With federal funds awarded to the BYU Chinese Flagship Center for K12 activities, 60 students studying Chinese from eight different high schools in the Utah Valley participated in an exciting overnight retreat in December. The retreat, held on December 16-17 at BYU’s Aspen Grove Resort, was designed to inform high school students about the value of pursuing language studies at BYU and informing them about the Chinese Flagship Program. Students participated in a weekend of Chinese learning, instructional and fun activities, and an opportunity to interact with BYU Flagship staff. The night began with presentations by Chinese Flagship Academic Director, Dr. Matthew Christensen, and Flagship alumnus, James Toone. After dinner, the students enjoyed an evening playing Chinese games and watching the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. While attending the retreat, Dr. Dana Bourgerie, Chinese Flagship Center Director, noted “This was a wonderful opportunity for bright high school students throughout the state of Utah to interact with Flagship faculty and staff, current and past Flagship students and to get excited about the possibilities for China-related careers”.
Saturday activities included instruction on Chinese provinces, calligraphy, Chinese money, Chinese zodiac, traditional music, and proper chopstick use. Following the activities was a relaxing session of taichi and an intriguing demonstration lesson on Chinese medicine. The BYU Chinese Flagship Center will continue to provide events for high school students this winter semester. The main event is a Mentoring Conference scheduled for February 3rd, 2012, which will include: Chinese instruction by Chinese visiting Flagship faculty, mentoring by current Flagship students, a banquet with special speakers, a lion dance performance and a culminating performance at BYU by the Beijing Acrobats.