Team Coordinator, Exploravision Science Competition
I led the ExploraVision project, a science competition that revolves around the development of new technology and realizing its potential. It is a collaborative project in which a group of 2-4 people do research and think of ways to bring it to reality. Under the guidance of a coach or teacher, they pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles.
In Grade 7, I recruited 3 group members and formed my team. I organized discussions, did a lot of initial research, proposed several ideas, proposed the final choice, and assigned the tasks. I took the extra step to follow up with my team members regularly, assist them if they encounter difficulties, smooth out friction between team members, and assemble the individual components into a full writing. I took initiative throughout the entire project and delivered the project on time. It was not easy for me to manage such a big project. Luckily my father stepped in as a coach to teach me and encourage me when I felt frustrated.
This is a project that took 6 months from beginning to end. We wrote an eleven-page report on our research. If you are interested in what we wrote, take a look at our research report here.
Leadership in School Projects
In many school projects, I emerge as the group leader assigning tasks, taking the hardest part myself to demonstrate my willingness to contribute, communicate as soon as possible when people struggle, and prevent conflicts from happening when possible. In some cases, when there are other people willing to be the leader, I am more than happy to step back and be a contributing team member. I respect the fact that different people have different talents, and that everybody should be given the opportunity to do what they do best. I also understand that a true leader is one who is willing to lead when necessary, and also knows when to take a seat in the back.
From the leadership position, I understand that leadership is not about commanding people and just taking everything and putting it together. It is truly about taking the responsibility when bad things happen, giving others the credits when something good occur, making sure everybody have the fair chance to participate, assigning the right job to the right person, taking the work that other people do not wish to do. Being a leader demands a lot of dedication and commitment, something not everyone can do. However, I strive to gain the trust and respect from the work I present. The ultimate accomplishment, however, is the priceless lesson of managing a team, a many parted well-oiled machine.
Initiator of Online Help Group
I founded an online help group for my classmates in Grade 8. I noticed that a lot of classmates have problems with homework or assignments after school, or have questions that need to be answered. For instance, some may have forgotten to bring a book or a sheet home, and need a photocopied version. Others may have forgotten the due date for an assignment. Yet others were confused about the requirement or certain questions. When this happens, students are supposed to contact each other, but not everybody has the right contact information to reach out for help. Knowing this, I took the initiative to ask my classmates who wished to participate in an online forum for help. All but a few of my classmates agreed that this was a good idea, so I created a Google Group, managed the membership, set up the rules for the group, and facilitated the communications. I also solicited a few classmates who were willing to manage the group when I am not available. The project is currently running smoothly with several discussion topics going on in parallel. A recent poll suggests that the class is thankful for the service.