MIT Students bring global teaching expertise to Aberdeen

At the start of term we welcomed MIT students Khanh Nguyen and Brandon Wang to Robert Gordon's College. Khanh, who is a 4th year Mechanical Engineering and Product Design Major, was placed in our Physics and Technology departments; Brandon, who is a 4th year Computing Science Major, was placed in the Computing Science department. 

Throughout the month of January they had a busy and varied schedule working with pupils across Junior and Senior School to deliver classes, lectures and assist in extra-curricular clubs. Their programme of workshops, lectures and lessons were based on topics they learn at MIT on Computing Science, Design and Technology disciplines. They explained to pupils the importance of problem solving at MIT as well as the ability to discuss and communicate your ideas and solutions, encouraging pupils to apply these techniques to all areas of their learning. 

Khanh taught lessons on design thinking, electricity, and the intersections of fashion and technology; and Brandon majored in sharing his experience of the world of data and coding. Pupils from Cults Academy, St Margaret's School for Girls and Mearns Academy joined us for a presentation on the experience of studying at an American university. 

Khanh and Brandon talk more about their experience at Robert Gordon's College.

Mrs Presslie, Director of Development, Marketing and Admissions highlighted: “We are extremely proud of the partnership with MIT which enables our pupils and staff to learn from a leading institution in science, technology and entrepreneurship education. Khanh and Brandon have been excellent role models for our pupils, demonstrating that hard work and ambition can offer interesting university and career choices. We are the first school in the UK to partner with MIT and are pleased to host the MIT students each January at Gordon’s. We want to offer our pupils the very best start in their educational journey allowing them the opportunity to be inspired, learn from great teachers and be ambitious across all subject areas.”

Mrs Maclean, Technology said: “Khan’s visit was a great experience for us all; she gave the pupils insight to studying abroad and being part of team that could affect real life problems through design and engineering. The pupils took part in a design thinking workshop which opened their minds to multiple possibilities. They found that in design there’s not one correct answer and that, by thinking out of the box first, they may discover new inventive ways to solve a problem.  Overall, it was a very positive experience for the pupils and it was great collaborating with her.”

Mr Hay, Computing Science commented: “Brandon introduced Python programming language and computational thinking to our S2 pupils, and also shared summaries of different Computer Science projects that he had been involved in with our S2/S3 pupils. He delivered lessons on Computer Networking and Internet Connectivity and assisted pupils in preparing for their upcoming prelim exams. Our Higher and Advanced Higher pupils learned about Graph theory and how trees/graphs are used to represent data such as Map Locations and other puzzles and how these can be traversed using depth first and breadth first searches. He delivered small tutorial groups on using Python record structures and algorithms and how to approach the composition of an algorithms. Brandon also helped develop an approach to computational thinking to assist pupils in the decomposition of a problem and provided details of further projects where pupils could extend their abilities before or during their application to universities.”