The high quality of performances at HAFS earned the school the nickname “Yongin Arts High School”; however, just like its reputation as one of the finest high schools in Korea, there is also a great intellectual fervor expressed through the trio of “Academic Festivals.” The three academic festivals, RC&P, R&D, and ARC, are academic presentations of the topics students have been studying intensively for a semester or a whole year. They take place at the end of each semester and students with the most creative, diligent, and in-depth researches receive awards and are given a chance to display their projects on the halls.
The RC&P program, short for Research, Creativity and Presentation, is the academic festival mainly for students in the International Department. Students get in groups of 4 to 6 and choose any topic to work on for the entire year. During the nine months given for preparation, the groups regularly meet up to discuss and work on their projects with the guidance of teachers as their mentors and seniors as TAs. Each group is appointed a meeting place, usually in conversation classrooms or in Lux Hall. There are also weekly reports which the groups are expected to fill out and submit. At the end of the year, the students are to choose among TED-style speech, video, exhibition or skit as their means of presentation. Along with the Reading Club, it is a newly created program aimed to provide International students with more diverse research opportunities.
Nineteen groups turned in their final report on the 30th of November, and the presentations took place on December 17th. Twelve groups who chose Ted-style speech gave their presentations in the Conference Room, five groups who used videos as well as two groups who performed skits gave their presentations in the Audiovisual Room.
As the program itself is new, there is plenty of room for improvement. First of all, many groups reported difficulty in determining their topic. Many presenters agree that deciding on vague, broad topics as well as setting unrealistic goals were the biggest reasons for wasted time. Groups simply ended up doing mostly mental research. Also, the designated places for the groups to work on their projects in also were not efficient for four to five groups were assigned the same room – if anything, the lack of Wifi and the noises coming from other groups’ brainstorming sessions served as distractions.
Also, time management was another problem. On the day of the presentation, the videos and skits took roughly two periods whereas the TED-style speeches lasted until after lunch. Another thing that the groups wanted to improve on was their relationship with the TAs and the supervising teachers.
Hopefully the International Department students learned from their experiences in the RC&P program this year through some trial and error. If these issues are foreseen and are taken care of next year through the students’ and the school’s efforts, the RC&P program would be able to provide a chance for the students to truly explore their interests deeply and let the world know of their original, creative discoveries.
BY Kim Young Bean ’18