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December 12, 2018

Students show debating, entrepreneurship skills at RWCC 2018

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By Aabha Gokhale, GIIS Journalism Club, SMART Campus

SINGAPORE, 6 DECEMBER, 2018: Two outstanding contests at RWCC - the ‘Conference on ICE’ and the ‘Innovative Social & Commercial Entrepreneurship Challenge (ISCEC)’, created ripples among the audience. This was the first time that RWCC was hosted at the SMART Campus and it served as a great platform to showcase the talents of the tech-savvy GIIS students from all over the world. These two contests were special as students exhibited immense ambition, collaboration and innovative thought in coming up with ideas.

The students of the Journalism Club were present in the audience to witness the excitement that ran through the contest. The Principal, Ms Melissa Maria, addressed the gathering, evincing that this platform “breaks myths” that only “adults” can find “solutions to problems”, and makes students come up with “viable” and “result-oriented solutions”.  Interestingly, she even encouraged the use of technology in classes instead of banning it, a truly refreshing idea that this RWCC is brought forth.

The GOH for the contest was Professor Aurobindo Ghosh, Singapore Management University, who presented a different outlook in his keynote address. He spoke about the survivors of the Boxing Day Tsunami on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and how the bed-time stories told by their parents re-iterated the importance of familial and intangible bonds in this world of ever-growing materialism. Having said that, he moved onto how machines now, through their Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities, can surpass even the brightest human minds; showing the power that is waiting to be harnessed.

‘Conference on ICE’

The ‘Conference on ICE’ required students to act as delegates of a certain country and identify an educational related problem and eventually come up with practical solutions.

The former guided pairs of students as delegations from a certain country to identify and form plans to rectify an issue pertaining to education. The secondary section students did a good job of researching relevant facts and figures and coming up with pragmatic and practical solutions in accordance with the country’s infrastructure and economy.

For example, the students acting as Canadian delegation pointed out the increasing school dropouts in Canada and stated that it stems from overworked, frustrated teachers, overly stressed and pressurised students, and inefficient Government spending. With the large budget of the Government, the delegation suggested salary hikes for teachers, integrating technology into education to make it more interesting, and providing adaptive programs for the differently abled as some viable action plans.

‘Innovative Social & Commercial Entrepreneurship Challenge (ISCEC)’

The challenge given to the ISCEC participants was tougher: to figuratively make a company, and plan its operations. The key here was to make a thorough business plan which was done wonderfully by the winner team from SMART Campus. Their idea was to employ generators to convert mechanical and kinetic energy in playgrounds to electricity in schools. Building on this idea, they detailed the exact hardware to be used, the price structures, the organisations they would have to work with, their business goals, business growth path, employment and skill set required and the company’s organisational structure.

Both these competitions honed skills like research, decision-making and collaboration – key traits required for success in today’s corporate world. Seeing the performance of the contestants it can be concluded that the students of GIIS are well on their way to facing modern world challenges.

After the lunch break, the prize distribution ceremony began, along with presentations from some of the winners. The students waited for the result with fidgety legs and twiddling thumbs. The students from 13 of GIIS’ campuses who had poured vast amounts of efforts into their projects were happy to leave with prizes after travelling this far, said one winner from the GIIS Tokyo Campus. After a photoshoot, the guests were all taken on a tour of the new Campus that impressed one and all.

Having witnessed this event, we can easily agree with Ms Melissa Maria’s words that “technology can become the wings that will allow education and the world to fly further and faster than ever before”.  

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