In collaboration with the United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO), students worked to adapt and modify modules created by the ILO for corporate level training for Cambodians. Students customized the existing material for a Cambodian audience. These training modules will be offered to select high schools and universities in Cambodia as Liger students monitor the engagement with these modules.
Business Model Competition
The Business Model Competition (BMS) Start Up Accelerator is competition for undergrad and post-grad university students. Liger was granted special permission to enter – the only high school aged entrants in the history of the competition – and had both teams reach the top ten. One of these teams placed first and represented Cambodia at the Asia regional Mekong Challenge with their app UNI – designed to assist job seekers to create their own multimedia 360 degree profiles which will be a fuller reflection of their skills, interests, experiences and abilities, supplementing the professional skills normally listed on a resume. It is designed to give potential employers a more complete knowledge of a job candidate’s background.
The 420-page student-written, student-published book “The Geography of Cambodia” took more than 18 months to complete – involving 4200 hours of research, 3150 hours of design, 1848 hours of editing, 5560 hours of revision, and a visit to all 25 provinces and cities around Cambodia. The book is intended to be a reliable and credible source of information about the geographical diversity of the Kingdom.
Critical Teen Issues
Several of our students learned about important topics for teens including consent, healthy teen relationships, and gender equity. The Critical Teen Issues exploration was inspired by a campus visit by Catherine Harry, the feminist educator behind a Dose of Cath. At the conclusion, they created a video that aimed to end gender-based violence and entered it into a competition in conjunction with USAID Cambodia – and won!
In this exploration, seven Liger students collaborated with eight students from the NGO World Renew to explore ideas and pathways of how to execute a community project. The students conducted a workshop for 40 youth from four different Cambodian provinces. After the pilot workshop, World Renew students were able to lead workshops in their own communities in the four provinces and expand the impact of the project.
A group of senior students attempted to develop the first Cambodian satellite. In collaboration with advisors from Boeing, CalPoly, and other aerospace and environmental engineers, the students worked to design and build a microsatellite to be hopefully launched into Lower-Altitude Space. Students learned about the specificities of CubeSat and ground station design, researching and brainstorming possible missions. Students aimed to share their newfound knowledge to students from government schools and other organizations.
Frisbee League Pioneers
To create the first Cambodian frisbee league that is replicable and scalable, enabling empowerment of rural girls in Cambodia, challenging female stereotyping, through facilitation of a more gender-equitable environment.
Working with the Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society (PPAWS), Liger students learned about working with disabled animals. As part of this exploration, they worked to design, manufacture and fit a wheelchair to a dog missing both her hind legs in order to improve her mobility.
Khmer Sight Foundation
Liger students assisted the NGO the Khmer Sight Foundation with pre- and post-op eye testing and documenting patient experiences so that anxiety can be reduced among those in need of surgery.
Liger students worked with international non-profit World Renew to teach youth living in rural communities basic IT skills including internet, e-mail, and Google. These skills will give them access to more information and services and allow them to share their knowledge and skills with other students in their communities.
Humans of Cambodia
A group of junior students developed the Humans of Cambodia exploration – loosely based on the well-known Human of New York project where strangers are interviewed and their stories and images are shared on a blog. This project required our students to develop technical skills in photography, interviewing, writing and web development.
Khmer Community Project
With the increase in alcohol consumption in rural areas in Cambodia, there is a need to educate people about the risks, disadvantages and consequences of the consumption of alcohol. As part of this exploration, students produced an educational video about alcohol related problems. This was shared in rural communities by Liger’s traveling theatre.
Junxtapoze is a new social venture in Phnom Penh that creates positive sustainable change by creatively upcycling garments. Our students worked with the Junxtapoze team to learn about clothing design, the impact of fast fashion, and the garment industry.
Liger Edge is a student run digital platform for young inspired writers. Their mission is to deliver thought-provoking, interesting, and relevant articles each week. The students are dedicated to cultivating a culture of reading, writing, and critical thinking at Liger and beyond. They hope to provide a medium of change for youth to share their stories through writing.
Liger created a Traveling Liger Community Theatre group which included a variety of performances written and performed by Liger students that have social impact to Cambodian culture. As part of the exploration, the students performed a play to local residents of a town in Kampot at two schools. The play focused on body image and how human beings have not only standardized beauty but victimized the who are not of the so-called standards.
The Minor Act
In collaboration with filmmakers Ryan Barton, Liger students worked to produce a film with the Phare Circus in Battambang and to simultaneously make a documentary about the filmmaking process.
To assist with food production for rural families, students created a hydroponics system at Liger. This involved engineering, designing, and figuring out the economics with the ultimate goal of recreating a viable system in local communities.
Students learned about sustainable practices in farming and put this knowledge to good use at the NGO Camkids’ garden. They identified a need for soil testing to help make their soil replacement more sustainable and created a soil testing kit that can be distributed and utilized widely throughout Cambodia. Additionally, Liger students became registered contributors of Open Development Cambodia and visited local farms to help give more information to ODC.
Students learned critical outdoor leadership and survival skills to gain environmental awareness and appreciation, develop risk management and emergency response strategies, and build physical and emotional resilience in the outdoors through collaboration, problem-solving, and stewardship. This wass a preparatory class for the development of a packaged and distributable outdoor leadership course, to be given to other classes in schools around Phnom Penh and Cambodia. The Exploration is intended to teach young learners about outdoor leadership roles, how to live and travel in the outdoors, and become stewards for natural spaces in Cambodia.
Students explored various indigenous peoples such as Suoy, Kreung, Kachok, Tumpoun, and Jarai. They wrote a book about SUOY Indigenous people in Kampong Speu province.
The Mekong Cup is an invitational Ultimate Frisbee tournament open to teams from across Asia. Students were involved in organising the 2018 event, held in Phnom Penh.
No Single-Use Plastic
Students identified the single-use plastic items most commonly found on Liger’s campus and worked on a campaign to raise awareness about the environmental impact of these items. This culminated in a new policy of the Liger campus being single-use plastic-free, with all students and staff receiving a reusable bag.
Students explored how food plays a role in culture and the passing down of recipes and restaurants generationally. They produced blogs, videos and photo essays, and published these online.
Students learned the basic skills of drawing as preparation for future mastery of animation techniques. Students developed a strong foundation in pen and paper drawing principles such as shading, perspective and expression.
Students worked to further three apps that were developed in previous explorations – Tos Tov, IMEX, and Liger Digital Currency. By the end of the round, the students presented their progress on the apps, and the steps planned to move forward with development in the future.
Journeys of Change Bike Tour Business
Students utilized their past knowledge of business planning and implementation to develop their own bike tour business, named Journeys of Change. It has been developed into a successful enterprise, and now runs bi-monthly tours.
Future Foods: Hydroponics
Students explored the hydroponic method of growing food by building an electronically-monitored hydroponic system on campus.
Students used the internet, mentors and experts to develop and program robots in teams. They explored the properties and uses of each part – including sensors – in order to develop more complex robots. At the end of the exploration, the students competed in an international robotics competition in Singapore.
Theater Set Design
In preparation for the production of The Network in Round 5, students explored the general conceptual and practical practices used in setting up a theatre for a specific play. This multifaceted exploration included research and training in Sound Design, Stage Design, Costume Design, and Light Design. Students then explored how these different elements are combined to create the platform on which a successful production is based.
Students investigated the incidence of dengue fever in Cambodia – identifying factors for its recent outbreak, health effects, and ways to reduce transmission and increase healthy practices. Students partnered with local and international health organisations to help educate public populations about dengue fever risks and prevention in Cambodia. The exploration culminated with a formal risk analysis of dengue fever incidence and transmission in the Ta Khmao neighborhood, with recommendations for transmission prevention.
International Labour Organisation Collaboration
Students read and understood one or two skill-building modules, created by the ILO – a UN agency – specifically for corporate-level training. Students then customized this training for a Cambodian audience. Students then offered these training modules to select high schools/universities in Cambodia, monitoring as other students engaged in the self-guided modules. Feedback on the training modules was reported and documented to the ILO.
Solar Pi 2
Students planned, researched, installed and monitored two computer labs in governments schools. One is run on solar power and the other is connected to the grid. Students worked in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport; Edemy, a company which provides English software; and NRG Community Solar, a solar company. This project is working on the Cambodian government’s initiatives to bring STEM education and English to low income government schools.
Art in Cambodia
Fifteen students produced, directed and acted in the play The Network by Christian Kiley. Students built acting and event management skills, culminating in two successful public performances in at the School of Performing Arts in June.
Students worked to develop empathy through a series of informal and experiential activities simulating different disabilities. They used their networking skills to research and reach out to various organizations working to support, educate and treat people with disabilities.
Students learned about the broader issues of gender equity worldwide as well as the manifestation of these issues in Cambodia. Students created writing pieces, artwork, and activities to put forth into the community. They used their developed understanding of the issues to host creative and interactive workshops on gender with fellow students and other community members.
Zoonotics – Rabies
Students conducted an investigative analysis of different zoonotic pathogens and disease incidence throughout Cambodia. They conducted research on prevalent zoonotic diseases, prevention and control methods, and the success of and challenges facing current public health campaigns.After receiving training, students partnered with Animal Rescue Cambodia to vaccinate dogs and cats and implant microchips in pagodas local to Liger, and worked on minor surgeries in Mondulkiri.
Diggin’ up Dinos: Discovering Dinosaurs in Northern Cambodia
Students used investigative and paleontological research methods, networking and communication skills and public education/outreach strategies to determine the existence of dinosaurs in Northern Cambodia. Students investigated the natural and evolutionary history of dinosaurs in Southeast Asia.
To Spray or Not To Spray
Students learned about the chemical, physical and biological hazards to human health. They studied the health consequences of human-environment interaction. By researching the chemical sprayed on the Liger campus, students compared the health hazards of spraying or not spraying pesticides.
Students continued working on a publishable book on Cambodia’s geography. Work included translating between Khmer and English, creating the art for the book and laying out the book using desktop publishing software. This was a multi-term Exploration and this round focused on the publishing aspect. Students hope this Exploration will result in Liger’s third student-authored published book.
HIV/AIDS in Cambodia
Students investigated the influence of HIV/AIDS on public health in Cambodia, and interviewed individuals with HIV/AIDS to bring awareness of individual experiences to the public and start normalizing conversations about the disease. They designed a workshop aimed at the Cambodian public and high school students for spreading awareness, prevention methods, and normalization across the country.
As an introduction to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, students created new products that they built themselves. Students followed a lean start-up model and took their items out for sale to their target markets. In this Exploration, students learned ideation, teamwork, production, iterations, feedback, pricing, marketing, branding and other entrepreneurial concepts and skills.
Students learned about drug awareness and intervention in Cambodia. This Exploration was done in collaboration with the non-profit World Renew. Students visited a Cambodian rehabilitation center where facilitators are using a combination of therapy and vocational training to redirect patients’ lives. They attended a drug invention workshop and training hosted by the Ministry of the Interior. Students then collaborated with World Renew to plan, organize and implement drug campaigns in four provinces.
Bambujaya (Creating Curriculum)
Bambujaya (BBJ) is a privately-funded school in Cambodia which aims to teach the government school curriculum in a more dynamic, activity-based way. Students were hired as consultants by the founder and funder of BBJ to create supplemental activities for the Khmer Grade 3 curriculum. In this Exploration, students played a critical role in developing ideas to add value to government schools and improve the government school curriculum.
Surveying in Cambodia
Students surveyed and evaluated the quality of life in CamKids communities. CamKids is a non-profit working to help children in Cambodia who are either poor or whose parents are not present: orphans, street children, children living in poor rural areas and children affected by natural disasters, such as flood or famine. Applying tools learned during their AP Statistics courses, students produced reports on the data they collected that could be used for CamKids donors, the Ministry of Statistics and data and educational organizations.
Humans of Cambodia
Students analyzed existing blogs (Humans of Phnom Penh and Humans of New York), think critically about their components, and use them as a basis to launch their own site: Humans of Cambodia. As part of this Explorations, students will learn to create and manage their own blog allowing them to improve their technology skills while making a change in Cambodia. The blog will connect students with their community by looking for people’s stories and will allow outsiders and locals to see the diversity of Cambodia.
Liger Digital Currency
Students designed and implemented a system for transferring currency digitally between Liger students and staff. While building their programming skills, students were challenged to view the project as a system of many interconnected parts. Students were responsible for communicating the progress of their team to the exploration as a whole, as well as educating the Liger community about the currency and how to use it.
Entrepreneurship: Waste Management
Students approached the problem of waste management in the local community from a business perspective. The first group surveyed the community and put together a feasibility study for a waste disposal start-up, the second group worked the feasibility study into a business plan, the third group attempted community outreach and began developing compost recipes, and the last group finalized the business plan and perfected the compost recipe and tumblers and targeted the local community for people who were willing to implement the student’s composting ideas
Students applied design theory to create a dynamic board game that addresses issues pertinent to Cambodia. Students researched causes/ effects/ micro-solutions of climate change to build into the theme of the existing game. Students collaborated with local educators to integrate the government school curriculum into the game “packs” and trialed the game with local students at varied levels in local schools. They also connected with graphic artists, manufacturers, and 3D printers on the concept art and design for the game. The design for manufacture (DFM) project for the climate change game was developed in round three. Students examined each part of the game and found the fastest, least expensive way to manufacture 500 game sets while still keeping the components to a decent grade of quality.
Each student worked on researching and contacting different agents of change who appeal to them. They collected information from interviews, both on Skype and in-person, and created a final inspirational product to disseminate their findings to the community.
Lucky Iron Fish
Students worked in conjunction with the Song-saa Foundation and the Lucky Iron Fish organization to research anemia in Cambodia. Students used the Iron Fish product in experiments, testing variables like time spent in the water and temperature of the water to come up with the perfect plan for users of the fish. They finally conducted four presentations to local communities about the symptoms and prevention of anemia.
This exploration focused on dental health and diabetes, researched the Khmer diet and the negative effects of sugar, heard from three unique speakers about various components of preventative health, presented to the Junior cohort about dental hygiene and the dangers of too much sugar, and created workshops on these topics to present to communities on the island of Song-saa.
Students split into four groups to study the history of the genocide that took place in the 1970s. The first group studied what led up to the Khmer Rouge seizing power; the second group studied the four years that the Khmer Rouge held power; the third group learned about the fall of the Khmer Rouge and the immediate aftermath; and the fourth group learned about the on-going tribunals to prosecute the senior leaders and the intergenerational impact of genocide on a population. All groups took trips to the Killing Fields, S-21 (torture prison), or Anlong Veng Peace Center and built a partnership with the Documentation Center of Cambodia.
Advanced Robotics (VEX)
A team participated in the Vex robotics competition in Taipei at the beginning of December. Ten students were broken into three groups: robotics, fundraising and website design. Students recorded personal video messages to potential donors and launched a student-coded website. On the technical side, students constructed their own robot after trials and practice with a model robot. Through a crowdfunding platform, students raised money to finance their trip.
Climate Change (Carbon Footprint, Carbon Neutral)
Students applied their understanding of the causes of climate change, analyzed carbon footprints, and proposed solutions for reducing substances that promote climate change.
Students applied their understanding of the causes of climate change, analyzed climate change policy, designed a Climate Summit, and invited and hosted students from other schools for the Summit which was held on the LLA campus.
Filmmaking in Government Schools
Students delivered a crash course in filmmaking to two groups of government school students; after learning and practicing technical skills, the government school students produced two short films, which were entered into a youth film festival organized by Liger students.
Students traveled to the provinces to learn about the various geological properties of their country with the support of a visiting American expert. Students created an open informational social media platform to share their knowledge and encourage other Cambodians to show interest in their country’s unique geology.
Students analyzed ecosystem services and how can they mitigate climate change conditions. They constructed an organic garden on Koh Rong as a model for food security for sandy soil conditions.
Students engaged in an investigation of Cambodia’s infrastructure and how this affects their country’s growth and development. With a focus on Phnom Penh, students designed a future version of their capital city with an eye towards better facilitating transportation, trade and health.
Solar Pi 1
This was Part One of a two-part project to install a solar-powered computer lab into a Cambodian government school. Included in the commissioning of this lab were different curriculums to inspire creative digital work including CAD design and programming as well as using an English learning platform designed for Khmer speakers.
Hidden Voices: Lost Music in Cambodia
With a long history of oral tradition and the loss of so many Cambodians during the Khmer Rouge era, students visited with, interviewed and recorded village elders’ songs in Kampong Speu and Mondulkiri provinces to help preserve Cambodia’s past for future generations. Students created a blog and a podcast, and were also featured in a documentary for a partner organization, Cambodia Sings!
Click on the link below to hear the podcast:
Phnong Indigenous Community
As part of a study of one of Cambodia’s indigenous populations which is diminishing and could be lost, students spent time living with the Phong Indigenous Community, documenting their traditions and taking photos. Students then created a book of color photos and all their research. Click on the link below to view the ebook:
Master Plan 3D
Students turned a shipping container into a Visitor Information Palace. They learned about 3D Design in Blender in order to print Liger’s campus to scale on a 3D model. The outside mural was painted by Liger students with help from a local Khmer artist. Students created the deck and entrance/exit trails, produced informational videos and installed solar electricity to run the container. Today, the VIP is full of information about the campus, Liger’s history, and our learning model and there are Liger products for purchase.
Students were broken up into four groups, all of which participated in activities regarding entrepreneurship and alleviating poverty through financial literacy (a+b=3 curriculum). Together, they created, marketed and tried to sell an original chili sauce. The first group focused on the initial stages of a business plan and recipe development; the second group modified and perfected the recipe and business plan and worked on supply chain issues in order to minimize production costs; the third group partnered with an advertising firm abroad to design the label and researched possible places for the product to be sold in Phnom Penh; and the final group focused on developing a projected budget (annual cost and start-up cost) and finalized the packaging, taste and name of the sauce.
Humans of Cambodia
Students coded and designed a website that highlights the stories of Khmer people through photo and interview, modeled after the Humans of New York blog.
This exploration focused on the components of a marine ecosystem in Cambodia and the human impacts affecting Cambodian marine ecosystems. Students were charged with finding problems, motivations and possible solutions connected to the human impact.
Writing a Liger Digital Cookbook
Cooking for themselves is a daily expectation for the Senior cohort so developing recipes, cooking healthy, wholesome, well-balanced meals, and creating a Liger cookbook as a resource for all students, was very important for daily life.
Project Based Learning in Cambodia – Ministry
Working with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, our students were given the challenge of designing an experiment to incorporate project based learning into two secondary government schools based on the government’s need to incorporate project based learning throughout the country. Liger students developed several secondary project based learning units including a grade 10 history unit and a grade 9 earth science unit. Our students not only designed the units, but also developed and implemented the professional development for the government school teachers. The teachers conducted their units with their government school students with Liger students providing consulting assistance.
STEM Curriculum Design (for Ministry of Education)
Improving science, technology, engineering, and math is a major focus for the Cambodian Ministry of Education. Liger students were asked to assist the Ministry in developing lessons related to STEM in government secondary schools. Our students designed several creative, hands-on STEM units of study for grades 9 and 10 that were practical and cost-efficient. In addition, Liger students prepared and conducted teacher training for the units in two Cambodian secondary schools – one urban and one rural. The curriculum was then tested in both schools by the Cambodian teachers with our students helping along the way.
LLA hired an external consultancy firm to independently evaluate the success of a project based learning initiative developed and implemented by LLA students for Cambodian government schools. Five LLA students worked with the consultancy firm to learn how to professionally evaluate a project and write up supporting reports.
Students worked with InDesign software to create the first Liger yearbook, complete with pricing the book, taking photos, organizing and laying out the pages.
3D Design in Public Schools
Students worked on developing a 3D design curriculum that could be easily pushed out to Cambodian public schools. A decision was made as to which 3D design software package would be suitable for government school computers, depending on the hardware available. Once the software package was selected, students started to learn how to use the software package and then develop video tutorials to teach what they learned.
Create your own Exploration (CYOE)
After several years of students coming up with their own ideas for Explorations, during year three, we allowed them to work together to create short proposals for Explorations. Students were then asked to present their proposal to a panel in order to get approved. The topics below became the CYOE topics, each of which was student-led, with support from an appointed mentor.
Tourism in Cambodia – Students created a short documentary about hidden destinations and activities throughout the country that are off the typical path of tourism, but that would appeal to a traveler.
Hydropower – Students visited a hydropower dam and learned about the benefits and drawbacks to hydropower.
Robotics – Experienced robotics students worked alongside new students to prepare them for a competition in Singapore.
KID (Khmer Interior Design) – Cambodia is changing quickly and architecture and interior design are part of the changing landscape. Students took on a project, mentored by a leading Interior Design company in Phnom Penh, to design and outfit a 2-bedroom apartment on the LLA campus, which is now used for visiting mentors and volunteers. They were amazed at how many of the LLA Change Agent Characteristics are necessary for an interior designer to be successful.
Art in Cambodia – Students created artistic products made from recycled materials.
Crime in Cambodia – Students learned about the issue of illegal fishing along the Cambodian coast and created a documentary raising awareness of all sides of the issue.
Fiction Writing – Students wrote a creative fantasy fiction novel, which they translated into Khmer and illustrated. The goal was to create an interesting reading option for a population that, as statistics show, do not read much beyond school texts.
Drones – Students proposed the purchase of a drone, learned to fly it, and created a drone start-up, advertising their talents and skills for local businesses.
Community Libraries – Students constructed small community libraries and collected books to be distributed to the libraries; students then took the libraries home and conducted a social experiment to see if the books would be borrowed and returned.
Games Around the World – Students did research and surveyed contacts from around the world to create a how-to game database, featuring cultural games and global pastimes.
Spiritualism in Cambodia – With Cambodia having transitioned through several religious doctrines throughout its history, this project explored many of the spiritual and cultural beliefs that still exist around the country.
Tech Support for NGO’s in Cambodia
Working in conjunction with an IB school in Singapore, students honed advanced tech skills (hardware and software) in order to offer tech support to NGOs and Liger in collaboration with UWCSEA. After building skills, students solved technical problems for local Cambodian NGOs, including Tiny Toones and Green Umbrella.
Students collaborated with an ecotourism community in Koh Kong province to assess the local population’s commitment to the program and tried and elevate their profile nationally and internationally.
Entrepreneurship: 3D Printing
Students learned about basic business concepts (product design, prototyping, marketing) and worked in teams to design and 3D print small products from a business card holder to a child-friendly clothes hook, students saw their products through from ideation to manufacture to selling.
Students worked closely with community members to help enhance their waste management while also making marketable products public outreach to educate about sorting waste (organic, recyclables and other) and composting.
Culture Shock in Cambodia
With more and more foreigners coming to Cambodia, either as tourists or as longer term residents, students believed it would be a good idea to have reference points for foreigners to better understand Cambodian culture and language, and therefore be able to assimilate more easily into society. Students created an easy to access website with basic information and introductory language resources.
Water Sanitation in Rural Cambodia
Under the direction of a Khmer expert, Solyka, students learned about water sanitation challenges in Cambodia, with a focus on waste management in flooded villages. Students traveled to Battambang and Siem Reap to see how their waste management systems worked and their interaction with eco-tourism.
LLA worked in collaboration with “Art in a Box”, a New York based 501(c)3 non-profit organization, to create a book on Cambodian Wildlife, depicting 87 different Cambodian species and 7 ecosystems. The book is believed to be the first of its kind here in Cambodia. As well as being distributed to government schools throughout the country at the behest of the Minister for Education, Youth and Sport, the book is also available at a leading bookstore in Phnom Penh and at the airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Students studied the basics of how their economy works and researched the major sectors of Cambodia’s economy including agriculture, tourism, construction, and the garment industry. Using a combination of their research and in-person interviews, the students wrote, designed, laid out and published a dual-language book about the major sectors of their country’s economy. The books were then distributed for free to every secondary school in the country. Books are also on sale at major bookstores throughout Cambodia.
Poverty in Cambodia
In this project, students learned about the problems in their communities which result in poverty as well as the overall poverty in Cambodia. Students compared Cambodia to other impoverished global contexts and visited local ministries to see the sort of outreach that is happening to alleviate poverty within the country. They also visited Community Poverty Reduction in Kompong Chhnang province to interview people about their work with those with HIV.
Students tackled water safety and drowning prevention by designing and implementing a community swim program to teach survival swimming. Students redesigned and adapted water safety messages from an African curriculum for Cambodian learners and learned graphic design skills along the way. They discovered known information on drowning prevention in Cambodia and conducted qualitative and quantitative surveys to learn more and add to existing knowledge on the subject.
Led by two visiting American university students, LLA students learned how to program (coding). Students used Python to make simple computer games in teams and to make their own game or simulation.
Students learned interview strategies and the basics of photography. They took photos (black and white portraits) and oral biographies of community members, learning more about their local community and the troubled history through which many of the population lived.
Students designed and ran English classes for young children from the communities near LLA.
Exploring the physics behind simple machines and their practical applications for Cambodian life, students created instructables for online dissemination, as well as ran a one-day toy-making workshop at a local school for students with mental and physical disabilities.
The procurement, containment, treatment and disbursement of water will continue to be one of the world’s biggest challenges. Studying and working on improving the constructed wetlands at LLA as an economical, low-tech water filtration possibility provided an excellent entry point for students to engage in the larger topic.
Bags and Business
Students met with representatives from the business sector and the art sector — looking at the process of making bags, including difficulties, and discussed possible business propositions. Students then researched bag styles, potential designs, problems plastic bags create in the environment and business plans. Eventually, students partnered with Watthan Artisans to source fabric bags, which they then hand-painted (the unique value-added selling point) and sold in various stores in Phnom Penh for profit.
Using a visit to the Phnom Penh Post as their foundation, students assigned themselves roles and created a newspaper about events and topics of interest at Liger. Students then marketed and sold the newspaper at local schools to offset the cost of printing.
Ecosystems: Forest Ecology
Beginning in 2013-2014 and ending in 2014-2015, some Explorations are rotational if we believe all students in the cohort should be exposed to the subject area. The Exploration is not repeated, but rather extended or explored in more depth by the new group of students. In the first round Exploration, students took an eight-day trip to the Seima Protection Forest, where they heard about the founding and history of the park, as well as the threats to plant and animal life in the area. An in-depth study of natural resources and their sustainability was a large focus, including a visit to the village of an ethnic minority, the Bunong, to observe the way they interact with the environment and maintain a sustainable lifestyle. Other ecosystem experiences included interacting and researching elephants at the Elephant Valley Project, studying the environmental impact of development in Bokor National Park and exploring the estuary ecology of Koh Kong Province.
Renewable Energy – Solar and Biogas
This exploration was on the practicalities of renewable energy as a viable alternative for rural Cambodians. Students secured outside funding to install two bio digesters for rural communities – one in a children’s center and one in a rural school run by an NGO. Students worked in collaboration with a national bio digester program to implement their products, and in the process, challenged and changed national policy, enabling the recipients of the bio digesters to receive a subsidy from the government, which was utilized to build a composting area.
Microfinance provides low-income entrepreneurs with small-scale financial loans, becoming a major player in development strategy and attracting considerable donor support world-wide. Students learned basic microfinance models, developed an understanding of the key issues and debates in microfinance, identified different monetary systems, and looked at the impact of microfinance on poverty and how financial responsibility and personal initiative can effect change.
Students learned about Khmer architecture, both ancient and modern, from the planning and design process to the literal construction. This included a five-day trip to Siem Reap to research the plan and design of Angkor Wat. Through mentorship with Phnom Penh Institute of Technology, students developed a fundamental understanding of Cambodian architecture and its place on the global architecture stage.
Crisis Management/Natural Disasters
Students researched natural disasters around the world, with a focus on drought and flooding, as well as emergency management techniques (individual and community-wide) that can be used to alleviate fallout from these events. They then visited a local school to educate students about natural disaster mitigation.
Documentary: Tonle Sap
Students traveled to Siem Reap and toured the Gecko Environmental Center and floating villages at Kampong Phluk to conduct research regarding the Tonle Sap river/lake. This research was then turned into a documentary featuring a blend of scientific information about the river’s flow, as well as a look at the lives of the people living in this particularly unique ecosystem.
Robotics (FLL) Competed in Singapore
Students prepared for and competed in the FLL Robotics competition in Singapore. As part of the program, students researched natural disasters, as their robot would need to conquer a simulated field of natural disaster fallout, acting as emergency services.
This group learned about the various roles on a TV crew, including producer and editor. They learned film basics and students then wrote and produced a documentary about Liger. This included several trips to TV stations and mentorship from those currently in the field.
Constructed Wetlands and Composting Toilets
Students explored two existing ideas to find solutions to wastewater: constructed wetlands and the self-composting toilet. Students were exposed to real world projects being implemented by several NGOs in Cambodia, as well as world-wide. The goal was to equip the students to address the current and future wastewater management issues to enhance the lives of rural Cambodians.
VAPAC: Visual and Performing Arts, Cambodia
Focus areas included sign language and mask-making, as well as a partnership with Epic Arts, a coalition of disabled artists and dancers in Kampot province to tell stories through movement and art.
This Exploration aimed at widening students and other young Cambodian’s perceptions and understanding of what possible future careers may be available.
Life on Cambodian Border
Students explored human migration, the reasons behind it and its effect on the culture of border towns. Culminated in a trip to Poipet on the Cambodian Thailand border.
A food system is the cyclical process of growing, transforming, packaging, transporting, cooking, eating, and recycling food. Students took various trips, including to an organic farm, a natural food store, and a hydroponic farm, to learn about compost, hydroponics and growing food sustainably. Students then attempted to start their own small organic vegetable patch at Liger. This was also the Exploration that prompted the Liger kitchen to begin integrating brown rice into the students’ diets.
This Exploration was a combination of presentation skills development, VIP Liger tour development and social media management.
Make a Difference/Leadership: Electrical Safety
In a true leadership role, students in this Exploration developed a public awareness campaign for electrical safety and delivered it through various mediums to rural communities where knowledge of these topics is low, but the effect of not having this knowledge creates a real danger on a daily basis.
Refuse – Plastic
Students participated in a plastic bag challenge, during which they carried with them their accumulated rubbish over the course of a week; explored concepts of reducing, reusing and recycling; and studied the effects on the environment of various methods of trash removal used in Cambodia. Students also surveyed Cambodians about their trash removal methods and eventually tried to create a solution by handcrafting reusable bags.
Liger TV – Plastics
Built off of the Refuse Plastic exploration, students learned more about solutions to the overuse of plastic and then used their media skills to create a mock TV program about the dangers plastic poses to public health and the environment.