanted them to see the big pictures of climate change so we had three scientists with presentations that explained about the causes, effects and solutions for climate change. We surveyed the attendents about their knowledge and feeling related to the topic before the event began and surveyed again after the event end. The result was incredibly exciting, they were willing to reduce more of their carbon footprint by changing their daily habit. This shows that the event has influenced their perspective about climate change. We want them to change their habit that would benefit for environments, like riding bike, eat less meat, turn off light when they don’t need it and more. Climate change is a serious issue and everybody in the world has involved to emit and we need also need to solve it back.
Be a change agents for our country, we should improve mind with inspiration from other change agents from Cambodia and around the world. What were the keys that make them successful? It could be leader of countries, founder of companies, NGOs, Enterprise. For example, Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft company with net worth of 89 billion dollars. He and his wife have given away 28 billion dollars to their charitable foundation. This is a great example to illustrate a great change agents. However, change agents didn’t have to be so successful and a billionaire. For example a founder of NGO is count as a change agent. Despite this I had an Exploration that was involved in with 13 others students that we were focusing on contacting the possible change agents and get inspiration from them. We had two phase. The first phase was trying to contact with the Entrepreneurs. I researched many Entrepreneur and came up with three. Uri Levine the founder of Waze app. Massoud Hassani the founder Mine Kafon and Biz Solution company in Cambodia. Among of three people, I got reply back from Uri Levine. I was exhilarating. I couldn’t Skype with him because of the different timezone and his time constraint. Anyway, I interviewed him by email and he replied back with valuable answers for me as well as everyone. The second phase was trying to contact with Enterprises. Kailash Satyathi, nobel prize winner with Malila, Raj Panjabi the founder of Last Mile Health. Unfortunately, I couldn’t contact them. All of our information, messages, inspiration, advices, interview video was gathering and edit to publish on our changing agent website. This is a way to change Cambodia. Students should know the information from the change agents, take their advice and take actions.
I’m indeed very satisfied and proud the changes I’ve made. I know I will make more changes and I’m ready for it. I felt I had earned a lot of valuable experience from being change agent. I’m not a Prime Minister but I could make positive impact for others and make them smile. However, changes are not easy to be made. To the path for making change successfully, there would be obstacles, frustration, depression and we always find away to overcome them. This is rare that kids could make changes, shape their country and accomplish by themselve. I experienced them all and willing to experience even more.