BASK in ASK is a partnership bringing together Phillips Academy (PA) and its three Chinese partner schools: The High School Affiliated to Renmin University (RDFZ), Shanghai Datong High School (SDHS), and The Affiliated High School of Peking University Yunnan Experimental School (BDFZYN). Now in its third year, eighteen students and five teachers from PA are joined by seventeen students and eight teachers from the Chinese partner schools.
Designed to be an intensive three-week summer program, set in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, it is a multidisciplinary program focusing on environmental issues related to water — critical to both China and the US. Anchored by challenging courses, the work in the classroom is supplemented by regular field trips, where students can consider the issues from the classroom as they materialize in the “real world.”
A science course, taught by biologists and chemists, is paralleled by courses in economics, ethics, and language and culture. Resting on this foundation of strong disciplinary knowledge, afternoon seminar sessions are devoted to the challenging task of integrating multidisciplinary perspectives. All four schools see the program both as an exciting program for students and an important professional development opportunity for teachers. For their culminating project, students work in multinational teams to develop research projects that span the disciplines of their summer’s work, and have relevance to the countries of the participants.