CTBC International Academy Newsletter_Week 28


The midpoint of the semester has come and gone at CIA. With it are the worries about studying for midterms and the cool breezes from the remnants of spring. This second semester is proving to be more challenging than the first for a lot of students. Mostly due to teacher Jeff’s math and probability classes.

With spring comes new life, which is the general topic of the second semester biology course; life processes. Students have been learning about what types of energy there are, and how the body uses it. They have been learning about how microscopic cells use energy, and in turn how those cells combine to form tissues, organ and organ systems to complex minute to complex tasks in the body. This course also delves deeper into the more complicated structures on the cellular level as they have taken closer looks into how photosynthesis works on the molecular level. The seemingly alien world in the membrane of a thylakoid is a challenging one to understand. Not to mention the vocabulary! Unfortunately for the students, it doesn’t get much easier as cellular respiration is on deck.

Students have also started to explore the world of possibilities…this is meant in the most literal possible sense. They have begun to study the mathematics of probability and all the permutations, combinations and statistics that come along with it. The students had a chance to use their knowledge in a game of yahtzee. Yahtzee is a game that involves 5 dice and poker hands. One has a set of numbers they must roll over three turns in order to collect points. Full house, straight and three of a kind are some examples. Post activity, the students had to calculate what the probability was that a certain combination of dice would result in a full house, three of a kind etc. In case you were wondering, the probability of rolling 5 dice, all of the same number is 0.08%. The students discovered these probabilities in a fun and exciting way.

There is a new currency on the rise in Tainan, and not a cryptocurrency. It’s called Jeff-bucks. Students who have Jeff’s classes are given their own slot in a hanging shoe rack for their cellphones. Students who turn in their cellphones at the beginning of class have the potential to earn Jeffbucks at a rate of 0.75 per class, 0.25 for handing in their phone, 0.25 for arriving on time and 0.25 for completing class expectations. Once a student has earned one or more Jeffbucks, they can use them to purchase little snacks, puzzle games, and stationery supplies from the Jeff-vault. If the student doesn’t like what is in the Jeff-vault on a particular day, they can exchange their Jeff-bucks in for 5 minutes of free time of which they may use their phone. 1 Jeff-buck is the going rate for 5 minutes. Some students have adapted well to the idea and have been earning Jeff-bucks hand over fist, while others are still adjusting. Without a doubt, the program helps keep students engaged during class time.

The boys team watching attentively as Sean attempts a Yahtzee

The girls keeping a watchful eye on the result of Sharon’s turn