Students from Chulalongkorn University (CU) played host to Republic Polytechnic students from the School of Technology for the Arts (STA).
A fascinating, fun and fruitful experience.
That’s how students from Republic Poly’s (RP) STA students described the TF SCALE 2022 outbound project held in Bangkok, Thailand in April.
Filled with excitement, students got to business the second everyone settled into their hotel rooms. Headed by the diploma leaders, students gathered every night at the hotel lobby for team meetings. From logistics to manpower, each nitty-gritty detail was discussed to the dot.
Of all the activities planned for the elderly, the dragon dance segment took a great deal of time to plan. There were countless things to do in a limited time frame. In particular, logistics were a major concern for the students as making the dragon was no easy feat. Made entirely out of paper, cardboard and some paint, the design was the work of students from the diploma in Arts and Theatre Management.
Students were also tasked with designing decorations in accordance with the Chinatown theme. They had to come up with hand-crafted designs using materials that they acquired from a trip to the local Chinatown.
Apart from the logistics, one thing that was crucial to ensuring that the event ran smoothly was a site recce. A week prior to the event, the STA students headed down to the Mitrapapsongkroh Foundation for elderly women. After setting up the space for the event, the students engaged the elderly to find out what in Chinatown resonated with them the most so as to make sure they included those elements to make the event more enjoyable.
Miss Laddawan, 80, shared that she thoroughly enjoyed the interactions she had with the STA and CU students.
“I am very happy to meet all the students today. Interacting with students is refreshing for me as I constantly interact with old people here, so it changes my outlook!” said Miss Laddawan.
On the day of the event, the elderly were immersed in amusing activities.
With STA students as emcees for the programme, the day kicked off with them introducing themselves in Thai. A valiant effort but it triggered a few giggles in the room.
The elderly were then brought on a virtual introductory tour of Chinatown. STA students from the Diploma in User Experience (DDUX) created this tour.
Guiding them through the area, the elderly witnessed the sights and sounds of the locations that had a strong tie with Thai Chinese culture. Witnessing how each place transformed throughout the day was a crowd favourite.
After completing the tour, the emcees delved right into the next activity – decorating the dragon. As the students had made only the head and tail of the dragon, it was up to the seniors to do the rest.
Using red, orange and yellow scale-shaped paper, they had a whale of a time deciding the different patterns for the arrangement of the scales. The seniors were focused on coming up with various ways to glue the pieces onto the body.
Soon after, STA students went around each table and engaged the elderly who had done their part in making the body of the dragon. Students from the Diploma in Game and Gamification (DDGG) distributed filters. Made using Augmented Reality (AR), these filters depicted ancient and traditional Thai masks that date centuries back. Not only were the elderly impressed by the technology, it also brought about a wave of memories as many of them recalled that these masks were a common sight during their time.
While the elderly were busy trying the AR filters, some of the STA students were simultaneously piecing together the body of the dragon. With time working against them, they had to work fast and efficiently. However, a little hard work and determination led them to complete it in the nick of time.
To the audience’s delight, the students surprised them with a dragon dance performance as traditional Chinese music played in the background.
To mark the end of the day, firecrackers were lit up outside the home. Due to the elderly’s limited mobility, STA students streamed a broadcast of the firecrackers onto a television, where they could watch from the comfort of their own seats. As this was the first time most of the students and some of the elderly had witnessed the crackling of the firecrackers, the new experience was a sight to behold.
A LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Lim Yu Xin Erina,19, a Year 2 student from the Diploma in Design for User Experience said the diversity of opinions and perspectives among team members necessitated thorough research and a more prolonged decision-making process.
“Effective communication and discussions among team members facilitated prompt and amicable resolutions. Our compatibility in work styles and flexibility in adapting to one another further contributed to our successful collaboration,” she added.
Many lessons were learnt throughout the project. From the immersion in Thai culture to the bonds forged and friendships gained, this project was seen as nothing short of a success.