You have your Silicon Valley in the US, but have you ever heard of China’s Silicon Valley? That’s right, China has its very own Silicon Valley in Shenzhen (深圳, shēn zhèn), Guangdong (广东, guâng dōng). WildChina has a 7-day itinerary called “Digital China, Factories, & Robots in China” that is centered around Business & Economics and STEAM learning. On this school trip to China, your students will get to meet some great innovators and participate in fun workshops. Activities include DIY programming competitions, glass blowing, and model construction. If you want to take your students on an innovation-filled school trip to China, why not explore this futuristic city?
Welcoming you & exploring the Silicon Valley of China
The day you arrive at the Shenzhen Airport, you’ll meet your WildChina Guide and Program Leader, who will take you to your hotel to check in and freshen up before you head to a nearby Cantonese restaurant for a Welcome Dinner.
After breakfast the next day, you and your students will get to enjoy a walking tour as your guide tells you about the Shenzhen icons and how China’s Silicon Valley came to be. Forty years ago, Shenzhen was merely a small fishing village. You’ll explore the CBD area, but don’t worry, it actually stands for Central Business District (中央商务区, zhōng yāng shāng wù qū), which is just another way of referring to the downtown area.
Futian lies at the center of Shenzhen, and the area contributes to almost 20% of the city’s GDP. The Shenzhen Stock Exchange is China’s second-largest stock exchange, preceded by the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Shenzhen is home to two of China’s biggest tech companies, Tencent and Huawei. A fun fact about the city is that it was one of the first four trial cities to use digital Yuan (¥, aka RMB) money!
Since you would probably be quite jet-lagged from your trip the previous day, we have a leisurely afternoon planned for the second day of your school trip to China. Your guide and program leader will take you to Guanlan Art Village (观澜版画村, guān lán bân huà cūn) where you can walk around and bask in the rural village lifestyle. Guanlan Art Village is a Hakka ancient village. If you didn’t know, the Hakka people are an ethnic minority in China. As you walk around there, you’ll notice that the village has a very distinct artistic and cultural atmosphere with lots of craftsman’s work. Your guide will tell you about how it became the industry base for printmaking and you’ll get to try out T-shirt dyeing.
Huaqiangbei Trouble-Maker Space
The Huaqiangbei (华强北, huá qiáng beî) Trouble-Maker space is a hub for hardware product developers. As part of the STEAM learning aspect of your school trip to China, your students will get to see the workflow from fresh idea to finished product in this dynamic environment. By interacting with the expert makers there, students will get to learn about space and culture as well.
After listening to a Shenzhen Innovation Presentation on the city’s history, present outlook, and future prospects, you will be introduced to the makers-space function and have a scavenger hunt game near the Huaqiangbei E-Markets. Your students will also get some hands-on experience on this school trip to China by having an interactive lecture about PCB (Printed Circuit Board) design and PCB prototyping.
Robotics Workshop & Robot Company Visit!
Day 4 of your school trip in China calls for a return to the Huaqiangbei Trouble-Maker Space to do a Robot Project. Your students will have a Soldering Workshop and start building their robots, during which they’ll get to experience laser cutting, assembling, and programming their robots. At the end of the day, students will present their robots.
On the next day, your WildChina guide will take you to the offices of a UT-Tech Robot company called Chaihuo Maker Space (柴火创客, chái huô chuàng kè) to learn about technological innovation. You will gain some engineering and DIY skills as well as software programming and basic hardware (please note that students will be required to bring their own laptops). After lunch, you will continue your day by using 3D printers, more laser cutters, and a variety of prototyping machines. At the end of your day at Chaihuo Maker Space, you’ll have a roadshow and your students will receive their very own certificates!
DIY Car Programming Experience
Nearing the end of your school trip in China, you’ll get to go and explore the OCT Loft Creative Cultural Park! This space is an electronic parts factory compound turned creative district, reflecting the city’s transformation from a workshop into an innovation hub. It’s been described as a hipster’s paradise with lots of postmodern art, cafes, and a creative atmosphere. Shenzhen was named the City of Design by UNESCO in 2008, and this area is integral to the city’s growing tech and design culture. The OCT Loft Creative Cultural Park even has its own Jazz festival.
After lunch, you’ll visit a drone-making company called DJI to learn about DJI’s corporate culture and the application of drones based on some case studies. Your students will get to try aerial photography by flying drones outdoors and taking part in a RoboMaster Robotics Competition. That night, we’ll have a farewell dinner as it will be the final night of your school trip in China.
Ready to start planning your trip?
We hope you are excited to bring your students on this hands-on school trip to China! Unlike our usual school trip to China programs, this trip heavily emphasizes technological innovation and you will get to spend lots of time in the city center. Depending on which state you’ll be flying in from, the modern architecture and scenery may be completely different from what you are used to. Shenzhen is a great place to foster your students’ creativity while learning in a fun and experiential way.
Does this sound like a trip you want to take your students on? You can fill out a form to submit a quote to us or reach out via phone or email. If you have any special requests or places you would like to visit in Shenzhen during your school trip to China, let us know. That’s what our Academic Managers are here for. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Sources: Tech & Robots in China’s ‘Silicon Valley’