Three students from Appoquinimink High School are among the 28 students in the state who have been chosen by the Delaware Department of Education to study in China expense-free this summer.
Zachery Kruger, a junior, and sophomores Elijah Hadley and Bright Lu were selected for the program which was made possible by an agreement announced earlier this year by Gov. Jack Markell with the Wanxiang Group, China’s largest auto parts manufacturer.
Students in the Delaware Summer Chinese Language Initiative for Communicating STEM will study at the company’s facility in Hangzhou, China, June 25 to July 22. They will take daily language classes, visit local schools, participate in cultural activities and tour sites of science and technology companies.
Wanxiang, which is participating in President Obama’s 100,000 Strong China Initiative to send more American students to study in China, will fund all travel, living and educational expenses.
The program’s goal is to provide Delaware students already studying Mandarin Chinese an opportunity to gain cultural knowledge and to use their knowledge of the language in connection with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
“These students are getting an opportunity to increase their Chinese language skills and gain first-hand experience in green energy solutions,” Markell said. “This initiative provides a once-in-a-lifetime trip while helping students explore the fields they want to pursue after high school and giving them skills that will open up amazing options for them when they enter the workforce.”
The Chinese study abroad program aligns with the Governor’s vision that all Delaware students will develop high levels of language proficiency in preparation for a more-competitive and global marketplace. Wanxiang’s partnership is a result of its local connection – last year Wanxiang purchased a former automobile plant in Newport– and the company continues to hire local talent and expand in the United States.
“Today’s students must be able to compete for jobs against students from all over the world,” Secretary of Education Steve Godowsky said. “As the number of applicants for each job increases, so does the level of competition. Students who have the language and culture skills necessary to work in an international environment will not only stand out, they will be invaluable.”
More than 50 high school students applied for the opportunity to study abroad. To qualify, they had to be enrolled in Chinese Level II or higher in a Delaware public high school and agree to take the next higher level of Chinese during the 2016-17 academic year. They had to have at least a B average in the Chinese course and all STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) coursework, and an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students also had to be recommended by both their Chinese language teacher and their school counselor.
While in China, the students are expected to develop a multi-media presentation on one of the following topics: American vs. Chinese Perspectives on a Green Energy Solution, Chinese Language Skills as an Advantage for College and Career Options, or American and Chinese Cultural Differences and Ways to Facilitate International Cooperation and Collaboration. They will present their projects to state and business officials upon their return.
Source : middletowntranscript
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