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Innovation and my time in Gwacheon Museum
Written by Matthew Choi | Published. 2018.05.21 20:46 | Count : 418

As I continue to go through my sophomore year, I reflected upon my previous experiences that I had as a sophomore, including my time at the Gwacheon Museum. I felt that early May was a reasonable time to return to Gwacheon Museum to continue partaking in my community service as a voluntary worker, and I hoped to reflect what type of person I wanted to become in the future.” I visited the museum on May 13th, and, unlike my two previous experiences in the museum, this trip brought me to think in depth about innovation. 

[Puzzles relating to tessellations, or continuous patterns (taken by Matthew Choi)]

This time, I volunteered to be in the special “math museum” section, where the museum set up displays promoting mathematical innovation. The math museum included several activities, including puzzles that involve the Pythagorean theorem and removal of keys, blocks that represent the sums of specific equations,, and board games requiring mathematical thinking and pattern-finding . Each voluntary worker was placed into a specific activity area, and for every hour, they worked for 50 minutes and took 10 minute breaks.

[Math Puzzles involving the Pythagorean theorem(taken by Matthew Choi)]

During this unique session, I was able to note that this particular section of the museum was set up to promote “innovation” through mathematical thinking. Innovation has been a term of crucial importance universally, and I felt that this may be what Costa Rica was lacking when I met some of their representatives last year during their time in South Korea to receive advice on technological development. The country was weak in STEM fields because their education lacked in innovational thinking processes, which was also the reason that in Korea, technological advancement is  being made rapidly. It seems to me that right now, innovational thinking would be prioritized highly in most jobs, and that it would be the most sought-out factor that would determine future jobs for the next-generation and beyond. 

[Picture of that shows how sums can be represented as shapes (taken by Matthew Choi)]

However, the status quo is where I face one concern. When I saw the children, I saw those who were willing to participate in these “innovative” activities, and others who seemed bored. I came to the realization that a main reason why some countries lack in the STEM field is because of how citizens are not “interested,” or do not care about the “innovation” at a young age. In other words, the best way to try to promote “innovation” in a community is to cultivate awareness and interest from a young age. 

All in all, my experience at the museum helped me see that merely learning or absorbing information is not going to be the most helpful way to achieve our dreams. Rather, it is crucial to incorporate that knowledge in an innovative way. Despite the concern that I faced when I was partaking in my voluntary service, I am glad to say that this particular time at in the museum was unique, and that it gave me an epiphany that innovation will be the future. 


Matthew Choi 
Asia Pacific International School

Matthew Choi  student_reporter@dherald.com

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