A Class Apart| Presenting our Projects to British Prime Minister

Background: British Prime Minister Theresa May paid a three-day official visit to China from 31st January to 2nd February at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Wellington College China was honoured to be one of the invited exhibitors at UK-China Future Classroom, an exclusive education showcase event attended by British Prime Minister Theresa May as part of China-UK Business Forum in Shanghai. Two of our young Wellingtonians were inspired by presenting their science projects to the Prime Minister. Here are their stories…

Owen Chau

My name is Owen and I’m current a year 10 pupil at Wellington College International Shanghai. This is my third year at Wellington. It was an honour and an extraordinary experience for me to have the chance to meet the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and present my science project to her.

Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP (right), Secretary of State for International Trade, accompanied by Mr. John Edwards (left), British Consul-General Shanghai, visited at the UK-China Future Classroom and met with Ms. Joy Qiao, Chair of Wellington College China’s Board of Governors, Isabella and me

After waiting for three hours, we could finally see British Prime Minister slowly walking towards us, which made me understand how busy a country’s leader can be. After I introduced my work, which is called ‘Is it possible for humans to achieve immortality within 50 years?’,  British Prime Minister asked, “If it is possible to achieve eternal life, isn’t it going to cause a lot of problems?” I agreed, but said I think we will certainly be able to overcome the problems. Our College educates us to learn to see beyond present and look into the future, to serve the community, but also to convey a positive attitude to other people. I chose this topic for my science project so that I could express my feelings and hopes for the future, and I hope everyone will face the future with optimism. 

Science project by Owen Chau, which is called ‘Is it possible for humans to achieve immortality within 50 years?’

Isabella Chen

My name is Isabella from Wellington College International Shanghai. As a year 10 pupil, I was honoured that my science project, ‘Can pollution lead to human evolution’ was featured in the “Future Classroom” section of the China-UK Business Forum. Last Friday I had an opportunity to introduce my project to British Prime Minister, Theresa May. This is my fourth year studying at Wellington as one of the founding pupils. Concern for community reflects our College’s core values, so most of our research projects were proposing ideas for a better future society. 

My project is about the most serious ecological and environmental problem that we are currently facing, air pollution. There are two possibilities: humans must adapt to the hostile environment and evolve in unexpected ways or we motivate people to start changing their environment. I started by demonstrating existing evidences. For example, Africa is very sunny and hot, so naked skin can easily get damaged. Therefore, African people evolved darker skin to prevent UV damage. This shows how human can adapt to their environment through evolution. On the other hand, if we face the problem of air pollution by taking action now, then our future may be changed without the need to evolve. This is why I chose to look deeper into this topic: to make people aware of the impact of pollution.

Science project by Isabella Chen, ‘Can pollution lead to human evolution’

After the presentation, Owen and I asked British Prime Minister Theresa May if all the pupils and staff could have a group photo with her. “Of course!”, she said, and that’s how we captured the memorable moment with the help of Mr. John Edwards and his mobile phone.