The rapid evolution of Artificial Intelligence forces us to keep thinking about what kind of education is future-oriented, and one thing we can be sure of is that we need to take students out to see the real world so that they can broaden their horizon and put what they learn in a real context.
Building Shanghai is a series of week-long PBL projects. During this week, SHBS students walk out of the classroom and into the wonders of Shanghai to do research, visit businesses, talk to scholars and professionals from Shanghai and around the world, and ask people of different jobs questions so that they can better understand how what they’ve learned at school relates to real-world challenges.
"Building Shanghai" started on March 27, Monday, this year. All teachers and students worked together and carried out more than a dozen PBL projects. Let's look at what the Emerging Sports Group did during this trip.
With the development of society and economy, the post-05 generation of teenagers demonstrate more effort in seeking for the meaning and value of their life; More and more students in internationalized high schools are becoming interested in subjects like philosophy, psychology, politics and economics. In general, their choices of majors are more likely to be influenced by their own interests and hobbies, and they pursue more diversified dreams. Many students in SHBS are interested in sports management and general health. Therefore, during this year's Building Shanghai, teachers and students co-created "Emerging Sports", an exploratory and learning project, and they tried and did an in-depth research on four emerging sports, namely rock climbing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, boxing and mixed martial arts. Students conducted their research mainly from three aspects: the sports themselves, the development of the industry, and how the founders started their businesses and their management experience.
On the first day, students gathered in the classroom to get familiar with the overall structure of the project and the schedule of off-campus interviews, and they discussed the questions they wanted to explore in preparation for the subsequent interviews and research. Students raised very good questions, such as: What is special about these sports? What will the profiles of the hobbyists look like, in terms of age, gender, personality, income level? Since these sports are not very popular, what difficulties will people encounter while promoting them? How will the industry develop in the future? How did the founders get involved in those sports and why did they decide to start a business in the field? What difficulties and challenges did they meet with while starting their business, and how did they cope with those difficulties and challenges?
Based on their abilities and interests, the students joined the "reporter group", "research group" and "photography group" respectively. The reporters group was mainly responsible for sorting out and analyzing the questions that the students wanted to raise for the entrepreneurs, and figuring out the questions to be asked during the final interview. The research team mainly searched for relevant formation via the network and database on the historical development of the sports themselves, the information and data on the development of the industry, and worked out a questionnaire, and finally integrated all the information to write a comprehensive research report. The photography and video team is mainly in charge of the filming and post-editing of interviews, and the filming and recording of a Vlog for the the whole project.
When everything was ready, we visited and explored 1778 Rock Climbing Gym. The students watched and learned a lot about the climbing gym and the sport itself: what do different colors of climbing points mean; How do various levels of climbing paths differ; Which muscle groups of the body are mainly exercised in this sport; What health benefits are there; What need to be paid attention to in this event; How can we avoid getting injured where it is vulnerable; What kind of people generally come here to do climbing; General charging standard and operating model and so on.
Guided by the founder, Mr. Terry, we were very honored to try the sport and have the opportunity to conduct an in-depth interview with Mr. Terry. He started his business because he loved this sports event. He told us that when he first tried this sport, strangers below cheered him on as he climbed upward, giving him a sense of the spiritual power as well as fun produced by the sport itself. He struggled to make his business survive the 3 years of covic pandemic. Because he wants to make this place an ideal land for young people who love rock climbing, there are not many climbing courses available for teenagers, and he has had trouble operating his business. Mr. Terry shared with us some of the efforts and attempts of Shanghai Climbing Alliance has made to promote the development of this sport, as well as the challenges he has met with and his planned solutions to those problems while managing his business.
We had a better and deeper understanding of the sport, the development of the industry and gym management, and business model. More importantly, we were greatly impressed by Mr. Terry's enthusiasm for the sport, and his positive and upright business philosophy.
On the second day, we visited Bushido, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym. We were honored to be able to watch them go through a full training session. Although a number of female trainees were present, the training gym was still filled with male hormones. In addition to the research and questions we had prepared the night before, we also raised some excellent questions after the observation, such as the structural design of the training course, and the culture behind the Oss etiquette at the beginning and end.
After observing the training session, we interviewed one of the students. He said that he took up jiu-jitsu because he was bullied at school, and jiu-jitsu is a sport that requires a lot of skills and strategies. If you master it, you can defeat opponents who are much tougher than you, and you will feel more confident and protected. He was fascinated by the learning of offensive and defensive strategies.
We were also honored to have an in-depth interview with Mr. Saulo, one of the founders of Bushido, who shared with us his business story, operation and publicity model, opportunities and challenges he has encountered. He said it is difficult to introduce Brazilian jiu-jitsu to China because it is a close combat and requires a lot of body contact on the ground, whereas Chinese culture is relatively conservative and people find it hard to accept the sport.
However, years of promotion and development have made more and more people gradually realize the charm of this sport. He has opened franchise stores in many cities, and he is very optimistic about its future development.
On that afternoon, we visited Qingpu Wanda Mall J. Climbing Gym. The founder started her business because she loves rock climbing. The gym mainly offers training program for teenagers. During an in-depth interview, we once again realized that people can really shine because of their passion for and dedication to what they love.
On the third day we visited Boxing Republic, a boxing gym. Guided by Mr. Simon, its founder, we were honored to learn about some of the basic stances, footwork and punches of the sport, and have the opportunity to conduct an in-depth interview. Mr. Simon told us that the most important reason why he founded the gym was that he liked boxing and practiced it regularly.
However, he found that many people stopped going there for practice after a period of time. The main reason was that the environment of most boxing gyms is not very pleasant, and they are often filled with bad odor.
Therefore, it occurred to him to establish a boxing gym with better environment and management. During our interview with him, Mr. Simon shared with us a lot about his startup and business management, as well as about the current development of this sport and the industry.
On the fourth day, we visited Animal MMA, a gym for mixed martial arts. Mr. Kyle Rozewski, the owner of the gym, used to be a professional MMA athlete who achieved outstanding results in CJK, Kunlun and other competitions. Mr. Kyle taught us the basics of twisting.
We also interviewed Mr. Kyle for half an hour. Kyle expressed his views on the reason why he chose professional MMA and how he started his own martial arts club, the current status of development for MMA training venues in Shanghai, and status quo of well-known MMA events at home and abroad. Kyle was born in a small town in the United States, where few people knew MMA.
He came into contact with this sport by chance and gradually fell in love with it. Kyle also told us how he once got a quick KO in 1 minute of the first round. That failure made him more committed to hard training and he invested a lot of time in training. He said, "If you want to succeed in doing something, doing it out of interest is far from being enough, but you will have to keep working hard day after day, year after year."
This week-long project not only helped students master scientific methods such as interview design, industry research, database search and analysis, but also let them have a deep understanding of these emerging sports and their management and operation. More importantly, students were deeply impressed by the stories and personal charm of those founders, who inspired them to find and stick to what they love.