On October 29, 2019, Liu Wei, the high school principal of the SCLS domestic division, and Anthony Xu, a 9th grader from SCLS international division, were invited to join the 2nd annual forum of the World Laureate Association (WLA) and met with Nobel laureates and top scientists from all over the world.
What is the WLA?
It is a gathering of some of the world’s leading minds. As for the honored guests in 2019 WLA, there are total 65 world top scientists with 44 Nobel Prize winners and 21 winners of Turing Prize, Wolff Prize, Lasker Prize and Fields Medal, and are more than 100 scientists and academicians from the Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Passion for science at SCLS
Liu Wei, the high school principal of the SCLS domestic division, has Bachelor and Master degrees in Engineering from Tsinghua University, and a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. She was also a student of Professor Chung King Law, an academician from both the United States National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. After her graduation, she worked at Argonne National Laboratory in the US. Liu Wei noted, “I am not working in the field of science research anymore”, but in a career to discover, support and raise future scientists.
Anthony Xu, a grade 9 student in SCLS international division, is talented in math and science. He earned a perfect score at the Canadian Waterloo math contest and entered the top 1% of American Math Competition 8 and 10 when he was in grade 6 and 8. He took 4 AP exams with perfect scores including AP Physics 1, Physics 2, Chemistry and Calculus BC when he was in grade 8. He even established STEM club in SCLS.
Amazing table 6: 3 Nobel laureates and several leading young scientists
Fortunately, Liu Wei and Anthony Xu sat at table number six in the afternoon of the WLA forum. Other guests at table number six included Steven Chu, the Physics Nobel Laureate in 1997, the 12th United States Secretary of Energy and Professor of Physics at Stanford University; Michel Mayor, the Swiss astrophysicist and the latest Physics Nobel Laureate; Serge Haroche, the French physicist and the Physics Nobel Laureate in 2012; Tracy Slatyer, associate professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and recognized as World Top Ten Young Scientists of WLA; and Jiang Ying, the doctoral students supervisor and research associate of the international center for quantum materials in Peking University.
This full-day event considered such topics as artificial intelligence, 5G, quantum material, black holes and aerospace technology. Anthony said, “I cannot understand much of it, but it’s a meaningful experience to be in that kind of atmosphere.” He will be able to learn about those scientists’ research by searching online or in the library. But it’s always more fascinating when scientists explain their research to you directly in their own words.
Personalized support in talent development
After learning about the special experience of Liu Wei, scientists showed a great interest in the topic of nurturing science talents in elementary education. Professor Tracy Slatyer focused on how female students studying in science are being supported while Steven Chu asked Liu Wei how to balance between general education and the education of top talents.
Dr. Liu Wei said that it is the goal of SCLS to support the development of every student with emphasis on personalized education, especially on identifying young talent from the early stage. The school will provide many educational resources to students once their interest and potentials are identified. Some young science genius might be born with talent, but it is more important to create an atmosphere that encourages them to ask questions and face challenges that can ultimately bring out their passion for science.
Dr. Liu Wei was deeply impressed that Chinese young scientists are becoming more confident and active in world forums. The seeds and hope that we sow in elementary education will nurture more and more creative young Chinese talents in the future.
Article: Liu Li
Translation: Chen Liang