Aero/Astro junior Brandon Le develops STEM workshop for students in Korea--and unexpectedly discovers new world
Brandon Le, right, guides students in programming their Arduino-based autonomous robot

Teaching, mens et manus style

After several weeks of brainstorming and planning back at home as part of the MIT-Korea Program's inagural Global Teaching Labs project, Brandon and a team of 3 other MIT students arrived at Korea International School (KIS) near Seoul and launched what would become a very successful workshop on electrical and computer engineering for Korean high school students--done MIT-style. Brandon said, "We used many different instruments to incorporate the mens et manus methodology. To start, we introduced them to breadboards and LEDs, allowing them to actively learn about simple circuitry."

The end result was something KIS students didn't realize they were capable of building. Brandon eplained, "We expanded on the ideas of LED circuits and introduced programming through the use of Arduino circuit boards. This newe hardware then became the basis for the autonomous robots that the students were able to build later on." Despite the time and effort required to teach an intensive, hands-on workshop, Brandon--a photography and filming enthusiast--found some time to document his experience in video:

A whole new world

Although he'd travelled abroad several times before, Brandon was suprised by what he saw in Korea. "Living in Korea has exposed me to an entirely different world than what I am used to in the US. It has allowed me to look at things in a different perspective. In a lot of ways, it has actually taught me that the US is not as technologically advanced as we're led to believe," he said. And he hopes his future will at some point lead back there: "GTL-Korea convinced me that Korea would be an extraordinary choice for living abroad. While in Seoul, I fell in love with the city's young, modern, and technological lifestyle. . . GTL-Korea has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had while at MIT."

  • Korea
  • Internship
  • Teaching