“As I heard the news that the school was gathering a volunteer group of young faculties to teach at Tanchang, and anyone who knows about robots was in great need, I thought to myself, that person should be me. So, I signed up for it,” Xing Yuan, an associate professor from the School of Mechanical Engineering said matter-of-factly when she recalled how she became a voluntary teacher in 2019. Ever since then, Xing has taken the development of Tanchang as her personal interest and tried her best to lift the county out of poverty.
Tanchang county in Gansu Province is one of the poverty-stricken areas in the country. As the whole Chinese nation is fighting for a full victory of poverty alleviation in 2020, Tianjin University paired up with Tanchang county in its fight against poverty and channeled great efforts to boost its education.Encouraging and sending talents to participate in relevant poverty elimination actions is one of the key measures the university has taken.
In the summer of 2019, Xing Yuan and other teachers arrived at Tanchang. They intended to make full use of their professional knowledge to open a whole new scientific world to the children there and broaden their horizons.
Actually, before their departing, a lot of preparations were made. Miss Xing planned to introduce robot development to children there. To make the classroom more active and interesting, Xing rehearsed several times in advance and invited her son to try out the class and give her some advice so she could improve the content. Xing and her team member even purchased five robots previously so that the children at Tanchang could see what a real robot was like and better understand the course.
To her joy, all those preparations worked out. Attracted by Xing's vivid introduction and the interaction with the robots, all children took an active part in the class. They studied the invention, development and future of robots and even drew their ideal robots on the paper. Looking at their paintings, Xing was touched and burst into tears. " I was so happy that I had inspired their imagination," Xing said, " our efforts paid off by their progress and passion in the class ".
The volunteer group has encountered many difficulties while teaching there, like poor living condition, intermittent water cut and power off, and even mudslide threat when there was heavy rainfall. “None of us backed off from the difficulties. Instead, we were overjoyed that we brought knowledge and hope to the young kids there,” Xing noted. Before they left the county, a young girl asked for their contact information. “She told us that she would contact us if she could go to college, which she dared not think of before. Can you imagine how fulfilling we were feeling then?” Xi said, her eyes glazing with delight and hope, “Nothing is more delightful than helping someone find his or her life aspiration.”
On top of the efforts to alleviate poverty through education, Xing also got involved in developing industries in this area. At the end of 2019, Xing and her colleagues were given the task of helping promote the packaging design of Tanchang-made honey according to market demands.
Xing suggested to combine the task with the School's course named industrial design so as to have more talented young students to join the work. After four weeks of strenuous work that involves market survey, product investigation and model building, the team put forward 10 distinctive packaging designs, two of which were selected for the product.
In the long run, the promotion of the honey packaging will facilitate its sales so that people there will gain more incomes and help to create a local brand. This will serve as a part of " Tanchang Development Pattern ". All these efforts contribute to the poverty elimination of this area.
Xing Yuan hoped that more and more people, especially young generations would participate in and contribute to the poverty alleviation actions through different ways and development principles, so that " we can better promote the well-rounded development of China".
By Zhang Qingluan
Editor: Eva Yin