NIST Students Take Top Honors at Bangkok Vex Robotics Competition

On Saturday, 4 February the Battle in Bangkok: Starstruck Thailand Vex Robotics Competition was hosted at NIST International School, with teams from NIST, International School Bangkok and Thai-Chinese International School all competing for a place at the world event. The NIST Falcons secured the Excellence Award, qualifying them for the VEX Robotics World Championship, the culminating event of the season, held in April, with the top teams from across the United States and around the world who seek to become world champions.

To prepare for the competition, the NIST team worked together to design and build a robot using VEX EDR that could quickly and efficiently solve specific obstacles and challenges that come with playing the VEX Robotics Competition Starstruck game. Each week, the students apply what they’ve learned about science, technology, engineering and math in order to build the semiautonomous machines. An equally important set of skills is learned through the competition: communication, project management, site management and the importance of composure, as they have to learn how to lose as much as they have to learn how to win.

Jason Tiefel, who coached the NIST teams and organized the event, indicated that the programme is still growing in Thailand, but offers a great deal of appeal to students and builds skills that parallel the principles of the IB programme: “I could not be more proud of the effort and achievement the students displayed. They put in many hours of extra work to prepare, and the competition gave them a goal to strive for that ignited their interest in learning more about robotics. I even had seniors that started the competition, left for exams and college interviews, then came back and finished as tournament champions! As an educator it is amazing to see the students applying their skills of creativity, collaboration, dynamic problem solving, resilience, and strategic thinking in a way that is fun and engaging.”

The Battle in Bangkok: Starstruck Thailand is one of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year. The VEX Robotics Competition is the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics program for middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world, with more than 16,000 teams from 40 countries that participate in more than 1,300 VEX Robotics Competition events worldwide. Building on the newfound success by the NIST Falcons, the event is set to grow even further in Bangkok, and they’re eager to take on new challenges at the world championship.


For more information about the VEX Robotics Competition, visit roboticseducation.org and robotevents.com.

CIS Recognizes NIST Graduate with International Student Award

International-Student-Award-Winner-Chakrapoj-Bos-ChitwannapaThe Council of International Schools, one of the three organizations through which NIST International School is accredited, recognizes a small number of students worldwide each year with the International Student Award. Acknowledging the contributions of those who have “demonstrated a clear commitment to sustained interaction with students of the other nationalities, languages or ethnic backgrounds in a spirit of international understanding and cooperation”, the award encourages students to reach out to others in their communities, identify issues, and initiate creative, sustainable solutions. This year Chakrapoj (Bos) Chitwannapa, a member of the Class of 2014, became one of only a small number of students worldwide to receive the award.

As described on the CIS award page, “Bos travelled to Maeramit Village in Om Goi District as part of a CAS trip where he participated in the preliminary stage of community development. This has helped him gain first-hand experience in learning about development and applying development tools in a rural village environment. Bos did some excellent work facilitating the needs analysis process, and the school was impressed with the leadership he has shown. Bos will continue to work on the project with other NIST students and teachers, as well as with other schools, so as to help form a development project that will benefit the village in a sustainable and beneficial way.”

Congratulations, Bos, and we wish you luck as you leave NIST and begin a new journey in university!

NIST Caps Fantastic Year of Sports with Annual Banquet

With the 2013-2014 Falcon sports season complete, the NIST athletes amassed over 50 championships in BISAC and SEASAC. But as Head of School James MacDonald noted during his speech, sports is not only about winning. Being a part of team teaches leadership, collaboration and responsibility. It forces us to recognize our mistakes, and learn that we can grow through them.

Among their peers, several students received the highest honors for their exceptional leadership and teamwork. The NIST Athlete of the Year awards went to Jade Vanichvirulh, Ally Christensen and Rosie Grant (all Year 13). The NIST Sportsmanship Award, recognizing positive contributions through integrity and fair play, were awarded to Yeewah Kitsomsub and Nung (Kornkit) Kitsomsub (both Year 11). Congratulations to all of the NIST athletes and award winners for a wonderful year!