August 07, 2017
During the recent school holidays, a group of Years 8, 9 and 10 students embarked on MLC’s first Innovation, Design and Technology USA Tour.

usatour02.JPGThe two-week tour had a strong STEAM focus in the areas of technology, science and social enterprise, and provided students with real life experiences that built on students’ learnings in the classroom.

The group first headed over to San Francisco and Seattle to enjoy a packed itinerary where they engaged in challenging workshops and visited world-famous museums and enterprises, then spent five days at an all-girls tech camp in Silicon Valley.

From tours around the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Boeing Factory, to visiting The Exploratorium, the Tech Museum of Innovation and the world’s largest all-digital planetarium at The California Academy of Science, students certainly visited a fascinating array of educational destinations and exhibitions designed to ignite their curiosity.

One of the highlights of the trip for these budding tech enthusiasts was heading to Silicon Valley, where they had the privilege of enjoying an exclusive Google X tour. At Google X, employees work on highly secretive projects to push the boundaries of technology and find radical solutions for global problems – not even other Google employees know what happens in there or even where it’s located!
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The students also visited Stanford and Santa Clara Universities, and even met up with some MLC Old Collegians.

The students then spent five days at Alexa Café, participating in workshops including coding with JavaScript, wearable electronics, mobile game design, web design, encryption and cyber security and 3D printing. These programs aim to inspire and empower the next generation of women in STEAM!

Jess, one of the participating students, commented on the program, “In the decoder squad, we started off by learning how to decode messages using shift cipher, first by hand, then by writing codes on our laptops to help encrypt and decrypt them. We have been working on our projects, which consist of incorporating our coding skills into helping a social movement. Our decoder squad experience has been extremely interesting and insightful!”

During the trip, the students also had the chance to visit iconic sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf, and celebrated the 4th July in true American style with fireworks and a picnic at Central Park in Santa Clara.

The girls returned inspired by what they have seen, experienced and learnt on this incredible trip – and are full of ideas and desire to pave their way in the technological world!
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