Four students from Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong tell us about their incredible recent learning experiences and successes on the world stage, from composing music to students expanding their STEAM education across the world.
STEAM education trip at MIT-Nord Anglia
15-year-old Arianna is in Year 10 at Nord Anglia. She has been at the school since her family moved to Hong Kong in 2014.
The MIT-Nord Anglia STEAM trip went from 27 October to 3 November 2023. Around 50 people attending from a variety of countries around the world, including the US, Spain, Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the UAE. There were many, many highlights that occurred during the trip, but being able to work in teams to design a product, and the opportunity to collaborate with not only our team members, but also with the MIT faculty was a huge honour. I’ll also not forget the product my group made. It was a TIM toy (TIM is MIT’s beaver mascot) – and I had the actual TIM take a photo with the toy!
I also enjoyed being able to get to know other students. I learnt about their experiences and interests inside and also outside of school, while also making new friends! It was also nice just to walk around Cambridge and Boston. I’m keen to pursue STEAM education in the future. I’m hoping it leads me to opportunities that focus on graphic design and web development
Kyle is 14 and in Year 10. He was born in New York but moved to HK at age two. He has been with Nord Anglia since the opening of the Lam Tin Campus in 2014.
Nord Anglia Education has a special partnership with MIT which sees NAE students from around the world participate in a workshop week at MIT. This year marked the return of the program following COVID. There was a competition based around engineering skills to determine whether you earned a spot on the MIT trip. All the students on the trip were winners of this competition.
Highlights for me included using technology such as laser cutters (so awesome!) and 3D printers, and conquering the Boda Borg puzzle rooms with my new friends. I also liked meeting people interested in the same things I am. And I enjoyed sharpening my brain with tough problems, and learning new things I could apply to my current life. It’s not something I’ll forget easily.
I’ve loved Science since I was a little child and my ultimate goal (probably unlikely!) is to become an astronaut. I’ve been fascinated by space and technology for as long as I can remember and I’m hoping this drive to pursue a career in STEAM, as well as the desire to make our world a better place using Science, can lead me back to MIT when I graduate.
UNICEF-Nord Anglia New York Student Summit
Sixteen-year-old Soleil is from Hong Kong. He has been a Nord Anglia student since Year 3, when the school opened its first campus here.
I had taken part in student leadership programmes for a number of years, and also developed communication and collaboration skills through MUN competitions. As a result, the school gave me the opportunity to sign up for the Student Summit. Knowing it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I immediately wrote a letter of application. When it was approved, I was ecstatic!
The summit ran for five days in July, with around 130 students attending in New York from 65 NAE schools around the world. It involved discussions and debates around solving different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and about youth engagement and advocacy. I took in several pieces of advice that I will try and use in school and my personal life, with a view to making our planet a better place to live.
We worked in groups, with each one given a specific SDG to consider (ours was Reduced Inequalities). After a few days of insightful discussions, we presented in front of students, supervisors and members of the NAE executive board. There was plenty of praise for our passion and desire to provide solutions.
Throughout this trip, many friendship bonds were created, and I was lucky enough to meet two very good new friends. One goes to school in Chengdu and the other in Hanoi.
I also enjoyed exploring Times Square. When I was young, I wanted one day to walk along those streets with their colourful electric billboards. The day I arrived in New York, I was mesmerised to see those breathtaking scenes with my own eyes.
Achievements composing music
Natalie was born and raised in Hong Kong and is a Year 13 student who has been at NAISHK for almost six years. She’ll be graduating next year.
From the age of seven, I have competed and performed in Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai and Vienna. I was the principal French Horn in my primary school orchestra which won a Gold Award in the 2018 Bratislava International Youth Music Festival.
In 2022, I joined the HK Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (MYO) and performed in concerts and flash mobs at prestigious events such as the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit and the HK Airport 25th Anniversary Celebration. After I won my school talent show with a composition dedicated to my sister, I discovered my talent for composing. I participated in the Council of British International Schools Composition Competition and the Nord Anglia Education Young Musician of the Year (Composition). I also started sharing my music on social media.
My Nord Anglia music teachers are extremely supportive of my musical dreams. They invited me to conduct a school ensemble in our winter concert last year, performing my piece “December”. This gave me the confidence to share my work with the public. In May 2023, MYO conductor Synthia Ko and alumnus Elliot Leung, the first Hong Kong film composer to break into Hollywood, encouraged me to take part in a composition masterclass led by Mr Martin O’Donnell, composer for the video game series Halo. As the youngest participant out of 10 spots, I received positive feedback on my film composition,“The Rise of the Phoenix”, from Mr O’Donnell.
I was also selected to participate in the Jazz Composers Academy, hosted by the HK Jazz Academy. It was there that I produced my first recorded composition “Old Vinyls” under the guidance of award-winning HK jazz composer Alan Kwan. My piece was performed at my school and as the finale of a concert at the Hong Kong City Hall in December.
Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong has three campuses, in Sai Kung, Lam Tin and Kwun Tong.
3958 1428 | nais.hk
This article on Nord Anglia and their music and STEAM education first appeared in the Winter 2023/2024 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!