Collaborative learning

From left: Chalachew, Nancy, Hulu, and Gertrude

This picture captures one of my favorite memories. Yes, we are doing work. This is Day 3 of JUAMI, with Professor Yury Gogotsi giving the supercapacitor tutorial in the morning and Kelsey Hatzell leading the afternoon learning activities.

Every afternoon, following a top-notch tutorial on the topic of the day (all of them were exceptional! thank you professors!), Ben would run his random group generator program to break us into groups of 4-6 students. In this picture, we are solving problems related to supercapacitors, similar to what a graduate student in the field would do regularly for data analysis in his/her research. What is memorable about these two hours to me is that everyone in my group really wanted everyone to be on the same page in understanding the problems and doing them correctly. And even after the allocated time for group learning was over and coffee hour had begun, we wanted to finish the problems!

JUAMI provided a very unique experience in truly cross-cultural collaborative learning. We all come from different research backgrounds, speak different languages, but share a common interest in materials for sustainable energy. In graduate school in the US, meeting people from many different countries is common, but working in these small groups was still very special for me. I was really amazed by the level of motivation and mutual respect among our entire JUAMI group. Later on, I found out that we also have a lot of creativity (e.g. the nano-windmills and moon expeditions proposed on Day 10)

The supercapacitor day was also the day I learned to say "thank you" in Amharic. Hulu kindly wrote it out for me and repeated it for me about 20 times so that I could learn how to pronounce it properly. Ameseginalehu!

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