With snow melting and breeze from the south, spring is coming to the campus of Jiufang Middle School. On the evening of February 28, 2022, bursts of laughter came out of the academic lecture hall of Jiufang Middle School of Zhuzhou City. Teachers and students of the school’s SSI-L project team and some students of the 10th-grade Hongzhi class welcomed their long-awaited distinguished guest with the warmest applause, Liu Liu, an external expert of the school’s SSI-L project team and an engineer of China CRRC Railway Research Institute.
Under the Alliance of Improving Scientific Literacy (AISL), the SSI-L project is a science education cooperation project jointly initiated by the Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment for Basic Education Quality at Beijing Normal University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 2020, Jiufang Middle School, as one of the first batch of SSI-L project base schools has been actively promoting SSI-L teaching practice and exploration based on its own situations and learning conditions. Teachers and students from the project team have completed several SSI issue selections and investigations, including “Why is the prevalence of lung cancer increasing year by year?” “Should high-speed rail stations be located in urban areas or suburbs?” “Intelligent railway and urban traffic issues”. They have successfully concluded the first round of SSI-L teaching based on the work plan, and achieved the initial goal of two-way education of core disciplinary literacy and the cultivation of scientific emotional attitudes and values.
In the second round of the 10th-grade SSI-L teaching, the SSI issue selected by the teachers and students of the project team is “Intelligent railway and urban traffic issues”. In order to break through the bottleneck problems the team has on the motivating questions during SSI-L teaching, Liu Liu, an external expert who works in the Zhuzhou Institute of CRRC Railway Research Institute and is responsible for research and application of intelligent railway system and transportation organization strategy, gave a lecture titled “Intelligent Rail Rapid Transit System and the Application in Zhuzhou”. The lecture covers the research and development background of the Intelligent Rail Rapid Transit System, its body system, running system, control system, network system, auxiliary system, traction system, signal and communication system, and others. He presented a large number of visually illustrative videos and pictures and gave a detailed introduction to the basic principles of the system’s core technology. The lecture made the teachers and students of the SSI-L project team feel enlightened with some of the long-standing doubts being clarified. Liu also took the application of this intelligent system in Zhuzhou as an example, and showed the marketization process with detailed data, and his vision for the future application of the intelligent railway in urbanization and metropolitan circles, both domestically and internationally. When Liu pointed out, against the backdrop of transportation technology monopoly and suppression of western powers, particularly the US and European countries, China has grown into the most developed country in railway transportation around the world by relying on the tenacious working spirit of science and technology personnel of CRRC for multiple generations, and the intelligent railway developed by CRRC Zhuzhou is one of the four trains with independent Chinese intellectual property rights, students’ national pride and patriotism was spontaneously aroused and the venue burst into warm applause and cheers.
After the speech, on behalf of all teachers of the project team, Dr. Li Yongping, leader of the teachers’ research and development team of the school’s SSI-L project, discussed with Liu about the relationship between smart railway layout planning and the scale of cities. Student groups also raised questions and interacted with the external expert. Liu answered their questions in detail one by one. When they learned that the young engineer Liu was a “student icon” graduated from a famous university, lots of “fan” students emerged at the venue, asking him to share his learning experience in high school. Quoted Tao Yuanming, a famous poet of the Jin Dynasty, “To study diligently is like growing seedlings in spring. We cannot see how much they grow but they are growing day by day. To drop out is like a sharpening stone. We cannot see how much it abrades but it’s damaged day by day”, Liu encouraged students to take small steps every day and make progress in the long run, and to harness their skills and serve the motherland in return. In response to some of the students’ enquiries, he also said after the lecture that he would advise students who are interested in working in the railway transportation industry in the future on which majors to choose for the college entrance examination application.
It has always been the school’s education philosophy to make every teacher and student well developed.
SSI-L teaching offers great opportunities and platforms to promote students’ in-depth learning, the development of students’ core literacy and teachers’ professional quality. The school has attached great importance to this academic lecture. Chen Handong, secretary of the school party committee, principal and head of the school’s SSI-L project, and some key teachers attended the meeting. Li Pingjun, vice principal of the school and project director, granted Liu Liu a five-year external expert certificate of the school’s SSI-L project.