The American College of Sofia (ACS) put on display the innovative technologies in use at the school as it took its turn in March 2019 to host Founders’ Day, in a growing tradition that it shares with schools in South Eastern Europe that have similar histories, missions and values.
Speaking at the opening, ACS President Dr Richard Ewing emphasised the educational and cultural exchange between these vibrant school communities, that share comparable origins “and enduring legacies as outstanding educational institutions serving their communities”.
Underlining that common bond, he said that all of the participating schools had been founded “on what has been called the American Idea – the fundamental belief in the rights of all people, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
“We are also all schools founded on the ideals of service, as well as academic excellence, and we are all schools that have grown and developed in the heritage and the unique spirit of their hosting communities.”
At the opening, the pupils representing the American College of Greece, Tarsus American College (Turkey), Üsküdar American Academy in Istanbul (Turkey), American Collegiate Institute in Izmir (Turkey), SEV American College in Istanbul (Turkey), International College in Beirut (Lebanon) gave presentations on the histories, values and current-day lives of their schools.
For the American College of Sofia, it was also a moment to display the origins of the school, its roots dating back to antecedents before its formal founding in 1860, through its growth in the 20th century and its inspiring revival in the 1990s in the then-new transition to democracy.
The event was hardly only about history, though, but about experiencing the use of innovative technologies at the ACS that make it a top school in Bulgaria, with a student body of international and Bulgarian students.
These technologies include Chromebooks, Audio-Visual Studio, Robotics, 3D and Computer Assisted Design labs.
A particular drawcard of interest to the visitors was the Innovation in Action exhibition, featuring the work of ACS Olympiad participants.
On display were seven projects, presented by 11 ACS pupils. The projects included:
“Ecoscanner” (ReScan), an application that scans the bar codes of various products manufactured in Bulgaria and that shows information about the characteristics of the item, including the material used in producing it.
“Physical Calculator”, a physics calculator that helps pupils in the process of solving mathematics and physics problems.
“Enhanced Reality Teaching”, an application, aimed at being as eco-friendly and cost-effective as possible, putting textbooks for pupils in a single place to access.
Four of the seven projects involved internet applications. These were:
“Tic-Tac 2.0 Chess Tactics”, a game where a user may play against a friend or compete with a computer.
“ACS OS”, described as an internet application that provides pupils with the chance to take interactive notes during classes, to have all their school material organised and to save some money while achieving an excellent academic performance.
“Project for learning English (EnglishKo), a platform that makes it easier for pupils to study English, with various levels, interactive problems and tests on different topics, such as animals or clothing.
The “Banana Fiesta” challenges the user, controlling a monkey in the game, to collect all the bananas on a tree in 30 seconds or less.
As ACS Communications Director Alexander Tomov explains it, “our goal is to spark interest in computer science innovations so that more students engage in the creation of innovative ideas in computer science and interesting projects.”
For more information about the American College of Sofia, including admissions of international students, please visit the school’s website.
(Main photo, at the top of the page: American College of Sofia President Dr Richard Ewing with students at the March 2019 Founders’ Day event. Both photos provided by the American College of Sofia)
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