AZ bioscence educators design curriculum for US-China youth exchange

March 30, 2009

By hammersmith

Arizona educators design science curriculum for US-China youth exchange

Challenge:TOMORROW is a 21-day China – U.S. Youth Program designed to bring Chinese and American youth together for cross-cultural immersion and leadership development around the theme “Two Continents, One Tomorrow, Endless Possibilities.” Together the students will address issues and generate ideas for creating the world they want to live in.

The planning and implementation of this experience focuses on building sustainable relationships and partnerships that will grow and expand beyond their time in China. The American students will meet, share, and learn with Chinese students and staff in a rural area of Henan province on SIAS University campus, and with a second group of students in Beijing, Haidian District. The two sites will provide the contrast of geography, socio-economics, and life styles in two distinctly different areas of China. This will enable the American students to gain a perspective of the vast differences between regions, economy, and development of people living in a country the geographic size of the United States inhabited with five times more people.

A semester pre-travel self-study program is designed to prepare the American students for the interaction with their Chinese counterparts. The curriculum will include the study of Mandarin; review of state, national, and world issues and current leaders, cultural aspects of both countries; and money and resource allocation and responsibilities. The camp curriculum will explore creative problem solving with an eye toward developing teamwork, collaboration, science exploration and leadership skills. Arizona bioscience educators Xan Simonson and Ken Costenson are developing and teaching the science curriculum portion of the program of study.

The Chinese staff will provide a portion of each day’s activities, the American staff will provide a portion, and a portion will be designed collaboratively. The teens will build on strengths and talents they already have while discovering new competencies through travel, interactions, and adventure. Each student will be supported in developing their own documentary in order to return home with examples and insights gained through their experiences. They will be prepared to inform their families, schools, and communities about what they have learned and to invite them to join in school/community partnerships for future exchange. Participants may apply for the camp by visiting

The application process is a measure of a participant’s commitment to being a part of the exchange. Completing the application will provide applicants a perspective of the world that will begin to broaden as they are involved in problem solving and finding necessary resources. Travel to Los Angeles begins July 8, with participants returning to LA on July 28, for a cost of $3,800 per person, all inclusive.

Challenge:TOMORROW is a partnership of Global Interactions, The China International Conference Center for Science and Technology, SIAS International University and YuZhoug Middle School. For additional information contact Jerrie Ueberle, President, Global Interactions, Inc. at or 602.906.8886.