VEX Robotics Competition in Bangkok 2018

On Friday, February 2nd, 2018, my Exploration group went to Thailand in order to attend the VEX Robotics Competition in Bangkok 2018. VEX Robotics Competition is a competition that requires the student to work as a team, using their engineering skill to design and build a robot to play against another team. It is a game of alliances which mean we will require to cooperate with the other team(s). It came with a lot of rules that we must follow in order to avoid from disqualification. We’re a team of five girls named “Beta-B“.

On Saturday, we went to NIST International School to join the VEX Robotics Competition. We went through many challenges throughout the whole competition. Before the competition, we spend a lot of our time getting familiar with the real field to fulfill the practices that we’re missing because our school doesn’t have the field.

Hanging out before the competition.

We discovered that our cortex (robot’s brain) isn’t working very well. The Bluetooth is always disconnected with the controller. So we decided to risk changing it with the extra cortex at NIST, although we didn’t know for sure if it working well. Before getting to make everything work, we’re running out of time because we must go to lunch altogether. What worse is we are one of the teams who will compete in the first round and we really don’t want to miss it in order to keep our score as best as we can.

Checking and fixing the robot to make sure everything is working well.

After lunch, we rushed back into the working room, and we weren’t allowed to get in until 12:45 pm. We were freaking out, and feeling hopeless because the competition will starts at 12:50 pm. But because of the good teamwork, we get to make everything done on time and we get to attend every round in the competition.

This is our group picture!

Finally, we end up at the 11th place. I was really surprised that a lot of teams want us to be their 3rd alliance. But we choose to team up with the top two team; the 1st place “Shadow Corruption” and the 2nd place “VEXecutioners” where they really want us to be their alliance as well. This is where my favorite part of the competition begins. We collaborate so well that we win every game smoothly and we’re getting into the final and compete with “Team A++” and their alliances.

Receiving the Tournament Championship with our alliances!

This is the video of the whole competition. You can watch us compete in the final (the 2nd round) by move the video forward to this minute, 4:54:15. As you watch the video, you will soon discover something wrong right after we finished the game.

Although we met some issues during the final game, we still get through it well and end up winning the competition and receive the Tournament Champion award!

Our robot with the champion. – pictured by Rika Chan

I had learned a lot from this experience. It isn’t just learning how to design and create a robot, but also how to collaborate with other people as well. I understand that to build a good robot, it doesn’t need to have every function but what important is that it has a function that works super well just like the one we built. If there’s a VEX Robotics Competition next time, I would really LIKE to join it again!

Gender Summit

Gender Summit’s banner.

On Saturday, January 27th, 2018, a group of twelve students and two facilitators from the Liger Leadership Academy had run an event called “Gender Summit” where they tried to raise awareness about gender issues to students from different places around the country. I’m really glad that I had received this great opportunity to confidently share my opinion with everyone about this problem as well as getting to hear different aspects coming from students my age. This event comes with a lot of lessons about gender along with fun and educational activities that are really entertaining. We also get to eat free, delicious snacks and lunch as well.

Sharing opinion with the whole group.
Get to know other people’s aspects.

One of my favorite activity of all is under the section called Violence and Power. Basically, at the start of the activity, one of the instructors will hand us a ball and a card. On the card, they had written some phrases that describe a type of person that we going to put ourselves in their shoes. For example, “Male street boy. 10 years old.” There’s a bin that is placed on the other end of the room opposite of where we stand. After everyone knows who they represented, another instructor will read different statements for example, “You don’t need to worry about food.” If it true for you, you will take a step forward, if not you remain at the same place. At the end, we will try to score the goal [bin] in front of us. And of course, the nearer you are to the bin, the more chance you can score it.

Everyone started at the same place.

What I like about this activity is that it’s a physical activity where we’re using our whole body to involve in the game. It was a really fun game but powerful. This game had demonstrated that people nowadays who have a lot of power are enjoying their lives happily every single day while the other people are living under struggle and unable to accomplish their goal to get to where they want to be. Those powerful people are walking toward their goals easily without turning themselves back to help those poor people. In this contemporary world, power and money always play a role in bringing people to succeed.

This event made me think that solving gender issues is not impossible. But the most important thing to know is that it’s not easy, that is why we really need to raise awareness from now on. Before the event, I always think that some culture is really useless [sorry to say that], but now I realize that culture is really powerful and had made a huge impact on someone’s life. It sometimes mislead us. Moreover, I really want people to realize that to make this world a better place, it requires both genders, men, and women. If only men are doing the work, the world wouldn’t be any better. It really impacts how I view the importance of gender equity.

We write the reflection of the whole day.

One quote from the event that is really powerful to me is “The people who have power aren’t using violence, the powerless one is.” From my understanding, this means that the people that aren’t having power are using violence because it’s the only way that they can gain power and use it over someone. And people you already have power, they don’t need use violence to get something they want.

This is when we have the discussion together.

I strongly believe that, through communication, we will be able to understand more about the issues as well as getting more people to look into this problem and together trying to raise awareness to more people and those dark aspects will slowly turn brighter and Gender Equity will happen to have in this world.

This is our group picture.

There’s also a website that was created by the twelve students who run the Gender Summit. I really hope you can check it out sometimes. 

Here is a short video that basically describes what the whole day of Gender Summit looks like. Enjoy,

កំណាព្យខ្មែរ [Khmer-Poem]


[Translated into English:]


During the sad 1975, the Khmer Rouge had used violence to evacuate people out of their houses as well as their beautiful city, Phnom Penh, and people never get to return since then. They closed all of the markets and schools. We also lost our culture. Some of the pagodas and schools have turned into a prison by the Khmer Rouge and had captured a lot of our innocent people. People don’t allow to have private ownership and instead, everything belongs to Angkar. Each person has the same amount of work. Everyone is farming and must wear black clothes. There weren’t any family relationship at that time. To follow their goal of making everyone equal, they started to kill the minorities like Cham, China, and Vietnam violently. After, they started to force people to work harder by telling them to produce 3 tons of rice per hectare without giving them enough nutrition to gain the strength to continue working. If people don’t follow what Angkar said, they will be killed.

[Information based on:]

The Jungle Book-ISPP’s Theater

On December 1st,  2017, every Liger students went to watch a play called the Jungle Book. This is an adventurous story of a boy named Mowgli whose raise by a family of wolves since birth but must leave the jungle to the village due to the fear of the tiger. He refuses but was forced to leave anyway. On their way into the village, he met a lot of jungle animals such as python, ape and so on. Mowgli had learned a lot of life lessons throughout the story and soon begin to understand why would the animals want to send him back to the village.

Mowgli at the man village.

Not just Mowgli who had learned a lot of life lessons throughout the story, I did learn something too! In this scene, I had learned that sometimes, being stubborn can lead you to troubles. Instead, you should listen to what people around you are saying. When people are acting aggressive to you, it’s not always mean that they don’t like you. The last thing is you should always be careful with your surrounding because it might harm you like the snake does.

My favorite scene throughout the play is when she first met the free-spirited bear. They were having a lot of fun together. They’re singing, dancing, and laughing happily in the jungle. It was one of the happiest scenes in the story.

Inclined Plane Lap – Physics

Currently, we’re learning about the inclined plane as well as different type of friction: static and kinetic friction. Whenever we do word problems in class, the situation in each problem always have something like gravity always equal to 10 m/s^2 and object start at rest (Vi = 0) and etc, which doesn’t illustrate how our real-world work. In this inclined plane and friction section, we had done a lab to experimentally determine the coefficient of static friction for multiple materials, and understand that we had made a lot of assumptions in the problems we do on the board.

So basically we just place a different object upon the wood with the different sandpaper and find out the angle of the very first moment that the object starts to slide down. After that, we will collect the data and analysis it as well as answer some question like below.

Friction Lab

1. Sandpaper 4

2. Sandpaper 5

3. Sandpaper 2

4. Sandpaper 3

5. Sandpaper 1

6. Cloth

7. Wood

All the assumption we make in the problems we do on the board are:

1. Constant velocity

2. No friction force

3. Start from rest

4. Gravity is 10 m/s^2

5. Everything is flat

These are the real-life problems we faced in the experiment:

1. We always apply some little forces when we place the object upon the surface

2. The measuring is not accurate (using our eyes)

3. We didn’t do a great job in placing the sandpapers on the wood. The surface isn’t flat, which will create more friction

The White Building Exploration

In August of 2017, we started a new exploration round, which is the White Building Exploration. In order to have a better understanding of the White Building being knocked down, we started the class by skim through the pass eviction that had happened in Phnom Penh. And then we started to get directly into our topic, the White Building. After interviewing different people, I realized that it is really hard to choose between preserve these art communities and develop the urban growth. At the end of this exploration, we will be creating a documentary, podcast, as well as the other mini-final product as well. I really hope these powerful products will be widely spread to the Cambodian new generation, so that they can learn about this historical, amazing architect building, although it had vanished. After learning about all the horrible eviction, I really hope we would try our best provent Phnom Penh from having more of these violence eviction over and over again.

Khmer Sight Foundation Volunteer

On the November 12th, 2017, I had volunteered to work with the Khmer Sight Foundation (KSF) in Phnom Penh. The KSF is working with people with their vision to improve their sight as well as avoiding the chance of losing their eyes. As we arrive that the place, I can see a lot of people, especially the elders are waiting for the eye check. My role is to get them inside the room and start on doing the eye check, which is pointing to the “E” letter and let them tell which way is it turning.

Doing eye test with people.

Beside testing the eye, I would be spending time talking with the elders who’s coming and also asking them about their eye problems. I would be there to listen to their question and try to answer them the best I could for example where do I get my medicine and so on. I would be running around find the number of each person and get them to the eye-test room. I was tired, but I’m really happy to do the job. I’m really happy to see the life changes that we had make for them. I really hope to work more with the KSF in helping more people who’s in need.

Talking to people about their eye problems.


Liger’s Independent Day

What is Liger’s Independent day? Liger’s Independent day is the one day in each year where we make a different schedule for every school to celebrate the success of our school. It was made after the government officially accept the Liger Leadership Academy learning curriculum. On the 10th of November, our government had signed the paper that says, Cambodian government will accept the certificate that was given by Liger and we won’t require taking the 12th-grade exam. But we have to go through Liger exam anyway.

Liger’s Independent day is a really special day for our school. It’s a day where we can take a break from school and enjoy the games and activities together with everyone in our school. This day had led us to a discussion on two essential questions.

How would Cambodian’s Independent Day change someone’s life?

1. Freedom

2. Free in decision making

3. No more tax from France

4. To be who we want to be

How would Liger’s Independent Day change someone’s life?

1. We won’t get stressed in preparing for the 12th-grade test

2. We can continue on the project we had: we don’t pause to learn all the boring stuff preparing for 12th grade

3. A day to relax and learn things in creative and fun activities

4. A day to remind us to be a change agent from now on

5. A day to be proud of our hard work from the past five year

6. It an inspiration for the other school and we can be a role model for those schools

Short Halloween Story

On November 1st, 2017, in the English Literacy class, we had a writing activity with Halloween theme. Basically, we’re getting a piece of paper where we can begin our story and the next person beside us will then continue the story. We’re repeating this process until we get our paper back. I begin my story with a creepy characters and spooky moments. But as the story continue, it becomes really silly because there’s always a person in the team to ruin the story. So I bold the part that I wrote throughout the story. So this is one of my favorite part from my short story, although it a bit silly. You can also click on the link here to read the whole story. In this case, writing is very fun!

“Then there was a ghost running toward me without legs. I wasn’t sure why and how but I had no time to ask her, so I ran back inside. But another ghost appeared in front of me and asked me a question. If I got it right, I can go in but if I don’t, I have to eat 25 broccoli! The ghost asked, “What is me?””

Transformations in Khanacademy – Math

Currently, Math is one of my most favorite essential of all. But it’s also a bit complicated too. At the first 25 minutes of class, we would start by receiving a mini lesson from our math teacher. This is a time period where I’ll be staying focus as this time period will help me to influence in my learning for the last period of class. In Liger, my math class is somehow a bit different from a normal math class I have had. Beside having our teacher talking with his textbook and whiteboard all the time, we’re also using an internet resource as well, which called “Khan Academy.” Currently, I’m working on a course called “Transformations.” It’s an online course that had played an important role in influence my understanding about this lesson. Looking back to what I had done, I can see a huge progress I made in math. It took be a really short time to do this much work on this course. But, this lesson is still a bit confusing to me though. However, I will commit to myself to put in a lot more work in the sight of improving my ability on math. I strongly believe that by doing a lot of practice, I will soon become a stronger math student and get into the level where I’ll be prepared for the real SAT.