A Science Prodigy in an Unlikely Place (高鐵上的小科學家 – 一名PEI太平洋英語同學的故事)

(Louis Wu 吳承儒同學從小學四年級起就在太平洋英語就讀。在學習的過程中除了在科學展覽上展現了驚人的成就,語言上天份及能力也讓他在這無國界網路時代,用英文擷取知識就如同探囊取物般,除在國一的時候就拿下了劍橋英檢的PET認證,更在今年基測中大放異彩,以絕佳成績考上建國中學。在此恭喜Louis,期許他能再接再厲,能進一步探索英文,發現世界。 “Exploring through English the world and beyond!" 以下為在科展過程中輔導過Louis 的 Theresa老師的感言)

One of the best things about teaching English in Taiwan is witnessing the hidden treasures and surprises that can be discovered when you least expect them. As a teacher at PEI for the past 3 years, I’ve encountered many such surprises – the latest being my personal tutoring sessions with Louis Wu.

More recently, I have been working with Louis on a personal project of his – Measuring the Differential Settlements of High Speed Rails. This was originally a science project that was submitted by Louis to his school. It involves an innovative method to measure the differential settlement of high-speed rails.  I admit that it initially took me awhile to grasp the concept and idea of this project, but I soon realized the amazement involved when Louis, a junior high student, brainstormed and hypothesized the possibilities of creating a newer, safer, and economical method of measurement. He thought through the dangers and risks of high-speed rails not having faster and immediate methods to measure differential settlements. He even realized how harmful this could be for daily passengers of the rails.

We began our personal tutoring sessions by preparing for the speech and science competition at Louis’s school. The speech competition was to be held in complete English. After winning 2nd place at his school science fair, Louis moved on to become a participant in the 2012 Google Science Fair. We worked together on translating the entirety of his project from Chinese to English. From there, Louis was contacted by Google to do a short film that is soon to be featured on the Web. Google was interested in how their search engine was helpful in Louis’s research project from the start. Louis shared what an amazing opportunity the filming process was! His project was submitted on April 1st, and we at PEI only hope the best for him!

Our next step with Louis will be to work with him on submitting an article to a highly renowned science magazine – Nature. This latter assignment is the most challenging of all, since it requires an abundance of scientific terminology, calculations, and procedures that are not typically taught in English class. However, with Louis’s prior knowledge and English skills, he is able to describe and explain certain aspects of his project to me in order for me to translate into formal English. It’s safe to say that we’ve made quite a swell team during the entire process thus far. Several times during our sessions, Louis claimed, “My level of English isn’t that great” and, “Well, I’m only a junior high student,” – but between you and me, I think he’s just being modest!

Theresa Pan

後記: Theresa老師的文章在我們部落格上刊登一個多月之後,吳承儒同學的故事順利的被Google搬上了Youtube小銀幕; “高鐵上的小科學家," 大家是這樣開始認識他的。他的科學天地,正透過著英文,做著各種無限可能的探索呢!