C100 and Wanxiang Corporation Pioneer Clean-Tech Teaching Scholars Program in China

Jay Xu

Michael-leeThe C100 – Wanxiang Teaching Scholars Program – under the U.S. State Department’s 100,000 Strong Initiative – marked the first collaboration between the Committee and Wanxiang America Corporation. Built on the foundation of the Committee’s Summer Teachers Institute, this year’s partnership with Wanxiang initiated a new phase in C100’s Educational Exchange Program with the integration of China’s renewable energy developments and the inclusion of science teachers in the program.

Eighteen California middle and high school teachers participated in the month-long program from June 18 to July 14. The first week began with a pre-travel orientation in the Bay area. Teachers received basic Chinese language instruction and attended UC Berkeley instructor-led lectures on Chinese history and clean energy.

C100 member engagement included Leslie Tang Schilling, the lead supporter of the Summer Institute since its 2007 inception, and Jay Xu, C100 Bay Area Vice Chair and Director of the Asian Art Museum, which generously provided the orientation’s reception venue.

In the second week, the teachers experienced cultural immersion in Beijing and Xi’an. During the second and third weeks, participants attended lectures at Hangzhou Wanxiang Polytechnic, visited local clean-tech plants, and participated in mutual learning exchange sessions with local Chinese high school teachers. The American teachers incorporated the Chinese teachers’ feedback into their lessons plans to be taught to U.S. students this fall.


C100 Teachers Delegation visit Zhejiang Amber Deneng Natural Gas Power Company.

Angie Tang, Executive Director, and Mercy Kuo, Managing Director, observed and assessed the program lectures and site visits in Hangzhou.  Sharon Owyang, C100 Senior Associate for Research, and Nancy Sato, program evaluator for previous Summer Institutes, co-led the China trip. C100 Senior Associate for Education Karen Leong Clancy coordinated this year’s program logistics with the C100 main office.

The teachers deeply appreciated exchanging ideas with Chinese experts, teachers and more than 30 Wanxiang Polytechnic student ambassadors. Steve Carson, a social studies teacher at Westborough Middle School in South San Francisco, confirmed the impact of C-100’s educational exchanges and public diplomacy efforts: “We had the opportunity to talk with scientists, teachers, artists, and students about what it means to build, in their words, a new China. I will remember each of them as I talk about China here at home. This trip will extend and deepen every lesson I teach about China.”

Mark Malcolm, Physical Science and History teacher at the Ingrid B. Lacy Middle School in Pacifica, noted: “All of us came in order to gain a better understanding of China; science is just another part of that understanding. But to understand the science you have to understand the culture. This trip gave me a much deeper appreciation of both.”

Speaking for all the teachers, East Palo Alto High School biology teacher Amy Wong thanked the Committee “for putting into action an experience that truly shifts our perspective. We hope that we can continue to improve U.S.-China relations even upon our return to the States.”

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