ACADEMIA NUTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Grace production a sell-out

CMU student invents tool to help autistic children

Chiang Mai group inspects drug rehab programme at Sattahip

Get dressed and jump in!

SME fashion show “En-Or De Lanna”

HSBC Young IT Entrepreneur Awards in Thailand

Grace production a sell-out

All that hard work finally paid of as Grace International School presented this year’s production, “The Mail-Order Bride” to sold-out audiences on May 13th and 14th.

Anya, “I thought we got married.” Eli, “Yes, that’s what matrimony means.”

As the audience found their seats, the room was filled with authentic music from the 1920’s to set the mood for what was to come. There was an air of anticipation as the house lights faded and the first actors entered the stage.

“C’mon Jim, hurry up!” Eli starts.

“I’m a comin’, I’m a comin’, I’m not as young as I once was,” Jim replies. And the so the fun and laughter began.

Victor (Bradley Favazza) explains to Anya how much Eli loves her

The storyline unfolds as we discover with Eli that his fianc้e, to whom he sent a letter every week, has married the postman who delivered them and has sent a Mail-Order Bride in her place. Soon the whole town is involved and rumors abound.

The eight-member cast, ranging from grades 9 to 12, had the audience on the edge of their seats. “I usually watch the audience most of time,’ says Renee Weygandt, the show’s Director, “I want to see if they are being touched in any way by what they are seeing on the stage. The young people seemed to get caught up in it the most. There were even a couple of girls who were bouncing in their seats when the two lead characters were reunited and then married at the end of the show. That tells me the actors did their job.”

The Cast: Stephanie Percy, Peter Harris, Hannah Hudson, Adrienne Huser, Joe Tehan, Justin Hughes, Natalie Hallead, and Bradley Favazza

The actors did more than just their job; they left lasting impressions on the audience. “The fact that the main character’s fianc้ married the postman was just classic. We laughed about it all the way home from the show,” said one audience member who attended Saturday night’s performance. “We were so impressed with Peter Harris (who played Jim) and Bradley Favazza (the Russian sea captain). He was so convincing with his Russian accent and the way he carried himself. Very impressive.”

Agnes (Natalie Hallead), Elizabeth (Stephanie Percy), Mabel (Hannah Hudson) discuss Anya’s fate.

Another audience member agreed. “Watching their performance I almost forgot that I knew these kids. I thought they were very believable.”

“This is the first Grace play that we’ve been to,” said one older gentleman “we won’t miss any in the future.” Rave reviews.

But it wasn’t just the actors who impressed the audience. The stage crew was a well oiled machine as they quickly (and frequently) made set changes. “We don’t have a curtain to close when a scene ends so the stage crew had to do their jobs with all eyes watching,” says Renee. “On Saturday night they even received applause from the audience, who obviously appreciated their hard work. They were our ‘behind-the-scenes’ heroes.”

This year’s production was polished and as professional as a High School play could be. The actor’s pulled off what some might have thought impossible. They did what they were taught. They remembered (most of) their lines. They stayed in character. They held for laughs. They made their director and producer proud, and they impressed their audiences and made them laugh. Who could ask for anything more ... Except maybe for another weekend performance.


CMU student invents tool to help autistic children

Staff reporter

Suradech Oothisin, student of the Occupational Therapy Department, Faculty of Associated Medical Technology, Chiang Mai University, has succeeded in developing an instrument to assist autistic children to control their balance.

Normally, the therapist uses a tipping chair to stimulate autistic children as they do not know how to position their head while moving the body, resulting in inability to balance themselves and thus often fall over.

If normal children lean forward and fall down, they learn how to step to prevent falling, but autistic children need 200-300 experiences before learning the same thing. The tipping chair, however, leaves them uncertain of their own speed, therefore, Suradech has invented an improved tool called a Vestibular (a word relating to the sense of equilibrium), using electricity from a battery to turn a motor to distribute electricity to a fiber chair to tip and measure speed.

Autistic children are often of high intelligence but suffer a lack of motor skills.


Chiang Mai group inspects drug rehab programme at Sattahip

Patcharapol Panrak

Sakorn Kongrahong, director of the public health and environment department of Sanpatong district, Chiang Mai, led a group of local youth leaders, volunteers and department officials to survey the drug addiction rehabilitation programme at Wiwat Pollamuang School, Sattahip, on May 19.

The school is situated in Sattahip Naval Base 2 area and is currently providing a programme for 200 drug-addicted convicts from various prisons. Currently there are not enough cells to accommodate them, creating an overflow of offenders at several prisons throughout the nation. The government is attempting to resolve this problem by transferring the prisoners to rehabilitation centres.

Vocational training is provided by Wiwat Pollamuang School during the 120-day programme, along with physical and psychological therapy, so that when the prisoners are released back into society there is a better chance of them not reverting to drug use.


Get dressed and jump in!

Prem students swim fully clothed

David Michaels

Grades six through ten at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School have been learning swimming survival skills in their physical education classes, following a course set out by the Royal Lifesaving Society of Australia.

Bass claws his way through the water as he stays afloat during survival skills training.

The survival skills included: diving underwater to simulate an escape from a sinking boat, treading water while waving and calling for help, throwing a rescue rope, putting on a life jacket while treading water, and swimming fully clothed.

According to swimming instructor Ajarn Wally, this survival program is in a trial stage at Prem. If successful, it will be implemented within the curriculum next year.

Prem’s Grade Nine students jump into the pool fully clothed as they simulate fleeing a sinking boat.

Ajarn Luke, another swimming teacher, explained that the sidestroke, elementary backstroke, and treading water are all skills that encourage a swimmer to keep his or her head out of water – to look for survivors or a flotation object.

According to Luke, “Many people feel that swimming is all about speed and stroke technique, but in actual fact it is also about surviving in water.” To these students at Prem, going to school can save their lives.

Ben and company send distress signal waves as they practice survival skills at the Prem pool.

Kritiya performs a survival jump during her physical education class.


SME fashion show “En-Or De Lanna”

Watcharapong Jingkaujai

Vice Governor Prinya Panthong presiding over the opening ceremony.

Northern region SMEs organized a fashion show dubbed “En-Or De Lanna” under the “To Develop Lanna Designers” project, to improve fashion business by developing the designers to reach an international standard. It was also to support Lanna designer groups to gain more experience and knowledge. The event was organized on May 13 at Nimman Promenade on Nimmanhaemin Road Soi 4.

Wanchai Ratchadamad, director of Chiang Mai Branch Office Industrial Promotion Center Region 1, said, “En-Or De Lanna” is a systematic work in cooperation with Northern SMEs Center, Chiang Mai Branch, Office Industrial Promotion Center Region 1, Department of Industrial Promotion, Chiang Mai Classic Model, Kings Collection Co., Ltd. and International Academy Place of Chiang Mai University”.

One of the models presenting young Lanna fashion design.

The project aims to establish a Lanna International Fashion Academy curriculum and to practice designers skill in a Sudden Design Competition by assigning ten designers to design and present their own collections to teachers and professional designers within 4 months, to reach designing standards and support them as professional designers in future,” he added.

Prinya Panthong, Chiang Mai vice governor, said that “En-Or De Lanna” was a way to prove Lanna designers skills, supported by local SMEs.”


HSBC Young IT Entrepreneur Awards in Thailand

CMU and ABAC students take first prize

Staff reporter

Thanapon Euatrakul, senior student of the Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, and Jesada Toneratanakul, student of the Faculty of Business Administration, ABAC University, won HSBCs first prize, and 100,000 baht, and will visit Washington University in Seattle, USA, for one week.

The pair presented a business plan for IT, Technology Internet GPRS Bluetooth to help customers to locate products and called their joint cooperation BOO. They will represent Thailand in HSBCs Young IT Entrepreneur Awards in Hong Kong in May, competing against the winners from Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

The HSBC Young IT Entrepreneur Awards in Thailand is supported by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, to encourage bachelor degree students to dream up new business plans by using communication technology, and to offer them opportunities to develop their business knowledge and skill. There were 269 competitors with 102 proposals.