HUST in Interview     
Visiting HUST students, 2012 (from left to right): Yangyang Liu,
Hao Chen, Chaoke Guo, Xiaocong Gong (blogger), Dr. Zheng Zhang
(program instructor),
Jin Chen, Ting Ge, Shuyu Liang.


Observers from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China 

For the past 3 years, upper-level students from HUST (Hubei University of Science and Technology) have come to observe and import elements of Catapult, Rose-Hulman's uniquely successful summer program for high-schoolers aspiring to an engineering career.


The following blog posts are written by Xiaocong Gong, an upper-class student at Hubei University of Science and Technology in Hubei Province, China.

Xiaocong Gong:

  Chinese dumpling night
First attempt at making Chinese dumplings --
to demonstrate Chinese cuisine to Catapult students

When the catapult began, we had a plan that we could bring Chinese culture closely to the students here. We planned to cook Chinese dishes, but it seemed that it was too difficult for us newbies to cook dishes for such many people in a short time and the facility of cooking is limited. So we cancelled this plan and decided to choose an easier way to make it happen. Though it seemed a great idea, we had quite a little disagreement on this case. On one hand we do want to make some noise other than working and offering help on the projects,  on the other hand we held little confidence in our cooking and we really wanted to make it successful. Finally, dumpling becomes our choice because it's easier to cook (though more difficult to prepare). We bought all the material (Flour, pork, celery and so on) in Walmart. Dr. Song drove us there. And we borrowed some necessary tools from Dr. Song' wife---Auntie Jiang.  There at Scharpenberg Hall, our 8 were divided into server groups. One group mainly taught the catapult students how to make dumplings, while one another taught them Chinese paper cutting and writing Chinese Calligraphy. Also on the screen plays "A bite of China",the recently hit documentary TV series that introduces Chinese food. Most of them have never seen how they make food in China and the video arouse wonder and surprise there. We taught them simple words in Chinese like "你好 (Hello)", "我爱你 (I love you)" etc. And we also have their translated name in Chinese written on our self-made bookmarks as a special gift of the Dumpling night. We were deeply touched when they put this little gift in their name cards in front of their chest and bring it for the rest of Catapult days. The Dumpling Night lasted for two and a half hours, much longer than we had expected.


     Dumpling night Catapult
     We joined Catapulters with late night activities
in the famous Catapult
5-hour sleep schedule

Catapult has the most intense schedule on earth! Everything is mandatory (like being on time, taking intramurals and any other big event) but the students are still making fun out of it. They have cos shows, they combine punishment with amusement, and they LOVE sports. Timetable is always full from 8 am to 2 am the next day.


 Dumpling night Bookmark   
On "Dumpling Night" we gave gifts to each Catapult attendee: hand-drawn bookmarks inscribed with
 of their American names into Chinese characters.  





One day when we were cooking in the kitchen, one friend came and asked us if there is still arranged marriage, if Chinese men still have braid. Aha, it is certainly untrue about that. China has changed a lot since 1949, the founding year of PRC.  And another friend , Eric is totally in the opposite condition. He has lived in China for 2 years while his father worked in Shanghai. Eric speaks Chinese fluently with a good pronunciation. Eric says he chats with his Chinese friend in Shanghai face to face on skype every week. He also has the music mania. One girl Yangyang in our group is also a music fanatic so they have much to talk about.


Students here leave a strong impression on us that they have a strong ability to practice when they come across a problem. Most of the students are doing whatever they are interested in. And interest is the best teacher. Students here seem to be innovative in the DNA. They do not want to repeat what they have done, instead, they want to explore. Teachers and students are completely equal here in class.